Trip Overview Sightseeing in Kathmandu 7 Days
Kathmandu valley has also some very important ans highly venerated buddhist sites. As one enters the valley, the first sight to catch the visitor’s eye is the hemispherical white dome ( stupa) of the swayambhu Maha chaitya perched majestically atop a hill on the western fringe of the kathmandu valley. The stupa symbolises the body of the buddha, which is nothing other than cosmos itself.The swayambhu maha chaitya with the semi-closed eyes of the buddha overlooking the valley from all four directions is the most prominent monument and landmark of the valley.
As the ancient legend goes kathmandu valley was a lake long time ago .Right in the center of this lake was a full of blown lotus with the divine light atop . when Maha manjushri a saint from china heard about this he came all the way from china to the valley . He cut through the southern hill of the valley with his divine sword . The cleft made by the sword immediately drained the entire lake water making the valley floor ready for habitation. Hundreds of votive shrines and other historical monuments built in and around this stupa speak a lot about the significance and antiquity of this famed stupa . The stupa of swayambhu stands on the typically stylized lotus mandala base. The hemisherical part of chaitya is made of brick and stone on top of the hemispherical part lies the hermika which carries the eyes of vairochanawatching painted in the malla period. The stupa is also laden with in all the directions and believed to have been the 13 gold plated spires which symbolizes the 13 stages to slavation. The spire is crowded by a golden umbrella supported by a pole from within the center. Devotees pour lime down the chaitya to cure illness of family members.
1.Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square, the former Royal Palace of the ex Shah Kings of Nepal, is an ancient royal palace, studded with great sculpture art, large courtyards and amazing work of handicraft. Kathmandu Durbar Square is a reminder of the type of art and sculpture that existed in Nepal during the period of the Shah Kings. The Durbar Square area, adjoining temples, large lawns, the museum that showcases several artifacts of the past are some of the attractions of Kathmandu Durbar Square. Taleju Bhawani temple and the nine-storey Basantapur Durbar are the major backbone of this Durbar Square. It is in the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage.
2. Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square is situated in Lalitpur district and in the heart of Patan city. Patan Durbar Square and the architecture found in the temples around the area is a fine example of antique Newari architecture. It used to be the royal palace of ex Malla Kings of Patan. The palace has three major courtyards and the oldest of which is called Mul Chowk. Krishna Mandir (Temple) is the most important temple at the Patan Durbar Square. The temples in the Square bear exquisite woodcarvings and other metal sculpture. Because of the presence of numerous arts and sculpture in Patan, it is also called as the city of arts.
3. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
The ancient city of Bhaktapur is a colorful city with old cultures, festivals and traditional dances forming a major part of the city’s culture and its nature of existence. It is also called as the city of devotees as Bhaktapur citizens are known for celebrating several festivals that are only special to this city. Bhaktapur Durbar Square used to be the royal palace of former Malla Kings before the unification of the city into Kathmandu. Old dances and festivals are still practiced by the locals with same passion and eagerness as their predecessors did. The narrow and zigzagged passage, crowded lanes and the locals of the region are the major attractions of the city beside the art, sculpture and the festivals. It is also enlisted in the UNESCO’s list of World Heritages.
4. Swayambhunath Stupa
Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the oldest Buddhist Stupas in the world as its origin dates back to more than 2000 years ago. Tourist often describes it as monkey Temple as large numbers of monkeys are found in and around the temple. Swyambhunath is enlisted in the world heritage site by UNESCO. The Stupa is located in a hillock inside the capital city of Kathmandu and the view from the top of Stupa makes for a wonderful view of the Capital city of Kathmandu. Several small Tibetan and Buddhist monasteries are also present near the major Stupa. Large number of Buddhist pilgrims visit Swyambhunath Stupa every year as it happens to be one of the major pilgrimage sites for the Buddhists.5. Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple located in Kathmandu is one of the holiest Hindu shrines of Lord Shiva across the world. It is situated on the banks of the Bagmati River. The shrine of Pashupatinath is devoted to Lord Shiva and as it is one of the holiest temples, millions of Hindu pilgrims visit the temple every year, mostly during the festival of Shiva Ratri. The temple is allowed for entrance only for the Hindus as non-Hindus are barred from entering the shrine. They can, however, enjoy around the temples premises, looking at many temples and the people. Bagmati River that follows along the banks of Pasthupatinath is considered holy. The temple is also a part of UNESCO enlisted heritages of Nepal.
6. Changu Narayan
The temple of Changu Narayan is another pilgrimage site for Hindu devotees inside the Kathmandu valley. The Changu Narayan temple is crafted in Pagoda-style and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu as an incarnation of Narayan. Changu Narayan is one of the oldest temples in Nepal. As it is located on the outskirts of Bhaktapur district, it is seldom visited by the tourists. It was first was built in the early 4th century during the Lichhavi dynasty. Changu Narayan was rebuilt around 1700 when it was damaged by fire. All the stone carvings along the courtyard of the temple were done between the 5th and 13th century, and the temple happens to be one of iconic sites of ancient art. It is also in the list of UNESCo’s World Heritage List.
7. Bouddhanath Stupa
Bouddhanath Stupa is the center for Tibetan culture and tradition in Nepal. The 36-meter-high stupa of Bo
uddhanath is one of the largest Stupas in the entire world. It is believed that Bouddhanath Stupa was ren
ovated by Lichhavi Kings in the 18th century. The mandala design in Bouddhanath resembles to the Gy
angtse in Tibet. The Stupa is situated in the area of ancient trade route to Tibet where Tibetan
merchants rested and offered prayers for many centuries. When Tibetan refugees entered into Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, they decided to live around Bouddhanath. Hence, Bouddhanath Stupa is also referred to as Tibet in Nepal by the Tibetans. Gompa monasteries, curio shops, and several Tibetan restaurants found near Bouddhanath are other attractions of this pilgrimage destination for the Tibetans.
More popularly known as the birthplace of Lord Gautama Buddha, Lumbini is visited every year by thousands of tourists, especially the Buddhists. Lumbini is located in the Kapilvastu district of Nepal. The temple of Maya Devi, Ashoka Pillar, Maya Devi pond, and several other Stupas and monasteries which have been built over the period of time are some of the major highlights of Lumbini. It is a holy site for the Buddhist pilgrims and many foreign tourists with different religion other than Buddhism also visit this place full of amazing art and sculpture in addition to its historical significance. Lumbini is also enlisted in the UNESCO’s list of World Heritages as it happens to be one of the primary destinations of the tourists who visit Nepal. Lumbini can be reached both via flight to Bhairahawa or by drive from Kathmandu to Bhairahawa.
Pokhara is perhaps the most popular city after Kathmandu amongst the tourists who visit Nepal. Pokhara is located around 200 kilometers west from the capital city of Kathmandu. Many tourists who visit Nepal make it a point to visit this city of Pokhara which is amazingly beautiful and full of natural beauty. The presence of massive and beautiful lakes, caves, towering mountains, Stupas and temples are the highlights of Pokhara as tourists feel like spending more days in the city, while feeling close to nature. Fewa Lake, Lake side, World Peace Stupa, Begnas Lake, Davis Fall, Mahendra Cave, etc. are some of the important places in Pokhara that have attracted a lot of attention in the years. The famous trekking trail of Annapurna Base Camp Trek and the Circuit Trek begins from the city of Pokhara as the city is the hub for tourism in Nepal.