Kathmandu is a melting pot of both race and religion, a metropolis in the heart of the Kingdom of Nepal, a country of snow-covered mountains inhabited by the gods.
Kumari Chowk is the residence of the living goddess, Kumari.†For this role, a young girl is duly selected and is disallowed from leaving the palace until puberty.†Her task is it to affirm the power of the king.†Age old traditions are celebrated throughout the year, such as the Festival of the Children that symbolizes fertility and sexuality.
Patan is Nepalís second largest city and has retained much of its original character due to its 300 monasteries and temples.†This beautiful former centre of one of the earliest three kingdoms contains the Hindu Kumbeshwara Pagoda, one of the countryís oldest buildings dedicated to the god, Shiva.
The tower-like Mahabuddha Temple is adorned with several terracotta figures and ornaments and is different to conventional Nepalese architecture.†In earlier times, the Kwa Bahal Monastery was the administrative centre of trade in Tibet.†Its shining gilded copper plates soon gave it the name, The Golden Temple.
Changu Narayan, the gem of Nepal, designated as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, is the oldest sanctuary in Kathmandu Valley.†Situated 1,450 metres on a mountain north of Bhaktapur, it is home to many skillful artists and wood carvers.
Hidden in a canyon and located next to a mountain creek is the Dakshinkali Temple.†Each year, this sanctuary is visited by more than 400,000 pilgrims.†This place of worship is dedicated to one of the mightiest goddesses of this region, the Southern Kali.
The customs of the people in the Kingdom on the Roof of the World may seem somewhat strange but this land of jungle and eternal snow has developed according to its own rich traditions and beliefs.†Pure magic!