Day 12: Bhaktapur


Today was a leisurely day with nothing planned. Dan and I were able to start the day when we wanted, and didn’t have to worry about meeting s guide or car. Lovely, for a change!

We started our day with breakfast on the roof top. A quick view here shows that a) our laundry has been done and is finishing drying, and b) the earthquake devastation that parts of this neighbourhood is still recovering from. Our guide from yesterday said that there was little insurance for people to rebuild. It sounded like they received about 10% of the cost to rebuild. Thus the restoration has been slow indeed!

A beautiful day for exploring the inner city

We were soon off exploring the old squares of the city. Today we wanted to visit the Potter’s Square, return to Durbar or the Royal square, and see some of the woodcarving that this city is so well known for.

On our way, we saw the rice returning to the mats for drying. And interestingly, we also saw how the beautiful patterns were made in the drying rice. I guess it’s similar to stamping grapes!

Soon we found Potter’s Square. Unfortunately, there was no one working today, but we still saw the wood fired kilns, and the pots fired from yesterday. We also saw a number of shops selling their wares!

Wood fired kiln at Potter’s Square
All sorts of pots ready for finishing
Finished products for sale

After Potter’s Square, we headed to Durbar Square to have a closer look at some of the landmarks there. The intricacy of carving and designs, along with the age of the temples and shrines, many dating back to the 1400’s makes this a truly unique place.

Vatsala Durga Temple, badly damaged during the earthquake. Look at the bamboo scaffolding!
17th century Siddhi Lakshmi Temple
Pashupatinath Temple sits in front of the 55 window palace. Originally built in 1475, it is the oldest temple in the square.

We soon found ourselves in front of the palace, and decided to explore inside.

Golden Gate of the Palace
Partial view of the 55 window palace
Example of unrepaired damage from the 2015 earthquake.
Naga Pokhari, a ritual 17th century water tank. The pool is a circled with a writhing stone cobra, with other cobra’s guarding the tank.
King Bhupatindra Malla’s Column. Created in 1699, it is the only surviving royal pillar in the valley. This sits outside of the palace gates, and the king is sitting in prayer looking towards the stunning Hindu temple located inside the palace.

As we toured the square, we saw some woodcarvers working at making restored window screens for damaged buildings on the square.

With razor sharp tools working the hardwood, I’m not convinced that their motto is “safety first”!
A craftsman in the Wood Carving shop. I’m not sure this job does anything for his posture!

With a far amount of exploring underway, it was time for a little lunch. We had read about a cafe hidden away off the square and decided to try it. What an oasis!

Dan looking forward to his ice cold “Gurkha” beer!
My lunch consisted of MoMo’s which are similar to Chinese dim sum dumplings. These were served sizzling, and trust me after 5 straight minutes of the plate boiling the contents, nothing bad was going to survive there!
Local women outside the restaurant selling bracelets and necklaces.

A quick shot on the square, then it was back to the hotel for a little R and R and packing before we set out for exploring once again. It was a lovely warm walk back to our guest house.

Having fun in front of the Golden Gate
This little food bar has one of the highest ratings on tripadvisor in town! It serves butter chicken poutine, as well as many other specialties. Might be worth a try!
Streets are busy with shoppers even after the festival

One of the interesting vehicles that we have seen is a cross between a truck and a tractor. These work horse can manoeuvre the narrow streets carrying quite the load. This one appears to be carrying debris from earthquake restoration.

Work horse of the narrow streets!

Back at the hotel we gathered our clean clothes and began organizing our suitcases for travel to Bhutan tomorrow. It’s great to start once again with a suitcase full of clean clothes!

After packing and some R and R, we headed out for some supper. Feeling a little adventurous, we headed back to Aalutti to try their butter chicken poutine…and a Tornada, which is a potato spiral cut and threaded onto a skewer to then be deep fry and sprinkled with a “magic” sauce! All wonderful!

Butter Chicken Poutine and Tornado!
Our table at Aalutti!

After dinner we stopped once again in the Watshala Garden restaurant for a night cap. A lovely accompaniment to our dinner.

We finally made our way back to our hotel, still early, but dark nonetheless. The streets were still busy, and the motor bikes added atmosphere with their headlights!

It’s been a lovely few days in the Kathmandu Valley. Temperatures have been between 23-27 during the day. Far warmer than we expected. As we head off to Bhutan it sounds like temperatures will be much closer to those at home, with overnights below freezing for the first week we’re there. Oh well, no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing! We’re prepared for almost anything!

While wifi has been advertised in a number of places we are staying in Bhutan, we may not have enough of a signal from some of the more remote areas for posting. I’ll post as often as I can! Until tomorrow!

Categories: Himalayas: India, Nepal and Bhutan 2019

2 comments

  1. Looks like you had a great time this day!

    Like

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