As we begin with the experience of this day the early morning sun reflects the brilliant white of this stunning snow-capped Himalayas. We are in Kathmandu. We go beyond the town to research the surrounding Kathmandu Valley, today. We have been told this is another world.
Ganesh, our manual, currently awaits us this bright morning. We reach Patan that is charming, and cross the Baghmati River, bordering the city. A twenty minute ride in the city is another planet. Lalitpur, as it’s known – has a feeling of calmness and tranquility about it unlike that of Kathmandu that is frenetic. This is a town famous for its excellent crafts and craftsmen. Walking down the narrow laneswe encounter small shops and stalls , traditional buildings and the temples of wood and metal artisans and rock cutters. We reach Durbar Square in the center of the town, where we’re mesmerized by the palace buildings, courtyards that are artful and graceful pagodas. Stone and wood architecture, the jewel here punctuates the three chief courtyards being the Tushahiti, the Royal Bath, a masterpiece of stone architecture.
Reaching Bhaktapur, we are struck by the enchanting beauty of this remarkable city. Known as the cultural stone of Nepal, a feeling of timelessness prevails. More like civilization, its opulence, ancient art and an open tradition transports us . This city’s crowning jewel is its own Durbar Square – a UNESCO World Heritage Site where functions of art in the kind of temples, unique temples and monasteries are put into the backdrop of the Himalayas.
Possibly the most intriguing structure from the square is that the 55 Window Palace, originally the seat of Newar royalty, which now houses the National Art Gallery. We admired the elaborately carved doors and windows of this building, and so were left gaping at paubha scroll paintings and also the breathtaking stone artworks placed at the museum. In Tuamadhi Square, we encounter the Nyatapola Temple, a colossal five story pagoda.
After getting amazed by the World Heritage Sites in Nepal we had been transported to a different planet – a world of culture, heritage and art – a day where we had been afforded easy sightseeing, relaxation and rest after our intensive trekking and rafting adventures.