Amphitheatre of the Himalayas
My last day at Namche Bazaar wasn't put to more sensible use - rest as most people would have done after a long hike to and from the Everest. Instead I decided to wander around and after much exploring stumbled upon this spot on a ridge overlooking the three valleys below with magnificent view all around - in fact the best spot for a taste of the Himalayas without getting down to much hiking.
The twin villages of khumjung, kunde as well as Thame a good 90 minutes' walk away could all be seen here. The valley that holds a string of little settlements from Lukla to Namche Bazaar is right in front. To the left is the valley going all the way to Chukhung. To the right is the valley to Thame. Mountain-wise, behind is the 5761m high sacred khumbi Yui Lha, and from left to right are:
Mt Everest (8848m)
Ama Dablam (6814m)
Makalu (?) (8481m)
Kongde Ri (6187m)
As well as a few other magnificent peaks that I haven't a clue to their names.
This is the chorten above the little airstrip of Syangboche on the way to the village of Khunde.The s...
On an outcrop of dark boulders straddling between the village of Khumjung (right) and kunde (left), t...
This is the most important village in the whole of Khumbu Region of Nepal where one could find almost...
Phurte amounts to no more than a few cottages but sits quite prominently on the way from Namche Bazaa...
Without doubt this modest ho(s)tel boasts one of the best view in the world - situated above the now ...
This is the helicoptor pad outside the famed Everest View Hotel where each room is equipped with an o...
Nepal lies between India and China and it contains Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. The Himalayas here are pretty rugged terrain.
The first civilizations here date to 600 BC in the Kathmandu valley, where the capital is now located. According to Buddhist tenets, the Buddha was born here in 563 BC, incarnating as Prince Siddhartha Gautama and leading the world to enlightenment through liberation from suffering. Many small temples and shrines like this one exist for Buddhists to stop and offer prayers.
Early support of Buddhism gradually gave way to Hinduism and today Nepal is the world's only Hindu monarchy. The kingdom of Nepal was united in 1768 by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who fled the Moghul invasions of India. Soon after that there was a period of conflict with the British East India Company leading to a treaty recognizing the independence of Nepal -- in 1923!
After WWII Nepal was ruled by monarchy but it arrived at the 1990's split by an official ban on political parties. Intense protest by the pro-democracy movement and the Maoist guerrilla Communist movement led to free elections in 1991, only to be followed by violence between the Nepalese government and Maoist guerillas.
Since the turn of the millennium there have been several important steps taken in the peace process, including a new Constitution for Nepal and a cease fire agreement with the rebels. A compromise government was achieved whereby a Maoist was elected prime minister without his taking control of the armed forces of the country.
At the time of this writing it has been one week since the compromise government has collapsed. We offer our hopes that the citizens and government of this beautiful country will come to a peaceful agreement soon.
Text by Steve Smith.