The cultural tours in Nepal are most probably the best experiences in lifetime and among them the funeral tour in Pashupatinath is the one of the best heartbreaking moment that one can have in his lifetime. Going into Pashupatinath this morning with my guide Shiva was unforgettable to say the least. I would be lying if I said I was not a little bit nervous.
The previous thoughts I had of the burial site, my position and privilege as an observer and nevertheless, a western tourist disappeared in the back of my mind as I embraced death, dying, and life up close. Instead, a sense of calmness overcame me as I entered the site. Things I had only seen in documentaries or read about in my past became reality.
As a cultural tour for me, It was beautifully tragic to watch families mourn their loved ones but also a regain sense of closure of a human being’s life. As my guide puts it, death is a universal truth. It is inescapable. It is inevitable. Yet, it brings us together. The beauty in the architecture, placement, and the detailing in the stones of the temples is something that you will notice right away, let alone the historical and ancient feel of the atmosphere.
However, the juxtaposition in the atmosphere and location of human activity was noteworthy. Just above, on the second level, one can see gatherings of people chanting religious songs about life and the living while below, families prepare ceremonial rituals for their passed loved ones according to either their buddhist or hindu faith. The complete emotional contrast between the two levels was stunning and ironic, leaving me lost for words.
During your tour to Nepal, the babas in Pashupatinath Temple are the real miracles of renunciation who have no desire with them , still love have a short modeling with the western tourist, with which they are content and get something to serve their belly. After watching a these death rituals I thought it would be fun to pose with some of the Sadhus and Shiva joked that this was my opportunity at speed dating to which I took him upon that offer.
After all, they are beautifully detailed pieces of living art. I truly admired the lengths that some Sadhus would go to, making sure that you leave with a smile on your face as well as incredibly silly and beautiful photos. Pashupatinath was a remarkable experience to experience the cultural tour in Nepal and I would recommend anyone that is visiting Nepal to not overlook it. I can easily say that it is one of the few and most genuinely honest places that you will visit in this world.