Ason Bazaar

Ason Bazaar

How many times have you visited Ason Bazaar? in the heart of Kathmandu without really paying attention to the numerous historical sites that are present there? If you are a visitor, there is a good chance that you have made Thamel, the capital’s tourist hub, your home. As a result, you must have traveled through Ranipokhari frequently on your journey to Thamel.

In fact, if you are a confident traveler, you should ask about the southern side of Thamel’s Ason Bazaar. The tourist area is linked to the ancient bazaar by a variety of alleyways, and I can assure you that strolling through these alleys will give you a deeper understanding of local culture in addition to bringing to your attention the vast array of goods—a large portion of which are foodstuffs—that are sold in the bazaar’s numerous shops. The area is home to a number of stores where customers can purchase a wide range of products, including groceries, vegetables, spices, and other items required for ritualistic activities as well as other goods and groceries. The area has the most shops, a variety of shoppers, and people from all social classes. There are still quite a few items that may only be purchased locally, particularly ritual items utilized for numerous religious and festive occasions.

Six streets (Bhotahiti, Kamalachi, Nhai: Katwa, Teuda, Balkumari, and Makhan: Galli) come together in Ason to form a large plaza dotted with quaint stores offering every possible good. With the throngs of people, the delicious aroma of the many fruits, vegetables, meats, and other foods, the incessant conversation of haggling throughout the day, and the pealing sound of bells ringing in temples both large and little, Ason Bazaar is definitely heady stuff. The Annapurna Temple (Asonmaru Ajima), Lord Ganesh, stone Fish, Lord Nayaran, Shree Kumari, and Lord Um-Maheshwore, as well as Chawoso Ajima dedicated to the goddess of abundance, are the main shrines of the bazaar.

The word “Ason” is a derived form of the Newari word “Ansaa,” which literally translates to “just there.” There is a humorous tale relating to how the bazaar’s name came to be. A fish is said to have fallen out of the sky during a period of severe rain, which caused people to start talking about “fish falling out of the sky” all around the city. “Where did it fall, where did it fall,” people started exchanging questions. The standard response was a brief “Ansaa”. Alternatively, “Just there.” The location of the fish’s landing is claimed to be marked by a stone shrine in the bazaar.

Most of the day and evening, Ason Bazaar and its numerous streets are crowded with people. Some have come here to buy necessities, others use the convenience of its interconnecting streets and alleys to get somewhere faster, and still, others are simply walking to their homes in and around this large bazaar. However, the situation is much different if you go in the morning. Around the square are vegetable vendors who have already set up shop with freshly picked produce. Enormous, white, and healthful cauliflowers, red and green beans that seem lusciously nourishing, freshly dug potatoes, and large bunches of dark green spinach in a variety of colors all beckon to you with promises of happiness and good health.  The meat markets open early as well, and they are crowded with eager beavers seeking out recently killed meat. Ason is a vegetable and meat market in the morning, but as the day wears on, nearby small businesses start to open their doors, and proprietors start setting up shop outdoors, close to the entrances. The area quickly transforms into a bustling Nepali bazaar.

A bazaar where you can find everything from spices, condiments, Khokana-ko-tel (famous Khokana village mustard oil), and Ghyao- Chaku (clarified butter and molasses), to vegetables, fruits, and flowers; beef, mutton, pork, and chicken; fish, and eggs; milkshake and ice cream; Thwon (local beer), and ai la (homemade liquor); traditional sweetmeats, egg pancakes, and multicolored plastic utensils, brass, copper, and aluminum tableware, etc.

In other words, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for. Ason Bazaar is more than just a market full of things, despite what this might lead you to believe. The Kathmandu Valley’s historical, cultural, and commercial hub. You may see the actual neighborhood bazaar in Kathmandu here. So hurry over to the market right away!

 

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