Artisans of Kathmandu

September 20, 2014

in Nepal

Patan palace square with temples from the 16th-18th century.

Newari people are the centuries-old artists of the Kathmandu Valley, and our tour in Kathmandu takes an inside look at the old kingdom of Patan and some of its world-famous artisans. The pagoda temples of the palace square pay tribute to the craftsmanship that goes back hundreds of years, and we get to meet today’s artists who follow in their father’s and grandfather’s footsteps.

Moira watches the master paint a Tantric Ganesh.

A master painter shows off works that take anywhere from 5 to 12 years to complete. He paints vibrant and ornate tantric deities, beginning by pounding the canvas with stones to soften and smooth it, and years later completing the final details with a paintbrush that has only 2 hairs. A filigree master opens his workshop to us and shows us how they carve lapis lazuli and turquoise into gods and set stones with millimeter-thin silver wire.

Alma inspects silver filigree for Buddhist statues.

Tomorrow we fly to Pokhara, en route to the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang!

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