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Old Town Visits


We made a visit to "Saankhu", an old Newar town dating back to the middle ages, on last Saturday. This town was a major trade post between Lhasa, Tibet and Kathmandu in the past. Shigatse, a major Tibetan town got its name from the Newar phrase "Jhi Kha Chhen" which meant 10 houses in Newar speak. According to local historians ten Newar houses settled in present day Shigatse in the past to set up a trade post to Lhasa. Shigatse and Jhikhachhen sound phonetically similar.

We went last Saturday to Saanku to see how things were. The pictures speak for themselves. You can see the distraught face of Dr. Migel Daccarret from the University of Nebraska who is currently helping out here at NOH.


See how hard Bhaktapur suffered from the earthquake. A decimated city, very heart breaking to see how harsh the forces of nature has been to the denizens of this ancient city.

The picture with corrugated sheets covering a half wall of a house belonged to Radhika, who is a pharmacist at NOH. She lost her mom, her brother and his wife and their two small children. In the picture you can see Radhika's young daughter digging through rubble to clear the way into her house. She is helped by neighbours. Miguel and I am standing and looking very odd at words to express what to say to her.


Then we visited Lalitpur/Patan after visiting Bhaktapur. It is known as the city of arts. It was the least hard hit among the three ancient cities of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan. The Durbar Square in the picture now is devoid of certain monuments. You can see wooden stilts propping up houses in Patan. 

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