A Travellerspoint blog

Kathmandu tour

First day of our tour. There were 12 people total, and another 5 to arrive later that day (they were off loaded from their flight in China and had to wait in a hotel for next available flight). In the end they were compensated so not too unhappy. Two other couples had not received their luggage, so it seems we did well with our flights

Our guide was taking us to two sites, the Monkey Temple and Patan Durbar Square. We were happy to see a big bus, as we so do not like being crammed into small buses.

On the way

On the way

Swayambhunath Temple or Monkey Temple is in the city, on a hill. We could see it from the roof of our hotel. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is renowned for the many monkeys that live on site. It is an attractive site, up high, with many strings of prayer flags blowing in the breeze.

Monkey Temple on the hill, taken from our hotel

Monkey Temple on the hill, taken from our hotel


Arriving at the Monkey Temple

Arriving at the Monkey Temple

Prayer flags above

Prayer flags above


Painted Budddha statues near the entrance

Painted Budddha statues near the entrance


Ornamental pool

Ornamental pool

In the park were many families enjoying picnics to celebrate New Years Eve. They follow a Lunar calendar here and are actually just over 56 years ahead of the Gregorian Temple. So they are celebrating the year 2076s arrival. Picnics are a bit different to ours, as they bring big pots and a burner and start cooking.

The Families picnic wherever they can

Families picnic wherever they can

Before we started the climb up the stairs to the Stupa we stopped at the monkey swimming pool. Apparently it is well used in hot weather.

Monkey swimming pool

Monkey swimming pool

There were stalls selling snacks at the base of the steps. It seems cucumber is eaten a lot as a snack, as we have seen young men with baskets of nicely cut cucumber on their shoulders selling it around the streets. Here it was arranged beside a basket of artistically arranged coconut.

Very nicely cut and arranged

Very nicely cut and arranged

Posing

Posing

Then up those stairs. There are always more steps it seems. Once at the top of the stairs the stupa dominates, but there are also temples, shrines and statues aplenty.

Stairs to be climbed

Stairs to be climbed


The temple complex

The temple complex


Looking down on Kathmandu

Looking down on Kathmandu


Buddha at top of stairs

Buddha at top of stairs


Swayambhunath Stupa

Swayambhunath Stupa

Chaityas, small shrines

Chaityas, small shrines

As it was celebration time there were lots of people around the stupa, and many were carrying out rituals - sprinkling water, putting little piles of rice on monuments, spinning prayer wheels, putting little burning lamps in spaces, or just touching the stupa or standing before the temple.

Woman sprinkling water and putting little piles of rice on Chaitya

Woman sprinkling water and putting little piles of rice on Chaitya


Spinning prayer wheels

Spinning prayer wheels


Walking clockwise around the stupa

Walking clockwise around the stupa


Ornate statues around the base of the stupa

Ornate statues around the base of the stupa


Preparing butter candles

Preparing butter candles


Selling items for offerings

Selling items for offerings

The Hariti Temple had the pagoda style roof we had seen at Pashupatinath. Lots of gold as well.

Hariti Temple

Hariti Temple


Pagoda shaped roof of Hariti Temple

Pagoda shaped roof of Hariti Temple


A number of structures here

A number of structures here

There are two of these temples. Antantapura has just been repaired after it broke in two during the 2015 earthquake.

Anantapura Temple, which has been rebuilt after earthquake

Anantapura Temple, which has been rebuilt after earthquake


In the background the broken in half temple (from Himalayan Times)

In the background the broken in half temple (from Himalayan Times)

From here we were driven to the Patan, a city just across the Bagmati River from Kathmandu. We were taken here mainly to see Patan Durbar Square, but there were a few other places to stop.

The Newar People were the first inhabitanats of the Kathmandu valley, and in this area are still Newari houses. This one, built around a courtyard, had eight houses over 3 floors. This style is where the lovely wood carving we have seen comes from.

Typical old style Newari housing

Typical old style Newari housing


Chillies and corn hanging outside to dry

Chillies and corn hanging outside to dry


Newari style carved ornamentation

Newari style carved ornamentation

Then into the Golden Temple, also off the road in a courtyard. An amazing amount of gold ornamentation in this temple. It seems to be a style here.

Guarding Kwa Baha, the Golden Temple

Guarding Kwa Baha, the Golden Temple


Beautiful entrance to temple

Beautiful entrance to temple


Extravagantly decorated

Extravagantly decorated

Courtyard of temple

Courtyard of temple

Very ornate

Very ornate


Reminds me of a book character

Reminds me of a book character

Unusual

Unusual


Shree Shakya Buddha

Shree Shakya Buddha

Then when we thought it was lunch time, we visited a studio where a man demonstrated healing therapy with bowls. I had never heard of it. He uses bowls (like singing bowls) places them on problem areas eg back, head , hips, whatever, and uses a striker to make them vibrate. He demonstrated on some of our group, but I haven't asked if it had any beneficial effect.

A demonstration here

A demonstration here


Therapy for headache or depression

Therapy for headache or depression


Working his bowl

Working his bowl

Then lunch in a rooftop restaurant, overlooking the area. A chance to rest our feet as well.

Vegetable curry

Vegetable curry

Patan Durbar Square is quite beautiful and unique. The buildings are mainly red brick and carved wood but there are so many and are so intricately decorated it is quite a spectacle. Quite a few are being repaired after earthquake damage. The Royal Palace (now a museum) is here with its gold door still shining bright.

Arriving at Patan Durbar Square

Arriving at Patan Durbar Square


Krishna Mandir Temple

Krishna Mandir Temple


Golden door to Royal Palace Museum

Golden door to Royal Palace Museum

A gory sight in front of this building. It is a sacrifice for the celebrations.

Entrance to Mul Chowk

Entrance to Mul Chowk


All the temples in the Square

All the temples in the Square

On the way home we came across a band celebrating the holiday. We had hoped we might see more festivities but only heard revellers well into the morning from our hotel room!

Its New Years Eve here

Its New Years Eve here

New Years Eve Parade

New Years Eve Parade

People celebrating

People celebrating

We hadn't found a restaurant we liked as much, or was such good value, as the place we went to on the first night here. So back we went. As delicious as ever, and now the young serving fellows know us, so that makes it even better.

Onion rings and spiced peanuts

Onion rings and spiced peanuts


Pakodas, biryani, and momos

Pakodas, biryani, and momos

Posted by jannettek 09:40 Archived in Nepal

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