Kathmandu Durbar Square

Here you’ll find travel reports about Kathmandu Durbar Square. Discover travel destinations in Nepal of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

12 travelers at this place:

  • Day211


    March 28 in Nepal

    We stayed at Pushkar Shah’s house (for 10 days) which is full of cyclists throughout the year. He’s been on a mystical journey for peace around the world with his bicycle, promotes cycling and fights for bicycle lanes nowadays. There were many other crazy riders too and it was great to spend time together and share experiences.

    We went around a lot, guided and unguided, and there are temples, stupas and other holy places everywhere and in all sizes, in the trees, in the walls, in the pavement, at the surrounding hills. We watched the cremations taking place at some temples next to the rivers - with very mixed feelings.
    We visited one of the holiest pilgrims sites for Buddhists in the world - the Boudhanath stupa and the holy atmosphere there are mesmerizing.

    It’s easy to notice all the opulent dogs, pigeons and monkeys who love to stay around the temples because the people usually offer sacrifice in form of rice, biscuits and other sweets - and feeding them is positive for the karma :)

    And: Fit in cycling does not mean fit in yoga... We used our lazy time to do some yoga lessons in the mornings. We found an ashram round the corner where the locals go and enjoyed this authentic experience although it was painful during the yoga and painful the days after (every little muscle hurt!). But again and again a perfect start into the day before breakfast.

    There are also some good news for our further journey (and this is also the main reason why we stayed that long in this crazy city): After 4 visits to the Indian embassy we eventually got our visa, yeah!
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  • Day6

    Durbar Square

    April 16, 2017 in Nepal

    After the Monkey Temple we drove to Durbar Square. If you've seen any videos of the earthquake, it's probably of this area. There are very old buildings here and many of them were damaged in the earthquake and are being supported by beams and poles on the outside. The old palace is here which was in use by the royal family until 1969 when a new one was built in a different location. It seems to have two distinct sections, one in the pagoda style and one that looks almost European. The palace was so badly damaged that it cannot be repaired. It will have to be taken apart and rebuilt to the tune of approximately 10 billion dollars. Of course the Nepalese government doesn't have the money and is hoping the Americans and Chinese will help them out. I'm not hopeful the current US administration will be too open to that! Many other old buildings in the square will also need to be repaired. I think it will be a while!Read more

  • Day124

    Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal

    October 8, 2015 in Nepal

    Kathmandu's Durant Square was only of the cultural hubs most affected by the earthquake in April of this year. In one of the below photos, you can see the before and after comparison. However, even with many of the most iconic structures reduced the rubble, the square is still bustling with tour guides and trinket-salespeople ready to talk your ear off about the cultural history of the region. Nepal's three Durbar squares are all former homes of the Nepalese royal families and are incredibly unique in their incorporation of both Buddhist and Hindu architecture. Six pictures doesn't begin to do the square justice.Read more

  • Day3

    Durbar Square, Kathmandu

    January 13, 2017 in Nepal

    After Thamel I made my way to Durbar Square, about a 20 min walk from my hotel. I feel as though that walk was more representative of what Kathmandu is actually like.... Along the route that I walked the earthquake damage was prominent. There were random crumbled buildings, streets with huge holes and piles of rubble, clearly less fortunate people, and overall a sense of.... Quiet and sadness, it definitely wasn't a bustling area like Thamel. But then, I did choose not to take main roads and instead saw what I think is more local life. Some streets I walked down didn't have a single other person on them, maybe a stray dog if anything. Never once did I feel unsafe in these areas, if anything I enjoyed them more than the bustling areas with the crowds and the people pushing to sell you things. I wish I could have taken photos here, but again I didn't want to be disrespectful. I will definitely not forget the extent of the damage though, or the 5'2" woman carrying bricks and rubble out of a damaged home into a truck. Or the pregnant lady with 4 kids who looked so sad. I stopped to talk to her and bought her some tea and milk, which she was grateful for. She invited me to her home but I declined, as I say, I'm still not entirely used to the city and don't know how these things work. She did seem genuinely sad that I didn't accept, gave me her phone number and insisted that I call her tomorrow to come over. Maybe I'm skeptical but I think that I'll be passing on going to random people's homes, although I have heard that to be invited to a Nepali woman's house is a great honour.

    When I finally reached Durbar Square and began looking around I was approached by a guide who wanted to give me a tour of the area. At first I didn't appreciate the intrusion but after chatting and haggling on a price (see I'm already getting better at this ;) ) I agreed to let him take me around. And I'm glad I did! I could have done as others did and read the map and information points but he showed me areas that I would never have dared go into on my own. His name was Rama. There's so much that he told me about the square that I don't know if I can remember it all! What really stood out to me though was the extent of the damage to the temples from the earthquake. You could really see what the effects are on unreinforced brick... Cracks in the walls of temples that were lucky enough not to fall down and piles of rubble for less fortunate buildings.. From what he explained Durbar Square is where people go to worship the different Gods. There is one for forgiveness, for knowledge, for lovers/finding a husband (he made sure to take me there and explain why I should take special note lol). Also in the square is the home of the living Goddess, a girl who is chosen from the people and lives there until her first menstruation. After her first period she returns to her family and apparently becomes a nun because "no man wants her". It's more of a curse than a blessing to be chosen for this role it seems. Another thing that stood out about the square was the abundance of sexual aspects and respect for the genders. There were many references to male and female parts in almost all of the temples, Rama explained it as "women have many talents that men do not and men have a few that women don't so they need to work together". Makes sense if you ask me! The other thing that stood out from what he was saying was the sacrifice of water buffalo... They sacrifice 108 a year (12 months x 9... Somethings that will come to me that makes 108 a lucky number). You could see the blood staining the temples.. There were lots of people there praying, ringing bells to bring mental acuity and awareness, leaving flowers, and eating candies made of sugar and seeds. Apparently tomorrow is a big holiday to celebrate the coming of longer days. Sounds similar to our Solstice, but something that everyone will be celebrating here. I'll have to make sure I get out and check it out tomorrow!

    After the tour Rama showed me a local artist shop because that's my new thing, collecting art or cookbooks from the places I go, and I picked up a handmade item showcasing the different months, virtues, and stages of heaven/hell a person can go through. They are painted by hand on cotton and will last for years apparently. The artist says that it is common to see these things hanging near the front door in Nepalese homes, I'll be sure to keep my eyes open when I'm next in someone's home!

    Rama also showed me to a good place to eat authentic food for a reasonable price on a rooftop patio. I invited him to join me and we each had a beer while I ate traditional Dal Baht (which was delicious and reminded me of Indian food but more diverse and with more components). The beer was pretty good and came in litre bottles, Gorkha it's called. We chatted about everything from Trump and Clinton (he knows more than I do oops) to his arranged marriage to how it's strange to see an independent woman in Nepal to how I need to be careful about people trying to win my heart for my passport. It was quite an enlightening conversation to be honest! He was very honest with me and confirmed what I had read on the internet. As he put it "a negative sentence can have a positive meaning". As in, he didn't want to scare me with what he was saying but clearly thought that I should know. He says that he's seen "accidents" (women falling for local men, men getting into their country, then men divorcing and breaking heart of women) happen to all kinds of people but never to a (North) American woman. Guess our ingrained skepticism is good for something after all. Apparently it is also a commodity to see a woman alone as typically Nepalese woman are very dependent and scared to travel alone even in their own city. This conversation explained the odd looks I have been receiving and the question I've been asked at least a dozen times today "you're travelling alone???" And why he thought I might like to leave an offering for the God that is supposed to find me a husband ;)

    Different culture, different values, very friendly! I quite enjoyed today. Exhausting as it was, I'm not used to walking so much clearly! Plus I'm also jet lagged clearly. I returned to my hotel before 5pm local time, sat down to rest a bit and woke up at 11pm... Missed meeting someone I had met earlier today to go see the Monkey Temple and everything. Now it's 12:30 and I'm fairly wide awake. I made traveller mistake number one: never get comfortable enough to fall asleep on day one of travelling! It's always worth fighting to stay up to get over that jet lag. Oh well, I'll pay for it later I'm sure.

    I should message the Volunteer organization I'm working with and let them know I've arrived. Perhaps tomorrow I'll try to find their office and also visit the Monkey Temple. On that note, I have told a few people who've asked that I'm volunteering rebuilding schools and the response has been overwhelming! People have been thanking me profusely for dedicating my time to help their people. And honestly, if the main city is still showing this much damage almost a year later I don't know what to expect from the rural areas I'll be travelling to.... We'll see soon enough I'm sure! For now, I'm going to try and get back to sleep... Try to fight this jet lag!

    Oh, and for anyone who was wondering, my cough is getting worse. The air pollution here is heavy. Combined with dirt roads that are constantly kicking up dust my lungs are not happy. I've been seeing lots of locals with masks to protect their nose and mouths and I'll be making good use of Scarves to do the same from now on!
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  • Day120


    August 30, 2015 in Nepal

    Today we've watched the Gai Jatra (Cow Festival).
    For every person who died during the past year, their relatives have to take part in this yearly procession with a cow, a holy creature. If they don't have any, a boy dressed as a cow will do, too.

  • Day13

    Vandaag is alles anders… Jana wordt al van ver met „Happy Birthday“ begroet :) Pramila komt dan naar Jana toe, en schenkt haar een super mooie zelfgemaakte kaart. Tevens krijgt ze een roze broche opgespeld, „Birthday Girl“ [kwam haar enigszins bekend voor…hoe zou dat nou toch komen ,-)] Vandaag zijn ze allemaal druk in de weer met opruimen en poetsen… is de moeder misschien op komst?
    De kinderen gaan naar school, maar wij vandaag niet. Hadden een vrije dag gevraagd vanwege Jana`s verjaardag en die gaan we samen met Kedar, een gids van de vorige keer dat Jana in Nepal was en contact mee heeft gehouden, doorbrengen in Thamel, het centrum van Kathmanudu. We nemen de bus naar beneden, naar de Pepsi Cola kruising waar alle bussen passeren. Helaas vanwege het tijdstip is het mega vol in de bus. We moeten staan maar kunnen niet omvallen want we staan letterlijk in de sandwich. Deze straat is echt een verschrikking! Beneden aangekomen stappen we over, maar in een taxi en niet in een bus ;0) Het is ontzettend druk en het duurt erg lang want we staan regelematig vast. We komen gelukkig wel op tijd op de overeengekomen plaats van bestemming aan en enkele minuten later komt Kedar ook aangestoven, op de motor. Tot onze verbazing spreekt hij erg goed Duits. Blijkbaar omdat hij via Chameleon reizen voornamelijk met Duitse toeristen op pad was, heeft hij besloten in 2003 Duits te gaan leren. 2 jaar geleden is hij zijn eigen bedrijfje begonnen, met behulp van een krediet van Chameleon reizen. We beginnen aan onze ontdekkingsreis door de binnenstad van Kathmandu, eerst door het toeristische gedeelte en dan door het echte Thamel. Het is zeer levendig er er wordt driftig handel gedreven. Overal kleine winkeltjes en handelaren. We zien zoveel dingen die voor ons totaal onbekend zijn, maar Khedar geeft uitvoerig en geduldig uitleg. Dan komen we aan de Durban Square, waar vele tempels en paleizen van vroegere koningen staan. Entree is 1000 roepies, wat ongeveer 10 EUR is en duur voor hier, maar dit geld komt in een fonds voor de wederopbouw van de gebouwen. We zien de schade die de laatste aardbeving aangericht heeft. Twee tempels zijn volledig ingestort en andere worden gestut. De tempels stammen uit het ~5e Jh. De koningspaleizen zijn jonger, maar ook zeer beschadigd. Kedar vertelt ons dat voornamelijk de historische gebouwen door de aardbeving getroffen zijn, en gelukkig minder de woonhuizen. We zijn ietwat verwonderd, want als we zo door de binnenstad lopen zien we vele oude huizen, maar doordat ze tegen elkaar aangebouwd zijn, hebben ze niet zoveel schade opgelopen. In tegenstelling tot de Durban Square in Patan, zijn ze hier nog niet begonnen met renoveren. Dit plein staat op de werelderfgoedlijst van UNESCO. Daarom is het wel te hopen dat er snel geld vrijkomt. Op onze toer komen we aan verschillende kleinere tempelpleinen voorbij. Wat wel interessant is om te weten, is dat de Boeddhistische tempelcomplexen ook door Hindoes gebruikt (mogen) worden.
    Dan is het hoog tijd om even wat te eten. We bestellen Chicken Momo`s (met kip gevulde deegtasjes) in een Tibethaans Restaurant, lekker! Daarna slenteren we nog een beetje door de kleine straatjes en komen terug op ons beginpunt. Kedar moet morgen weer op een lange trektocht en daarom zeggen we voor nu tot ziens.
    Wij draaien nog een rondje, want Jana will nog iets van „Kuchen“ kopen voor de kids voor haar verjaardag. Dat is nog niet zo makkelijk… afgezien van donuts vinden we eerst niks, maar kijk, daar is toch nog een bakker! Hier hebben ze een soort van cake met een beetje chocoladeglazuur. Dat nemen we mee!
    Dan terug met de taxi. We verhandelen een goede prijs van 600 roepies. Waarschijnlijk wist de taxichauffeur niet precies wat hem te wachten staat…. Tot Pepsie Cola is alles ok, maar het laatste stuk tot Gothatar is echt off-road en daar had hij blijkbaar niet mee gerekend. Hij vloekt en tiert en will meer geld, 1000 ipv de verhandelde 600 roepies… We geven hem uiteindelijk 800 en lopen het laatste stukje.
    Terug bij de kids. Daar wordt een grote muziekbox buiten gezet want het is tijd om te dansen :0) Vooral de kleinere jongens zijn zeer in hun element. De meiden doen niet vanaf het begin mee, maar komen dan toch ook in de mood. Na het avondeten blazen we een paar balonnen op, steken theelichtjes aan, snijden de cake in stukken en "Happy Birthday to you" galmt door de keuken. Toch een beetje het verjaardagsgevoel en ze hebben allemaal veel plezier.
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  • Day17

    Durbar Square @ Kathmandu

    December 3, 2016 in Nepal

    Am Durbar Square steht der Königspalast. Bis 2008 hatte Nepal einen König und hat sich dann in einen Demokratie gewandelt. Leider wurde der Platz 2015 sehr stark vom Erdbeben getroffen und beschädigt. Teilweise können Gebäude nicht mehr betreten werden. Aber der Wiederaufbau ist in vollem Gange.

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Kathmandu Durbar Square

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