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First time in Kathmandu- Surprise to many shock to few - Explore Himalaya Blog

First time in Kathmandu- Surprise to many shock to few

First time in Kathmandu- Surprise to many shock to few

Posted May 7th, 2014 under Culture & Festivals, Photo Essay,
Living with the Gods

Living with the Gods

A sacred soul in Kathmandu

A sacred soul

Royal peep

Royal peep

Ancient stone deity in Kathmandu

Ancient stone deity

 Boarding a plane to a very new place is often interesting. Throughout the flight a traveler draws an imaginary picture of the place. Once the plane lands and reality is before the eyes, it is nowhere close to the drawing in the brain. Exactly, encountering the unexpected or the least expected is the fun of traveling. And Kathmandu is one of the few destinations where several unexpected activities for a novice traveler take place every now and then.

Metallic and wooden carving-Kathmandu

Metallic and wooden carving-Kathmandu

The most artistic doorway

The most artistic doorway

Devotee with Buddha-Swayambhunath

Devotee with Buddha-Swayambhunath

Hindu death ritual- Pashupatinath

Hindu death ritual- Pashupatinath 

Wheels dominate the noisy roads, but medieval culture overflows in the neighborhood. Dust in the air but colors of celebration absorb the pollution. Modern malls built everywhere but still the ancient edifices count more. Traffic jam stretched to several 100 meters but the citizens hold unlimited patience to drive through. This is Kathmandu or the first perception over Nepal- for a novice traveler. Kathmandu is surprise to many and shock to few; disorganized technically but organized rationally.

Deity resting on the ground

Deity resting on the ground

Artistic window frames-Everywhere in Kathmandu

Artistic window frames-Everywhere in Kathmandu

My home is so beautiful - Kathmandu

My home is so beautiful

Evil dies when I roar

Evil dies when I roar 

Kathmandu, a UNESCO World Heritage valley holds three equally beautiful antediluvian cities which in medieval times were at Art War with each other. Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur collectively house seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites along with 1000s of other temples and monasteries sprinkled in different corners of the valley. That is why Kathmandu boasts to be the City of Temples. Traveling back to medieval times is the exact way to describe the exploration of Kathmandu. It is a sanctuary of ancient sensual architecture, wobbly but still firm ancient structures, the complex wooden carvings, the sacred dome and pagoda shaped shrines and the peaceful courtyard where once the civilization thrived. The fun of getting lost in the lively squares of Asan and Indra Chowk demands a map to navigate a way to the main street. Kathmandu in short is a beautiful ancient maze bucketed with life.

Guarded deity

Guarded deity

Kaal Bhairav- Fearsome God

Kaal Bhairav- Fearsome God

Rani Pokhari, in the middle of Kathmandu

Rani Pokhari, in the middle of Kathmandu

Fluttering holy flags- Boudhanath

Fluttering holy flags- Boudhanath 

Kathmandu is a treasure trove. Arty and holy deity idols scattered everywhere demand the watchful eyes. These ancient treasures are everywhere; resting high on ancient buildings, tucked in temples doors, abandoned in an isolated ruins of the shrines. But most of these little treasures are found somewhere near to famous temples and monasteries of the city.

City of temples- Kathmandu

City of temples- Kathmandu

Elephant God- Ganesha

Elephant God- Ganesha

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Ear pleasing music

Ear pleasing music 

Pashupatinath, the holiest Hindu Temple for death ritual in Nepal, Changunarayan, the oldest Hindu temple in the valley, the prevailing Boudhanath, said to be the largest stupa in the country, Swayambhunath, a peaceful Buddhist stupa set atop a hill are the major shrines in Kathmandu enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The medieval Durbar Squares built in all three cities are also must explore UNESCO Heritage Sites while in Kathmandu.

Gods live in and out of the temples - Kasthamandap

Gods live in and out of the temples

Flowers for the Deities

Flowers for the Deities

Devotee dressed and masked as Monkey God- Hanuman

Devotee dressed and masked as Monkey God- Hanuman

I have seat up in the sky

I have seat up in the sky 

Kathmandu is chaotic yet captivating it is frenzied yet fantastic. A hub of culture, history and religion, Kathmandu has something for everyone.

Tearing down the devil into peices

Tearing down the devil into peices

Monastery and a temple in a same place

Monastery and a temple in a same place

Line of small temples in Pashupatinath

Line of small temples in Pashupatinath

Holy saints at Pashupatinath

Holy saints at Pashupatinath 

 

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