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Places to visit in Kathmandu

Discussion in 'Nepal' started by Anupam, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. Anupam

    Anupam New Member

    I am going Kathmandu with my wife in September, and as not many people have been there, I thought it would be wise to get some advice from the India Travel Forum to the places to visit in Kathmandu.

    We do not have anything finalised yet and have not even decided on how many days we should be in Kathmandu, but we are thinking along the lines of 10 days.

    Duration of the holiday would be decided when we know what there is to see and do in Kathmandu. So please be generous in providing details and information about the places to visit in Kathmandu.

    Thank you.
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Anupam! Welcome to the forum!

    Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. It is also the largest municipality in the country. It is about 1,400 metres above sea level. The mountain ranges of Phulchoki, Nagarjun, Chandragiri and Shivapuri surround the Kathmandu Valley (Comprised of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur). Amongst all the urban areas of Nepal, Kathmandu is the most developed and tourism is a major industry in the region. Just in 2013, one travel website ranked the city as 3rd amongst the rising travel destinations in the world. And it also ranked as the number one rising destination in Asia.

    Here are some of the best attractions in Kathmandu:

    • Swayambhunath Temple Complex - Its name means sublime trees, as it's surrounded by many varieties of trees all around. For the Buddhist Newars, this is the most important pilgrimage site to them. Because this is a temple complex, you can find various shrines, temples and a stupa inside. These structures are believed to have been created as far back as the Licchavi period. More recent additions like a Tibetan monastery, a museum and a library were added as well. The Buddha Stupa has the nose and eyebrow's painted on. You can reach the temple two ways: one is through a stairway with about 350 steps and the other one is through a road that vehicles can access. The temple is also known as the Monkey Temple, as on its Western side, you can find numerous monkeys residing. These monkeys are considered holy as they are believed to be from the head lice which grew as monkeys from Manjushri's head.
    • Pashupatinath Temple Complex - This temple complex is located on the banks of the Bagmati River. There are 12 Jyotirlinga Temples in India and these complete the body whereas the Jyotirlinga Pashupatinath Temple is the head of the body. It is not known for sure when this temple was built but evidence suggests that it's around 400 BC. There are so many legends around the story of how the temple came to be. One of which is story of Lord Shiva's transformation as an antelope around the Bagmati River. The gods caught him and took him by the horns which was cut off. The locals worshipped the horns but it was lost in time. One day, a cow was found showering the Earth with milk. An herdsman dug deep and found the lost horn of Lord Shiva. Pashupatinath is also known as the Lord Shiva, the Lord of All Animals. There are about 518 temples and monuments around the complex. The main temple though is built in the Nepalese pagoda-style of architecture.
    • Boudhanath Temple - This is one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal and the world. It was built after the death of Lord Buddha and is considered as one of the largest single Chhortens in the world. It is believed that even if a person has committed great sins in their life, circling the stupa even once would grant them one chance to atone for their sins.
    • Dakshinkali Temple - This is a bit further to the main city of Kathmandu at about 22 kms away. This temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kali. It's best visited during the Dashain Festival when animal sacrifices are done to worship the goddess.
    • Kopan Monastery - This monastery was founded by Thubten Yeshe and Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. There are annual month-long meditation courses offered by the monastery to visitors, held every year during the months of November to December. This tradition started way back in the year of 1971. Beside the monastery, the Kopan Nunnery can be found, established during the year of 1979. The monastery is open only during Saturdays though.
    • Narayanhiti Palace Museum - This is also known as the Narayanhiti Durbar. This was the official residence of the Monarch of Nepal during his reign. The current palace was built by King Mahendra during the year of 1961. Narayana is the Hindu God Vishnu, and just adjacent to the palace, a temple dedicated to him can be found. Hiti means water spout, as you can find this in the entrance near the palace. This was how the name of the palace was derived. The palace has 52 rooms, a reception hall and a throne room.
    • Kaiser Mahal - You can find this on the west of the Narayanhiti Palace. This palace is also known as the Garden of Dreams. It was built by Chandra Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana in 1895 for his son. It has pavilions, fountains, gardens, urns and statues. However, the palace is now maintained by the Government of Nepal.
    • Thamel Chowk - This is the ultimate shopper's haven in Kathmandu. You can find shops and stalls selling all kinds of gadgets, apparels and souvenirs here. Aside from that, various budget and mid-range hotels are around the area. Restaurants and eateries can also be found within the area.
    • Old Freak Street - Back then, this was the main area for hippies travelling to Nepal. However, these hippies were removed from the area by the government. From then on, the Freak Street has remained free from hippies but has never recovered that greatly. It is lined with shops, restaurants, clubs and guest houses now. But somehow, it's not as popular as the shopping area of Thamel Chowk.
    • Langtang National Park - This was the 4th national park in Nepal, established in the year 1976. This is also the nearest park of its kind to Kathmandu. The park also houses the catchments to two rivers: Trisuli River and Sun Koshi River. You can find various dense forests inside the park with oak, pine and rhododendron trees. Wildlife here include the following: wild dog, red panda, pika, muntjac, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan tahr, ghoral, serow, rhesus monkey and common langur. There are also about 45 villages within the park itself, majority of the population are Tawangs.
    • Kathmandu Durbar Square - The square is surrounded by several palaces. The oldest palaces in the square were believed to have been constructed by Sankharadev (1069–1083). These palaces were the residence of the Malla Kings. The oldest temples were believed to have been built by Mahendra Malla (1560–1574). These are the temples of: Jagannath, Kotilingeswara Mahadev, Mahendreswara and Taleju. The Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex was the residence of the royal Nepalese until the 19th Century. At the end of the square, you'll find the Kumari Chok, which contains the Raj Kumari. She is the girl chosen through an ancient and mystical selection process to become the human incarnation of the Hindu Goddess Durga.
    • Royal Botanical Gardens - This is about 18 kms from the city centre of Kathmandu. It is at the foothills of the Mount Phulchowki. It was King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev who built this during the year 1962. It has about 82 hectares and 500 species of plants. Also visit the Godavari Springs, just outside the gate of the gardens.
    I hope this helps.:)
    Chahal likes this.

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