Boudhanath is one of the highest regarded Buddhist pilgrimages in Nepal. Located centrally in bustling Boudha area, in the eastern Kathmandu, is flocked by pilgrims and visitors. There are several legends behind the erection stupa but however, it is highly regarded because it is believed to be built immediately after the demise of Buddha, in around 484 BC. This religiously important monument is one beautiful white stupa which has one of the biggest mandalas with precious murals. Furthermore, the steeple or the Gajur of Stupa has nine levels that represents the mythical Mt. Meru, which is believed to be center of the cosmos. The base of the Stupa has 3 levels, decreasing in size. These platforms are believed to depict the earth. The mandala of the stupa is as well very large which makes this pilgrimage one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal and in the world Located in the heart of huge Buddhist community around, you can see monks and followers of Buddhism in abundance spinning prayer wheels and doing rituals all day long. Boudha was announced unesco world heritage site in 1979. Since then, this area has been frequently visited by pilgrims and tourist. Hence, it is surrounded by good eateries, hotels, curio shops and guest houses. Boudhanath is a must watch sight in the Kathmandu valley.
Teej is a monsoon festival that is celebrated by women in Nepal and few parts of India. This festival is celebrated by women dressed in red and decorating themselves with heavy gold ornament, dancing and doing prayer rituals to pay homage to Hindu goddess Parvati and her reunion with lord Shiva. This festival is celebrated on the 3rd day of the full moon day in the Nepalese month of Bhadra, which falls in August or September of the English calendar. This day in Nepal is dedicated to women. On this day women fast and some without even drinking a drop of water and eating a morsel. The day begins by dressing up in red and as in traditional Nepalese wedding, wearing bangles, heavy gold ornaments and visiting temples housing the statue and linga of Hindu deity Lord Shiva. The fasting women after the sunset do rituals and listen to prayers of how goddess Parvati got married to Lord Shiva despite all the odds. The fast is broken next morning by paying homage to the sun. Women dressed in red attire flock to the Shiva temples all over the country and Pashupatinath in Kathmandu. It is some site to watch as women dance, sing hymns while they wait for their turn to enter the temple where as they pay homage to the Lord Shiva by burning Ghee soaked wigs, burning incents and ringing the bell. The entire purpose of a married women as per the Hindu mythology is to pray to the god for prolonged life of husband and family and the purpose of an unmarried girl fasting is to pray to god to help her find a husband like the lord himself. This could be one of the reasons why women worship their husbands as the deity himself and eat only after worshipping him at the end of the day. Overall, Teej is a significant festival celebrated overwhelmingly in Nepal. The modern day teej has somehow been more flexible and liberal understanding the health concerns of women fasting as well as for ongoing debate on religious fallacies but nevertheless, it still is some site to watch if you are in Nepal at this time of the year. Come to Nepal and explore unique culture and festivals!
Pashupatinath, meaning lord of all the living animal, is a highly regarded hindu pilgrimage site located in the heart of Kathmandu valley. Pashupatinath is located very close to the Tribhuvan international airport and 4.2 kilometers from the city center of Thamel. It is believed that lord Shiva, destroyer and the protector of the world according to hindu mythology, once eloped from Banaras, India and hid in the jungle, where now is the complex of Pashupatinath. He disguised himself as an antelope and hid from all the gods and the problems of world. When the gods found his where about and came to get him, they had a big tussle. In the tussle Lord shivas horn was broken into 4 pieces and the very four pieces now represent the 4 sides of Shiva linga in the main temple. The complex of pashupatinath is located on the banks of Bagmati river. This complex houses around 518 temples and monuments and covers 264 hectare of land. The main priests of the temple are Bhattas from India and it is an age old custom that only the Bhattas would conduct the main worship where as there are Bhandari priests who take care of the temple and help Bhattas with daily rituals. Pashupatinath is as well where Hindus once deceased are cremated according to Hindu rituals. They are burned down to ashes and the ashes are submitted in the Bagmati river. Furthermore, one of the attractions include the evening arati on the banks of the Bagmati. Arati is a ritual performed by the priest by lighting wick soaked in ghee, burning incents, singing Bhanjans and ringing the bells. Pilgrims and tourists flock down year around but the busiest is in the month of Shrawan which is July August and on the day of Maha Shivaratri. There are several hotels immediately outside the Pashupatinath complex. There are luxurious as well as budget hotels which serve descent rooms as well as food. This holy site which is as well recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site is a must visit sight in Kathmandu and Nepal.
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