Thimi’s main attraction is its tradition of open-air pottery production. Some potters may have moved on to electric wheels and kerosene-fired kilns, but in the maze of the town’s back-alleys and courtyards you can still see barrow-loads of raw clay and potters spinning their wheels by hand with long sticks. Most extraordinary are the open-air kilns: huge heaps of sand and charcoal belching smoke from carefully tended vents. The main pottery quarter lies in the smoky heart of town: turn west at Chapacho, the cluster of small temples halfway down the high street, opposite the Community Health Clinic.

Thimi is also known for papier-mâché masks, which originated with the local Chitrakar family, famed for generations as purveyors of fine festival masks. They still produce them in a range of sizes and styles, notably snarling Bhairab, kindly Kumari and elephant-headed Ganesh.

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