Like most days in Nepal, Day 9 of The Great Himalayan Drive also meant an early morning alarm woke me up to check out the rising sun from the World Peace Stupa. As I drove out from my hotel in the dark at half past five in the morning, I was greeted by sights I never imagined – even in the religion obsessed Nepal.
Young women were to be seen on the roads praying around trees at that ‘ungodly’ hour. Each of them had also braved the chill to take a bath before these rituals – their wet hair was proof of this. They were to be found every few hundred metres in groups of 2-5. Eventually my curiosity got the better of me and I approached one such group to know more.
All these women perform such prayers on Saturdays to Hindu God Shiva – the day is considered auspicious by Hindus. I did not ask but I guess all these women praying are unmarried; again, many such girls believe in the power of Lord Shiva to get them good grooms. I was hesitant to interrupt the ceremonies with my questions, but one girl readily chatted me up excusing herself from what she was meant to be doing. Guess a stranger from Delhi is a rare occurrence, while time with God is never ending.
On another note, I also noticed statues of ‘Eco Gods’ around some trees in Pokhara – the belief being we must pray for a healthier and greener environment. Kudos to the thought – if only the Eco-Gods manage to instill some sense into those who cause damage in the first place.