Gokarna And Sundarijal

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A pleasant couple of hours walk in the vicinity of the Boudanath stupa will take us to the old Newar village of Gokarna, north of the Royal Game Reserve From Bouthnath take the road towards the reserve and turn left on to a dirt road after twenty minutes. Another twenty minutes’ walk will bring you to the beautiful three-storied temple of Shiva called Gokarneswor, Lord of Gokarna. The courtyard has an incredible collection of stone statues of deities from Hindu mythology such as Narad, Surya the Sun God, Chandra the Moon God, Kamadeva the God of Love besides the more conventional images of Shiva and Vishnu. Although they are probably only about a century old I have never seen such a collection in one place in Nepal.

After visiting the temple you can walk up to the village which is inhabited entirely by Newars and is surrounded by the game reserve on the three sides. Although the village is so close to Kathmandu the villagers are very poor and many do not even speak Nepali. There are deer, monkeys, and peacocks in the game reserve. It is a popular picnic spot for the people of Kathmandu and there is some entrance fee to enter the premises as well.

Further down the road are the waterfalls of Sundarijal at the edge of the valley; a pleasant bicycle ride down quiet roads.

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