High Points of Nepal tour, 3-14 October 2008

It may take us a while to write up our whole tour of Nepal, so here are the high points.

In Delhi, we had a memorable evening listening to qawwali at the Nizamuddin shrine of Sufi Sheikh Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Chishti.

Musicians singing and playing qawalli at the Nizamuddin Shrine

After flying to Kathmandu, we saw our first real pagodas, really Hindu temples, and several Buddhist stupas in and around Kathmandu, Patan and Bakhtapur.

Kathmandu Durbar SquareKathmandu Durbar Square
Pagodas in Kathmandu's Durbar Square
Patan's Durbar SquareNyatapola Mandir, in Bakhtapur, Nepal's tallest pagoda (>30m)

Probably the strangest, and most mysterious, thing we saw around Kathmandu, was seeing Vishnu asleep on his serpent bed in the midst of a pond at Budhanilkantha.

Vishnu asleep on his serpent bed at Budhanilkantha

We also took a one-hour flight on a small plane to see the legendary Mount Everest! We flew this and two other times with Buddha Air. Can you imagine such a thing in the USA? How about Jesus Christ Airlines? Just think about the ad possibilities!

View from the cockpitEverest is in the back on the left

We flew to Pokhara and had a really memorable morning at Sarangot watching the dawn sun illuminate the peaks of the Annapurna Range of the Himalayas.

DawnFirst light
Dawn sunFirst light on the Annapurna Range
MachhapuchhreTourists and the Annapurna Range
MachhapuchhreTourists and the Annapurna Range

We drove to Chitwan National Park. Unfortunately, we saw no rhinoceroses or tigers, only two woodpeckers and (maybe) a monkey. But we got to know an elephant named Saraswati quite intimately, especially John. In the morning, Saraswati took us for a ride throught the jungle.

SaraswatiWe're off
Here's how a tourist gets on an elephantSaraswati takes us for a jungle ride

During the afternoon, John and Saraswati went for a swim.

WaterGetting off
An elephant showerGraceful, he's not
He's onUnder he goes
He's onOops!

Flying back to Kathmandu, we stayed two days at Bodhnath and were immersed in an ambiance of Buddhism.

Bodhnath StupaBodhnath
Bodhnath StupaBodhnath central "square"

Afterwards, we flew to Varanasi and spent ten days participating in activities at and with the DISCC, the DEVA International Society for Child Care. 

Continue with Impressions of DISCC.

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