Photographer's Note

Durbar Square is the heart of Kathmandu. This is where I spent my first evening in Nepal in December 2014. I did not take a lot of images of the much-photographed buildings. This blue hour shot of Trailokya Mohan temple is one of very few. Instead, I concentrated on photos of the colourful people and street life. I regret it now.

During my second stay in Nepal, in February 2016 I delayed my visit to the square as much as possible, until the last morning. Of course I wanted to see it, after all one of the main purposes of the trip was to see the damage, to compare and to document the tragedy. But a part of me preferred NOT to see it.

I was surprised to find that, the already expensive (for this part of Asia), entrance fee had gone up by 100% to about 15 USD. When I asked why, I was told they were collecting money to rebuild the monuments of the square. I paid the new higher fee without hesitation.

In WS, I will upload photos of what this and one other temple looked like 10 months after the earthquake. However, although several buildings have been destroyed, there are still a few palaces and temples, only slightly damaged, to be admired in the square. You can also watch the renovation work, which, in itself, under the circumstances, is worth a visit.

I believe that Durbar Square temples will be restored and it’s not the first time the historic buildings of Nepal have suffered, be it as a result of an earthquake or a fire. What fills me with even deeper sadness is the number of people who died and also the fate of those who lost their livelihood after the earthquake. While visiting Nepal in 2016 I met and spoke to several unemployed guides who had lost their job when the flow of tourists stopped in April 2015. As I said before and as, I hope, some of my uploads are going to prove, Nepal is open for business. But visitors seem reluctant to go back, leaving all those previously employed in the tourists sector without much hope for the future.

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1426 W: 7 N: 2745] (15032)
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