BARPAK, May 10: Barpak, a village situated in the Northern part of Gorkha, was the epicenter of 2015’s earthquakes. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed and injured many people and left all the families residing in the quaint village homeless. Locals claim that almost 1500 houses were destroyed.
When you think of stupas, what immediately comes to your mind? I can bet most of you probably thought of either Boudhanath or Swayambhunath. After all, these are the two most popular stupas that people often visit. But there are hundreds of these monuments scattered throughout Kathmandu and Nepal in general. Although we are familiar with this hemispherical mound base that supports a tall thin umbrella-like structure of stupas, it’s built in other shapes and architectural designs around the world too.
When I wake up I instinctively reach for my phone. I just mean to check the time and get out of bed. But before I know it, I have spent 30 minutes or more browsing through Instagram and Facebook and then watched a few videos on YouTube as well.
I recently got an opportunity to travel to a few places of religious interest in India and I jumped at the chance because a) traveling always intrigues me and b) being indifferent about religion and its various aspects I wanted to understand it a little better by experiencing some places and rituals in all their magnificence. What I hadn’t expected was a sort of spiritual awakening that these places would have on me.
You often think of narrow alleys flanked by shops displaying their colorful wares and temples that date back centuries when you think of Bhaktapur. The reality doesn’t deviate much. Literally the “city of devotees”, masses throng to the streets every day with cameras and eyes wide open to revel in the aesthetics of Bhaktapur.
I had always dreamt of going on a trek to the Everest Base Camp (EBC) so when I got an opportunity to cover the Everest Marathon recently I took it up without giving it a second thought. And I’m glad I did because the EBC trek is the ultimate trek one can go on. It’s filled with challenges, many of which make you want to turn back halfway through, but when you see the view from Kala Patthar, that is, at most, two hours away from Gorakshep, the final rest point before you reach EBC, everything else just fades away, even the throbbing pains and aches.
It’s like the stupa was never missing from the Boudha skyline. The result of the urgency with which the locals and local authorities took on the responsibility to repair the earthquake damages and resurrect the charm of the area is evident in Boudha’s consistent hustle and bustle. The crowd in itself is unique because it seems everybody visits Boudha for different reasons. If you take a moment to watch the people there, you will surely notice it too.
During this Dashain-Tihar holidays, my friends and I wanted to do something other than just get together at Thamel and enjoy some good music so we decided to go on a trek. Since we had heard quite a bit about Tilicho, the world’s highest lake, we made up our minds to go there almost on a whim.
People say Kathmandu is dusty when it doesn’t rain and muddy when it does but it always looks surreal and mesmerizing to me. And I especially enjoy nighttime in Kathmandu. Have you ever strolled around aimlessly once dusk falls? I always find myself wandering around the streets of New Road, Durbar Marg, or Thamel before I head home after a busy day at work.