Monday, 28 July 2014

Day 3- KTM: Around Patan

( which Jane braves the shops, sees over 1000 Buddhas and has bad news about her case).

 Woke at 2am and 3am by bells, chanting, singing and general rowdiness. Apparently this is the preamble to a big festival coming up soon and they like to walk the route to check it is clear. Why this has to be done in the middle of the night I do not know.

Woke at 8am, dressed, abluted then headed out to the Cafe Pagoda for breakfast (French Toast and tea). I then walked from Durbar Square to Namaste Supermarket. This was about a mile through some very interesting back streets....I shall let the pictures tell the story:

Wayside temple (one of thousands). Spot the rats!

One for Mum - reflection of Patan in the (low) water tank.

Green grocer stall. There were lots along the alley.

Butcher. This is the reason I've gone veggie for a month!!

This is the alley I walked down.
Once at the Namaste Supermarket I wandered around and got rather overwhelmed by the choice. I ended up buying some crackers, peanut butter, rice, lentils, chickpeas, spice mix and some Oatibix. I also bought some highly processed (but hopefully safe!) milk. Once loaded up I walked round the corner to buy a charger for my mobile phone as this was needed to take calls from the airport and for contact with home. Then I walked back along the alleyways, more leisurely and just taking it all in.

Once back at Swotha Square I went to the Swotha Kiosk and ordered a pot of tea. It was relaxed in coming but was utterly delicious. I sat there for about 45 minutes just watching life go by. This was my view:

Apparently this is one of the shrines the noisy ones visited last night.

Back in the apartment I had the unwelcome news that my suitcase was still in Muscat and would not be arriving today due to bad weather in Oman. However, Camile, who runs Cosy Nepal, had taken the phone call and said Oman Air would be giving me $80 in recompense. I resolved to buy a clean t-shirt as soon as possible!

After lunch of crackers and peanut butter I took photos of the apartment before heading out to meet up with Sailish and Anastasia for a guided tour of Patan (apartment photos later). We headed out towards the Kumbeshwar Temple after which the school is named. 

Kumbeshwar temple

Newari Carving - it is exquisite.

Ganesh. It's festival time for Ganesh apparently, hence the red.

Snakes round the water tank. They are considered auspicious for water provision.
Then we went to the school's shop where we eventually managed to communicate that I would not be there at 9am the following day as I had to get my suitcase (and I didn't want to meet the principal in clothes I had had on since Friday!). Then followed a most wonderful mystery tour. We were taken through streets, alleys and courtyards that I would never have found or dared to go down alone. Sailish was a mine of information and was able to explain lots of things to us about Patan and its quirky festivals. In common with all of Nepal there were temples and shrines and stupas on every corner, each seemingly more intricate than the last.

We eventually came to a covered walkway with shops selling the most fantastic Buddhas made of gold (and costing $40000). We walked through then paid 100rs to go into the temple complex. It is called the Mahabuddha and is a temple made of terracotta tiles, each carved with the image of the Buddha. There are over 1000 of them. Pictures below:

5 big Buddhas and lots of little ones!

Prayer wheels

Butter lamps

More buddhas, big and small.

The Mahabuddha which is hemmed in by houses so we had to go into a house, climb up the pitch black staircase - lined, incidentally with pictures of the Buddha's life - and up to the roof terrace.. This was a legitimate trespass! There was a sign inviting us in.
We carried on round the streets into a monastery and more temples and saw a rather strange advert on the way:

Monkey 1 in the Monastery.

What a claim!

Jack fruit

Durbar Square

Strange, unwashed lady with temple.
Anastasia and I decided we needed some refreshment so went to the Cafe Pagoda to have an iced tea and bottle of water and to watch the local life while nattering. Then we spent about an hour wandering the streets looking in the shops and finally finding a t-shirt for me to buy to change into.
On returning to the apartment (photos soon, I promise!)  showered and sort of changed then sat and read. at 6pm I headed out to the Swotha Cafe for dinner. Cafe is probably the wrong description as it was an upmarket place and very relaxing. I had the Nepali Thali of rice, veg curry, paneer curry, chutney, pickle and spinach. This was followed with thick local curd. 

I went to bed happy and hoped not to be woken up again....



  1. Lovely Jane, the apartment is just right. I love the reflections, thank you for those. I wonder how many Buddhas you will see over the next four weeks.

  2. Your apartment looks fabulous, it sounds like you're already having exciting times.

  3. Hi Jane. You possibly have never heard of me but I am reading your blog through your Mum - we began our teaching careers together all those years ago! I am really enjoying reading about your days in Nepal and admire your courage and generosity in doing what you are doing. I wish I had done something like that when I was younger and fitter. I look forward to reading more reports from you and seeing wonderful pics - and some worrying ones! Good luck. Chris Divall

  4. Your apartment looks amazing! Really enjoying all the photos. Now reading on to find out what happened to your suitcase...