Wednesday, October 10, 2012


A Nepalese child watches from windows built hundreds of years ago.
Located 13kms from Kathmandu, in Nepal, Bhaktapur is a world heritage site. It was built between the 13th and the 17th centuries. The city contains a mixture of ancient Nepalese and Indian architecture. Wandering around the streets you get glimpses of what life was like hundreds of years ago. The architecture, the temples, the paved street even the old well, all must have amazing stories to tell.

Cars are banned from the cobbled streets.
The city lies on an ancient caravan trade route between Tibet and India, and because of this became wealthy and prosperous. The numerous temples, artworks and old buildings built centuries ago attract tourists and the devout to Bhaktapur every day. The temples are mainly Hindu. The wood, metal and stone artworks adorn buildings and line streets, and the architecture is a mixture of Nepalese and Indian culture. To help preserve the site cars are banned from the cobbled, overhanging streets. Bhaktapur is known for its pottery and for its yoghurt or curd Ju-Ju Dhau, which is sold in small clay bowls.

Religious building contribute to the artworks of the city.
The ancient name for Bhaktapur is 'Khwopinggram'. The name Bhaktapur comes from Sandkrit Nepali and means "the town of devotees'. At times it is also referred to in the Kathmandu Valley as Khwopa, Bhadgaon or the 'Ancient Newari town'.

One of the most exciting annual events in Bhaktapur is the festival of Bisket Jatra. This festival lasts for several days and its end signifies the beginning of the Nepali New Year. As part of the festival villages hauling a symbolic chariot through the city. The chariot is huge and ponderous, swaying from side to side and creaking as it lumbers along the cobbled streets. It carries the images of the god Bhairab. At one point it stops and there is a fiercely contested tug-of-war over the chariot by villagers from the west side of town against villagers from the east side of town. It is considered that the god will bestow a blessing for the coming year on the side of town which is victorious in the tug-of-war.

After the chariot is dragged into the centre of the town there is a huge, 25 metre, phallic symbol erected. This is eventually pulled down, again in a tug-of-war, to symbolise the start of the New Year. The festival takes place from the 12-15th April each year.

Some of the ancient building are in need of repair.

In Nepal ancient cultures and new have blended together.

Spectator sit on the steps of this temple.
The phallic symbol is pulled down to start the New Year
My grand-daughter, Eve was a hit with locals
The crowd dragging the chariot

Youths climb to the front of the chariot urging the crowd on.

Large ropes are used to drag the chariot, while other villagers push the wheels and the rear .

The chariot is slowly moved into the centre of the town.


  1. they really know how to do a religious festival - dynamic photo of the guy on the chariot - fascinating

  2. I actually found it a bit daunting being caught up in the crowd that afternoon... but it is certainly an amazing place!!!