Patan – The Oldest City

Patan is a city in the Kathmandu Valley, and is widely accepted as the oldest city (kingdom) in Nepal. With roots dating back to 200 BC, the kings are credited with creating the area that is now the Durbar Square area (durbar means king, but it describes the collection of buildings which include the palace, holy buildings and marketplace). There are several in the Kathmandu Valley, all free to locals, but requiring visitors (non Nepalis) to purchase an entrance pass for about $10.

It was so exciting to visit this place yesterday, during Tihar celebrations. Parades, decorations, and everyone had the day off, so there was lots of relaxing, Nepali style – which means being out in the well-worn public places often just leaned up against a building, socializing with whoever else is there, watching the day go by. It’s an incredible art which doesn’t seem to exist in the US anymore.

So here are a few more photos of it.

Hand carved wood doors. No idea how old. Another thing we’ve replaced in America with things like Ikea.

She’s part of the parade, dressed just like 6 other girls who are photographing her. They are dressed in Newari cultural style. (There are about 78 distinct cultures in Nepal. Sherpas originate from Khumbu, the south flank of Mt Everest, Newars originate from the Kathmandu Valley.

Dog treats! Hey, they have jobs to do!

I shot from the hip a lot yesterday. I stick out enough – when I hold up a camera at people, it doubles. So I kept it at my waist for several of these shots.There were VIPs in attendance at the parades, so police presence was a touch heavier than usual. This is how they look all the time. And you’re not supposed to photograph them. The Gurkha soldiers also carry khukuri knives on their belts. It’s wise not to give them a reason to use it.

Bead lady. She may have made me some necklaces. 🙂

One of the old style buildings in Durbar Square. Still standing.

Krish was my guide yesterday and taught me so many things. I always love it when I can share a bit of my own culture back. So these are the bird ladies. You pay tuppence to buy cracked corn to feed the pigeons. Guesses what I told Krish about yesterday?

Ok, off to Dai Tikka… Have a great day!