Travel Blog-Day 14
This is a blog about my 36-day trip through Nepal, India, and a little bit of China. I’ll make one post roughly every week until it’s all finished.
Day 14: Kushinigar
I got up at 4:30, showered and went out. I walked all over. Kushinigar is basically one street, 2.5 kilometers long in the shape of an upside down “L”. I went to all the monasteries that were open. I visited the Mahaparanirvana Temple. This is the temple where the very famous statue of the Buddha reclining on his deathbed, laying on his right side, is. It is covered in gold leaf and is 9 meters long.
After I left, two kids started following me, a boy Ranjin and a girl Nissa. They were very polite and didn’t want anything except to walk with me. I spent all morning with them. They went with me to every temple. Whenever there was any kind of guard at the entrance, they wouldn’t let Ranjin and Nissa in. I told all the guards they were my friends and I wouldn’t come in if they couldn’t. The guards let them in. This show of loyalty seemed to impress the kids, especially Nissa, who is incredibly cute. The traffic here, while not bad compared to the rest of India, is still heavy with crazies who honk their horns and then would think nothing of running you over. I kept Nissa and Ranjin on my left side walking down the “sidewalk”. They seemed to like that someone was caring about their safety. At the Thai Monastery, an old monk walked out of the front gate and in perfect English started talking to me asking the usual questions, “where are you from”, etc. He asked if I had eaten, I told him yes, and he said he was going to the temple, but please come into the monastery. He left, I turned to go into the monastery and an Indian guard wouldn’t let me in. The guard had seen me talking to the old monk. I didn’t quite get it.
After we spent the morning together, Nissa and Ranjin left to go home. They actually wanted nothing. Meeting them made me miss my son very much.
Walking back to the Chinese monastery, I saw my first elephant on this trip. He was working at the Thai monastery. Good looking elephant, too. Big pink ears, he seemed happy.
Got back to the Chinese monastery, took a nap, went and had a thali for lunch and came back to the monastery.
I sat and had some chai with Mr. Roy. He’s quite a nice guy and very knowledgeable about the area and Dharma. He’s originally from Assam, but lived for a long time in Kolkata. He also taught school for about seven years in Nepal. A genuinely nice man.
The heat is very oppressive. It is as if there is a blow dryer on you all the time. It’s actually not as bad as I remember it in the past, but much worse than the Yucatan Peninsula was last year when I visited with my family.
Reclining Buddha in the Mahaparanirvana Temple
Nissa of Kushinigar
An Elephant Working in Kushinigar
The Wonderful Mr. Roy, proprietor of the Yama Café in Kushinigar