Indulge in the urban and the ancient ways of art for an unmissable experience
What if we tell you that there are other activities besides adventure sports that are equally thrilling? It is time for you to be introduced to the quaint shops around the valley that are going to provide you with the experience of a lifetime with an indulgence in the urban and the ancient ways of art.
HOUSE OF PALETTES
Photo: House of Palettes/Facebook
There are days where you might just want a seemingly therapeutic session with a good glass of wine, a canvas and paints. Or perhaps, you just got back from a thrilling adventure in the Himalayas and want to reminisce about those memories. Whatever the reason may be, painting at House of Palettes is something you really should experience if you’re in Jhamsikhel. Located inside Evoke Cafe and Bistro, the studio is an art lover’s paradise.
House of Palettes is where you can break away from your daily routine, unload your stress, create your own art and bring it back home instead of buying souvenirs from shops. They provide you with the necessary materials and a guide who is there to help you get started with your masterpiece. With over 8000 people having painted with them, the studio is quite the hit among individuals of all ages who are not all professionals.
After having visited the popular destinations in the valley, you might want to do an immersive and progressive activity that isn’t so touristy- “You have a lot of restaurants and hang out spots in Kathmandu”, said founder, Rahul Agrawal, “but there isn’t anything concrete that you can take home. And at House of Palettes, we make that happen”.
One will see a whole lot of canvases with amazing artwork that have mostly been created by first-timers. You could also take up a corner, play your own music, lounge in their comfy chairs and flip through an extensive collection of their books and magazines. At the end of the day, they want you to enjoy your time, and it is recommended that, for a truly amazing experience, you visit House of Palettes.
Phone no.: 9801800255
Location: Jhamsikhel, Lalitpur
Situated two floors above the famed 12 Baskets Bakery in Bhanimandal, Ktm HAAT is certainly a place applying modern twists to the traditional art of pottery. After a long day of walking around the city, you might want to do something to unwind yourself. And what better way to do so than getting your hands dirty on a potter’s wheel as you create a beautiful bowl or cup from a mound of clay. Ktm HAAT not only curates handmade Nepali products from other local craftsmen and shops, but they also create their own pieces and offer pottery workshops for kids and adults. The organisation was established in 2018 itself but has attracted groups of eager individuals who want to learn the art. If you’re just passing by and want an artsy and fun experience for a few hours, it is recommended that you get messy in their working space. You achieve a sense of serenity and calmness as you enter the room and see all the handmade ceramics placed around it, although the building is located on a very busy road. An instructor comes all the way from Bhaktapur, a destination most famous for its artistic and architectural prevalence, to teach classes. Plus, you’re provided with the necessary tools and equipment and simply asked to enjoy your time there.
However, if you want an authentic experience, you’re encouraged to visit the ancient city of Bhaktapur, where there are hundreds of tiny shops that sell pottery and allow you to make your own as well. Although a little far away from the urbanised capital, the anachronistic palaces, temples and monuments paired with the city’s rich art history and welcoming craftsmen will make your visit worthwhile.
Phone no.: 9823698487
Location: Bhanimandal, Lalitpur
THE PEACOCK SHOP
Photo: The Peacock Shop/Facebook
Photo: The Peacock Shop/Facebook
A veteran in the Lokta Paper craft, the Peacock Shop is off the beaten track, hidden in the building opposite to the famous peacock window near the Dattatreya Mandir in Bhaktapur. An art that is native to Nepal, the process of making the paper involves removing the bark of the Lokta plant, boiling it, dyeing the beaten pulp, drying it on wooden frames and pressing it for a smooth finish.
The shop has a paper factory that you can take a tour of if you want to learn how paper-based handicrafts and the paper itself are made. But for a more bona fide affair, request them for a private class. And for 2-4 hours, you can learn how to get involved in the preservation and promotion of the traditional Newari craft. You will be able to grasp how simple yet complex paper making and printing can be as the jovial staff and craftsmen patiently walk you through all the steps in the process. Moreover, it is crucial to mention that the paper’s durability (2000-3500 years) is the reason why it is used to write official documents in the Nepal government. But after a few hours, your readied paper pieces could be easily taken back home to give away as cards or prints, and the paper products could be given away as quirky gifts to your loved ones.
You will be blown away by the intricate wood carvings in the shop and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the topmost floor, where lies the owner’s private collection of wooden antiquities and furniture that he saved and preserved. The class is an unmissable experience - a striking art adventure in an albeit dusty oasis in Bhaktapur.
Phone no.: 01-6610820
Location: Dattatreya (Near the peacock window), Bhaktapur
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