Sunday, September 3, 2017

Kathmandu, Nepal pilgrimage Tour

Sharing here with the 9D8N Kathmandu Tour, few information borrowed, some from our guides Tendzin Tendphel and Choki Wangchuk and from my limited understanding. My tag on these experiences were Tandy Tandy and his parents and mine.
Boudhanath Stupa: My favorite the mighty boudha stupa welcomes thousands of people daily for circumnavigation. The whitewashed dome was initially built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo as an act of penance for unwittingly killing his father. Unfortunately the stupa was wrecked by Mughal invaders in 14th century. However, the grace and purity that we witness today is of aum Jazim’s labor and gift.
The chaos circumambulation, full length prostration by devotees, fluttering prayer flags, curling butter lamps as the sun descends the Kathmandu’s valley, beggars, photographers, sellers, easy peasy red roped reading old texts, motorists ride passing through the stupa and so more. 

Maratika cave: 
Maratika Cave is located in Khotang District in Nepal, south west of Mount Everest. It is a venerated site of pilgrimage associated with Guru Rinpoche, Khandro Mandarava, and the longevity. Guru Padmasambhava and Khandro Mandarava realized a number of terma that had been elementally encoded as terma in Maratika Cave by Dakini Sangwa Yeshe. At Maratika Cave Guru Padmasambhava and Mandarava attained the Vidyadhara of longevity or long life. To this 10 hours road journey from kathamndu to Maratika/Halesi, Ratan Tata’s Tata Sumo car comes handy and serve strong to the unpaved bumpy road. Need not worry on bed and breakfast, it’s a serene peaceful place with several guesthouses/hotels.   

Dolma Sunjen 
The story with Dolma Sunjen takes back to the reign of the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. Legend has it that while the king was courting the Nepal’s Royal daughter Badza Thrizin to Tibet, the princess retained her belongings to be transferred to her new home at the present Dolma Temple. It’s believed that the Dolma had spoken the princess to take her to Tibet with her. Conversely the community of Bakhtapur pleaded, went against the Dolma and tied with iron wire to keep her home. The reason you will see Dolma face down on standing posture is because of the displeasing and the anguish.    

Namo Buddha:
Namo Buddha or Takmo Lujin is another important Buddhist pilgrimage site that relates to the prince Mahasattva sacrificing his own body. 
Legend has it that Mahasattva was one of Buddha’s former incarnations. He was the youngest of the three sons of king Maharatha. One day as the three brothers were walking through the forest, they saw a tigress with the five cubs she had given birth to. She was so hungry she could hardly move. The three princes went away, but Mahasattva decided to go back and started to cut his flesh to give it to the tigress. When his brothers went to look for him they found only his bones and hair. The stupa was built on top of these remains.

Mahaboudha Temple/Sangay Tongku:
The temple looms high through the tiny courtyard surrounded by shops in Patan. The shrine modelled to that of Mahaboudha Temple of Bodhgaya takes the name from the thousand Buddha “Sangay Tongku.”  

It is one of the sacred sites of guru Rinpoche. The Asura and Yangleshe are two major practice caves in Pharping sanctified and guru attained state of enlightenment: At the bottom of the flight of stairs climbing up to the Asura cave is an old and important Vajrayogini temple, the Pharping Vajravarahi temple. One highlight of the Pharping is the self-arisen Tara image on solid rock. 

Swayambhu Temple:
The stupa has Buddha's eyes and eyebrows painted on. Between them, the number one is painted in the fashion of a nose. 
History has that the entire valley was once filled with an enormous lake, out of which grew a lotus. The valley came to be known as Swayambhu, meaning "Self-Created." Manjusri had a vision of the lotus at Swayambhu and traveled there to worship it. Seeing that the valley can be good settlement and to make the site more accessible to human pilgrims, he drained out the lake, leaving the valley in which Kathmandu now lies. The lotus was transformed into a hill and the flower became the Swayambhu stupa. One could see so many monkeys at Swayambhu so the name Monkey Temple. Do not forget to pocket some edibles, your host may bless you. 

Narayanhiti Palace/Durbar  
The reclusive compound once the residence and principal workplace of the successive Monarchs of the Kingdom of Nepal, the palace was often the Centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. The palace once the revering house of the state today spells the darker side of Nepal. The impressive Royal House and the vast array of courtyards, gardens and buildings today is open for public. The king to be god, the father and the protector of all his peoples went unfounded after 1, June 2001 with the massacre at the palace. Read “MASSACRE at the PALACE-The doomed Royal Dynasty of Nepal” by Jonathan Gregson to make your own analysis.
The palace turned museum today charge entrance fees to the visitors: Nepali Rupees 100 & 250 for locals and residents of SAARC countries respectively.  

Maya Devi Temple: Lumbini
Maya Devi Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple situated at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lumbini, Nepal. It is the main temple at Lumbini, a site traditionally considered the birthplace of Gautama Buddha. The temple stands adjacent to a sacred pool (known as Puskarni) where Maya Devi bath before giving birth to Gautama Buddha. Along with the Maya Devi temple, schedule your time for other monasteries from across the globe stationed around the main shrine in Lumbini.  

Lumo Gangyel/Budhanilkantha Temple: 
Budhanilkantha Temple located in Budhanilkantha, is a Hindu open air temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It has reclining statue of Lord Vishnu. 
Though the temple is named Budhanilkantha, its name does not come from the Buddha; Budhanilkantha stands instead for “Old Blue Throat
According to one story, a farmer and his wife once struck a figure while plowing the field, which caused it to start soaking blood into the ground. This turned out to be the figure of lost deity of Budhanilkantha, which was recovered and placed in its present position.
Another legend states that the statue was sculpted and brought to its current location in Kathmandu during the reign of the seventh-century monarch Vishnu Gupta, who controlled the Kathmandu Valley.

Babesa Village Restaurant

The standard of services we were given yesterday at your restaurant was not something people talk in the town. There were only countable Indian guests while we checked in and settled down. The welcome was not welcoming, we had to request table upstairs while a girl on stand with tray requested us to take table on second floor. Upstairs has a better ambience than the darker second floor tables.

Conventional supplemented modern restaurant do not have enough good parking space. The little parking at the gate is not leveled well to the suit of smaller vehicles and the technical need of reversing car easy.

For Bhutanese I, the setup I have seen myself there was more of contemporary conventional. Having high tables for seating would have been good onto many, more to visitors from outside. Wait time and the strength of our knees were not at par.

All serving tableware were authentic Bhutanese crafted but we silently wished the restaurant could have refurbished the paintings of all tableware, specially the serving Phobs/cups to disallow our emotions for hygienic tweak. Spoon was rough.

Our group was Bhutanese, we wished similar treatment on table as to those of guests. Same price same services. No mentioning of different rates for same services for different clients. We had to wake up to their kitchen cabin several times. It was a good lil break on the knees though.      
People would not comment but agrees the house system, and the house care less of its business implications at the larger front. One of the common Bhutanese way of paging visitor welcomes you with the note “PARKING FOR CUSTOMERS ONLY. PARK AT YOUR OWN RISK, COMPANY NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE TO VEHICLES”         
Wondered why local drinks (wine) were charged higher, spoon of wooden ones, admin having a plan to sort parking space!!!!!!

The better pasture. Suja with Zaow was superb. Food was great on us Bhutanese tongue. The food served in wooden bowls and the steam rice in the earthen pot lightens emotive needs of having Bhutanese dish.The view through windows were beautiful.

The price on food items were common and reasonable as in town. Surrounding with walnut and other fruit trees is freshening. Their 9 paged menu was not head spinning to choose select. Of all the washroom was superb. No need for Passu’s attention.        

Friday, July 21, 2017

Self Test

1.    What is the most important thing for you in your life?
Ø  A decent earnings and family
2.    What impresses you the most in a person?
Ø  A kindness to help others grow along with oneself
3.    What life means to me / meant for me so far.
Ø  Growing myself to a better human. Experimenting the change and faring well to the situation.
4.    Great times and great events that I have seen in Bhutan.
Ø  Abdication of the power of great fourth to his son, Institution of Constitutional Monarchial Democracy, Crowning of fifth King to the golden throne, Royal Wedding, birth of Gyelsey, two terms of elected government in power, laying of artificial football turfs across country,    
5.    My understanding of Traditional Bhutanese Cultural values and its importance.
Ø  Bhutan has picked up its name and fame over its unprecedented preservation of culture and the related values embedded along. Though over the years culture has remediable alteration but have not seen revolution. Varied culture regionally are important but having inculcate common culture would be of greater attention.
Ø  Culture plays vital role in making Bhutan unique and so does the sovereignty come together. The common values in its citizens would generate better understanding of humanity and sync to the needs.  
6.    How different experiences in my life have contributed to my successes and failures.
Ø  I studied science and the work I am doing is complete opposite. However, an  adversities in real ground has given me an opportunity to go out of box and do something helpful to the society and contribute in little way.  
7.    How my life was adversely affected by my youthful misadventures.
Ø  I did not have anything done out of the context where families, friends and people I am related have to borne the consequences.  
8.    Great personalities in Bhutan (past and present) who influenced my life, my heroes in Bhutan.
Ø  Fouth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuk, Lama Zhenphen, Kheyentse Rinpoche, Dasho Sonam Kinga, Dasho Aum Neten, Wangcha Sangay, Dorji Penjore(CBS).
9.    Some of my life experiences that may be useful to share with youth of Bhutan.
Ø  I am Drugs, Alcohol and Meat free and enjoying the healthy asset of life.
10.  If I get a chance to relive my life, how I would redress it.
Ø  Start a Charitable organization targeting rural youths and Old age home in Thimphu.
11.  Bhutanese history and its significance as I see it.
Ø  Bhutan’s history dates back to 7th century or earlier when Guru Rinpcohe visited Bhutan and in succession with so many great Lamas and Zhabdrubg unifying later in 17th century. Kings, wars with British India, independent, Buddhism rooting and boundary intact has leveled its stand to the world undeniably proud and high.     
12.  What my village, Dzongkhag and country means to me, and how they have helped to shape my life.
Ø  I started my early life in village and moved to town. The experiences in village and town has given me diverse proficiencies making me better person fight tackle life with support from friends and families.   
13.  Driglam Choe Sum and its importance in one’s life.
Ø  I am not religious but spiritual person. Not so regular, I do not fail to connect myself to Lama Kencho Sum. Drig, Etiquette I learnt in college and do not have trouble executing when in need. Lam, the tradition do not fail to impress any Bhutanese nor guests. So I am not apart. Well to move or get your head raised in life we cannot miss to leave Driglam Choe Sum behind. Harmonizing with society one has to synchronize Drig, Lam and Choe.     
14.  How my cultural values have deeply influenced my life?
Ø  Cultural values are something one cannot measure but helping/attending friends, relatives and any other when in adversity, being kind at any situation treats others eyes and get helped in return.   
15.  Lochoe and its importance to youth.
Ø  It’s a time when everyone pays their homage, thank the deities for the bounty year they had, families gather and feast themselves a good time together. So sacrificing a day or two would create more good and build a better society.
16.  Festivals, Losars and Tsechus and their significance in the lives of Bhutanese youth.
Ø  Like Lochoe it’s a merry time for all, coming everyone together, sharing and enjoying to the tune of the events create more harmony. Youths attending or rooting them the values would help take the traditions forward.  
17.  What are good and bad manners according to the Bhutanese culture?
18.  In what ways are Bhutanese different from others?
Ø  The mindset of Karma’s existent makes people different. 
19.  How to preserve and promote Bhutanese Traditional Cultural Heritage.
Ø  Having the basics included in academic curriculum, good parenting, large community involvement, immediate government attention/aid in renovation or new project.  Not making heritages business oriented, meaning free entries to any one any faith wishing to visit.  
20.  How do you view the present knowledge and practice of Driglam Chu Sum by the youth of Bhutan?
Ø  We have a system in place where drig and lam were well taken care off however youths are complacent when it comes to understanding Choe spiritually.
21.  What aspects of Bhutanese culture values are degenerating?
Ø  Tha Damtse amongst married couples. The atmosphere while dining, most family do not tend to dine together. 
22.  What are the main strategies that we should adopt to rectify these degenerating cultural practices and values.
Ø  Stringent marriage act or rules and parents/children sacrificing time to dine same time or even cooking together.   
23.  What are our timeless famous Bhutanese sayings that would be useful for our youth?
Ø  Jigten Machey, Damchoe Maha.
24.  What are Bhutanese folk stories for children?
Ø  I don’t have an idea.
25.  Bhutanese Children songs
Ø  I don’t have an idea
26.  Bhutanese lullabies.
Ø  I don’t know.
27.  Famous Bhutanese Lams – lopens and their stories.
28.  Our great monarchs and how they secured and sustained country’s sovereignty, unity, independence and progress.
Ø  Starting from Jigme Namgyel and installing Sir Ugyen Wangchuk to the golden throne in 1907 as first king of Bhutan. Second king Jigme Namgyel maintained isolation from outside world except for British India and the third king opened up to the outside world making him the king of modern Bhutan. The legacy continued and the fourth king ushered with greater responsibilities from early age gifted Bhutan the democracy.  The selfless youth’s fifth king is taking Bhutan to another level securing its independent and the prosperity to her nation.
29.  Can Bhutan lead the world in the development of a unique human value system?
Ø  Yes. Bhutan successfully proposed GNH to the UN and its adoption speaks aloud.
30.  The importance of parents in our lives.
Ø  First teacher is the most important of all.
31.  The importance of honesty, loyalty, integrity and hard work for youth.
Ø  It’s the most debated in today’s world but of course one would not grow in principles and lags behind in life.  
32.  The importance of family, friends, teachers, community and the country in the life of our youth.
Ø  The person you are now would determine the influences of the above.
33.  According to you, what is the source of our sovereignty, security, peace and prosperity?
Ø  Our culture and Bhutanese Buddhist mindset
34.  How much importance does Bhutanese give to the acquisition of wealth in their lives?
Ø  Time has changed and so do does the people and their needs. I would say it’s a first priority now. 
35.  The importance of practicing Dharma by the youth.
Ø  The differences is vast between those who has acquired knowledge of dharma and the lay people. The perception, the act and thinking differs.   
36.  The future of Bhutan and how we should shape it.
Ø  I would stick to the same pace with educating everyone to certain standard.
37.  What do we learn from the lives of common man and woman in our villages?
Ø  The hard earned lives and the responsibility we do not cater in town manually.  
38.  How modernization has affected the lives of present youth in Bhutan.
Ø  It has both good and bad for everyone indeed. Kids picks up learning everything fast and information on a click of button and other side minimizing socializing. 
39.  How do you view nature and eco system’s importance in our lives?
Ø  In Bhutan environment contributes to the economy and sustainable environment approach is a necessary.  
40.  How important is the recitation of daily prayers by the youth.
Ø  It depends on individuals, those to religious does every day and other spiritual do not. Likewise the effects varies and contribution to their happiness satisfaction.  
41.  How would you place the importance of money, land and house for the younger generation?
Ø  House first and then the money, land optional considering education taken care.
42.  Your advice to the present generation of Bhutan.
Ø  Never stop learning, master something you like the most. Do not part parents. Respects laws of the land. 
43.  What is a “Collective merit” and how it can be generated individually or collectively in our country?
Ø  Collective merit is merit generated by many people. Being kind, working on common goals, understanding dharma and following country’s laws would help generate merits.  
44.  What are the main tenants of value education that should be included in the development of human value system for the youth of Bhutan?
Ø  Aptitude and attitude
45.  What according to you are basic collective and individual aspirational principles and Temperaments and that may reflect true nation building characteristics
Ø  Loyalty, learn graciously the one one loves, be creative and contribute to the society.
46.  Is there a difference between in the upbringing of children among educated and uneducated parents?
Ø  Yes
47.  What do you understand by Bhutanese DNA?
Ø  Kind people, approachable
48.  It is said that Bhutanese are very united and resilient in difficult times but they lack integrity and solidarity in peaceful times.
Ø  It’s a universal trend of pointing flaws and defaming to one small mistake overlooking the so many greatest deeds one has accrued for the benefit of general public.  
49.  What are the reasons for increasing number of divorce cases?
Ø  Financial problems, easy accessible social networks, so many employed people depending on opposites.  
50.  What are your personal reasons for the lack of respect and love for ones parents by the children?
Ø  Parents’ divorce, limited time for kids
51.  What is the source of personal happiness?
Ø  Being able to be an independent person. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017


Recent Bhutan Football team conceding another countless counting fourteen goals from Oman in the ongoing AFC qualifying games at Oman marks another history and reflects some erroneous into Bhutanese football. On Similar stand Bhutan lost to Kuwait at Kuwait 20-0 in 2000 AFC Cup qualification. 

Bhutan looks to be underdog commented one of the Oman’s media personal in pre-match conference. The man in charge replied he doesn’t really know where Bhutan’s level with Oman stands. It’s a lame stand to hear him express “We are just at the beginning, we want to give great fight tomorrow and also show some good football.”

Bhutan football is not at an infant stage, started in 1960s the first National Football governing body known as Bhutan Football Association (BFA) was succeeded by the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) in 1983. The close competitive match being played in 2008 against India losing by 2 to 1 in Maldives in SAFF championship 2008, sacking Japanese coach in the middle of the international match, extraordinary Supe and Namgay Zam’s effort in supporting home games, and later beating Sri Lanka to rung up in the standing speaks volume and the expectations follows. 

Former National player Pema Rinchen commented on my request on his analysis to the Football in Bhutan. He said “I don't have much because players were giving their best. No one goes there to lose the match. I personally when I was playing, we went for win no matter who the opponents were. So what we lack is taking football as professional, and making professionalism in management & players.
If I see someone saying something bad about players I would personally fuck their zero knowledge face.” 

As luxurious as the Dragon boys are in the heart of football lovers in Bhutan, footballing in Bhutan lacks to treat the eyes of loyalties at many levels. Certain level of professionalism questionable and failing. High time the leading footballing body provide sense of pride, security & the financial aid and equally place responsibilities on each players to book their place in national team and please their subject the Bhutanese fan.

From the football loving perspective, disheartened that there were no effort to please subjects either from BFF nor government just paying Bhutan Telecom/BBS to live telecast the Oman Bhutan match. Moreover website looks dead so does the Bhutan Olympic committee web-page in terms of information dissemination. 

Not so confident on the players Sangay Tempa commented on one of the dead posts from Bhutan football pageIt is just a bunch of school boys chasing the ball and kicking it when it falls on their feet. But again, it just shows where we are at in the footballing world.” 

“It's high time to recruit new players. There are lots all we need is to go across the country to pick them coz they are underprivileged. Always losing” Karma Drupchu pinned his opinion from yesterday’s match Bhutan Football Team played against Oman.

I remember friend of mine football lover but Table Tennis enthusiast arguing investing in individual games would gather more pride to Bhutan than those games that requires huge investment in international arena.  

Conversely few Bhutanese compared Bhutan team, Chencho Gyeltshen and the likes to Iceland’s surprise rise in the footballing.

These are few collected lines and stats keeping offshore the positive accomplishment BFF achieved thus far.

Oman ranks 122nd in the FIFA world football ranking while Bhutan stands at 177th.  

Bhutan National Team. Pic: Bhutan National Football Team Facebook Page.