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Photos Show Remarkable Nepali Temple City Before The Quake

05/04/2015 04:08 pm ET | Updated May 04, 2015

Bhaktapur is an ancient city, full of decayed splendor and cultural treasures from Buddhist and Hindu worshippers who settled as early as the 13th century. Now it lies savaged by the earthquake that struck Nepal last week.

The quake and its multiple aftershocks "destroyed many magnificent religious structures here, killed at least 270 people and left entire residential districts of the graceful hillside city in ruins," Washington Post foreign correspondent Pamela Constable reported Saturday. "With mountains of rubble and roofs gaping open everywhere in the sprawling town of more than 100,000, it was hard to believe that the death toll was so low. But even among those whose families had survived, the psychic toll of collective loss and havoc was palpable."

I traveled to Bhaktapur and the Kathmandu Valley in 2012, an experience for which I've felt especially grateful during the past week. Below are some photographs that I took. Hopefully the town's beauty, so resilient and striking, shines through.

Lend a hand: here are 13 charities delivering critical support to Nepal earthquake victims.

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Lend a hand: here are 13 charities delivering critical support to Nepal earthquake victims.

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