Kathmandu is a clash between cultures — amid an emerging metropolis, it’s a city that still retains its heritage.
Thousands of stone sculptures that are revered as religious idols scatter along the city’s narrow streets and congested lanes.
Century-old houses, though in dilapidated form, still line up old neighborhoods as a tribute to the city’s past; they’re still a photographer’s delight.
The grandeur of the palace courtyards and the temples that are dotted along the city are still incomparable to its modern concrete counterparts — they rise like the towering Himalayas often obscured by the clouds, an absolute delight when one makes a visual contact.
A de tour from the tangible constructs of the yesterdays, Kathmandu also retains some of the after taste of the flower power days: In the hippie haven of Freak Street, limited sights of wannabe hippies and bare feet backpackers wandering the stone paved alleys and the faint smell of marijuana in the air is a slight reminder of what Kathmandu was once remembered for.
But as rapid modernization is sweeping this city, it’s face is swiftly changing. However, there are also ongoing efforts to restore its past in bits and pieces — In this 21st Century Kathmandu clouded with a majority of borrowed decor, if we dig in a little, it isn’t really difficult to find something that we call our own.
Here are two stories I did lately that incorporates this theme.
Nepali museum to honour stolen art of nation (South China Morning Post)
Quest to revive Kathmandu’s architectural history (The National)