Pashupatinath This Hindu Temple complex, visited on my last afternoon in Nepal prior to my flight home was a powerful sensory and emotional experience, which only those who experience the place can fully appreciate. A photo is just a two-dimensional view and cannot begin to capture the atmosphere of the temples, the holy Baghmati River and the Funeral Ghats. Nepal’s equivalent of India’s Varanasi is dedicated to Vishnu. Saddhus and Hindus come from all over the Indian Sub-Continent to worship at this holy site. Many Nepalese are cremated here on open Funeral pyres along the riverbanks
Guide Santosh took me into the heart of this place. Visiting many of the Temple sites; but the real human interest were the scenes along the Baghmati River. Families take the bodies of the dead to the river; remove all clothing and wrap their deceased on yellow robes. They take the bodies to the river for ritual bathing; where the mouths of the deceased are filled with water from the holy river. The cremation pyre is prepared and lit with the families and friends in close proximity. All this happens with the background sounds of the music and chanting from the temple above. Walking among along the river Ghats alongside the mourners; feeling the heat of the pyres, the smell of the smoke and the aural stimulation of the music was an almost unreal. I’d seen photos and films of this; but to experience this at first was an unforgettable travel experience like none other.
© Dave Perkes, Peace Of Asia