Nepal thus far has the strangest history I have yet to come across.
In 2001 the heir to the Nepal Royal throne, Prince Dipendra, massacred 9 members of his family at the Narayanhity Royal Palace. The victim list included the then King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya (his parents), who reportedly had chosen a wife for Prince Dipendra who he did not want.
Shortly after the massacre, Dipendra shot himself and died a few days later. This left the throne to Nepal open, and thus Prince Gyanendra, brother of the late King Birendra, became king. There are many conspiracy theories as to what actually happened the night of the massacre – and I love a good conspiracy theory.
While doing some research on Prince Gyanendra I found some more crazy history. After his birth, his father was told by a court astrologer not to look at his newborn son because it would bring him bad luck, so Gyanendra was sent to live with his grandmother. He would later reign as King twice in the Nepali history.
His first reign occurred in 1950-1951, during a political plot, which saw both his father and his grandfather King Tribhuvan (amoungst other royals) flee to India. This left the young Prince Gyanendra (age 3) as the only male member of the royal family in Nepal. He was brought back to the capital Kathmandu by the then Prime Minister, Mohan Shamsher, and declared King. Once political stability had been regained in Nepal, his grandfather returned and resumed the throne.
I found the Nepalis history intriguing. After spending 3 months in India, the country north of the Indian boarder could not be anymore different.
Jumping forward from the past – Kathmandu now is a bigger city than you would think. Big, dusty and super busy. A place where face masks are more of a necessity than a fashion accessory. My buff had never come in more useful.
From the moment I crossed the boarder, I knew that Nepal is vastly different to India. For one their person per capita is far less than that of India and it was awesome seeing the huge open rice paddies growing on the sides of the Himalayan mountain range.
If you ever get to Kathmandu – do go visit the Green Organic Cafe in Thamel, Kathmandu. One of the best grilled tofu and veg dishes I have ever had. Nepal is not as geared for vegetarians as what India was – so it was lovely finding a great cafe, with not only an incredible vibe, but an awesome selection for vegetarians.
More Nepal adventures to follow soon.