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

Itache(n)ta Lane

     In just these short few steps you can already get a feel for Bhaktapurıs space. In Bhaktapur, the spaces are fluid; they have not been commodified into the Cartesian grid so important in North American cities. Roads do not have proper names. There are few numbered addresses.

     Yet, while Western visitors Bhaktapur's streets may seem chaotic, claustrophobic, and unplanned, its festivals frenzied and random, the city is not haphazard and arbitrary. It is not necessarily, as Bhaktapur's local development projects proclaim, "underdeveloped." Instead, Bhaktapur has been laid out on a very minute level to generate particular space/times.

    There is an order of inscription in Bhaktapur, but it is not the one I am habituated to. Compact settlement along narrow streets and congested lanes full of smells, and sounds. The cityıs tightly packed architecture, irregular, vertical, and close as well as the constant hum of activity (radio static, the soft murmur of speech interrupted by a childıs scream, the pounding of some distant hammer), contrasted with Chicagoıs uniform, wide, flat (almost homogenous) grid. Bhaktapurıs "blooming confusion" was for me always a new experience that was not always explainable.


Mandala Map

Tourist Map


Tour Map

Durbar Square

Tacapa Map



Key | Bibliography | Maps

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