Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Kathmandu- Capital of Nepal Highlights

Kathmandu Durbar Square From Wiki Travel:
The heart of the Kathmandu Valley this ancient square crowded with palaces & temples, including the current incarnation of the Kasthamandap or "Wooden house" that gives the city its name. The square has been in active use since the construction of a palace around 1000 AD. This site is the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal.
Magical in the very early morning and evening, Durbar Square. 
Film "Durbar Square", poetic short movie directed by Guillaume Boulanger, 1996.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK2Gd300Sac

There are more than a dozen buildings and statues of note in this small area. They include:
  • Taleju Temple One of the oldest temples in the square, this three-roofed temple with its pyramid shaped bases, is an example of the typical Newari architectural style.
  • Ashok Binayak
  • Shiva Temple
  • Maju Deval
  • Narayan Temple
  • Shiva-Parvati Temple
  • Kumari Palace- home of "the Kumari", or living goddess, a young girl. South side of Durbar square,
  • Bhagwati Temple
  • Saraswati Temple The Goddess of Knowledge and Learning
  • Krishna Temple
  • Sweta Bhairab Statue shown only during the Indra Jatra festival.
  • Kal Bhairab
  • Indrapur Temple
  • Vishnu temple
  • Mahendreswar Temple
It is possible to climb the steps of many of the temples for a better look, or to join the people sat at the top watching the bustle below
(My favorite part climbing the stairs to the top to watch everyone pass by. When it was there it began to rain, which actually left a magical feeling in the air walking through the streets and the temple areas.)

Dinner at KCs with Ananda-the Oldest Restaurant in Thamel

Spending time with Adam’s Travel Buddies- My two friends Ananda and Surie.  We really became like family sitting having tea, lunch together, Pris playing the role of travel secretary, and motor bike rides through town. I love and miss these two guys very much.

Monkey Temple and Buddha Stupa
From Wikitravel:

  • Swayambhu (स्वयम्भू) - A large stupa, highly revered in Nepal, and one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the country. It offers great views over the city, and no lack of monkeys. 

  • Boudha Stupa in Boudha (बौद्ध). One of the most sacred sites for Tibetan Buddhism. It is a must see in Kathmandu.

  • Civil Mall, City Centre,and Time Square

  • While these were commercial areas of Kathmandu, it was nice checking out these places, especially nice for the food as I have mentioned the food in Nepal is quite bland.  These areas offer a variety of selections ranging from Chinese to Thai to Japanese to Italian.  I was actually quite impressed by the malls and Civil mall with their "Central Park" food court with ten varieties of food. Within these places, the Western influence is very much present.  One of my favorite restaurant was Cafereena where I had some amazing Pad Thai and Green curry.  It was so nice eating Thai food, Boy do I love and miss my Thai food from Bangkok.

  • Also, my favorite place was Cream Bell with fresh made waffle cones and Fig and honey icecream and Rajbog(Indian flavor), which tastes like a glass of sweet lassi.

    Wedding at Hotel Annapurna
    Coming back from Nagarkot and ending up in the "Timesquare area", which is the area of stores and restaurants.  I came across the "Hotel Annapurna"-a five star hotel with a rather large wedding celebration.  The whole procession walking into the hotel lobby lasted for 2 hours! It was the longest and best I have seen. The guests were dressed fabulous, fabulous, and fabulous. The men looked sharp and I could not stop staring at the women's saris.  Every single sari I wanted for myself. These saris were super expensive-I could tell-my taste what can I say. 
    Everyone was dancing and ALIVE and the band was playing the best Bollywood beats. I could not help it, but dance.  An older Japanese man and woman were dancing as well-it was quite adorable.  I sat and thought to myself, "Wow what a wedding-these Punjabis really know how to throw a party."  I watched as they sat in front of the lobby locking arms and spinning one another around, girls traditionally dancing in a circle and men putting their heart and soul into their Punjabi dance moves.  The women ALL just looked so beautiful and the men so well dressed.
    Confirmed- PRIS loves her PUNJABIS!

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