KATHMANDU

 

Kathmandu is the capital city Nepal. The city is at 1336 m above sea level. The valley covers an area of 218 square miles. It is surrounded by a tier of green mountain wall above, which tower mighty snow - capped peaks. The Kathmandu valley hosts three districts, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur (Patan) and Kathmandu, famous for their historic, artistic and cultural aspects. These three districts were part of different empires in the period of the Mallas (1200AD), great rulers of the area. The Kathmandu valley hosts seven World Heritage Sites declared by the UNESCO in Nepal. The valley is famous for the scenery, beautiful countryside, ethnic clans, monasteries and thousands of temples. The city is also called the city of temples.


Kathmandu Durbar Square: It is  the historic seat of royalty. The Durbar square, with its old temples and places, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of people. It is here that kings of Nepal are crowed and their coronations solemnized. Interesting things to see her are Taleju Temple built by Mahendra Mall in 1549 AD, the temple of Kal Bhairav, the god of destruction, Nautalle Durbar, Coronation Nasal Chowk, the Gaddi Baithak, the statue of King Pratap Mall, the Big Drum, the Jagannath temple and  Kasthmandap. It was listed in the UNESCO World  Heritage Monument list in 1979 AD.

Goddess Kumari (the only living goddess in the world): Kumari (Vestal Virgin) or the only living Goddes in the world, who represents a very ancient Hindu deity of Nepal locally known as Taleju, is Buddhist by birth, The temple Kumari is situated in the vicinity of Hanuman Dhoka Palace. The building has intricately carved wooden balconies and window screens. The Kumari acknowledges greetings from her balcony window. Once a year during Indra Jatra   festival the king of Nepal seeks the Kumari's blessing.

Machchhendranath Temple: The temple of Sweta Machchhendranath is situated at Machchhendra Bahal between Indra Chowk and Asan. It is a pagoda of considerable artistic beauty. Also called as Janmadyo or Machchhendra the deity.

Akash Bhairav Temple: A three-storey temple in the main market avenue, called Indra Chowk, the image of Akash Bhairav is displayed outside for a week during Indra Jatra, the festival of Indra - the God of Rain.

Kasthamandap : Located near the temple of Kumari, it is said to have been built by King Laxmi Narsingha Malla in the beginning of the sixteenth century. It is said to be constructed from the wood of a single tree. The city of Kathmandu derives its name from this temple.

Ashok Vinayak : The small but a very important temple of Ashok Vinayak is situated behind the Kasthamandap -also known as Kathmandu Ganesh or Maru Ganesh. Jaishi Dewal : Five minutes from Kasthmandap the Shiva Temple of Jaishi Dewal is famous for its erotic carvings. It is still one of the main routes of the chariot festival of Indra Jatra, Gai Jatra and other festivals.

Tundikhel : A huge greenfield, flanks one entire side of the old city Tundikhei. Some of the important landmarks of Kathmandu valley are located in the periphery of this area. At the south western end of Tundikhel is a 59.29m. Tower built by Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa in 1832 A.D. known as Dharahara (or Bhimsen Stambha). Sundhara-fountains with golden waterspouts is situated at the foot of this great tower also belonging to the same period.

Martyr's Memorial (Sahid) Gate : It is located between Bhimsen Stambha and Bhadrakali temple. The memorial arch contains the statue of the late King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah and the busts of four martyrs.
Bhadrakali Temple : As the eastern edge of the Tundikhel, near Shahid Gate stands the temple of Goddess Bhadrakali. This temple is also known as Lumarhi Temple and is one of the main "Shakta" temples of Kathmandu city.

Singha Durbar : A grand imposing palace built on the neo-classical style. Singha Durbar was the private residence of Rana Prime Ministers. Now it is the Secretariat of His Majesty's Government of Nepal.
Narayanhity Durbar : It is the present Royal Palace. A famous historic water spout called Narayanhity, is situated at the southern corner of the Palace.

Kaisar Libreary : Located inside the premises of Ministry of Education, Kaisar library is a great centre of rare and valuable books and manuscripts. It is open for the public except Saturdays and other government holidays.

National Museum: Two and half kilometers west of Kathmandu, the National Museum has a splendid collection of weapons, artifacts from ancient, medieval and modern Nepal. Its archaeological and historical displays are worth seeing. The museum is open everyday except Tuesday and government holidays.

Natural History Museum: Situated three kilometers west of Kathmandu city behind the famous Swayambhunath hillock this museum has a unique collection of butterflies, fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, plants and a variety of fossils collected within the country. Photography inside the museum is prohibited



Pashupati NathTemple:
Situated 5 km. east of kathmandu, the temple of Lord Shiva,Pashupati Nath, with tow tiered golden roof and silver door is considered one of the holiest shrines for Hindus,although only Hindus are allowed inside temple, visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities performed in the temple premises from the eastern bank of the Bagmati river. The temple was listed in the UNESCO World heritage  Monument list in 1979 AD.

Guheswari Temple : Near Pashupatinath is located another historic and holy temple of Guheswari. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the temple courtyard.

Chabahil : The lovely Stupa of Chabahil is believed to have been built by Charumati, the daughter of the Indian Emperor Ashoka, in the third century B.C. There are ancient statues around the Stupa.

Chandra Vinayak : The temple of Chandra Vinayak is situated about 200m. north of Chabahil Stupa. This double tiered brass roofed temple houses a tiny image of Lord Ganesh, the elephant -headed god.

Boudha Nath Stupa: The stupa lies 8 km. east of Kathmandu. This ancient colossal Stupa is one of the biggest in world, and the center of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. It was listed in the UNESCO World heritage Monument list in 1979 AD.


Budhanilkantha Temple (Sleeping Vishnu):
About 8 km. north of Kathmandu, at the base of  Shivapuri  hill is a remarkable colossal statue of Lord Vishnu, reclining on a bed of snakes. This is one of the masterpieces of stone sculptures of Lichchhavi period. This fifth century statue is in the middle of pond and seems top.

Balaju Water Garden: Situated about 5 km. north-east of Kathmandu, this garden features fountains with 22 crocodiles-headed water spouts dating from eighteenth century. There is also a large swimming pool  inside the park.


Swoyambhu Nath Stupa:, This is one of the world's most glorious Buddhist Chaityas. It is said to be  about 2000 years old. Painted four sides of spire's base are the all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. It is 3 km. west of Kathmanfu city aqnd situated on a hillock about 77 m. above sea level of Kathmandu Valley and hence commands an excellent view of the valley. This stupa is the oldest of its kind in Nepal. It was listed in the UNESCO World  Heritage Monument list in 1979 AD.

Gokarna : This lovely Royal Game Sanctuary, also known as Gokarna Safari Park, lies about ten kilometers north-east of Kathmandu. Many wild animals such as spotted deer can be viewed in the sanctuary from an elephant back. On the northern side of Gokarna, is a pagoda of Gokarneshwor Mahadev.

Sankhu: It is a typical Newari town, with many fine old buildings and temples. Beyond the village, up a long flight of stone stairs, is Bajra Jogini, a historical temple with a beautiful view of the local area.

Sundarijal: It is famous for its scenic beauty.There are magnificent waterfalls, cataracts and rock formations. It is an ideal place for picnic requiring a short walk after the motorable road.

Kirtipur: It is a small town, eight kilometers south-west of Kathmandu on the top of a hill. Tribhuvan University is located at the foot of the hill. This historic town has many things to offer like old shrines and temples, old houses, the people typically dressed in old traditional costumes, people working on ancient loom etc.

Chobhar: Situated nine kilometers South-west of Kathmandu, this place is famous for its gorge. All the water of the valley drain through it. There is a small but pictuesque temple of Adinath on the top of a hill. From this top one can have a panoramic view of snow capped mountain peaks.

Shekha Narayan : Situated between Chobhar and Dakshinkali the temple of Shekha Narayan represents one of the four Narayans of the Kathmandu Valley. The other three Narayans are Changu Narayan of Bhaktapur, Visankhu Narayan of Patan and Ichangu Narayan of Kathmandu.

Dakshinkali: The temple of Dakshinkali is situated about two kilometers south of Shekha Narayan. Dakshinkali is regarded as one of most important Hindu goddesses. Pilgrims visit this temple to offer their prayer and animal sacrifices to the goddess. Besides, this place has been developed as a popular picnic spot.