Today we ventured beyond the gates of Bhaktapur Guesthouse, where we’ve been living the past two days. We made our way up a gravel hill in single-file silence. To our left was forest, to our right sprawled the city. I’ve heard many things about Kathmandu…it’s noisy, crowded, polluted, busy. These things are true, but above all, Kathmandu is beautiful.
After half an hour, we reached a Hindu temple of the god Siva. We were told to go into a small cement building where we would receive an offering from the holy man that tends the temple. One by one, we ducked through the small entrance to receive a mark on our head and flower petals. What this means? I’m not entirely sure. It all felt sacred, but the man inside the room had a warm, comforting smile. I want to know more about this kind of worship so I can experience it with the proper respect. I’m sure I’ll have more opportunities to practice!
Once we had received the offering, we had time to meditate and reflect. I perched on a ledge overlooking the Kathmandu Valley. The view was simply breathtaking. I let my eyes wander Over hundreds, probably thousands, of colorful houses. Beyond the mountains met the clouds and the sky. An airplane broke through the clouds and descended towards the city. There were gardens, laundry on the line, people walking the streets, and music. There is always music in the valley.