Sunday, November 7, 2010

Kumari Devi, Living Goddess of Nepal

One of the things I looked forward to in Nepal was to visit the house of Kumari Devi, the Living Goddess of Nepal. Choosing a pre-pubescent young girl as a living goddess is an old tradition in Nepal. When she reaches her first menstruation her divinity and reign ends, and the search for her successor begins.

It says it all: This is the House of the Living Goddess, Kumari.

Durbar Square, Kathmandu

The most popular UNESCO World Heritage site in Nepal is Durbar Square. It's only a half hour stroll from the backpacker area of Thamel.

Some of the temples date back to the 12th century.

For a bit of modernity there is the Royal Palace (the white building).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Crazy Thamel (Shopping & Eating), Kathmandu Part 3 of 3

Thamel can overwhelm you. From trekking gear, handicrafts, bookstores to souvenirs, Thamel won't disappoint. After a hard day of exploring the city, its numerous bars and restaurants are welcoming.

A kukri, the fearsome weapon of the Gurkhas, is the perfect souvenir.

 Have a cup of tea with the locals.Two hard boiled eggs easily fortified me for half a day.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Crazy Thamel (Street Life), Kathmandu Part 2 of 3

With its traffic-choked narrow street, Thamel is not pedestrian-friendly. What grates on my nerve is the constant honking by the vehicles that vie for space. However, the street life is both unexpected, colourful and interesting.

 I was both surprised and delighted to see bananas being sold everywhere in Nepal. Life saviour if you don't fancy Nepali food. They are locally grown.

I joined the locals for a cup of Nepali tea. A pity I didn't know the language.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Crazy Thamel, Kathmandu (Nepal) Part 1 of 3

There is probably no place in the world like Thamel, a backpacker area wall to wall with cafes, restaurants, travel agents and budget hotels.
I heard so much about the famous Kathmandu Guest House that I had to have a look. It looks posh with high room rates. A guest house only in name.
 I will never forget Thamel. Narrow dusty streets choked with trishaws, taxis, motorbikes and humanity. Tiger balm salesmen and fruit sellers  importuned me  to buy countless times a day.

 Travel agents in Thamel will take you to India, Buthan and Tibet. One Japanese lady I met on the bus told me she went to Buthan through one of the travel agencies here. Cheaper she said.

 Bargaining is a must in Thamel. Ladies swoon at the sight of this.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Boudhanath Stupa, Nepal Part 2 of 2

 Surrounding the Boudhanath Stupa are Tibetan gompa and souvenir shops selling stuff like Tibetan prayer wheels and bowls and mandala. I felt as if I was in Tibet itself.