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Nepal

Those two days without power....

The Indian Experience - Kathmandu

semi-overcast 9 °C
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Despite this being my trip to 'India', the second country in and I was still not even there yet!

Over Dubai

Over Dubai

After flying over Dubai, and finally witnessing "The World" islands, before views of the mountains of Iran and Balochistan I eventually made it to the Nepali capital in the evening, where after sorting out my visa and waiting in the longest queue ever through customs and baggage reclaim I was eventually picked up by my hotel.

Having only been at the hotel for around 10 minutes I was already aware of the effect last year's earthquake and the subsequent blockade by India was having on the country. Not only was there no heating anyway, but we had had our first powercut! Luckily I had brought my torch, backup power and a clock, but it still made it a very cold first night.

The following morning I awoke and after taking some pictures outside my window of the distant mountains covered in fog, I went down to grab some breakfast in the hotel's restaurant and grab a few essentials and local currency before my sole day of exploring the mountainous country.

Monkey Temple

Monkey Temple

Although I was staying in Kathmandu for the whole time, there was still a few places that for me, captured the essence of the country. After arranging a taxi tour through my hotel, I was picked up and made my way to the first stop - the Swayambhunath or "Monkey Temple". The temple is located on a hill in the west of the city and features the traditional stupa and prayer bunting, as well as lots of monkeys somewhat reminiscent of Gibraltar. Had the weather been better, there would have been beautiful views over the Kathmandu Valley and further afield, but unfortunately, in a theme that would follow me all week, the levels of fog/smog meant that not much could be seen at a long distance.

Prayer flags at the Monkey Temple

Prayer flags at the Monkey Temple

After stopping by the Buddha Park, I then made my way over to the Boudhanath Stupa. However unlike the Monkey Temple, this one had been significantly damaged in the quake, and therefore the top of the stupa was now missing, in the midst of being replaced. However it was still a nice experience to walk around this famous attraction, with the traditional Nepalese designs and prayer wheels remaining.

The destroyed Boudhanath Stupa

The destroyed Boudhanath Stupa


Shree Pashupatinath Temple

Shree Pashupatinath Temple

Unfortunately with guided tours, you are always easily taken somewhere you don't want to end up, and with this there was no escaping a visit to the Shree Pashupatinath Temple, where lovely views of wrapped corpses being thrown into the polluted river were awaiting my viewing pleasure.

Ganesh!

Ganesh!

After eventually leaving and heading back into Thamel, the last experience of my day was to walk through Thamel and towards the Kathmandu Durbar Square. This was previously a beautiful square filled with temples. However much had been destroyed in the quake and it was teaming with touts ready to give my white face a guided tour that no amount of "I'm fine thanks" seemed to put off.

Kathmandu's Durbar Square

Kathmandu's Durbar Square

Heading back to my hotel in the early afternoon I was already done for the day. However with no power, and not wanting to risk getting ill from hot food that clearly would not have been cooked well, if at all, I ended up sitting freezing eating Pringles and waiting for bed time! As it was mid-winter, even this far south, Kathmandu never got above 10C in the day.

Views of the Himalayas

Views of the Himalayas

Although the sun was shining, and I did get views of the snowy Himalayas in the distance as well as views of the Monkey Mountain after some fog had cleared, it unfortunately never swung round enough to warm my room up before sunset, and I spent one of my coldest nights waiting for my flight to Delhi the following day!

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Nepal Tagged mountains monkeys culture sacred hindu indianexperience Comments (0)

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