The Hippies’ exodus or the stakeholders of the Flower generation first arrived in Kathmandu back in 60s’. The US Government’s intrusion on their lifestyle and banning their activities compelled them to search for newer/safer places and newer opportunities!
The earliest influx of Hippies arrived via Silk Route. Motivation to travel and search for spiritual lightness led them to the Bhakti Movement of the Krishna Consciousness Society. Impressed with the knowledge and society’s principles, they started mixing up in the Kathmandu localities and got involved in local religious events.
Instant L♥VE with Kathmandu
Entering Kathmandu, they instantly fell in love with the city and its people, temples, landscape, freely available drugs and so on. Back in 60s’, trade and consumption of Recreational drugs, such as; Hashish and Ganja (Marijuana), weren’t regarded as Criminal offences by the state. Street vendors and restaurant owners selling the drugs freely on the streets of Kathmandu was a very common site. Many Hippies even preferred adding Hashish into their favorite Cake, and later re-christened it as “The Hashish Cake.”
Hindu meditation, temple visits, praying and recreational drugs overtly defined their daily life. Many of them arrived with less or no money, therefore, landing them in a budget crunch and motivated them to start petty businesses in the Kathmandu corners. Some opened a book store, some sold second-hand vehicles and such. Thamel, Basantapur and Jhonche (Freak Street) were their common hang-out destinations in the city.
The Big blow to the community came during mid 70s’ when US Government directed Nepalese government to regulate the inflow of tourists (disallowing Hippies to enter the city), etiquette and lifestyle and sale/purchase of drugs in an open market. Slowly, most of the members started leaving Kathmandu in search of newer and safer places, however, some stayed forever.
Kathmandu: Back in 60s’ @Tapestry