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Kathmandu Durbar Square

Sightseeing In Nepal

Kathmandu

The three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu, Patan & Bhaktapur with its old temples, palaces and cultural life of the people are the social, religious and urban focal point of Kathmandu valley. The ancient palaces of Malla Kings, their stone water-baths, linked with countless episodes of history and legend, and the consume make skill of the anonymous artists never fail to intrigue.

Swayambhunath

This is a Buddhist Stupa on a western hill of Kathmandu. More than 2,500 years old, this ancient landmark is connected to the visit of Manjushree who created Kathmandu – a lake then – by draining its waters. The Stupa of Swayambhu is a hemispherical mound of compacted earth, and is built to specific rules, and is replete with symbols. The mound represents four elements of earth, fire, wind and water. The shrine is bedecked in colorful player flags. The balconies of Swayambhunath are ideal for viewing the entire Valley.

Bouddhanath

This is another Buddhist Stupa, but is built on flat surface, and is the largest in world. It is an various level of terraces, and is painted in pastel, and is adorned with prayer flags. It is set in the Mandala design. The settlement of Bouddhanath has the largest community of Buddhists.

Pashupatinath

Pashupatinath is the holiest Hindu temple in Kathmandu situated on the bank of sacred river Bagmati. This is the largest and most important Hindu temple complex said to have been built before Christ. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, which attracts tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims from South Asia as well as Hindu devotees from the world. This place is sacred for Hindus cremations.

Patan (The city of beauty )

Patan locally referred to as Lalitpur and situated at the south of Kathmandu is the second largest town in the valley. Patan’s great building boom took place under the Mallas in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Numerous temples of widely divers style as well as many Buddhist monasteries are scattered around the fascinating town. The city is famous for its crafts and metal works, which are wonderful souvenirs to be carried home.

Bhakatapur (The city of Devotees)

Situated at an altitude of 1,401m. Bhaktapur covers an area of 4 square miles. Shaped like a conch-shell. Bhaktapur means the city of devotees. The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces such as lion-gate, the golden-gate, the statue of King Bhupatindra Malla. The palace of 55 windows.

Changu Narayan

This is the most ancient Hindu temple in Kathmandu, and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Another fact is that the complex is built on a peninsula which was not submerged in water as most of the flat valley once was. The lavishly decorated two-tiered principal temple stands on a spacious courtyard, and is literally littered with artistic and priceless statues, idols and sculptures. Some date back to 4th century AD.

Beyond the urban milieu of the three ancient cities of Kathmandu Valley, lies a wealth of culture and nature waiting to be discovered. Ensconced amidst the lush greenery are magnificent monuments that are specimens of outstanding artistic workmanship. The village and small town such as Bungmati, Khokana, Sundarijal, Gokarna, Lele, Vajra Varahi and many more dotting the landscape, provide charming glimpses of rural life.

CULTURAL PROGRAMS

Cultural programs offer a fascinating glimpse of Nepal’s diverse ethnic and cultural traditions. There are several places in Kathmandu where folk dances and musical performances are held every evening. Nepalese folk dances are an expression of joy. They celebrate the changing of the seasons or youthful romances. Evening time in rural Nepal is often filled with the sound of village song festivals and spontaneous gatherings.

If you want to enjoy Nepalese folk dances but do not feel like going on a mountain trek, you can go to one of the cultural programs in Kathmandu for a lively evening of cultural enlightenment.

Nagarkot

Of the possible resort destinations, Nagarkot (altitude 2, 175 m) is by far the most popular. Located 30 km east of Katmandu, Nagarkot has developed into a favorite weekend gateway among those seeking mountain views in comfort and quiet. At sunrise, the Himalayan range, stretching from Dhaulagiri in the west all the way past Everest to Kanchenjunga in the east, emerges from the darkness to greet the happy visitor with its awe inspiring majesty and beauty.

Dhulikhel

The hill resort of Dhulikhel lies 32 km east of Katmandu on the Arniko Highway that leads to Tibet. In the old days, Dhulikhel flourished as a trading center handling commerce between Kathmandu and Lhasa. Today, it delights visitors with its enchanting cultural heritage and stunning Himalayan views. Dhulikhel means luxuriating in unspoiled natural splendor and becoming oblivious to the cares of the world. The artistic skill and urban ethos of its Newar inhabitants have created a place of charm and beauty. There are many vantage points in Dhulikhel which offer a panorama of the Himalaya that will leave spellbound. More than 20 Himalayan peaks can be seen in all their glory. Sunset views are equally spectacular.

Daman

For those seeking the ultimate pan-Himalayan view and willing to travel the extra distance to find it, Daman is the place to go. Located 75 km southwest of the Kathmandu Valley on the highway to the Indian border, Daman (2,400 m) offers the only unimpeded view of the entire Himalayan range, sight guaranteed to leave the early riser spellbound for days to come.

Pokhara

If Kathmandu is the cultural hub of Nepal, then Pokhara is its center of adventure. An enchanting city nestled in a tranquil valley (altitude 827 m), it is the starting point for many of Nepal’s most popular trekking and rafting destinations. Pokhara (population 95000) is a place of remarkable natural beauty. The serenity of Fewa Lake and the magnificence of the Fishtailed submit of Machhapuchhre (6,977 m) rising behind, it create an ambiance of peace and magic. This valley, located at an altitude of 914 m, is only 5 hours scenic drive (200 km) from Katmandu.

This little hometown of Himalayan water awaits you with anticipation and excitement. The valley surrounding Pokhara is home to thick forests, gushing rivers, and emerald takes and of course the famous view of the Himalayas.

Lumbini (Birth place of Lord Buddha)

Lumbini – a place in the south Western Terai of Nepal, evokes a kind of holy sentiment to the millions of Buddhists all over the world – as do Jerusalem to Christians and Mecca to Muslims. For Lumbini is the place where Lord Buddha – the apostle of peace and the light of Asia – was born in 623 BC Located in the flat plains of South – Western Nepal and the foothills of Churia range, Lumbini and its surrounding area is endowed with a rich natural setting of domestic fauna and a favorable agricultural environment. Historically, the region is an exquisite treasure trove of ancient ruins and antiquities, dating back to the pre-Christian era. The sites described as a beautiful Garden in the Buddha’s time still retain its legendary charm and beauty. The places to be visited in Lumbini Garden are The Ashokan Pillar, Image of Maya Devi, Puskarni – the sacred pool, Sanctum – sanctorum of the Birthplace, the Buddhist temple etc. places to be visited around Lumbini are Kapilvastu (capital of Shakya republic), Arorakot, Chatradei, Gotihawa Kundan, Nilhawa, Sagarhawa etc.

The nearest town to reach Lumbini is Bhairahawa. which is connected with Kathmandu and Pokhara by air and road. Bhairahawa and Lumbini are connected with an all weather road and regular bus service is available.