KATHMANDU HERITAGE SITE
Kathmandu used to be known as Khaldo “Valley” during the medieval period before King Prithivi Shah unified the country. This landmark place, considered rich for in cultural and anients artifacts, is the cultural and political heart of Nepal. The Kathmandu valley is bounded by Sangha Bhajyang in the east, Bad-bhanjyang in the west, Panchmane Bhanjyang in the north and Pharping in the south. The bowl shaped valley surrounded by four mountains contains three districts. Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. It has one metropolitican city one sub-metroplitan city and three municipalities.
Cultural heritage is the pricipal identity of the Kathmandu valley which boosts of ancients temples, religions sites and cultural artifacts. The Landcape of the green hills and the vista of the Hinalays in surrounding add to the attraction of this valley. The valley is home to many temple, shrine, monasteries, stupa, square, wooden arts and other sorts of artifacts. The Kathmandu valley is also a centre of faith for people from different religious backgrounds. The Pashupatinath Temple, Krishna Temple, and Changunarayan Temple are considered the important holy places for Hindu devoters while, for the Buddhist. Swoyambhunath Stupa and Boudha Stupa are very important. There is a famous Jame Masque for the Muslim, the city also has many churches built by the Christian community. The Hanumandkoka palace, the ancients seat of Nepalese royalty and various ancients palaces are the main attractions of the city popular among tourism. Festivals traditions and other rituals reflecting the uniqewness of Nepali culture have made Kathmandu more attractive andalluring.
Being the capital, Kathmandu is the educational and commercial center of the country. Many people outside the capital regard Kathmandu the place of realizing one’s dreams and pursuring higher studies. Consequently it is more crowded with heavy trafic and full of life. The city is the melting point for people of all the religious, races and ethnic background. and it is well reflected in district civilization and cultural patterns. Kathmandu is one of the prefered destination for tourism visiting Nepal.
Visit More Places: (Around Kathmandu Valley)
The Kathmandu Valley contains three royal cities – the capital Kathmandu (local name: Yen, population 25,50,000); Patan (Yala, pop. 11, 60,000); and Bhaktapur (Khopa, pop.5, 75,000). Kirtipur and Thimi are two other smaller municipalities. There are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Valley.
The Valley was once a lake. According to legend, a Buddhist saint named Manjushree drained out the waters by slashing a passage through the hills and peopled it with his followers. Over the millenniums, a refined urban civilization emerged, built on a unique synthesis of Hinduism and Buddhism. Dynasties came and went. Commerce and crafts flourished. Its religious Newar inhabitants built fabulous cities and artistic temples that are unmatched in the Himalayan region. Entrance Fee 750
Pashupatinath Temple is revered as one of the most important pilgrimages sites for Hindu devotees all around the world. The temple lies in Gaushala of Kathmandu. According to the Hindu religion, Pashupatinath is considered as the protector of the universe and the patron deity of Nepali people. Hundreds of throusands of Hindu devotees from across the world come to Nepal to visit the temple. While Nepali and Hindu devotees desire to visit the temple for religious purpose, foreign tourist get attracted toward small temples and the sculpture of various gods and goddesses within the shrine. Wooden sculpture, statues, and different carvings dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva, as well as other deities om tje cp,[;ex represent the temple’s richness in art. Them temple lies on the bank of the sacred Bagmati river while aryaghat, a place built for cremating the bodies of Hindus, also lies near.
A carnival like scene can be seen here during the Shivaratri festival. It is one of the important festivals dedicated to Lord Shiva. Hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees from different parts of Nepal as well as India come to visit the temple on the occasion of Shivaratri. Apart from this, the temple wintesses a heavy turnout of devotees during Haribodhini Ekadashi, Balachaturdashi and Teej. Festival observed by Nepali women. Likewise, devotees of Lord Shiva throung the temple on every Saturday and Monday.
It is said that the phallic symbol of Lordshiva known as Shivalinga was set up by Suryananshi Lichchhavi King Sapushpadev in ancient time. The sacred temple has been listed in the UNESCO’s world heritage site. Non-hindu are strictly prohibited from entering the temple which lies as a distance of just 2 km from the international airport.
Located at a distance of 8 km from the Kathmandu city. Bouddhanath Stupa is one of the important pilgrims for Buddhist. The stupa is surrounded by one hundred and eight small inches accommodating the icons of Buddhas, Bodhisatavas and other female deities. The serene environment in the surrounding of the stupa has addred to its attraction. It is a preferred destinations for tourists. especially Buddhists from all over the world. Mainly, followers of Buddhism from Tibet, China, Sri Lanka, Korea and Japan desire to visit this sacred place, is also popular among the followers of Hinduism as well as other religions. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people visit the stupa that epitomizes Tibetan Busshism. Listed in the UNSESCO’s world heritage site, the huge sized stupa is one of the prime sites for tourists and pilgrims.
18 KMm drive from Balkhu of Kathmandu, the Dakshinkali temple is famous among Hindu devotees, People visit the temple with a belief that offering worship to the goddess returns in fulfillment of one’s desire. Devotees from across the country throng the temple with the same beflief especially on Tuesday and Saturday.
The place is regarded as a holy destinatin for Hindus. As the temple lies on the base of a green hills. Its surround area also serves as an attractive picnic spot. Hetauda, the district head-quaters of Makawanpur, lies at a distance of 65 km from the temple.
The Taudaha, located 6 km south from Kathmandu’s Balkhu, is a site of huge tourist potential. Peaceful environment surrounding a lake is the highlight of the place. Fish are reared in the lake to generate interest of the local and foreign tourists. Amused tourist can be seen feeding the fish and taking photographs. A number of amorous couples visit the place during the holidays. There is, facility of boating in the lake.
According to locals, boating is not allowed in the lake bacause it is inhavited by the serpent god or “Nag”. Restaurants around the lake serve the tourists. The famous Dakshinkali Temple is just 12 km from here.
Hanumandhoka is the oldest palace of Nepal. Located in the Basantapur Durbar Square, the palace was known as Gutapau palace before the 16th century. The palace was renamed Hanumandhoka, after the then King Protap Malla set up a statue of Hanuman (the Monkey God) there. One can easily be fascinated by the sights of seemingly uncountable monuments at the square. The square constitutes the Kumari Ghar (the house of Living Goddess) and huge idols of Taleju, Deguta, Krishna, Hanuman (the Monkey God) and Kal Bhairab made at different times.
Out of the three important palaces of the Kathmandu valley, Hanumandhoka palace is given priority. Considered important from different artistic and cultural perspectives the palace is one of the main attractions for fireigners as well as internal tourists. It is listed as a world heritage site by the UNESCO.
The nine storied Dharharra Tower located in Sundhara is one of the attactions of Kathmandu. Nepal’s first Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa, built the tower under the orders of the then Queen Lalit Tripura Sundari Devi in 1882 AD. So the tower is also known as Bhimsen Tower.
From the top floor of the 203 ft tall tower, one can observe the panoramic view of the Kathmandu valley. A shivalinga (scripture of a Hindu deity, Shiva) has ben set up in its top floor. Historical place, Sundhara and a beautiful garden lies near to the tower. Visitors have to pay small fee to enter this historically important tower.
RANI POKHARI – The Queen’s Pond
Rani Pokhari was built by the then Malla King Pratap Malla, in 1670 AD to console his grief sticken queen who was hsocked after the passing away of her son, Chakrapatendra Malla. That is why, the rectangular beautiful pond situated at the heart of the city is known as Ranipokhari or the queen’s pond was built by putting water (jal) taken from different Hindu religious sites like Varanasi, Muktichhetra, Barah Chhetra, Trishuli and Gosaikunda of Rasuwa in it.
There is a temple of Lord Shiva in middle of the pond, and at the south end of the pond, there is a huge stone sculpture of an elephant with the king and his son on its back. The pond is opened for the visitors every twice year. On the day of Bhaitika during the Tihar festival, people who have lost their sisters and brothers throng the temple located there. Likewise, Hindu devotees visit the temple on the Chhath festival as well.
The historical town of Kirtipur, located at the edge of Kathmandu is renowned for the ancient Newari craftsmanship and traditional culture. Various ancient temples monasteries and traditional styled houses characterise the historical town. The Bagh Bhairav temple, Umamaheshwor Temple, Chilancho Vihar Monastery, Kirtivihar Monastery are the must visit places of the town.
The Indrayani Jatra takes place in the Mangsir month while a large Bag Bhairav fair takes place on the first of Bhadra. The name of the historical town that sucessfully held off the forces of King Prithivi Narayan Shah twice in the 18th century has beenb adorned in the history. A hub of NBewari culture and important tourist town of Kirtipur is located some 4 km south of Kathmandu’s Balkhu.
The huge idol of Lord Vishunu carved out of granite is located some 10 km north of Kathmandu’s Ratnapark. This is also the largest idol of Lord Vishnu in Nepal. Local hold a belief that some 500 years ago while an old farmer was ploughing his field the tip of the plough stuck to something. When he dug at the place the idol was revealed. When the idol was being dug out it was hit by the toe in the throat giving a blue mark. thus, the idol was named Budhanikkantha because of the blue mark in the throat and because it was found by an old man. Large numbers of devotees throng the temple to offer worship everyday.
Huge crowd assemble at the temple during the month of Kartic as it is a time for the worship of lord Vishnu. The enormous stone idol of lord Vishnu located at the foothills of the Shivapuri National Park is a magnet for foreign tourist. The idol of Lord Vishnu sleeping on a bed of serpents or “Nags” holding a conch. a discus a mace and a lotus in four hands is offered daily worship twice, which in the morning and in the evening lamps are lit and prayers are offered.
MUSEUM IN NEPAL
National Museum: The national museum situated in Chhauni, near to Swoyambhunath Stupa, houses many archeologically important collection. An extensive collection of ancient weapons, arts and antiquities of Lichchhavi anbd Medieval malla ears have been showcased in this museum. In addition to this, visitors can have the opportunity to observe decades old coins and fossils.
Outside the museum premises, there is also the Nepal Army Museum. The museum site witnesses the significant turmout of student visitors.
Narayanhiti Museum: The Narayanhiti Palace Museum located at Kathmandu’s Durbarmarg has become a cnetre of attraction for foreign and local tourists alike. The museum inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala in2008 was poened for the public in 2009. The erstwhile residence of the Royal Family, the palace was vacated by the last king of Nepal Gyanendra Shah in 2008 after the country was declared republic. The palace was named after the temple of Lord Vishnu or Narayan and the nearby water spour (Dhara) located within the premises of the palaces. The palace exhibits the splendour of the lifestyle of the royal family.
The family of the then king Birendra Shah was massacred inside the palace but that part of the palace has been demolished. Visitors to the splendid meseum are charged a small entry fee while it remains closed on Tudesday and Wednesdays.
Sundarijal, located 15 km northeast of Kathmandu’s Koteshwor, is considred a gateway to the trek to Chisapani. sundarijal is also the conflunce of the Bagmati and Syalmati rivers
The pleasant and beautiful place located at the foothills of lush green hill is one of the popular picnic spots around Kathmandu. Nuwakot’s tourist place chisapani is located some 14 km from here and can be reached at the end of a 4-5 hour ardous uphill trek through the jungles. visitors spend over night in Chisapani and the following day embark on a longer trek to Nagarkot enjoying the natural beauty of the Shivapuri Park.
The ancient town of Sankhu located at the fringe of Kathmandu is 20 km northeast of Ratnapark. Rich in traditional craftmanship and religious herigates, the town is one of the centers to observe Newari lifestyle. The holy places like Bajrayogini Temple, Shalinadi Temple, as well as many more tmeples of different size adorin the town.
The fair of Shlinadi is the largest in the area and takes place in the winter. Thousands of deovtees from different parts of the country gather around here and keep fasting for a month. The town is an amalgamation of Newari tradition, culture, artistry crafsmanship and festivals, and is an interesting destination for tourists. A 12 km trek along Palubari, Bisambhara and Kattike takes to Nagarkot while 22 km trek from Sankhu will take to Sindhupalchow’s Melamchi.
One of the important holy sites of the Hindus. Bajrayogini temple, is located 2 km west of Sankhu. the deity enshrined amidst pristine natural environment is worshipped as an influential goddess. The temple situated on top of a single bedrock was unscathed by the powerful earthquake of 1988 AD a living testament to the deity/s power that is believed to the safe from anyt kind of natural disaters. The deity residing within the temple is believed to fulfil the wish of those who worship here. Large numbers of devotees arrive to worship at the temple from different parts of the country.
Surrounded byt enchanting environment and source of pure water, the place is also suitable for picnic. An enght day long fair is organized in the temple on the full moon day of the month of Chaitra. Crowd of revelers gather at the temple to take part in the fair from Sankhu and the nearby disticts.
Thamel is at the centre of Kathmandu providing lots of facilities and activities to the tourists. The market of Thamel is famous as the hub of tourism in the country. Generally, all the tourist coming to Nepal visit Thamel. There are a number of hotels and restaurants for the tourists. Tourists can stay in the hotels ranging from budget class to top notch hotels. Thamel gets crowded with tourist during the peak season which makes it look like a foreign land. There are other hot tourist spots like King’s Way, Lazimpath, Kantipath around but not like Thamel. The environment becomes really romantic in the evening with lights, the movements of tourist on the road from various countries gives it a look of tourist town. Thamel becomes a place of enjoyment for its fraternity and the music. One gets the echo of Dohari and rock music in the evening. There are many shops selling antique items in Thamel. For example, Thanka, Music, Tea, Organic coffee, sculpture, Paintings, souvenir items etc. There are lots of travel agencies in every nook and corner of Thamel. It is the hot spot of anyone who loves to have lots of fun. Tourists wishing to be alone may not enjoy the environment of Thamel. One can easily reach Thamel from any part of Kathmandu by a taxi and motor cycle riders need to be careful about the arrangement of one way roads inside Thamel.