The Matathirtha Temple
The Bright Horizon Children Home is located in Matatirtha, 8 km west from Kathmandu. The school campus overlooks the village Matatirtha and the Kathmandu Valley with its capital Kathmandu. Provided you raise early before sunrise – as I did today – you get also a glimpse of some of the beautiful and majestic Himalaya mountains. When the sun is out and warms earth and air, clouds cover the Himalaya mountains.
The village is nicely situated at the foot of a jungle covered mountain with a height of 2200 m. During the day, the top is very often covered in clouds. Sometimes in the early afternoon they empty themselves within a few minutes of rain without the sun ever disappearing.
Sun, Earth and Water are very closely linked in Matatirtha. First: the sun pretty much shines every day. Second: Matatirtha means „Mother Earth“. What a better location can you find for an orphans and childrens home? And thirdly: water plays a central role in a spiritual spot in the neighbourhood. If you take a 20 minutes walk from the school downhill – like I did this morning at 7 am -, you will reach a little compound. Behind the little temple at the rear of the area, you‘ll spot a very small water pond protected with a cage. The colour paintings on the temple walls, the cristal clear water and the deep green jungle are a feast for the eyes. The water comes directly from the uphill jungle and the fresh smell of the protecting forest and the warm humidity adds on more sensual discoveries. A place which invites you to rest a little bit…
This little pond has a very deep meaning in Nepal. Orphans are brought to this place to look in the mirror surface of the water…..to see their mother. Thus, every May on Mothers Day, a lot of Nepali visit this place to honour and pray for their mothers.
But the fresh water from the mountain also serves a very basic need of the inhabitants of Matatirtha. In the big pond (20×10 m) and under the many taps installed inside (for the man) and outside (for the women) of the compound, showers are taken and clothes are washed. A pretty busy place in the morning!
Nawaraj – a pupil from the final Class 10 at BHCH (and by the way: his Nepali name translates „New King“) – told me that when he joined BHCH 7 years ago, he learned to swim in the big pond – but only after he helped the local women washing the clothes.
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