Namaste! Flowers and smiles as Harry meets 'the five virgins' as he visits earthquake-damaged areas in Kathmandu on Nepal trip
Prince Harry was greeted with garlands in Kathmandu today by five colourfully dressed local girls known 'pancha kanya' - the five virgins.
The group of girls aged between 17 and 27, whose name comes from five iconic Hindu heroines, gave the royal four bouquets of flowers, with the fifth girl Maiya Maharjan, 25, placing a fragrant garland of marigolds over his head.
Dressed casually for a morning's sightseeing in chinos, a blue shirt and desert boots - with colourful bracelets on his wrist - Harry looked delighted at the gesture and thanked them profusely.
The prince, who is on a five-day official tour of Nepal, was touring some of Kathmandu's most iconic sights to see for himself the devastation caused by last year's earthquakes, which claimed more than 8,000 lives and destroyed some of the country's most historic temples and palaces.
But there is also a story of hope as the Nepalese people work to rebuild their country and demonstrate, as Harry said today, that they are 'back in business'.
With the help of an experienced guide, the prince today toured some of the ancient sights in Patan Durbar Square, many of which date back to the early 1600s.
His first stop was the magnificent Patan Palace, one the seats of power of the King of Patan when the Kathmandu Valley was divided into three different kingdoms.
He gasped in amazement at the Mul Chowk, or main courtyard, where Hindu ceremonies used to take place. He then moved through to a second pretty courtyard, dating back to 1627.
The area boasted lavish wooden carvings and is considered one of the jewels of Kathmandu Valley architecture. Appropriately it is known as Sundari - or the beautiful lady.
Sunk into the floor was an ornate bath built in 1647, built by the popular King Siddhinarsingh. Although it was not on his official itinerary, Harry asked to view it and was invited to take his shoes off as a mark of respect.
'Good thing I've got the right socks on,' he quipped as he displayed a pair of socks with bright blue toes.
Marvelling at the beautiful carvings he spoke knowledgeably about the cost of the rebuilding work, which he has received a significant donation from his own father, Prince Charles, through The Princes' Charities.
It is something they had clearly discussed before they left as Harry, shown a picture of his father in 2006 holding a reception at Clarence House to help raise funds, remarked: 'Ah, that was the reception when he was meant to stay 45 minutes and left after two hours.'
He added:'The thing is that you can't put a price on stuff like this.'
He also insisted that his party pay the tourist levy normally charged to tour the palace saying: 'We will all pay, we must pay,' adding: 'Even them', as he gestured to the press.
As he walked around the palace gardens he stopped to meet several groups of craftsman who were painstakingly chipping away at pieces of stone and wood which will be used in the refurbishment.
He was even persuaded to sit down and try his hand at some wood carving, although looked nervous at the prospect.
'I did carving at school years ago but nothing like this,' he said, marvelling at their handiwork. Harry watched closely as he was shown what to do. 'I can't do it, not many people can. I am showing how hard it is to do this - wow ,' he laughed.
When a member of the party complemented on him how much at ease he appeared sitting on the floor with the carvers Harry said: 'Ten years in the army, you learn to sit anywhere.'
He also complemented the building team on how brilliantly they were doing with so little expensive equipment, using as much of the original stone and timber as possible
'It's amazing what you can do with no equipment, no cranes, no scaffolding...just ropes on pulleys,' he said.
As he left to tour the rest of the sights in the square he was mobbed by hundreds of people.
In a scene reminiscent of The Beatles, a group of local girls dressed in school uniforms, began screaming his name and hyperventilating as they tried to grab him and get 'selfies'. The prince took it in his stride, smiling, waving and shaking hands.
He stopped to speak to several groups of tourists, asking one family: 'Why Nepal, why have you come here? Well done, it's so, so important to encourage people to come back. Why wouldn't you come back here? It's beautiful,' he said.
Among those he spoke to was Ciaran Ciarans ( c) who was in the square with his niece Megan, 11, and Diarmuid, nine.
Ciaran, who is working for The Red Cross, said: 'He's right, when I cam out here in October there was hardly anyone here. They so badly need the tourists to come back.'
Harry's day began with a morning call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Nepal's first female President, elected by the country's Parliament in October 2015.
The meeting will took place at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Presidential Palace in Kathmandu with Harry performing a tradition Namaste greeting, with his hands clasped together.
The Prince and the President spoke through an interpreter as they were served tea, water and fruit juices.
When asked about his trip to Nepal Harry replied: 'A long flight, but worth the hours to be in Nepal, finally.'
The meeting lasted half an hour and the pair discussed the Nepal Girl Summit they will open together on Wednesday.
The president has campaigned on the issue of women's rights and the summit, organised by Nepal's Ministry of Children, Women and Social Welfare - with support from Unicef and the Britain's Department for International Development, will promote gender equality in Nepal.
One of the issues it will focus on is encouraging the end of child marriages.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: ' The Prince very much enjoyed his meeting with the President.
'They had a wide ranging and friendly conversation, covering earthquake recovery, the importance of tourism, conservation and climate change.
'Prince Harry was particularly grateful to hear from the President about her work to improve opportunities for girls and young women - a topic the Prince looks forward to saying more about at the Girl's Summit later in the week.'