the historic seat of the monarchy where the kings of Nepal are
crowned and their coronations solemnised. The interesting attractions
(1) Taleju Temple built by King Mahendra Malla in 1549 A.D.
(2) Gigantic statue of Kal Bhairav, an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
(3) Basantapur Durbar or Nautalle Durbar, built by the founder
of the Shah dynasty, King Prithvi Narayan
(4) Nasal Chowk or the Coronation Platform
(5) Gaddi Baithak or the Hall of Public Audience
(6) the statue of King Pratap Malla,
(7) the Big Bell,
(8) the Big Drums, and
(9) the Jagannath Temple.There is also a temple of Pancha Mukhi
Hanuman - the popular Hindu Monkey
G8od. It is one of the only two such structures in Nepal, the
other is in the renowned Pashupatinath
Temple. Opposite to the entrance of Hanuman Dhoka stands the magnificent
(10) Krishna Mandir, which is one of the few temples that is octagonal
shaped. The other
major attractions of Durbar Square
(11) The Kumari Ghar (housing the residence of Kumari, the Living
Goddess of Nepal) and the
(13) Narayan Temple,
(14) Shiva Temple,
(15) Lohan Chowk,
(16) Lalitpur Tower,
(17) Bhaktapur Tower,
(18) Kritipur Tower,
(19) Hanuman Dhokha,
(20) Shiva Parbati Temple, Pratap Malla Column,
(21) Mohan Chowk,
(22) Sundari Chowk,
(23) Kageshvara Mahadev Temple, and
(24) Indra Temple.
Bhaktapur, situated at an altitude of 1401 m, is
a home to medieval art and architecture. The urban city covers
an area of 4 square miles. Bhaktapur means the city of devotees.
Pottery and weaving are its traditional industries. The city lies
about 14 kilometres east of Kathmandu. The major sightseeing places
in Bhaktapur include:
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and other
architectural showpieces like the Lion Gate, the Statue of King
Bhupatindra Malla, the Picture Gallery, the Golden Gate, the Palace
of 55 Windows, the Batsala Temple and the Bell of Barking Dogs,
the replica of Pashupatinath Temple etc.
The other major attractions are:
|Batsale Durga Temple
||Palace with the flying windows
||Sun Dhoka (Golden Gate)
|King Malla Column
The stupa of Bouddhanath lies
eight kilometres east of Kathmandu. This colossal and ancient
stupa, one of the biggest in the world, features the eyes of Lord
Buddha. The Lichchhavi king Kana Dev built it in the 5th A.D.
It is built on an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels.
About eight kilometres north of Kathmandu, at the
base of Shivapuri hill lies a colossal statue of Lord Vishnu,
resting on Shesh Nag, in a holy pond. A masterpiece of stone sculpture
of the Lichchhavi period, this site is a famous place of pilgrimage
for Hindus. It is the most beautiful among all the stone engarvings
within the Kathmandu Valley.
The temple of Changunarayan
is said to be the oldest in the Kathmandu Valley. Although it
was rebuilt in 1702, its origin goes back to the 4th Century.
Located on the top of a spur rising in the eastern part of the
valley, it is 22 kilometres east from Kathmandu and 4 kilometres
north of Bhaktapur.
This ancient town is situated 30 kilometers east
of Kathmandu on the side of the Arniko Raj marga (Kathmandu-Kodari
Highway) on the way to the Nepal - Tibet boarder. A lovely place
famous for its scenic beauty and tradition, one can have a panoramic
view of the Himalayas from Karyolung in the east to Himalchuli
in the west.
Gorkha lies almost midway
between Kathmandu and Pokhara. After travelling from Kathmandu
towards Pokhara for 118 kilometres, the diversion to Gorkha is
on the intersection at Abu Khaireni, and from there it is a short
18 kilometres drive northward to the birthplace of King Prithvi
Narayan Shah, the first ruler of the Shah Dev Dynasty.
Situated on a hill overlooking
the snowy peaks of the Himalaya is the beautiful Gorkha Durbar,
a fort, palace and temple complex. It was built during the reign
of King Ram Shah (1606-1636). It was from this very palace that
King Prithivi Narayan Shah began his campaign to unify the kingdom
of Nepal. The temples of Gorhakhnath and Kali within the outstanding
examples of Nepali architecture. Treks to Manaslu and Annapurna
Circuit Treks begin from here.
Lumbini, the birthplace of Prince Siddhartha or
The Buddha, is situated 250 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu.
A broken pillar erected in 249 BC by the first major Buddhist
ruler of India, Emperor Ashoka, proclaims in a now-extinct script
that the emperor made three pilgrimages to the holy site. Lumbini
recognized all over the world and its development is being undertaken
by Buddhists from everywhere. In the same spirit,His Majasty’s
Government of Nepal formed the Lumbini Development Trust in 1985
to oversee this development of the entire Lumbini area as a religious
and pilgrimage center,
Around an hour’s drive northwest from Lumbini
lies the interesting archaeological site of Tilaurakot. This has
been identified as Kapilvastu, the capital of King Suddhodhana
(Prince Siddhartha’s father) where the Buddha as Prince
Siddhartha spent the early years o his life.
Namche Bazaar is the gateway
to the Everest region. Situated in the lap of Khumbu Himal range
and 241 kilometers away from Kathmandu east from Kathmandu, getting
there takes 10 days by trekking via Jiri, but only two days if
one takes the flight to Lukla from the capital, Kathmandu.
Headquaters of the Khumbu
District and home to the legendary Sherpas, namche Bazaar is a
thriving town set upon a concave hilltop offering views of Khumbila
(5,761m), Thamserku (6,608m). Namche itself lies at an altitude
of 3,440 meters and most trekkers going on to higher altitudes,
take a stop-over at Namche.
Muktinath is one of the important places of pilgrimage
for the Hindus. The famous temple of Lord Muktinath lies in the
district of Mustang. This temple is situated on a high mountain
range and is visited by devotees during the hot season, especially
during Hindu festivals like Janai Poornima and Ram Navami. Muktinath,
situated about 18 kilometers Northeast of Jomsom at an altitude
of about 3,749 metres, is a favourite among trekkers too. There
are two ways to reach Muktinath from Kathmandu. The first way
is to take a direct flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and from
Pokhara to Jomsom and hike for a couple of hours via Kagbeni.
The next route is to trek all the way from Pokhara. Trekkers are
allowed to proceed beyond Kagbeni and the high trail from Jomsom
to Tilicho is by organised group only.
Nagarkot is a popular hill
resort that is situated 32 kilometres east of Kathmandu at an
altitude of 2,175 m above the sea level. It takes an hour’s
drive to get there following the same route till a kilometer before
Bhaktapur City from where the road turns left towards Nagarkot.
The panorama of the major peaks of eastern Nepal Himalayas including
Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest, 8,848m), can be seen from here. The breath
- taking view of Himalayan peaks like Manaslu (8,463), Ganesh
Himal (7,111 m), Langtang (7,246 m), Choba Bhamre (6,016 m), Gaurishanker
(7,134 m) and Numbur (6,975 m) are also clearly seen from Nagarkot.
Situated five kilometres east of Kathmandu on the
bank of the sacred Bagmati river, the temple of Lord Shiva-Pashupatinath
with a two-tiered golden roof and silver doors is famous for its
superb architecture. It is a centre of annual pilgrimage on the
day of Maha-Shivaratri. Entrance is permitted for Hindus only.
However, visitors can clearly behold the holy shrine and the religious
activities being performed from the eastern bank of the Bagmati
This ancient city of Patan
is situated on the southern bank of the river Bagmati and is about
five kilometers Southeast of Kathmandu. The city is full of Hindu
temples and Buddhist monuments exhibiting skilful carvings. Noted
for its craftsmen and metal workers, Patan is known as the city
of architecture. The major tourist attractions are:
PATAN DURBAR SQUARE
Patan Durbar Square, situated in the heart of the city, the centre
constitutes the of visitor's attraction. It is full of ancient
as well as medieval palaces, temples and shrines, noted for their
exquisite carvings. One can rummage for furniture, paintings,
precious gems and jewellery and other memorabilia in the various
shops around the square. Adorning Patan are other architectural
masterpieces such as:
| Hari Shankar
The Pokhara Valley is one of the most picturesque
places. The lakes- Phewa, Begnas, and Rupa enhance the beauty
of the Valley, which have their source in the glacial region of
the Annapurna Range of the Himalayas. Pokhara is situated 200
kilometres north-west of Kathmandu and is connected by air as
well or by a five-hour ride from Kathmandu. Pokhara Valley is
situated at an altitude of 827 metres from the see-level. For
mountain viewers, Pokhara offers the magnificent views of Dhaulagiri,
Manaslu, Machhapuchhre, and five peaks of Annapurna range. Pokhara
is one of the few places in the world to provide such a dramatic
view in a subtropical setting. Machhapuchhre also called Fish-Tail
Mountain, that is situated only 28 kilometres from Phewa Lake,
and not a single mountain range intervenes between the two natural
enties. Pokhara's numerous lakes, known as "Tal" in
Nepali offer tourists facilities likefishing, boating and swimming.
The major sightseeing places in Pokhara are:
|Seti River Gorge
|Tibetan Refugee Camp
Trekking from Pokhara
If Pokhara is famous for its lakes and mountain views, it is equally
famous as a base for treks and expeditions into the Central Nepal
Himalaya. The town is the best way to end the classic three-week
Annapurna Circuit, an exhilarating trek that takes one to the
spectacular Trans-Himalayan domain of Manang and Mustang in the
rain shadow of the Annapurna range.
The old Newari Town settlement
of Sankhu lies 17 kilometres further east of Boudhanath. Two kilometres
above this village on a hill is the Vajra Jogini Temple, dedicated
to another powerful Tantric deity. Legend has it that Vajra Jogini
resided in the site of this temple much earlier than the period
of Manjushree's pilgrimage to worship Swayambhu. It was she who
persuaded Manjushree to drain the lake that was the Kathmandu
Valley. Once every year late winter, there is a colorful ceremony
in which Vajra Jogini is paraded around Sankhu and her temple.
This is one of the world's most glorious Buddhist
chaityas. It is around 2000 years old. The chaitya, which forms
the main structure, is made of brick and clay supporting the lofty
conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt. Painted on
the four-sides of the spire bases are the eyes of Lord Buddha.
It is three kilometres west of Kathmandu City, and is situated
on a hillock about 77m above the level of the Valley. This hill
is a mosaic of small chaityas and pagodas.