This is the week of Dashain, the biggest holiday of the year in Nepal. It is the equivalent of Christmas for family reunions and gift giving. Our employees were given double salary for the month and a week of vacation. Most have left Kathmandu and gone to their respective villages. Needless to say, the Top of the World Coffee Shop is closed.
Yesterday, Elena and I decided to play tourist for the day and went to Patan Durbar which is the oldest temple square in Kathmandu valley. The highly recommended Patan Museum was closed, but had a crowd in its court yard. Kites were being flown as is traditional during Dashain celebration. Many temples were in the process of being restored from last years earthquake. All the temples had intricately carved wooden posts, beams and doors. Many were trimmed with gold and bronze. Usable temples were active with offerings and sacrifices being offered.
The most interesting thing though was watching the people watching people. Benches and steps are a feature of the buildings in the area and they were being used, mostly by local men and women. Tourists both foreign and Nepali, some in groups following a local guide, walked slowly from building to building. We were in no rush so we were able to enjoy people watching.
We didn’t take notes, so the pictures below are meant to give the flavor of our experience not the details or historical significance of Patan Durbar.