ART PEACE

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Archive for the tag “dashain”

Colors & Smiles of Nepal

“I choose to collect memories instead of things” – Elena Levon

This one is long due.

We went to Nepal in 2018 during the Dushain festival; ie in the month of October. We knew most of the establishments would be closed as Dushain is the most auspicious festival there and everyone would be on vacation and would spend time with family rather than tending to guests. However, that is what we wanted to witness and experience.

The trip was filled with a splash of red color, beautiful smiles, worshipping people and high swings.

I will do an entire post to show all the beautiful places we visited, this one is dedicated to the beautiful people we saw and met during our journey and the color RED 🙂 . Red was the color of the season, people in red dresses, red ornaments, red tilak(vermillion) on foreheads, on statues, on walls….

Dashain the greatest festival for Hindus, honors a great conquest of the gods over the evil demons.

The faces are covered until the 8th day, however from day 1, there is night long prayers and bhajans.

City prepping up for the festivities

Durbar Square – where people enjoyed feeding the pigeons, running among pigeons and a saint trying to find peace among all the chaos.

Just some random clicks of happy people

Sadhu’s at Pashupatinath temple in their exotic appearances

Sadhus are almost entirely dependent on the alms of others for survival. But, many of them also support themselves by begging, singing, serving as spiritual mentors, interpreting dreams, telling fortunes and reading palms, making amulets, tattooing, performing exorcisms, casting spells, conjuring, or selling medicinal herbs and potions.

Evening bhajan and aarti at Pashupatinath

The famous Sel Roti of Nepal – made of rice flour. it is sweet and deep fried and mostly sought after snack during festivals. The vibrant market place. People finding their future in stars. The royal guard at the Durbar Square. And finally the funky musician selling music in all forms.

Amongst all the craziness, this topped it all. You get to see a web of entangled wire all across Kathmandu. I wonder how they fix it when there is a problem!!!

Prayers to Buddha in his birth place – Lumbini

Lighting a butter lamp in one of the largest stupas – UNESCO world Heritage site – Boudhanath Stupa

Bhanjans(musical prayers) and recitation of the holy text Rama Charith Manas @ Janakpur, the birth place of Sita.

Dashain is, in fact, a festival in Nepal which reunites the families and is the ceremony of reunion and joy. Every house is filled with happiness and delicious foods. The sky is filled with the Kites, the grounds are filled with swings and the people are filled with joy and memories and so was I.

The trip was filled with long rides across valleys and river side, hot Nepali food, visit to the many durbars of Nepal, meeting and greeting smiling Nepalis, paying oblations in the various religious places, breath taking views, taking walks in the festive filled busy streets and shopping, of course… 🙂

This is my favorite pic among all !!!

Somewhere out there is Mount Everest which we couldn’t see due to fog … some other time maybe 🙂

Happy Travelling !!!

Stay Safe n Stay Happy !

Pashupatinath-Nepal

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” – J K Rowling

We went to Nepal on 27th day of the Ashwin month, year 2075. OKAY… I didn’t time travel and visit Nepal in the future but that is what 13-October-2018 converts to, as per Nepali calendar.

So a Nepal trip during Dashain – as it is known in Nepal OR Dushera – as known in India. There is so much to share so I am going to split it into many blogs and hopefully that way I can share all I want to 🙂

A visit to the Pashupatinath Temple takes you to a different era. As you walk towards the temple the surrounding areas are bustling with shops selling items for puja and the many colorful traditional ornaments that married Nepali women wear.

Nepali women wearing Pote – glass bead necklace in red, green or yellow. Only married women wear it and it is believed to bring good luck for them and their family.

So, the existence of Pashupatinath temple dates back to 400 A.D and it was rebuilt in 17th century as the old one was destroyed by termites. The temples lies on the banks of the Bagmati river.

Interesting fact – the 2015 earthquake destroyed many things in Nepal, the temple still stands tall and unharmed. While devotees claim it’s because of the divine powers, some argue its because of the strong architectural base. Take your pick..

Anyways it is one of the oldest Hindu temples and there are many legends surrounding the origin of the temple.

Legend 1

One fine day when Shiva and Parvati were taking a stroll, they came near the banks of Bagmati river and were amazed by its beauty. Both took the form of deer and spend their time here. After a while the gods got worried and decided to bring Shiva back to Kailash to resume his duties. When Shiva refused to do so they had to use force and in the battle Shiva’s lost one of his antlers. Which became the first Lingam that Hindu’s worship here as Pashupatinath. Pashupatinath means Lord of Pashu’s or animals.

Legend 2

In continuation of the previous legend, the dropped antler of Shiva got lost\buried and was found again by a herdsman. The herdsman had a cow which used to visit this place and irrigate the place with its milk. By the time the cow reached home its udders were empty so the herdsman followed it one day and saw the whole event. On digging deeper he found the Shiva Lingam.

Legend 3 – As per Koti Rudra Samhita

The Pandavas defeated and killed their cousins — the Kauravas in the epic Kurukshetra war. To atone for the sins of committing fratricide (gotra hatya) and Brāhmanahatya (killing of Brahmins — the priest class) they went in search of God Shiva to seek his blessings. First, they went to the holy city of Varanasi (Kashi), believed to Shiva’s favourite city. But, Shiva wanted to avoid them as he was deeply incensed by the death and dishonesty at the Kurukshetra war and was, therefore, insensitive to Pandavas’ prayers. Therefore, he assumed the form of a bull (Nandi) and hid in the Garhwal region.

Not finding Shiva in Varanasi, the Pandavas went to Garhwal Himalayas. Bhima, the second of the five Pandava brothers, then standing astride two mountains started to look for Shiva. He saw a bull grazing near Guptakashi (“hidden Kashi” — the name derived from the hiding act of Shiva). After some searching Bhima recognized the bull to be Shiva and tried to catch him. Shiva trying to hide, dived into the ground but Bhima caught the bull by its tails as he was disappearing. Then Pandavas prayed to him over and over again. Following that Shiva is said to appear in parts in the following regions: – The Bulls hump – Kedarnath, The Bulls head – Pashupatinath. The Pandavas then meditated and attained salvation.
The Linga in Pashupatinath has 5 heads: east facing – Tatpurusha; north facing – Ardhanarishwara; west facing – Sadyojata; south facing – Aghora and the upward facing Nirakara.

The mesmerizing evening aarti on the banks of Bagmati river.

Open cremation on the banks of Bagmati river.

Sadhu‘s near the temple

By the time we came out it was late in the evening. On our way out we saw a marquee where a Sadhguru was telling the tales of Goddess Durga and how she killed Mahishasur. The faces are covered now, the veil will be removed on the eight day (I am yet to discover the reason for that and when I do I will let you guys know)


One thing I loved about these travels is that you uncover so many stories or legends and it make the journey all the interesting.

Time to call it a day … OM Namah Shivaya!!!

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