When we asked the Bhaktapur gatekeeper how much of the city was damaged, he was vague: “Some.”
We paid our graduated entrance fees and went in to see for ourselves.
Bhaktapur dates back to the early 8th century. Full of art, religion, and history it’s called a “living museum”.
The third of the medieval city-states in the Kathmandu Valley, it was once the capital of Nepal.
Until the 18th century it was protected as a sovereign country, which is how it came to have boundary walls and a number of city gates.
While most of the temples appeared to have survived the 2015 earthquake, whole streets of traditional houses have come down.
Helpfully, where a temple no longer stands, or perhaps partially exists, there are “before” photos.
The blue tarpaulins reminded me of Christchurch, as did the scaffolding – although here it’s made of bamboo.
The ancient city is known for its pottery, handicrafts, and Juju Dhau – a type of yogurt.
Beyond Durbar Square and Pottery Square there’s plenty to explore among the russet-coloured neighbourhoods and winding alleyways.
The air is clearer than in Kathmandu, and the atmosphere calmer.
If you visit and have more time than I – make the most of it by staying a night or two.