Thumper…

January 10, 2018

Nepal day 3 – Bhaktapur

27/3/17
Headed to the historical area of Bhaktapur, within the Kathmandu Valley, and really not that far from the center of Kathmandu. It’s a short drive, I’d almost call it another suburb of Kathmandu, but apparently it’s one of the top 3 cities population wise within Nepal. We didn’t even pass any open space to get there! I guess after all this time visiting Asia I should expect that city boundaries aren’t as defined there as they are here in Australia, but I’m still not used to that.

Welcome to Bhaktapur

Welcome to Bhaktapur

At Bhaktapur, unless you’re a local, there is a charge to enter the area. This area was fascinating for looking at the damage from the earthquake. Because it was so old, the damage was easily noticeable, even nearly two years later (quake was 25/4/15). Many buildings have huge cracks in them, walls at weird angles or piles of rubble at the bottom of them. Many houses that were a few stories high are now single story, some buildings are standing while right next door there is nothing but rubble. The back streets are so narrow it would have been a nightmare after the quake trying to get around.
We spent time walking around the back streets, observing daily life, the kids going to school, the women working on the household chores and every now and then some building works. Every day, it is the woman’s job to be up around 4.30am to make an offering to the hindu gods; there’s trouble from the men if they don’t.

Offering bowls at one of the many temples

Offering bowls at one of the many temples

It seems a strange place, almost circular, radiating from the central square (it’s probably not, but it seemed that way). Plenty of temples and historical buildings are destroyed or partially destroyed thanks to the earthquake. The major difference in Bhaktapur though is that there’s evidence of building and restoration works under way and salvage works on some of the materials that were part of the original.

Salvage works

Salvage works

We saw pottery square, which has a kiln in it, but doesn’t really seem to be a square (more an area) and in Durbar Square Bhaktapur was the royal palace with 55 windows, because supposedly he had 55 wives. Next to the palace was a temple where some had just made live offerings – small birds (the birds had obviously been killed to be placed as an offering). So glad I don’t have to do that.

A potter in Potter Square

A potter in Potter Square

Dropped in to the Sweet Home Bhaktapur restaurant where the meal wasn’t too bad and the toilets were clean. Also in the restaurant were a group of possibly Japanese tourists. I’m using the toilet, had only just entered, when one of them starts almost bashing the door down (what was wrong with the other empty one?). I half thought of just letting them in instead and waiting, but that would probably have taken longer. But it continued, which is a little unnerving when you’re in a reasonably vulnerable position… Anyway, they can bash as much as they like, because two can play at that game. I knocked on the door back, but they kept going, so I just took my time – check the hair, clean the teeth, they had a great washbasin and mirror – and our group all had a good laugh after – they were harmless enough (just impatient).

Well in the city

Well in the city

The predominantly vehicle free streets are paved with bricks, cost is 25 rupee for street bricks, 50 rupees for building bricks. 50 rupees is about 65 cents Australian. Found an ice cream shop at Durbar square, where they just sold ice cream. There were a few young boys hanging around the ice cream stall, just waiting for people to buy them ice cream – basically begging. If they hadn’t had any for a while, they’d go around to the bin and grab the empty containers and lick them. Perhaps it was a ploy to get more ice cream, because surely if you were that hungry you’d be hanging around the restaurants for real food rather than ice cream. Again in the shops around the area you could buy anything – knives, swords, clothes, hardware etc and I’m sure they had a special price for tourists! The area has plenty of people living there and calling it home – vegetable gardens, shops and washing on the lines abound.

Veggie Patch, Bhaktapur

Veggie Patch, Bhaktapur

Our accommodation that night was at the Bhadgaon Guest House in the center of the city overlooking the hive of activity around the temples in the square below. Unfortunately “hive of activity” during the day translates to “hive of activity” at 4am in the morning… but that’s for tomorrow’s post! They do have nice meals at the hotel restaurant here – some sizzling chicken was my choice tonight.

Chicken and veggies

Chicken and veggies

Had a walk later on that evening and accidentally took a few steps (literally, that’s all it was) outside the old city limits. I’m sure the guy watched us leave, just so he could ask us where our tickets were. Our guide hadn’t given them to us, but thankfully I had the hotel key and showed that to him.
And no. I don’t want a chess set, but thanks for asking. 500 times.

More colours are available in Uganda!

More colours are available in Uganda!

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: