Nepal Adventures 5 by Mrs Harman-Box

We boarded our bus again to take the long journey back to Kathmandu. We were preparing to go back into our Nepali schools to observe the teachers again but first we had a day filled with sightseeing.

First we went to Swayambhunath stupa, which most people call Monkey Temple because it is absolutely covered in gorgeous (and sometimes quite cheeky) monkeys. These monkeys are considered holy and so the people of Nepal happily allow them to sit and climb on the temple, though they do encourage the monkeys away when they start to steal food! The temple looks out over the valley of Kathmandu which is so beautiful that it can take your breath away. We walked around the stupa, keeping it to our right-hand side so that we didn't touch it with our left hand. This is hard to remember to do when you are left-handed and our guide, Dinesh, had to steer me in the right direction!
From there we went to Pashupatinath. This is a sacred place for Hindus where they take people who have died. They anoint the body and give it a respectful and loving good bye before burning it at the side of the river. The family members decorate the body with beautiful scarves and with marigold flowers before they leave. Traditionally, a son in the family will stay with the body for a few days but more daughters are doing this job now. 
Then we went to Boudhananth stupa, another temple. This one was very exciting as we got to climb up onto the roof and walk around it (I remembered to go in the right direction this time!). We also met some friendly monks here who welcomed us into their temple (a separate one to Boudhanath) and demonstrated their chanting.
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