Sunday, November 16, 2008

Visitor's Guide to Sacred Sites in Nepal

  • Entry to most temples, stupas and shrines is not restricted. However, some sensitive religious enclosures and sites may prohibit entry. Signboards are displayed.
  • If you wish to enter a shrine, where allowed, you may go around in a clockwise direction. We believe in putting our Gods to our right when circling the shrine.
  • The front side of the shrines are usually marked by a lotus carved stone on the pavement or a slightly recessed square pit. The image of the carrier of the deity or symbol may be seen on the pedestal in front. These define the territoriality of the shrine. Reference to these elements will put you in a proper perspective.
  • Photography is generally not prohibited. However there are some facades or images where photography is restricted. Watch for these or ask the guards. If you wish to be more considerate, do not use flashlights inside when someone is worshipping.
  • Do not take any photograph of someone performing his ritual without a prior permission.
  • Nepal's attitude towards religion is very tolerant one, and many different religions flourish and mingle here.
  • Leather products, such as belts, jackets, shoes and bags are prohibited in most religious places. Please leave them outside. Your friend or the watchman will take care of these while you are inside.
  • We advice you not to touch offerings or person when they are on the way to shrines or are in the process of worshipping. Keep a respectful distance.
  • Apart from worshipping of the image, many sensitive rituals are also practiced by the believers around the shrines. These may be related to festive occasions situations. By carefully watching the behavior of local onlookers, you can self behave sensitively.
  • If you have meat in you lunch pack, we advise you to eat at some distance from the shrine precincts. Some of our Gods do not permit animal sacrifices.
  • Do not encourage beggars or roaming artifacts vendors around the shrines by giving money or bargaining as you walk.
  • Please do not accept any gifts or buy objects of art, manuscripts, images etc. which have antique value. These need to stay here not only for ourselves but for future visitors like yourself who would like to share the experience. Whether something is antique or not can be established by the Department of Archaeology.

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