Contesting Place in a Post-colonial Space

(Re)colonizing Tradition

A Pedestrian Guide to a "Traditional" City

Welcome to Bhaktapur

[1] The Tea Stall at Guhepukhu

[2] Nava Durga Chitra Mandir

[3] Khauma Square

[4] Tourist Motor Park

[5] Indrani Pitha

[6]Lasku Dhwakha Gate

[7]Char Dham

[8]Cafe de Temple

[9]Batsala Temple

[10] Batsala Temple

[11] City Hall

[12] The Procession Route

[13] Pujari Math

[14] The Peacock Restaurant

[15] Sewage Collection Ponds

[16] Bhairavanath Temple

[2] Nava Durga Chitra Mandir:
Pedestrian Knowledges, or Just Walking Around

We speak our city . . . merely by inhabiting it,
Walking through it, looking at it.
--Roland Barthes

Finish your glass of tea, walk out of Chandrayan Sweets and turn to your right. Walk east around the edge of Guhepukhu, past the furniture stores, past the photo shops, and past the steep narrow Tepucva alley. Continue along the main blacktopped road that circles Guhepukhu. Walk along this street until it makes a sharp right. Follow the main road to the right for about 10 meters until it makes a "T" with the steep Itache(n)ta Lane.

    You should now be standing in front of the Nava Durga Chitra Mandir, Bhaktapur¹s major cinema hall [D]. This path from the tea stall to the cinema hallmarks a major trail in my daily wanderings. In fact, during my fieldwork as a heroic "Duluwa-grapher," I spent much time wandering around the streets of Bhaktapur in what could seem just such idle activity. If people asked me what I was doing, I would reply that I was "just walking around." I would, however, usually show them my notebook so that I was not just "walking around."

     It would seem that such banal, pedestrian knowledges as the experience sof drinking tea and walking around with a group to the cinema hall is a subject unworthy of theorizing. Many would argue that the purpose of doing fieldwork is not to watch films at the Nava Durga Chitra Mandir, but to investigate the Naudruga dance troupe.But in response I would argue that to de -colonize the city, that is to demonstrate how lived tradition actually serves as a effective social formation, it is these very low-level ground experiences that need to be studied. I will refer to the situated experience of the walker as "pedestrian knowledges."


Mandala Map

Tourist Map


Tour Map

Durbar Square

Tacapa Map



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© 2001 Gregory Price Grieve , Site design by GDL Historical Laboratories. .