Many people compare Kathmandu to places in India or places in Tibet. But, in reality, this city is truly a unique place in our world. There are few places where multiculturalism, spiritualism, and religion are so intertwined with urban life. Temples stand side by side with shops, clubs, and restaurants. Monks could be praying on one side of the street while kids rock out to heavy metal on the other side. The place is saturated with color, both metaphorically and physically speaking.
About a month ago, I passed through Kathmandu to film an episode of 36 Hours for the travel section. Most of our time was spent in and around the city's ancient sites and temples. And the one thing that makes this city so unique is that these places are public places, where people gather and socialize and do business. However, most of these sites are made up of fired bricks, mud and mortar, and aging timber. These places are often over 500 years old.
Many of the buildings you are seeing were razed to the ground in this latest earthquake. Thousands have been killed. Both the human and cultural loss is immeasurable.
While the people of Kathmandu mourn and begin to recover from this horrible event, I...I hope this footage can act as a record of history, as to what life was like in the temples, at least before they came down.
Pray for Nepal.