What to do? – One day in Kathmandu

Blogadda

First of all, let me set the context on how important & busy as a person I’ve become in the recent past. So much so that I have to go on ‘short international business trips’ Ohh Emm Gee! #EpicLoserLevelUnlocked 😛

Yeahh so my brand got launched in Nepal market and I was asked to plan a 2 day trip to Kathmandu (khi khi khi dil mein laddoo phoota) And to plan it on a Thursday/ Friday (ek aur laddoo phoota!) Ofcourse I stayed over on Saturday and then booked myself back on Sunday so that my old person’s body/ mind / soul can get enough sleep and then can be dragged to office on Monday morning.

So that left me just a day to ‘kar le Kathmandu mutthhi mein’. Luckily enough one of my pragmatic yet well travelled friend had visited Kathmandu earlier and knew the exact 4-5 locations to see and Google baba came to the rescue for my last minute planning.

Here starts my one day guide to Kathmandu!

  1. Thamel – First and last stop

Thamel is the place with night life in terms of pubs, restaurants, shops, tourists etc. in Kathmandu. That one particular area found in every city where travellers reside and make the hub. Unlike rest of Kathmandu which shuts down at 8pm, Thamel stays up and awake till wee hours for a lot of things which should be left unsaid.

Checked into a beautiful, awe-inspiring tiny little place in Thamel – Ambassador Garden Home ❤ Their rooms are small bt still don’t feel claustrophobic because of the warmth of the place emerging from all the wood work or even the amiable staff 🙂

Must try out their Nepali Masala Tea. Had atleast 5 cups in a day whenever and for whatever time I was there!

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Ambassador Garden Home is THE cozy and cute lil place to stay at if you choose Thamel area. Just look at this garden restaurant.

 

2. Pahupatinath Temple

After keeping luggage in the room I took a local taxi and went straight to Pashupatinath Temple for the World Heritage Site claim.

It is one of the few structures which didn’t get affected much by the last earthquake in Nepal but hordes of people (or as they call themselves pilgrims) have ruined the place enough. It would have been a beautiful structure to admire if there weren’t 1000s of people trying to push their way through cutting queues or being impatient to get a one look at the ‘God’. In fact there was a price list board put up by the temple administration for various rites & rituals you would want to perform. 0_o

The same temple premise has rituals being carried for newly weds or new borns and the back side of the temple as lifeless bodies being cremated which in itself is thought provoking.

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Felt like a black sheep at Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. People ruin places.

Gladly, didn’t spend more than 35-40 mins here that too because of the queues but go to this place when there is no festival around (which will be hard to plan of course) to admire the place

3.  Bhaktapur!

This was my favourite place in Kathmandu! So much so that next time I will even stay here 😀 This one of the oldest districts and rightly so you can see that in it’s brick-lanes and old temple & Durbar Square structure or architecture =D

Durbar Square are areas found all over Nepal which were meeting or shopping or key areas for the Royal Family of Nepal. Lucky to have chosen Durbar Sqaure, Bhaktapur (credit to our Nepal team for suggestion 🙂 ) as against other Durbar Squares in Nepal.

This area being 100s of years old got affected the most by the earthquakes but the spirit & beauty is still alive. Food is still kickass! People are still friendly story-telling enthusiasts & ohh new age rock bands playing in the hidden pubs inside these old brick architectural amazement!

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Would have loved to see it before the earthquake, loved visiting it now, will visit it after the restoration 🙂 Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Nepal

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5 stone temple at Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Nepal – One wise owl told me that this was the biggest temple created to cut down on the powers of a super powerful God with an existing temple right across this one, who got out of control. Pehelwan at the bottom of the side statues is powerful but elephants on top of them are 10 times more powerful and then comes the tiger with 10 times more strength than the elephants but then the Garuda and the Goddess herself – most powerful evvvaaahhh!

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This was taken from the top of the 5 stone temple 😀 Now that’s the place for a cup of coffee or Nepali masala chai – Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Nepal with the sleeping Buddha hills in the background.

 

And then my love affair with food started ❤ sparks flew and their was this unapologetic incessant touch downs at nooks & corners of Bhaktapur for Nepali food! (May Freud help me)

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Newari cuisine at Bhaktapur – A small nook and aunty cooking Bara-Wo fresh , vegetable & egg savoury pancake with buff + kala chana curry on top along with some mustard aloo bhaja o_O bacha lo!

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That’s what the final served Bara-Wo dish looks like. Frankly, I had my reservations before tasting this savoury atta pancake but glad that I did & then overate a bit 😛 Ek baar jo humne commitment kar di toh hum khud ki bhi ni sunnte.

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Another tinnnyy outlet at Bhaktapur, Nepal with just two tables to accommodate not more than 10 people sitting cramped up. All this that uncle makes is used as chakhna/ starters with beer or the local wine Chhang (which is yummy ki mummy!) Chakhna knows no boundaries for me now! Uncooked flattened rice, sauteed soya beans, uncooked meat (stop judging me for a second, it is chopped finely and then minced with hand so much so that the heat from all this friction makes it slightly warm & soft), buffalo fry and what not! Newari cuisine rocks!

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I shappath didn’t have more than one small teenie little piece of this dish 😛 Again a Newari dish at Bhaktapur- bone marrow fat filled in goat intestines tied with a thread and then fried a little *my heart* but that intestine was crispy crunchy yummy! Fat was a tad too much for sure

 

4. Swayambhu Stupa 

I did go there but wasn’t too kicked about it since I’ve had the pleasure of the view from the top of the stupa just outside Leh city in Ladakh. So go there for the Kathmandu city view in the evening and loads of harmless monkeys/ ancestors roaming around you peacefully and then let’s come back to Thamel for a night stroll in the quaint lanes 🙂

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Have you dinner at Khatali restaurant on Durbar Marg, Kathamandu which is centrally located (not far off from Thamel) and fall in love with the ‘Mustang’ kaali daal or the mutton curry or even the simple yet powerful saag 🙂 psstt, get 1 kg of this kaali daal back as souvenir 😀

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Check out time has never been a happy time for me but morning at this place sighhh….Y’allah har roz aisi jagah pe breakfast kara de! Thodi si toh lift kara de! – Ambassador Garden Home, Thamel, Kathmandu

 

One more sign-off pic to lure you to Kathmandu, Nepal….

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First meal of momos at Kathmandu with this view from the office terrace overlooking the king’s palace 😳 mekko rakh lo yahan!

 

A few helpful points to search and a keep note of before travelling alone to a new place:

  • Download offline maps in case you are not planning to buy a local SIM (I support you on this one since wi-fi can be found at almost all hotels & why else would you need a phone while travelling?! You! Yes you constantly on your phone) – Try maps.me app, has been helpful across various countries

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  • Google the local taxi rates for places like Nepal where there is no other prevalent mode of transport. And then negotiate like an Asian! Be a man, DO THE RIGHT THING!
  • Always look at visitor images on tripadvisor or any other travel booking site for hotels and don’t just rely on the 4 star ratings/ reviews. Your gut feel about the homeliness of the place will always be stronger than well crafted review words.
  • Don’t be afraid of taking a stroll on your own. If you show confidence, you get confidence and then it just happens.
  • Lastly, It’s never too bad or boring to spend some time on your own at your own pace 🙂

Mazze hain toh loot lo!

-Huggable

The Giggler !

 

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Barman – The reason to choose a place next time…

“The true measure of ones character is how they treat the barman”
I live by this rule and can’t help but judge you on this. *Yes kill me! I judge at times*  But an amazing barman is always a prerequisite for having a good time at any place and going there again or even suggesting it to your friends.

So let’s start this now I say! Notice them, appreciate them, treat them well and give them a warm hug from my side when you meet them next 🙂

Here are 6 of those superhero barmen I’ve met till now…

1. Pandey Ji @ Toto’s, Bandra, Bombay – The Listener Barman

I had to start with him because of reasons aplenty. It was while having a chat with him when I realized that you remember places by the people you meet there.

Always ready with old monk, coke and a seat at his bar!

Pandey Ji @ Toto's , Bandra, Bombay

Pandey Ji @ Toto’s , Bandra, Bombay

2. Sujoy @ Fatty Bao, Indiranagar, Bangalore – The Experience Maker

If you really want to taste a cocktail and not just a concoction of random alcohol types then Sujoy is your man! Now that he has moved to Monkey Bar (Richmond Road, Bangalore) I miss his food and drink suggestions. Ohh and it’s quite difficult to catch hold of him, he keeps changing bars/ pubs every 3-6 months because he feels that he has done his job there 😀

One of those barmen who creates an experience for you along with an off-the-menu cocktail 😉

Sujoy @ Fatty Bao, Indiranagar, Bangalore

Sujoy @ Fatty Bao, Indiranagar, Bangalore

3. Shetty @ Satya’s , Koramangla, Bangalore – The Modest Barman

Mr. Shetty doesn’t drink himself but makes sure that you go home tipsy. It is so easy for him to become part of your drunk laughs.

All for a good cause Mr. Shetty 🙂

Mr. Shetty @ Satya's , Koramangla, Bangalore

Mr. Shetty @ Satya’s , Koramangla, Bangalore

4. Naveen @ Puma Social Club, Indiranagar, Bangalore – The Humble Giant

Hehe Woopes! He is the bouncer there but I loved him for the smirk hiding behind his effort to keep a straight face x-D Must be 3 feet taller than us but almost made him dance. Make them have a bloody good time with you…

Naveen @ Puma Social Club, Indiranagar, Bangalore

Naveen @ Puma Social Club, Indiranagar, Bangalore

5. Anuj @ The Humming Tree, Indiranagar, Bangalore – The Fun One

He made me taste the yummiest chocolate + Beer + Old Monk cocktail. Also, the chilli vodka shots which had to be taken with a side life saver of Apple Juice. Dragon mode on!

Don’t have a good photo of him with me (yet) but just yell out his name the next time you are there…

Anuj @ The Humming Tree, Indiranagar, Bangalore

Anuj @ The Humming Tree, Indiranagar, Bangalore

6. Prasanjeet @ Loca Loca, Khar West, Bombay – The Friendly One

He is fun. He is funny. He is sweet. He is generous with free shots 😀 . And he can be protective of you if a situation arises. All in all, your friend in deed and need.

Prasanjeet @ Loca Loca, Khar West, Bombay

Prasanjeet @ Loca Loca, Khar West, Bombay

Tell me about your favorite ones too!

P.S. Please ignore the other faces shown in barman images 😛

Will the real ‘Devdas’ please stand up! Are you Devdas – The Character?

You will never call anyone ‘Devdas Mukherjee’ but wouldn’t think twice before calling someone ‘Devdas’ because Devdas Mukherjee is a mere name whereas ‘Devdas’ is a character which comes with its own personality traits.

No one lives (might die) as Devdas, people behave as Devdas (at times). So what makes you earn the title and what does not?

Are you Devdas?

         You are moody and have no qualms in agreeing to the fact. Yes it is a fact and not just an assumption.

moody

Having a bad mood ALWAYS is not quintessential to being moody or being a bad person. It is more about feeling strongly about something/someone or an emotion and being expressive about it.

It ranges from – If you are in a good mood then everyone around you will get to know about it coz of that that huge-ass grin pasted on your face and the swing in your steps which can be contagious. You will be announcing it to the world

To – If you are in a bad mood then you can be rude as an ass, again with no guilty pangs whatsoever.

You like to have a drink.

Your list of favorite music will –

  • Feature a bar …
  • Be about a bar
  • Go really well with your glass and a cigarette at a bar
  • You want to drink when you are happy/ sad/ have nothing else to do/ can’t sleep/ don’t want to sleep/ are told not to drink/ asked to have one etc. etc.

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  • You drink when Chandramukhi is dancing in front of you figuratively or literally. You drink for Paro. At times for both Paro & Chandramukhi. Ohh and Chandramukhi or Paro are again characters which like Devdas are not gender specific! But some other time…

chandramukhi   shit shit shit

  • Drinking might not mean being at a party. But it might range….

from

to

Chunni Baabu

chunni

Either you already have a friend like Chunni babu or you made one of your friends turn into Chunni!

There are times when people figure that you are the way you are coz of a reason but they dare not ask you. They will never get an answer from you. But this Chunni character is the one who will have to bear you in sobriety and in drunkenness. And vice versa.

You are not Devdas

IF –

You are ALWAYS high on energy

Just coz you sport a beard

You drank a lot last night

You are feeling melancholic about your last lost love (Bleh!)

Confused? Have a drink and forget about it .

confused

.gifs coutesy tumbler.