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.
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.
The stupa mostly
covered with white dome is solid from inside and has no way
to get in .This is called garva or anda. Some Physical remains
of Buddha, or his disciple, or other dignitaries of Buddhist
faith would be kept in a golden, silver or copper in the center
of the dome.
Although the evolution of stupa is developed as a burial
mound as in the ancient tradition of India, the Nepalese stupas
are primarily a place of worship since time immemorial.
The Mahayana school paved the way for the development of
stupa making it in more symbolic and elegant way .An earliest
school stupa was simple in the form a lump of clay. As time
passed by, various schools of Buddhism like Mahayana, Vajrayana
and Lamaism influenced stupa architecture. Their philosophy
made the stupa more elegant and decorative as well as philosophically
meaning a hut, also known as a cottage, a place where retired
people, students, and ascetic people visit, provides some
teaching through Brahmans and was popular in India during
pre-Christian era. Along with modernization, mathas were established
by AdiSankaracharya (teacher of the world) of eight century
had revitalized Hinduism establishing math based on the teaching
of vedanta. One of the orthodox of the vedic philosophy or
philosophic religious doctrine based on the teaching of the
Upanishads. Even today Vedanta holds an important place in
the philosophy of Hinduism) in the four corners of India to
promote Hindu (Vedic) philosophy and thinking along with traditional
Vedic education. The system soon became popular in Northern
India also. Yaksha Malla (the popular king of Bhaktapur who
ruled Kathmandu Valley from 1428 to 1482 A.D) established
many Mathas for various sects to provide education and shelter
to the students and Sadhus. Nepali Mathas share similar responsibilities
to those of Indian Mathas. The Mathas of Nepal being rich
in terms of landholding (in the form of property trust) served
the poor people, welcome guests as well as performs Hindu
ritulas to support the Sadhus.
When Buddhism declined, due to disharmony and divergence from
the original dogma, Hinduism had is renaissance mainly through
the brilliant expositions of Hindu philosophy by Adi Sankacharya.
The Brahmans(the absolute, the supreme reality of Vedanta
phiosophy knowing person is Brahman) who for some time had
been relegated to the background, were able to re-establish
and further improve their influence over the common people
in around 8th century AD This influence was further extended
to the rulers. It was also about this time that rest house
for pilgrims were built at eloquent site of well known Hindu
center. These rest houses, also serve as meeting place of
Gurus and Sadhus and other learned people. In a short time,
these became significant center for Hindu learning. It is
still a subject for research regarding when first mathas in
Nepal were constructed. It can be fairly assumed that the
basic plan for the still existing mathas was probably built
around the mid fourteen century. Mathas are like Monasteries,
the Buddhist education center, where Mahanta (chief priest)
provide education, shelter for ascetic people and food. Mahantas
are also known as Mathadhis.
Dhara- Hiti made of stone, is a channelised spout of water serving
as tap with a shrine attached. Gaa in the Newari language of
the valley means “a deep place” and Hiti means “a
spout” or “a water tap”. Gaa hity are also
known as Dhunge Dhara in Nepali (dhunge means "stone"
and dhara means "a spout" or "a water tap".
It is nicely placed in a symmetrical order and made to appear
from a vertical wall. Dhunge Dhara is sunken, stone-paved "tanks"
circular, rectangular, square and different shape and size from
several to more than thirty meters in diameter. These are not
filled with water- they are a sort of sunken rooms with a flight
of steps leading down to a water spout which emerges from one
have crocodile head called Makara, and from its mouth flows
out water. However in some hitis, there are the heads of Goat,
cow, elephant, cock and tiger as well and from the mouth water
Generally the Hitis stand as Bhagirath underneath supporting
the culvert either in standing or squatting position with
blowing conch shell. According to the Hindu, mythology, Bhagirath
is the man responsible for bringing down the river Ganga,
from heaven to the earth with great meditation. In certain
hitis we find Yaksas and Yasinis standing underneath supporting
the conduit in squatting position.
Nepalese Culture, Society and Tourism By: Diwas Dhakal