We went to Nepal just a few months before the earthquake in May 2015. We have Nepali friends whose houses were damaged and needed urgent help to make repairs before the monsoon. We sent funds to different agencies and also direct to our trekking guide who’s been buying building materials for his home village.
The three towns of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur were once separate kingdoms and rivalry between the Newari kings led them to compete to produce the best architecture. Typical Newari palaces and temples are covered with intricate woodcarving and the artisans of Nepal have long been famed as some of the best on the Indian subcontinent.
The back alleys and courtyards of Kathmandu are fascinating with their numerous Buddhist shrines and old statues of the elephant headed hindu god Ganesh. Stone statues of Ganesh are everywhere, their foreheads smeared with red sandalwood paste and surrounded by a scattering of flowers.