“Well.. When I was about to write this blog it dawned upon me that it would be fun to write it as a drama. Thusly, I have organized this blog-entry around a prologue saying a bit about what actually happened before the real hike (the actual act) and ending with epilogue – summarizing the visit”. Prologue It all started really early (around 6 in the morning) when Rupesh called all the participants to round them up for the trip to Namobuddha. Main Act Everyone appeared dressed for the occasion with their hiking shoes, comfortable clothes and their sun-glasses. Sun glasses are an important accessory for any hike. We boarded Deerwalk's van around seven in the morning and since it was my first trip I was visibly more excited than others. The newly built road from Koteshwore to Suryabinayak was flawlessly smooth and it was joy to ride on that road for the first time. Everyone was in conversation with one another and time passed quickly as we sped along the road towards Dhulikhel. We stopped for light breakfast just before reaching Dhulikhel, and then continued the journey. The weather grew cooler and all the participants were fresh and ready to battle the strenuous climb to Namobuddha. The hiking started from the place called 'Batase' and soon were were enjoying ourselves ruminating over the usual happenstances including, but not limited to politics, our generation, school/college life, love and the like. We also took frequent breaks to pause for photographs where the cameraperson was having a tough time accommodating the whole gang and the background scenery into the frame. In about two hours, we reached Namobuddha. At Namobuddha we met our tour guide Dhan Bahadur Tamang. He was boy about twelve years of age with a cheerful face. He guided us to places of interest around the locale. After roaming around we met an old woman (budi amai) who told us an interesting myth regarding Namobuddha. The story goes that once there was a prince (who was thought to be an avatar of Lord Buddha). He was taking his usual visit around his kingdom. In the jungle he suddenly saw a tigress with three little cubs. Initially he was afraid to see the Tigress, but later he realized that she was in a very unhealthy condition as she couldn't find any source of nutrition. He realized that she along with her cubs would soon die of starvation. The prince thought of ways in which he could help the tigress and realized that he would have to offer himself as food to the tigress in order to save her. Subsequently, he present himself into the tigress as food and the place where this all happened is now known as Namo Buddha. A monument commemorating the selfless deed of the prince manifested in three stone statues of the prince, the tigress and her cubs at Namobuddha. We lit a oil lamp (diyoo) to show our respect for the myth and moved on to enter the resplendent Gumbas. There gumbas were ornately crafted masterpieces of high Buddhist art designed to evoke serene tranquility in the onlooker. They were successful in instilling a sense of peace and calm onto our souls. After roaming around some more for a little bit, we thanked our tour guide and boarded the van. We stopped at Banepa to have a heavy lunch as we had grown really hungry from our strenuous efforts around two in the afternoon. We reached Kathmandu around four in the afternoon. Epilogue It was a wonderful experience for all of us to visit one of the fascinating places related to Lord Buddha. The trip gave us a chance to get to know each other a little better. It was also a welcome exercise after sitting at a desk all week. On an ending note, I would like to acknowledge the fact that writing a travel blog is indeed pretty difficult.