Impressive Potters Square

Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

I decided to head off to Bhaktapur for a couple of days! Packed my wee day sack and went for the local bus at Ratna Park.  Only 22Rs which is nothing to get here and the whole bus told me when it was time to get off!!  I paid 1100Rs which is fairly steep for my ticket into Durbar Square but I did get them to validate it for one week as I’m going to stay overnight at least.  I find it very similar to both Kathmandu and Patna's Durbar Square although the buildings are fantastic they all have the same theme.  

Braktapur has lots of interesting wee backstreets and really is a fascinating place all round but realistically though I have come in search for the Potters Square, which I am dying to see and hope it doesn't’let my expectations down.  I spend a couple of hours wandering and still I haven’t come across the main Durbar Square or the Potters Square, so I sit and have a coffee and find my bearings in a coffee house, the Himalayan Blend is really good.  Anyway bearings back on track I find the main square which has an incredible five tiered temple and a huge Square where lots of tourists are hanging out.  

I manage to find accommodation at 400Rs per night en-suite in a nice wee Hotel right next to the Square, but still I haven’t found the Potters Square although the hotel tells me it’s not far and give me directions.  It turns out where I’m staying is only round the corner, the place is incredible – I could right all day about it!  Pots and pots everywhere!  Every member of the family has a role to play whether wedging the clay or turning or decorating.  I am only here five mins and already I have a shot on a wheel that you spin with your hand, it takes a bit of work but I manage it ;)  I then spot a man on a really old wheel made of concrete, very low to the ground which you need to spin with a stick!  Now this is the real deal, I can’t help for take a video which hopefully I can add onto my KilnKraftz page on FB at some point, it really is amazing I mean the balance they need alone is really impressive. 

After he gets the wheel started with the stick, he quickly centers the clay and throws his pot, cuts it off, lifts off the wheel and starts again, I can’t believe how quick he can throw a pot!  Anyway I watch several of the men all throwing pots, or wedging clay, and the women decorating and adding finishing touches or repairing any damage.  It really is a family effort, everyone has their role, and that includes the kids when they get back from school.  The apprenticeships here start in the home from a very young age, this will be their life although with education that is now starting to change.   I spend pretty much the rest of the day around the potters square, talking and observing and I just love it.

As I’m staying in Braktapur I head out for dinner and pick an ideal spot in the main square for people watching which is my new hobby, well I need to fill the days on my own somehow!  There are many tourist as well as locals now about, there’s some sort of procession to one of the temples which involves a large crowd all chanting and praying and carrying their gifts as an offering most of which has marigolds attached!  It’s all very colorful and they all ring the bell when entering the temple which continues for some time.  Also in the square a large fruit and vegetable market has been set up which all the local people are attending, this seems to be the place where they come to buy their fresh produce, it’s array of colors and all hustle and bustle.  It’s an interesting place Braktapur and the Potters Square and I’m looking forward to my next stop which is Thimi which is apparently the real ‘Potters Square’ of Nepal.
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