KATHMANDU, July 18: Hanging out on Durbar Marg can be expensive for parents while their youngsters can have a completely different view.
Though the main attractive area of Durbar Marg is fairly small, youths find cozy places to get stuck in on both sides of the long stretch with plenty of eateries and branded shops, and the time just flies by! One may just realize that he or she’s late only when one gets missed calls from home.
As the sun sinks down behind the hills that surround the Kathmandu Valley; Durbar Marg awakens to vibrant crowds. Footpaths, that were empty earlier, are now filled with people, voices and laughter. Shops and restaurants play host to an endless number of customers while the parking lots are taken over by vehicles.
Families, friends and couples occupy the areas outside Sherpa Mall to hang around and it’s evident that Durbar Marg is indeed a “happening place” for today’s young generation.
“It’s one of the most happening places in Kathmandu. People from all walks of life come here regularly,” says Govinda Malrayim, a salesperson at the Top Class shop.
For the young generation, visiting shops and eating at restaurants are the main attractions. Branded shops such as Baleno, Nike, Adidas and Levi Strauss attract numerous customers while popular restaurants like KFC, Pizza Hut, Nanglo and Thakali Kitchen have their own delicacies to offer.
“Durbar Marg is conveniently located and it provides a variety of foods and clothes,” shares Prakriti Gurung, 17. She usually goes window-shopping with her friends or visits restaurants which have nice music and sits around for hours!
For Paresh Khetan, 17, it’s about meeting friends over a cup of coffee or ice-cream and just chilling out when the sun goes down. However, for young ones, it’s not just about hanging around but also having some fun.
Recollecting an incident, Prakriti shares, “I had a bet with my friends about the existence of a cartoon character called Super Girl. Unfortunately, she existed in comic books. I lost the bet and I had to dance in the middle of the street. It was embarrassing because people passing by stopped to watch.”
Similarly, 17-year-old Pranav Rajouria says that he really got on the nerves of an attendant at the Apple store.
“I went to the Apple showroom to check out new stuff and I asked questions about the specifications of all the gadgets there and then I just left. After a while, I popped back into the shop to ask the same questions all over again. I think I did this some six or seven times and eventually he didn’t allow me in,” laughs Rajouria.
He also added that even though it’s nice strolling around the place, it gets tiring at times, and that he also enjoys going to Thamel, Jhamsikhel and New Road.
Although Durbar Marg is “the spot” for numerous individuals in Kathmandu, some believe that it’s exclusive to many because the price range is high.
“It attracts people from well-off families and I think there should be more places for middle class people, too,” opined Ayushma Shrestha, a student of Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA).
Paresh nodded to Ayushma and said, “You can get cheaper and better meals in other places in the Valley than at Durbar Marg,” he said.
Whatever said and done, whether it’s the impact of the name, the shops or the memories, Durbar Marg has always been the place for people to chill out, and it still attracts its fair share of visitors, be it youngsters or just people in love who like walking around.
For the young generation in particular, it continues to remain a “happening spot” today.