Places to Visit in Kathmandu Kathmandu

  • Kathmandu’s Durbar Square is lovely, littered as it is with the varied legacies of the classy Mallas, the martial Prithvi Narayan and the somewhat loud Ranas
  • The Hanuman Dhoka palace is no longer the residence of the Shah kings but is still used for ceremonial gatherings and events like the coronation. The Hanuman Dhoka gate has a fantastic carved representation of Lord Ram’s Man Friday: the revered monkey god here is awash in vermilion ‘sindur’ paste. Only a part of the grounds is open to visitors. The half man-half lion Narsimha figure of one of the incarnations of Vishnu is from 1673 AD when the king Pratap Malla danced dressed like the god and then sought to appease Him by having a statue made in His honour. Must’ve worked considering the Malla king enjoyed a long and glorious time at the throne!
  • The most important temple in Kathmandu and really all of Nepal is Pashupatinath, dedicated to Shiva in his form as protector of animals.
  • The Kasthamandap Temple is now dedicated to the patron saint of the ruling Shahs. A lovely wooden pergola reputedly built from a single tree covers the shrine of this temple from which the city is said to have picked up its name. Perhaps the oldest structure in the area, the Kasthamandap Mandir dates back to the 14th century.
  • UNESCO Site Situated 8 km to the east of downtown Kathmandu, Bauddhanath is one of the most imposing landmarks in Kathmandu, visible as soon as you land at the Tribhuvan International Airport. It is the largest stupa in the Kathmandu Valley and is the center of Tibetan Buddhism.
  • Swayambhunath is the most famous of the Buddhist stupas in Kathmandu. In a country where Hindus and Buddhists have traditionally commingled, pictures of the ‘face of Swayambhu’ adorn brochures as often as Boudhanath, Pashupatinath or Everest. Sitting on a hilltop Swayambhu is a little challenging for the infirm amongst us but do go for the view, for offering up a prayer by turning an inscribed wheel and for the calm that comes from just being around the peace loving Buddhists.
  • At the entrance of Thamel, the Garden of Dreams within the Kaiser Mahal complex has now been renovated and restored to its former glory. Major attractions in this 24-acre garden include neo-classical pavilions, fountains, decorative garden furniture, Chinese Moon Gate and European inspired features such as pergolas, balustrades, urns and birdhouses. Today it is open to the public with a restaurant and bar.
  • The Kumari Palace is where Nepal’s resident goddess lives. Every once in a while, there is a hunt for the girl who is The Goddess Kali incarnate.
  • The National museum located on the way to Swayambunath Hill is very popular among the people of Kathmandu. Along with artifacts, the museum also houses interesting mementos of recent Shah kings. There are many firearms on display which give the visitor an idea of how wars were fought in feudal Nepal. There are also numerous ancient statues, paintings, coins and murals from as far back as the second century BC.

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