Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Day 11: Trying traditional Newari food at Patan, Kathmandu

Patan is another mini kingdom that was ruled by one of the three sons of Anand Mala when he divided the greater Kathmandu valley into three parts (Patan for one son, Bhakatapur for one son and Kathmandu for one son). It is a collection of Durbar Square (King's palace, courtyard), Temples, Carvings, and other features that were needed in a town including a massive bell (made of seven metals, the ringing of the bell could be heard for 3 miles around, effectively informing people of important gatherings at the main courtyard), sacrifice centers (!) amongst modern day buildings and hotels & restaurants. While Kathmandu was known as the kingdom/town of business, Bhakatapur was known as the town of potters and devotees. Patan, however, captures one imagination  as it was or rather is known as the town of fine arts. Metal work, paintings, masonry, the list of creative workmanships are endless.... In our guide's words, everyone here is involved in some form or other of Art work. But today, it's pretty much like what we saw in Bhakatapur - nothing different as the same shops, same kind of paintings and other things were there too for attracting the tourists.

While we did the usual sightseeing and 'appreciation tour', the highlight of the day was tasting local Newari food. I just fell in love with it (though we had to stay in front of the cooking area to ensure no non vegetarian or egg gets into it) as it actually resembled our dosa and pesarattu! It was yummy - the 'chokamari' (also called Nepali pizza, where ground rice and lentil flour is made into a dosa topped with veggies or non veg as per one's choice)  and 'bara' (ground black lentil again made into dosa - this one was exactly like pesarattu) that we tasted to the accompaniment of some spicy tomato chutney. Loved the Newari food much better than the traditional Nepali thali (called Dal Bhat) which more resembled a regular Indian thali consisting of rice, dal, sag/greens, sabzi/vegetables and curd.

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