Journey of My Life!

#garuda, #changunarayan #

Griffins or Garudas Engulfed in Smoke

A pair of Griffins sat on guard at the southern entrance of Changu Narayan Temple. Their piercing eyes were unfazed by ritualistic smoke that engulfed them. Stone steps, which separated them, led to a door with a gilded torana. An ornate triangular oil lamp holder hung between these creatures. Elephants, Lions and Sharabhas (similar to griffins) guarded other three sides of the shrine.  Oil lamp railings, intercepted by four-entrances, ran around the perimeter of the structure.

#changunarayan #nepal

Changu Narayan Temple

The two storeyed wooden-temple was oldest in Nepal and was established in 4th century A.D. It displayed elaborate wooden  and stone carvings of Vishnu and his ten incarnations, other Gods, Demi-Gods and mythical creatures. I was not surprised to learn that this temple was a UNESCO World Heritage site.

My unplanned day began, not with the serenity that I witnessed at the shrine. I waited at the precincts of Bhaktapur, to take the 6-kilometre long bus ride to Changu Narayan Village. This was  my first bus ride outside the bus, rather on top of it. It had been an hour. The dusty bus stop had accumulated at least a score of commuters. I just hoped that they all were awaiting different rides.

“Is this the bus-stop for Changu Narayan?” I crossed referenced with a bystander. He narrowed his eyes, while nodding his head. Either he thought that I was a cheap back-packer or he was worried that the bus was late.

The mini-bus arrived. It looked like a can of sardines. Desperate times call for desperate measures; we swarmed like locusts. Women  folk gathered at the door, and I found myself with a group of men, ascending the roof of the creaky vehicle. Our journey was far from smooth. Watching out for electric wires and tree branches, that waited to ambush us, we sat on mundane articles like a chicken coop and an old bicycle…

Amidst this clutter sat this long-haired man, who called himself Rasta Man. His motto ‘American life, Nepali knife and Japanese wife are the best!’ was unaffected by the fact that his Japanese wife had left him for someone else.

“Do you have any plans?” he enquired and proposed that I joined him for a drink of rice beer. I declined! It was early in the afternoon. No wonder he called himself Rasta Man.

#changu #nepal #changunarayan

Entrance of the Pathway Leading to Changu Narayan Temple

Changu Narayan Village sat downhill to the east of the temple. Thankfully, the  shrine was not a major pilgrimage centre like Pashupati Nath, or maybe I was there during the non-festive lull. The stoned pathway that lead to Changu Narayan Temple was lined with shops selling wooden works, metal works, pashmina fabric, yak bone amulets, Thanka paintings and more. A few hundred yards from the shrine, a dazed teenager was etching different Buddhist heavens and realms of existence on a Thanka painting. Maybe I should have introduced  Rasta Man to him.

Changu Narayan was an experience to remember. Now, I truly believe in what Lao-Tzu had once said, “A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”

P.S –

#changunarayan #mainentrance

Mian Entrance of Changu Narayan Temple

IMG_0056

#elephants #changunarayan

Main Entrance of Changu Narayan Temple

#torana #krishna

A Torana Depicting Krishna

#oillamps #changunarayan #nepal

Oil-lamp Railing, Circumnavigating the Changu Narayan Shrine

A Workshop of Thanka Paintings

A Workshop of Thanka Paintings

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10 responses to “Journey of My Life!

  1. Birajini Patnaik

    Well detailed for tourist with the photos

    Like

  2. Kedar Narayan Mohanty

    Its a tough journey.Appears beautiful! Is it crowded?

    Like

    • Unlike Pashupatinath, Changunarayan is not on the map of ardent pilgrims. The temple is busy during some festivals. At any given point of time…Kathmandu is more crowded than this small hamlet. Of course you can hire cars or taxis to travel. When do you plan to visit? Let me know if you want any information.

      Like

  3. Nepal is like mini-India, I would definitely like to visit it someday.
    ‘American life, Nepali knife and Japanese wife are the best!’ That is one awesome thought. 😀

    Loved your post, and your writing style is highly descriptive, which makes it an interesting read.
    Thanks, and if you have time do check out my blog too.

    Like

    • Glad you loved the write up…thanks for your kind words.I loved Rastaman’s eccentric philosophy too…You must visit Nepal, you’ll see that it is not at all a mini-India. It is more steeped in culture and tolerance than any part of India…no wonder, it is the birth place of Gautama.
      P.s…will checkout your blog right away

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  4. Rasta Man’s motto in life speaks wisdom 🙂 though sitting with chicken coop and bicycle on the bus roof watching for electric wires was certainly dangerous…. its the unpredictability of such impromptu journeys/trips which make these memorable and to get the destination as beautiful and rich as this temple is an excellent Bonus…. its the journey which provides experience … destination is just the fullstop .
    Nice Post !

    Like

    • True…average people come with some profound life philosophies! And unplanned trips tend to be the most memorable ones. I believe in Lao Tzu ”a true traveller is not intent on arriving”…you must visit Changu Narayan…it is magical…Thanks a lot for your words of appreciation…

      Like

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