Archives for posts with tag: Karki

More pictures of the balconies of Dhankuta.

A Gumba in Hile with Tibetan Style Balcony

Tin Strikes Back

From Biratnagar, I wandered off to the hilly district of Dhankuta. The hill town of Dhankuta is the capital of the district that it is named after and nearby is the town of Hile, an entrepot in which traders from Dhankuta, Tehrathum, Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha, western parts of Taplejung and Panchthar district gather. I have always regarded Hile as the Timbuktu of Purba. The traditional houses of Dhankuta have their own flavor, they are generally made of mud or wood, are multi-storied  and narrow and have wooden balconies . The Balcony is the nevus of the Dhankuta house. With cement and concrete devouring the old mud/wood houses, the balconies are finding themselves on the path to oblivion. In the era of apathy, I decided to be empathetic to these forsaken balconies of Dhankuta and Hile. Nepal is on the road to oblivion too due to the ruthlessness of our apathy. As the clouds of modernization and urbanization gather over Dhankuta, I wonder what little will remain of our identity, as manifested in small details like the balcony of a house.

Newari style window

Newari Style Window Balcony in Dhankuta

Insidious Steel Rods Creep into This Newari Balcony

Another Newari Style House in Dhankuta, with Flower Pots

The Titular Wooden Balcony (Above Kirana Dukan)

Rarity Even in Kathmandu: A Cast Iron Balcony with Wooden Framework. Possibly Imported from Calcutta

Two Storied Balcony House (Mud and Stone House with Cement Plaster)

Double Storied Balcony with Contrasting Construction Materials (Tin and Wood)

A Balcony Influenced by Mithila Art (Mud and Stone House)

Wide Angle View of the House in the Last Picture

Deep Purple

A Balcony without Railings Used to Showcase Flowerpots

Compartmentalized Balcony, (A Manifestation of Anshabanda)

This House Has Got Them Blues (Located in Hile)

The Rise of Tin


Origin of Word: Sanskrit

Word Structure: Megh + Alaya

Megh = Cloud

Alaya = Abode

Translation: Abode of the Cloud

Next stop was Meghalaya, a small hilly state in India surrounded by Assam and Bangladesh. An oddity among the states of India, 70% of the population is Christian (A statistics shared with Mizoram and Nagaland). Its capital is a hill station called Shillong. Cherapunji is located in this state. Cherapunji is rainiest place on the planet and receives 463.7 inches of rainfall every year. I visited this odd little corner in the Indian Sub-Continent. The main ethnic group of Meghalaya is the Khasi, a matriarchal group where people adopt the surname of their mother. And they are mostly Christians. In a country where Hinduism is the majority, Meghalaya has a Hindu minority (13%).

The Hills of Cherapunji

The Streets of Shillong

A small settlement on the Highway in Meghalaya

The Hills of Meghalaya

Sleeping by the Clouds

A View of the Nohkalikai Falls

Tourist Looking around in Cherapunji

An Old Man Observing Boropani, a Man Made Lake

Boropani Again

A Man in Shillong