5 places you must visit in Kathmandu with your camera  – A photographers ready reckoner for Kathmandu

 

Boudha , Nepal , Kathmandu, Photography , Travelog

Boudha in the morning

I am a person who hates to repeat his mistakes consciously and although its not that I have not repeated my mistakes but trying to minimize the same makes me feel happy . When our trip for Kathmandu got finalized almost 45 days in advance I started doing my research on the place from a photographers perspective.

In the past I have often visited places which are known as photographers delight but have messed up on both the frames and pictures, resulting in low quality photographs. If one of the primary reason for this was being lying at the bottom of the learning curve about my instrument in particular and photography in general  but also about knowing how to frame a shot and to have better knowledge on composition . Other than reading about the composition rules and other online reference materials, I started looking at photography blogs related to Kathmandu and then I realized that for a novice there are rarely materials available which can act as ready reckoner. So here’s an attempt to offer a very basic overview about must visit places in Kathmandu with your camera and few tips on photography at those places

  1. Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square
  2. Thamel
  3. Swayumbhunath
  4. Boudhanath
  5. Bhaktapur Pottery Market

 

HanumanSquare Marg  , Nepal , Kathmandu, Photography , Travelog

HanumanSquare Durbar Marg Courtyard

HanumanSquare Marg  , Nepal , Kathmandu, Photography , Travelog

Kumari Griha – Hanuman Square Durbar Marg

HanumanSquare Marg  , Nepal , Kathmandu, Photography , Travelog

Top Aerial view of the Mandap

  1. Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Sqaure – This UNESCO World Heritage site is surrounded by spectacular architecture and holds the palaces of Malla and Shah kings who ruled over the city. Few of the must see places are Kasthmandap , Kumari Bahal , Hanuman Dhoka and others .Beautiful architecture with local people around will prove to be a delight for any photographer
HanumanSquare Marg , Nepal , Kathmandu, Photography , Travelog

HanumanSquare Durbar Marg

HanumanSquare Marg , Nepal , Kathmandu, Photography , Travelog

Kumari Griha

Photographers Tips

  • Outside the Hanuman Dhoka you will find a courtyard which is filled with pigeons often someone or other trying to feed them. This is an ideal frame for photographers although often used.
  • If one wishes to get a topshot covering the courtyard a lil trick is to climb up the mandap which is just across the road and reach the topmost level – One would get a wonderful view and a beautiful panorama

 

Thamel , Nepal , Kathmandu, Photography , Travelog

Thamel

Thamel , Nepal , Kathmandu, Photography , Travelog

Artifacts – Thamel

  1. Thamel – Thamel  is one of the main tourist points of Nepal and should be on the must visit place for  any photographer. This is a shopping area lined with roadside shops selling artifacts, pashmina Shawl , prayer wheels and various other items . This is filled with cafes having  rooftop view restaurants and also act as a meeting hub for all the trekkers . So for a street photographer this place offers all what he had always wished to capture. Too many people from various walks of life some as tourist , some to earn their livelihood and their  faces around to fill up the frame .
Thamel , Kathmandu , Nepal , Photography , Travel , Travelog

Trekkers Paradise – Thamel

Thamel , Kathmandu , Nepal , Photography , Travel , Travelog

Nepalee Rickshaw at Thamel

Photographers Tips

  • On the lines of one of the theories of photography its suggested to spend sometime, atleast couple of hours initially in the area without looking through the lens. One will get the frames and places automatically and then should start shooting the place .
  • There are too many interesting characters around to not miss out. One must go upto one of the roof top restaurants – Helena’s preferably to get a roof top view and don’t miss out on clicking the nepali rickshaws ..
  • Light is an issue in the dark allies, so one should be prepared to carry adequate support lights.
Swayumbhunath  , Kathmandu , Nepal , Photography , Travel , Travelog

The third eye – Swayumbhunath

  1. Swayumbhunath – Commonly known as monkey temple, this place is an ideal co existence of Hinduism and Buddhism . The main Buddha Stupa situated on a gleaming White dome with famous Buddha eyes , the ever smiling Buddhist monks , prayer wheels and swirling of prayer wheels all are worth capturing. The dark coloured robes and the ever smiling faces of the monks provide a different flavor to the pictures.
Swayumbhnath , Kathmandu , Nepal , Photography , Travel , Travelog

The blessings

Photographers tips 

  • Few of the must take shots here are the swirling prayer wheels and monks moving  around them , the artifacts shop , the courtyard , the painting shops .
  • One must try to visit here during the early mornings or during the night to get a chance to capture the surroundings at the time of the prayer .
  • As the Buddha stupas are too tall and one just cannot miss taking a picture of the Buddha eyes with the third eye at the same level the trick is to get into one of the cafes where on request you can get on to the terrace and get a safe shot of the same
Boudha , Nepal , Kathmandu, Photography , Travelog

Boudha tomb

Boudha , Nepal , Kathmandu, Photography , Travelog

Prayer Lights – Boudha

  1. Boudhanath – This is Asia’s largest Buddhist Stupa and one cannot afford to miss this at all . Pilgrims on a daily ritual walk , monks wandering around the prayer flag decked streets with prayer bids in their hands , occasional prayers all are worth to give the shutter a chance . This place is also crowded with different stores which sell different interesting items . The must visit are Shechen Tennyi Dargeyllong Gumpa and other Gumpas around . If one is visiting in the morning then a cup of hot brewing coffee at Café Du Temple is strongly recommended
Boudha , Nepal , Kathmandu, Photography , Travelog

Prayer wheel and the old disciple – Boudha

Boudha , Nepal , Kathmandu, Photography , Travelog

The monk and his prayers – Boudha

Photographers Tips

  • Please explore the place and spend atleast 3 – 4 hours on a morning and an evening
  • Exploring is key as there are small bylanes which offer interesting compositions
  • Don’t miss out o getting up on the Gumpha and taking pictures of the Stupa from there. The people and monks are friendly and camera can be safely used .
  • They allow you to shoot inside the Gumpha. Hence its best not to let go off the chance at all.
Bhaktapur , Kathmandu , Nepal , Photography , Travel , Travelog

Pot Making in Process Bhaktapur Pottery Market

Bhaktapur , Kathmandu , Nepal , Photography , Travel , Travelog

Bhaktapur Pottery market

  1. Bhaktapur Pottery Market – While Bhaktapur Durbar Square should have made it to the list and many may raise an eyebrow on why the Pottery market and not the Durbar Square I feel from a photographers perspective the pottery market is more interesting than in terms of subjects available for photography . This place Is full of potter’s wheels and rows of clay pots drying in the sun .Being the hub of Ceramic industry this is filled with various shops which are selling finished products also
Bhaktapur , Kathmandu , Nepal , Photography , Travel , Travelog

Artifact shop in Bhaktapur Pottery market

Bhaktapur , Kathmandu , Nepal , Photography , Travel , Travelog

Pot making process – bhaktapur pottery market

Photographers Tips

  • Ideal time to visit is during the 8 – 10 am in the morning before the sun is high on the sky
  • Try to cover an entire process and as they wont allow to get very near to the actual manufacturing process so using / carrying a tele lens is suggested
  • From the back of the pottery market roam around the narrow streets of Bhaktapur again you will find lots of people and subject worth capturing
Bhaktapur , Kathmandu , Nepal , Photography , Travel , Travelog

Household in Bhaktapur Pottery market

I have compiled this list based on my experience and perception.  Although I would have loved to include more places like Pashupathinath temple , Garden of Dreams and other but time space and words are always limited so I tried to identify and share the best 5 places where a photographer will have delight and ecstasy and obviously best of the shots .

 

 

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4 responses to “ 5 places you must visit in Kathmandu with your camera  – A photographers ready reckoner for Kathmandu

  1. gorgeous photos and some great tips. My husband and 2 children are visiting Nepal next year so this post will come in extremely handy. Question…what lens line up would you recommend taking to Nepal? I currently own a 35mm, 135mm and a 24-105 (although I personally don’t like this) I was thinking of investing in a 24-70mm….thoughts?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Funflying four thanks for your kind words . As i travelled with a 2 year old so didnt have the luxury to carry all the lenses . I carried a 70 – 200 , 24 – 70 and a portrait lens . Investing in 24 – 70 will be a good idea though . Checklist should also include the Tripod

      Liked by 1 person

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