Saturday, September 30, 2017


Driving down the valley where we are stunned how different the wet lush landscape is from the barren Tibetan plains. Every mountain side seems to have terraces and towns built up the slopes.

A family heading down the road to a small town built on the edge of a riverside cliff. The roads here seem to have continual drop offs to the swirling waters below.

When entering Katmandu, Nepal we were greeted by several "relay teams" of people baring corpses on liters running them down to one of the main temples to be prepared and cremated at sacred temples

The average street in Katmandu, Nepal. Usually just room for a few people and lots of motorbikes. An amazing place of shops full of clothes, spices, toys and all manners of colorful things.

At Swayambhu Mandir, the "monkey temple". Lots of these guys wandering around making noise stealing food and taking offerings among the intensely painted Buddhist statues.

The large dome within the compound that is the "storehouse of symbols" surrounded by stupas and is guarded by two giant bronze lions.

I cant tell you what all of these temples, statues and amazingly impressive building represent but all the same its a stunning experience to walk amongst all this religious wonderment.

A lot more comings-and-goings in Nepalese temples than Tibetan one. Seems people shopped, had breakfast, met friends for meals, just everyday events

Monkeys had full range of the compound and managed to find their way into every nook-and-cranny of the compound

Funny little guy that learned to put his hand out and beg for scraps of meals. Seemed Buddhas lap was his home base.

Friday, September 29, 2017


The sprawling beautiful (but crowded) Pashupatinath Temple in Katmandu. A central shrine and grounds are the center of festivals and home to 518 different smaller temples.

A school girl from a group visiting the temple and wanted to ask what I was going there in Katmandu

Overlooking the main entrance to the temples. Only Hindus pass the gates up the stairs and through the doorways. Pilgrims stand on the balcony and try to drop pennies onto the small shrines. If they land right...eternal good luck

A few of the hermits (this guy was suppose to be a 102 years old and hadn't moved from that spot for 30 years), wise men, musicians and worshippers that we found at the temple

The beginning of a ceremony and ritual that resulted in a blessing, ritual bathing and cremation of a Hindu father by his family

The blessing from the wife, sisters and daughters of the dead father. Flower and food offerings were made and the bodies feet were bathed in the river. I got permission from the family to document this process

This one burial wasn't the only one taking place but seemed to have the largest gathering and was more ceremonial

A drummer and singing accompanied the procession 

The fathers feet had been washed and dried and was being moved to the cremation platform

The Hindu priest (or mortician?) prepared the pyre with wood and kindling before the final ceremony


The sons and brothers of the dead father placed offerings on the sheet covering the body and walked around the body three times (?). Then the priest lit a small piece of kindling to release the sins from the words he has spoken and then the fire was started under the body which slow grew into a all consuming blaze 

Other cremations taking place that day

Have your picture taken with the Monkey King!

Some of the many worshippers at the temple. Families loved to have pictures taken with their kids in their finest.

Kids would use the bridge as a diving board to jump into the river though you would never get me in there. I saw a dead bloated goat float by shortly after I took this picture.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


The image of Kai Bhairav on the side of the main road through Durbar. Dunbar Square is a huge complex that includes sacred temples and the site of past and current royal palaces.

Looking down from the balcony of one temple looking down into another beautiful temple

Various people that populate the grounds and temples of Durbar Square. Being the exact opposite of Tibet that temple and palaces seem to be a huge magnet for petal cabs, families (LOTS of kids, with and without parents) vendors with a few tourists sprinkled in. 

The little girls blue shirt, striped tie and red dress was the official uniform of the Nepalese school system

In Nepal, like Tibet the kids would wear outfits that looked like someone had dropped in a 2nd hand shipment of a overstocked clothes warehouse. Every boy seemed to be wear some kind of WWF wrestling t-shirt.

I really came to love all the kids that would flock around the temples and markets. They seemed to be all over the place with protective older siblings or moms in tow.

Just a sample of the hundreds of open air shops I would see and sample from in Katmandu. Once again, like Tibet, I was horrible with the language and managed to "sign language" my way through conversations. It was amazing the variety of things you could buy in between monsoon storms that everyone seemed to come to no surprise except to us tourist types.

At another Buddhist temples in downtown Katmandu. Have your picture taken with a demon.

Local women (and their kids) selling bright carnations and marigold garlands for prayer at the local temples. This seemed to be the central location for the florists of Durbar. It was very cute to watch the small family groups sort and string up the flowers into necklaces.

One of the central plaza building I do believe was just used for folks to rest in and find a place to snooze or eat a bite. No temple statues inside just barebones structure wooden supports. Incense and the smell of flowers mingled together inside.