Dawn breaks in the villages of Kathmandu Valley to the crystal clear tone of bells ringing in each of the households as the morning Puja ritual is performed. Occasionally a conch shell, blown to alert the gods, is heard from the homes of the priestly caste, as the scent of incense fills the streets
Perhaps the magnificent Himalayas have inspired people to higher contemplations, to seek the counsel of the gods to help guide their daily lives. Certainly the countless temples, ranging from tiny roadside shrines to stunning pagoda constructions that reach for the sky, come alive every morning. The neighborhood denizens arrive at their local temple bearing trays piled with flowers, colored paste, and fruits to be offered to the deities.
The fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism unique to Nepal has created a syncretic and highly sophisticated belief system that remains strong to this day. Festivals commemorating the deeds of the gods are partaken of with pleasure and serve to remind the people of the cultural rituals that define them. Faith is seen as a celebration of life and a sign of gratitude to the legion of gods that watch over us.
Symbols of faith such as Om, the rhythm of the cosmos, the all-seeing eyes of the Buddha, and the Mandala are often seen above temple doors, in the intricate religious paintings known as Thankas, and the silver and gold ornaments worn by the citizens.
At Himalayan Gems we are proud to foster the production of these symbolic motifs by including them in our Nepalese silver jewelry designs, thus insuring the skills required for such traditional hand work and the faith behind it lives on.