Kathmandu used to be known as "Valley" during the medieval period before King Prithivi Shah unified the country. This landmark place, considered rich for in cultural and ancients artifacts, is the cultural and political heart of Nepal. The Kathmandu valley is bounded by Sangha Bhajyang in the east, Bad-bhanjyang in the west, Panchmane Bhanjyang in the north and Pharping in the south. The bowl shaped valley surrounded by four mountains contains three districts. Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. It has one metropolitan city one sub-metropolitan city and three municipalities.
WHAT TO SEE AROUND KATHMANDU:
The Kathmandu Valley contains three royal cities - the capital Kathmandu, Lalitpur (Also Known as Patan), and Bhaktapur. Kirtipur and Thimi are two other smaller municipalities which is located inside the valley. There are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Valley.
DURBAR SQUARE / UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE:
Kathmandu Durbar Square (also called Basantapur Durbar Square) is the center of old Kathmandu, with the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex, the center of old royal Kathmandu (Nepal became a republic in 2008).. Kathmandu Durbar Square
One of the most attractive aspects of Pashupatinath is how close it is to Kathmandu's city center. It sits less than three miles from Thamel, where you're most likely to stay if you visit as a tourist. Alternatively, Pashupatinath sits even closer to Tribhuvan International Airport. The temple, whose overall history is believed to go back almost 2,500 years, was named after a deity called Pashupati. Pashupatinath is a UNESCO World Heritage site, one that's undergoing reparations due to the 2015 earthquake, and has a relatively steep entrance fee of RS 1,000.
BOUDHANATH STUPA (Buddhist Stupa)
Boudhanath is the holiest Tibetan Buddhist stupa outside of Tibet and a significant pilgrimage site. The Boudha area is Kathmandu's Tibetan hub. More SWYAMBHUNATH STUPA (Monkey Temple)
Swayambhunath Temple, atop a hill just west of central Kathmandu, is colloquially known as the monkey temple. Climb the steps for a sweeping view of the city. More ANCIENT CHANGU NARAYAN TEMPLE (Oldest Temple in Kathmandu)
Located 12km east of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, Changu Narayan temple is the oldest temple in Nepali history. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This Vishnu temple gathers important histories and religious values.
Changu Narayan temple was built by Licchavi King Haridatta Varma around 4th Century A.D. It was then rebuilt in 1702 after a major arsenic disaster. Since then, it has undergone many reconstructions over the year.
The temple was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and Changu Narayan VDC, along with the Management Committee, Department of Archeology and Palace Management Office, Bhaktapur, Nepal have been working with to preserve the religious site. More THAMEL (Tourist Meeting Place)
Hanumandhoka is the oldest palace of Nepal. Located in the Basantapur Durbar Square, the palace was known as Gutapau palace before the 16th century. The palace was renamed Hanumandhoka, after the then King Protap Malla set up a statue of Hanuman (the Monkey God) there. One can easily be fascinated by the sights of seemingly uncountable monuments at the square. The square constitutes the Kumari Ghar (the house of Living Goddess) and huge idols of Taleju, Deguta, Krishna, Hanuman (the Monkey God) and Kal Bhairab made at different times. Out of the three important palaces of the Kathmandu valley, Hanumandhoka palace is given priority. Considered important from different artistic and cultural perspectives the palace is one of the main attractions for foreigners as well as internal tourists. It is listed as a world heritage site by the UNESCO. More BUDHANILKANTHA TEMPLE (Sleeping Goddess Vishnu)
The huge idol of Lord Vishunu carved out of granite is located some 10 km north of Kathmandu's Ratnapark. This is also the largest idol of Lord Vishnu in Nepal. Local hold a belief that some 500 years ago while an old farmer was ploughing his field the tip of the plough stuck to something. When he dug at the place the idol was revealed. When the idol was being dug out it was hit by the toe in the throat giving a blue mark. thus, the idol was named Budhanikkantha because of the blue mark in the throat and because it was found by an old man. Large numbers of devotees throng the temple to offer worship everyday. Huge crowd assemble at the temple during the month of Kartic as it is a time for the worship of lord Vishnu. The enormous stone idol of lord Vishnu located at the foothills of the Shivapuri National Park is a magnet for foreign tourist. The idol of Lord Vishnu sleeping on a bed of serpents or "Nags" holding a conch. a discus a mace and a lotus in four hands is offered daily worship twice, which in the morning and in the evening lamps are lit and prayers are offered. More DAKSHINKALI TEMPLE (Kali Temple)
18 KM drive from Balkhu of Kathmandu, the Dakshinkali temple is famous among Hindu devotees, People visit the temple with a belief that offering worship to the goddess returns in fulfillment of one's desire. Devotees from across the country throng the temple with the same belief especially on Tuesday and Saturday. The place is regarded as a holy destination for Hindus. As the temple lies on the base of a green hills. Its surround area also serves as an attractive picnic spot. Hetauda, the district head-quarters of Makawanpur, lies at a distance of 65 km from the temple. More NAGARKOT (Hill Station)
Located at an altitude of 2,175 meters above sea level, Nagarkot is a famous town near Kathmandu for its Himalayan view. The Manaslu Range, Ganesh Himal Range, Langtang Range, Jugal Range, Rolwaling Range, Everest Range and Numbur Range are clearly seen from Nagarkot. The mountains look amazing in the morning. Nagarkot is also a good point for hiking as you can return to Kathmandu through several possible routes such as Sankhu, Changu Narayan, Dhulikhel, Sundarijal, and Nala. More CHANDRAGIRI HILL (Cable Car Station)
The hilltop of Chandragiri is 2,547 meters above sea level, and is the only hill in Kathmandu from where a 180-degree view of mountains can be seen. The view of sunrise in the morning, and sparking lights can be seen in the night time from here. The visitors can clearly see mountain ranges stretching from Mt Machhapuchchhre on the left to Mt Everest on the right. One can reach the top via cable car, or after a three-four hours hike through the jungle. DHARHARRA TOWER (Under Construction after Earth quack)
The nine storied Dharharra Tower located in Sundhara is one of the attactions of Kathmandu. Nepal's first Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa, built the tower under the orders of the then Queen Lalit Tripura Sundari Devi in 1882 AD. So the tower is also known as Bhimsen Tower.
From the top floor of the 203 ft tall tower, one can observe the panoramic view of the Kathmandu valley. A shivalinga (scripture of a Hindu deity, Shiva) has been set up in its top floor. Historical place, Sundhara and a beautiful garden lies near to the tower. Visitors have to pay small fee to enter this historically important tower. RANI POKHARI - The Queen's Pond (Under Construction after Earth quack)
Rani Pokhari was built by the then Malla King Pratap Malla, in 1670 AD to console his grief stricken queen who was shocked after the passing away of her son, Chakrapatendra Malla. That is why, the rectangular beautiful pond situated at the heart of the city is known as Ranipokhari or the queen's pond was built by putting water (jal) taken from different Hindu religious sites like Varanasi, Muktichhetra, Barah Chhetra, Trishuli and Gosaikunda of Rasuwa in it. There is a temple of Lord Shiva in middle of the pond, and at the south end of the pond, there is a huge stone sculpture of an elephant with the king and his son on its back. The pond is opened for the visitors every twice year. On the day of Bhaitika during the Tihar festival, people who have lost their sisters and brothers throng the temple located there. Likewise, Hindu devotees visit the temple on the Chhath festival as well KIRTIPUR
The historical town of Kirtipur, located at the edge of Kathmandu is renowned for the ancient Newari craftsmanship and traditional culture. Various ancient temples monasteries and traditional styled houses characterize the historical town. The Bagh Bhairav temple, Umamaheshwor Temple, Chilancho Vihar Monastery, Kirtivihar Monastery are the must visit places of the town. The Indrayani Jatra takes place in the Mangsir month while a large Bag Bhairav fair takes place on the first of Bhadra. The name of the historical town that successfully held off the forces of King Prithivi Narayan Shah twice in the 18th century has been adorned in the history. A hub of NBewari culture and important tourist town of Kirtipur is located some 4 km south of Kathmandu's Balkhu. MUSEUM IN NEPAL
National Museum: The national museum situated in Chhauni, near to Swoyambhunath Stupa, houses many archaeologically important collection. An extensive collection of ancient weapons, arts and antiquities of Lichchhavi anbd Medieval malla ears have been showcased in this museum. In addition to this, visitors can have the opportunity to observe decades old coins and fossils.
Outside the museum premises, there is also the Nepal Army Museum. The museum site witnesses the significant turnout of student visitors.
Narayanhiti Museum: The Narayanhiti Palace Museum located at Kathmandu's Durbar marg has become a center of attraction for foreign and local tourists alike. The museum inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala in 2008 was opened for the public in 2009. The erstwhile residence of the Royal Family, the palace was vacated by the last king of Nepal Gyanendra Shah in 2008 after the country was declared republic. The palace was named after the temple of Lord Vishnu or Narayan and the nearby water spour (Dhara) located within the premises of the palaces. The palace exhibits the splendour of the lifestyle of the royal family. The family of the then king Birendra Shah was massacred inside the palace but that part of the palace has been demolished. Visitors to the splendid museum are charged a small entry fee while it remains closed on Tudesday and Wednesdays. SANKHU
The ancient town of Sankhu located at the fringe of Kathmandu is 20 km northeast of Ratnapark. Rich in traditional craftsmanship and religious heritages, the town is one of the centers to observe Newari lifestyle. The holy places like Bajrayogini Temple, Shalinadi Temple, as well as many more temples of different size adorn the town. The fair of Shlinadi is the largest in the area and takes place in the winter. Thousands of deovtees from different parts of the country gather around here and keep fasting for a month. The town is an amalgamation of Newari tradition, culture, artistry craftsmanship and festivals, and is an interesting destination for tourists. A 12 km trek along Palubari, Bisambhara and Kattike takes to Nagarkot while 22 km trek from Sankhu will take to Sindhupalchow's Melamchi. BAJRAYOGINI TEMPLE
One of the important holy sites of the Hindus. Bajrayogini temple, is located 2 km west of Sankhu. the deity enshrined amidst pristine natural environment is worshiped as an influential goddess. The temple situated on top of a single bedrock was unscathed by the powerful earthquake of 1988 AD a living testament to the deity/s power that is believed to the safe from any kind of natural disaster. The deity residing within the temple is believed to fulfil the wish of those who worship here. Large numbers of devotees arrive to worship at the temple from different parts of the country. Surrounded by enchanting environment and source of pure water, the place is also suitable for picnic. An eight day long fair is organized in the temple on the full moon day of the month of Chaitra. Crowd of revelers gather at the temple to take part in the fair from Sankhu and the nearby districts.
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