Nearly 100 days after the earthquake that destroyed much of its historic heart, the ancient city of Patan has pulled itself together. Every alley is festooned with poles propping up damaged buildings, but motorcyclists just ride under them. These relics of the quake have become a part of everyday life.
The cobblestone streets glisten with rain, as children feed pigeons. The brick-paved lanes are bright red and look freshly-washed. Devotees wait patiently in line for their turn to pray at the Kumbeshwor Temple, right next to the ruins of houses. At the Darbar Square, a woman throws grains of rice at the Hari Narayan shrine where the god is intact even though the temple collapsed over it on 25 April. Passersby touch their heads with their fore-fingers and utter a prayer as they pass Krishna Mandir, which is propped up by wooden poles.
Patan’s monsoon mélange shows that the town has gone back to its relaxed, easy-going pace. Shoppers walk around under colourful umbrellas visiting vendors selling fruits, vegetables or buffalo meat. The dogs are all well-behaved and keep away from the rain by curling up under temples. There are women waiting for customers to buy flowers and incense near the temples.
Pictures by Sonia Awale
Monumental loss Stéphane Huët
Massive earthquake rattles Nepal Om Astha Rai