Changu Narayan

Today we hiked from Bhaktapur to a Vishnu temple on a hill called Changu Narayan. We were fortunate to arrive at the temple before the rain, but once we got there the heavens opened up and we were stuck for a while. More on our adventure later, but for now some pretty pictures (full Changu Narayan photo set here):

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Chad gad yah, chad gad yah… (I had this song stuck in my head for most of our walk)

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Detailed wood carvings on the main temple. The carvings on the roof struts show the ten incarnations of Vishnu.

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An elephant with great eye makeup

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Kenny chatting with a local student, who told us a bit about the temple while we waited out the rain

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Heading out on a Trek

Obviously, trekking is one of the main reasons tourists come to Nepal. Something like eight of the ten highest peaks in the world are located here. The two most popular treks – the Annapurnas and Everest Base Camp – each take about three weeks. We only allotted two weeks for Nepal, so we are opting for a shorter DIY loop around the Kathmandu Valley for the next six days. We’ll have to hit EBC next time!

Here is the rough plan:

10/07: Hike from Bhaktapur to Changu Narayan, then onward to Bodnath (either on foot or by bus); overnight in Bodnath
10/08: Hike up Shivapuri (8500 ft), in Shivapuri National Park; overnight in Bodnath
10/09: Hike to Gokarna Mahadev temple, via the Kapan Monastery; overnight in Bodnath
10/10: Some combination of hiking + buses to get from Bodnath to Nagarkot; overnight in Nagarkot
10/11: Hike from Nagarkot to Dhulikhel; overnight in Dhulikhel
10/12: Hike from Dhulikhel to Namobuddha to Panauti; then use some combination of hiking + buses to get from Dhulikhel back to Bhaktapur, where we’re leaving most of our things; overnight in Bhaktapur

Then we fly to Bangalore on 10/13.

In all, it’s about a 40km loop; we may take buses for some parts if we get tired or we hit a bit of unpleasant road. Pretty much every stop on the loop is cuttable if we decide to change plans for whatever reason. We arranged the itinerary this way to optimize for clear skies in Nagarkot and Dhulikhel, where the main attraction is the view at sunrise. The forecast calls for clouds through 10/9, and clear sunny skies thereafter – we’re crossing our fingers that the forecast holds!

Lunch and WiFi in Bhaktapur

Kenny and I are sitting in Shiva’s Cafe Corner in Durbar Square. We enjoyed a lunch of vegetable momos and a veggie burger (surprisingly decent!), and since then we’ve been enjoying their hospitality and taking advantage of their wifi to back-post a few photos and stories from the last few days. Here’s the view from our table:

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