Bhaktapur: Durbar Square Celebration
Nepal is a country of contrasts. In Kathmandu, smog chokes the air giving legitimacy to the face masks individuals wear. Untamed traffic moves in a chaotic, life threatening circle. Evidence of the earthquake that struck the region a year ago still abounds--tent cities, long lines for gasoline, electricity shortages, poverty, piles of rubble and lack of first world services is common place; this is a 3rd world country!
But when you leave Kathmandu (and you will want to) you are stunned the Rhododendron forests, the breathable air, the majesty of the mountains, the kindness of the people, the simplicity of their lives and you remember why you came to this country in the first place.
We spent two days in Kathmandu. On our second day we toured the Unesco site of Bhaktapur and Durbar Square. Under the rubble you can see this was once a beautiful town center, but the earthquake hit this area quite hard so many of the buildings are being stabilized by scaffolding. It happened to be the Nepali New Year so we were fortunate to participate in the celebrations. Parade goers dressed in vibrant red costumes traveled from temple to temple making offerings of cookies, crackers, flowers and incense.
You'll have to forgive the number of photos, I just didn't know how to capture it all without some many.
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