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Kathmandu City Tour

Kathmandu city tour - kathmandu city tour in nepal

Kathmandu city is surrounded by green mountain walls above which mighty snowcapped peaks. The Kathmandu valley (Kathmandu City) covers an area of 218 sq miles. Kathmandu City is situated at 1310 meter above the sea level. Kathmandu Valley contains three fabulous cities of great historic, religious and cultural interest Kathmandu (Kantipur), Patan (Lalitpur) and Bhadgaon (Bhaktapur). Every town has Durbar Square (old palace) with its old historical temples and palaces epitomize the religious and cultural life of the people. The Kathmandu valley has often been described as an open air art gallery with thousands of sacred shrines in brick, stone, metal and wood scattered through out it.

Kathmandu City TourKathmandu Durbar Square:

While browse around Katmandu Durbar Square you will visit Hanuman Dhoka, the old and historic palace of Kathmandu named after monkey God, Hanuman. It is historic seat of royalty. The Kings of Nepal are crowned and their coronations also held inside the court yard here. There is a statue of King Pratap Mall sitting on the stone pillar in the front and temple of Jagannath from mediaeval period .Within the walking distance you will find the tall temple of Taleju from 1549 AD, the large stone statue of Kal Bhairav, the God of destruction,. the Big Bell and Big Drum and Hindu Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati peeping from window. Visit the temple of Kumari, the residence of Living Goddess within the vicinity. Kumari means the virgin girl. The girl is selected from Buddhist family. The building has profusely carved wooden balconies and window screen. Next a very interesting temple is Kasthamandap which is believed to be built from a single tree trunk and the name Katmandu is derived from this temple.

Interesting things to see in Kathmandu Durbar Square:-

Kumari (The Living Goddess) Gar:
At the West end of the square, is a beautiful house full of woodcarving of different God and Goddesses. This Palace is three storied and in this palace, lives the very famous living Goddess Kumari. Both Hindus and Buddhists equally venerate her. For Hindus she is the reincarnation of Hindu Goddess Kali. She is equally worshiped by Buddhists because she is chosen from Buddhist family. This shows the harmony between Buddhist and Hindus in Nepal.

Kastha Mandap:
One of the popular temples of Kathmandu Durbar Square is Kashamandap locally knows as Maru Sattal. It is believed that the name of Kathmandu City is derived from the name of this temple. Kastha means wood and Mandap means pavilion. And it is said that this temple is built by one single Sal (sorea robusta) tree. At the center of this temple, one can see the statue of a Hindu God Gorakhnath and in the four corners of the temple one can see Ganesh Statues.

Ganesh Temple:
Small yet the most visited temple of Kathmandu is Maru Ganesh. The people of Kathmandu valley believe that the four Ganesh in four corners of Kathmandu valley protect the peoples living in Kathmandu. Every day people go to worship this temple and especially on Tuesdays one can see a long queue of people waiting for hours to worship. Tuesday is considered the day of Ganesh.Other interesting things to see here are Mahadev Temple, Shiva Parvati Temple, Bhagwati Temple, Old palace, Saraswoti temple, Krishna Octangular Temple, Big drums, Kal Bhairav, Jagannath Temple, and Tal.

Swayambhunath/Monkey Temple:
Swayambhunath / Monkey Temple is a 2500 years old stupa situated on a hillock about 77 m above the ground level and over looking Katmandu valley. The painted eyes on four sides symbolize the all seeing eyes of Buddha and are watching all the time wrong doers and good doers. Swayambhunath is a very religious shrine of Buddhists. In Swayambhunath there are two Buddhist monasteries within the complex and a temple of Haratima where both Buddhists and Hindus worship this temple.

Budhanilkantha:
Budhanil Kantha is a remarkable massive stone statue of Hindu Lord Vishnu reclining on the bed of snakes is from 5th century AD situated about 8 km to the north of Katmandu at the base of Shivapuri hill. The shrine is in the middle of pond.

Pasupatinath Temple: Pashupatinath is a temple of Lord Shiva – Pasupatinath with two golden roof and four silver doors situated five kilometer east of Kathmandu at the bank of Bagmati river. Pashupati Nath is being a holy place of pilgrimage attracts tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year in spring. At the bank of Bagmati river one can also observe the cremation taking place.

Bauddhanath Stupa:
Bauddhanath stupa is 6 km to the east of Kathmandu and is said built in 5th century AD. Bauddhanath Stupa is one of the biggest in the world and is ringed by Buddhist lamas and monasteries. Bauddhanath is aholy stupa for Tibetan Buddhists who come here in thousands in winter festival to pay their honor.

Kirtipur:
Kirtipur lies about 8 km to the south-west of Katmandu on the top of a hill. Kirtipur is an old Newar village town and people are farmers and living in old traditional culture. The Kirtipur town offers to see many old temples and Buddhist shrines. One can find people weaving in old traditional looms.

Dakshinakali:
Dakshinakali is about 21 km drive through the country to the south of Katmandu. The spectacular views of beautiful landscapes, terraced farmlands and Himalayan ranges on the back ground can be seen while on drive. The road ends right at the temple. Dakshinkali , the supreme Hindu powerful Goddess is worshiped and animals like male-goats and roosters are also sacrificed. This type of ceremony takes twice a week Saturday and Tuesday. On our way back visit Shesh Narayan temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu and a Buddhist monastery where you will find the Lama monks chanting the prayers. Also visit of Chovar gorge through where the water of the valley is drained out.

Patan Durbar Square:
The monument zone of Patan Durbar Square is one of the seven monument zone of Kathmandu Valley. The seven monument zones were included in the World Heritage List in 1979 as one integrated site. All these monument zones are declared as the protected monument zones according to the Monuments Preservation Act of 1956.

The old city Patan is also known as Lalitpur, which means city of fine arts lies 5 km to the south of Katmandu. The whole complex of Patan Durbar Square consists of different sections of ancient palace like Sundari Chowk (beautiful court yard) where wonderful windows and door carving are seen and the Tushahity (Royal Bath) a master piece of stone carvings and others are Mul Chowk (main court yard), Keshav Narayan Chowk. In front of the palace in the main square there is a statue of King Narendra Malla sitting on the stone pillar. Next to the pillar there is a famous Krishna Mandir temple with 21 pinnacles built all in stone. This is said to be a Shikhara architect from India. Rest you will see several pagoda style temples like temple of Bhimsen, and the public bath, dragon headed spout and the water runs 24 hours. There are also many other famous Buddhist temple like Hiranya Verna Maha Vihar (the Golden temple) and Maha Bouddha with ten thousands Buddha's images. Most of the people of Patan city are Buddhists. Patan is also very famous in its art work. There are many fine craftsmen in Patan who produce bronze/brass art work in different images/statues of Hindu/Buddhist Gods and Goddesses, silver jewelleries, wood carvings. Most of the handicrafts you see in the local shops of Katmandu valley are produced in Patan.

Bhaktapur (Bhadgaon) Durbar Square:
Bhaktapur is an olden Newar town in the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Bhaktapur durbar square is located in Bhaktapur District in the Bagmati Zone. At the time of the 1991 Nepal survey it had a population of 61405 and had 9187 houses in it. The male inhabitants of Bhaktapur city wear a special type of cap called the Bhaad-gaaule topi. Bhaktapur city is famous for its yoghurt (ju-ju Dhau).

Bhaktapur's main square, Durbar Square, houses the 55-window Palace which was created by King Bhupatindra Malla and was home to royalty until 1769. It is now a National Gallery. Close by is the Golden Gate which leads into Mulchok Court which is home to the Taleju Temple. This temple, like others in the main towns of the Kathmandu Valley, is dedicated to the goddess Taleju Bhawani and includes shrines to both the Taleju Bhawani and Kumari. Entrance to the temple is restricted to Hindus and the living goddess strictly cannot be photographed.

Bhaktapur durbar square is a popular day-trip destination for tourists visiting Kathmandu. Lately, with more air-pollution in Kathmandu, more and more tourists are staying in Bhaktapur durbar square for a few days, before arrangements for trekking are finished.

The term "Bhaktapur" in Sanskrit Language(i.e. the source of Nepali language and Hindu language) refers to "The Town Devotees". This Bhaktapur City is also known as "Khwopa" or "Bhadgaon" or "Ancient Newari Town" through out the Kathmandu valley. It is the third largest city in Kathmandu valley and was once the capital of Nepal during the great Malla Kingdom until the second half of the 15th century.

Changu Narayan Temple:
Chagunarayan Temple is the oldest temple of Vishnu built in early 5th century AD situated at the end of long ridge which runs well into the valley. Chagunarayan temple is to the northeast 20 km from Katmandu through the countryside. Chagunarayan temple commands most magnificent views of Katmandu valley and Himalayas ranges on the back ground. Chagunarayan is also a most important historical, religious place where one can see largest number of finest stone sculptures dating back to 5th-9th century AD. This is also known as living monumental garden.

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