City on the Edge of the World
PHOTOGRAPHY BY THOMAS L. KELLY
TEXT BY PATRICIA ROBERTS
It is an illusion: there are places in the world where life is more intense. In Kathmndu,it is as if the gods had uprooted the mountain, leaving a valley lush with green and gold, thread wit rivers , patched with brown thatched house. Twenty-nine thousand feet above are the snow-capped Himalayas;15,000 feet below, Kathmandu—or, rather, the three village-cities that make up Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur.
Once holy and forbidden, walled from the world by the Himalayas, Kathmandu is today an exotic crossroads where diverse cultures and individuals meet: Lamas and Pilgrims, Westerners in quest of Eastern wisdom, American hippies from the 1960s, dealers in merchandise legal and illegal, peasants and urbanites tourists and curiosity seekers from the world over.
It is a place of breathtaking sights, the work of nature and man: the Himalayas and the ancient temples whose glided copper pagodas magnificently echo the mountains in soaring shape; the intricate artwork of the shrines, carved wood and cast bronze incarnations of the thousands of deities in the Buddhist and Hindu pantheons; the farms and fields, terraced no less intricately into the walls of the Kathmandu Valley; the eerie drama of ritual cremations of the Bagmati River; the holy ascetics—sadhus—who perform feats of strength, faith, and endurance, and who bear the trident of Shiva; the Kumaris of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur—virgin girls worshipped as living goddesses.
Kathmandu is a Valley of festivals—about one very ten days, ranging from joyous celebrations to propitiate local deities, to charming symbolic “weddings” of Newari girls to a wood-apple tree god, to the black festival of Dashain, during which ten thousands animals are sacrificed in a riot of ritual slaughter.,
Kathmandu knows no halfway, but offers and infinite variety of extreme experience.
This book is available at Thomas Kelly’s office @ Kathmandu, Nepal, at USD 65
Place your order at:
Moblie # 977-98510-26738