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Kathmandu

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Shopping: clothes - hippie gauzes, Monk's robes in saffron and maroons and dozens of elegant silks, Hand-woven Nepali fabrics, artifacts, Pashmina, electronic items, cameras, I-pods, Cellular Phones and many more
History of: 1300 years
Population: 14.42 Lac

It is said that king Gun Kamdev founded Kathmandu in the year 723 AD. If you go by the legend, the area was a lake in the past. A Buddhist deity named Manjushri liked the place and wanted habitation there. The Buddhist god then bifurcated the hill to the south and allowed the water to flow out. As the water flowed out, the region became habitable. Of course, this is a Buddhist tradition and is different from the one by Hindus. The origin of the name is still unclear and historians spin new theories every other day according to their whim and fancies. Nevertheless one of the more likely theories is that it was named after Kastha-Mandap ("temple of wood" in Sanskrit). King Laxmi Narashingha Malla commissioned a pagoda carved from the single tree in 1596 and it might be possible that the same pagoda is behind its naming.

Major Attractions

 

Swayambhunath
The hilltop Stupa of Swayambhunath, considered 2,000 years old, is one of the holiest places for Newari Buddhists. The hilltop is a pleasant spot to view the valley and is home to hordes of monkeys. On major Buddhist festivals like Buddha Punima or Tibetan Losar (New Year), Buddhists throng to the stupa.

Pashupatinath
The Pashupatinath Temple, situated on the banks of River Baghmati around 8 km from the city, is one of the holiest Hindu shrines. The presiding deity here is Shiva, who is worshipped in the form of the lingam. However, only Hindus are allowed inside. An annual pilgrimage on the occasion of Shivaratri is organised here every year in the month of February.

Boudnath
Boudnath is one of the largest stupas in the world and an important Buddhist pilgrimage. Today, Boudnath bustles with Tibetan population, busy with carpet manufacture, trade, and prayers at the several monasteries belonging to different sects of Tibetan Buddhism.

Hanuman Dhoka
The name of the old royal palace has been derived from the statue of Hanuman (the monkey god of Hindu mythology) that guards the entrance. The building has remained uninhabited from the days of its first construction in the 13th century. Most of the older structures are now gone and the present building is a highly modified version of the earlier one. It is now used mainly for royal ceremonies. The main attractions here include the Nasal Chowk, Tribhuvan Memorial Museum (the section open to public), Basantpur Tower, Mahendra Memorial Museum, and a stone inscription.

 

Nearby Excursions

 

Kirtipur
Kirtipur is situated at a distance of 6 km from Kathmandu and a picturesque Newari village with fifth-century temples, old lanes, and weavers dressed in traditional clothing.

Chovar
Chovar is the site of a gorge where the water drains from the valley. It is situated 6 km south-west of the city and there is a small pagoda of Adinath on the top of the gorge.

Buddhanikantha
Buddhanikantha is situated 8 km north of Kathmandu and there is a pond where you can see the great stone figure of Lord Vishnu reclining on the coils of a serpent.

National History Museum
National History Museum is an excellent place to explore the rich history, art, and cultural heritage of Nepal. The museum building is as much important structure as the objects displayed in the museum.

Narayanhity Durbar
Narayanhity Durbar is the present Royal Palace, which is named after a famous waterspout called Narayanhity, situated at the southern corner of the Palace.
 

Fun Festives

 

Nava Varsha (April 13 or 14th)
The Nepalese festivals follow round the traditional ,religious' Lunar Calendar in the same sequence. An exception is New Year Day, which always fails in the middle of April, observed throughout Nepal as the first day of the official Nepalese solar Calendar, i.e., the first day of Baisakh.

Festival of Seto Machchhendranath (March-April)
This is a four-day chariot festival held in honor of the White (Seto) Machchhendranath (to be distinguished from the Red (Rato) form of the same divinity in Patan), who is actually the Padmapani Lokeshwara, whose permanent shrine is situated at Janabahal in Kel Tole in the middle of the old bazaar in Kathmandu.

 

Distance from major cities
Royal Chitwan 265 Kms
Pokhara 140 Kms
Nagarkot 240 Kms

 

How to reach there

by Air Tribhuwan International Airport at Kathmandu is the sole international airport in Nepal.
by Rail -
by Road Kathmandu has a good road network. There are several land routes that you may take from India to reach Kathmandu. From Gorakhpur, there are several modes of land transport that take you across to Nepal and Kathmandu in turn.

Recommended Restaurants

  • Courtyard Restaurant, Kathmandu

  • Roadhouse Cafe, Kathmandu

  • Fire and Ice, Kathmandu

Hotels in Kathmandu

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