Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing
Kathmandu Valley is the most enthralling city in Nepal situated at an altitude of 1,336 m above sea levels and covers an area of 218 square miles. It is known as the home to temples and rich cultural heritage. It is also the home of the ancient and sophisticated Newari culture… The must-see places in Kathmandu are:
Kathmandu Durbar Square: It is the historic seat of royalty built between the 12th and 18th centuries. The Durbar Square is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument List in 1979 which epitomizes the social, religious and cultural life of the Nepalese people. It is the place where the kings of Nepal are crowned and their coronation solemnized.
The interesting things to see here are: the ferocious Kal Bhairav, Nautalle Durbar Square, Coronation Nasal Chowk, the Gaddi Baithak, The statue of King Pratap Malla, the big Drum and the Jagannath Temple.
It is the place where the visitors can see uncountable monuments. There is also the Numismatic Museum and Tribhuvan Museum inside the place building. Photography is prohibited inside the museum. It is the place to observe the juxtaposition of past and present, old and new.
Swayambhu Nath Stupa: Swayambhu Nath Stupa is 3km west of Kathmandu city situated on a hillock about 77m above the sea level of the Kathmandu valley. It is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal and the best place to observe religious harmony in Nepal. Both Hindus and Buddhists worship here. It is said to be 2,000years old. It was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument List in 1979.
A large image of Buddha is in a monastery next to the stupa. It is also known as the Monkey temple, and the major landmark in the valley. From the top of a hillock on its western side it provides an excellent viewpoint over Kathmandu.
Pashupati Nath Temple: It is the holiest Hindu pilgrimage spot situated 5km east of Kathmandu, the temple of Lord Shiva. The richly ornamented pagoda houses, the scared linga, or phallic symbol of Lord Shiva fascinates everyone. There are also small temples dedicated to other deities. The temple was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument List in 1979.
Although only Hindus are allowed inside the temple, visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities performed in the temple from the eastern bank of Bagmati River. Locals have long regarded it as a very important part of the city, both religiously and culturally. Basically thousand of pilgrims from Nepal and India pay homage to this temple everyday. Locals daily worship and receive blessing from lord Shiva early in the morning. Near the temple at the edge of Bagmati River lies “Arya Ghat” where cremation is performed. There is also a large market in the streets surrounding the temple.
Boudha Nath Stupa: It is the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal and lies 8km east of Kathmandu and is the largest stupa in the South Asia, looming 36m overhead. It was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument List in 1979 is also known as Khasti. The name ‘Boudhanath’ is composed of two different words Boudha and Nath. Boudha means wisdom and the suffix Nath stands for Lord. Thus Boudhanath means the Lord of wisdom. In this area there are more than 45 Buddhist monasteries located at the base.
Temple of Kumari (Kumari Ghar): Kumari represents the living goddess in Nepal. The temple is situated in Hanuman dhoka Palace. The temple is carved with wood and Kumari accept greetings from her balcony window most afternoons. Kumari is a young child who is considered the living goddess. She is kept in her palace until about the age of thirteen when she is replaced by another Kumari. Kumari only comes out on special occasions and her feet are never aloud to touch the ground.
Dakshinkali Temple: This temple is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Kali or the goddess of power; she is regarded as one of the most important Hindu goddess. Mostly in Dashain festivals pilgrims visit here and sacrifice animals in the name of goddess. Also on Tuesdays and Saturdays you can see animal sacrifice and many people doing colorful worship.