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Places to visit inside Kathmandu

Pashupatinath (World Heritage Site)
Pashupatinath is Nepal’s holiest Hindu pilgrimage site that lies east of Kathmandu. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is built in the familiar Pagoda style. Chronicles indicate that this gold clad temple dates back from the late 17th century but inscriptions indicate that the temple has stood here since at least the fifth century and some historians suspect it goes back 3rd century BC. The temple apparently emerged as a hotbed of tantric practices in the eleventh century and has remained so for 400 years, until the Malla kings reined things in by importing conventional Brahmin priest from South India and the arrangement is still continuing. This holy place is picturesque collection of temples and shrines. All the dying persons are brought to Pashupatinath for cremation. It is believed by Hindus that dying and cremating in the temple complex will be released from the cycle of rebirths and attained Nirvana. Only the Hindus are allowed to go inside.


Kathmandu Durbar Square (World Heritage Site)

Located at the heart of city center, Kathmandu Durbar square was the royal residence of united Nepal. Today it is a center of tourist attraction for ancient palaces and skyscraper temples. There are hundreds of temples including the temple of the living Goddess "The Kumari". The erotic carving, fierce image of Kalbhairab, Garuda, and Monkey god Hanuman are some of the outstanding images. Around the square there are very traditional Newari restaurants. It is the best shopping place for curios and antiques, flutes, woodcarving, masks, handloom products, souvenirs and many more. It is a worth visiting site of Kathmandu valley.


Bhaktapur Durbar Square (World Heritage Site)

Bhaktapur city was founded in 889 AD. It lies 13 km east from Kathmandu. The famous fifty-five windows palace belonged to the royal palace of Malla king has now been turned into a museum of ancient history, arts and architectures. Nyatapola, a five-tired temple looks like the hanging tower of Pisa, is the wonderful piece of ancient art and architecture. The Golden gate is an example of the metal work of Medieval Nepal. Bhaktapur, in fact is the best site of the valley to visit. In the Kathmandu valley the three separate Durbar squares were the capital of separate kings. There was a keen competition among the three kings to develop their kingdom basically in the field of art and architectures and the three Durbar Squares are the result of it.


Patan Durbar Square(World Heritage Site)

It is an enchanting mélange of Palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. This square was the former Royal Palace complex which was the center of Patan’s religious and social life, and houses a museum containing an array of bronze status and religious monuments. One remarkable monument here is 17th century temple dedicated to the Hindu god Krishna, built entirely of stone. On the wall scenes from the Mahabharat, the greatest mythological war is carved. The Sundari Chowk is another example of best and wonderful woodcarving in Nepal. Inside the Patan Durbar square there are many temples and nearby the square famous Buddha stupas are located. The site is worth visiting to enjoy the ancient architecture, which dates back thirteen centuries.


Bouddhanath (World Heritage Site)

It is the world’s biggest stupa located about 2 kilometers to the north of Pashupatinath temple. This colossal Stupa is known by the name of Bouddhanath, the god of wisdom. It is difficult to assign a period to it, as some believe that it was built during the reign of either Shiva Dev or Anshu Verma in the 7th century A.D. Bouddhanath attracts the Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world. This stupa is generally acknowledged to be the most important Tibetan Buddhist monument outside Tibet. Tibetans -in-exile simply call it Chorten Chempo or “Great Stupa”. There are many Tibetans running most of the businesses around the stupa and along the main road. There holds Tibetan New Year –Losar in February and many Tibetans and Sherpas participate in the festival.


Swayambhunath/Monkey temple (World Heritage Site)

The Swayambhu Stupa lies on the top of a green hillock west of Kathmandu . This is one of the world’s oldest Buddhist Stupa with great religious significance. It is said to be 2500 years old before the emergence of Buddhism. Painted on the four-sides of the spire bases are the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. Swayambhu has two small Tibetan Gompas with typically colorful shrines open to all visitors. The two eyes of Buddha are the symbols of justice, peace and calmness and the nose –like thing between the eye is the virtue to join earth and heaven and the point or probably the third eye just above the two eyes is said to be the symbol of farsightstedness.


Changunarayan (World Heritage Site)

The temple of Changunarayan is situated on a peninsular ridge to the north of Bhaktapur. It was built in the 3rd century and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is one of the most ancient specimens of Pagoda-roofed shrines in the valley. It is richly decorated with some of the finest stones, metal and woodcrafts. Most of the architectural wealth was put together during the reign of the Malla king who ruled the Kathmandu valley from the 13th to 18th centuries. The temple is thought to have been built by Bishnu Gupta, and was later added to it by Hari Dutta Verma in 323 A.D. The surrounding views are splendid and the temple is the living museum. The courtyard has many others temples such as that of Kiloswar, Shiva, Chhinnamasta Devi and other figures like Garuda and different image of Vishnu.