Bhaktapur is an ancient city in the Kathmandu valley about 16km from the capital. The Newar people were the original inhabitants of the valley and Bhaktapur was their capital, or one of them. The calendar of the Newar people is something special. The year of origin is 56 years prior to the Gregorian Calendar, but there is another calendar which places their origin some 2,000 years before that. I shall research this some more. The locals are rightly very proud of the history and architecture. Nagarkot is a small hill top village a little further out in the same direction. It’s a popular spot for a day or overnight visit. If you’re lucky you get early morning views of Mt Everest.
I’ve been to Bhaktapur a couple of times. I recall that the people who live there have a unique calendar which places their believed origins well before the egyptians. The multi-storey buildings in the old city have doorways which have very low heads and floor to floor heights which betray the size of the inhabitants during construction. The recent earthquakes (2015) would no doubt have caused significant damage.
But I haven’t been to Nagarkot. It will be a pleasant diversion while I wait for trekking permits. I’ll make a 2 day visit to Nagarkot followed by a visit to Bhaktapur on the way back to Kathmandu.
|In 1984, the trip to Bhaktapur was easy on a bicycle. It was like riding along country roads. I remember stopping several times along the way to look at pottery and children playing on swings. In 2000, I wouldn’t have dreamt of it. The traffic was far too dangerous.
The bus to Nagarkot is supposed to get out there before the accommodation runs out. Some people make it a one day trip but I think an overnight stop is more relaxing.
Nagarkot is only 32 kilometres away from Kathmandu with regular buses. If the weather is good, there are views of Everest in the early morning.
It’s also quite possible to trek back to Bhaktapur in the morning before a bus trip back to the Kathmandu.
It would be nice to retrace my steps of a trip in 1984 which started in Bali. I spent 2 months in Indonesia, then Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, India and Nepal for a total of about 7 months.
^ Retrace My Steps from 1984
Some of the main stops along the way out of Australia are shown below. Bascially, a flight to Denpasar followed by a bus to Singaraja got me out of the main tourist areas straight away.
A ferry to Java and bus to Mount Bromo and Yogyakarta was the main stops on the main island.
Move the map down to see points of interest in Nepal.
The ferry to Padang from Jakarta and the boat trip from Pekanbaru to Batam were quite memorable. I stopped on the cost at Padang and experienced an earthquake there before moving on to Bukittinggi. The bus to Lake Toba was almost unbearable but the stay on Lake Toba was very pleasant. Residents of Lake Toba are christians guarded by a ‘mote’.
The boat trip from Pekenbaru to Batam and Singapore was a major highlight. The people on the boat were really nice, the food stops were great and the scenery was spectacular. The let down was arriving in Singapore and being met by really officious customs officials.
Singapore offered a nice respite with good food. Thailand was very easy to travel around. A river boat trip from Thaton to Mae Sai was another highlight.
A short trip to Myanmar (Burma) to see Inle Lake and Bagan (I was sure it used to be Pagan). and then on to Nepal via Calcutta. Darjeeling is a nice stop on the way to Kathmandu.
The trekking posts provide some highlights of the trip through Nepal.
This is the master plan for a 42 day trek in the Manaslu/Annapurna/Mustang region.
^ Master Plan – 2016
The Nepal Trekking Plan is to combine 3 separate treks: Around Manaslu, Around Annapurna and Upper Mustang.
The Around Annapurna Trek is now much shorter than it was in 1984. But the Around Manaslu and the Upper Mustang treks are now much more accessible when you consider the numbers of people doing these treks and the improved food and lodging available. Around Manaslu is being referred to as the ‘new’ Around Annapurna trek.
But Syange is a place I want to return to. I have photos from 1984 and 2000. It would be good to compare a more recent status.
Each of the posts below have individual maps and narrative. As the treks are confirmed, further details will be posted.