I am not sure what exactly I expected from Kathmandu, but it was definitely not 35 degrees heat, high humidity and dust. Dust everywhere: outside, inside, in the taxi, in your room, nose, eyes. On top of that my vision of Kathmandu was of a tiny city with small houses up in the mountains.
I WAS SO WRONG!
Kathmandu is a huge city with 1.5 million people, who live in different types of dwellings, but mainly in few story buildings. This is what the Kathmandu skyline looks from the plane.
The houses are not too tall: 5-6 floors. This is view from my hotel.
And this is our hotel – Holy Himalaya.
This is a different type of accommodation in Chitwan. It is supposed to a be 5 star hotel. Small cottages or two story apartments. Very modern, very green.
I loved the old part of the city. Those beautifully carved windows and doors…
I believe every foreigner is shocked to the core by the look of these wires. I haven’t seen a street without huge clumps of electric/ telephone cables like this.
The houses are mostly brick. Many were damaged during an earthquake two years ago.
Here we can see wood carvings on the balconies.
How intricate, how beautiful!
If it’s not carving, then there are paintings.
I took this photo from the bus, so it’s not very good quality. But in the back there is a house and the whole roof is covered in plants and flowers.
As soon as we left the city zone, the surroundings and the houses changed.
Much more space around with mountains as the backdrop.
I noticed that that majority of the houses were narrow and long.
Nepalese often combine living quarters with shop/workshop premises. This particular house also has a small shop, which is similar to milk bar in Australia.
On the streets the houses are relatively small, but inside they are quite spacious.
I spent a lot of time on the roads and can tell that Nepalese have their unique style.
Just imagine waking up every morning to the mountain views!
Time slows down significantly in the country side. No rush, no traffic. Life is beautiful.
This looks like a postcard.
No fences. Everything is in the open.
Here people watch a lot of TV – just have a look at the size of their satellite antenna.
This looks like a tiny castle. Where is my prince?
Doors are always open. People trust each other a lot here, including strangers.
Roofs are flat and are used for drying some fruits and grains.
Tourists use the flat roofs as viewing platforms.
I spent a lot of time sitting on the top of our hotel in Australian Camp and watching Annapurna.
The owners of this house decided to use tiles as decorative elements.
In India some people never finish the construction of their house: there is a room or a top floor which is permanently in building state. By doing this they attempt to trick local authorities and avoid paying government taxes. I am not sure if there are the same laws in Nepal, but I saw quite a few houses under construction.
This house is almost finished, people live there. There is even a small shop with essential goods on the ground floor. But it’s not complete yet.
I would love to buy this house. It’s so beautiful and well maintained.
Not everybody can afford beautiful carvings or tiling. As long as house is strong and livable….
Severely damaged hotels are waiting for their fate in Chisapani.
They will probably collapse in a few years. But I looked inside and they were well decorated and quite pretty.
The deeper we progressed into country side, the houses became smaller and smaller.
The majority of the houses are built from mud bricks, which are made locally. Those bricks are not very strong as they only dry under the sun without being baked in kilns like in India.
Some people utilise all available space. Here we can see beehives, which are kept under the roof away from the elements.
Many country houses have a separate part for the cattle, mainly buffaloes.
This buffalo didn’t like the audience. Obviously our presence was getting on it’s nerves.
There are sometimes two to three generations living in one house. This young lady just had a baby boy. She is sitting outside pulling the rope, and her baby is falling asleep.
I asked my guide why there were lots of rocks on the roof. Apparently the rocks help to keep corrugated sheets in place in case of severe winds, which happens here quite often.
This is a brief overview of Nepalese architecture. I found local houses to be simple, but very practical and comfortable. And , of course, the main asset are people of Nepal. Their life is not easy, but they manage to stay happy, positive and friendly.