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Changu NarayanTemple Kathmundu

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Changu_Narayan

The ancient Hindu temple of Changu Narayan About this sound Listen  is located on a high hilltop that is also known as Changu or Dolagiri. The temple was surrounded by forest with champak tree and a small village, known as Changu Village. The temple is located in Changunarayan VDC of Bhaktapur District, Nepal. This hill is about 8 miles east of Kathmandu and a few miles north of Bhaktapur. The Manahara River flows beside the hill. This shrine is dedicated to Lord Visnu and held in especial reverence by the Hindu people. This temple is considered as the oldest temple in Nepal

Currently the Temple and the area up to the Temple is under construction after the recent earthquakes damaged many of the buildings, including the Temple, which is being rebuilt and lovingly restored.

Changu Narayan is considered to be the oldest temple of Nepal. It remains a milestone in Nepali temple architecture with rich embossed works. The two-storey roofed temple stands on a high plinth of stone. According to Professor Madhan Rimal, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Tribhuwan University, the temple is neither in Shikhara Style nor the Pagoda style. It has an architectural style which he would like to describe as a traditional Nepali temple.

The temple is surrounded by sculptures and arts related to Lord Vishnu. Also we can find the temples of lord Shiva, Ashta Matrika, Chhinnamasta, Kileshwor and Krishna inside the courtyard of main temple. There are four entrances to the temple and these gates are guarded by life size pairs of animals such as lions, sarabhas, graffins and elephants on each side of the entrances. The ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu and the other idols are carved in the struts, which support the roof. The entrance door is gilded with carvings of Nagas (snakes). On the main entrance gate (i.e. western entrance gate), we can find the Chakra, Sankha, Kamal and Khadga all at the top of a stone pillar. These stone pillars has inscription in Sanskrit. This inscription is considered to be the oldest inscription of Nepal and the stone inscription pillar was erected by Lichhavi King Manadeva in 464 AD

The following monument are located while visiting the temple from the right side after entering from the main entrance (Eastern gate) to courtyard.

  • Historical pillar erected by Mandeva in 464 AD [2]
  • Garuda:- flying vehicle of Lord Vishnu which has got a human face and is a devotee of Vishnu.
  • Statue of Bhupalendra Malla, King of Kantipur and his queen BhuwanLakshmi.
  • Chanda Narayan (Garuda Narayan):- 7th century stone sculpture of Vishnu riding on Garuda. This sculpture has been depicted in the 10 rupee paper note issued by Nepal Rastra Bank
  • Sridhar Vishnu:- 9th century stone sculpture of Vishnu, Laxmi and Garuda which stands on the pedestals of various motifs.
  • Vaikuntha Vishnu :- 16th century sculpture of Vishnu seated on the lalitason position on the six armed Garuda and Laxmi seated on the lap of Vishnu
  • Chhinnamasta:- Temple dedicated to Chhinnamasta devi, who beheaded herself, offered her own blood to feed the hungry Dakini and Varnini.
  • Vishworup:- 7th century stone sculpture- beautifully carved that depicts the scene from the Bhagwat Gita, in which Lord Krishna manifests his universal form to his devotee Arjun.
  • Vishnu Vikrant :- 7th century sculpture of Trivikram Vishnu that depicts the scene of popular Hindu myth of Lord Vishnu and his beloved Bali Raja.
  • Narasimha :- 7th century sculpture of Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, killing the demon King Hiranyakasyapa to save his beloved devotee Prahalad.
  • Kileshwor:- small two storied temples of Lord Shiva, who is believed to have appeared in this place for the protection of the hill.

The main image in the sanctum is worshipped by Hindus as a Garuda Narayan, and by Buddhists as a Hariharihari Vahan Lokeshwara.[3][4] Only the priest is allowed to see the image.

The steps are lined with artists and artisans selling Nepalese products, mainly brass bowls and paintings and also stone, wooden and bronzes …Shop owners lost their homes in the earthquakes and are now living in tent cities down below the mountain while their homes are rebuilt. They also have to cart water from below as the main water are was damaged.

 

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Shanti Stupa Pokhara

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanti_Stupa,_Pokhara

Pokhara Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist pagoda-style monument on a hilltop in Ananda hill of the former Pumdi Bhumdi Village Development Committee, in the district of Kaski, Nepal[1] (now a part of the city of Pokhara).

Shanti Stupa in Pokhara was built by Nipponzan-Myōhōji monk Morioka Sonin with local supporters under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii, a Buddhist monk and the founder of Nipponzan-Myōhōji. Shanti is a Sanskrit word meaning peace, also widely used in Nepali and Hindi language, and Shanti Stupa means Peace Pagoda. Shanti Stupa is the shrine build as symbol of peace. The spot situated at the height of 1100 meters on the Ananda Hill was chosen by Nichidatsu Fujii and he laid the foundation stone as well with the relics of Buddha on the hilltop on 12 September 1973

There are 660 steps from the bottom to the Top where the Peace Pagoda is located. From here, as well as the steps, there are magnificent views over the Valley looking down to Pokhara and the Lake Fewa below

Shanti Stupa in Pokhara is the first World Peace Pagoda in Nepal and seventy-first pagoda built by Nipponzan-Myōhōji in the world. The pagoda is 115 feet tall and 344 feet in diameter. The white pagoda has two tiers for tourist and religious people to circumambulate.[1] Second tier displays the four statues of Buddha presented as a souvenirs from different countries: ‘Dharmacakra Mudra’ from Japan, ‘Bodh Gaya’ from Sri Lanka, ‘Kushinagar’ from Thailand and ‘Lumbini’ from Nepal. Each statues represents the important events related to Buddha and named according to the place where it took place

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Trekkers Inn at Pokhara Nepal

http://trekkersinn.com/

Following five years of detailed design and planning Trekkers Inn opened to guests in September 2010.
Using over twenty years experience in owning and operating hotels we have tried to create a unique experience for our guests.
All our rooms have the highest levels of comfort and quality and are designed to create a feeling of space with fresh clean lines and big windows to enjoy the views.

The Hotel is based a few blocks from Lake Fewa, and has an in house restaurant for all meals. Free WiFi is available as well as the use of the Hotel car, for a cost, for tours and travel. There are many restaurants and shops and travel agencies around the hotel.I used one taxi to tour me each day and saw almost all the tourists spots in Pokhara, including the sunrise at Sarangkot and a boat ride on the Lake.

You can see the snow-capped mountains from the top of the Hotel..

 

 

Brisbane..Things to do in Brisbane

http://www.visitbrisbane.com.au/information/articles/activities/unusual-things-to-do-in-brisbane?sc_lang=en-au

Night kayaking at the wrecks

Kayaking in crystal clear waters

It’s pitch black as you push your clear Perspex kayak off the shore of Moreton Island – relying on the moon and two LED strips as your guide. The historic, rusting wrecks are all the more eerie and quiet at night. Your bright LED lights will attract fish that will leap at your vessel. But all the better, curious turtles might come to say hello – and you’ll follow them drifting 200m offshore without a care. Australian Sunset Safaris offers the experience as part of its overnight Moreton Island tour.

See performing arts that’s truly underground

Head beneath the surface to the refurbished Spring Hill Reservoirs for performances from The Underground Opera Company and small theatre troupes. Built between 1871 and 1882, these large underground spaces held the city’s main water supply until it was closed in 1962. Now you can catch live opera or theatrical performances down there. The acoustics are truly something.

Dive with manta rays

Over the summer months Manta Rays flock to the Manta Bommie dive site just off North Stradbroke Island. Ranked in the top 10 dive sites in Australia, Manta Lodge will take you out there where you’ll come face-to-face with the large creatures plus leopard sharks, guitar sharks, turtles, wobbegongs and bamboo sharks, octopus, pelagics, bull, eagle and other rays plus lionfish and much more.

Walk over to King Island

Look, it’s no tropical island paradise but at low tide a sandbank appears in the bay off Woody Point. Stroll across to King Island, tick it off your list and keep an eye out that the bank doesn’t disappear on you. It’s all about timing.

Drink carrot beer

Fresh carrots from the farm at Kalbar South of Brisbane

Beer goggles of a different kind – this beer won’t just make you temporarily smarter, better looking and more confident but also let you see in the dark. A carrot farmer from Kalbar teamed up with the local craft brewery Four Hearts Brewing to produce a special beer. Yes it’s orange.

Hoot Camp is the new boot camp

Skill up and get fit at the same time by ditching boot camp and trying hoot camp. It’s a circus school for adults that runs every Wednesday night with the folks at Flipside Circus. Your party tricks just got better.

Explore historic Fort Lytton by night

Fort Lytton at Night

One of Brisbane’s closest national parks is home to the historic Fort Lytton, built in the 19th century to protect the city from possible enemy raids by ship. Every Thursday actors bring the story of decorated WW1 hero and Brisbane local Raymond Augustus Stanley to life. Theatre performance, sound, light and a projection transport you to another time.

Ride through the city in the last steam locomotive to be built in Australia.

Steam Train Sunday

Choo choo! All aboard for Steam Train Sunday. Travel through Brisbane on a historic steam train to relive the romance of travel from a bygone era. The one-hour journey travels through city stations, with you wandering about the restored old-world carriages.

Fly like a bird over Mt Tamborine

Hang Glider

You might have seen hang gliders leaping off the western side of the mountain. The great news is that experience isn’t needed – you can join them for a tandem flight.

Kopan Monastery Nepal

http://www.kopanmonastery.com/

Kopan Monastery is a center for Buddhist study, meditation, retreat., and practice. It is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the Kathmandu valley in Nepal.

It was established in the late 1960’s by Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche as a home for monks and nuns from the Himalayan area and foreigners wishing to receive teachings.

This is still the mission of Kopan monastery today: preserve and transmit the Tibetan Buddhist tradition as the path to ultimate happiness and freedom from suffering to all.

Kopan provides integrated education through which people’s minds and hearts can be transformed into their highest potential for the benefit of others, inspired by an attitude of universal responsibility. We are committed to creating harmonious environments and helping all beings develop their full potential of infinite wisdom and compassion.

Kopan is a peaceful, calm and relaxing place to spend a few hours, days or weeks.

You are welcome to be part of this community as a guest.

Develop the mind of equilibrium.
You will always be getting praise and blame,
but do not let either affect the poise of the mind:
follow the calmness, the absence of pride.
Buddha Shakyamuni
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The Lama Tsong Khapa Gompa

The main gompa in the entrance courtyard is the first thing you see as you come through the gate. The morning prayers of the monks are held in here and you are welcome to sit in on these.  The courtyard in front is the debate court yard with the debate house on the side. Here the philosophy students hold their debating session’s morning and evening.  It is fascinating to watch a debate, seemingly a chaotic shouting session, which in reality is a well coordinating exchange of argument against counter argument on a particular subject. The main figure in the middle of the altar is lama Tsong Khapa, Tibetan saint and founder of the Gelug tradition. There many statues on either side. On the left side, around the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha collection many Tibetan texts, mainly the Kangyur, which is a collection of all the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, and also the Tengyur, which is a collection of commentaries on these teachings.

Monkey Temple Kathmundu

https://sacredsites.com/asia/nepal/swayambhunath_stupa.html

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Swayambhunath Stupa is the most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu valley. Its lofty white dome and glittering golden spire are visible for many miles and from all sides of the valley. Historical records found on a stone inscription give evidence that the stupa was already an important Buddhist pilgrimage destination by the 5th century AD.

Its origins however, date to a much earlier time, long before the arrival of Buddhism into the valley. A collection of legends about the site, the 15th century Swayambhu Purana, tells of a miraculous lotus, planted by a past Buddha, which blossomed from the lake that once covered Kathmandu valley. The lotus mysteriously radiated a brilliant light, and the name of the place came to be Swayambhu, meaning ‘Self-Created or Self-Existent’. Saints, sages and divinities traveled to the lake to venerate this miraculous light for its power in granting enlightenment

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The area surrounding the stupa is filled with chaityas, temples, painted images of deities and numerous other religious objects. There are many small shrines with statues of Tantric and shamanistic deities, prayer wheels for the Tibetan Buddhists, Shiva lingams (now disguised as Buddhist chaityas and decorated with the faces of the the Dhyani Buddhas), and a popular Hindu temple dedicated to Harati, the Goddess of smallpox and other epidemics.

The presence of the Harati Devi temple signifies the intermingling of the pantheons of Hinduism and Buddhism in the development of the religious trends of Nepal. As Buddhists had no deity in their own pantheon to protect against the dreaded smallpox, they adopted the Hindu deity for assistance.

stone carving

Things to do in Nepal..

https://www.wotif.com/things-to-do/search?location=Kathmandu&startDate=15/8/2016&endDate=22/8/2016&rfrr=HOT.ITIN.XSELL.ADDR.ACTIVITIES

masks

Try your hand at carving a wooden mask. With their calm, elegant features, these elongated faces are commonly seen adorning the insides of Tiki bars and classy rooms. Learn techniques for the creation of these art pieces from a master of the trade.

Get carving tips from a master, guiding you through every step of the creation process. These masks are made entirely from a single block of quality wood, and have traditionally been considered symbols of luck and prosperity.

https://www.wotif.com/things-to-do/wood-mask-workshop-with-master-carver.a343020.activity-details?srp=true&location=Kathmandu&startDate=15/8/2016&endDate=22/8/2016

Try butter tea and learn how to make a traditional dish with a twist. Discover how to make Thenduk, a hand pulled noodle soup, and follow your guide’s recipe, mixing time-honoured ingredients like vegetables and meat with various spices used in Nepali curries.

Every wondered how people at high altitudes in the Himalayas get the energy needed for labour-intensive work? The answer is in the diet. Learn how to make Thenduk, a staple among the Sherpa and Tibetan communities, with the guidance of your local instructor, Nima Sherpa, who has added her own twist to the recipe by adding various spices featured in Nepali curries.

Start by mixing the flour and chopping the vegetables and meat such as chicken or buffalo. Knead the dough, learn which spices your host adds to her Thenduk, and once all your ingredients are mixed together in a pot, boil the soup. Get a chance to try another Himalayan super food, butter tea. While butter and salted tea might not sound appetising to tea purists today, this drink dates back centuries.

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https://www.wotif.com/things-to-do/thenduk-mountain-food-cooking-class.a343056.activity-details?srp=true&location=Kathmandu&startDate=15/8/2016&endDate=22/8/2016

Learn a variety of techniques for carving inscriptions into stone. Enter a comfortable workshop led by experienced stone masons, practising a few time-honoured methods for creating a detailed design, and in the process learning about Nepalese patterns and symbolism.

Much of what we know about ancient human history all over the world is thanks to inscriptions carved into stone. With a relative impervious to the passage of time, stone carvings can serve as vehicles for the preservation of ancient art and text for study in the modern era.

The actual practise of stone carving is easy to learn. Once the exclusive domain of imperial scribes and sages who read the stars, now this ancient craft is accessible enough to learn. Just like drawing, there are a few basic techniques that allow you to create a wide range of designs. Stone carving rewards those with an eye for fine details, requiring more precision than brute force.

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https://www.wotif.com/things-to-do/stone-carving-workshop.a343044.activity-details?srp=true&location=Kathmandu&startDate=15/8/2016&endDate=22/8/2016

Get closer to Nepalese culture and sample one of its most famous dishes as you learn how to prepare dal bhat. This legendary food combines steamed rice with curried lentils, a legendary food that packs tremendous flavour while providing all-day energy.

Arrive at the home of a local, and prepare to learn their secret recipe for dal bhat. Because nearly every Nepalese family cooks some form of this staple, you may find that flavours differ wildly across households. The trick is in the spices and their proportions.

The dish combines rice, a lentils soup, curried chicken, cauliflower with potato, and a special chutney concoction to fire up your taste buds. The lentils are cooked with a secret preparation method that you can bring home to improve your recipe. The chutney, a combination of roasted tomatoes, garlic, and coriander, makes the perfect finish to the dish.

Bal Dat

https://www.wotif.com/things-to-do/dal-bhat-cooking-class-with-a-local.a343032.activity-details?srp=true&location=Kathmandu&startDate=15/8/2016&endDate=22/8/2016

Nurture your spiritual self during this enlightening experience across the historic heart of Nepal – the Kathmandu Valley. Meet Hindu holy men within a sacred temple, visit with resident monks at a Buddhist stupa and join an esteemed astrologer in an attempt to chart out your own personal path.

After greeting your guide, board a local bus and head to one of the holiest Hindu temples in the world, Pashupatinath. Distinguished by its pagoda-style architecture, the exquisitely carved wooden rafters and copper-gold roofs are truly sights to marvel at. Stroll the grounds and interact with the saffron-clad, bearded sadhus, the Hindu holy men whom the temple is dedicated to.

Up next, travel to the largest Buddhist stupa in all of Nepal. Here, light a traditional butter lamp and offer prayers to Buddha as you watch devoted pilgrims spin wooden prayer wheels. For greater insight into the teachings of Buddhism, chat with any of the resident monks who are happy to answer your curious questions.

Continue on to a nearby rooftop restaurant and enjoy a tasty lunch with striking, widescreen views of the stupa below, before capping off your tour by sitting down with a famed local astrologer who offers you illuminating insight into your future.

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https://www.wotif.com/things-to-do/small-group-spiritual-nepal-tour.a172321.activity-details?srp=true&location=Kathmandu&startDate=15/8/2016&endDate=22/8/2016