Sadhu Spirit (Pashupatinath, Nepal)

Pashupatinath is one of the most significant Hindu temples in the world. Pilgrims come here to pray, worship and meditate. Located on the banks of the Bagmati river, it is considered especially meritorious to bathe or be cremated here. But it is also a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the biggest tourist attractions in Kathmandu.

Everyday between 9am and 5pm, around 10 of the 20 resident sadhus of the Ram temple dress up and sit at the shivalinga. They pose for tourist photos in exchange for some Nepalese Rupees. Most of them have done this for more than 20 years. Sadhus are traditionally seen as holy men – not always so by their visitors though. Some tourists are offended by the request for alms. Others take a quick snapshot before moving on to the next photo op. Few sit down and take an interest. What one might discover when they do, is different reflections on life in a world full of curious characters.

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