The less well known Kathmandu

Kathmandu is a pretty large city, with about 3 million people living in the greater area. I’ve already covered the well known places, but in this post I want to cover some of the sights off the beaten track, found on a 25km loop walk from Thamel, down to the Bagmati River, up to Swayambhu and back.

To start with Tripureshwar Mahadev, one of my favourite temples in the city, now mostly restored after the 2015 quake. The view through a doorway was quite idyllic.

The temple area is home to a music school, with students sat on the temple steps singing when I visited. In one wing is the Nepali Folk Musical Instrument Museum which was moderately interesting, if at 1000 RPN wildly overpriced.

Heading further south is the Bagmati River, along which are a number of Ghats, or small temple / shrines. Rough Guide rated this as one of the top attractions in the city, though I couldn’t see that much different from the many temples scattered around the rest of the city.

I was more interested in the development work underway, with the change in a few hundred metres obvious in the buildings.

Like every other river or stream in the city it stank like the open sewer that is probably is. In general I found Kathmandu far cleaner than I expected but the river areas are an exception, filled with plastic and waste.

Round the corner from the lighthouse like Dharahara was the attractive red and white Sundhara.

Part of the attraction to me of wandering the streets away from the tourist areas is to better understand how the locals like. Exploring Civil Mall was a good example, which followed a standard Western design including the cinema on the top floor.

The Natural History Museum was distinctively underwhelming, I should have perhaps asked them to switch on the lights when I visited, though I’m not sure I wanted to see these things in jars much better.

The Military Museum, opposite the National Museum, was little better though had some quirky miniatures, and unexpectedly the skulls of three rhinos…

Personally more interesting was the Kathmandu mural outside a nearby school.

There are so many temples around the city that even I lost interest. Previously I’ve visited 24 churches in one day in Bucharest and dozens of temples in Bagan, but for whatever reason I wasn’t feeling it here, though here are a selection of the more interesting ones.

For another slice of everyday life I visited the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market, though by accident when I took a wrong turn.

A selection of the more interesting buildings that caught my eye, they’re never the same, and the neighbourhoods I passed through had quite a different feel from one another.

On my return to Kathmandu I popped out to visit a few random places relatively close to my hotel I’d spotted on the map, or driven past in taxis. First was the Republic Memorial Park, which I knew nothing about, so was a little surprised to find a 30 foot long scale model in concrete of the Himalayas.

I then visited three of my favourite things about Kathmandu, the water tanks / shrines, starting with the deeply green and somewhat reflective Nag Pokhari.

Kamal Pokhari was clearer and more reflective.

Rani Pokhari was the most impressive, recently restored, but was unfortunately closed so I took this photo through the fence.

Author: jontycrane

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