Where Was Dr. Strange Filmed in Nepal?

I’ll admit, while I don’t know much about Marvel’s Doctor Strange, I watched trailer the second it came out. Not only does it look like it’s going to be a great movie, but—NEPAL! From 30 seconds in, I was so stoked to see my beloved Kathmandu. Here’s the scoop on the Nepali filming locations seen in the trailer (and here’s the trailer again, to refresh your memory).

dr strange pashupatinath kathmandu nepal

This was shot at Pashupatinath temple complex, the holiest shrine to Shiva in all of Nepal. The cool thing about this Hindu temple is that it is devoted to Shiva in his form as Protector of the Animals.

This is also an important cremation site, as the temple is built up on both sides of the holy Bagmati River. There is a temple here which can only be visited by Hindus, but all people are allowed to explore the vast grounds. When you visit first thing in the morning, you can see scores of people jogging & doing calisthenics on the vast grounds. Plenty of rowdy monkeys live along the river here, too.

This is also a hot spot for “sadhus for pay,” very ornately made-up Hindu “holy men” who will gladly take a picture with you–for a fee. I once met a cosplay Hanuman there and it made my year.

dr strange swambhunath kathmandu nepal
dr strange swambhunath kathmandu nepal

These shots above were taken at Swayambhunath, aka The Monkey Temple, revered by Hindus and Buddhists alike. BJ visited Swayambhu a month after the April 2015 earthquake and it was just devastated. While the aerial shot might be stock footage, I saw video online indicating they actually did film at Swayambhu, which makes me very happy about the progression of reconstruction. Swayambhunath has a fantastic view of the Kathmandu Valley and is a lovely place to catch sunset.

dr strange thamel ktm
As for the street scenes, Wikipedia cites Thamel, but I’ll be curious to see more scenes when the film comes out. And the courtyard scene with Tilda Swinton is probably primarily a set, but the tiered temple is the background is most likely Patan (also heavily damaged in the quake).

patanI’m so happy that Marvel decided to film in Kathmandu, giving Nepal’s economy a much needed boost after the April 2015 earthquake (but before the great blockade of late 2015 and early 2016). Nepal is absolutely one of our favorite places on earth! Perhaps a “Dr. Strange” tour of Kathmandu is in order, yes?  😉

This isn’t the first time Lauren has geeked out on a South Asia filming location in a superhero movie. Click here for the scoop on Batman in Jodphur, India. 

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Co-pilot at RetreaTours
"Making living out of a suitcase look good since 2013." Former physician and teacher turned itinerant for the greater good.

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