Basantapur: Peace in Chaos

Blending in the hum-bum of Kathmandu valley where the sweet heterogeneous mixture of busy traffic, dust and smoke mixes up to give an airy smell to the streets, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Basantapur is one of those precious cultural melting pot in the city of Kathmandu. Located in the heart of Kathmandu like an oasis, Basantapur area also encloses Kathmandu Durbar Square.  The gullies of Basantapur  have a completely different aura. There are local vendors selling earrings and souveniers, people having local chiya and a bustle of the Nepalese youth walking with their twinkling eyes, big smiles and broad shoulders. One can spend a whole day in the area doing nothing, sipping local tea and still, it wouldn’t fill up your heart, you would definitely want to come again for another round of a “doing nothing” kind of day. The footsteps of crowd leave a ringing melody to your ears and your heart, and that is Basantapur, a boisterous hub for young and old Nepalese. 

This durbar square stands with pride and great history behind every pillar and every monument. The old houses and shrines have preserved the beauty of this place till date. One can never get tired exploring the beautifully carved pillars and lie in the steps among high-rise foundations of temples and monuments. Every footstep that has traced these pavilions and courtyards must definitely have left in awe and gratitude towards its beauty. Every corner of the durbar square tells its most unique stories with the most intriguing attractions. One of the major attractions in this old Nepali cultural site has to be its wood carvings.

Adding to the rich heritage and beauty of the durbar square, many indigenously carved wooden windows can be found, each unique to the building it belongs to. Every corner of these windows are carved and curated by the antique talented craftsmen of the ancient cultural Kathmandu and is believed to have its  own mythical importance over several centuries. One can only be awestruck by the endless hard work put behind the spectacular architecture of the place. The Newari community, who are indigenous to Kathmandu valley have a very rich cultural history and this history is reflected in each art and artifact found in the area.

Delicious smell coming from street vendors selling sweet dishes tend to hypnotize you, one sweet dish wouldn’t hurt much. Food can be listed as one of the specialties of this place. Cultural delights like ‘Yamari’ and ‘laphing’ are very common among the young generation, these being the local taste of Nepal. The local market is quite affordable and colourful shops sell many things that are of utmost importance in balancing and supporting the lifestyle of Nepali people. In addition, this place is of great religious and cultural important for the natives. The ‘Kal Bhairav’ sculpture and temple is one of the major attraction of this place and along the same road, we can find ‘Hanuman dhoka’ which is a huge gate that is of great religious importance for Hindus. 

If you are visiting the city of Kathmandu, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that nobody shall miss to see this giant relic. The Basantapur area tells us the story of our ancestors, it is a historical and cultural footprint that they left behind for us to have immense gratitude on. A beautiful and very popular tourist destination, Basantapur has attracted many visitors throughout its history. If you are a non-Nepali national, this place shall become the spot to meet the locals and crack a conversation sipping some local chiya, hear some great stories of Nepal. Basantapur was the royal residence of the former Kathmandu kingdom until the 19th century and after experiencing it, you’ll know why it is engraved in every Nepalese heart.