We arrived in Lhasa at 5pm and our tour guide took us straight to the hotel. We ate dinner at the hotel after checking in from their balcony with a view. It was a stunning view of Potala Palace. It felt unbelievable that we were actually eating dinner in Lhasa, Tibet!
Temple of Heaven was built in 1420, and 22 Emperors from Ming and Qing dynasties worshiped heaven from this location. It was also used as a place for animal sacrifices, prayers for bumper harvest and prayers for favorable rains. Our first stop inside the large complex was The North Animal Sacrifice Pavilion. It was also built in 1420 and used to sacrifice animals before the Emperors would pray. It was believed that a sacrifice helped your prayers be heard and answered.
We stayed at another fantastic hotel! This one had an outdoor bar with an awesome view of Bangkok! The bar is on the 45th floor but has multiple levels that continue higher. We loved the view we had drinks there twice!
On April 25th, 2015 Nepal suffered an earthquake of a magnitude of 7.9. It was a devestating blow to the country. It is a little over two years since the earthquake when we arrived and damage is still evident. Some of the major sites are still extensively damaged, some building are in ruins and there is a lot of construction. However, that does not diminish the culture or the feeling of the capitol of Nepal. I think it makes it stronger- we are witnessing a nation continue to rebuild out the rubble.
Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India and it is one of 5 sacred site for pilgrimages for Hindus. The city sits on the shore of Pushkar lake, a holy lake. There are 52 ghats surrounding the lakes for people to bathe in the holy water.
On our way to Sardargarh we stopped to visit Ranakpur Jain Temple. Jainism is an ancient Indian religion that teaches the way to a life of liberation and bliss is by harmlessness and renunciation. The goal of Jainism is liberation of the soul. The temple was magnificent. It was built in 1447 and is made of white marble. There are 1,444 marble pillars inside the temple and no two are the same.
We headed west into Rajasthan, a state in northwest India. The car ride there was quite the journey, dodging motorbikes, semis passing each other (on a two lane road!), speed bumps, and even cattle.