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Kathmandu: The Shambhala Of Real World, located in the heart of Nepal is surrounded by green hills and blessed with the views of majestic Himalayas. The National capital area is the perfect blend of nature, culture, history and joyful people. Undoubtedly, One can never get bored of this city, with so much to see and explore every day. The best time to get the most out of the trip to Kathmandu is from September to December.
If you are planning to visit Kathmandu Valley, then here are the top 10 places to visit.
Pashupatinath is one of the largest temples in the world. It is situated along the banks of the holy Bagmati river and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Firstly, It is an integral part of Kathmandu carrying historical, spiritual and religious importance. Moreover, It was enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 AD. There are 518 mini temples of different Hindu gods in the whole Pashupatinath temple complex. The main temple was constructed in the Nepalese pagoda architectural style.
The temple is one of the few outside of which the human body is cremated according to Hindu traditions. Arya Ghat is the most important ghat for the cremation ritual. The temple remains busy all around the year, but during Mahashivaratri it is crowded by pilgrims, sadhus, and saints from Nepal, India and the rest of the world. These temples, historical buildings, rituals, and festivals make this place one of the 10 best places to visit on a trip to Kathmandu.
Another, place that you should visit while in Kathmandu is the Stupa of Boudhanath. It is one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal and is one of the most sacred sites in Tibetan Buddhism outside of Tibet. It is also enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The stupa houses square towers on the top consisting of the eyes of Buddha on all four sides.
The Stupa provides a peaceful environment from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu city. You can also find numerous shops selling ‘Thangka’ paintings, Buddhist sculptures and other handicrafts. One can also indulge in Tibetan delicacies in the many restaurants nearby the stupa.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a royal palace complex located in the Bhaktapur district of Kathmandu Valley. It used to be the house of Malla kings until it was conquered by the Gorkhali army during the unification campaign led by King Prithvi Narayan Singh. Previously, Durbar Square used to have 99 courtyards but today hardly 15 of these remain.
The major attractions to see are The Palace of Fifty-Five Windows, the Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, Vatsala Devi Temple and the Golden Gate are equally important. But, the centre of attraction is the five-storied temple known as Nyatapola. It is the highest and biggest pagoda temple in Nepal.
Located towards the southwest of the valley, Chandragiri Hill is at an elevation of 2551 meters above sea level. The hilltop gives access to the panoramic views of Kathmandu Valley and the Himalayan ranges from Annapurna to Everest. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva at the top of the hill named Bhaleshwar Mahadev temple.
In order to reach the top, you need to hop on the 2.4km long cable car ride. The round trip costs you around NPR 800 for Nepalese and NPR 1280 for SAARC country nationals. There are different facilities available like ziplining, a playground for children, a view tower, eateries, etc. Chandragiri has now become one of the top 10 places to visit in Kathmandu.
Narayanhiti Palace Museum
Narayanhiti Palace was the house of the Nepalese royal family till 2008 when it was converted into a public museum. The palace building has a pagoda-style construction and is further divided into three wings namely The Private wing, The Guest wing, and The State wing.
There are 52 rooms in the palace named after the districts of Nepal. This museum showcases the luxurious lifestyle of the royal family along with the crown jewels, gifts and medals from all over the world and vehicles used by the royals. Entrance tickets will cost Rs. 200 for Nepalese Citizens and Rs. 500 for SAARC and Chinese nationals.
Garden of Dreams
Garden of Dreams which feels like an oasis in the middle of the bustling city of Kathmandu is a neo-classical historical garden. The Garden has three pavilions, central ponds, an amphitheatre, urns and a combination of small gardens to larger ones. It also houses a natural library.
The renovation project of this garden was financed by the Austrian Government. Also known as the Garden of Six Seasons, the entry tickets will cost Nepalese citizens Rs.150 and Rs.400 for Foreign Nationals.
Kumari Bahal, the three-storey building made up of red brick is the home of Kumari. She is the living goddess who is believed to be the reincarnation of the Hindu warrior goddess Taleju. Kumari Bahal is located near the south entrance of Basantapur Durbar Square.
The Royal Kumari appears in front of the devotees only on a chosen festival day and is toured around the city during the annual festival of Indra Jatra on a chariot. Photography of the Kumari and inside of the building is strictly prohibited.
Swayambhunath is among the oldest religious sites in Nepal. It is a Buddhist stupa consisting of a dome at the base, on top of which is a cube structure. It is beautifully painted with the eyes of Buddha in all four directions.
The Stupa complex also houses a number of monasteries, small Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines. This hilltop stupa is believed to have been self-created according to the Swayambhu Purana. It is also famously known as the ‘monkey temple’.
Kopan Monastery is a Buddhist monastery of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism located on a hilltop just on the outskirts of Kathmandu city. It is home to around 360 monks, lamas, teachers and workers. They also offer courses to get yourself energized and awakened by the power of spirituality.
The monastery can only be viewed from the outside because it is allowed to enter only for monks and pupils. But, one can enjoy the view of Kathmandu Valley and this place also offers serenity, cleaner air to breathe and positive vibes.
Nagarkot is a small and beautiful village located around 30 km from Kathmandu in the district of Bhaktapur. It is at an elevation of 2195m above sea level. Nagarkot offers one of the best views of the Himalayas and on a clear day, one can also get a sight of the mighty Everest. There are many hiking trails and routes around Nagarkot for active hikers and outdoor enthusiasts like Nagarkot eco-trail.
Altogether, The number of budget and luxury accommodations available in Nagarkot alongside several eateries providing local Nepali cuisines to indulge in makes it a sought-after destination. The best time to visit Nagarkot is from October to April.
Other than the national capital of Kathmandu, places like Pokhara, Chitwan, Bardiya, Muktinath, and Janakpur are also worth a visit.
So, make sure to check out these must-visit places in Kathmandu and discover the true beauty of this wonderful city! Hope you enjoyed reading this article. Do share your travel experience in the comment section below once you visit Kathmandu!