Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Patan Durbar Square

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.IMG_2565

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…..


When we first entered our guide purchased tickets that required us to wear big yellow tags…. as if they need further proof that we are foreigners…..DSC06123

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…..


And, of course, pigeons and pigeon feeders are the same the world over!!!IMG_2584We entered into a palace courtyard via a very short and intricately carved door…..IMG_2588

Inside the courtyard were equally intricate stone carvingsDSC06121

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)!!!….


It was enjoyable to walk around the garden and look up at the buildings surrounding us…..IMG_2614

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…


Many of the doors were painted a bright blue or green and added a splash of color to the sea of brick, stone and wood.IMG_2628

Life was continuing on as if nothing had happened, with no thought to the fact that they are walking under struts designed to keep the building from falling on top of them……IMG_2644

This sweet woman was selling beans and smiled when Michael stopped to take the photo, although she wouldn’t look AT the camera…..IMG_2647

As in India, we were all concerned with the quality of the electrical and telephone wiring …..IMG_2648

This bicycle parked in front of a small shrine was a peaceful scene…..IMG_2652

This butcher was earnestly hacking up a Water Buffalo with his cigarette dangling precariously from his mouth…..IMG_2655

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…..IMG_2656In another corner of the square, they were washing their clothes…..IMG_2658

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.IMG_2669Apparently, if you want something badly, you can come here and worship every Thursday for 3 months and your wish will come true!!

There were bells everywhere…..DSC06138

(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…..

IMG_2672There were several pots of incense burning and we watched as this woman came by with a stick and carefully stirred each one…..IMG_2674

This stall was a place where you could come to receive blessing, although the “bless-er” was not present at the time……DSC06143

Even though we had just eaten lunch, this street food sure looked good!!IMG_2681

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…..


Some of the wood carved doors had intricate, intricate designs…..DSC06148

Taking this photo from a higher vantage point shows the manner in which people are living.  Many of the houses are roofed with tin, held in place by strategically placed rocks…..IMG_2687

One last view of the square……IMG_2692

…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.

As soon as Michael pulled out his wallet, we were bombarded by other vendors, with them falling on us like seagulls on a corpse (Michael’s saying)….DSC06152

We were saved by the Tour bus that showed up to ferry us away, but you can see them still holding their goods up as we climbed in.DSC06153

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