Pilgrim On a Paper: Day 6

Woke up late, as usual! This morning, Wim had already managed to locate me, so his girlfriend and he came right over, where we met up in my hotel and chatted for a while about sundry things.

wim

The Artist, finally!

They had some visa business at the Indian Embassy, as Wim plans to play a few more parties in Goa (!) so we headed there, a ten minute walk from my place in Thamel. Having concluded our work there, we headed to a nearby café, where I had a nice Latté and a hamburger (finally, one that was true to its heritage).

We’d decided to check out the famous Pashupatinath temple together, so we took a cab that cost us Rs. 300 from the embassy to reach the temple, situated atop a hill with a small canal flowing nearby. We entered the Ghat side by mistake, and spent a long time pointlessly climbing up stairs in the fading light, though it was alright as the way was illuminated by the eerie, shifting lights from funeral pyres on the canal bank. It quite literally smelt of dead people there, with a tinge of incense thrown in on a half-burnt corpse, which was then quite unceremoniously dumped into the gushing, cadaverous stream below.

Living Without Light

 

Burning Ghats at Pashupatinath

We entered the temple the right way, and spent some time peering inside, as some local boys informed us, taking one long look at my rather unusually tall Flemish friend, that only Hindus were permitted inside the temple. I suggested that they play the part of converted white people overcome by the spiritual vibe of India, and we could all enter. We headed to where we imagined we could park our shoes, but the man at the counter flatly said no “non-Hindus” were allowed, scarcely believing that I am descended from the self-same faith.

Wim and his girlfriend proceeded to wait at the steps of the temple, attempting to converse with the ash-attired sadhus that sat there sending chillum after chillum, as I took a quick look inside at the ornately decorated temple, with a shuffling crowd of devotees in an incessantly long queue, paying homage at the feet of Shiva of Pashupatinath, this being one of the ‘Jyotirlingas’ of Shaivism.

We decided to head back to the hotel after that, and once we’d picked up Wim’s bag and done a little window shopping of the myriad souvenir t shirt stores “No Hashish No Rickshaw No One Rupee No Problem” (!), it was time for dinner and thereafter for them to return to their hotel and pack for their journey to Pokhara tomorrow, where they will begin a five-day trek to see Mustang.

ktmtshirt

 

Oh Yeah!

We had dinner at KC’s café, where I’d earlier enjoyed a nice, loaded pizza, a place I favoured because of the warm, old feeling of Thamel’s oldest restaurant.

I returned to my hotel after bidding them a safe journey, and decided to clear my bill. At the desk, the man also arranged for my early morning bus ticket to Pokhara, which I am to visit before going to Kakarvita, from where I will travel by road to my parents’ home in Siliguri.

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