The Streets of Nepal

Added on by John Fahy.

It was 6am in Kathmandu. The narrow city streets were showing hints of waking, still groggy from the night before. On the way to Durbar Square, I came across a small shrine where people from all walks of life were clambering to say a prayer in front of the deities before starting their day. You can hear the murmour of blessings, the babel of babies crying in the bustle, as broken shutter doors swing open into a new day, as if Nepal was staging a scene from Dickens...

The tiny country of Nepal is home to 8 of the 10 highest peaks in the world, is littered with UNESCO heritage sites and boasts some of the slowest internet speeds on the planet. Though Nepal has some of the world's most exciting hydro-electricity projects, like small countries all over the world, its resources are drained by its towering neighbour, India. This means that Nepalis must do without electricity for 10-12 hours of the day. Nepal is a popular destination for people applying for Indian visas, like a purgatory for wretched souls from all over the world, waiting for their ticket to self-realisation. On a recent visa trip, I was lucky enough to spend a week in the Kathmandu valley, between Bhaktapur, Nagarkhot and other day trips. The following photo blog is the first of a short series on Nepal...

Everywhere you go in Kathmandu, you can be sure that there are a few pairs of eyes watching your every move...

It was 6am in the market square. These women, sitting by a shrine,  were having a smoke and a chai before the morning rush

This little girl wasn't sure what was going on, but she was being blessed at one of the thousands of shrines that litter the streets of Kathmandu. As you would find in Bali and all over India, small shrines are a hub of activity in the morning hours as people get darshan (sight of the deity) before going to work.

Traditionally in Nepal, women (who do most of the heavy lifting) strap a doko (large basket) to their foreheads, with the bottom of the basket rests on their lower back, distributing the weight a little. It is not uncommon to see these baskets brimming with vegetables, cement or even bricks!

The kids in Kathmandu seemed to love nothing more than a day out chasing pigeons!

DSC_4243.jpg

Every morning and evening, the local women meet at the well for a chat and well, some water...

Buddhists from a nearby monastery out looking for donations (given in the large bowls they were carrying)

Every evening, Nepalis (mostly elderly) meet up and watch the world go by in one of the many public verandas on the corner of every block in the city

This guy was working on a decorative piece for the top of a nearby temple

At the crack of dawn, everyone would head to the busy marketplace to get their day's produce. This bustling area would, within a couple of hours, turn into a quiet deserted square...

The future was not bright for these geese. Though about to be separated at the market, they managed to get in one last kiss...

This lady spent about an hour going to give an offering in every shrine in Durbar Square (a central area famous for its old temples).

For the week I spent in Nepal, there were goats everywhere. People were buying, selling, feeding and parading goats throughout the city. I later found out that this was because there were to be mass sacrifices around the city for an annual festival...

DSC_4451.jpg

Paintings for sale in the 'Heritage City' of Bhaktapur

Even with heavy loads, people always had time to stop for some banter...

Talking philosophy...

These men gather, singing bhajans (hymns) by the temple entrance every evening

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner