One of the highlights of Kathmandu is the Lonely Planet walking tour of the backstreets between Thamel and Durbar Square. We did this same walk 8 years ago, pre 2015 earthquake. See Street Pics from Kathmandu and Pics from Durbar Square for photos from that trip.
The crowded streets are fascinating with non-stop photo ops. Life is lived on the street and shop keepers sell everything imaginable, all neatly displayed and dusted daily. Bright colors abound. The crumbly intricate architecture is now sadly in greater disrepair than before.
Of the temples and stupas we stopped at along the way, Kathesimbhu Stupa is the most impressive.
Even 3 years later, damage from the earthquake is clearly visible. Doorways and window frames lean askew. Posts prop up ancient edifices. Bulging brick walls look as if they will burst at any minute.
Even more power lines hang in tangled rat’s nests. I swear they must have run new lines on top of the old without removing a single damaged line.
Durbar Square is in sad condition. Every brick structure shows signs of earthquake damage with cracked walls and support beams, but life goes on. Locals walk through with purpose or hang about. Some worship at the temples others relax in the shade of the damaged structures.
The living goddess Kumari Devi lives in one of these ancient structures with the windows askew and brick walls propped up. Although beautifully carved, I wonder if it is really safe.
Hanuman Dhoka, the royal palace, was also badly damaged and entrance is restricted to the courtyard only. There is still an ancient charm about the place and enough remains standing to get a sense of its former glory.
The 1,000 rupee ($9USD) entrance fee may be steep for a restoration project, but think of it as a donation.
October 4, 2018
For links to all the posts in this series see the Nepal page.