Best places for street photography in Kathmandu valley

Places for Street Photography in Kathmandu Valley

Street photography, also sometimes called candid photography. It is conducted for art or inquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places. This art form can have one too many subjects. But the subjects don’t need to be aware of being documented in a photograph.

Kathmandu, the city of temples. The city is filled with 5 million people and it makes it one of the best places for street photography. If you have an eye for candid photography; you will get so many stories to cover while walking in the streets of Kathmandu with your camera. Likewise, numerous old palaces, old towns, the cultural hub for Hindus and Buddhists make Kathmandu an epicenter for travelers and wanderers. 

Asan Area

Asan also known as Asan Tol, Asan Twāh (असं त्वाः) is one of the oldest market places in whole Nepal. It was a trading hub for the Tibetan and Nepalese communities and remains frozen in time for ages.

The streets of Asan are filled with locals buying various essentials in front of monuments and historical buildings. Asan has been a spot of interest for various street photographers for a long time. In Dashain time you will get to click local musicians playing indigenous music in corners of Asan. Which can also be an unmissable shot for photo enthusiasts.

Thamel Area

Thamel has been a place of interest for travelers since the hippy era. It remains one of the most happening places in Kathmandu as of this day. The place bursts with foreign faces and has a bustling environment. Thamel is also a Wi-Fi-free zone ideal for explorers. It features various hotels, lounges, eateries, and gift shops which can be content for your street photography collection. Never sleeping Thamel is also famous for nightlife; So, if you are a street photographer you never know what sort of candid moment comes to your attention in

Bishnumati, Bagmati River Side

Some of the oldest Photographs of Kathmandu taken in the Bagmati and Bishnumati area still define the urbanization of Kathmandu. These bridges often come with a lot of stories. From laborers roaming around the area to people who are used to throwing litter in the city’s river; these places are rich in stories. The place often features vegetable vendors and other street food stalls along with school-going kids and much more. If you want to capture a candid story; you should spend a day walking on these corridors on the banks of Bagmati and Bishnumati. And I assure you that you will not be disappointed.

Pashupatinath Temple Area

The epicenter of Hinduism, the Pashupatinath temple is the best place to capture the story. Religious Pashupatinath Complex is open for everyone but the main temple does not allow non-Hindu followers.

Only Hindu people are allowed inside the main temple of Pashupatinath. But the whole place is beautiful and listed in UNESCO world heritage site. Creating by fire, you’d see the interesting last rituals of the Nepalese community. Likewise, you’d also see (small children with pigtails and bald heads) various students of Hinduism studying Vedas. Likewise, you’d see various celebrates (gosain) and monks; who have given up on the physical world and even clothes, especially in Shivaratri. The place is also a shrine for photography lovers. Hence it is one of the must-see places if you are into street photography.

Bouddhanath Stupa

One of the most popular monasteries in Nepal, a UNESCO cultural heritage site the Boudhanath Stupa, is the world’s biggest Mandala-style stupa. This is one of the holiest places for Tibetans and the Buddhist community in Nepal.

The monastery is also one of the oldest structures in Kathmandu. It is believed to be built on the Nepal Tibet trade route. You can find more Tibetan-like culture and lifestyle around Boudhanath stupa which will be another contrast that Kathmandu has.

So, subjects are more or less the same but the contents would be more Tibetan here. Hence, if you want to capture a small Tibetan angle of Kathmandu; then you should definitely visit Boudhanath Stupa for candid photography.

Bashantapur(Kathmandu Durbar Square Area

Capture the majesty of ancient Nepal at Basantapur Palace complex; a world heritage site that features historic buildings from over 400 years (almost in the 17th century). The palace was built by Malla Kings and was a former palace for Nepalese Shah Kings as well. Sadly, the place has been through two major earthquakes, the most recent one hitting hard on 25th April 2015.

However, the people passing time in Dabali (Stop by), various small to big temples, numerous eateries, Kumari temple; and the architecture along with a small market standing opposite to New Road makes the place vibrant and click-worthy. The place tells a story of Modern and old Kathmandu at once, hence is the best place for street photography.

Durbar Marg Area

King’s way also known as Durbarmarg is a broad South-facing road that ends at the current Nepalese Royal Palace Museum. Where numerous students and families are seen wandering. The place also has a pizza hut and KFC’s food stations along with Annapurna Hotel, Sherpa mall, and various art galleries such as The Curio Gallery.

Durbar Marg area is one of the places; that flaunts an image of Modern Nepal and is a very dazzling hub for nightlife. So, city lights make you feel like clicking then Durbarmarg is the best place for you. If you are in Kathmandu, then a photograph in the Durbarmarg area should be on your to-do list. Street photographs here usually give a classy feel, as well.

Swayambhunath Stupa

Locally, Swayambhu means existing on its own or Self Sprung; people believe Swayambhu to be the oldest monument of Kathmandu Valley. Famous among tourists as Monkey Temple, this ancient religious complex is atop a hill in the west of Kathmandu city. 

The complex has a stupa as well as shrines and temples, some of which date back to the Licchavi period. The dome has a cubical structure with eyes painted in all four directions overlooking Kathmandu Valley.

The Site consists of two doors a long step from the top of the hill to the east. Which leads right to the principal temple; and a road by car from the south on the hill, leading to the temple entrance to the southwest. As you reach the top of the stairs, the Vajra is the first thing you notice. Numerous people visit Monkey Temple and it is filled all day. Hence, if you want to see various beautiful stupas and structures, visitors, and pilgrims enjoying all by themselves; you should grab your camera gear and go off on candid photography at Swayambhunath.

Kalimati Tarkari Bazar

Kalimati Vegetable market is one of the busiest marketplaces in Kathmandu. The place has all shorts of Vegetable wholesale and retail businesses in the bustling Kalimati area of Kathmandu. Likewise, you will see numerous manual laborers working from morning till Evening, there. The whole Kalimati Tarkari Bazar can be a huge opportunity for any photographer to capture the entire lifestyle of people dependent on Kalimati.

The vegetable market supplies vegetables to the entire valley with 5 million people, hence it remains busy all day. So, grab a camera and get there early in the morning for some of the golden street shots; get numerous candid photos of people.

Dakshinkali Temple

Dakshinkali Temple is one of Nepal’s leading Hindu temples devoted to the goddess Kali. Which is 22 kilometers (14 miles) from Kathmandu and approximately 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from the village of Pharping. The temple is a popular hiking destination in the vicinity of the adorable Pharping village. She is worshipped as a kind mother, protecting her devotion and children from tragedies and disasters. Basically, the temple is known for its sacrifices to street photographers. So, if you are suggested to travel some 14 miles to this particular Kali Temple in Kathmandú, don’t hesitate.

Mangal Bazar, Patan Durbar Square

Mangalbazar is one of the oldest marketplaces in Lalitpur which is on the south of the famous Lalitpur Durbar complex. Lalitpur palace is one of the most beautiful Palaces in Nepal; Mangalbazar on its own is a congested old market just like Asan filled with thousands of people every day. If you want to take photographs of people; sitting at the foot of Krishna Temple, beside the museum doors, and around the complex; you should visit Mangalbazar in the evening time. The place also features various art shops and eateries to fill you up. You will get tons of street shots at Mangalbazar for sure.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

See the Majesty of Bhaktapur, the renowned 55 Window Palace; the Nyatapola, the Bháirava Temple, the Golden Gate, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Special architecture in the Durbar square is strongly demonstrated in many nations by the abilities of Newari artists and artisans. Originally located on Dattaraya, the Royal Palace was subsequently transferred to Durbar Square. The indigenous people that live in Khwopa are also treasured Newars with unique costumes and lifestyles. So, you might have a big potentiality at Bhaktapur Palace if you want to capture individuals; surrounding the Bhaktapur Palace or live in and around the area.

So, these were some of the obvious spots in and around Kathmandu ideal for street photography. However, street photography isn’t something that can be actually planned. Likewise, the whole Kathmandu valley presents itself as a photogenic city with numerous street photographic possibilities in every corner, street, and alley. 

If you are a street photography enthusiast and have photos that you think are appealing then; Dhansar also allows you to cash out your skills from its stock photography columns. So, please keep up with our content and blogs for more interesting reads and flashy graphics.

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