Sunday, June 22, 2014

Photo Essay: Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Nepal

Gray clouds swiftly drifted athwart the celestial blue sky. As we strolled our way from Planet Bhaktapur Hotel to Durbar Square, I silently prayed to the universe not to let them hang around. Why we were traveling Nepal during the monsoon season, well, it was the most practical home-bound route stopover (from Caucasus to Southeast Asia) we found at the time.

It was our first of only a few mornings in Nepal. We had to hit the ground running.

The entrance that we used to access the square does not encounter a lot of tourists. Its ticket booth wasn't even manned when we arrived. We waited for about a quarter of an hour until someone came  to collect our payment and issue a ticket (Bhaktapur Durbar Square admission fee $15).

A screenshot of a map, saved in our point-and-shoot, guided us through deserted back alleys. The scenery was a stark contrast from the highly urbanized setting of Yerevan, Armenia where we flew from the day prior. It's a backdrop that an overwhelm. That can overjoy.

We traipsed by ourselves for a while, up till a local offered to show us around for a reasonable rate. Hubby and I let go of skepticism and entrusted the wheel to a stranger. It was to be a day of exploration of the old Bhaktapur Kingdom — or whatever's left of it after the 1934 quake. It was to be a day of chasing our two year-old in and around a living museum.

The Nyatapola Temple, one of the tallest in Kathmandu Valley. Constructed in 1702, during the reign of King Bhupatindra Malla.

Like stepping out of the TARDIS and into the past.

Fasi Dega Temple. Guarded by elephants, lions and bulls. Luna was upset we didn't let her sit on the elephant.

Perched on the top plinth of Fasi Dega Temple.

Fave activity in Bhaktapur Durbar Square: People watching.

55 Window Palace. The guide led us through the Golden Gate and all the way to the royal pool. Some areas are off-limits. No admission fee.

The royal pool/bath inside the palace.

And there are times when you could feel the power of aged walls.

View of Taumadhi Square from Nyatapola Temple.

Near empty Durbar Square at noon. Just what we needed.


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