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Indra Chowk is a bustling maze of streets in Kathmandu that tourists can witness. Located on the India-Tibet trade route, it is a bustling commercial and ceremonial area having many shops where the local traders sell fresh regional produce. The moving crowds, the colourful shops and the sounds of this bustling marketplace are unique to Nepal. Observe the carved doors and windows of the shops and houses or just grab of Lassi. During the festive season, Indra Chowk becomes a ceremonial place, and several religious processions go through it.
1. Akash Bhairav Temple
The well-known Akash Bhairav Temple is situated on the western side of Indra Chowk. This temple is locally called Aju Dyah located on the first floor of an old building. Inside the temple is a large mask of the God of the Sky - Akash Bhairav - adorned with a stunning silver head accessory. To the north of the square is the Shiva Temple. The calamity of 1934 destroyed the original temple, but one can offer prayers to the deity in the reconstructed dome-shaped temple. To the south-west is another temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh.
2. Raki Bazaar
A unique market, Raki Bazaar, is the only place where one can find the world-renowned glass beads of Kathmandu. It is located to the east of the square and has had glass bead shops since the medieval period. It is believed that merchants from Iraq established Raki Bazaar and began selling glass beads. The name, Raki, is believed to be derived from 'Iraqi'. Exploring this part of Kathmandu is an interesting experience or an adventure even for those who wish to do unusual things on vacations.
Indra Chowk is also famous for shopping. Whether it is one's groceries or occasional shopping, the place is just perfect for shoppers. There are shops selling spices, fresh vegetables, meats, colourful clothes, accessories, footwear, woollens, pashmina, pooja material, utensils, etc. The region is especially famous for glass beads. Prices will be lesser than that in Thamel but be prepared to bargain.
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