Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bhaktapur on Buddha's Birthday

Bhaktapur reminds me a lot of Jaselmear in Rajasthan. It is untouched with the beauty completely preserved. Walking down the streets, you can go back in time with people engaging in local customs-pulling up buckets of water out of real wells, clay pots lined up and filled with water, men carrying the pots on both of their shoulders, old, wooden wagons filled with local crafts, and ladies weaving on the streets. The temples are incredible and the squares are all unique places of their own.  The Newari women wear a different kind of Sari tapered at the bottom and the culture of Newari people is different than anything I have ever seen. 
And of course all this beauty makes Bhaktapur another UNESCO World Heritage site.

The many local crafts that are special to Bhaktapur include: prayer wheel, masks of various Hindu gods, galleries with paintings of the Himalayas, Buddha, and local Nepali life, the Om necklaces, the meditation bowl, hats, scarfs, yak products(famous in Nepal),  Handmade paper, wood carvings, tea and spices, painting classes, hand made lamp shades, hand made post cards, and jewelry. So many really nice things that I wanted to buy.

Note to self:   
Come back to Bhaktapur when I am older with money to spend. It has such beautiful things to take home.

I managed to visit all four squares:  with my favorite being Durbar and Tamaudi.  In Tamaudi Square, they have a nice restaurant that sits on to top of a temple-touristy and expensive, but I enjoyed my Newari special yogurt consisting of almond, nuts, and yogurt-it was delicious.  Sitting on the top, the parade for Buddha's birthday came through-this was a perfect spot for viewing.  The locals passed by and I waived at them while they passed by-so happy and proud.   It was a really special day to be in Bhaktapur with the Buddhist monasteries all celebrating. 

The only negative thing I have to say is that people are a bit pushy with selling, but that is due to the fact it is low season and they need business. By now, I am aware of how peoples "acts of desperation" when it comes to selling and making a profit.  They need to live and have a family to feed just like everyone else.  I did manage to buy a few things, but again I really wanted to give this town business and buy more.  I love Bhaktapur and I would revisit again one day.  

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