I was in Nepal recently – in the capital city. The devastation caused by the quake was heartbreaking but the vibe in Kathmandu is not one of sorrow. Life is bouncing back – at least in the capital. Schools are running. Offices are open. Businesses are open. Sure there are are families whose lives will never be the same. But most have just picked up the pieces left behind and moved on.
I took a whole bunch of photos and videos while I was there but unfortunately I lost all the data on my phone – an incident I will probably regret for a long looong loooong time. Here are a few that I shared with my friends that I was able to re-collect:
This is Swayambhunath temple. One of the landmarks of Kathmandu Valley. The stupa stands tall but unfortunately has big ugly holes that had to be drilled on it to test for stability. But its good to know it is stable.
Other temples and almost all residences surrounding the Swayambhunath temple were badly damaged. This photo is of someone’s residence and a shop. Presumably the owner of the shop was clearing the rubble out as I took this picture. Its hard to imagine anyone would survive this, but they did.
Schools had remained closed for a long time, but classes have now resumed – wherever possible. Its important for schools to run. It brings back any little sense of normality back to kids.
The Dharahara – Another landmark in the capital city. Also known as the Bhimsen Tower, this was built by royal rulers as a watchtower in the 1800s and a UNESCO-recognised historical monument. It was 9 storeys tall.
This is the entrance to Janabahal temple. This temple is right in the heart of a very busy marketplace . The surrounding area has small alleys and has never ending hustle and bustle throughout the day. It’s now waiting its re-construction. Not sure if anyone was hurt here.
There are lots of little alleys in Kathmandu. And almost all of the alleys that I walked through looked like this.
The sights in Nepal broke my heart. But I also brought back fond memories – like this very yummy plate of momos.
We did not get to venture out beyond the Kathmandu Valley. The monsoon rain was causing more havoc. So I cannot say about the situation beyond the capital city. I read that help has still not reached remote areas. Life there would be completely different. But there are so many local grassroots organisations that are working towards changing that. Nepal is not waiting to resolve the politics behind getting funding from the government/charity organisations national or international. Everyone is doing their bit to help each other to bounce back up.
Nepal is a country of such resilient people. It gives me great pride to have Nepalese roots.