The sights of Kathmandu

It didn't take long to see all the World Heritage sights in Kathmandu. We went to the Bodhinath stupa, then to the Pashupathi (Shiva) temple, to Paton durbar square and to the Monkey temple. The Monkey temple was a let down -- nobody was worshipping any monkeys. It was just that the temple was in a wooded area and there were lots monkeys there.

Bodhinath stupa was impressive, and our first sight of the eyes that make Nepal's Buddhist shrines unique. We happened to arrive early in the morning, when all the local Buddhists were going around the shrine. We too circumbulated the stupa, and it was a nice experience.

We already knew that the Pashupati temple was going to be a pagoda, so the element of surprise that hits most Indian visitors was gone. And then, it was just as noisy and as full of hawkers as any North Indian Shiva temple. If you've been to Benares (Varanasi), you can imagine Pashupati. The river that runs behind the temple is the Bhagwati, but otherwise, it's much the same.

But Paton Durbar Square was what finally convinced me that Nepal had been worth the visit. It is beautiful, with a ensemble of buildings that somehow fits together in a small, cramped space. The erstwhile palace has been converted into a museum, and that museum was full of treasures too.

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