Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Kathmandu after the 2015 Earthquake

Kathmandu. A lot of the historical sites in Kathmandu now lay in ruins. I spend most of my days in Kathmandu just walking around the huge and congested city of Kathmandu. Pollution was unavoidable in the city and walking no more than 10 minutes and one will be covered in dust and ashes.

Most of the tourist never leave the heart of Thamel where one could find restaurants, tour agency, laundry, Hotels,
Thamel - Kathmandu
guesthouse and unlimited arts and craft for souvenir hunters to take home. I almost got suckered in to it as well and in a way I did not manage to make it past the second zone of Kathmandu which was walking distance in any direction within 2 hours.

If it were not for the search for the post office for my hunt of stamps collection I would have never seen some of the historical sites as well. They say you will see ruins now only. In a way it is true for I saw some historical sites that was in-
Intricate wooden structures all over Kathmandu- Nepal
complete, or in utter ruins and others was unsafe to enter but was being propped up and supported by poles till the money and time required to restore it to its former glory could kick in.

It will take years for the UNESCO heritage site to be rebuilt especially with the strictness of the UNESCO rules but for all other parts of Kathmandu they are recovering as fast as they can from the disaster.

It was not surprising that the Heritage places suffered the most damage. They were after all one of the oldest in town. Buildings are built top heavy here in Kathmandu like a reverse pyramid. This makes it more prone to collapse and damage during a big shake. Dunbar City was one of those sites that although cracked and tilted still holds a charm. Its one of those place that even if you don’t know about it, wondering into the ancient city will make one eyes and mind blown away even in a semi ruin state.
Dunbar City - Kathmandu Nepal

Ruin Tower of Dharahara
One plus side of visiting Nepal now I guess is that I walked in most of the historical site for free. Signboard stating 100 Rp for locals and 800 Rp for other country visitors are not enforce now and one could just stroll in and watch the ruins. I went to only three sites … the ruin tower Dharahara, Dunbar Square and monkey temple.
Dunbar Square I have already gave a glimpse of the beauty of ruin buildings being propped up despite its falling nature and Dharahara was a wrech. The totem pole tower is completely and utterly missing. Best to just demolish the rest to the ground or just leave it as it is.

Monkey temple was a long walk out of town. Nearly an hour since I got lost a bit. Kathmandu was a place you will get lost if you do not have a working GPS. Map won’t really cut it

since there are barely any street signs and even if there is it would be in Napalese language. Streets are conjoined by hidden passageway or passageway through someone’s house that forms a pedestrian street that motorbikes uses as well.

Monkey Temple - Kathmandu
There are no rules in Kathmandu as far as I can tell. Power, telecom, lights, roads, sewage, drainage, water, food … everything is a mash of chaos intricately bound together and harmonized.
View of Kathmandu From Monkey Temple

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