Beheaded Goat and Bloody Idol above the Clouds in Himalayan Temple

nameless-berk
Nameless Berk @nameless-berkMarch 2018 · 6 min read

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I was in a Jeep tearing its way through muddy mountain roads in Nepal with a misty Abyss always half a meter away, wondering where the fuck I was being brought...

It happened in the end of March last year, when I was travelling in Nepal. Having entered the country from the East, I was exploring this mysterious unearthly place, Himalayas, where highest mountains tear through the clouds that cover up the abysses below the snowy caps.

Just like everybody else visiting this region, I had a strong desire to see Everest, but no desire whatsoever to waste money on a plane to the base camp. So I asked locals about places from where it can be seen. One of those places was called Pathibhara and it was about a 14 hours away from the town I've been in the moment, Taplejung. On the local bus station I learned that there were Jeeps going to Pathibhara and bought a ticket right away. Little did I know...

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The Kid

The next morning, about 4 am I left the hotel and got into the car, where I shared space with a baby goat (henceforth, the Kid). Now, it's not anything unheard of in this part of the World, and the Kid didn't make any trouble (except bleating really loud from time to time), so it didn't matter. For now. Later on, its role in the story will become clear, as well as its grim destiny.

The car started in the different direction than I expected, but it's Nepal after all, so...

Getting around Nepal

Before we go any further, I will describe what a public transportation between cities in Nepal looks like. It's either going with a 4WD off-road vehicle or a bus if the road is paved. The distances are not that huge, but windy, narrow and often damaged roads make it a long and gut-wrenching ride. And Nepalese people seem to have weak stomach so the sides of both buses and jeeps are often covered with vomit that keep on coming. Traffic jams in the middle of nowhere are not uncommon and can last for 6+ hours if you're unlucky enough.

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The best possible picture of the process

But this particular ride was only about 4 or 5 hours total, including the times when the car was stuck in the mud. The Jeep was old, they say that these vehicles are in operation since WWII. The interior is pretty minimalistic in terms of comfort. Glass and metal, no plastic at all. The only soft things there are seats and passengers. As the car was thrashing and shaking violently all the way, the softest of the passengers, namely girls, vomited in the windows and were scared shitless. They even refused to leave the car when it was stuck and I beckoned them to get out so the men could push it on.


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Notice the backpack on the roof. The ride was so bumpy, the dirt from the road somehow splashed on it.

The Arrival

Be that it may, we finally arrived to a village which obviously was not my destination, not even close. Brief investigation shown that it was a hamlet in the foothills of a mountain where Pathibhara Devi Temple stands. It was misty all morning and I couldn't see much farther than a group of soldiers who were rebuilding the way for pilgrims to access the shrine.

I had no clue what that Temple was but the return to Taplejung was scheduled to the evening. Would be too boring to just waste my time in the village awaiting the return ride, so I dropped my luggage in a local shop and went after the rest of the passengers.


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To get to the Temple one must first ascend a stone-paved stairway and gain about a kilometer of altitude, not a small feat for many. I'm accustomed to heights and exhausting physical efforts, but it was very hard for me because I have not eaten in the last 24 hours and had almost no sleep. After some time I ran out of fuel and had to stop at a tiny settlement on the way to drink spicy tea and eat some carbs.

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It allowed me to proceed and finally get out of the blanket of clouds, revealing astonishing views at snow-covered ridges and vast, vast blue space around. At this point I started to meet descending Hindu pilgrims. Among those, an old woman who fed me a piece of ginger and smeared my face with some powder. Something to help to deal with altitude and cold, I guess.

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Above the clouds

Pathibhara Devi Temple

Sitting on a mountaintop at about 3800 meters is Pathibhara Devi Temple, where the Goddess is said to abide.

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Pathibhara Devi (Nepali: पाथिभरा देवी मन्दिर) or Mukkumlung (as mentioned in Mundhum of Limbu people ) is one of the most significant Hindu temple in Nepal, located on the hill of Taplejung. It is also considered one of the holy places for Limbu people. Worshippers from different parts of Nepal and India flock to the temple during special occasions, as it is believed that a pilgrimage to the temple ensures fulfillment of the pilgrims' desires.

Source

It is a spectacular place, never have I seen that many tridents, bells and colourful prayer flags. Thousands of these items are brought here by devotees, along with other offerings...

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As soon as I reached the shrine itself, the Kid showed up, being taken somewhere on the leash. The place was smeared with red paint and blood all over, which were bad news for the poor Kid. Indeed, his sole purpose of arriving here was to be sacrificed to the Goddess.

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Sorry, Kid

Warning, gory details ahead

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New friends

By will of chance, there, on the top, I met some Nepalese guys, one of which happened to be speaking Russian, having lived and studied medicine in a russian university in Tver city. So I joined them and we went back to the village to pick my luggage and then some kilometers until the places they parked their car.

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Having returned to Taplejung, we went to a local cafe to get some food and drink Rakshi, traditional alcoholic beverage in Nepal and Tibet. It was a great way to conclude the unexpected adventure.

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Rakshi

All in all, nothing in that day went as planned. And I damn glad it did, it was the best mistake of my life so far.

More photos:

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Shut up, I like this hat


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More goats


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MOAR goats!

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Deal with it

If you liked this post, consider giving it an upvote or resteem. Follow me for more cool stuff and stay loco!

Check out my travel blog as well!

My recent posts:
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The stories I'm most proud of:
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Oh my, that goat was actually beheaded. After seeing the title, I thought it was one of 'em April fool pranks. Poor kid. OK saying poor kid sounds weird Poor beheaded kid, even worse and then the police comes for you in the morning😏.
But of course, culture is culture. I believe there are even more gory things happening over here. Everyone's got their thing I guess.


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Congratulations! Your high quality travel content caught our attention and earned you a reward, in form of an upvote and resteem. Your work really stands out. Your article now has a chance to get curated and featured under the appropriate daily topic of our Travelfeed blog. Thank you for using #travelfeed

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The truth is that being in Nepal with its mountains and its people, it must be a total experience ... and we must understand and respect the culture, beliefs and traditions of all peoples, because for the culture of one is not easy, at least For me, see how they decapitate or sacrifice a kid goat ... well, everything is part of the experience that must be lived in this type of extreme travel, which by the way is necessary to have good physical conditions ... By the way @ nameless-berk, How is the taste Rakshi alcoholic drink? ... Greetings.


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It's amazing, best part is that you can repeatedly refill the barrel with hot water and drink on!


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Yes, it must be a hot and strong drink, to be able to mountain weather ... Thanks for the feed back. Greetings.


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Thank you, very grateful @ steem-bounty


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Seems like you had a bad as well as some good time.
If you somehow again come to Nepal, don't forget to visit Muktinath, Gosaikunda and Paanch Pokhari. It is a must visit place. At least for me.
I, myself sometime can not believe that my country contains this much of beauty.
Thanks for your visit. 😃

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Oh, I would love to come again, it's one of my favourite countries.


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gotfri
gotfri @gotfriApril 2018

Why so many pictures devoted to sheep and goats?


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The entire is post devoted to goats buddy, check it out, even the title


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¡Guau! la verdad que estar tan cerca de la montaña màs alta del mundo debe ser una sensación espectacular. El solo hecho de conocer la gente que vive en estos lugares, no tiene valor, saludos nameless-berk


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i known my country is one the poorest in the world and we need a lot of development, but the natural beauties here are spectacular. i m glad u liked my country


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круто! вот это приключения
а откуда так много голосов за пост? и чего так денег тогда мало?


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Советую заценить 2 последние ссылки, там покруче.
Есть сервисы типа byresteem, которые репостят и делают кучу мелких лайков. Я не уверен, насколько это полезно вообще. А денег мало, поскольку аудитории почти нет у меня.


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Wahouh it's a beautiful country ! There are more goats than humans ? ;-)
Thanks for sharing and for the photos !


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