Tal Talaiya is another watershed that has been converted into a popular picnic spot, much like Betana.  Located on the fringes of Itahari, the crossroads of Eastern Nepal as all roads lead to Itahari here in the East, it is the starting point if one wants to get anywhere in the East.

All Roads Lead to Itahari (from Google Maps)

Tal Talaiya has struck a chord with the locals, in a place where picnics and parties seem to be synonymous. During my visit to Tal Talaiya, it all looked and sounded like a big party with several loudspeakers playing loud Hindi music and people drinking and dancing. An entire ecosystem of hotels, restaurants and mini-grocery stores revolves around the subculture of partying on the territory of Mother Nature. In addition, Tal Talaiya itself has a wonderful ecosystem of its own, several species of birds and animals, which to be witnessed, will require one to divorce himself from the partyanimals at the heart of the Tal Talaiya and makes his way into the wild.


Tal Talaiya Ennui

Modernity Encroaches

Modernity Encroaches


A Foggy Evening at Tal Talaiya


A Local Hotel/Restaurant with an Amusing Premise


Just Another Sunset at Tal Talaiya

The Koshi River is the largest river in Nepal, and also the most historical.  The Koshi Barrage was built in 1958 as a flood control sluice with the help of India.  The Barrage is a part of the East-West Highway that runs through most of Nepal.  As a result, a lot of heavy cargo truck and passenger buses are found to be going through this barrage everyday.


The Koshi Barrage on a Mistry Morning

Buses and Trucks Plying on the Koshi Barrage

A Fisherman Casting a Net on one of the Koshi Barrage's Pillars

The Taleju Temple is a large temple in the Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square.  The temple is an oddity among temples in Nepal as it opens its doors to the public only once a year, on Maha Navami during Navarati.   During that day, thousands of people stay in line for several hours to have a glimpse of this elegant yet inaccessible temple.

The Taleju Temple was built in 1564 and was dedicated to Taleju, a Newari variant of Goddess Durga.  The compound of the temple consists of the main temple and twelve other mini-temples around temple.  The only other entrance to the temple is through the Hanuman Dhoka complex, or the historical palace of the Malla Kings, which is also closed to the public.

The Taleju Temple

A Portion of the Long Line outside Taleju Temple; People Readily Stand in Line for Long Hours to have a Glimpse of the Taleju Temple

Devotees Encircling the Temple

Another Portion of the Long Line of Devotees

Another Portion of the Serpentine Line which Crawls Through Various Alleys as there is not Enough Space in the Durbar Square

Considered the oldest temple in the Kathmandu valley, Changu Narayan is the temple which successfully laid down the blueprint for the distinctive two tier pagoda adopted by a majority of the temples around the valley.  Located a few kilometer from Bhaktapur, Changu Narayan is one of the seven designated UNESCO world heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, believed to have been built at around the 4th century AD.  Surrounded by a lush forest and rice fields of the surrounding countryside Changu Narayan offers the perfect respite from the concrete jungle of the city as one can access several scenic paths for a walk.

However, Changu Narayan was rebuilt after the original structure caught fire in the 17th century.  In fact, the statues and idols in the temple’s courtyard are much older than the actual temple itself and they do not fail to match the beauty and splendor of the temple.  Exploring the various statues in the courtyard of the temple is another adventure in itself: a glimpse into a bygone era.

All in all, Changu Narayan is an overlooked gem in the pantheon of Kathmandu Valley temples.  One will certainly love Changu Narayan for its searing beauty and tranquil atmosphere.

The Changu Narayan Temple

The Main Door of the Changu Narayan Temple

The Main Door of the Changu Narayan Temple

Details of the Bronze Carvings on the Main Door of the Temple

A Statue with a Severed Head

A Statue of Garuda Bowing Before the Changu Narayan Temple

A Centuries Old Sedan Which Was Used to Carry an Idol of One of the Many Avatars of Vishnu During Various Festivals

Between Indra Chowk and Hanuman Dhoka lies Jana Bahal.  Jana Bahal is home to a statue of Arya Avalokiteshwara, which plays a central role in the Seto Machchendranath festival at Kathmandu.  The Seto Machchindranath festival is essentially a smaller, less elaborate version of the Rato Machchendranath festival of Patan.

Jana Bahal remains oblivious to the fanfare of the inner city, separated from the urban sprawl of Kathmandu by its thick walls.  The tranquility within the courtyard of Jana Bahal is antithetical to the urban chaos that lies beyond its gates.

The Modest Entrance of the Jana Bahal

A Bronze Lion at the Entrance of Jana Bahal

Local Shops Inside the Courtyard of Jana Bahal

The Courtyard of Jana Bahal

A Large Portion of the Statues Found in the Courtyard are Small Stone Stupas

Details of the Carvings on the Walls of Jana Bahal, Some of the Finest I've Seen in Nepal