Nepal 11 February: Kathmandu - Nagarkot

Start of the Peace Run at Sri Chinmoy Statue

The day began in Kathmandu at 9 am, where, after a delicious Indian breakfast at the Kaveri Inn (thank you Kaveri Inn!), we drove all the way to Nagarkot and gathered at the statue of the founder of the Peace Run, Sri Chinmoy.

We were treated to some delightful views of Kathmandu city before our drive...

As well as some spectacular views of Nepal on the drive up to Nagarkot!

The freshly garlanded statue of Sri Chinmoy shone in the afternoon sun.

The Himalayas were visible from Nagarkot!

Chinmoy Bishwas, a Bangladeshi member of the team, took some time to meditate at the statue.

Mr. Ashok Thapa, Manager of The Club Himalaya Nagarkot Hotel, lights the Peace Run torch.

Krishna Kushwaha, a local member of the Peace Run, opened the ceremony.

A Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to Mr. Ashok Thapa, in honour of all their work caring for the Sri Chinmoy statue, which happens to be located on the hotel premises.

Shumbhani, a member of the Peace Run team from Guatemala, hands the Dexo Souvenir Shop, located right next to the Statue, their Certificate of Appreciation.

Afterwards, Guinness-World Record holder Ashrita Furman, tried to break a new record! The record involved flipping a lit sword in the air, and catching it as many times as possible within 30 seconds!

At first, it took some time for the fuel along the sheath of the sword to light up.

The current world record for this specific challenge is 24 flips and catches.

Ashrita attempted to break the record twice! The first time he managed to catch the sword mid-air 27 times. The second time, he managed 28! Video footage will be sent to the Guinness World Records academy for final review!

Ashrita poses with well-wishers from the Dexo Souvenir Shop and the Club Himalaya Hotel after his record attempt.

We were amazed at the unique images outside the Dexo Souvenir Shop.

On the drive from Nagarkot back to Kathmandu, we were once again treated to lovely views of the countryside...

We enjoyed the colorfully decorated buses...

and the many charming storefronts and street vendors.

Prerana steadies the torch before our first school ceremony of the day.

The first official ceremony took place at the Nepal Music School.

Our large international team ran into the school...

and was immediately greeted by a long line of gracious students, embodying the spiritual charm and depth of Nepal.

Prerana, the youngest member of the Peace Run, holds the torch.

Swena, our new friend, is all smiles.

The Peace Run presents to the students.

Students from four different schools participated in the ceremony held at the Nepal Music Centre:
1. Sharada Secondary School
2. Midland English Boarding School
3. Ankur Vidhyashram
4. Prashphutan Academy

The students from the Nepal Music Center presented us with a special traditional dance, called Manjushree dance.

They performed a song about peace.

Otis Davis, one of our members from New York, USA, appreciates the performances.

Sweta Pradhan, our fearless and dynamic Peace Run Captain, speaks to the students.

Arafatur Rahaman, our Team Member from Bangladesh, plays a guessing game with the students.

Gaurab, a local member of the Peace Run, participates in the World Harmony Run song performance.

Boijayanti, Prerana and Shumbani present a playful skit.

The students from the Music School also performed a lively percussion performance for the Peace Run.

NMC students perform.

The students were given a chance to hold the torch and say a prayer for peace.

Then they ran with the torch along the school playground.

Bijeta Pradhan and Stuti Sharma, pictured along the top row with the teachers, were the main event organizers.

Students pose alongside a picture of Sri Chinmoy, founder of the Peace Run.

Sweta and Sumbhani present Ms. Savitri Malla Kakshayapati, Board Member of Nepal Music Center Trust, with a Certificate of Appreciation.

The Peace Run appreciated original artwork on display at the Nepal Music Center. This painting, was prepared specifically to welcome the Peace Run. It is by Sushanta Rajbhandari, a student of one of the schools participating in the Run.

Sweta Pradhan, our Team Captain, poses for a photoraph with her mother, Indira.

Atul horses around with a new friend.

The Nepal Music Center offered some delicious snacks to the runners.

The next section of our ceremony involved presenting the Torch Bearer Award to Dr. Satya Mohan Joshi. The Deputy Mayor of Kathmandu, Ms Hariprabha Khadgi Shrestha, was also in attendance (third from right).

Dr. Satya Mohan Joshi is a well-renowned Nepalese scholar, a great writer, and Nepali history, language, and culture expert. He is also the Chancellor of the Nepal Bhasa Academy and Chairman of the Nepal Music Center. He is 98 years old and we were honored by his humble and peaceful presence.

Ms. Hariprabha Khadgi, the Deputy Mayor, presents Dr. Satya Mohan Joshi with the Torch Bearer Award.

Ms Hariprabha Khadgi Shrestha spoke movingly of the signifance of peace, and the importance of supporting younger generations to make their way into the world.

Ms. Hariprabha Khadgi Shrestha and Dr. Satya Mohan Joshi pose for photographs with the Peace Run Team.

Natabara Rollosson, a Team Member from New York, is honored by Ms Savitri Malla kakshyapati.

The Nepal Music Center presents the Peace Run with an award.

Stuti Sharma offered all Peace Run team members an honorary khata, a traditional ceremonial scarf.

Ashrita Furman offers a demonstration of his many world records to the students of the Music Center.

The audience was overjoyed.

He balanced a milk bottle on his head: Ashrita holds the record for the fastest mile run while balancing a milk bottle on his head.

Pierre, our Team Member from France, gives the record a go!

Stuti Sharma thanks the Peace Run for the day's ceremony.

One final group picture to frame the day!

After receiving his award, Dr. Satya Mohan Joshi remained for Ashrita's workshop through to the end of the Peace Run presentation. He expressed his warmest appreciation for the message of the Run.