As the city of Kathmandu slowly came back to normal after several days of curfew, we were finally able to go out and visit the city. The first days were very quiet and the streets, we know now were empty. Mourning days were not over and all were still fearing a curfew might suddenly be called again. 


Bodhanath stupa
Bodhanath Stupa is the religious centre for the large population of Tibetans in Nepal. Many of these refugees fled Tibet after the unsuccessful uprising against the Chinese in 1959. The stupa of Bodhanath is the largest in Nepal. To walk around the stupa turning the prayer wheels is "a ritual that combines religious observance with a social event".


The temple of Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple)
Perched on the hills to the West of the city, the temple of Swayambhunath is one of the symbols of Nepal. We walked to the temple from Kathmandu as our guidebook mentioned that this not only was the best way to approach the temple, but also that there was no entrance fee at the top of the stairway. As if you had somehow earned your admission. Not true !   



Pashupatinath is not only Nepal's most important Hindu temple, it's also on the most important Shiva temples on the subcontinent attracting many pilgrims from all over India. The temple stands on the banks of the holy Bagmati river. As with the Ganges at Varanasi, it is a popular place to be cremated. Flowers and other offerings are laid in leaves that will float down the river (if not picked up by small boys 10 meters further down the river) and devotees will dip their feet in the river and splash themselves over the head with this holy water as a ritual. Hinduism and Buddhism encourage the giving of alms and Pashupatinath is a popular place for beggars. Pilgrims customarily give a coin to everyone and there are special moneychangers who will change bills into small coins.




Kathmandu Durbar Square
"Durbar" in Nepali means palace. In Patan, Bhaktapur an Kathmandu, there are "Durbar Squares" in front of the old palaces. The King of Nepal no longer lives in this palace. Durbar Square is the centre of old Kathmandu. Lined with temples and buildings with amazing architecture, it's easy to spend a few hours watching the world go by in these surroundings.

Impressive wood carvings as part of the architecture, Durbar Square, Kathmandu


Durbar Square, Kathmandu


Life goes on
Kathmandu has a wonderful collection of historical and cultural treasures but it is also a city with 250,000 people (700,000 in the Kathmandu Valley). As we visit its splendours, life goes on in the rest of city.




                         Colours, colours


We are doing well !

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