A few days ago Adam and I visited Durbar square, a local temple which was converted into a palace for the Kathmandu royal family. As we toured the palace and surrounding temples, I was shocked by how devastating the earthquake had been. We had seen many collapsed houses and modern buildings, but to also see such historic structures which had lasted centuries prior reduced to piles of rubble emphasized the damage. We were allowed to walk around the temple ruins with a guide but not permitted inside due to the structural damage caused by the earthquake.
Our guide explained to us the long history and cultural and religious significance of each building along with an overview of Buddhism and Hinduism. After seeing the temples we were given a tour of the Mandala painting studios and an artist explained the meaning behind the patterns. They were very interesting.