The Kathmandu most travellers come to see is the old city, a tangle of narrow alleys and temples immediately north and south of the central Durbar Square. It’s a bustling quarter, where tall extended-family dwellings block out the sun, open-fronted shops crowd the lanes and vegetable sellers clog the intersections. The fundamental building block of the old city is the bahal (or baha) – a set of buildings joined at right angles around a central courtyard. Kathmandu is honeycombed with bahal, many of which were originally Buddhist monasteries, but have since reverted to residential use.

Though the city goes to bed early, there’s always something happening from before dawn to around 10pm, including early morning religious rites (puja) and after-dinner devotional hymn-singing (bhajan) in the neighbourhoods of Indrachowk, Asan or Chhetrapati.

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Stunning documentary on Nepal shows restoration of the country's sites

Stunning documentary on Nepal shows restoration of the country's sites

"The only thing you could focus on was the fact that the earth was moving from side to side by about eight to ten metres." These are the words of Kathmandu resi…

07 Jun 2016 • Lottie Gross videocam Video
Painting the town red, pink, green and yellow: Holi Festival 2016 in pictures

Painting the town red, pink, green and yellow: Holi Festival 2016 in pictures

Every year, Hindus around the world celebrate Holi Festival: the festival of colours. The event attracts many non-Hindus to take part, too, with hundreds of p…

24 Mar 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
Going it alone on the Annapurna Base Camp trek

Going it alone on the Annapurna Base Camp trek

Rough Guides writer Helen Abramson discovers the ups and downs of the Annapurna Base Camp trek in Nepal – all without the help of a porter or guide.  Someth…

13 Mar 2015 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
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