Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. An intoxicating, exhilarating city with many monasteries, temples & UNESCO Heritage sites.The Nepalese capital has been a mecca for travelers for decades, and it is easy to see why. Upon arrival, prepare to be amazed. Kathmandu is an incredibly diverse historic city with breathtaking Newari architecture, centuries old Hindu and Buddhist religious sites along with dedicated tourist-friendly accommodations and restaurants. Stepping into Kathmandu is like stepping into another world that everybody should experience at least once in their lifetime.
Best Time to Visit
If you are planning a Travel to Nepal then the best time to visit Nepal, Kathmandu is during the tourist season that starts from September and continues till November.
Top Places to Visit in Kathmandu
1. Hanuman Dhoka
Founded during the 4thto 8thcentury, AD, Hanuman Dhoka is the royal palace in Kathmandu. This considerably expanded place is one of the most stunning destinations in the region. The sprawling palace, which was damaged during the 2015 earthquake is now extensively restored.After the restoration, people would be able to access the stunning courtyards and museums of this place without a hassle. The palace is impressive in mature. It is believed that Hanumana guarded important parts of this palace because of Lord Rama. There’s a statue at this place that dates from 1672 AD and the god’s face seems to have disappeared due to application of vermillion by the devotees that come here from all over the world. The palace otherwise has large courtyards. Once the palace reopens, you can enjoy the handsome courtyard at the entrance and then, visit the Narsingha Statue or go to the audience chamber.
2. Durbar Square
Explore the culture or history of Kathmandu by visiting the Durbar Square. Located in front of the former Kathmandu Palace Kingdom, the Durbar Square is a UENSO World Heritage Site and is originally known for vivid showcases of artists and craftsmen. The palace here is stunningly decorated and the overall areas reflect the beauty of Nepalese culture. The place includes museum and other parts of the palace here are opened for visitors. The place is home to Kumari Chok as well- it is one of the most curious attractions of Nepal. Here, a gilded cage contains Kumari, a girl who was chosen to be the human reincarnation of Hindu Goddess, Durga.
3. Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park
The ninth National Park in the country is known for being a birdwatcher’s paradise. The place boasts of over 300 species of birds and several rare orchids. The forest comes alive with a diverse range of flora and fauna. The national park was established in 2002 and it is located in subtropical-temperate climate transition. A number of herbs prosper in the place, while the overall park has broadleaf forests. The place comes alive with animals like Jungle Cats and Indian Leopard, Yellow Throated Marter, Himalayan Black Bear, Hanuman Langur, clouded leopard, leopard cat, barking deer and wild boar among other animals. Ornithologists have recorded over 318 species of birds at the place, including barred cuckoo dove, Eurasian eagle owl and golden throated barbet.
Lumbini is a part of the World Heritage Listed. The place has a huge spiritual-cultural significance and attracts Buddhists and pilgrims from all over the world. Centuries ago, in 563 BC, one of the greatest figures in world history was born, called Siddhartha Gautama, founder of Buddhism. The spiritual heart of Lumbini is Maya Devi Temple. This is the place where Queen Maya Devi gave birth of Gautama Buddha. Close to the place you will find pillar of Ashoka, one of the main proponents of Buddhism, along with stupas and its ancient ruins. A number of monks in saffron-robed clothing can also be seen. This temple is set in the park grounds, which is known as Lumbini Development Zone. Japanese architect Kenzo Tange began designing it in 1978 and the work is still in progress, including landscaped lakes and monasteries. When you visit here, don’t rush and take a few hours to look around.
5. Pashupatinath Temple
The sacred place is considered one of the most important temples in the world. The complex is on UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ list for decades. The extensive Hindu temple has a sprawling collection of images, inscriptions, ashrams, temples and images. There are 12 Jyotirlinga in India and the one in Nepal is the head over this body. The temple has 275 holy abodes of Shiva as well. Temple architecture is quite intriguing as it is built in Nepalese pagoda style of architecture. The wooden rafters are carved to perfection whereas the overall foundation is like cubic constructions. The sacro sanctum here is that of s stone Mukhalinga, or a linga with a face.
6. Kopan Monastery
Kopan monastery is a sacred Buddhist site in the world. Located on the hilltop north of Bodhnath, the monastery is pleasant place where you can explore and study Buddhism.The place is best known for its books on Buddhist psychology and philosophy. Kopan is a pleasant walk from Bodhnath and Gokarna Mahadev Temple.
7. Khawalung Monastery
Explore Buddhism through the Khawalung Monastery.The monastery has been detailed extensively in terms of its architecture, inspired by the Buddhist styles and structure. It is also a major sect of Vahrayana Buddhism and provides teachings about the religion. Besides religious education, the place is known for basic and advanced courses as well. It even provides children with medical expenses, free food and clothing. The same is offered to all the monks residing here.
Boudhanath Stupa is Asia’s largest stupa and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple, located outside of Tibet. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where thousands of devotees come daily to perform ritual circumnavigation of the dome beneath the observant eyes of Lord Buddha, which is gilded on the central tower. It is believed that the stupa was founded in between 590-604 CE. The giant Stupa represents the mythical Mt. Meru, which is considered to be the center of the cosmos. During the Tibetan New Year, the largest celebration in Nepal i.e. the festival of Losar is hosted at Boudhanath.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this city is known from its rich culture and well-preserved palace courtyards and temples. It is home to the country’s traditional art, architecture and craft works. Until the second half of the 15th century, it served as the capital of Nepal. The city is also famous for its Ju Ju dhau, a special type of curs, which is believed to have a unique taste that cannot be found nowhere else in Nepal. Popular mask dances centered around the lives of different deities are performed here.
10. Chitwan National Park
This park was granted the status of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984 while it was established in 1973. Originally, this national park served as the winter hunting ground for the Nepal’s ruling class till the end of the 19th century. Located at the foothills of Himalayas, Chitwan National Park is Nepal’s first national park. It is well known for its one horned rhinos, leopards, tigers, elephants, sloth bears and over 540 species of birds.
This place is a natural garden of flowers and everything bright-beautiful! A prominent mountain peak in Nepal, Phulchowki surrounds the valley of Kathmandu. The Mountain is a bed of wild roses, along with iris, yellow jasmine and several native flowers. Exploring it is fun and enchanting because of the grove of rhododendrons in various hues. The path or the trail towards the summit includes keep able roads. The route takes you through the Buddhist shrine as well. If you have tried trekking or love hiking, then go ahead and scale the peak- it shouldn’t take more than four hours.
12. Taudaha Lake
Go for off-beaten tracks and trails and enjoy discovering Taudaha Lake. A small lake that’s located in the outskirts of Kathmandu, Taudaha represents ‘snake’ and ‘lake.’ This lake is perfect for birdwatchers, as a number of migratory species visit the place.