Top 10 Places in Kathmandu
Kathmandu (Kathmandu Valley) is the largest and the capital city of Nepal. Though few years ago it was thought to be the fabled and inaccessible Shangri-La, Kathmandu is now one of the favourite places for independent travellers as well as a growing vacation spot suiting to all budgets. Together with Patan to the south Kathmandu is now part of one continuous urban area, as a result of considerable urbanization in recent decades. A walk in the streets of Kathmandu, visiting hidden temples tourist gets acknowledged with amazing artistic and cultural heritage of Nepal.
Kathmandu is the centre for many of Nepal's important festivals. Festivals celebrated here are Tihar (Festival of Lights Also called Deepawali), Holi (celebrated with water and colour powder), Bikram Sambat's New Year's (April A day of pilgrimages often from Kathmandu to the holy Bagamati river that separates it from Patan) and many other.
The top must visit places in Kathmandu city are:
- Swayambhu: A large Boudha stupa, one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Nepal.
- Baudha Stupa in Baudha: A must see sacred site of Tibetan Buddhism in Kathmandu.
- Narayanhiti Palace Museum: Once upon a time a Royal palace was officially partly turned into a Museum and the Foreign Ministry in 2009 partly. Now tourists can visit the enormous Halls of the main building of the palace by just paying 500 NRS entrance fee.
- Thamel Chowk: cluster of restaurants and shops are found here.
- Freak Street: Now just holding a few restaurants and hotels was previously home of western hippies searching for enlightenment.
- Nasal Chowk Statues: Located near The Rana museum and some temples.
- Pashupatinath: Morning is best time to visit this temple to Lord Shiva in the form of Lord of Animals. Here a lot of monkeys, cremation, sadhus and a holy cave can be seen.
- Garden of Dreams: A peaceful and beautiful walled garden close to the former Royal Palace just to relax with an entry for Rs 160.
- Durbar Square: The heart of Kathmandu, ancient square crowded with palaces and temples. The incarnation of the Kasthamandap or "Wooden house" gives the city its name "Kathmandu". This place is the most popular UNESCO World Heritage place in whole Nepal. The various must visit sites of this place are Taleju Temple (One of the oldest temples in the square, this three-roofed temple with its pyramid shaped bases, is an example of the typical Newari architectural style), Ashok Binayak, Shiva Temple, Maju Deval, Narayan Temple, Shiva-Parvati Temple, Kumari Palace (home of "the Kumari", or living goddess, a young girl South side of Durbar square), Bhagwati Temple, Saraswati Temple (The Goddess of Knowledge and Learning) and many more.