‘a city of varieties to do from cultural-historical tour to scenic hike’
Various ways things to do in Kathmandu, a capital city of Nepal full of delights and exciting thrills within Kathmandu city and around its valley rim, although a metropolitan and commercial hub of Nepal but with great range of interesting exotic places to visit.
If you are not trekking or joining other main adventure around Nepal Himalaya and beyond Kathmandu city and its valley, Kathmandu offers varied things to while with your time in the city where one can join in for scenic, cultural to historical tour.
Kathmandu and its adjoining cities of Patan / Lalitpur and Bhaktapur steeped with religious and historical places of great importance which are listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites where you can book for interesting sightseeing tour around these cities full of cultural and historic wonders.
Kathmandu city full of colors with busy local life where you can witness the native style and its traditions of varied custom visiting important areas within the city limit.
Places of interest in and around Kathmandu:
The first choice to get the glimpse of Nepalese culture taking a stroll into its market place where you can witness people from all parts of Nepal that comes to the city for many different reasons, an opportunity to see its various traditions of both Hindu and Buddhism religions. These are the cultural and heritage sites in Kathmandu mainly tourists prefer to visit for sightseeing.
Kathmandu Durbar Square:
The area teem with local busy life and markets where short walks leads you into various historical and religious sites that includes old Malla and Shah dynasties palace courtyards,
Steeped with uncountable monuments around Kathmandu Durbar Square, where its houses a resident and temple of Living Goddess (Kumari Ghar), local worship special and sacred young virgin girls as Goddess before they reach puberty period.
Another interest tour of Great ferocious Kal Bhairab, red monkey god and hundreds of erotic carvings are few examples of the great sights around Durbar Square.
All ancient and historical buildings are great achievements from Malla regime period, which resulted a great rivalry between three old kingdoms of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur around medieval times.
Around Durbar Square observe colorful life and places with vendors selling intricate handicrafts around Kastamandap Temple. This Temple was built with wood of a single tree where the Kathmandu name derived from this temple.
In the square houses Tribhuvan Museum treasured with mementos of different late Shah Kings.
Other interesting places of visit Akash Bhairab Temple /Hanuman Dhoka / Temple of Kumari / Kastha Mandap:
One of the holiest of all Hindu holy sites located within Kathmandu city, where a short drive towards east of Kathmandu city takes you on tour of Pashupatinath Temple, a beautiful Nepalese style pagoda with gilt roof and richly carved silver doors.
The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva one of the three main Gods in Hindu religions, worshiped with great enthusiasm, where a great festival is held once a year known as ‘Shiva Ratri’ (birth anniversary of Lord Shiva) where thousands of pilgrims pays homage from all over Nepal and India.
Only Hindus are permitted to enter the main temple courtyard, where foreign visitors can view the temple from the east side and across Bagmati River, here one can witness Hindu funeral and cremation taking place at the bank of the river.
A short drive and walk from Pashupatinath Temple area leads you to one of the most exciting and fascinating sites at Bouddhanath Stupa, declared as largest Buddhist shrine around South East Asia.
This ancient colossal chhorten (Stupa) built in early 6th Century A.D. by King Man Deb. The Stupa with series of three terraces, when looked from bird’s eye view point it takes relevant shape of a lotus flower, it stands for purity and this stupa remains as very holy object for all Buddhists devout of the world.
The Stupa surrounded by market and stores, which is a small model of Tibet town and also known as Little Tibet due to many Nepalese of Tibetan origin that lives around the area.
The Stupa with four Buddha’s eyes gives a vivid flash to its four cardinal directions watching over people and their commitments. The chhorten embraces the authentic philosophy of Mahayana sect of Buddhism known as Lamaism in Nepal, Sikkim, Ladakh, Bhutan and Tibet.
Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple):
It will be hard to miss the famous landmark of Kathmandu and Nepal, where a short visit leads you west of the city at Swayambhunath Stupa also popularly called as Monkey Temple due many rhesus monkey found around the green forest of the areas and at its premises.
Swayambhunath stands as one of the world’s oldest Buddhist Chaityas of more than 25 centuries old.
The Great Swayambhunath Stupa is the wonder that was Nepal and the glory that was Nepal listed as World Heritage for sites; it is also a hub for faithful worship for all Buddhist devout, a well composed of a solid dome of terra – cotta bricks and soil supporting cornice of copper and gilt, with four-sided all seeing eyes of lord Buddha.
From this amazing place one can view Kathmandu city and the valley with rolling green hills and of snow-capped peaks in the North direction.
Beside cultural and heritage sites in Kathmandu city:
For people bored with hectic busy city life, can take a short hike for a day an opportunity to feel fresh clean mountain air, where a short drive leads you north of Kathmandu at Narayanthan or Buddhanilkanta, a holy Hindu site with images of sleeping Vishnu on a bed of serpent.
From here walk into cool shade of forest and climb uphill to Shivapuri Hill at the height of 2,540 m, facing views of Kathmandu valley and snow-capped peaks of Langtang and Ganesh Himal.
Kathmandu city and the valley offers wide range of country walks and hikes visiting rural farm and heritage villages, for energetic people can join in for paragliding from the top hills of Kathmandu for exciting experience and adventure.
Many places of interest in and around Kathmandu city, for free and individual activities and as well for great shopping spree for souvenirs, as Kathmandu full with handicrafts shops made by masters of great skills passed by many ancestral to present generation with work of arts and masterpiece.