Day By Day

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Adventures in India, Part 41 -- Durbar Square, Kathmandu

Durbar means "palace" and these squares were highly significant manifestations of royal power back in the days when Nepal was divided into several small kingdoms. The Kathmandu square is one of the most impressive of these. As we approached the square we found a lot of activity in the area. It seems that there was a rock concert scheduled for a nearby venue and the police were out in force to forestall any trouble that might emerge.

The vendors were setting up too. 


Inside the square things were a lot quieter.

There were a lot of references to Kali, death the annihilator, in the local iconography. 

And all around were extraordinarily elaborate wood carvings. These windows are in a courtyard where the Kumari Deva, a prepubescent girl who is believed to be the manifestation of divine female energy, occasionally makes an appearance. She didn't show herself the day we were there which is probably a good thing because large throngs of worshipers show up to see her when she does. 


One of the reasons the police are so edgy -- the youth unemployment rate is estimated at around 40 percent. The squares are filled with young men simply sitting around and watching the world go by. 

This is the Pratap Malla column, honoring a king who ruled Kathmandu back in the seventeenth century. He is surrounded by servants and protected by a hooded cobra.

Pigeons everywhere.

Just hanging out at the temple.

 Sleeping in the sun, young love in the shade of the temples.

Appeasing the annihilator. 

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