Saturday, January 28, 2012

Into Nepal and Kathmandu

Our last stop was to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal at the foot hills of the Himalayas.  The plane ride was the first most interesting part of the trip.  The airport is listed as one of the ten most dangerous in the world, and it appears that travel does not take place to the airport unless there is very good visibility.  Our flight was delayed an hour from leaving India, but upon arrival in the afternoon, the sky was blue with a bright sun.  We found nothing unusual about the trip other than the airport is surrounded by hills.  On the trip in, the Himalayas were very visible and were a beautiful sight to see.

Kathmandu is primarily Hindu although there are many Buddhist shrines.  One of our first stops was Bhaktapur City. 

The Golden Gate
A specimen of repose art, the gate dates to 1754 A.D. and was built by King Ranajit Malla.

Bhaktapur, with a splendid legacy of her fabulous heritage, has retained the status of the cutural capital of Nepal.  Geographically shaped like a conch-shell, the town bears its historical origin dating back to early 7th century AD.  Spread over an area of 6.88 sq. km. at 1400 meters above sea level, Bhaktapur has a population  of over 80,000 people.

The Fifty-Five Windows Palace

The hypnotizing glamour of the Bhaktapurian heritage sites calls the attention of one and all towards the cultural spectacle.

Siddhi Laxmi Temple
This temple is also known as "Loghan Dega" because it is made entirely of stone.  This Shikhara style temple is guarded by man-lion creatures, camels, rhinoceros, and horses, all of which are extremely rare in the valley.

Invasions and natural calamities led to devastation of the most glamorous emblems of human heritage in Bhaktapur.  Yet, the historical city has plenty to be proud of with superb artifacts and subtle culture vividly depicted through the monumental remnants.  Paintings, carvings, masonry, bronze-castings, jewelry, pottery, etc are other traditional enterprises still existing in Bhaktapur.  The Hindus and Buddhists have coexisted in harmony and drawn on inspiration from each other through the ages.

Nyatapola Temple
My wife with two holy men. 
Bhaktapur is a living heritage displaying the vibrant depth of Newari culture.  Beyond the city's rich architectural heritage, every day traditional life spills out.

Nepalese dancers performing before dinner.
In Kathmandu we attended a dinner that was not five star, but ten.  An outstanding meal was served as well as a drink that was so strong  even a sip caused us to feel inebriated.
Baithak Resturant

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Cabin Fever Sale at Bass Pro Shops
With free shipping and up to 60% discounts, this is the time to buy for next fall. 

Iowa has a late muzzle loader season.  I have had some very good luck, but I have had to work for results.  Our weather is almost like spring with 40 degree temperatures.  Two weeks ago we had temps in the 50's.

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank

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