Pashpatinath and Bodnath
it is easy to find a guide in every part of the Katmandu Valley (Our first day in Nepal
we innocently had a guide take us around the corner). it is not so easy to decide on who
to choose. We liked Radbahm because when we asked, "How much?" he said "You
decide when tour is over, i would like a book if you had one." it was an easy choice.
in Pashpatinath he showed us the most important Hindu temple in Nepal which is also one
of the most important Shiva (the creator and destroyer) Temples on the indian
Sub-Continent. We witnessed a funeral where the purifying cremation was performed on a
burning ghat on the banks of the Bagmati River. it was a small ceremony where they lay
down logs and placed the body covered with grass on top. The burning takes about three
hours and the ashes our pushed into the river.
Radbahm let us down a path to the nearby town of Bodnath. On the twenty minute walk he
told us how his benefactor", a sixty-year old ex-hippie from idaho, paid 500 U.S.
dollars for him to go to school to get his degree so he could get his tour guide license.
He asked many questions about the U.S.A., and to our surprise, he even asked our feelings
on the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal and whether or not Clinton would take Monica into his
Bodnath has one of the world's largest Buddhist temples. it is known as "Little
Tibet" because many of the Tibetan people settled here after the unsuccessful
uprising against the Chinese government in 1959. (According to Radbahm, it was also where
the movie Little Buddha was filmed)