Artisans of Kathmandu
Patan palace square with temples from the 16th-18th century. Deana Zabaldo photo
Our trip to Mustang begins with a delicious traditional Newari dinner. Newari people are the centuries-old artists of the Kathmandu Valley, and our tour the following day includes an inside look at the old kingdom of Patan and some of its world-famous artisans. The pagoda temples of the palace square pay tribute to the craftsmanship that goes back hundreds of years, and we get to meet today’s artists who follow in their father’s and grandfather’s footsteps.
Deana Zabaldo photo
Moira watches the master paint a Tantric Ganesh. Deana Zabaldo photo
A master painter shows off works that take anywhere from 5 to 12 years to complete. He paints vibrant and ornate tantric deities, beginning by pounding the canvas with stones to soften and smooth it, and years later completing the final details with a paintbrush that has only 2 hairs. A filigree master opens his workshop to us and shows us how they carve lapis lazuli and turquoise into gods and set stones with millimeter-thin silver wire.
Alma inspects silver filigree for Buddhist statues. Deana Zabaldo photo
Tomorrow we fly to Pokhara, en route to the Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang!
~ MM Guide Deana Zabaldo