Back at the beginning of June, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to Nepal. Over the course of a month, I was immersed in a culture that was utterly foreign to me, and it was an eye-opening experience. These are just a few of the photos I captured while I was there.
This is the Boudhanath Stupa, the largest Buddhist Temple in the world. I visited this on my first day in Kathmandu, the countries capital. This is a super popular tourist attraction, but I was visiting in the offseason. Even so, there were plenty of people there and I struggled not only to get a shot with no tourists in the frame but with a perspective that wasn’t so mainstream. Shot on a Nikon D7100 with a Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.
While in Kathmandu, I also visited a Hindu temple known as Pashupatinath. As a non-Hindu, I was not actually allowed to enter but observed from the outside. Here, hundreds of dead are brought every day to be publicly cremated and have their ashes thrown into the river running beside the temple. As a westerner this was quite shocking as you could imagine; however, this is a common occurrence in the Hindu religion. Death is viewed not as a tragedy per-say, but more of a moving on into the next life. This photo is of a shrine dedicated to the god Shiva which were everywhere surrounding the temple. Shot on a Nikon D7100 with a Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.
Our next stop after Kathmandu was the city of Pokhara in the western half of the country. Pokhara is essentially the gateway to the Annapurna Range, one of the main mountain ranges in Nepal. There, hundreds of trekkers and their guides begin their journey into the mountains. In this image, Machapuchare, A.K.A Fishtail rises above the valley. This mountain is holy and is not allowed to be climbed by either locals or guides. Shot on a Nikon D7100 and a Tamron 180mm f/2.5 lens.
This image was taken of the first morning of the trek. Suspension bridges are extremely common in the mountainous terrain of Nepal. This young boy was on his way to school. As we passed him on the trail, he smiled and greeted us with the traditional “Namaste”. Shot on a Nikon D7100 with a Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 lens
While trekking we would stop and have lunch in “teahouses”, which were basically peoples homes with a small more public sitting area. Here, it was not uncommon to see one of the village women spreading out rice, spinach, beans, and other crops to dry on woven mats. The vibrant peppers caught my eye so as we left I snapped a quick photo. Shot on a Nikon D7100 with a Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.
As a photographer, one thing I loved about Nepal was the light. It seemed very rare to run into an unfavorable lighting condition. For three days we trekked up this valley, and every day the terraces and villages on the other side would be bathed in a golden light that I just couldn’t resist. Shot on a Nikon D7100 with a Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 lens
At the end of our trek, we took a very bumpy jeep ride down a steep dirt road to return to Pokhara. At a stop for gas, I noticed this young boy playing a traditional Nepali drum called a Madal. At first, he was wary of my big lens, but after some convincing, he agreed to let me take his photo. Shot on a Nikon D7100 with a Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.
After the trek, our next stop was a village called Bandipur, which sits about 3 hours from Pokhara. Its situated in the saddle of a hill and to reach it, you must drive a very narrow road for 7km to reach the top. Bandipur isn’t often visited by tourists, but I had another reason for visiting. Two of my great aunts have been teaching there in a school they built for over 20 years. I was fortunate enough to spend three days with them touring the school and meeting the students. In another article, I’ll go more in-depth with my experience at the school, while sharing photos of the classrooms and students. When I had some downtime, I decided to try paragliding, which was an experience all its own. I snapped this photo while riding thermals 1500 feet up. Shot on a Nikon D7100 with a Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 lens
My final destination was Chitwan National Park. Chitwan is located in the southernmost part of Nepal and closely borders India. Chiwan is also the last place in the world where the one-horned Rhino lives in the wild. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any great photos of the rhino’s, but I did snap this one of an elephant enjoying his daily bath. Shot on a Nikon D7100 with a Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 lens
Finally, I made my way back to Kathmandu to catch my flight out the next day. Although sad to leave, I know someday I’ll return. This trip was one I’ll never forget. Shown here is the busy streets of Thamel, one of the districts of the city. Shot on a Nikon D7100 with a Tokina 24-70mm f/2.8 lens