The town of Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal, the landlocked Himalayan country in South Asia. It is located in the Kathmandu Valley, which is one of the densest places with UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From religious spots to forests, this largest metropolis in Nepal has it all for the tourists. The town is situated at an average altitude of 1400 m. From the ancient time, Kathmandu has been the centre of the history, culture, art and economy of Nepal. There are numerous tourist places in Kathmandu which are frequently visited by thousands of travellers every year.
This sky high stupa near Kathmandu is one of the greatest attractions for tourists and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared in 1979. This largest single chorten in entire world actually falls on the ancient trade route from Tibet. It was built soon after the death of Lord Buddha. Badly damaged during the earthquake in April of 2015, the new central pole or ‘life tree’ was ritually reconstructed during the month of November.
Swayambhunath is another prime attraction in Kathmandu Valley. Located on a hill top, its complex contains a stupa, various temples and shrines, and a recently added Tibetan monastery with museum and library. The stupa has a dome at the base, which is said to represent the whole world, and a cubical structure over that, where eyes of Buddha is painted, facing all four directions. The thirteen tiers, behind and above the pentagonal Toran above each of the four sides, represent the spiritual realisation through enlightenment.
Known as the hub of tourist industry of Nepal, this commercial point in Kathmandu is serving all the necessities to travellers for over four decades. From good food to mountaineering equipments, Thamel has it all ready for them – professional travel agencies, comfortable accommodations, clothing, electronic gadgets, electrical goods, handicrafts and what not!
This Hindu temple is dedicated to Pashupatinath or Lord Shiva and worshipped by several believers with intense devotion. Situated on the bank of Bagmati River, this is one of the seven UNESCO monument groups in Kathmandu Valley. In 1979, UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site. The existence of this oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu dates back to 400 BC.
In the valley of Kathmandu, there is an entire area that contains plazas, temples, idols, open courts, water fountains etc in the complex of Royal Palace. This is generically known as Durbar Square. These were the most prominent remains of the old kingdoms of Nepal before the unification. Based on the three Newar Kingdoms, there are three Durbar Squares, i. e, in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, all of which are marked as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A Vishnu temple, surrounded by forest of champak trees, is situated on the hilltop, named as Changu or Dolagiri, in the Kathmandu Valley. River Manahara passes beside the hill and the location is a pleasure to the eyes. It is said that this temple is the oldest one in Nepal, thus its architecture speaks about the social, cultural and architectural history of the country. There is an information centre at the entrance.
Established in 1976 after the royal approval in 1970, this is the first Himalayan national park and protected area, covering an area of around 1710 sq km. The park is elevated at an altitude of 6450 m and linked with the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve in the neighbouring country, Tibet. The difference in altitude effects upon the various temperatures inside the park, and the type of climate mainly falls under southwest summer monsoon.
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