Three Days in Kathmandu


Kathmandu assaults your senses.  It is dusty, dirty, noisy, chaotic, crowded.  Take a deep breath and you will get a lungful of incense, enough to keep you coughing for a few minutes.

We toured the three major cities of the ancient Malla kingdom: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur.  (That’s what happened when you had three sons–you split up your kingdom so they could each have a place to rule. )

We saw the impact of the earthquake everywhere.  It is heartbreaking  to see that one year later, people are still living in makeshift shelters.

Home for a family

Home for a family

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa

Timber supporting Kathmandu buildings

Timber supporting Kathmandu buildings

Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur

Rebuilding by hand

Rebuilding by hand

Still, there are parts of the cities that were not damaged, allowing you to experience their grandeur and the beauty.

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Plaza in Bhaktapur as seen from the balcony of the New Cafe Nuatapola, where we had a delicious lunch

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The Five Level Temple

The royal family's bathtub

The royal family’s bathtub

Complete with snake sculptures

Complete with snake sculptures

While preparing for this trip, I read about the living goddesses, known as the Kumari.  (The post  “Follow the Yellow Brick Road, Part Two has more information about the goddess.)

After our visit, all of the women in our group felt so sorry for this sad looking little girl, who was chosen when she was three years old.  I couldn’t help but compare her to my happy, active nieces.  Of course, we don’t know what other options were available to her.  Maybe sitting on a “throne” placing tikkas on the foreheads of gawkers was the better alternative.

The Kumari is not allowed to walk

The Kumari is not allowed to walk

Peter is receiving her blessing.

Peter is receiving her blessing.

Despite the hardships they have endured, the Nepali people’s beautiful spirit shines through.

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The hawkers are everywhere.  The problem is if you buy from one, you are mobbed by many others.  Still, I couldn’t resist this woman’s sweet  smile, especially after she told me if  I wanted to buy more than one, there would be no problem.

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Okay, so I bought more than one.  Sisters, cousins, nieces, friends…you know the drill…gifts are coming your way, but you may have to earn them.  There may be a quiz!

This next one was more of a hard sell.  “Madam, blessings for you, blessings for me”, chanted continuously while she walked beside me for the equivalent of five city blocks.

imageOkay, so I got blessed.  I now own the necklace the lady on the right is holding.  I expect those blessings to be coming my way!

9 thoughts on “Three Days in Kathmandu

  1. This is fascinating Shelley. Thanks for sharing!

    I remember the same problem in India – if you buy from one hawker you will be mobbed by others. Our group leader solved the problem by allowing certain vendors into our bus for limited amounts of time so we could consider a purchase. I always felt a little badly about those not chosen, but there were so many …..

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  2. That poor little girl. I’m sure she has a lot of advantages as a goddess, but I bet she’d be tempted to give them up to be able to roam and play freely. From what I can see, the hawkers had some lovely items for sale! I love the purses and necklaces. I would have spent a fortune. Perhaps I can win something though…

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    • I wished that I could have bought more, but I am having ATM challenges and need to conserve cash. Long, sad story…

      I feel so bad for these poor earthquake victims, and though I hated being pursued and badgered, I understood their desperation.

      This trip makes me so very appreciative of things I have taken for granted, like electricity, and clean water.

      Liked by 1 person

    • If I can ever get the Internet to cooperate, I’ll post some pretty amazing photos about what life is like for many people in other parts of the world. We are so very, very lucky.

      Sent from my iPad

      >

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    • Beth, what a nice surprise to hear from you! I don’t organize group trips–although I have been known to persuade friends to join me on trips. I am travelI got with OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel) and I’d be happy to give you more information about them when I get back the end of May.

      Sent from my iPad

      >

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    • I wish I could upload photos, but wifi is too slow here. We have to raft to our next camp. No roads. That’s a good thing. My butt is probably black and blue from all the bumpy roads!

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