Lord Pashupati, Himalayas draw Sting to Nepal

March 26th, 2008 - 3:32 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi
By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, March 26 (IANS) Pop icon Sting has kept his date with Nepal, heading for the Himalayan country for the second time in three years. Accompanied by his wife Sylvie and son Lucas, the globally known 57-year-old frontsman of the music band Police checked into Kathmandu four days ago for some vigorous trekking.

Spotted shopping in Thamel, Nepal’s tourist hub, Sting - born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner - and his companions also visited the famous Pashupatinath temple, recognised by Unesco as a world heritage site.

Despite Nepal’s parliament declaring the former Hindu kingdom a secular state two years ago, the temple of the Hindu deity still doesn’t allow non-Hindus into the inner shrine.

In the past, other celebrities like India’s ruling Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Sister Nirmala, the successor of Nobel peace laureate Mother Teresa, had to be content with visiting only the sprawling grounds.

Sting is heading for the Himalayas Wednesday.

When he had visited Nepal in 2005 with his son, the duo had gone rafting on the Trishuli river.

But the capital had a taste of his virtuosity when he sauntered into a jazz bar and did an impromptu performance with the local band playing there.

Last year, Hollywood heartthrob Richard Gere flew into Nepal after the shindig in India over his kissing Bollywood starlet Shilpa Shetty at a public programme.

Sting’s presence will boost the attempts of Nepal’s tourism authorities to promote the country as a safe destination.

For the last two weeks, the world had images of violence and repression spilling out of Nepal as security forces brutally beat up Tibetan refugees, who had been holding peaceful sit-ins demanding an end to the killing of their countrymen by the Chinese government.

Summer generally marks the appearance of leading mountaineers in Nepal.

However, this time, due to the confusion over whether they would be allowed to climb Mt Everest, the world’s highest peak, no star arrival has been recorded so far.

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