Kathmandu Valley

The valley is situated at an altitude of 1,336 m above sea level and covers an area of 218 sq. miles and is surrounded by Shivapuri (North), Nagarjun Danda (South-West) and Phulchoki (South-East) hills. The rich tapestry of the cultural heritage of Nepal is synthesized in the Kathmandu Valley, the home of the ancient and sophisticated Newari culture. The Newars are the indigenous inhabitants of the valley and the creators of the splendid civilization of its three cities – Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. The skillfully-built temples and places, delicately-engraved stone and metal images, carved wooden columns and pillars, and the history laden shrines and chaityas of these three historical cities stand testimony to the Newar’s artistic achievements. Around the Kathmandu valley, the popular tourist destination such as Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Kakani, and Daman offers the world-class panoramic view and natural scenic beauty

MUSEUMS OF KATHMANDU

One of Nepal’s delights is the variety of Museums found in the Kathmandu Valley. As rich as Nepal’s unique culture and landscape, these museums provide a fascinating look into Nepal’s art, people, history and architecture. They also serve as an enjoyable serene alternative to the rig ours of walking and trekking in the countryside.

PASHUPATINATH:

Pashupatinath is the most important Hindu temple of Nepal, standing on the banks of the holy Bagmati river. Various religious activities take place here almost everyday. Sadhus (holymen) from many different countries especially from India, visit the temple to pay homage to Lord Shiva, the caretaker of the Valley.

BOUDHANATH :

Boudhanath is the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and is one of the biggest in the world. It is the religious center for the Buddhist population of Nepal and for Tibetans. Surrounding this stupa are monasteries and many small Tibetan handicraft shops.

SWAYAMBHUNATH TEMPLE (The Monkey Temple ) :

This Buddhist temple is proudly situated on the top of a hill in the middle of the Valley. The unique architecture of Swayambhunath is one of the most easily recognizable symbols of Nepal. From here one can enjoy a spectacular views of the Kathmandu City. Legend says that long long time ago the valley was a lake and it was known as the serpent’s lake. The Buddha Vipaswi came to the lake and threw a lotus plant saying, “when this plant brings forth a flower, then Swayambhu, the self existent one shall be revealed as a light.”

PATAN DURBAR SQUARE :

Patan’s Durbar Square is a concentrated mass of temples, the most stunning display of Newari architecture to be seen in Nepal. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the former Royal Palace complex is the center of Patan’s religious and social life, and houses a museum contain a array of bronze statues and religious objects. One remarkable monument here is a 17th century temple dedicated to the Hindu God Lord Krishna built entirely of stone.

BHAKTAPUR DURBAR SQUARE :
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is much larger and more spacious than Kathmandu’s and much less crowded with temples than Patan’s. The disasterous earthquake in 1934 destroyed many of the beautiful monuments in the square and it is now marked only by empty platforms where they once stood.

BASANTAPUR DURBAR SQUARE:

Durbar Square means ‘Palace Courtyard’ where the king of Kathmandu once lived. It is one of the World Heritage Sites. Clustered around Durbar Square are the old Royal Palace which has been converted into a well-equipped museum. Numerous other beautiful temples, shrines, Kumari Bahal ‘House of the living Goddess’, Kastamandap, a house build from the wood of a single tree and other small temples are scattered everywhere in the square. The main palace building is nine storied high and anyone can visit to the top and experience a panoramic view of the city

NAGARKOT

Nagarkot is situated 32 kms east of Kathmandu at an altitude of 2175 m above sea level. Nagarkot is a popular tourist resort of Nepal . The panorama of the major peaks of eastern Nepal Himalayas including Sagarmatha ( Mt. Everest ), can be seen from here (If weather permits). The Himalayan peaks Like Manaslu (8463 in). Ganesh Hinial (7111 in), Langtang(7246 in), Choba Bhanre(60l6 in), Gaurishanker (7134 m) and number (6957 in), are also clearly seen from Nagarkot)

DHULIKHEL

Dhulikhel is situated at an altitude of 5,500 ft above sea level, 30 Kms east of Kathmandu on the Kodari Highway. It is 90 minutes drive from Kathmandu. The city offers a complete panoramic view of the snow-capped ranges from Karyolung in the east to Himalchuli in the west. The view however is not as good as that from Nagarkot, one can see for 130 miles. It is a magnificent place to spend the night and awaken to the sun rising across the wide Himalayan range.

KIRTIPUR

Kirtipur is situated on a ridge 10 Km southwest of Kathmandu. The ancient Newar township is a natural fortress and has a proud and courageous history. The Chilamchu stupa and the temple of Bagh Bhairab are major sights here. Kirtipur offer quaint streets lined with artistic houses and temple squares. The people are known for their skill in building and weaving.

DAKSHINKALI

The temple of Dakshinkali is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali and is one of the most popular places of worship in Kathmandu. Located 22 Km from the city center on the southern rim of the Valley, the shrine is especially crowded on Tuesdays and Saturdays when animal sacrifices are offered to the deity.

CHOBHAR

Situated nine-kilometer southwest of Kathmandu, this place is famous for its gorge. All the water of the valley drain through it. There is a small but picturesque temple of Adinath on the top of a hill. From this top one can have a panoramic view of snow capped mountain peaks. On the way back, stop at Chobhar gorge. The narrow gash in the hills was made by Lord Manjushree to drain out the lake, which once covered the Kathmandu Valley.

NAMO BUDDHA

Better know by Tibetans as Tag-mo Lu-jin. This means the place where the Buddha offered his body to the hungry mother tigress. It is renowned for Shakyamuni’s act of compassion upon encountering a hungry mother tigress he offered her his body so that she could feed her cubs. There are a couple monasteries and one ancient stupa erected nearby in which one can make offerings, pray, and light butter lamps. This sight can be reached in a couple hours by jeep or for those who prefer a half-day hike it gives beautiful views of the local villages and lush scenery.

KAKANI

Kakani is another good location for viewing the mountain scenery. Only two hours north-west of Kathmandu, one can see the mountain landscape of central Nepal, a vast collection of majestic peaks stretching from Ganesh Himal to the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. There is an unusually perfect blending of the imposing mountain scenery with the more sylvan environment of the lower valleys. Rhododendrons growing wild on the mountain slopes begin to bloom in late winter and stay in bloom for several months, giving the village even more char.

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