metal bells hang on chains in a Hindu temple. Dakshinkali Temple in Pharping, Nepal.

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About 19km south of Kathmandu, Pharping is a thriving Newari town whose ancient Buddhist pilgrimage sites have been taken over by large numbers of Tibetans. A circuit of its religious sites makes for a compelling day out from Kathmandu. Pharping lies on the road to Dakshinkali and it’s easy to visit both villages in a day by taxi, bus or motorbike (and maybe even bicycle if you don't mind the traffic and dust). En route you’ll pass the pond at Taudaha, allegedly home to the nagas released from the Kathmandu lake. More Buddhist monasteries are opening up around here every year, some of which accept foreign dharma students.

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