Our next stop in Kathmandu was to Durbar Square (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). In watching the news after the earthquake you would have thought that all of this area was destroyed, so we were very pleased to arrive and see that many of the buildings are still standing.
Some of the buildings were in the process of being restored and were not considered safe for tourists to go inside so we mostly wandered thru the grounds, enjoying the architecture and the people of the area.
However, I couldn’t help wondering what it would have been like to be here when the earthquake hit…..
Since many of the buildings dated from the 17th century, it was sad to see the destruction. This pad had once supported a temple or Stupa of some sort….
In many places there were piles of pieces that they had been able to pull from the rubble…..
Many of the lovely buildings were being supported by posts….
Some of the buildings were built of bricks and stone, but some were made of magnificently carved wood…..
The bits and pieces behind the columns were taken from the rubble of other destroyed buildings.
In one of the garden areas, we came across these carved stones which I believe were about the various kings who had ruled in Kathmandu…..
The garden also contained tempting fruit trees, including these gigantic grapefruit (although I have NEVER been tempted by a grapefruit)!!!….
This one had suffered some extensive foundation damage, but the beauty of the wood carvings survived…..
It is astounding to me that it survived at all!!!!
This goddess statue seems to be having a chat with an inquisitive pigeon…
This area was a public washing area for women (there was another one for men), and many women and children were washing hair and performing their ablutions…..In another corner of the square, they were washing their clothes…..
Although these two little ones seemed to be enjoying just playing in the water….
We rounded the corner and encountered another two temples, one dedicated to Shiva and the other to his wife, Pavarti.Apparently, if you want something badly, you can come here and worship every Thursday for 3 months and your wish will come true!!
(The two part banner on the left is actually the Nepali flag).
Once again, looking up provided some insight into how the temples were constructed…..
I mean, how can you resist the color of that cooking oil!!!
When I first saw these young men working in their room, I asked if I could take a photo. The one closest to the door said no and I started to walk off, but the others yelled that they would like their photo taken. I took my photo of just the two of them. Then Michael stepped up to take a photo and the previously shy boy decided that he would join in on the fun…..
…and it was time to head to our next destination.
However, I want to end with this interlude…..
The vendors in the Square were much more aggressive than those at the temple we had earlier visited. When we first walked in, one woman showed me several necklaces that she was selling and I expressed an interest in a Red and Black (Go Dawgs!!) beaded one. Her starting price was 20,000 Rupees (about $180). Obviously I said no. Well, she kept following me thru the square, turning up about once every hour. Each time the price got lower but I continued to say no.
As we were finally walking out of the square, the price had come down to $US5 and I agreed to purchase it from her.