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Showing posts from May, 2011

THE MAHARAJAH'S RETREAT

I am writing about the time Bodhnath was the only structure standing and miles around it there was free space and farming land. Somewhere in the vicinity people say was the storied Kailash Kuti Bhawan, the palace of the Licchavi rulers of Nepal. It was from this palace that King Amsuvarma had given his daughter Bhrikuti in marriage to the Tibetan king. The Chinese chronicler Huen Tsang arriving in the Kathmandu Valley in the 7th century praised it as the most magnificent building he had seen, a remarkable observation coming from someone who arrived on his pilgrimage from Xian, the capital of the Middle Kingdom and the most opulent city in the whole world at the time. What became of the palace one can only conjecture but whatever might have happened to it did not happen to the magnificent Bodhnath Stupa gathering a million dew drops on its wide dome to quench the thirst of the drought afflicted populace as legend has us believe.

Even in the sixties Bodhnath was standing tall with its …