What can be more of an ultimate adventures in Nepal without indulging right deep into their rich culture? We thought meeting the kumari was the highlight of the day, but wait there’s more. We witness the religious ritual of the burning of the dead and it sealed off a deeper understanding of the Hindu faith.
Sky above, Earth below, Peace within.
Just when we thought our day tour was over, our driver guide brought us to Pashupatinath Temple. While I was a bit hesitant from watching a youtube video prior to our travel about this open air cremations and how it ruined my appetite for a day, I welcomed the idea to closely witness the diverse numbers of beliefs surrounding this religion.
Pashupatinath Temple is a Unesco World Heritage site established in an extensive complex along the extremely sacred Bagmati river. Considered as the oldest temple in Kathmandu and the only funeral place in the neighbouring city. Our Nepal adventure leads us to discover the concurrent life and death within the complex. The temple itself is off limits to non-Hindu but walk further to cross the bridge and you’ll have an spectator view of a traditional Nepali funeral.
While the rancid smell and sanitation issue may be appalling to most visitors of western culture, surprisingly it gives an air of tranquility. Observing it, the deceased body is covered with orange clothing as the males put the body on fumes and which later becomes part of the air we breathe. No women are allowed where the rituals are carried out. I felt a tinge of sadness that somehow, one of us on the viewing steps where a relative to that on the other side, silently sending off the departed from afar.
Around the temple, we realized that in these walls, indeed a circle of life is present. The other side of the river on the viewing steps are rows of shrines or chaityas. Devotees come here to pray for fertility, to bring out new life. While other complex houses the old and dying. It also has several cremation ghats for the royal family and ordinary Nepalis.
As the sun sets, we made our journey further to the ancient Boudhanath, one of the largest Buddhist stupa in the world. Constructions are still on going from the heavy earthquake aftermath, but the area is brimming with devotees, tourists, cafes and souvenir shops. Capping off the night with a nice dinner and a stroll to the night market in Thamel, the backpacking district of Kathmandu.
White Water Rafting in Nepal
Our adventures in Nepal resumed early next day with our white water rafting experience on our way to Pokhara. The road trip consumed our entire day, with a bad weather and bumpy road condition ahead. Passing through the heavily congested Prithvi highway exposes a deeper problem with road side sand quarries, sharp bends and road accidents.
Half way through, we reached the put-in point for Trishuli river rafting. Prepared for our first ever white water rafting experience. We met a group of friends from Dubai who happen to go for a holiday trip too. After the orientation and last minute check of our safety gears, we are ready to go.
The Trishuli river rafting is graded class 3 with normal to challenging rapids. There’s package to choose from half day to 3 days with camping. We only have 2 hours to spare and still we get to experience a thrilling adventure ride to some rough rapids and mostly lazing around the river to admire the scenic valleys.
We stop for lunch at this Restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Actually in the middle of the rice fields while we trek our way and left the inflatable raft down the river. Mind you they have a better version of Adobo Chicken, for the win!
Still high with adrenaline rush, we continued white water rafting at Trishuli river. Not long we’ve seen a suspension bridge built with cables connecting both sides of the valley. That hanging bridge is not really for those who have severe fear of heights. I’m so proud of myself, I’m not that person. haha. At least it’s not a glass bridge, or it will take me forever to crawl to the other side. And the bonus is, the view is stunning with the other side having and endless mountains of lush vegetations.
Our driver guide is already waiting for us with a smile. He’s very friendly, although our communication is really limited with smiling and a very few english words. He always makes sure we are comfortable with the trip.
Off to Pokhara. We arrived after sunset at our hotel just within the city. It’s still drizzling outside but the girls have to eat, right? We found a nice place to satisfy our dinner cravings and where else can we taste a mug of Everest draft beer, but here in the gateway to the Annapurna.
We have an early start the next day supposedly taking a sunrise trek to Sarangkot View Point to see the Himalayas. But alas, the weather is still crazy. And we, among the throng of tourists were drenched in the rain with fog blanketing the entire majestic view of the Himalayas. Nada, nil, nothing for an hour of waiting. We just laugh it off, and made an alternative plans to explore Phewa lake back in Pokhara valley.
To find peace of, you have to be willing to lose your connection with people, places and things that create all the noise. #enjoylife #loveyourself #phewalake #pokhara #nature #boatparty #photograph #lakesofinstagram #blackandwhite #weekendgoals #nepal #landscape_captures #photographysouls #all_shots #landscapelovers #likesforlikes #photographylovers #topliketags #outdoorphotography #pictureoftheday #silhouette #gltlove #weekendhaven #travelasia #gotravel #backpackingasia
We were up to soaking our dismayed spirit in the light rain and rented a small boat to cross Phewa lake. There is an island decorated with park and temple nearby. It could have been a perfectly instagrammable backdrop of snow capped mountains if not for the bad weather. But oh well, we still had fun before leaving Pokhara behind.
We are off to Nagarkot to spend another night in a fancy hotel to hopefully get a good glimpse of Mt. Everest and the mountain scene. Even with the long road ahead, the countryside view offers a great entertainment.
We also have encountered a road side food place along the way which was swarmed by butterflies. It was a magical experience.
And also another hanging bridge happening.
We reached the hotel late night and started our last day with heavy rains pouring again. It could be a sign that we should go back to enjoy Nepal on a full on nice weather.
Our adventures in Nepal may be quick and gloomy but we had fun times and renewed our spirit to face the hectic concrete jungle again.