The Real Pokhara    

Street vendors in Lakeside
Sidhu, who owns a shop next to where I paint, said Lakeside wasn't the real Nepal and to find that you have to go into the villages. However, Lakeside is a face of Nepal. The crashing of Western culture and Nepali culture. Tibetan arts meet German bakeries, Dhal Bhat meets pizza. Nepalese hand woven textiles meet hippy fashion.

Sunset over Phewa Tal

Young stilt walker

Woman in field below Machhapuchre
Today I took the day off and we went to the non-tourist part of Pokhara. The last bus stop was in an area called Bagar. One block further we got to a nondescript bridge-- just a road with a railing. From the bridge we looked down into an unbelievably deep gorge, more than 50 feet below the street. The Seti River rushed in the gloom of shadows of black rock walls. The earth seemed to have dropped away. From the top of the bridge, the gorge was disguised by subtropical plant life-- wild green leaves, floppy poinsettias and thick bamboo.

Seti River gorge
Inside the park was another bridge with a canal running across it filled with rushing slate colored water. Below we could barely see the river winding off beyond trees and rock.

Bridge over gorge
From there we visited the Bindha Basini Temple which was on a hill. We visited the small collection of stupas and shrines covered with red pigments and looked at the hills beyond it.

Bindha Basini Temple

Bells at Bindha Basini Temple
From there we walked down the main old town street past the Bhimsen temple-- a small shrine in the middle of the street. Though there are many new buildings, there are some old ones as well made of brick with carved wooden windows. There are other buildings coated with reddish gold clay. People hang out in store fronts. There are blacksmiths, laundries, seamstresses and other tradesmen working. Young men and boys play games.

Water jug shop

Clay pot seller

Newari house

Guys playing cards and another game simultaneously

Elephant looking out window of Newari temple
From there we headed to the center, stopping by an Indian restaurant a couple we met from South Africa introduced us to, which makes fabulous samosas and sweets. The center was busy with a fruit market and other street sellers.

Market in the center of town

Bracelet seller

Pigment seller

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