Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Little has changed in Nepal since I last visited in 1982. Its picturesque temples and pagodas, durbar (palace) squares, and narrow streets are much the same as I remembered them. However the pollution has gotten worse, with far more dodgy-looking constructions cropping up along the dusty roads, and the traffic... urghhh... These however do not diminish the beauty and mystique of this wonderful land of great culture and friendly faces. Here are some shots I took in the sunny days we enjoyed in the capital Kathmandu.

The Maju Dega and Narayan temples rise high above Kathmandu's Durbar Square. Life goes on as usual, with locals oblivious to the oohs and ahhs of hordes of tourists.

The terrifying Kala Bhairab (Black Bhairab), bloodthirsty manifestation of Kali, with a fresh coat of paint and sacrificial blood.
The courtyard of the Kumari Ghar, home of Kathmandu's living goddess. At 11 every morning, the kumari (who looks like she's seven or eight years old) makes an appearance, albeit for some 15 seconds or so.

The hilltop temple of Swayambhunath.

Multiple miniature stupas populate the grounds of Swayambhunath.

The Narayanhiti Palace, once home to King Birendra and his family, now a museum opened to the public. As expected, the rooms combine dated (1960s James Bond-like sets) with garish (stuffed tigers and rhinos). The Tribhuvan Sardan, the palace annex where the royal massacre of 2001 took place, has been completely demolished.

The Hindu temple of Pashupatinath. The riverside platform (or ghat) along the steps was where the entire royal family was cremated following the 2001 palace massacre.

An oblique view from the hill overlooking Pashupatinath.

The sadhus (holy ascetics) of Pashupatinath.

Outside the Tamang Gompa (monastery) of Bouddhnath temple, where Buddhist devotees prostrate themselves and circumambulate Nepal's largest stupa.

Smaller stupas lie around the great stupa of Bouddhnath.

One of the more colourful souvenir shops on the Thamel Marg, Kathmandu's much loved or reviled backpacker and tourist district.

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