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The learned author has missed many aspects of Nepalese culture. The so called Virupakshya is described by him as a nobel man. If the author had studied more carefully he would not have missed the third eye indicating that the figure is one of the manifestations of Shiva and not a nobel man.
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Nepal is a tourist's paradise with an infinite variety of interesting things to see and do. Nepal has many things to offer the visitor the flourishing of art and architecture a demonstrated by the temples of Kathmandu Valley, the natural beauties of the soaring peaks of Himalayas including Mountain Everest and others.
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Tourism in Nepal The Primordial Energy of Kali
Through the Bays of Bagmati  Nepalese Tourism
Harnessing Touristic Resources
The Pujari Matha  

 

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Through the Bays of Bagmati
 

Kathmandu has thousands of attractions for tourists from all over the world. Hundreds are not properly studied and brought to international notice yet. If we develop those places and include on tourist itinerary the stay of the tourists in Kathmandu can be increased. Nowadays, most of the sight seeing areas in and around Kathmandu valley is the ones that were sold to the tourists market about three decades ago.

The culture of Kathmandu valley is a riverine culture. It seems that the permanent living started in kathmandu because of its rivers like the Bagmati, Vishnumati, Rudramati and Ichhumati. Among these rivers Bagmati has the greatest significance in the Nepalese culture. It is considered as the Ganges of the Kathmandu valley. The Himavatkhanda of Skanda Purana describes the importance and religious merits of Bagmati as even more than that of the holy Ganges- “Gangatopiyabadhika.”

The importance of Bagmati was realized by the people from the very beginning of civilization. Bagmati provided water to drink, cultivate the land, and support the cattle. As such Bagmati became something like the mother of Nepalese civilization. Many inscriptions of ancient and medieval Nepal have praised the holy river. Up to the middle of the eighteenth century the main town of Kathmandu was from Thanhiti, the upper end of the town and Konhiti, the lower end of the town. From Thanhiti of north to the Konhiti of south the whole town planning was designed in such a way that the people would reach to the river either Bagmati or Vishnumati within a short walk.

The banks of the rivers on either side were paved and known as Ghat. Not only did the people cremate their dead here but they also wanted to die at the bank of the river. Many culture sited have been developed at the banks of this river. During our training for VNY 1998 we were encouraged to explore new sites and I have rightly found a site where every visitor may get the glimpse of Nepal art and culture.
A tour to Bagmati Ghat takes about 4 hours to complete, starting from the famous Bagmati Bridge near Thapathali that links Lalitpur to Kathmandu. Right at the beginning of the bridge there is an inscription of Bhimsen Thapa, the prime- Minister of Nepal during the first quarter of nineteenth century. The inscription is a beautiful piece of literature which, in sixteen verses praises the glory of river Bagmati. A little below the Ghat are many Hindu monasteries like Sanyasi, Udasi and Vairagi Akhada belonging to the various sects or schools of Hinduism. These monitories have big open courtyards and buildings on all three sides where pilgrims, both from Nepal and India, come during their journey and stay.
After five such monasteries we reach to the famous Hiranya Hem Narayan temple with buildings having well carved windows, a big courtyard, and many miniature temples surrounding it.
Through the western gate of this temple one reached to an open, paved square, where sadhus visiting Nepal in Shivaratri gather and receive official farewell from Guthi Sansthan. The Ichhumati River here mixes at Bagmati. A small walk from lead the visitors to the eastern gate of Tripureswar Shiva temple, which stands as a unique example of ancient and medieval Hindu temple architecture. Four miniature temples around enshrine the idols of Ganesh, Durga, Surya and Vishnu. The whole courtyard has over twenty-four statues of Hindu Vedic and Puranic deities.
Descending down to Ghat from southern entrance we reach to another Ghat again where we can see many Brahmanals, patis, and statues of various gods and goddesses of both Hinduism and Buddhism.
A little walk westward, several old buildings and Dharmasala, which were built by Rana Prime Minister Juddha Sumsher. Spectacular statues of Umamaheswar and Vishnu waits you ahead. Then comes the famous Purohit Ghat built by pandit Shiva Raj Satyal. Not only did he build the Ghat but also raised a beautiful house with garden and a well for drinking water. This house today is the personal property of the Satyal of Gairidhara and Baneswar. A beautiful temple square known as Tin Dewal and the many temples of different size and shape on way to it are additional spices for visitors. The wooden struts of the buildings around the temple are the most beautiful examples of the nineteenth century Nepali wood works.
The next attraction of this tour is the Laxmikameswar Shiva temple with very symbolic and erotic carvings all around. It has the most beautiful windows. Although this temple is falling apart the concerned authorities have shown no concern. Thus this heritage risks collapse any time.
The Ghatas now have some nice statues of Hindu and Buddhist Gods. The dancing Ganesha, the Harihara, Ganga and Jamuna are the highlights of this place. A status of Ekadas Lokeswor with thousands arms carved on sandstone is also found next to the Hindu statues. On the way, a beautiful statue of surya that may well represent the Lichhchavi period of Nepal’s history is just lying ignored.
Next to it are a series of crematorium and finally leading to the confluence of two rivers- Bagmati and Vishnumati- where people come for ritual observance.
Finally, on the way to famous Pachali Bhairava, some beautiful bricks temples of Krishna of early eighteenth centuries, coupled with elegant carved windows depicting the Krishna Lila are worth watching.
The Pachali Bhairava has a small shrine of Nasadeo, the master of dance and music. Eastward, under a big tree, is a shrine of Bhairava, reflecting a combination of nature and culture. An ever-going fire is burning these full-of-story archaeological facts and artwork.

 

 

-DIWAS DHAKAL
(The Sunday Post, July 5, 1998)

 

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  Untitled Document
 

Nepalese Culture, Society and Tourism
By: Diwas Dhakal

This book is a collection
of essays devoted to the
Nepalese Culture,Society and Tourism. A special
stress on Natural and
cultural Heritage of Nepal has been very carefully emphasised.
Diwas Dhakal, 2000 ISBN 99933-570-0-6,
First Edition 2000
Published by:
Mukta Dhakl
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Contents:

Tourism in Nepal: A Critical Analysis

Ghandruk: A Socio-cultural Study

The Aqua Culture of Kathmandu

People, Nature and Wild Life in Makalu - Barun

Purnachandi Bhuja Jatra of Patan: A Protection from Lightening

Vajrayan Buddhism and Nepal

The Accumulate Stupa of Ramagrama

The Stupa of Boudhnath: A World Heritage Site

Pagoda Style Architecture and Nepal

Development of Architecture in Nepal

 
 
 
 
 
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