Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day 13 - Our Final Day in Nepal

Day 13 - Our Final Day in Nepal

As the final hours in Nepal were upon us, the sun rose once again along with our group as we headed to our bus for a final drive through the bustling city of Kathmandu in order to get to our last destination of the trip before heading to the airport for our return.  We arrived at one of the holiest Buddhist sites within Nepal, the Boudhanath Stupa, one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal. Located on an ancient merchant trade route, Boudhanath has been an important place of pilgrimage and meditation for Tibetan Buddhists & local Nepalis for centuries.  The Tibetan prayer flags were abundant as were the monks who wore a distinct maroon robe while walking in chant as they spun the prayer wheels that adorned the side of the stupa’s lower level. It was an amazing site and a humbling experience for us all to be able to observe the rituals of the devout Buddhists who came to worship at a site of pilgrimage. 

While at the stupa we were also able to visit some local shops that focused on the teaching of Tibetan painting, where we got to interact with some of the students and watch them work. The paintings were extremely detailed and were designed completely from memory.  It was very impressive to see such disciplined young artists at work, and even inspired some of us to take some of the paintings home to our families to share with them.

For the fellows who needed a little restoration and healing before the long trip home, some merchants worked their magic on them with some Tibetan healing bowls.  The Tibetans believe that by striking the bowl close to the body, the waves of energy from the bowl were released and helped cleanse the body of its impurities through the seven chakras.  After our visit midday, it was back onto the bus to bid farewell to our tour guide Sanjay and a quick jaunt back over the airport where we headed back to New Delhi.  With the Himalayas in view from our airplane window, it was bittersweet leaving such a beautiful place, but we were all glad to be returning home.  With a couple hours to rest and clean up at a nearby hotel, we reassembled and caught our final flight back to San Francisco. 

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