I went to a wedding last month. In Nepal, just a few thousand miles away. The bride was my boss when I worked in Delhi with Medecins Sans Frontieres in a clinic for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. I spent ten days in Kathmandu, Patan and Pokhara, the three largest cities in the country. There were three ceremonies – Shamanic, Buddhist and Hindu – on separate days, so there was plenty of time for door seeing.
These photographs are from the ancient town of Patan (pronounced “Pah’tn” with the emphasis on the first syllable). The locals also call it “Yala” and the official name is Lalitpur. It is also known as Manigal. Just to be clear. It was severely damaged five years ago in a major earthquake, but the Royal Palaces of Durbar Square have been repaired and several temples are clad with bamboo scaffolding.
The door jamb and header have been intricately carved with repeated designs and images of deities.
The jambs often sweep out into the brickwork like wings of the vehicle of Vishnu, Garuda. The King of Patan was the incarnation of Vishnu on Earth.