|This is the Pashupatinath Temple. As you can can see, there are|
a number of cows since they are very sacred in the Hindi religion.
|A view from the top of the ledge over looking the temple. |
|Getting the body ready for the cremation ceremony. |
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred Hindi temples
and is located in the city of Kathmandu.
It is a must see when visiting Kathmandu but not only for the significance
and structure of the temple. The most
intriguing aspect are the ceremonies that take place at Pashupatinath. I will warn you that these are not joyous festivities. They are cremation ceremonies where family members say goodbye to their
loved ones and pour their ashes into the Bagmati River.
Coming from the Western World, watching this take place can
be a bit of a shock. At first I did not
truly grasp what I was seeing. I then
thought to myself, "maybe this is a special ceremony", however I was then told this
is normal. These types of rituals are as
common to the Hindu’s as sitting shiva is to the Jews. At Pashupatinath, these types of ceremonies
happen 24/7 365 days a year.
|The family gathering for the dumping of the ashes. |
|A very sacred tradition in the Hindi culture. |
|A body wrapped up waiting to be burned. |
Once you ignore the smell and the thought that you are
watching a body being burned, you realize how truly special it is. This is the proper way to say goodbye in Hinduism
and here I was, in Kathmandu, Nepal witnessing it.
|The side of the river I watched the ceremony from. |
|Mini temples line the hillside. |
I was unable to go inside the temple since I am not Hindi. Andy
and I watched the ceremonies from the opposite side of the river as Sumit
headed inside. During this time, Andy
and I also stopped to have a brief conversation with the Sadhu. Sadhu (actual meaning is “holy man”) are
wandering monks who are dedicated to liberation. They are constantly praying and meditating to
reach moksa. It is very easy to spot the
Sadhu as they dressed in colorful clothing and usually have body paint on.
|The Sadhu at the temple. |
|I found out my pal here is one of the well known Sadhu|
at the temple after I saw him all over the web.
|A lone Sadhu: To take pictures or interact with the Sadhu you must give donations|
as that is their livelihood. A mere 100 rupees (about $1) will be enough.
My experience at Pashupatinath was like no other. The most amazing part about it is that this
was culturally eye opening for me. In
Kathmadnu, this is just another day in the life.
|Temple in the background. |
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