Saturday Features

The Morning Air

- Pramin Manandhar

Dec 2, 2017-

There is something about the Kathmandu’s winter mornings. When early sunlight hits the dewed streets and the city begins to stir awake, time feels slow and the air lighter. While some parts of the city seem to wake up begrudgingly, Asan is up and about early.

As the throbbing ancient heart of Kathmandu, Asan truly lives up to its reputation. At the crack of dawn, vendors and traders are already setting up shop waiting for their first customers. Then, as the early shoppers arrive, the cackle of small talk, bargaining and laughter fills the ancient quarter. 

The true spirit of the Valley’s beloved tea culture can also be observed here, as small tea shops spontaneously open up in its every nook and corner with customers, newspaper in hand, arriving for their early morning gossip and punditry.

As you move up and down Asan’s alleyways, you can see shopkeepers busy polishing, cleaning and arranging their shops for the day as the smell of the freshly-lit incents fill the air. 

These little early-morning moments are often taken for granted, but it sets much of the tone for the city life identity. Were you to head down to Asan on a crisp winter morning, you’d be swept away too, finding sudden magic in unexpected places which are sure to set you smiling for the rest of the day.

Dusting off the wares.


Down the lane from Asan, Indra Chowk is a collage of rugs and pashminas. 


‘Where else will you find such a huge bunch of greens?’


Weaving garlands on the go.


Shopkeepers polishing and cleaning their shops for the day as the smell of incents fills the air.


A flute vendor adds to the bustling sounds of Indra Chowk.


Catching up on fodder for punditry and gossip for the day.


The first shoppers arrive looking for fresh deals.


The Seto Matsyendranath Temple at Jana Bahal doubles up as a spot for feeding pigeons.


Warming up to the day with a fresh cup of brew.

Published: 02-12-2017 08:31

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