Kathmandu Durbar Square:
Kahmandu Durbar Square is in the heart of old city Kathmandu, also known as Basantapur. The complex was residence to Nepal’s Royal Family before the construction of the Narayanhiti Palace. The founding of the Palace dates back to Lichhavis times. With considerable renovations by Malla Rulers and later Ranas, construction was accomplished progressively over many centuries. There are around 50 temples in the vicinity including the temples of titular deity, Taleju Bhawani Temple. The Dubar is divided into two courtyards, the outer comprising Kasthamandap, Kumari Ghar and Shiva-Parbati temple and the inner consisting of Hanuman Dhoka and the main Palace. It also houses of two Museums. Important ceremonies including the coronation of the Nepali monarch are held in the Kathmandu Durbar Square. Most parts of the palace premises are open for tourists throughout the week during the offices hours.
Swoyambhunath Stupa is located on a hillock nearly 3 kilometers west of Kathmandu. Swoyambhunath means the self-existent one. The Stupa was given the name because of the belief existing among the people that Adi-Buddha appeared on his own accord from among the lotus in the place. Prayer wheels encircle the stupa of Swoyambhunath with Om Mani padme Hum inscribed in them. There are images of Adi-Buddha Taras around the Stupa. This projection has a pair of unwinking eyes with the peculiar nose below on its all four sides. Buddhist religious scriptures describe them as Tantradi, Mantradi and Yantradi which are supposed to operate the whole universe.
The famous temple of Lord Pashupatinath lies on the west bank of holy river, Bagmati. It is near about 5 kilometers north-east of Kathmandu.Gopal Vamshavali, the oldest ever chronicle in Nepal states that the temple was built by Supispadev a Lichhavis King who ruled around 465-505AD. However another ancient chronicles states that this temple was the Linga shaped Devalaya before Supuspadev constructed a five storeyed temple in this place. The temple was renovated at different periods and finally it tooks the present shape during of Shivasimha Malla. Later it was renovated two times in 1674 and 1697 AD. The temple iw square shaped and it is in pagoda style. It stands in the middle of the specious courtyard. It has four silver / gold gilt doors on all the four sides and all the available space is filled with carving and paintings even the struts depict various deities in various postures. Around the temple of Pashupatinath ther are other smaller temples such as Vasuki, Chandeshwor and Kirtimukha Bhairava, the temple of Bramha, Kotilingeswor, the temple of Unmatta Bhairava, Muktimandap, Radhha Krishna and Parthiveshwor.
Boudhanath stupa lies 8 kilometers east of Kathmandu. This ancient colossal stupa is one of the biggest in the world. Boudhanath is the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal. It is religious center for the Buddhist people. Surrounding the stupa there are many different monasteries belonging to different Buddhist sects. Most of the visitors used to go to The Stupa for sightseeing and shopping and Tibetans handicrafts. During the full moon day many Buddhist people come to celebrate and take part in various religious activities.
The famous image of Budhanilkantha is locatd about 8 km north of Kathmandu valley. The six meter long image, aver shed by eleven serpent heads and reclining and carved serpents as bed is partially submerged in small pool of water. This image has four hands the upper right and left hand hold “Chakra” (disc) and “Gada” (Club) whole the lower right and left hands hold “Padma” (Lotus) and “Sankha” (Conch shell) respectively. Some historians believe that this image was installed in the place by Vishnu Gupta in 7th Century. Another important thing about the statue is that Vadics, Saivas and Buddhists attract similar significance to it and regard it with equal reverence.
Dakshinkali Hindu Temple:
The famous shrine of Dakshinkali is situated near a small stream 2 km south of Shesh Narayan temple of Pharping. The deity of the shrine is called Dakshinkali because the word Dakshin means south as the shrine is situated in the southern coordinal point of the valley of Kathmandu. The area around the temple is extremely beautiful and the pilgrims visiting the places are countered in thousands especially on Saturdays.
Patan Durbar Square:
Patan Durbar Square is full of temples, with a far greater concentration of architecture per square metere than Kathmandu or Bhaktapur. Moreover, more than 600 stupas and 185 bahals are scattered throughout the fascinating backstreets. Patan makes great full day trip from Kathmandu. Durbar square is in the heart of Patan. While you are in Patan, you can visit following places:
- Patan Museum
- Bungamati and Khokana
- Red Machchhendranath and Minnath
- Bajra Barahi
Bhaktapur Durbar Square:
Of the valleys three Durbar Square, the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the best preserved. Durbar square was badly damaged by the earthquakes of 1934 AD and lost its largest temples. However the 1989 earthquake spread the temples and leveled instead about 200 traditional houses. Bhaktapur Durbar square also boasts a large bell that was used both a summon worshippers and to sound alarms particularly if there was a night curfew, when it was rung to send citizens scurrying home. There are other temples in the Durbar square for Kumari, Vatsala, Durga, Narayan, Shiva and Pashupatinath. The last is the oldest in the city, built around the end of the 15th century by the widow and sons of King Yaksha Malla in his memory, through sane argue Jita Malla, father of Bhupendra Malla built it much later in 1682. Bhaktapur legend says Lord Pashupatinath appeared before him in a dream and ordered him to build the temple.
On another hilltop 11.5 kilometers east of Kathmandu, the valley’s oldest temple. Changu Narayan stands in almost derelict splendor, its struts and surroundings covered with hundreds of finely detailed, delicately carved erotic depictions. It is one of the best examples of the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Founded around the 4th century, it represents the very best in Nepali art and architecture and it is very difficult to imagine a more stunning example of what Kathmandu valley is all about.
Nagarkot View Point:
Nagarkot is situated 32 kilometers east of Kathmandu at an altitude of 2175m above the sea level. It is famous for the panoramic view of Everest (8848m), Manaslu (8163m), Ganesh Himal (7134m) and Numbur (6957m). A motorbike road linked Nagarkot with Bhaktapur; however, trekking is equally enjoyable. It is one of the most scenic spots of Bhaktapur district and is renowned for its spectacular sunrise views of the Himalaya when the weather is clear. Visitors often travel to Nagarkot from Kathmandu to spend the night sothat they can be there for the breathtaking sunrise. It has become famous as one of the best spots to view Mt. Everest as well as other snow-capped peaks of the Himalayan ranges of eastern Nepal. It also offers an excellent views of the Indrawati river valley to the east. Nagarkot also offers a panoramic view of the Kathmandu valley and is described by visitors as a place whose beauty endures year round.
Pokhara is the starting and ending point for many of the popular trekking routes of Nepal. The atmosphere on the shore of Phewa Lake is one of excited vitality as hipster backpackers crowd the many bars And Restaurants exchanging recommendations on guest houses and viewpoints, both by the lake and above the clouds. Pokhara is a place of remarkable natural beauty. The serenity of Phewa lake and the magnificence of the fishtailed summit of Machhapuchhre (6977 m.) rising behind it create an ambience of peace and magic. At an elevation lower than Kathmandu, it has a much more tropical feel to it, a fact well appreciated by the beautiful diversity of flowers which proper in its environs. Indeed, the valley surrounding Pokhara is home to thick forests, gushing rivers, emerald lakes and of course, the world famous views of the Himalaya. Finally, Pokhara is part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen camped on the outskirts of the town, bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalaya. This is the land of the Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned world wide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship.
Other popular places to see in Pokhara are Mahendra Cave, David Fall, Seti George, Gupteswar Cave, World Peace Pagoda, Barahi Temple, Word Peace Pagoda, Buddhists Monastery, Natural Museum, Old Baazar, Tibetan Refuses Camp and Sarangkot Hill. Sarangkot hill is popular for to have a sunrise and sunset view.
Gorkha is situated at a distance of 143 km from Kathmandu and 115 km of Pokhara. A 25 km connecting road off the main highway of Pokhara and Kathmandu bring you to Gorkha. Gorkha is also the home of Gurkha – the legendary brave warriors who fought with knives against guns. Since Gorkha is off the beaten path for most tourists, rates are relatively cheap. King Prithivi Narayan Shah’s old palace still stands on a mountain ridge overlooking this ancient capital from which the Gurkha soldiers derive their name. From the bus stop, the road passes by the town’s Tundikhel and an army camp. A group of temples stands by the pond like Rani Pokhari and a stone statue of Prithvi Shah honours Prithvi Narayan Shah’s ancestor. Tallo Durbar a structure built in the 18th century stands close to the town centre. The palace on the ridge above the town is Upallo Durbar, the home of Shah King. It is unmistakable prominence was both strategic and a sign of dominance. To reach Upallo Durbar climbs a long flight of some 1700 stone stairs leading off the main road. The climb takes about 30-40 minutes but it is well worth the effort. Directly ahead magnificent mountain stand out in the centre of an east-west span Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Lamjung Himal, Boudha Himal and Himal Chulu ranges.
The temple of Mankamana a very popular pilgrimage in Nepal; is a temple of one of the manifestations of the Hindu goddess Bhagawati. Bhagawati is believed to have power to fulfill wishes. It lies 125 km to the west of Kathmandu. It is a steep three four hike from Abu Khaireni on foot. Cable car also takes travelers to Manakamana within 10 minutes.