Kapoors Year 9A: Paris/Sicily/Myanmar/Nepal travel blog

I Felt A Shudder The Evening Before, The Morning Paper Confirmed That...

We Put it Out Of Our Minds And Went Ahead With Our...

We Began A Little North Of The Suggested Start Because We Wanted...

My Brother Stayed At The KGH In The 1970s, Here's What The...

I Don't Think It Looked Like This When He Was Here, He...

I Had A Laugh When I Saw This Star Near The Sidewalk,...

We Didn't Linger, But Made Our Way To The 'Official' Starting Point,...

There Are So Many Small Temples Along The Route That It Is...

I Liked These Colourful Lions? Tigers? Standing Guard Outside This One

This Poster Caught My Eye, It Seems To Be Making The Case...

Here And There Amongst The Dreary Buildings Comes A Standout, An Elaborately...

And Down Below A Grand Entrance, Guarded By An Ever-Alert Watchman With...

A Little Further On We Arrived At The Impressive Kathesimbhu Stupa, Like...

We Searched Out The Small 9th-Century Stone Relief Of Shiva Sitting With...

She Is Sitting With Her Hand Resting On His Knee, In A...

Just As It Was Described, This Ganesh Head Is Almost Unrecognizable With...

Nearby A Naga (Snake) Statue Looms Over A Traditional Hindu Lingam/Yoni

The Walking Tour Instructions Told Us To Keep An Eye Out For...

Nearby We Were Able To Locate The Teeny (60cm High) 5th Or...

I Certainly Would Have Missed This If It Wasn't For Our Guide,...

Thousands Of Coins Have Been Nailed Onto The Wooden God Figure, The...

We Continued On Through The Busy Streets And Here And There I...

On Closer Inspection, I Could See That This Is The Face Of...

And Then I Spotted My Favourite, Ganesha, The God With An Elephant...

This Is One Of My Favourite Photos Of Kathmandu, The Shrine Isn't...

Eventually We Arrived At The Triple-Roofed Ugratara Temple, A Special Place For...

I Walked Around It, Watching The People Worshipping, Taking Lit Lamps To...

Our Journey Brought Us To Asan Tole Old Kathmandu's Busiest Junction, For...

The Main Temple At The Junction Is The Annapurna Temple, But I'd...

However, I Did Notice This Small Offering Cup At Its Base, The...

The Streets At This Crossroads Run Diagonally, Northwest To Southeast And Northeast...

On The Southwest Arm, Our Guide Mentions The Shops Filled With Gleaming...

The Guide Directed Our Attention To The Carvings On The Krishna Temple,...

And Then On The Building To The Left, Very, Very Old Windows...

Here's A Better Look, You Can See Soldiers Marching With Their Rifles...

The Base Of This Insignificant Temple Has Been Taken Over By A...

This Building Wasn't Described In Our Lonely Planet Walking Tour But I...

The Brasswork At The Front Was Gleaming In The Sun, A Great...

No Doubt These Scary-Looking Demons Are Meant To Ward Off Evil And...

This Street Spills Into An Area Where Shops Sell Consumer Goods From...

We Left Crowded Old Kathmandu And Discovered The Durbar High School, It...

What A Sight For Sore Eyes, Better Than The Krishan Temple By...

Built In The 17th Century, It Was Long Considered One Of Kathmandu's...


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BACKGROUND

Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Nepal chapter on Kathmandu has to say about the streets of Kathmandu:

“The most interesting part of Kathmandu is the crowded backstreets of the rectangular- shaped old town. This is bordered to the north by the main tourist and backpacker district of Thamel and to the east by the sprawling modern new town.

In the centre of the old town is historic Durbar Square and Hanuman Dhoka (the old royal palace). Most of the interesting things to see in Kathmandu are clustered in the old part of town, focused around the majestic Durbar Square and its surrounding backstreets.

Freak St, the focus of Kathmandu’s overland scene during the hippie era, runs south from here. Thamel is 15 to 20 minutes’ walk north from Durbar Square. Running east from Durbar Square is New Road, constructed after the great earthquake of 1934, and one of the main shopping streets in town.

In old Kathmandu, streets are only named after their district, or tole. The names of these districts, squares and other landmarks (perhaps a monastery or temple) form the closest thing to an address. For example, the address of everyone living within a 100m radius of Thahiti Tole is Thahiti Tole. ‘Thamel’ is now used to describe a sprawling area with at least a dozen roads and several hundred hotels and restaurants.

Given this anarchic approach it is amazing that any mail gets delivered – it does, but slowly.

KAPOORS ON THE ROAD

There are a couple of self-guided walking tours in Kathmandu proper, one that starts from Thamel and takes you south to Durbar Square. The other starts at Durbar Square and makes a loop to the south and back again. Both routes are approximately 2km and have a suggested walking time.

We chose to start in Thamel mainly because I wanted to visit the infamous Kathmandu Guest House first. If I’m not mistaken, my brother stayed there during his ‘hippie’ phase in the 1970s shortly before he travelled on to India where he visited my in-laws in Patna, Bihar. David had great tales to tell about his time in Nepal, and I wanted to see the hotel for myself.

I’ve described the sights we encountered along the walking route in the descriptions of my journal photos, so I won’t go into more detail here. I’m glad that I’ve spent plenty of time in third-world countries, and especially in India, because this part of Kathmandu is sure to blow someone’s mind if it’s their introduction to Asia.

After three hours of wandering along the route, taking much longer than the suggested time because I wanted to locate all the sites noted in the walking guide and I like to take a lot of photos, we really appreciated the relative peace and quiet in Durbar Square. We wandered through the three connecting squares, admiring the beautiful buildings and temples and I chose to just take it all in and not focus on the camera in my backpack.

We returned a couple of days later and after depositing Anil in the comfortable Himalayan Java Café, I spent a good hour on my own taking photos of Durbar Square to my heart’s content.

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