Saturday, March 21, 2009



We stayed in Lumbini to do observation work in the district of Kapilvastu. We wanted to stay in Taulihawa, the center of the district, but there's just no suitable accommodation available. A local observer suggested that we rent a house instead, but we thought it's too much of a hassle since we'll be staying in the district for several days only. So we decided to just stay in the Hokke hotel, which is about 17 kms (45 minutes) away from Taulihawa.

Compared to Bhairahawa, Taulihawa looks very rural. There is a small commercial area where basic necessities are sold. There are also several shops selling traditional clothes. I bought myself a complete Madhesi get-up: a long-sleeved shirt that extends down to my knees, white drawstring long pants, and a white cotton scarf (which Fernanda really liked so I also bought her one). Air had a field day buying an armful of colorful dresses from a sidewalk stall, she attracted the attention of a crowd of guys of all ages. I noticed that people were selling by the gram powders of different colors. People usually use this for the tika (that red or yellow dot on the foreheads of Indians and Nepalis), but now they're buying it in bundles in preparation for a certain festival.

We also noticed this donkey in the town center. No, he doesn't do anything, he just stands there. Sometimes we see him in the shade, but still just standing there, with eyes closed. Very funny.

One of the funniest sights was a "school bus" being pulled by a rickshaw (or to be exact, a "school rickshaw"), which looked like a small cage, but with children inside instead of chickens!

Kapilvastu is also said to be a significant place for Buddhism because this was the Buddha's hometown, where he grew up before he got his calling. There are supposed to be archaeological sites near Taulihawa but we have not been able to look for them due to lack of time.

(Click on any image to see more photos.)

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