Kathmandu (काठमाडौं) 1986
The capital city of Nepal.
Kathmandu is the largest city in Nepal, with more than twice the population of Cardiff, but substantially smaller in size. It is in complete contrast to the coutryside. Buildings had mains electricity and telephones. There were roads with cars, busses, bikes and rickshaws. It certainly did not feel anything like as developed as back home, but it was not without its amenities.
At 1355 metres altitude, Kathmandu is 11 metres higher than the tallest mountain in my own country. Nepal has a way of making everywhere else feel very small.
- A normal street; a few cars, more bikes, and brick buildings. But most of all, people. Lots, and lots of people.
- Transporting building materials through the streets, with four humans in place of the donkey. The cars in this picture are particularly good. Most cars in Nepal have lost most of their original metalwork, replaced with bits of wood and hardboard. They also lack any of their suspension, and transfer every bump up through the axles and the wooden seats, directly to you.
- State-of-the-art bikes.
- In Nepal there are only two meals on the menu. Sure, in Kathmandu, you can have chicken soup as well, but in the real Nepal, there are just two meals. Dahl baht (a lentil stew usually made only from spicy green lentils, served with rice), and doughnuts. The doughnuts are for breakfast, and the dahl baht is eaten for lunch and dinner. In some villages, you may be lucky enough to have your dahl baht served with a side portion of spinach, or in the really well-off villages, some yak meat. Such variety!
- Street children. I do not know what they are eating, and I don't think I want to know either.
- A typical back alley.
- This looks like a typical dirty back alley shot, but the most important part is near the top of the photo - using scaffolding made by bridging planks between opposing windows.
- A brick building looking half lived-in, and half falling out. Quite a common feature, it has grass growing on the roof.
- A very ornate shop, with even more grass.
- Kaasthamandap (काष्ठमंडप), a wooden pagoda-style temple in the city, that gives Kathmandu its name.
- Bhimsen Tower in the city centre.
- Below the tower is a recessed area, where clothes are washed, and rice is prepared. First it is crushed to separate the rice grains.
- Then lifted onto trays.
- It is then shaken off the tray to separate the wheat - erm, rice - from the chaff.
- Finally it is spread out to dry.
- Rice girl.
- Onlooker admiring the rice girls.
- Opportunist thief.