When I arrived for the first time in Kathmandu, March 2015, it was during the coldest march since many years. Everybody kept telling me this. It was raining and it was dark. And with dark I mean: no electricity, therefore no lights on the street.
Thus I felt in love with this city, and since then I’ve been 3 times there, staying for weeks, considering it as my second but REAL home.
I will give you an impression of the city of my heart in pictures and some pieces of information I find worth mentioning, thus without claiming to be a historical or a tourist guide (you want to know all details about places dates and history? Buy a city guide book and enjoy).
This impressions are from my last trip in June 2016, over one year after the earthquake, and still now the rubbish and remaining of the once so amazing temples are hurting deep inside.
Here we go…
Kathmandu’s magic remains untouched, come and see…
A friend took me for a trek around KTMs hills, where we spend some time with this old local guy, starring at the colorful city we love.
My friend Anu and me meet at the Boudnaht Stupa, the place I love and to which I always come back first when I am in Kathmandu. First we went 3 times (left) around the stupa, which always is fascinating for me.
Boudhanath is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu and even in Nepal, still its about 11 kilometers away from the city centre. The really huge mandala (this is a palace with a center and four gates in the four directions) makes it one of the largest stupas in Nepal. Boudhanath became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The base of the stupa has 108 small depictions of the Dhyani Buddha Amitabh (the 5 wisdom Buddhas). It is surrounded with a brick wall, each one with prayer wheels engraved with the mantra, om mani padre hum (which as I found out can’t be translated into a simple sentence).
We had great Roadhouse Coffee pizza on the rooftop terrace and watched the sun going down…
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the same crucible as every time. You can see the remains of the earthquake April 2015, still untouched by the government who didn’t started to rebuild the heritage site thus enormous donations.
People come for a met, a date, a family trip, or a pause for the soul. Thus a lot of temples has been destroyed April 25 2015, the atmosphere remained as it was: loud, peaceful, crowded, lonely, colorful and heart-touching.
Chilling on the remains…
Breaking the rules like a boss!
Watching people dealing, sitting, eating, dating, etc on Bakthapu Durbar Square
This is the only picture I ever made for which I paid for. The Sadhus are religious or holy people, which dedicated their lives to achieving liberation through meditation. Sadhus wear saffron-coloured clothing, it is to symbolize their renunciation. If you want to take a photo you have to give them a donation, this is how they buy their food and other stuff.
Thamel – welcome to the chaos
A typical inhabitant of Thamels narrow streets, but you will find them everywhere, and every driver waits patiently till they crossed the street. There are the most guesthouses, hotels (I recommend Kathmandu Guest House), bars and restaurants, of course at high end prices (which means it’s still soon cheap).
Brawley, narrow, dirty, overwhelming and beloved Thamel…
Pashupatinath is the place where the beloved ones who passed away are burned on the “ghats” along the Basmati river. Here you can find the official site, but don’t expect too much (:
The other residents
Everywhere you go, you see a lot of street dogs in Kathmandu (it is said there are around 23K of them). They of course have injuries from collisions with cars/ motorbikes, suffer from starvation, open sores, infections and so on. Here is some more information about how you can help.