Based on Field Inspection on May 19 made by four teams of Explore Himalaya with one Sales Officer, one Photographer and one Tour Guide in each team, the report has been prepared.
The powerful quake has made significant impact on the historic monuments of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu. However, many edifices have survived the quake. Here we have the photo essay on Kathmandu Durbar Square, the major UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu. The essay reflects the status of the site after the quake.
The photo essay of other UNESCO World Heritage Sites will be updated in our next update.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
The cluster of ancient temples, palaces. courtyards and monuments that were built during different centuries ( from 16th to 20th century), Kathmandu Durbar Square is probably the most vibrant place in Kathmandu. Though the quake has demolished some of its important edifices, the renovation or rebuilding of these monuments is still attainable and in few years time, the place will regain its cultural significance and artistic legacy.
Mass gathered at Kathmandu Durbar Square to celebrate Holi
One of the major Hindu festivals, Holi is celebrated with passion and jollity on the full moon day in the month of Falgun which normally falls during the month of March of Gregorian calendar.
Entire country drowns into the festive mood when its holi. Water filled balloons and the colors occupy the entire atmosphere while people celebrate Holi. Colorful faces drenched with water, wonder everywhere during Holi. Holi welcomes spring season and hence it is also called a spring festival. Even nature seems to rejoice when its time to play Holi. Fields full with crops indicates a good harvesting season and the flowers color the surroundings filling aromatic fragrance in the air.
Every destination today is a celebration point
Festival celebrated to enjoy the victory of good over evil has several myths. However, the most popular myth is itself a very interesting story. Hiranya Kashyap, a demon king wanted his son Prahlad to be killed as Prahald was one of the biggest devotees of Lord Bishnu. Hiranya Kashyap who considered Bishnu as his biggest enemy was so furious at his son. After several attempts to change his son’s perception he failed and hence he decided to get his own son killed. So he ordered his sister Holika to step in to the burning fire with Prahald in her laps. Holika was privileged with a boon to survive inside the fire. As ordered, Holika entered the fire with Prahald. But, to surprise Holika the most fearsome manifestation of Narasimha emerged from nowhere. Narasimha’s body was of Human and its head was of animal. Holika burnt to ashes and Narasimha tore Hiranyakashyap chest to death and saved Prahald. From then onwards Holi has been observed to celebrate the victory of Lord Bishnu over evil Holika and Hiranya Kashyap as per the Hindu myth.
To capture the moment of Holi, you have to be the part of it
Kathmandu Durbar Square is the major site of Holi celebration in Nepal. Mass, music, colors and fun, what else would anyone look for when everyone there is celebrating this festival of colors and water in the friendliest mood possible. Here we have a photo gallery on Holi celebrated at Kathmandu Durbar Square and in the streets of Kathmandu.
Our German guests Mr. Michael Hermsdorf and Mr. Moritz Thorenz explored the diverse sides of Nepal during three full days excursion of Nepal. The Mt. Everest Flight took them above the towering peaks in the Everest Region whereas; they explored cultural heritage of Kathmandu on a guided sightseeing tour to the Temple of Living Goddess Kumari at Kathmandu Durbar Square. The walk through the colorful and vibrant streets of Asan was equally interesting. They also enjoyed the wildlife activities at Chitwan National Park.
Here we have few beautiful lines they said after the completion of the tour.
Explore Himalaya is a great organization which prioritizes customer preferences at first place. Everything was perfect.Sabin, our tour guide was very polite and arranged everything as per our wishes. Thank you, we had a great holiday in Nepal.
A segment of Freak Street at present
The 1960’s, defined as the Hippie counter-culture craze invaded the lives of millions of people all around the world. The flower power generation or the movement idea of utopian society, where young people questioned materialism and hence the middle class drug culture emerged. The impact good or bad, 1960’s Hippie movement cannot be denied. The movement influenced popular music, television, film, literature and the arts. Westerns were getting to know more about spiritualism and started to follow more of eastern philosophy which led them to eastern lands. Among which Nepal was a popular destination where they poured.
A trademark colorful vehicle of the HIPPIE ERA- Still rolling in Freak Street
Jochhen- “Jo” meaning “straight” “Chhen” meaning “house” refers to straight line of houses at Old Freak street which was the epicenter of the Hippie trail. During that time the main attraction drawing tourists to freak street was the government –run hashish shops. Hence, Hippies traveled from different parts of the world to Freak Street in search of legal cannabis. The street nurtured the way of bohemian life, free from conformity and no social expectation. The best rumor till today is that the God of the Guitar “Jimi Hendrix” himself once traveled to the Freak Street and yes The Beatles and Jim Morrison also have been reported seen here. As implausible as it seems, it is amusing to hear about the crowd that it attracted and the fame that it garnered and Bob Segal having written a song titled Kathmandu is appreciated.
Is it what the Hippies thrive for?
The movement was highly influenced by the arts and music. Basantapur is filled with temples and sattals, where carved wooden pieces of gods and goddesses with minute details are placed. The folk genre has a vast verity of classical instruments and folk lore is definitely touchy. The enormous cultural and religious ways of the combined Hindus and Buddhist worshippers is a huge attraction. The mystically magnetic land and the welcoming people with cheap accommodation, meals and the idea of long travel fulfilled every expectation of the Hippies.
Yet, the then plum position in the heart of Kathmandu today, still has the leftover of the flower generation. Youth today have opened clubs to keep the place intact, where foreigners and new generation get to go around the legendary hub of the Hippies. The area at present is under UNESCO World Heritage Site, and tourists have package to go for a day Sightseeing Tour inside the area.
UNESCO World Heritage Site flanks the Freak Street
Text Credits: Bishant Bista
Photo Credits: Karan Kunwar