On Sept 17th in the afternoon we walked out to Swayambhunath Temple known affectionately as The Monkey Temple due to the hordes of monkeys that adorn the grounds. It is an important site for both Hindus and Buddhists, as both were seen in plenty. The monkeys were highly entertaining, since they were surprisingly calm and you could pretty much walk right up to them. The best part was The Monkey Pool....which was exactly as the name suggests. It was like watching human families with loads of children on a summer's day at a poolside venue. The toddler monkeys cannonballed from treetops into the water, some pushed each other in, while others were merely content with just doing lopsided breaststrokes from one end to the other. The parents mostly sat idly by, watching to make sure the toddlers would return to the water's surface, occasionaly taking a dip themselves. Unfortuantely, before we had gotten to the pool our camera's battery died out and therefore have no footage of the comedic scenes. More info here: http://www.sacredsites.com/asia/nepal/swayambhunath_stupa.html
On Sept 19th we headed to the Pashupatinath Temple, the most holy temple in Nepal. Creamation services take place here all day on platforms called Arya Ghats. The bodies are burned under wood and branches, the cremains later pushed into the sacred Bagmati River. Read more about it here: http://www.asiaexplorers.com/nepal/pashupatinath.htm
We had the opportunity to have our pictures with some Sadhus (holy men) and Tanya was simply ecstatic with these new pictures.
From here we walked to Boudhanath Stupa, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world. It was fantastic to walk between two diffent religious sacred sites, one being Hindu and the other Buddhist, within a 20 minute walk. We were able to circumnambulate (walk around clockwise) around the great stupa ducking into shops or small monasteries on the outskirts. We were able to sit with several monks in one of the monasteries and were free to take pictures and videos, something that was fairly hard (or inappropriate) to do while in the monasteries in Tibet. Lots of pictures here if you're interested: http://www.boudhanath.com/
A great day of religious sightseeing!!