‘Kathmandu’ is the capital & the largest metropolitan city of the Nepal & is surrounded by four major mountains namely- ‘Shivpuri’, ’Phulchoki’, ’Nagarjun’ & ‘Chandrgiri’. The surrounding mountains have given it a unique ‘Bowl’ shape & have played a major role in the resurrection of this city as the major tourist gateway! Currently, Kathmandu is ranked third in the list of top 10 rising tourist destinations in the world & secures First place in Asia.
A glorious history of more than 2000 years, majestic terrain, rich culture & religious importance- Kathmandu has it all! The almighty has bestowed all his generosity upon Kathmandu due to which it has become a dearer destination among the hikers, pilgrims & general tourists. Its neighborhood with the mighty Mount Everest & its siblings makes it an ultimate first step for all the enthusiast trekkers, the presence of many ancient holy Hindu temples & Buddhist Monasteries makes it a sacred place & serene landscape & picturesque nature makes it the first choice among the visitors. Here we have listed out top five attractions in Kathmandu you should never miss every time you visit this mind blowing, adorable city!
- Darbar Square:
‘Darbar Square’ is a historic place in Kathmandu wherein the Royal Nepali family used to stay in their palace called ‘Hanuman Dhoka’ about a century back. This place is full of magnificent ancient temples, some of which were built way back in the 12th century.
A 35 meter tall & a 12-stage plinth based ‘Taleju Temple’, is the best in the pack. The other temples, such as, the ‘Kumari Bahal’, the ‘Kasthamandap’ & the ‘Maju Deval’ are also equally well crafted. The temples in this part of the world are simply the gems of the art & hold a sacred & a spiritual aura around its vicinity.
‘Darbar Square’ is located in the west of Kathmandu’s recreation ground & to the south-west of the Royal Palace.
- The Pashupatinath Temple:
The Pashupatinath Temple is the most important & the oldest temple of Hindus in Nepal & is dedicated to the Lord ‘Shiva’. This magnificent temple was architected way back in 1696 in the reign of the King ‘Bhupendra Malla’. The temple is located on the banks of ‘Bagmati River’. The temple features the unique ‘Pagoda-fashioned’ construction with golden rooftop, amazingly carved roof-beams & four silver-plated main doors decorated with statues of Hindu deities.
‘Pashupatinath’ being one of the most sacred places in the Hindu religion, the riverbanks of the Bagmati are considered as the holy places & are used as Hindu crematory. On top of that, non-Hindus are restricted inside the main structure.
The place is situated about 5 km to the East of Kathmandu & very close from ‘Boudhnath Temple’.
- Boudhanath Stupa:
‘Boudhanath’ or ‘Buddhanath’ Stupa is the most sacred place for Buddhist & one of the major tourist attractions in the Nepal. This 26 meter tall Stupa is 120 meters in diameter & is considered as the largest one in the entire Nepal & is accolade by UNESCO as world heritage in 1979.
‘Boudhanath’ is identified by its iconic, colorful prayer flags adorned from the top of the Stupa to way down to its octagonal base. Along with that, five statues of ‘Dhyani Buddhas’ (meditating Buddhas) surrounded by a brick wall with 147 slots, each with prayer wheels carved with mantra, are also present. It is also surrounded by more than 50 monasteries & myriad shops that sell Tibetan & Nepali artifacts.
Every year, Buddhist pilgrims & monks make their way to this place from Nepal & Tibet to pay the homage to the Lord ‘Buddha’. They pray while walking around with prayer wheels & chanting the holy mantra.
The holy ‘Boudhanath Stupa’ is located 7 kms to the East of Kathmandu.
- Swayambhunath Stupa:
Situated on the hilltop to the ‘North-West Kathmandu’, the ‘Swayabhunath Stupa’ is the second most important Stupa of Buddhist after Boudhanath Stupa & was built by King ‘Manadeva’ during the fifth century. The Stupa’s vicinity is surrounded by temples, Tibetan monasteries, library & a museum.
The Stupa, which was coated with 20 kg of gold in 2010, has a dome with a cubic structure above it & engraved with the eyes of ‘Buddha’ looking in all four directions. The pentagonal ‘Toran’ are present above each direction onto which, statues are carved. Thirteen tiers are present above the torana, on top of which a small place for ‘gajur’ is kept reserved.
- Narayanhiti Palace Museum:
‘Narayanhiti Palace’ was basically the place wherein Nepal’s royal family had their stay until 2008 before the notorious incident of homicidal attack on the royal family took place. The Palace was sealed after the incident & was reopened in 2009 as a museum by the Nepal government.
This majestic palace constitutes 52 royal rooms & covering 74 acres of land. The palace was architected & designed by American architect ‘Benjamin Polk’ who gave it a ’Pagoda-look’ with an essence of modern-day styling. The Place has several valuable belongings of the royal family that include astonishing interior, generous use of gilding, myriad expensive chandeliers & a tiger-skin carpet.
The Palace is situated at the east of ‘Greater Thamel’, on the north of ‘Durbar Marg‘road.