Nepal (part 5 Tansen – Lumbini)

The drive to Tansen should have only taken 4 hours (80 km or so), but by now we were not surprised to arrive mid-afternoon… driving is simply very slow in Nepal, even along the major national routes! There are so many mountains to climb, trucks to get stuck behind, potholes to dodge, cows to evade…

Whilst the girls recovered from their bug and spent a lot of time resting, I just enjoyed walking the streets.img_8547img_8544img_8588img_8590img_8606img_8591img_8586img_8552img_8558

I came across this small fabric factory, dark and dusty, and I thought it was a miracle how this beautiful traditional cloth can be produced here! The women sit on the dirt, and the looms are on the ground level. The daily wages are 120 rupees / $ 1.50.img_8595img_8596img_8603img_8605

One day we visited Ranigat, an old baroque palace at the bank of the Gandaki river, which is currently being restored.img_8579img_8572img_8561img_8563img_8575img_8577

I loved cooking with the lady of the house every night and learning how to prepare Nepali dishes.img_8613img_8616

After 3 nights we drove to Lumbini, Buddha’s birth place. The dive was very interesting. It got dryer, flatter and dustier the more we moved towards the Indian border. And poorer… the ‘shops’ got smaller, and the humpies more frequent.img_8698 img_8692img_8631

We worked out that Lumbini is a huge place that attracts a lot of poor country folk, and everybody tries to make a living, but not everybody succeeds.img_8623img_8659img_8695img_8696

There was another major site near our hotel, the World Peace Pagoda, which looked very lovely in the afternoon sun.img_8709 img_8712 img_8715img_8711

In the morning we set out to explore the huge Monastic zone, where Buddhists from all over the world have built, or are still in the process of building, monasteries.img_8721 img_8722 img_8723 img_8724 img_8725 img_8726 img_8728 img_8744 img_8745 img_8750 img_8751img_8749img_8755

Buddha’s actual birthplace is housed in the Maya Devi temple. We joined a long queue of mainly Tibetan folk in traditional dress, many were chanting prayers, others were conducting lively conversations on their mobiles! LOL?img_8732 img_8736 img_8731img_8737img_8738

 

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