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Photographer's Note

I would like to dedicate this image to Gert. I was going to upload this shot anyway, but he gave me the idea for the title by commenting on my last post: “Coca-Cola is now the official sponsor of Swayambhunath? (…) Who owns Pashupathinath? Amazon?”

Rest assured my friends, there is not a single trace of those brands in the oldest Hindu temple of Kathmandu (the distant next great piece of news being that it didn’t really suffer in the 2015 earthquake).

Now… I have a confession to make (audience in the front row, please put those rotten tomatoes away) – I wasn’t planning to visit Pashupathinath at all. I bet many Trekearthers would find my “travel modus operandi” shocking. More often than not, I roam aimlessly around instead of taking in the main sights. So I do end up missing some important landmarks and attractions. But it means that, on the other hand, I find some interesting “nothing specials”; you win some, you lose some…

Plus, of course, my 2016 visit to Nepal was meant to be limited to the locations I had seen in 2014 to enable me to come back home with a “before and after” the earthquake portfolio of photographs… and experiences.

So how did I end up in that very temple I wasn’t going to see? Well, we just happened to be walking past. As you do… in Nepal. I mentioned in the note and WS to this post - everywhere you look there is a stupa or a shrine of some sort.

Pashupathinath is a sacred traditional temple and access for non-Hindu visitors is limited. It being evening and some important ceremony taking place inside the complex I decided to stay outside and photograph the façade, while my friends: Ramesh – a Nepali of Hindu origin and Leki – a devout Buddhist from Bhutan (after a quick discussion the guys agreed he looked “Hindu” enough to enter…) went inside.

I have shown medieval architecture of Kathmandu Valley on this website before. Now, a few words about the most medieval experience during my two trips to Nepal. Not only is Pashupathinath a very old temple and there are lots of people in traditional garb milling around but there are also farm animals in the courtyard and you can hear the singing coming from the temple, and…

…to find the best viewpoint (on a raised wooden ledge running along a small building) I had to step over a large goat lying across my path; then, just as I had put up my tripod and started taking photos a stream of liquid, apparently coming from the roof above me, made me look up to see… a standing upright, urinating monkey. I was lucky to be half a metre away from the line of fire… It may sound gross, but, when I think about those moments now, I wish I had Geoffrey Chaucer’s gift to write.

I’m sure some of you have noticed that the photo is slightly spoilt by a (fairly) modern bank on the right. But I couldn’t have cropped it without getting rid of the sitting beggar. And the image wouldn’t be the same without him.

I will also upload two WS photos: one of the temple courtyard and one “Facebook-like” holiday snapshot unrelated to the main image.

COSTANTINO, holmertz, pajaran, jhm, bukitgolfb301, tyro, Royaldevon, macjake trouve(nt) cette note utile

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1349 W: 6 N: 2485] (14055)
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