Nepal – Gorkha

After our trek in the Langtang Valley we come back to Kathmandu to request our visa for India, but after a week we are ready to leave again. We are recommended to visit Gorkha, a small but historically important village from where King Prithvi Narayan Shah unified the country under his rule.

The interest of this small village lies in the fort that overlooks from above. You need to climb 1500 steps up through rural houses and crops after passing the Gorkha museum (that we don’t visit), so it is a good workout to burn the big breakfast we had in the morning 🙂

Once in Durbar Square, you enter a small, smelly complex with a Hindu temple, next to the old royal dwelling that served as the King’s ruling headquarters and a small shrine. The area is protected by the army but the pigeons and monkeys are the ones who have actually taken over (thus the smell).

Front entrance of one of the palace buildings.

Front entrance of one of the palace buildings.

Another entrance of the palace where the king lived. Full of offerings already a bit decomposed.

Another entrance of the palace where the king lived. Full of offerings already a bit decomposed.

The next arch has a lot of small bells hanging.

The next arch has a lot of small bells hanging.

Then a bigger bell can be seen in the opposite wall.

Then a bigger bell can be seen in the opposite wall.

There is a squab calling the mother because it can't climb. Pigeons own this place, and some dead ones provide a fetid smell to the area.

There is a squab calling the mother because it can’t climb. Pigeons own this place, and some dead ones provide a fetid smell to the area.

Detail of a strut, very characteristic of Nepal temples and palaces. They support the roof or next level of pagodas and usually are carved with deities, often displaying erotic scenes at the bottom.

Detail of a strut, very characteristic of Nepal temples and palaces. They support the roof or next level of pagodas and usually are carved with deities, often displaying erotic scenes at the bottom.

A religious man poses from inside a temple.

A religious man poses from inside a temple.

Detail of a carved window.

Detail of a carved window.

Detail of the carvings on top of a door.

Detail of the carvings on top of a door.

A door to a small shrine.

A door to a small shrine.

More carving details.

More carving details.

And more carving details

And more carving details

A small shrine next to another building.

A small shrine next to another building.

Another small shrine a few steps below.

Another small shrine a few steps below.

The effort we make to climb all the way here is now rewarded with the views of the Annapurna, Manaslu and Ganesh Himal snowed peaks, and the village and green terraces continue their slow pace beneath.

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We continue downstairs and find a very nice and old ficus that leads to a shrine with a few steps to climb. At the top there is a stone with two feet that represent where the saint Gorakhnath appeared and that is why the name ‘Gorkha’ was given to the city and the reason it was established there; This is a great viewpoint from which we can see the fort and the Himalayas together.

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Stairs down with a water deposit in the form of a stupa.

Stairs down with a water deposit in the form of a stupa.

Women removing stones and impurities from the grain.

Women removing stones and impurities from the grain.

The stairs provide a good view of the town.

The stairs provide a good view of the town.

Mountain range at dusk.

Mountain range at dusk.

Practical info

Gorkha can be reached from Kathmandu from the new bus station Gongambu. Many men will approach you asking for your destination, but don’t buy the ticket from them, as they will try to charge you much more. Go to the official ticket selling office and look for the ticket window that says “Gorkha”, by the end of the hall. We paid 300NPR per person.
Gorkha Durbar entrance ticket costs 50 NPR that the guards will make sure to charge you, plus 200NPR for camera fee.

Our impressive bus and driver to Gorkha...

Our impressive bus and driver to Gorkha…

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