mandag 15. mars 2010

Khatmandudalen - Namaste




















Namaste betyr "jeg hilser guden i deg", og i Kathmandu får du hyggelige hilsener hvor enn du går.

På 60 og 70-tallet dro vestlige ungdommer til Khatmandu for å nyte det eksotiske, hverandre og billig hasj. En innstramming i narkotika-politikken førte til at Kathmandu ikke lenger ble en del av hippie-trail. I stedet ble det byens kulturelle mangfold og byens nærhet til Himalaya som trakk til seg turister. I dag møter du flere goretex-kledde fjellturister enn hippier i gatene i Thamel som er byens turistområde med masse overnattingplasser, salgsboder og restauranter.

I Khatmandu-dalen ligger tre gamle kongebyer. Det er hovedstaden Khatmandu, den eldste, Patan og den best bevarte, Bhaktapur.


























Felles for alle tre byene er Durbar Square som er et sentrum i gamlebyen. Durbar Square i Khatmandu er fullt av religiøse templer og hellige steder fra 1200 til 1800-tallet. Dette er trekkplaster nummer èn for alle turistene som kommer hit og vi var innom Durbar Square minst en gang om dagen under oppholdet vårt. Her møtes også byens befolkning for å slå av en prat, delta i en av de mange festivalene, besøke et tempel, handle i de mange sidegatene eller få et glimt av jomfrugudinnen, Kumari.


















Kumari Bahal, "Temple of the Living Goddess", ligger i Durbar Square. En ung jente som er ansett for å være en levende gudinne bor i dette bygget. Av og til stikker hun hodet frem i vinduet, og hvis du er heldig får du et glimt av henne. Når hun kommer i puberteten, er hun ikke lenger ren, og anses som en vanlig jente. Jakten starter da på en ny gudinne.

Nepal er den eneste staten i verden som offisielt har hinduismen som hovedreligion. Flesteparten av innbyggerne i Nepal er hinduer, men her finnes også en del buddhister. Selv om hinduer og buddhister har sine egne guder, guddommer og høytider, dyrker de ofte sine ulike religioner i samme tempel og feirer mange festdager i fellesskap. Kumarien velges som regel fra en buddhistisk klan.

Byggestilen rundt Durbar Square er hinduistisk, men i Kahtmandu finnes også to kjente buddhistiske stupaer, Swayumbanath og Bodhnath.






































Swayumbanath, også kjent som The Monkey Temple, er det viktigste Buddhist templet i Nepal. Det ligger i gåavstand fra Thamel og har flott utsikt over hele byen.

Bodhnath er et sentrum for tibetansk buddhisme og ligger øst for Khatmandu. Området har vært et tilholdssted for handelsfolk fra Tibet i svært lang tid. Etter 1959 har tibetanske flyktninger også kommet til. Her er en av verdens største buddhistiske stupaer.
























Pashupatinath som er et område med mer enn 240 templer oppført til ære for guden Shiva ligger ved den hellige elven Bagmati som er en bielv til Ganges. Her er det mange som drar for å gi sine døde en siste hvile, og etter hinduismens tradisjon blir de døde brent på et bål ved elven. Pashupatinath er hjemstedet for Sadhuer, de hellige menn. De tilber Shiva gjennom en asketisk livsstil med mye hasjrøyking.

















Hvis du har sett filmen "Den lille Buddha", så har du også sett Pashupatinath, et fargerikt og facsinerede sted.

I utkanten av Kathmandudalen ligger ofringsstedet Dakshin Kali. Etter en naturskjønn kjøretur ender du ved et tempel dedikert til dødsguden Kali. Her selges høns og geiter, hvis skjebne venter et par hundre meter lenger inn på tempelområdet, hvor dyrene ofres. Etterpå holder familien lunsj ute i det fri.























I Kathmandu-dalen finnes også Patan og Bakthapur. Patan har mer eller mindre vokst sammen med Kathmandu. Men Bakthapur framstår som en fredelig oase sammenlignet med det overbefolkede og forurensede Kathmandu. Her er det ikke tillatt med biler og man kan rusle rundt i den gamle byen og beundre dens hus og dens mange treutskjæringer.

Selv om Kathmandu er skittent og forurenset, er det vanskelig å finne noe sted som er mer eksotisk. Dra til Khatmandu, men unngå 1. mai, da er det i overkant mange maoister i gatene.

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  1. Så fin blogg du har! Jeg fikk helt flashback av dette innlegget fra Nepal. Bodde 2 mnd i Patan som del av studieopplegg i 1994, og dette gav meg helt hjemlengsel :-)
    Hilsen Elisabeth

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