Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati at Basantapur Durbar Square


The images of a couple resting on a window rail looking out over the passing scene.

You may find these statues looking out from the first floor window of an ancient house at Basantapur Durbar Square (UNESCO World Heritage Site). The couple is none other than the divine couple Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. In bygone days denizens of the valley believed that Hindu God of Dance, Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati visited Kathmandu to see the divine dances performed during the festivals. King Rana Bahadur Shah, the third ruler of greater Nepal,  had this house built for the divine couple. The house, which is elaborately decorated, lies on a raised plinth which has a grandstand view of the Basantapur Durbar Square. The images of Shiva and Parvati rest on a window rail looking out over the passing scene.

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Mt. Kailash

Efforts on to conserve the fragile Mt. Kailash region

China, India, and Nepal have agreed to work together to conserve the fragile environment around the Mt.Kailash region. International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD),Wildlife Institute of India, the Forest Department of Uttarakhand, the Nepalese Ministry of Forests, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, and the United Nations Environment Program will jointly work on a project to preserve the fragile Mt. Kailash environment.

Dominating the north of the Himalayan Barrier,  Mt. Kailash is equally venerated as the holiest pilgrimage site by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bön-Po. Tibetans regard this mountain as the manifestation of Mount Meru, “the navel of the earth” where founder of Bon religion, Tonpa Shenrab, is believed to have descended from heaven, Hindus as the abode of Lord Shiva, Buddhists as the abode of Samvara and Jains as a scared site where their prophet, Rishaba attained spiritual enlightenment. Considered to be the abode of the Gods, the summit of Mt.Kailash has been declared off limits for climbers.A three-day trek (Parikrama or Kora) around Mt. Kailash over a 5630 meter Drolma La (pass), clockwise for Buddhists and Hindus, and anti-clockwise for followers of the ancient Bon religion, is said to erase the sins of a lifetime.

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Asia’s Tallest Shiva Idol

A 143-feet idol of Lord Shiva claimed to be the tallest in Asia, lies in the outskirts of Kathmandu. The idol, constructed by a businessman, lies in Sanga of Bhaktapur, 20 km east of Kathmandu. The idol, made up of cement and concrete, took more than a decade to complete. It was formally inaugurated  by Mr. Sarat Singh Bhandari, Minister of Tourism earlier this year. He said that this site will be developed as a popular tourism destination.

Photo Credit: Laxman Thapa http://www.flickr.com/photos/laxmanthapa/