Kathmandu Valley

 

Places to see inside the Kathmandu Valley Nowhere else in the world can one find the same harmonious amalgamation of culture, art and tradition that exists in this historic valley. Consisting of three major cities of Nepal, Kathmandu Valley is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

 

KANTIPUR CITY

 

Kathmandu, known as Kantipur in the old times, is the capital of Nepal. This city is a concentration of temples near the Durbar (palace) Square, and is the residence of Kumari the world's only living goddess who acknowledges the greetings of her devotees from the balcony of her temple residence. Kasthmandap, a large wooden structure in the centre of the Durbar Square, is said to be the inspiration behind the name Kathmandu. Hanuman Dhoka, named after a monkey god, is the ancient palace of the Nepalese Royalty.

 

PATAN CITY

 

Patan is also known as Lalitpur. It is six kilometres southeast of Kathmandu city, across the southern bank of the Bagmati river. The city is full of Buddhist monuments, Hindu temples and the ancient palace. Noted for its craftsmen and metal workers, it is also called the city of artists.

 

BHADGAUN CITY

 

Also known as Bhaktapur, Bhadgaun is the home of medieval art and architecture. It lies 14 kilometres east of Kathmandu city. The main square of Bhaktapur houses innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces-the lion gate, the 55-window palace, the Batsala temple and the Nyatapola temple, to name a few.

 

 

KIRTIPUR

 

It is a small town, eight Kilometers southwest of Kathmandu, on the top of a hill. Tribhuvan University is located at the foot of the hill. Visitors to this historic town can get glimpses of old shrines and temples, old houses, the people typically dressed in old traditional costumes and people working on ancient looms.

 

PASHUPATINATH

 

Situated five kilometres east of Kathmandu, on the bank of the sacred Bagmati River, Pashupatinath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Its two tiered golden roof and silver doors are famous for their superb architecture. Visitors can clearly seen the temple and the activities performed in the temple premises from the eastern bank of the Bagmati river. One of the most holy temples in the entire Hindu world.

 

 

BOUDHANATH

 

Boudha, one of the world's largest stupas, is generally acknowledge to be the most important Tibetan Buddhist monument outside Tibet. Tibetans simply call it Chorten Chempo or great stupa. It has become the Mecca of Tibetan exiles in Nepal.

 

SWOYAMBHUNATH

 

Said to be over 2000 years old, the Swoyambhunath stupa is one of the world's most glorious Buddhist Chaityas. Painted on the four sides of the spire bases are the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. Three kilometres west of Kathmandu city, it is situated on a hillock about 77 "meters high above the level of the Kathmandu valley.

 

 

CHANGUNARAYAN

 

Changunarayan temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is Kathmandu on a hilltop that provides beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Said to have been built in 323 A.D., it is the oldest temple in the valley. It is richly decorated with sculptures and carvings, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful temples in Kathmandu.

 

GODAVARI

 

Situated at the foothills of Phulchowki, the tallest hill surrounding the Kathmandu valley, Godavari is home to the Royal Botanical Garden-the only one of its kind in Nepal. The garden is open daily including Saturdays and holidays. The road from Patan city runs to Godavari to the southeast, passing through the small old towns of Harisiddhi, Thaiba and Badegaun.

 

 

DAKSHINKALI

 

Literally meaning the Kali of the south, this temple is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess of power. It is situated 20 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu and is famed for its natural surroundings. Pilgrims mostly visit the temple on Tuesdays and Saturdays to offer their prayers and animal sacrifices to the Goddess.

 

NAGARKOT

 

Nagarkot lies 32 kilometres east of Kathmandu at an altitude of 2175 metres above sea level. This popular resort town is famous for the spectacularly wide panorama of the major Himalayan peaks of Nepal. It is also famous for the exotic sunrise and sunset that can be seen from here.

 

 

 

DHULIKHEL

 

Dhulikhel is situated 30 kilometres east from Kathmandu at an altitude 1667 meters above sea level, on the Kodari Highway, on the way to Tibet. Besides the beautiful sunsets visitors to this ancient town can also get a panoramic view of the Himalayan range from Karyolung in the east to Himchuli in the west.

 

SHIVAPURI

 

Situated 28 kilometres north east of Kathmandu at an altitude 1800-2000 meters Shivapuri is known for the spectacular views it provides and its scenic grandeur and pleasant climate. It is also an integral part of a short and easy trekking route around the Kathmandu Valley.