Travel Notes from Parphing-Dakshinkali-Dollu, Nepal
After more than a month and a half in Nepal, i've successfully immersed myself in the culture and religion of people. One big misconception is that the major religion in Nepal is Buddhism. It's not. Although a certain percentage worships Buddha, a vast majority is Hindu.
Hinduism is one of the most interesting religions of the world. With so many gods to worship, and a tradition that lives on since ages ago, Hindus are simply unique. After a brief stint at Pharping, following the Buddhist path to enlightenment, i was off to the next town famous as a pilgrim for Kali worshipers. Since i had plenty of time, i walked from Pharping to Dakshinkali. I just asked random people, and Nepalis never fail to point me at the right direction. I walked south of Pharping, passing by cobbled streets and local people. It's small, dusty and obviously non-touristy. Of course, i got lost but managed to find the correct path along rice paddies, cows and farmers tending the field. It was already noon, and getting warmer.
I arrived at the junction, where there are two paths to take. One takes up to Dakshinkali Village Inn with uncles sitting on benches doing absolutely nothing, and the other one is spiraling down towards the end of the road. I walked down and felt the cool breeze from the pine trees. I found a green gate, and a couple of Kali fixtures. After countless steps again, i finally reached the temple. The steps were soaked in blood, and feathers sit in the banks of the holy water. It's not even Tuesday, and the air is already tantric. Imagine if i was there on Tuesday or Saturday -- both days are for worship. A few minutes later, the ceremony started. I found a quiet spot on the terrace where i will not distract the devotees, and listened/watched in amazement. I didn't know if there's a fee to enter, but i didn't because nobody asked me, anyway.
I saw a woman holding a flat bamboo plate filled with rice, flowers, a couple of rupees. I saw a man holding a live chicken on the throat. Later on, the animal was served as a sacrificial gift. It was gory but for Hindus --it's very holy.
Dakshinkali is famous for the Kali Temple. That's it. That's why this town is peaceful most of the days, and the women and men selling Kali souvenirs and flowers by the bus stop can count on hands the number of stuff they've sold for the day. Again, to truly appreciate Dakshinkali, one must understand Hinduism. It's a very old religion, and millions believe that gods have the power and might to rule this earth. I am still on a limbo whether i am amenable to sacrifices but on this day, i found a beating in my heart so hard. I knew i was connected to Kali right at this very moment. I was being watched. But i knew, i was blessed.
I've seen shocking things in my life, and this is one of them. But i feel very lucky to have experienced such. Overwhelmed, i hailed a bus towards Dollu on the way to Kathmandu. I still have a couple of hours to spare, and i don't want to spend them in Thamel where obviously i will spend my rupees on shopping. I stopped at Dollu junction and walked half-way till i got tired. Dollu is similar to Pharping where Buddhists from around the world come and spend weeks, sometimes months, studying this religion. There is only one or two hotels, and the huge fixture at the lap of the mountain is currently being constructed. There were many Buddhist monasteries but I've had enough already in Pharping. I actually enjoyed some quiet time at the benches near the junction where i sat and watched people take the bus, go down from it, walk up north and down south the highway. I have to realize for myself that I've been on the road a very long time, and there will be moments where i will feel like not doing anything.This is the time. I am not being lazy. I just need to relax for a bit.
A couple of Suryas later, and this dog kept on licking me on my crotch, and would not leave. Scared but was laughing the whole time. Dai was there to shoo the dog away. Said goodbye to the cute labrador, and rode a bus bound for Kathmandu. I was standing the whole trip that took more than an hour. I got squeezed in big time, and personal space is non-existent here but I've gotten used to it. This is Nepal -- My most favorite country in the world.