World Heritage Inflation

Thursday, we hired a car and guide to get us out of Kathmandu and into the hills. We drove up to Changu Narayan, a dilapitated Hindu temple from the 1600s and then started to walk towards Nagarkot, a hill station from where (on a clear day), you can see Mt. Everest (it was not a clear day).

Changu Narayan, like seemingly every 15th century temple in Nepal, was a UNESCO world heritage site. In India, the World Heritage sites are few and far between -- the Taj Mahal is one, so is the Agra fort and Fatehpur Sikri. But the Lodhi tombs in Delhi, one of my favorite Moghul garden/structure, are not. So, having all these not-really impressive places in Nepal on the list makes me think there is some country-specific inflation going on.

Walking in the countryside finally made me appreciate Nepal. Get out of the polluted city of Kathmandu, and the country is okay.

On the way back, we stopped in Bhaktapur. I should saved my praise for Paton Durbar square, because Bhaktapur is even more impressive. It doesn't have a museum, though, so Paton is probably still better overall.

Needless to say, Bhaktapur's Durbar square is also on the Unesco World Heritage list.

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