Ason Tole in Kathmandu
If you want to know how busy life in Kathmandu can be, do visit the Ason Tole which is the oldest shopping place in Kathmandu.
Ason Tole is a place where you will see lanes, shops, people and nothing else. The place is an intersection of countless number of streets. Together, they form the narrow lanes on which rickshaws, motorbikes, bicycle and people (and sometimes, the street animals) – all find a place to move. Even darkness does not obstruct this procession. On both sides of the lanes are shops selling goods, groceries, vegetables, spices, utensils, clothes and everything else one can think of. No wonder, there is a bedlam of negotiating, haggling and bargaining going on.
The Ason Tole is as colorful as it is busy. Various religious parades and processions pass through this place. Some of the Ason Tole’s own festivals are Asanchalan and Dye Lwakegu (God’s fighting). Newars are indigenous to Ason Tole. So, if you want to witness the traditional Newari culture or the customary Newari houses that have been standing for generations, Ason Tole is the best place.
If you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll be surprised to find shrines, temples and statues hidden away in pretty unlikely places. Some of the temples are the Annapurna temple and the Stone Fish temple.
The streets of old Kathmandu weren’t given names and as of today, many still remain nameless. Ason Tole is where a good map becomes invaluable. Let yourself go!