Madira at Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square

Early morning….No doubt, I exchanged 1.000 Rupee with a pink-white ticket as an access to enjoying the history of Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square.

Walking on andesite-covered Layaku Marg Street which looking gray color and the thin dust which thrown by the cleaning staff’s broomsticks, I was ready to entering ancient Nepal are which was still in the form of a kingdom.

The temple to worship “Goddess of Science” I passed passed and then I met a crowd of people who were busy burning incense, sowing flowers and then putting their palms together on their chests facing a black six-armed statue which was believed to be the embodiment of Lord Shiva the Destroyer.

Saraswati Temple.

Meanwhile, the incense traders in Indorapur Mandir courtyard made this area very crowded if was compared to other areas in Kathmandu Durbar Square. In harmony with a busyness of hundreds of pigeons were eating their breakfast which was given by travelers who have come first in this area.

Kaal Bhairav ​​with golden crown as embodiment of Lord Shiva.

Roof layers of all temples look the same and took me to Majapahit fiction atmosphere likely in Indonesian cinema. The atmosphere of Hindu Knights which was very thick that morning, was able to throw me for a moment from a world which was fanatical with technology.

Corn kernels were sold to pigeons.

The Royal Palace of Malla which was later used by Shah Dynasty was an important icon in Kathmandu Durbar Square. Because the statue of Lord Hanuman was guarded at front gate, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square. Some people call it as Basantapur Durbar Khsetra because this palace was located in Basantapur area.

That was the gate.

After gate, the spacious palace courtyard welcame. Known as Nasal Chowk. Nasal means dance, referring to Lord Shiva who danced Tandava Nataraja when destroying the obsolete universe. This plaza-like courtyard was surrounded by palace buildings on all four sides.

White building on west side of palace.

Meanwhile on south side of courtyard was a sign of a project funded by Ministry of Commerce of People’s Republic of China to renovated the palace which was badly damaged after a tectonic earthquake which was resulted from the collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates in the Himalayas in 2015.

The Nine-story Basantapur Tower which has collapsed.
The room in which there was a statue of Lord Shiva who was dancing.
Sun Dial, the timepiece before clock invention.

Then, on north side, there was the architectural form of Newar with striking green windows. Nicknamed as Sisha Baithak which its functions as a work audience room. On the lower floor of this building, there were rows of king photos. And two palace guards were seen pacing with their rifles around this building.

From left were King Rana Bahadur Shah (third King of Nepal) and his son King Girbanayuddha Bikram Shah (fourth King-pictured at right)
With Guard Police at Sisha Baithak before leaving the palace.

I left the palace while throwing my thanks and goodbye to Guard Police. Suddenly his friend who had just arrived said to him in Nepali, I guess it reads “Where is he from?”, because the policeman who I took the photo with said simply “Indonesia”.

One tip when you are in Kathmandu Durbar Square area is to try to understand one by one buildings which you pass, because every building there has an amazing function and historical value.

Again I found a unique building. A temple which studded with Shwet Bhairav ​​which was believed to be the most powerful embodiment of Lord Shiva. Hidden in wooden curtains and waiting for the Indrajatra Festival to fully reveal itself to the people of Newar. When the festival arrived, Madira (alcohol) will be emitted from his mouth as a form of blessing for humans.

Shwet Bhairav.

It was noon….The sun was now starting to penetrate every gap in the square, warming my body which had been exposed to the cold since morning. It was time to move on to next destination.

Next I would show you the beauty of a goddess in Hindu and Buddhist mythology in Nepal.

Yups….Follow me!

Jalebi from Purano Bazaar

<—-Previous Story

It was still quite early in the morning when I started leaving Bindhyabasini Temple. Back in riding Mr. Tirtha’s daily rental taxi, I along with a trio of backpackers from hotel started down Pokhara-Baglung Street heading south. Mr. Tirtha planned to take me to an old market which was more than 250 years old. He said, this old market was called Purano Bazaar, but public often called it as Old Bazaar.

The road leads to Old Bazaar.

It was true that said by Mr. Tirtha that this temple and market are close to each other. Only 1.5 km away with 5 minutes of travel time. Quickly arrived, Mr. Tirtha dropped me off on a side of market and he threw his index finger in a corner as a sign that I should meet him there when my Purano Bazaar exploration was over. He wanted to enjoy situation in his own way. All I knew was that he hadn’t been exposed to coffee aroma since early morning.

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Starting to explore the market.

My stomach which started to feel hungry, automatically led me down market corridor to find street food as a breakfast. Before long, white smoke which rising from three furnaces caught my attention.

“Namaste”, said old merchant who was busy frying. Before answering, my heart laughed when it was the first time in my life to see Jalebi’s appearance. Yes, it is a kind of typical Indian street snacks which I got to know when Saroo and Guddu couldn’t afford to taste it because their money from stealing coal in a mining wagon was only enough to pay for a few bags of milk for their poor family in Ganesh Talai. A touching scene in a film which titled “Lion”. Since then I have been determined to taste Jalebi in India, although I was tasting faster in Nepal.

That old merchant who was initially stunned watching me when I spoke English to buy his food suddenly laughed and raised his hand while frowning. Then a young man in blue jacket who was enjoying his meal got up from his chair and with his fluent English helped that old man served me….Great.

Come on….It were sweet jalebi.

Going back down to market corridor, while munching on snacks, I enjoyed the classic Newar architecture which were shown by many old buildings. Each building always featured visual strength of red bricks which were integrated with distinctive carvings on building wood.

One of the buildings.

It was said that Newars originating from Bhaktapur in far east of Pokhara were skilled traders. Short story, King Kaski invited him to trade in Pokhara in 1752. And at that time Pokhara had also developed trading activities with Tibet as well. My mind agreed, because there was a Tibetan village in Pokhara….I would visit it later.

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Are my shoes cool?….#showingoff.

Market beauty could be felt because there were still no activity that morning. Himalayas sight was still an idol just down the road. Two bonus destinations which were well presented by Mr. Tirtha, a tall, thin Nepalese, has brown skin typical of South Asia but has slanted eyes like a Chinese.

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Nice view, right?

Come on, let’s have breakfast at hotel …

Check out the Purano Bazaar situation here: https://youtu.be/wVmGgYnTs-M

Next Story—->

Madira di Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square

Masih pagi….Tak ragu, aku menukar Rp. 125.000 dengan tiket putih-kemerah jambuan sebagai akses menikmati sejarah Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square.

Menapaki jalanan Layaku Marg yang keabuan berlapis andesit serta debu tipis yang dilemparkan oleh sapu lidi para petugas kebersihan, aku telah bersiap memasuki Nepal tempoe doeloe yang masih berbentuk kerajaan.

Kuil untuk menyembah “Dewi Ilmu Pengetahuan” kulewati dengan cepat untuk kemudian ku jumpai kerumunan warga yang sibuk membakar dupa, menabur bunga dan kemudian menyatukan kedua telapak tangannya di dada meghadap patung hitam enam lengan yang dipercaya sebagai perwujudan Dewa Siwa Sang Pemusnah.

Saraswati Temple.

Sementara para pedagang dupa di pelataran Indorapur Mandir membuat area itu menjadi sangat ramai dibanding area lain di Kathmandu Durbar Square. Selaras padu dengan kesibukan ratusan merpati dalam menyantap sarapan pemberian para pelancong yang sudah datang lebih dulu

Kaal Bhairav bermahkota emas perwujudan Dewa Siwa.

Lapis-lapis atap segenap kuil tampak sama dan membawaku pada nuansa rekaan Majapahit di perfilman tanah air. Atmosfer Ksatria Hindu yang sangat kental di pagi itu, mampu melemparku sejenak dari dunia yang fanatik dengan teknologi.

Biji jagung yang dijual untuk merpati.

Istana Kerajaan Malla yang kemudian dilanjutgunakan oleh Dinasti Shah adalah icon penting  di Kathmandu Durbar Square. Oleh karena dijaga patung Dewa Hanuman di gerbang depan, UNESCO World Heritage Sites ini dikenal dengan sebutan Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square. Beberapa khalayak menyebutnya Basantapur Durbar Khsetra karena istana ini terletak di area Basantapur.

Itu gerbangnya.

Selepas gerbang maka pelataran istana nan luas menyambut. Dikenal dengan sebutan Nasal Chowk. Nasal berarti tarian, merujuk pada Dewa Siwa yang menari Tandava Nataraja  ketika menghancurkan semesta yang sudah usang. Pelataran yang mirip dengan plaza ini dikepung oleh bangunan-bangunan istana di keempat sisinya.

Bangunan putih di sisi barat istana.

Sementara di sisi selatan pelataran terpampang papan nama proyek yang didanai oleh Kementrian Perdagangan Republik Rakyat China untuk merenovasi istana yang mengalami kerusakan hebat pasca gempa tektonik yang dihasilkan dari tumbukan lempeng India dan Eurasia di Himalaya pada 2015.

Basantapur Tower Sembilan tingkat yang telah runtuh.
Ruang yang didalamnya terdapat patung Dewa Siwa yang sedang menari.
Sun Dial, penunjuk waktu sebelum ditemukannya jam.

Lalu, di sisi utara terpampang bentuk arsitektur Newar dengan jendela hijau mencolok. Berjuluk Sisha Baithak yang berfungsi sebagai ruang audiensi kerjaan. Di lantai bawah bangunan itu, terpampang deretan foto para raja. Dan dua polisi penjaga istana nampak mondar-mandir dengan senapan laras panjangnya di sekitar bangunan ini.

Dari kiri adalah King Rana Bahadur Shah (Raja Nepal ketiga) dan anaknya King Girbanayuddha Bikram Shah (Raja keempat-foto kanan)
Bersama Guard Police di Sisha Baithak sebelum meninggalkan istana.

Aku meninggalkan istana sembari melempar kata terimakasih dan sampai jumpa kepada Guard Police itu. Sontak temannya yang baru tiba berucap kepadanya dalam bahasa Nepal, kutebak berbunyi “Darimana dia berasal?”, karena polisi yang kuajak berfoto berujar singkat “Indonesia”.

Satu tips ketika berada di kawasan Kathmandu Durbar Square adalah coba pahami satu-persatu bangunan yang kamu lewati, karena setiap bangunan disana memiliki fungsi dan nilai historis yang mengagumkan.

Kembali aku menemukan bangunan unik. Sebuah kuil bertahtakan Shwet Bhairav yang diyakini sebagai perwujudan paling kuat dari Dewa Siwa. Disembunyikan dalam tirai kayu dan menunggu Indrajatra Festival untuk menampakkan diri secara penuh kepada penduduk Newar. Saat festival tiba, dari mulutnya akan di pancurkan Madira (alkohol) sebagai bentuk berkah bagi manusia.

Shwet Bhairav.

Beranjak siang….Matahari kini mulai mampu menembus setiap celah alun-alun, menghangatkan tubuhku yang sedari pagi terpapar hawa dingin. Saatnya meneruskan langkah menuju destinasi berikutnya.

Selanjutnya akan kutunjukkan kecantikan paras seorang Dewi dalam mitologi Hindu dan Buddha di Nepal.

Yuks….Ikuti aku!

Jalebi Keluaran Purano Bazaar

Hari masih cukup pagi ketika aku mulai meninggalkan Bindhyabasini Temple. Kembali menunggangi taksi sewa harian milik Mr. Tirtha, aku beserta trio backpacker sehotel mulai menyusuri Jalan Pokhara-Baglung menuju ke arah selatan. Mr. Tirtha berencana membawaku ke sebuah pasar tua yang berusia lebih dari 250 tahun. Tuturnya, pasar tua itu bernama Purano Bazaar, tetapi khalayak sering mengujarnya Old Bazaar.

Jalanan menuju ke Old Bazaar.

Benar tutur Mr. Tirtha bahwa kuil dan pasar ini saling berdekatan. Hanya berjarak 1,5 km dengan 5 menit waktu tempuh. Sampai dengan cepatnya, Mr. Tirtha menurunkanku di salah satu sisi pasar dan dia melemparkan telunjuknya pada salah satu sudut sebagai pertanda aku harus menemuinya di sana ketika eksplorasiku di Purano Bazaar usai. Dia ingin menikmati suasana dengan caranya sendiri. Yang aku tahu, dirinya belum terpapar aroma kopi sedari pagi buta,.

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Mulai menjelajah pasar.

Perut yang mulai berasa lapar, secara otomatis menuntunku menyusuri selasar pasar untuk menemukan jajanan kaki lima sebagai pengganjalnya. Tak lama, kepulan asap putih yang keluar dari tiga tungku menarik perhatianku.

Namaste”, ucap pedagang tua yang sedang sibuk menggoreng. Sebelum menjawab, hatiku tertawa ketika pertama kalinya seumur hidup melihat penampakan Jalebi. Benar, itu adalah salah satu jenis jajanan jalanan khas India yang ku kenal ketika Saroo dan Guddu tak kesampaian mencicipi jajanan itu karena uang dari hasil mencuri batu bara di gerbong kereta tambang hanya cukup untuk menebus beberapa kantong susu untuk keluarga miskinnya di Ganesh Talai. Kejadian mengharukan dalam adegan film bertajuk Lion. Semenjak itu aku bertekad mencicipi Jalebi di India, walau akhirnya tercicip lebih cepat di Nepal.

Pedagang tua yang awalnya terbengong mengamatiku berbicara English untuk membeli makanannya tiba-tiba tertawa dan mengangkat tangannya sambil mengernyitkan dahi. Lalu pemuda berjaket biru yang sedang menikmati makanannya beranjak dari bangku dan dengan englishnya yang fasih membantu si bapak tua itu melayaniku….Great.

Yuk….Icip jalebi !.

Kembali turun ke selasar pasar, sembari mengunyah jajanan, aku menikmati klasiknya arsitektur Newar yang dinampakkan oleh bangunan-bangunan tua itu. Setiap bangunan selalu menonjolkan kekuatan visual bata merah yang terpadu dengan ukiran-ukiran khas pada kayu bangunan.

Salah satu bangunan.

Konon, bangsa Newar yang berasal dari Bhaktapur di timur jauh Pokhara adalah para pedagang ulung. Singkat cerita Raja Kaski mengundangnya untuk berdagang di Pokhara pada tahun 1752. Dan pada masa itu Pokhara sudah membangun aktivitas perdagangan juga dengan Tibet. Fikiranku mengamini, karena ada perkampungan Tibet di Pokhara….Nanti ya kita kunjungi.

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Sepatuku keren ga?….#pamer.

Keindahan pasar sangat terasa karena masih lengangnya aktivitas pagi itu. Penampakan Himalaya masih saja menjadi idola di ujung jalan. Dua destinasi bonus yang disuguhkan dengan baik oleh Mr. Tirtha, seorang Nepal berperawakan kurus tinggi, berkulit coklat khas Asia Selatan tapi memiliki mata sipit bak orang Tiongkok.

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Nice view, kan ?.

Ayook kita sarapan dulu ke hotel…..

Lihat suasana Purano Bazaar di sini: https://youtu.be/wVmGgYnTs-M