Nepal is a small, landlocked country in South-East Asia. It is a developing nation located between two huge countries, China and India. Nepal is a Himalayan country and is very famous for its natural, historical, religious and cultural sites. The capital city Kathmandu alone has a lot to offer to the tourists. For the people visiting Nepal for the first time, here are the top 5 places to visit in Kathmandu City that you should know about. Read about them below and be sure to include them in your itinerary.
Pashupatinath is one of the important heritage sites in Nepal dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is considered the most famous and sacred temple of all time. As it is the home of many forms of Lord Shiva and other Hindu gods and goddesses, only Hindus are allowed to go inside the main Temple. However, it’s not just a religious site, but also the culmination of art and culture.
It is considered as the master peace of Hindu architecture. Pashupatinath Temple is the largest complex in Nepal with the Hindu’s holy river, Bagmati flowing on the one side. The main Temple’s roof is in pagoda style and has a gilded roof. Its four sides are covered in silver, and exquisite wood carvings. This place is a must in your list of places to visit in Kathmandu if you love soaking up Hindu culture and its rituals.
Thamel is another one of the places to visit in Kathmandu City as it is dedicated to tourists. And there you will find many kinds of shops, cafes, lounges and restaurants fit for the tourists. It is one of the best places to shop for Tibetan items, including thanka and singing bowls. This place is a must visit for its wide variety of food and cultures.
Along with delicious Nepali food, you can also get to taste different cuisines like Korean, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Continental etc. Another aspect of Thamel is night life, which you will also enjoy. If you enjoy parties and clubbing, there is no better place to be than Thamel. You can also visit Garden of Dreams, that is just at the mouth of Thamel. You can enjoy some peace and quiet there and observe many flora and fauna present inside.
Kathmandu Durbar Square:
Kathmandu Durbar Square also known as Hanuman Dhoka Square or Basantapur Durbar Square is one of the oldest and crowned architectural structures of Nepal. It is one of the famous places to visit in Kathmandu City. It was previously the Royal Palace, home to Malla and Shah kings, who ruled over the city for many years. The then King Prithivi Narayan Shah built it in 1770.
The Durbar Square actually has two sub-areas. The outer complex has numerous interesting temples as Kumari Ghar, Kasthamandap, Shiva-Parbati Temple, Jagannath Temple, Big Bell etc. While, the inner complex comprises the old palace area, Hanuman-dhoka next to Hanuman’s statue. It also features different courtyards including Nasal Chowk, Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk, Basantapur Durbar among others. In Gorkha Earthquake 2015, the square suffered a lot of damage, but, it is being reconstructed now. The reconstruction is almost finished, and is open and safe for tourists to visit.
Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the crowning glories of architecture in Nepal. It lies on the top of the hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of the city. The Stupa is also famous as Monkey Temple. This Stupa is one of the oldest sites in Nepal and was built in 460 AD by King Manadeva.
Swayambhunath is a very sacred place for Buddhists and receives one of the highest number of tourists. In 2015 earthquake, the Stupa suffered few damages, but almost all have been repaired. This Stupa tops the list of places to visit in Kathmandu for its panoramic views of the city.
Narayanhiti Palace Museum:
Another one of the places to visit in Kathmandu city is the Narayanhiti Palace Museum. It was home to many of the Shah kings of Nepal, until the very last. The current Narayanhiti Durbar was built by King Mahendra in 1963 AD. The palace complex is located towards East of the Kaiser Mahal, next to Thamel.
This is the place where the Royal Massacre occurred in June 2001. It was later turned to museum in 2009. This place is open to the public to get a glimpse of the royal family and history. Take note that it is heavily guarded and cameras are strictly prohibited inside the building.
Hope your visit to Kathmandu is pleasant and memorable. Include these must visit places in Kathmandu city. Soak up all the natural and cultural beauty these places offer you. There are many more places to visit in Kathmandu alone, but start with these and you won’t be disappointed.
Don’t forget to buy some souvenirs before you go home so you can remember your beautiful time in this city.