Friday photo: Kathmandu

After the terrible devastation caused by the series of earthquakes in Nepal this April, newspaper reports say that life is slowly limping back to normal. The Durbar Squares are still in a shambles but are now open to tourists.

This Friday, an image from the vibrant Durbar Square of Kathmandu…

Kathmandu

I was lucky enough to spend a few days in the Kathmandu valley late last year and was awed by the beauty and splendour of the temples and palaces of Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktpur. It was all the more special because it was so unexpected. I had written about it for Destinasian magazine and it got published, ironically, just a few weeks before the earthquakes. I now think of it as my tribute to the rich cultural heritage of Nepal.

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Also see: Friday photo series

The monkeys swim here!

We huffed and puffed our way up to the fabulous Swayambhunath temple in Kathmandu – reaching the top to see those watchful eyes look benevolently over the city.

Swayambhunath

And on our way down, we took a shorter and easier route and discovered this swimming pool for monkeys. A group of them swinging from trees, somersaulting into the green water and in general, behaving like monkeys.

Monkey swimming pool

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The really fascinating sight was that of monkeys sitting by the water an splashing it vigorously to and fro and on each other. Introspective monkeys, playful monkeys, scardey-cat monkeys – we found them all in the course of the few minutes we spent there (I had to, of course, drag my husband away)

Monkeys frolicking

Hullo monkey

Swayambhunath has large groups of monkeys and is known to some (read, Westerners) as the monkey temple. They truly reign over the place – see this one munching on a bar of Snickers. Totally accustomed to human company, these monkeys were indifferent to fascinated passersby who stopped to play (what a bad idea) and photograph (a few monkeys posed obligingly).

monkey bars

So, have you found a swimming pool for any animal anywhere?

Friday photo: Boudhanath

One of the (few) nice things about living in Gurgaon is being able to take off for long weekends. The husband had five days off for Dusshera – which came conveniently around Gandhi Jayanti and some other festival – and so we headed off to Nepal. More on the Nepal trip soon.

For now, an image from one of my favourite experiences: a morning at the Boudhanath stupa…

Boudhanath

Also see: Friday photo series