Pashupatinath Adventures: a witch, Kali’s dad and puppies!

Today we went to visit Pashupatinath Temple, one of the most important Shiva temples in the world. Here Shiva is worshiped in his form as Pashupati, Protector and Lord of Animals and all other Living Beings.

Pashupatinath Temple is situated next to the river Bagmati, a holy river who later joins the Ganga. Due to its holiness it also serves as an important cremation ground. These are the Bhasmeshvar Ghat, cremation sites for the people of lower caste. Members of higher castes are burned up-stream, at the Arya Ghat.

As non-Hindu you are not allowed to enter the temple itself (although I heard one can try to enter it claiming to be being Buddhist, but I haven’t tried that myself…), however we still have to pay about US$10 to walk around the larger temple grounds… And if you want to take a photo of the famous Saddhus, you have to pay them as well.

Those are the Saddhus which you can find in EVERY travel guide, report, film or whatsoever about Nepal or Kathmandu. And they can be very greedy (and a little pissed) if they see you taking a picture of them without paying. I still did it. ;)

Pashupatinath is not only full of (more or less) holy men, but also monkeys and a few holy cows. Walking around the hilltop of the temple grounds we crossed a group of Nepalis. One of the women dressed in traditional clothing all of a sudden held her hand out in front of my chest when she passed us. When I turned around she grinned at me. Gauntly!! I’m not sure what that was, but it felt kinda weird. My friend Viktoria thinks she wanted to protect herself from me, the redheaded witch, but I actually think she was a witch and put a spell on me… I will have to ask some Nepalis to explain this to me… It was a rather worrisome encounter.

Never mind the witch weird Nepali woman, Pashupatinath is also the place where I found the Kali dog two and a half years ago. That little, naked, half-starved thing that looked somewhat like a dog, and turned out to be the bestest of all dogs! So of course I had to visit the temple again when coming back to Nepal.

Kalipoor

And guess who we found wandering the exact same spot where I found Kali?!?

It’s Kali’s DAD (or maybe brother)!! But kin to Kali for sure!

Look at him!! The face looks SO MUCH like Kali!

Even the ear carriage is just like Kali’s (a bit twisted and irregular, but non the less looking great)!!

Look at these faces!!

He looks a bit thin but otherwise healthy and happy. It’s so cool we came across him! I feel honored and thankful to have met him.

And it seems history does indeed repeat itself. Or maybe I’m really bound to this place. Maybe it’s my karma… Good dog karma.

Last time I picked up the Kali dog. This time we came across these two very sick puppies. They have mange & diarrhea, couldn’t walk properly, didn’t take any food we offered them and were generally very weak.

So we packed them up into my scarf and brought them to KAT Centre. We named them Pashu and Pati. They got their first bowl of food (mostly rice with some cooked chicken) at KAT and literally inhaled it! At first, one of them was too weak to lift his head up enough to eat from the bowl, so I placed his head and front feet in the bowl and he managed to eat. It’s hard to tell how old they are, but I found out (in a rather painful way) that they already have very sharp little teeth.

I’m not sure if they will pull through, but I know that the Pashupati dogs are very sturdy little beasts, defying all odds when it comes to their survival. I wish for them to be little Kalis themselves and get over this faster than anyone would’ve guessed.

//EDIT:
The two little pups didn’t make it. They were put to sleep humanely the next day because they had very heavy, bloody diarrhea. They passed on peacefully. Farewell, little ones!