Dixya Sharma Poudel
Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. It is the heart of Nepal that connects it to the rest of the world. My first memories of Kathmandu are a blur that shifts past the various cultural heritages I visited. I toured Kathmandu as a child with my family and later as a teenager in a school trip with my friends. I have lived most of my life in Pokhara until about six years ago when I moved to Kathmandu with my family.
Pokhara is a serene city that thrives on tourism. In comparison, Kathmandu is vast in both geographical and historical context. These two cities differ in terms of weather and living situations, among others. As a capital of Nepal, Kathmandu has seen much social, political, economic and historical upheavals. Not long ago, the Shah royals ruled the nation. After the dethronement of the royals, Nepal became a republic and Kathmandu has evolved throughout all these changes.
Kathmandu is also known as the city of temples and the visits to the temples are my earliest memories of the city. Back then, I was in awe of the rich cultural heritages but was appalled with the concrete buildings of brick and rather ghastly infrastructures. Now as an adult, I am still enticed by the city’s traditional art and architectures while being dismayed by the haphazard city planning. The public transportation in Kathmandu is chaotic and the traffic hectic. Hours are spent navigating the treacherous roads and traffic in this city.
Kathmandu is where people from all over the country merge. The juxtaposition of the old with the new is very much evident in this city. There are traditional houses mingling with the modern ones. There are mushrooming educational institutes that promise a bright future to the young generation. There are employment opportunities in this city and people from across the country and even from abroad flock here for social and economic opportunities. There are various things to do and several important tourists site to visit in Kathmandu. The Durbar Squares and other cultural heritages in Kathmandu are a sight to behold.
As a resident of Kathmandu, I have come to appreciate the opportunity that the city offers. I have taken educational classes here that would not have been possible to take anywhere else in the country. I have been to religious trips in various temples located in the suburbs of the city. I have prayed for my wishes to come true as I bowed my head in reverence to Gods and Goddesses. I have been to Buddhist Stupas and I have taken a moment to reflect on my spiritual journey.
I have met diverse people all striving for a better future and in them I have found a kindred soul. I have dined in the finest of cafés and street food stalls and relished both the culinary stances. I have bonded with my relatives residing here and felt at home.
Kathmandu is a tourist’s gateway to the rest of the country since it boasts of the only international airport in the country. It is swarming with people going about in their lives. It bustles with a promise of a better life. Kathmandu is a representation of the nation’s prosperity and holds in its heart the true spirit of what it is to be a Nepali.