Nepal // Kathmandu and Patan //


In the Thamel tourist zone north of Thahiti, old buildings are scarce, though Kwa Bahal, a traditional courtyard tucked away just off the touristy main drag, is one of several bahal in Kathmandu and Patan that have their own Kumaris. Bhagwan Bahal, which lends its name to an area north of Thamel Chowk, is home to a little-used pagoda whose most notable feature is a collection of kitchen pans and utensils nailed to the front wall as offerings to the deity. (“Bikrama Sila Mahabihar”, the name on the sign in front, refers to a moribund monastery contained within the complex.) During the spring festival of Holi, a portrait of the bahal’s eleventh-century founder is displayed to celebrate his slaying of demons on his return from a trade delegation to Lhasa.

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