Saturday, February 4, 2012

At the Base of the Himalayas, Kathmandu

Most of the cultural centers of Nepal are concentrated around the Kathmandu valley.  Among those cultural sites, the important one is the Hanuman-dhoka Durbar Square.  Located at the heart of the ancient city, it is a complex of beautiful temples and shrines, both Hindu and Buddhist.  Most of them are built in the pagoda style embellished with intricately carved exteriors, built between the 12th and 18th centuries.  The Durbar Square with its old temples, palaces, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of the people.  It is here that kings of Nepal are crowned and their coronations solemnized.  Until the early 20th century the Durbar Square was the King's residence.  Is is a living open museum of Nepal.
Maju Dega
Built in the late 17th century this temple is the most impressive one in the storeyed style.  Its nine step brick base gives it the size which dominates the skyline of the square.  The wooden doorway, pillars, windows and struts are beautifully carved.  There are images of Hindu deities both inside and outside the shrine.

The name Hanuman-dhoka Durbar came from the statue of Hanuman extablished by King Pratap Malla at the entrance of the royal palace in 1672 ad.  The nine storeyed residence built by King Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1770, is called Basantapur Durbar.  The whole complex is also known as Kathmandu Durbar Square.  The palace complex was originally founded during the Lichchhavi period.  It stands today constructed by King Pratap Malla in 17th century.  
Hanuman-dhoka Durbar Square
The Durbar Square area is actually made up of two sub-areas.  The outer complex renowned for numerous interesting temples as Kumari Ghar, Kasthmandap, Shiv-Parbati Temple, Jagannath Temple, while the inner complex comprises the old palace area Hanuman-dhoka and its courtyards.  There are many temples in the inner complex also, most notable being the Taleju Temple dedicated to female royal deity. 

Home of the Living Goddess the "Kumari."

The Living Goddess, the "Kumari." To read about the significance in the Nepalese culture and the Kumari go to the following website.
Besides the magnificent temples and shrines are various festivals, cultural activities and traditions people have followed for centuries.  These are presented in the Durbar Square. 

Our visit to Nepal was an experience we will remember for a liftime.

Now this is hard work

With a Holy Man
Selling Lentils
Magnificent temples were everywhere.

Cabin Fever Sale at Bass Pro Shops
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Good fishing, good hunting and good luck.  Hank


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