Bhaktipur -- 15th century in 2005

Trip Start Jul 05, 2005
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Trip End Ongoing


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Sunday, July 31, 2005

We are to meet at the Golden Gate Temple at 10am. Durbar Square, Bhaktapur. Now i am staying at the Shiva Guesthouse which was actually built out of the Tadhunchen Monastery, which, ironically was mainly used as a dharamsala (resthouse for pilgrims). These bricks date from the 15th and the roof struts have the freakiest carvings. Notibly the tortures of the damned, man eating snakes, rams butting an unfortunate's head from either sides and some poor suckers getting some medievil hindu tooth extractions!
My two new aquaintences became guides tonight. They are both Thangka panting students at a local Tibetan Art school here in bhaktipur, Nepal. Walking around this eye-popping time-warped medieval hindu town, specifically it was in front of the Shiva shrine were 22 year old Suman approached me advertising his Paintings, telling me echoing desperations how their masterpieces are world systems beyond the street quality Thangkas. I casually viewed their whole academy, with the countanence of a businessman and eyes and spirit of a buddhist. their proprietor showed me only the highest 3 qualities of Thangkas in his gallery room; the room by the way was a mandala garden. Chakras, Kalachakras, dieties, bodhisattvas and buddhas all showing the exquisite, transcendental gateless gate in gold leaf, gold engraved and modern colour patterns. The eternal lighteningbolt eyes of blissful and calm bodhisattvas follow your every thought -- a powerful room.
I gave the guy enlightening marketing advice about catalogues and the website. I hope he remembers who made him rich!.
As i walked out and turned to the Shiva hotel, Mahesh (age 20), comes to me and suggests tea. He is a native of Nagarkot and has been drifting along the lowest imaginable income brakets, trying to get a break and a smoke and think about the future. Turns out that he and Suman are close blood relatives and they both treat me for a sweet Nepali black tea over talks of Maoists and Gandhi. They were honestly helpful and for what i percieved, sincere friendliness. They volunteered, free of payment, to tag along and show me the way as i hike around the South-Eastern Kathmandu Valley for the next 3 days.
I told them straight that i want to go slow and meditate in the forests sometimes or meet some holymen (The KaliBaba, who is a famous Hindu saint lives in the hills around there). I will have a meeting with him and then hike to Nagarkot tomorrow night.

bye for now.
-tjb
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