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.