Thursday, April 30, 2015

Royal City, Bhaktapur, Nepal

On April 25, 2015, at 06:11:26 (UTC), central Nepal was struck by a earthquake of Magnitude 7.8, about 34 km ESE of the town of Lamjung. From the U.S. Geological Survey:

Tectonic Summary

The April 25, 2015 M 7.8 Nepal earthquake occurred as the result of thrust faulting on or near the main frontal thrust between the subducting India plate and the overriding Eurasia plate to the north. At the location of this earthquake, approximately 80 km to the northwest of the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, the India plate is converging with Eurasia at a rate of 45 mm/yr towards the north-northeast, driving the uplift of the Himalayan mountain range. The preliminary location, size and focal mechanism of the April 25 earthquake are consistent with its occurrence on the main subduction thrust interface between the India and Eurasia plates.
Kathmandu has suffered devastating damage and at least 4000 deaths have been recorded around the country as of the writing of this post. In Kathmandu, the part of  the city known as Bhaktapur suffered damage to many historic buildings. I will post some photographs from a 2007 visit to Kathmandu in memory of the many kind and friendly people I met on that trip.

According to Wikipedia, Bhaktapur (Nepali: भक्तपुर Bhaktapur) is in the east end of the Kathmandu valley. Historically, it was on the trade route between Tibet and India, which contributed to the town's wealth and cultural achievements. It was the largest of the three Newa kingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley, and was the capital of Nepal during the second half of the 15th century.

The city is known for its monuments and architectural heritage, appreciated by both local schoolgirls and dorky western tourists. This may be the Vatsala Durga temple.

Bhaktapur was also well known for its ceramic industry, with clay coming from pits and deposits in the valley.
Puppets of great complexity are carved and painted here.
In October, we saw the rice being dried on rooftops and platforms. This is a common sight throughout Nepal.
 The scene from a rooftop restaurant.
This is (or was) a rewarding place for urban photography. I hope the Nepalis can restore the historic building with time and hard work.

Photographs taken with an Olympus E-330 digital camera.

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