I’m thinking that this will become an ongoing post as I’ve been lucky enough to become friends with the Kathmandu religious site buff of the group. My friend Kerry is here working on her dissertation which focuses on art within the context of Newar Buddhism (and she knows a whole lot about Kathmandu and other religious sites and information as well).
So far I’ve been lucky enough to go to two festivals with her—Teej and Indra Jatra (which I have already posted about). We’ve also gotten the privilege of attending a Puja at a Buddhist monastery in Patan (where we got to see the Patan Kumari up close and personal—we even saw her ALMOST crack a smile).
Most recently, however, we got the privilege of a private tour of Swayambu (and I mean privilege, 2 weeks ago Kerry was auctioned off for this very tour for a wopping 15,000 rupees!). We even got up at 4:30 in the morning to make the hike to Swayambu early in the morning. This temple is also commonly called the monkey temple (you will soon see why in my photos).
One of the many things I learned about this stupa/temple on our tour was that if you climb the steps leading up to it without stopping then you will surely reach enlightenment. I, of course, decided to undertake this feat. As is life, I got stopped 20 steps from the top asking for tourist payment. I walked in place while explaining that I was living here and managed to get out of paying. Now the question is, will I still become enlightened since I walked in place?
photos (c) Bethany Meuleners