Day 5 - Visit to the temples
Thursday, September 11, 2014
After our Nepali language lesson and tea, the early morning's threatening clouds disappeared and the day turned into a very hot one.
We continued our tour in Pokhara and visited the Bindhyabasini Hindu temples with Naresh. It would be the same place where many animal sacrifices would be made during the upcoming festival. Alternatively, some would crack coconuts or eggs as sacrifical items. Later, we climbed a hill to view the Matepani Gumba Buddhist monastery.
It was a spectacular view. Intricate details and rich colours were everywhere you looked, both inside and outside. Just beside the monastery, we walked by the classrooms where young monks around ages 10–13 were studying. They were excited to see some people and one enthusiastic boy said to me, “look miss!” and posed for my camera.
Afterwards, we went to the Pokhara Regional Museum where I was instantly attacked by vicious mosquitos. Though the museum itself was underwhelming, the outdoor walks in between the buildings were lovely. After our quick museum visit, we walked outside to see the White River, the fastest river in Nepal. It was huge and actually far down below. Naresh told me that the houses below, near the river, would be washed away during monsoon season. I asked if they rebuilt them and he replied that those who could, did, but those who couldn’t, would no longer have homes. Unsure how to follow up to such a response, I simply nodded. Over dinner that night, I had the chance to ask about the funeral ceremony I saw on my first day in Kathmandu. I learned that the small bags they were opening onto the body were butter or vegetable oil. Although more expensive, a natural substance to burn the body was preferred. From my description, they also told me that what I saw was a Buddhist ceremony as opposed to a Hindu ceremony. The latter would place leaves rather than cloth on the body, and it would be completely nude so that one could leave the world just as they entered it.