Gentle and charming people, exquisite temples, deep spirituality, vibrant culture, rich artistic heritage, bursting with colors, delightful chaos – those are what come to mind when we think of Kathmandu.

Our hearts wrenched thinking that many of the splendid cultural heritage sites and sacred places that captivated us no longer stand as a result of the recent devastating earthquake.

But most of all, our hearts go out to its people.  We couldn’t help thinking of those wonderful people we met and those who we simply observed as they were going through the rythmn of their everyday lives.  We wonder how they are, if they’re okay.

As Kathmandu mourns and recovers from the tragedy, we reminisce our experiences and impressions during our visit in this soulful city four years ago.  Allow us to share them with you.

Durbar Square, Kathmandu, NepalWe remember being in awe of Durbar Square, a World Heritage site that is the religious and social center of Kathmandu’s old city. Temples in Durbar Square, Kathmandu, NepalDurbar Square was a dizzying complex of splendid palaces, exquisite Hindu temples and lovely courtyards built between the 12th and 18th centuries by the ancient kings of Nepal. (Very sadly, many of the structures in the square were leveled from the earthquake. )

Temple in Durbar Square, Kathmandy, NepalPeople frequent the square not only to visit the temples but also to socialize.

Cows and pigeons in Durbar Square, Kathmandu, NepalCows and battalions of pigeons were also regular visitors of Durbar Square.

Sadhu in Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal A sandhu, a Hindu holy man, blessing passersby outside one of the temples.

Woman outside a temple in Durbar Square in Kathmandu, NepalWomen chatting outside a temple next to overflowing garlands of marigolds.

Hindu image, Durbar Square, Kathmandu, NepalA mother and child making an offering to Hindu deity Shiva in Durbar Square.

House of Kumari, Living Goddess, Durbar Square, Kathmandu, NepalThis is the window to the home of Kumari, a living goddess worshipped by Hindus in Nepal. We found this tradition fascinating.  We learned that a Kumari is always of pre-pubescent age. The current one is only 6 years old. People believe that she is a representation of divine female divinity. She is chosen based on certain physical characteristics (neck like a conch shell, eye lashes like a cow, etc. ). She is no longer a goddess if she starts having a period or loses a teeth, then a search for new a Kumari begins.

Rickshaws in Durbar Square, Kathmandu, NepalRickshaws waiting for passengers.

Bazaar in Durbar Square, Kathmandu, NepalWe enjoyed walking around and perusing the trinkets for sale in the bazaar in Durbar Square.

Schoolchildren in Durbar Square, KathmanduBeautiful schoolchildren strolling in the bazaar.

_MG_1941bKeith with friendly kids in the square.

Women in Durbar Square, Kathmandu, NepalLovely old women relaxing and mingling in the bazaar.

Men carrying heavy load on their back, Kathmandu, NepalPeople carrying heavy loads on their back was a common sight.

People on the street of Kathmandu, Nepal

Woman and Child looking out of the window in Kathmandu, Nepal A woman and child watching the goings-on in the street.

People in Narrow street in old town of Kathmandu, NepalA narrow street in old town bustling with pedestrians, motorbikes and rickshaws.

Traffic in Narrow street in old town of Kathmandu, Nepal

Spices for sale, Market in Kathmandu, NepalThe narrow street in old town led to a market where fragrant and colorful spices delighted our senses.

Vegetable Market, Old Kathmandu. NepalVegetable vendors in the market.

Freak Street, Kathmandu, NepalIt was fascinating to stumble into Freak Street, a famous street in Kathmandu where the hippies converged in the 1960’s

Shop in Freak Street, Kathmandu, NepalA store in Freak Street with colorful fabrics and hippie-ish accessories.

Stores in Thamel Street, Kathmandu, NepalLike Freak Street, Thamel is a shopping street that was also a hippie haven. A lot of hippie items are still for sale in Thamel.

Swayambunath, Monkey Temple, Kathmandu, NepalAlthough a Hindu nation, Nepal is also home to many Buddhist sacred sites. Swayambunath is an ancient Buddhist temple complex and is one of the oldest religious sites in Nepal. It is popularly known as the “monkey temple” because of the many monkeys living in parts of the complex.

People in Swayambunath, Monkey Temple, Kathmandu, NepalA young boy selling candles in Swayambunath and an old an making a candle offering in one of the temples.

Woman spinning prayer wheels in Swayambunath, Monkey Temple, Kathmandu, NepalA lady spinning prayer wheels in Swayambunath.

Woman in Swayambunath, Monkey Temple, Kathmandu, NepalA woman walking by prayer flags in Swayambunath.

Stupa of Bodnath, Kathmandu, NepalAnother important Buddhist site in Kathmandu is the stupa of Bodnath. It is the largest one in Nepal and one of the holiest Tibetan temples outside Tibet.

Pilgrims in Bodnath, Kathmandu, NepalPilgrims circumnavigating the stupa. Also know as Little Tibet, Bodnath has become has become one of the most important centers of Tibetan Buddhism after the arrival of thousands of Tibetan refugees following Chinese invasion in 1959.


We are hopeful that the strong, resilient spirits of the people of Nepal will prevail and that they will heal and rebuild. For now, they desperately need our help.

How We Can Help
Here are links to some of the aid groups where you can send your donation. They are all rushing to provide crucial help to the survivors of the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

All photographs are copyrighted and cannot be used without any permission. 


 Linking to Travel Photo Thursday, Weekend Travel Inspirations, The Weekly Postcard.

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About Marisol

Taking you on our journey one photo - and footstep - at a time.

19 responses to “Remembering Kathmandu City

  1. this is a wonderful tribute to the people and traditions of Nepal. Such a terrible tragedy there. We have never visited, but I pray for them.

    • Hi Jill, thank you They definitely need a lot of prayers from all over the world.

  2. What a nice tribute post. Thank you for writing this post. As global citizens we could only pray and help in whatever way we can.

    I don’t know if you have posted these images before, but wow, there’s a lot of pigeons in the square. More than any other squares/plazas I’ve seen.
    Photo Cache recently posted..Fancy Animal Carnival @ San Francisco Civic CenterMy Profile

  3. Bama

    Marisol, this is such a beautiful tribute to Nepal. My heart sank when I heard about the earthquake. But history shows that the Nepalese people are known for their resilience. The 1934 earthquake did not dampen their spirit, and neither will this one. Yesterday an expert said that it might take around seven years for the country to rebuild all those historic temples, but the morale is high.

  4. What an amazing place. Your photos are so inspiring. I bet you have about a million more photos that you didn’t post, too!
    bettyl – NZ recently posted..afternoon driveMy Profile

  5. Marisol, What a lovely post. Your photos and words about the colorful and friendly Nepalese is really heart-warming. I agree. Help!

    Thanks for stopping by Weekend Travel Inspirations!
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  6. Melai

    Each of your photos tell a story by itself. So inspiring.

  7. Anda

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures, Marisol. A very inspirational post. When disaster strikes there is very little you can do, but remembering those who suffer is a way to

  8. Anda

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures and for writing this inspirational post. It’s a great tribute for the people of Nepal.

  9. Nancie

    Hi Marisol. This is a lovely post. Your photos are gorgeous. The loss of so many people, and the many historical buildings is just so sad. Thanks for linking up last week. #TPThursday

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