Kiran Chitrakar is a cameraman for Nepal State Television and his father and grandfather were court photographers. Kiran has inherited their vast photographic archive, all on large glass negative slides, which he keeps at home. A visit to Kiran is not only a fascinating experience, but it is also the chance to peruse the photographs as high-quality black and white prints, and to purchase some as a really original, reasonably-priced holiday souvenir. There are photographs of 1950s (and earlier) Nepali life as well as well-known monuments such as Bouddhanath before tourism changed Nepal.
Kiran's mobile number is 00977 9851 061961. Arrange to meet him so that he can take you to his house. He lives in Bhimsensthan, near Kathmandu's Durbar Square.
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Far Out Nepal is a small local trekking company that can organise treks, cultural trips or any kind of trip you would like to take in Nepal. They are really fantastic to deal with and on-the-ground arrangements are first class. My friend and I trekked to Everest base camp with them - two middle aged ladies - and they looked after us so well, to the point of providing hot water bottles when it got cold! They have now organised us a trip to Tibet, with a few days in the south of Nepal, a jungle adventure. Their prices are amazing, and even though your flights might cost a bit more to book independently, your trip will still be cheaper than going with another trekking company. I can highly recommend you contact Sunir in Kathmandu.
The land of Hindu animal sacrifices. Nepalis lead their offering to the slaughter tenderly, often whispering prayers in the animal’s ears and sprinkling its heads with water to help it shrug its assent. It is an amazing insight into their culture, if not a bit bloody.
While you are in the area, also visit the Buddhist monastery and Hindu temples. The locals are incredibly friendly. There are also a few hotels, if you stay overnight you can hear the beautiful sounds of chanting and large horns coming from the monastery. It is far more relaxed than Thamel.
You can take the tourist bus or just get a taxi. The action takes place on Saturday mornings from 6am, unless there is a Hindu festival, in which case the sacrifices happen all week.
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