Thursday night the famed Pilgrim's bookstore burned in a conflagration that took Kathmandu firefighters over 12 hours to douse.
The Nepali newspapers report various causes and, of course, the rumors are flying. Luckily, there were no fatalities, although a few firefighters were injured.
Burnt books are strewn across the shop.
It is a sad loss, as Pilgrim's Book Shop has been a Kathmandu tradition for over 30 years.
Even a pre-monsoon rainstorm did not keep curious bystanders away from the devastation as they crowded the streets of Thamel. I did notice that the clean up crew was not using gloves or any other safety devices as they quickly cleaned the surrounding restaurants and shops of debris.
Hopefully not too many rare and out of print books were at the burnt location, but nevertheless, a Thamel treasure was lost.
UPDATE: The workers are busily combing the ruins of Pilgrims Bookstore and it is indeed a grim sight.
Passersby look at the gems that have partially survived. There is a sign mentioning that these books are not for sale.
This charred statue is a reminder of what has been lost.
Pilgrims will surely be missed.