Top 10 Places to Visit in Kathmandu
Kathmandu is the capital and largest city of Nepal, with a population of around 2.5 million. Also known as the city of temples, with one of the oldest pagoda design, known with Pashupatinath Temple, the city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 feet) above sea level in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley in central Nepal. The valley is historically called the “Nepal Mandala” and has been the home of Newar people, a cosmopolitan urban civilization in the Himalayas foothills.
The city was the royal capital of the Kingdom of Nepal and hosts palaces, mansions and gardens of the Nepalese aristocracy. It has been home to the headquarters of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) since 1985. Today, it is the seat of government of the Nepalese republic, established in 2008, and is part of the Bagmati Pradesh. The Top 10 Places to Visit in Kathmandu are given below:
1. Boudhanath Stupa
The Stupa is on the ancient trade route from Tibet which enters the Kathmandu Valley by the village of Sankhu in the northeast corner, passes by Boudha Stupa to the ancient and smaller stupa of Chā-bahī named Charumati Stupa (often called “Little Boudhanath”). It then turns directly south, heading over the Bagmati River to Lalitpur – thus bypassing the main city of Kathmandu (which was a later foundation). Tibetan merchants have rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to live around Boudhanath. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha. It is one of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Kathmandu.
2. Pashupatinath Temple
The Pashupatinath Temple is a famous and sacred Hindu temple complex that is located on the banks of the Bagmati River, approximately 5 km north-east of Kathmandu in the eastern part of Kathmandu Valley, the capital of Nepal. It is one of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Kathmandu. The temple serves as the seat of Pashupatinath. This temple complex was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ list in 1979. This “extensive Hindu temple precinct” is a “sprawling collection of temples, ashrams, images and inscriptions raised over the centuries along the banks of the sacred Bagmati river” and is included as one of the seven monument groups in UNESCO’s designation of Kathmandu Valley as visit here.
Swayambhu is an ancient religious architecture atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. The Tibetan name for the site means ‘Sublime Trees’ (Wylie: Phags.pa Shing.kun), for the many varieties of trees found on the hill. It is one of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Kathmandu. However, Shing.kun may be a corruption of the local Nepal Bhasa name for the complex, Swayambhu, meaning ‘self-sprung’. For the Buddhist Newars, in whose mythological history and origin myth as well as day-to-day religious practice Swayambhunath occupies a central position, it is probably the most sacred among Buddhist pilgrimage sites. For Tibetans and followers of Tibetan Buddhism, it is second only to Boudha.
Thamel is known by its narrow alleys crowded with various shops and vendors. Commonly sold goods include food, fresh vegetables/fruits, pastries, trekking gear, walking gear, music, DVDs, handicrafts, souvenirs, woollen items and clothes. It is one of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Kathmandu. Travel agencies, small grocery stores, budget hotels, restaurants, pubs and clubs also line the streets. Cars, cycle rickshaws, two-wheelers and taxis ply these narrow streets alongside hundreds of pedestrians. Recently many roads in Thamel have been declared vehicle-free zones to avoid crowd and traffic havoc.
5. Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square in front of the old royal palace of the former Kathmandu Kingdom is one of three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Several buildings in the Square collapsed due to a major earthquake on 25 April 2015. It is one of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Kathmandu. Durbar Square was surrounded with spectacular architecture and vividly showcases the skills of the Newar artists and craftsmen over several centuries. The Royal Palace was originally at Dattaraya square and was later moved to the Durbar square.
The Kathmandu Durbar Square held the palaces of the Malla and Shah kings who ruled over the city. Along with these palaces, the square surrounds quadrangles, revealing courtyards and temples. It is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a name derived from a statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the entrance of the palace.
6. Garden of Dreams
The Garden of Dreams also, the Garden of Six Seasons, is a neo-classical garden in Kaiser Mahal Kathmandu, Nepal, built-in 1920. Designed by Kishore Narshingh, it consists of 6,895 square metres (74,220 sq ft) of gardens with three pavilions, an amphitheatre, ponds, pergolas, and urns. From the mid-1960s, upon the death of its patron, Kaiser Sumsher Rana, it lay in neglect but was recently restored with the help of the Austrian government. It is one of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Kathmandu.
7. Kumari Bahal
At the junction of Durbar and Basantapur squares, this red-brick, three-storey building is home to the Kumari, the girl who is selected to be the town’s living goddess and a living symbol of Devi – the Hindu concept of female spiritual energy. It is one of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Kathmandu. Inside the building is Kumari Chowk, a three-storey courtyard. It is enclosed by magnificently carved wooden balconies and windows, making it quite possibly the most beautiful courtyard in Nepal.
The Kumari generally shows her face between 9 am and 11 am. Photographing the goddess is forbidden, but you are quite free to photograph the courtyard when she is not present. In 2005 the Kumari went on strike, refusing to appear at her window for tourists after authorities denied her guardians’ request for a 10% cut of Durbar Sq’s admission fees.
8. Hanuman Dhoka
Hanuman Dhoka is a complex of structures with the Royal Palace of the Malla kings and also of the Shah dynasty in the Durbar Square of central Kathmandu, Nepal. It is spread over five acres. The Hanuman Dhoka Palace (Hanuman Dhoka Darbar in Nepali) gets its name from the stone image of Hanuman, the Hindu deity, that sits near the main entryway. ‘Dhoka’ means door or gate in Nepali. The buildings were severely damaged in the 2015 earthquake. It is one of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Kathmandu.
The eastern wing with ten courtyards is the oldest part dated to the mid 16th century. It was expanded by King Pratap Malla in the 17th century with many temples. Sundari Chok and Mohan Chok in the north part of the palace are both closed. In 1768, in the southeast part of the palace, four lookout towers were added by Prithvi Narayan Shah. The royal family lived in this palace till 1886, where after they shifted to Narayanhiti Palace. The stone inscription outside is in fifteen languages and legend states that if all the 15 are read milk would spring from the middle of the stone tablet.
9. Narayanhiti Palace
Narayanhiti Palace or Narayanhiti Durbar converted to Narayanhiti Palace Museum in 2008, is a palace in Kathmandu, which long served as the residence and principal workplace of the reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Nepal. Located in the capital city of Kathmandu, the palace was the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It is one of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Kathmandu. The palace complex is located towards the east of the Kaiser Mahal next to Thamel and is incorporated in an impressive and vast array of courtyards, gardens and buildings. The current Narayanhiti Durbar was built by King Mahendra in 1963.
10. Budhanilkantha Temple
Budhanilkantha Temple, located in Budhanilkantha, Nepal is a Hindu open-air temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Budhanilkantha Temple is situated below the Shivapuri Hill at the northern end of the Kathmandu valley and can be identified by a large reclining statue of Lord Vishnu. The temple’s main statue of Budhanilkantha is considered the largest stone carving in Nepal. It is one of the Top 10 Places to Visit in Kathmandu.
Budhanilkantha Temple, also known as the Narayanthan Temple, is situated in Kathmandu. Though the temple is named Budhanilkantha, its name does not come from the Buddha; Budhanilkantha stands instead for “Old Blue Throat”. The statue symbolizes Lord Vishnu, who is regarded as one of the ‘Trimurtis’, along with Brahma and Shiva.
Top 5 Popular Places in Nepal
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