Category Archives: Nepal 2014

Dakshinkali Temple

Dakshinkali Temple is located 22 kilometres outside Kathmandu and the last time when I was in Nepal, I went there with my parents.

Dakshinkali Temple is one of the most famous and popular Hindu shrines dedicated to Goddess Kali, “The Black One”. Scowling and emaciated, with protruding tongue and red eyes, decked with a necklace of skulls, Kali is just another form of the great goddess Durga. Kali is believed to be extremely powerful and accomplished. In Hindus holy Vedas and Purans, it is written that she has a blue body with three eyes, each eye is made up of the Sun, the Moon and fire respectively.

The drive from our place to the temple was very scenic once we crossed the ring road area. The roads were windy but I loved the view of old houses and wide green fields.

Legend has it that Daksinkali came into existence after goddess Kali herself appeared in the dream of a Malla king, the ruler of 14th century Nepal. Goddess Kali then commanded the king to build a temple dedicated to her in a very unknown and strange place. As the command was about to be followed, a person said that he already had a stone image of the goddess kali in the same place where the goddess  commanded the king to build the temple. The idol was then left open to the elements as she had commanded and over her head a gilded canopy was erected with four golden serpents. Also images of lord Ganesh, seven Asthamatrikas and a stone Bhairav were erected near her image.

Dakshinkali  (2)

Dakshinkali temple is of great importance among those who need her blessing and also among the blessed ones. There is a strong belief in the ability of the goddess to make wishes come true.

Dakshinkali  (3)

To satisfy the blood-lust of the goddess, pilgrims take a menagerie of chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, pigs and even the occasional buffalo up the path to the temple to be beheaded and transformed into cuts of meat by the temple priests, who are also skilled butchers.

Dakshinkali  (1)

We went there on the weekdays so it was not busy. It took us 10 minutes for our puja and from there we went to another temple on the top of the hill which is called the Mata temple.

Dakshinkali  (4)

After puja, we went to one of the local restaurants and had tea and freshly prepared sel, jeri, and malpuwa. Just writing about it, I am salivating as it was really good.

Dakshinkali  (5)Dakshinkali  (6) Dakshinkali  (7) Dakshinkali  (8) Dakshinkali  (10)

After that my mum did a quick shopping at the local market there as they were selling gundruk, kafal and other items.

Dakshinkali  (9)

On the way back home, we also stopped at the Sheka Narayan.

Dakshinkali  (12)Dakshinkali  (11)Dakshinkali  (15)

There is temple on the top and a pond filled with crystal clear water. The pond has different types of fishes swimming around. There was a guy selling a bag of bread to feed the fish. It was a really nice and quiet place compared to Dakshinkali Temple.

Dakshinkali  (13) Dakshinkali  (14)

Every time I visit places like this, I feel really happy to see all the old Nepali architecture and idols of god which has been preserved from ages past. If you are in Kathmandu, it is a nice place to go for a day trip.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Advertisements

Shopping from Nepal

How can I go on a holiday especially to Nepal and not have a post on shopping, so here I am writing about my experience and showing off things I got in Nepal.

Firstly, I have to say that shopping is Nepal is not at all cheap like it used to be 10 years ago. Every time I go back, the price seems to have doubled but the quality seems to have gone down at the same time.

During most of the shopping I went with someone who lived there and I am so glad I did. Otherwise I would have paid almost double for everything as I am not so good at bargaining. Here is a simple example of bargaining in Nepal.

Customer: Looking at the Rs 3000 price tag, how much can I get it for?

Shopkeeper: There is 20% discount now, so it will be Rs 2400.

Customer: Rs 2400 is too expensive for this shoe. I know it can be better. What about Rs1500.

Shopkeeper: Really sorry but Rs 1500 is too low. Since you like it so much I will give you a further discount. Ok it is Rs2200 just for you, I have never sold it in that price for anyone else. (Of course not telling the truth)

Customer: Come on I am not asking for too much discount, OK since I like it I will give you a few hundred more.

Shopkeeper: Sorry, I can’t do that price. OK my last best price is Rs 2000.

Customer: Come on dai (brother), I am sure you can do better.

Shopkeeper: The price is already cheap. Look at the quality and the stuff.

Customer: Ok, my last price Rs 1800. I don’t have more than that.

Shopkeeper: Ok only for you am I agreeing at this price. I promise you will never find this price anywhere else. Please do come again and shop here.

It was like you needed to have patience to bargain otherwise you’d end up paying higher price for everything. I am glad to say that I have learn the skill after a few shopping trips I still always questioned myself when the shopkeeper gave an item easily at the price I wanted :). I guess unless I live in Nepal for long time I will not master the skill.

Despite all this and the fact that I was so busy, I still managed to buy a few things for myself. Of course, that list included shoes. 🙂 🙂 🙂

I am addictive to shoes and to everyone who reads my blog regularly it should come as no surprise. AS has made me promise that I will throw out old pairs of shoes when I come back if I was going to buy so many pairs in Nepal and I agreed.

I think there are only a few shops in Kathmandu selling good quality shoes and I am lucky to have found some such shops this time. I was actually looking for winter shoes when I was there but as it was the end of winter there, It was hard for me to find what I was looking for. I still managed to buy some boots, not exactly what I looking for but close enough to spend my money on. I also bought a few high heels, wedges, flats and scandals.

Here is the entire collection from this trip. Now I have to make room for them in my shoe rack. I’m just waiting for an opportunity to wear them soon.

IMG_7306IMG_7304

Apart from shoes, I really didn’t buy anything else for myself. I got a few saris from my MIL and mum so I didn’t have to spend any money on them. In addition, I have so many saris here that I decided it will be wise this time to invest my money on things I need for home.

Thus we spent lots buying carpets, decorative handicrafts and a painting. I am so happy with the end result.

Like every time, AS didn’t buy much either as he prefers cloths from here. Moreover, according to him I have converted him to be like me that he has too many jackets, pants, t-shirts and shoes that he doesn’t have to worry for a few years.

Hope you liked my new shoes collection. Till next post, take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Our one night stay in Guangzhou, China

This is the continuation of the post I wrote while I was in Nepal.

Once we were told that our flight had been cancelled due to bad weather and that we were going to spend the night in China, there was some confusion. It looked like the airline staff also didn’t know what was going to happen next. They just gave us visas to exit the airport and asked us to wait in a room. Thankfully, the staff member who was dealing us spoke good English so we could direct our queries and get some answers.

The waiting room had some chairs and snacks. They had some drinks, biscuits, and chocolate. I was kind of hungry and cold so ate one biscuit and drank a bottle of water.

Guangzhou (1)

Luckily AS had his thick jumper in his carry on while I had only a thin one. I was a bit cold when we were waiting while I could see all the airport staff was wearing puff jackets. I didn’t put anything in my hand carry because I didn’t think about that the flight could be cancelled. I expected few hours delay but not 14 hours.

We were in the waiting room for almost an hour when they finally asked us to follow them. We were going to a hotel. We all followed this guy all the way to the exit and as soon the door opened, I want to go and hide somewhere. It was freezing and the wind was not helping either.

As soon as we got out, I saw a hotel across the street. I was happy thinking that we were going there as we start crossing the road; but to my disappointment, we were told to wait for a bus to take us to our hotel. In a few minutes, the bus arrived and we all jumped inside. The staff member told us that we are going to some hotel but I didn’t catch the name.

Guangzhou (4)

At least it was warm inside the bus and we stared our 45 minutes ride to the hotel. Because we were not given a time frame, every hotel we saw on the way, we expect the bust to stop but it kept moving until it came to the Jiaerdeng Hotel Guangzhou.

Guangzhou (3)

The entrance of the hotel looked nice and we were all happy that it is a decent hotel. Most of us hadn’t slept for the last 24 hours so all we wanted was some warm food and bed for the night before we woke up the next morning to go back to the airport. I felt like a zombie and was looking forward to a hot shower as well.

As we queue behind the other passengers from the plane, we suddenly realised that there was no one from the airport with us. In addition, though not surprisingly, no one at the front desk spoke or understood any English. They had no clue why we were there so they were not giving us any rooms. We all spent next half hour trying to make them understand that we needed a room but it was of no use. No matter how slowly we spoke, they didn’t know what to do. We were stranded in the hotel lobby of a hotel in China with no clue what was going to happen next.

Luckily one of the bellboys of the hotel took his phone out and used Google translate to tell us that they had no idea what to do with us as they have no instruction from the airlines or the hotel management. Finally some communication! Then when we asked about the internet, he showed a plaque on the wall that had some number on it. No one had noticed that before but finally we saw a ray of hope in the dark tunnel. We all connected to the internet and used Google translate to talk with them.

Guangzhou (2)

Finally, after a real good effort by a few people, they manage to talk get someone form the airline and allocated the rooms. It was such a relief to get the key to our room. We got a nice big room on the 7th floor. Me and AS literally ran to the room to drop our stuffs and rest. It was after midnight in Sydney by then and we were so tired.

Guangzhou (3)

While we were getting ready to sleep, we realised that we hadn’t had a proper meal for a while so decided to see if they had anything to eat at all. When we went downstairs, there was a hotel staff handing a takeaway container to everyone and that was our dinner. When we opened it in our room, I was but disappointed as it had rice, cabbage and some chicken only, not very appetizing. As AS was hungry he had some of it and I did eat a few spoons and it was enough for me.

Guangzhou (4)

I was still freezing so AS decided to give me his jumper. The room had air conditioning but as everything was in Chinese we had no clue what to do. Still with some trial and error AS managed to turn off the air conditioning. In around 6 hours we had to wake up again as we need to be at the airport 3 hours before our flight to Kathmandu so we set an alarm and went to bed.

Guangzhou (5)

It was so difficult to wake up the next morning but I dragged myself out of bed and had a shower. I knew if I didn’t, I would be a zombie for the rest of the day. Once we got ready, we went to the lobby and there were lot more people in the lobby than the night before. They were going to airport to catch their flight to Kathmandu as well.

Guangzhou (1)

With half an hour for the bus to come pick us up, me and AS had enough time to go around the area and see the place. We saw lots of older people doing their morning exercising. When the bus arrived there was not enough room for everyone in that bus and we had to wait longer for next bus. Finally, it did and we were all happy to be on the road to the airport.

After 25 minutes, we were back doing the check-ins for our flight. The flight was on time and we were relieved when we finally boarded plane to Kathmandu. The flight from Guangzhou to Kathmandu was smooth and without any dramas and we landed in Kathmandu in the afternoon, 14 hours later than scheduled.

My FIL and BIL were at the airport to pick us up and we were on our way home.

So, this was my experience with China Southern Airlines. I am sure no one could do anything about the weather but the airlines did try their best to look after us. Being in China, it is expected that they don’t speak English. While our experience could have been a bit better, I have no problems flying with them the next time though I will certainly pray for good weather.

Visit to Doleshwor Mahadeva Temple

Doleshwor Mahadeva is a Hindu Temple of Lord Shiva located in the Sipadol VDC, south eastern part of Bhaktapur District, Nepal. As my mum wanted to go there, one morning I went there with my parents. The temple is believed to be for the head of the bull at KedarNath Temple of Uttarakhand, India.

doleshwor mahadev (3)

Legend has it that Pandavas reached the Kedarnath region to seek forgiveness from Lord Shiva for the loss of lives during the 18-day Mahabharata war. But Lord Shiva was not ready to forgive them and he took the form of a bull. The Pandavas soon realized that the Bull was Lord Shiva and tried to stop it by pulling the tail. Suddenly the head got separated from the body of the bull and the Pandavas could not locate it.

The body of the bull is presently worshipped in the Kedarnath Temple. People have been searching for the head of the bull since the period of the Mahabharata as they believed that it was hidden in the Himalayas. But so far all search proved futile and now Bhim Shankarling Shivacharya who was on a visit to Nepal happened to visit Jangam math in Bhaktapur in Nepal and was surprised by the striking resemblance of rituals followed in Kedarnath and Bhaktapur. Thus the temple is believed to be for the head of the bull at KedarNath Temple.

The road leading to the temple is good until the last 4 km where it turns into a small gravelled road. I loved the green land and cute village houses that we find on the drive to the temple. It was a very quick ride I have to say.

Once we parked and went through the main gate of the temple, I was surprised to find that the temple was smaller than I had expected and not many people were around.

doleshwor mahadev (8)

My mum bought the puja from a local vendor and we went inside.

doleshwor mahadev (4)

We were lucky that we got to do our puja straight away because as soon as we were done, there was busload of people coming to worship. Suddenly the place was busy and noisy that we even had to watch where we stepped when we moved.

doleshwor mahadev (1)doleshwor mahadev (11)

Apart from the main temple, the area also has one Dhunge Dhara (a traditional stone water tap found extensively in Nepal), a big trishul (a trident, Shiva’s particular weapon) and damaru (A small drum, shaped like an hourglass) and a few small idols around.

doleshwor mahadev (5)

At one corner there was a sadhu who was blessing everyone passing by. I asked him if it is ok to take a photo with him and he agreed so here is the snap.

doleshwor mahadev (2)

The visit to the temple as short as there was not much to do. My mum bought some fresh veggies from the local villagers and we were back on our way home.

doleshwor mahadev (6)

The place is really nice to go to if anyone wants a short trip out of the city.

Back and alive

You must be wondering where I have been for so long but I have had one hell of a busy time in Nepal that I went MIA. Now I am back in Sydney so here is the update.

 nepal2014 (1)

The wedding of my BIL went well but for the first 3 weeks I was there, I was so busy that I didn’t get to do much but just concentrated on the wedding. I was glad that AS was with me the whole time. I was sleep deprived most of the time for one reason or another.

After the wedding AS came back to Sydney and for the next 2 weeks I was just being lazy and missing him a lot. I know I might sound like a broken record to all of you but I miss him very much whenever we are apart. Skyping and Vibering definitely helped but still it was not like holding him or getting a kiss from him. I am just glad to be sleeping next to him again and seeing him when I wake up in the morning.

Lots of things were fun in Nepal expect being sick multiple times. I was sick a couple of times before the wedding and I was scared I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. I was really careful the whole time drinking only bottled water outside and going to selective restaurants for food but I still got sick.

The day before the wedding, I was vomiting the whole night. We had gone to this fancy (supposedly good) restaurant at Darbar Marg in Kathmandu and we had had momo and pakoda. Looks like that made me vomit the whole night and the diarrhoea started the next morning.

DSC01150-tile

Imagine my state of mind and body when everyone was coming to our home. Thankfully, I took some medication and I was mostly OK for the wedding.

nepal update 10

As I mentioned before, my SIL is from a different caste from us so there was a slight confusion regarding tradition during the wedding but apart from that it was a great experience. The reception was equally fun, me meeting lots of relatives and friends. The wedding went really well and we have a new family member in our house who calls me sister :).

nepal2014 (4)

I was glad once everything was over because I was planning to rest for a few days. It turned out to be just a dream because when the wedding was over, AS had just a week before he would leave for Sydney which meant we have to finish his shopping and on top of that, meet and eat with all the relatives who had invited us.

The week went really quickly and suddenly it was the day AS was to leave. I made a decision at the airport that I would never travel separately again. I know I was going to see him in 2 weeks but still my heart was crying for him not to go. Stupid me, but it was really hard.

The following day, finally I got to go and live with my parents and it was a good feeling. Even though, my new home (AS’s home) is good in every way, I had a different feeling when I got to sleep in my old bed and to be with my parents. I think the history I have with the house, my dog and seeing my old stuff is simply priceless and definitely, it will be my home forever.

nepal2014 (6)

My parents spoiled me rotten for the next 2 weeks, breakfast in bed was really nice. My mum made sure she cooked whatever I would feel like eating. It was heaven just to wake up late and relax. I was so busy for the first 3 weeks that I just wanted to be lazy and relax the next two.

I did go for day trips to a few places with my parents but apart from that I spent lots of time at home just talking with them and relaxing.

I did went and visit my grand ma, who is 86 now. She is always so happy to see us and give her blessing. I can see a pain in her eyes sometime but still she smiles and tells me to be happy. The time I went to visit her before I came to Sydney, she almost made me cry. She told me , “I may not see you again so be well and make sure you look after your parents.” I am sure I am going to see her again and hope she will be strong and well for a long time to come.

ma

This time I managed to meet Kathy, from Himalayan Happenings with her lovely husband. It was such a nice moment and it was great to know you guys. I will be in touch and thanks for the momo. I loved it so much 🙂

nepal2014 (5)

Thanks to one of my friends from school, I got to attend the gathering of my friend from primary school. I hadn’t seen most of them for 15 years now and it was so good to catch up. I couldn’t believe how much we have changed but at the same time we have the same level of comfort with each other. It’s like we had never been apart, conversation flew so easily. It was one of the most memorable moments of my visit to Nepal this time.

The other one has to be taking a family portrait with my grandparents in law. As I mentioned before granddad is 95 and grand mum is 90. We got a photographer to their place and had a great time taking photos. Here is one of the many photos we took. Having so many people, it was really hard to make sure everyone was OK in the same photos but finally we did get a few good shots.

nepal2014 (2)

The highlight of my trip was definitely the wedding of my BIL but I am also glad to let you know that I managed to bring heaps of Nepali things for our new home.

We managed to bring two big carpets (Nepali carpets are quite famous and good), many showpieces like the idols of Buddha and Tara as well as the painting we were after.

Over all a great trip back home but now back to real word. I am still jet-lagged and tired from the trip. I might take me at least few days to be OK and normal.

I almost forgot to mention, I managed to be in Nepal for 5 weeks without any exercise. I took my yoga stuffs with me to exercise but it never saw the light of day. This afternoon after 5 weeks, I managed to go and swim during lunch. It was refreshing and relaxing. 🙂

nepal2014 (3)

Of course, you will hear a lot about things from Nepal but for now, I need to stop typing. My hands need a rest.

Until my next post take care everyone and come back to blog. I am back now  🙂

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

More photo update from Nepal

nepal update (9)

Chatpat 🙂

nepal update (8)

Idol of Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts and nature: Saraswati

nepal update (7)

Swarovski in Kathmandu

nepal update (4)

Enjoyed Newari bhoj after ages

nepal update (6)

The beautiful site you see around temples in Nepal, love it…

nepal update (1)

Went to movie with SIL and MIL

paau

Paau, my favourite dish in newari bhoj

nepal update 10

Me and AS during the wedding receiption

nepal update (5)

Wedding venue

nepal update (3)

Chir at Basantapur for Holi celebration

More update  soon. Till then take care…

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Photo update from Nepal

Temple bells

Temple bells

Wedding procession

Wedding procession

Nepal (3)

Temple

This is how traffic is controlled in Nepal

This is how traffic is controlled in Nepal

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Pashupati Nath

Pashupati Nath

Nepal (8)

Morning view from the rooftop

Nepal (7) Nepal (9)

Diyo

Diyo

Nepal (11)

Traffic controller’s horse

Kathmandu Kumari Ghar

Kathmandu Kumari Ghar

Sel roti

Sel roti

Nepal (14)

Nepali flag

Nepali flag

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Load shedding in Kathmandu

Load shedding in Kathmandu

God of Sun

God of Sun

More update  soon. Till then take care…

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO