cindy a. stephens | Pictures from Kathmandu Nepal

Pictures from Kathmandu Nepal

January 22, 2014  •  4 Comments

Posted by Cindy A Stephens


All of my senses came alive in Nepal.  From the moment I landed and disembarked I knew that I was going to have an extraordinary few days.  And I did.


Upon first arrival in a place as interesting as Nepal, I find everything new and fascinating.  So, one of the biggest photographic challenges is to stay focused on a theme.  Before I left for Nepal (and India) I decided to extend my fine art photography series about the main streets in America, to Asia.  It was one of two travel photography themes that I wanted to focus on during the trip.  What would the main streets in Nepal look like?  Would there be similarities to America?


Kathmandu, Nepal

Copyright 2013 Cindy A. Stephens


Leaving the beautiful Dwarika’s Hotel one morning, I was struck by the small shops along the many unpaved roads of Kathmandu.  In front of each small storefront a woman squatted, boiling tea for breakfast.  Row-upon-row of boiling metal pots sat upon small fires tended by these women.  Behind them bikes, cows, buses and pedestrians rolled past as the steam from their morning meals climbed, mingling with the smokiness from the nearby funeral pyres that burn 24 hours a day, 7 days each week.


Later, the corrugated metal storefronts opened to reveal a freshly butchered animal splayed on a counter top or clothing or sundries.  Everything was orderly and swept clean by straw brooms used to clear debris into the dirt roads.  I had the sense of tidiness and a way of life that seemed to function despite the poverty and lack of modern facilities. 


Durbar Square Kathmandu

One of my favorite ways to experience a new place is by foot.  Walking through narrow and winding passages I feel part of the daily hustle-and-bustle of local life (even though it is hard to blend in with my dSLR and sunhat -- to ward off the ultra-violet rays 4,500 feet above sea level).

Copyright 2013 Cindy A. Stephens

While the main streets of Kathmandu have a distinctly different palette from those back home, their basic orderliness and function and family-run shops were reminiscent of New England.  Walking through the labyrinth of merchants to Durbar Square, however, was a unique experience.


It is very difficult to fully describe the scene to someone that has not experienced the melee of rickshaw sounds mingling with the smells of incense mingling with the colorful silk fabrics for sale mingling with the feel of rough-hewn dirt underfoot mingling with an almost palpable flavor of the place.   Travel is often something one experiences wholly by all the senses at once.


Copyright 2013 Cindy A. Stephens

Every new twist and turn along the way to the palace in Durbar Square brought a new delight from glass merchants selling colorful beads to the women lighting candles at a small temple.  And, the shop owners leaning out of second-story windows to hang manikins draped in beautifully colored saris.  And finally the entrance into the main square, replete with cows, pigeons, children, a funeral procession, the old and the in-between.


My exploration on foot of nearby shop windows (glass not corrugated metal) for the purpose of creating fine art travel photographs yielded puppets, beautiful masks, jewelry, apparel and reflections of life in the streets beyond.  Exploring by rickshaw on the other hand, yielded a blood-pumping adventure along bumpy streets perilously close at times to cars, rickshaws and people.  I would not have traded that adventure for anything!


In all, I left with the observation that life is Nepal (and also India) is about living.  It is about: fetching water; cooking; eating; cleaning; tending to the sick, dying and dead; raising families; craftsmanship; spirituality; and earning a meager living. All of these are evident on the main streets of Kathmandu.  At home many are masked by the constant race to have more, do more, and be more.



Neha Gupta(non-registered)
The pictures of this city tells us the unique artwork of the respective city. Also, the pictures depicts the new and attractive art of the city.
Pallavi Malhotra(non-registered)
These Kathmandu photos reveal a fascinating old city, and surrounding villages, steeped in history. All of these are marked on the main streets of Kathmandu. At home many are masked by the constant race to have more.
Colors so different from New England! And you are right about the other senses... hard to imagine.
Don McLagan(non-registered)
Life turns like a prayer wheel in Kathmandu. Glad you could capture some of its reflections.
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I am a marketing professional and a fine art photographer.  With more than 20 years of experience as a marketer and image maker during the digital technology revolution, I now educate creative professionals how to create their artistic presence in the changing art world.  


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