The end of 2013 saw the celebration of the restoration of the Tusha Hiti (the royal bath) in Sundari Chowk of the royal palace in Patan Durbar Square, a world heritage monument zone. It was a proud moment for Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT) that had restored the site. KPVT has also been responsible for many significant restoration works in Kathmandu Valley. The recent disastrous earthquakes/aftershocks in April and May, this year destroyed many of the valley’s priceless monuments, but apparently, most of those restored by KVPT did not suffer much damage, including Tusha Hiti.
Similarly, the valley is so full of historical cultural assets that despite substantial losses due to the quake/aftershocks, plenty more remains that can enthrall tourists from around the world. Besides the great loss of lives and property, culturally speaking, one of the terrible aspects of the disastrous quake/aftershocks, is that some of the biggest damage was caused on world heritage site monument zones. Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan Durbar Squares, Dharahara, Changunarayan Temple, to name some of the most significant ones from the cultural and historical angle. Many ancient temples and monuments were reduced to rubble. Many of the huge and once opulent Rana durbars such as Singh Durbar, Sheetal Niwas, Hotel Shanker, etc. also have been damaged quite badly.
However, in spite of everything, a walk around town yesterday (a Saturday) lifted my spirits. So what if you couldn’t step into Patan Durbar Square yet, you could still pass a pleasant afternoon or evening sitting around it, as many people were doing. Yes, the vibrancy was not as high as it used to be a couple of weeks ago, but the place definitely had a sense of past liveliness. Walk a little way ahead from the square area toward Lahgankhel, and you’ll find the setting as busy as before, with plenty of small shops selling a vast variety of goods all along the street. Is this scene any less uplifting than the sight of a world heritage monument zone/site? No, at least not in the cultural sense, because the goods sold here, the small shops handed down through generations, the brisk order of business: these are all part of a lifestyle that has been ongoing for ages with little change.
Go early in the morning, and you’ll find plenty of folks lighting butter lamps and incense sticks in temples around the area. People have not lost faith in their gods, nor in their own power to face any adversity with resolute courage. The famed artisans of Lalitpur (the city of the arts)—the woodcarvers, the metalsmiths, the paubha painters, the stone sculptors— they are getting ready to put their skilled hands to work on the restoration works that will start soon. This is not something that is new to them; they have done this before because the valley is no stranger to massive earthquakes in the past. And, every time, the valley and its brave inhabitants have come out all the stronger.
Tours |Jan 1, 2019
Nepal is a country of nuances – just when you think you know it all, it surprises you. From the underrated wildlife to the incredible concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu
Nepal |Aug 26, 2015
Lying on a single piece of a rocky hill on the southwestern side of the Kathmandu valley, Kirtipur stands stoically and does justice to the literal meaning of its name – Kirti (glorious) pur (city).
Trekking |Jun 14, 2023
At Birethanti, the path divides into two. The path going west leads to the Bhurungdi river and Tikhedunga, and thereon to the trail to Ghorepani pass (a watering hole for horses once upon a time). The trail going right from Birethanti carries on to the Modi river valley and from there to Ghandruk.
Hotel |Jul 3, 2023
Nestled in the green hills of Shaba along the Paro Chhu, you will find the Blue Sky Bungalow but if you blink at the wrong time, you could easily miss it. A labour of love more than two years in the making, the Blue Sky Bungalow is an extraordinary gem
Tours |May 17, 2023
These pioneering works led to the restoration of other heritage monuments. Well, royalty may be no more in the country, but we have to thank a grandiloquent royal celebration for beginning the process of restoration of Nepal’s marvellous monuments.
Tours |Jun 21, 2023
Neydo Monastery and Guest House in Pharping, which is around 20 km southwest of Kathmandu, and just behind a village called Bhanjang. Actually, the guest house is located next to the Neydo Tashi Choeling Monastery.
Others |Jun 18, 2023
Always wanted a tattoo but never knew what to get, or where? That problem was solved when my girlfriend gave me the smallest Christmas present ever. I looked at the wrapped up gift, which was about the size of a playing card, with utter disappointment.
Others |Jun 27, 2023
It’s just a stretch of road between the Thapathali Bridge (that connects Kathmandu to Patan) and Pulchowk where Hotel Himalaya is situated, not a long stretch by any imagination, but it sure has a lot of boutiques and handicraft outlets.
Community Homestays in Nepal |Mar 3, 2022
Spoilt for choice, if you want to stay in a family/community homestays in Nepal, then there are now more than 20 listed on the Community Homestay Network; with new ones joining all the time.
Tours |Jun 16, 2023
On the way to Pokhara on the scenic Prithvi Highway, you will come across a small town called Bimal Bazaar in Tanahun District. A half hour from here will take you to the largest cave in the country, the Siddha Cave, which is also said to be the largest cave in all of South East Asia.
New Itineraries |Sep 28, 2015
One expects destruction and finds silence. In Nepal can bring a spiritual experience every day. Visiting a country that up early not only for the gods.