Kathmandu

Kathmandu

The Kathmandu city has a rich history, spanning nearly 2000 years, as inferred from inscriptions found in the valley. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. Most of Kathmandu's people follow Hinduism and many others follow Buddhism. There are people of other religious beliefs as well, giving Kathmandu a cosmopolitan culture. Nepali is the most commonly spoken language in the city. English is understood by Kathmandu's educated residents.

Kathmandu valley is described as "an enormous treasure house of art and sculptures", which are made of wood, stone, metal, and terracotta, and found in profusion in temples, shrines, stupas, gompas, chaityasm and palaces. The art objects are also seen in street corners, lanes, private courtyards and in open ground. Most art is in the form of icons of gods and goddesses. Kathmandu valley has art treasure for a very long time.

Kathmandu Durbar Square(Hanuman Dhoka)

The UNESCO world heritage site-Kathmandu Durbar Square is well renowned as Hanuman Dhoka Palace which is Nepal’s most popular site as a historical and cultural heart. The main palace and monuments of around built in medieval age by Malla Dynasty kings. The antique historical palace bears Nepal’s former reminisce of Royal family, traditional culture, authentic architecture and arts as well main festive ceremonial site.

Also at this location, you'll see the Taleju Temple (Temple towering more than 40 meters), Jagannath Temple, Kal Bhairav(God of Wrath), Nautale Durbar, Nasal Chowk, the hall of public audience (Gaddhi Baithak), the big bell, the big drum, statue of the King Pratap Malla in praying gesture (see above left), a 17th Century Kumari (the living Goddess) Temple, Ashok Vinayak(Kathmandu Ganesh and a temple without a filial), the Kasthamandap (which is said to have been built out of a single tree) from which the Kathmandu city got its name and 17th century old stone inscriptions which is written in 15 different languages as well amazing wooden art carvings.

Living Goddess Kumari

Kathmandu is blessed by a Living Goddess and is enriched by endless ceremonial processions and events that take to the streets every now and then with throngs of devotees seeking blessings. These religious festivals are steeped in legend and are quite a spectacle with chariot processions and masked dancers often possessed by the spirits of deities.

Boudha Nath Stupa

Bouddhanath is one of the largest and most magnificent Buddhist monuments in the Himalayan Kingdom. At 36m height (118 feet), it is said to contain relics of the mortal Buddha. Buddhist pilgrims, Tibetans for the most part, visit it to sound their religious beliefs and perspectives. The stupa is similar to that of Swayambhu, having three Mandala-style platforms. A Tibetan festival called Bya-La is celebrated in Bauddhanath every twelve years on the first full moon of the Year of the Bird.

Boudhanath epitomizes Tibetan Buddhism. It lies 8 kms East of Kathmandu and was built by Licchavis King Man Dev in the 5th century A. D. Its colossal and ancient stupa is regarded as one of the world’s biggest stupa and has been built on a stepped octagonal base and inset with alcoves representing Buddha and his teachings. After Chinese invasion in 1959, Tibetans in thousands came to this famous Buddhist Chaitya and energized the stupa. The stupa is surrounded by various temples or 'gompas'. The atmosphere of the whole place lightens up with zest as fragrance of incense drifts through the air. Chanting of monks and creaking of prayer wheels can be heard while strolling around the base. It is one of the prime sites for pilgrims and tourists in the country.

Pashupati Nath Temple

Pashupatinath, one of the holiest of Nepal's Hindu shrines, is dedicated to the god Shiva, "The Destroyer" who, together with Brahma, the Creator, and Vishnu, the Preserver, makes up the Hindu Trinity. Hindu legend claims that Pashupati represents the lord of all animals. Situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of the sacred Bagmati river, the temple, which was built in pagoda style, has a gilded roof and beautifully carved silver doors. Visitors will be permitted to view the temple from the east bank of the Bagmati river, as entrance into the temple is strictly forbidden to all non-Hindus. Pashupatinath is the centre of an annual pilgrimage on the day Shivaratri, which falls in February or March. More than a hundred thousand devotees and pilgrims (many from India) visit this temple and make ceremonial fires every year during Shivaratri. The Arya Ghat, the most sacred funeral ground in the Valley, is located at the base of the temple on the bank of the holy river Bagmati. The holiest shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, Pashupatinath is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for devotees of Shiva, Built in the 5th Century and later renovated by Malla kings, the site itself is said to have existed from the beginning of the millennium when a Shiva lingam was discovered in the forest.

Seto Gumba (White Monastery)

Seto Gumba (WHITE Monastery) which is also known as Druk Amitabh Monastery. I Situated at calm and peaceful environment at the top seto gumba is really a nice cultural site. A monastery which belongs to ‘nuns’ (female monks) is opened for general public visit on SUNDAY only.

Swayambhunath

Swayambhu literally means 'Self-Existent One.' Swayambhunath is believed to have been established more than 2,500 years ago. According to translations from an inscription dating back to 460 A.D.. The most popular as a monkey temple (Swayambhunath Stupa) lies 3 km away from west of Kathmandu on small hill. It is also most visited Buddhists monument and holy shrine for both Hindu and Buddhists which was built by King Manadeva first. In 14th century Mughals from Indian sub continent attacked the Kathmandu valley and destroyed most of the historical monuments. Later it again renovated and during Malla Dynasty’s king Pratap Malla in 17th century enhanced the architecture also added rocky steps to get to the Stupa. At present day, the Stupa is a solid hemisphere of brick and clay, underneath an arrogant conical spire capped by a pinnacle of bronze and copper and has Lord Buddha’s eyes adorned on all the four sides of the spire base.

The mound represents the four elements of earth, fire, wind and water. The 13 gilded rings of the spire symbolize the 13 steps of the ladder leading to Nirvana, the final salvation. The shrine is bedecked in colorful prayer flags. Pilgrims and tourists pass to Swayambhumath’s holy premises through a path of 365 steps. Close to the stupa is the Dewa Dharma monastery, noted for bronaze icon of the Buddha and traditional Tibetan paintings. Besides from the hill top travelers can enjoy wonderful views of entire Kathmanadu valley. Behind the hilltop is a temple dedicated to Manjusri or Saraswati - the Goddess of learning. Chaityas, statues and shrines of Buddhist and Hindu deities fill the stupa complex.

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Glimpse of the previous visit