Patan, City of Wonders
If I was forced to choose between the three erstwhile kingdoms of Kathmandu Valley, I would find it an impossible task. Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur are each diverse and special, fantastic in their own unique ways. You could spend years in one of the three alone and still not have learned all there is to learn about it, or deciphered even a fraction of its secrets.
This month, though, and with no disrespect to the other cities, we’ve chosen to highlight the wonder that is Patan. In a way, it can be viewed as a place that’s culturally somewhere in the middle—not as hectic as parts of Kathmandu have become, and yet not as far-off as Bhaktapur can sometimes seem to be. In just a matter of minutes, you can leave the bustle of the metropolis behind, plunge headlong into the alleys and lanes that constitute Patan’s old heart, and there, experience a piece of living history.
Do come with us as we journey through this fascinating place—from the personal A Place in Patan to an exploration of legends and history in The Seen and the Unseen in Yala Lyaku; from hundred-year-old sweet shops to an insightful look at some of the city’s greatest craftsmen and artisans: our writers take on Patan from myriad perspectives, angles, and opinions. It’s a joyful, enlightening ride!
This issue also pays tribute to two very different grand old dames of Nepal, both American women, who each in their own way left an indelible mark here in their adopted home. Elizabeth Hawley, who recently passed away, is remembered by our writer who had interviewed her and interacted with her over the years. Barbara Adams has been gone a little bit longer, but she’s brought to life in the personal and highly readable article, Barbara Didi and Me, complemented by a fascinating array of historic photographs.
Every article here is one you won’t want to miss. Enjoy!