Trip to Nagarkot
-Theresa Bachhuber, TTP student from Germany
This year’s summer program included an opportunity for a trip to and hike in Nagarkot. Around twelve of us students signed up for the three-day trip and together with our two local guides we left from Boudha Friday morning. Our first stop on the way to Nagarkot was Sankhu, an ancient Newar town with its oldest inscription dating back to 538 AD. Sankhu was built along the trade route to Tibet and is known for its formerly eight gates and a famous Bajrayogini temple nearby. In 2008 the town was inscribed on the tentative World Heritage List.
From Sankhu we made our way up to Nagarkot, where we stayed at the incredibly scenic Farmhouse Resort for two nights. Our first day here included what was advertised as a village walk, but turned into a two hour long walk in the Nepali summer heat. All of us enjoyed it nonetheless, mostly thanks to the very picturesque Nepali countryside that our trek showcased beautifully.
The following day it was time for our hike to Changu Narayan temple. This Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and reportedly Nepal’s oldest temple. After hiking for five hours, we finally reached the top of Changu Hill, on which the temple is located. I was very impressed by the beautiful craftsmanship, woodcarvings, and paintings decorating the temple. According to our guide, long ago there used to be a dense forest where the temple stands today. The story goes that a cow herder came to this forest to let his cow’s graze. One day, as he cut into one of the trees to cut it down, the tree started sprouting blood. Worried by this, the cow herder went to see a priest to consult him about what he should do. The priest advised the cow herder to build a temple where the tree had stood and to this day the descendants of the cow herder act as guardians of the temple.
All of us greatly enjoyed our stay in Nagarkot and appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the history, culture and religions of Nepal.