Good for: beautiful sights, bargain shopping
Not good for: crowd-averse individuals
- Old Town
Lonely Planet review for Asan Tole
From dawn until late at night the six-road junction of Asan Tole is jammed with buyers, sellers and passers-by, making it the busiest square in Kathmandu. Every day, produce is carried to this popular marketplace from all over the valley so it is fitting that the three-storey Annapurna Temple is dedicated to the goddess of abundance, Annapurna, represented by a purana bowl full of grain.
At most times, but especially Sundays, you'll see locals walk around the shrine, touch a coin to their heads, throw it into the temple and ring the bell above them.
Nearby the smaller two-storey Ganesh shrine is coated in bathroom tiles. To the south is the Yita Chapal (Southern Pavilion) which was once used for festival dances (the dance platform out front is still visible). Cat Stevens wrote his hippie-era song Kathmandu in a smoky teahouse in Asan Tole. On the western side of the square are spice shops. Near the centre of the square is a small Narayan shrine (Narayan is a form of Vishnu).