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Photographer's Note

Two photos of Patan Durbar Square, taken 15 months apart.

I think it’s easy to guess which of these was taken in 2014 and which in 2016. And as for the spot the difference game: a temple is missing on the left and two temples on the right have turned into scaffolding towers. Also, note the broken tip of the temple in the middle. In fact I found more damage than that, as you can see in WS photos, but there once used to be so many temples in this place that some are obscured by others in the 2014 image.

The first record of the tragedy I came across in April 2015 was this image I found on the internet. It shows two temples that had collapsed. I thought, at the time, that the whole Durbar Square looked the same. Fortunately, as you see in my image, it was not all turned to rubble, among all, the beautiful dome of the Krishna temple is still there, albeit adorned with strong metal brackets that keep it together.

When I first heard about the devastating earthquake in 2015 I wanted to go back to Nepal straight away but I had a new job and couldn’t take time off. Instead, I got in touch with the people I had met in Kathmandu Valley and tried to help, as much as possible, remotely. I did go back 10 months later, in February 2016. During that second trip I travelled around Kathmandu Valley with two of my Asian friends: Leki, who guided me across Bhutan in 2012 and Ramesh, who showed me around Nagarkot during my first trip to Nepal. Thanks to Ramesh, in 2016, I was able to reach some of the poorest and the most affected by the natural disaster. I met and stayed with several families who had lost their homes. To this day, many of them live in despicable conditions with no hope for improvement. I’ll post photos from those village later.

In WS a closer look at the missing temples of Patan.

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1115 W: 2 N: 1706] (11217)
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