For the sight-seeing tours, here we detail some of the more popular gentle sides of a holiday in our Kingdom including the Kathmandu Valley itself and other major places of interest in Nepal.
THE KATHMANDU VALLEY
Kathmandu ValleyThis verdant valley was once a huge lake, legend dictates that in the middle of the lake was a brilliant flame emanating from a Lotus flower. People would come from miles around to wonder and worship the flame. A Chinese disciple Bodhisattva Manjushree, wishing to worship the flame more closely sliced a portion of the hills with his sword draining its waters and thus the fertile Kathmandu valley was created.
Chovar gorge where the valley waters drain today remains the focus of the legend. In the years since, the Kathmandu valley has seen many dynasties and empires come and go, each leaving their own mark on the valley's mystique.
The valley incorporates three major cities, all have their own distinctive character with outstanding temples, works of art and architecture and a varied calendar of feasts and festivals, their roots in being capital cities of the valleys three principality's in times gone by. Between them they boast the highest density of World Heritage Sites to be found anywhere in the World, seven in total. There are many other fascinating settlements in the valley offering their own reasons for being there.
Kathmandu ValleyThe Capital which begins to show signs of congestion over the past few years, this hardly detracts from its mystery and celebration of life. So much history interwoven and sitting strangely in harmony with the modern Kathmandu. Ancient temples in a medieval atmosphere and living goddess Kumari can be seen in kathmandu Durbar Squire formerly Royal Palace is crowded with ancient temples and palaces reflecting the religious and cultural life of the people.
PLACES OF INTERESTING IN KATHMANDU
Situated five kilometres east of Kathmandu on the bank of the sacred Bagmati River a tributary to the Ganges, the temple of Lord Shiva who is both the creator and destroyer of life is famous for its two-tiered golden roof and silver doors. The area along the banks are lined with Ghats where people are cremated
It is a World Heritage Site lies eight kms East of the centre of Kathmandu.This ancient colossal Stupa is one of the biggest in the World and the centre of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal.
This is one of the world’s most famous Buddhist Chaityas. The 2000 year old Chaityas is commonly known as the ‘monkey temple’ because of its resident population of apes. This spectacular Buddhist Stupa, from which the Buddha’s eyes gaze serenely down, lies on a hilltop only 2 km from the centre of Kathmandu. The views of Kathmandu and the surrounding valley are superb from here.
Kirtipur is situated 10 kms. southwest of Kathmandu. The ancient Newar township is a natural fortress and has a proud and courageous history. The Chilmahu Stupa and the temple of Bagh Bhairab are major sights here. Kirtipur offers quaint streets lined with artistic houses and temple squares. The people are known for their skill in building and weaving.
PatanPatan is situated on the southern bank of the holy river Bagamti some five kilometers southeast of Kathmandu. The city is famed for its wealth of Buddhist and Hindu temples with an abundance of fine bronze gateways and wonderful carvings. Patan is known for its expert craftsmen and metal workers.
Patan Durbar Square
Situated in the heart of the City is a major focal point of a visit to Patan.The square is full of ancient temples palaces and shrines noted for their exquisite carvings.The square consists of three main chowks(courtyards).The central Mul Chowk Sundari Chowk and Keshav Narayan Chowk.The Sundari Chowk holds in its centre a masterpiece of stone architecture, the Royal bath Tushahity.
BhaktapurBhaktapur is situated 14 km east of Kathmandu and is the least developed of the three cities in the valley. Translated Bhaktapur means the city of devotees. The most laid back of the three valley towns its narrow brick paved streets harbor hidden shrines and statues around every corner. It is quite easy to spend a whole day here relaxing and taking in an almost surreal atmosphere. Bhaktapur is famed for its woodcarvings, pottery and cloth weaving.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
The main square of the City contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces. The lion gate, the statue of the King Bhupatindra Malla,the National Art Gallery The palace of 55 Windows and the bell of the barking dogs are but a few of the sights to visit in the square.
PLACES OF INTEREST OUTSIDE OF THE KATHMANDU VALLEY
Nagarkot at 2229 m. is a hill station for Mountain and sunset/sunrise views. It is about 32km. east of Kathmandu between the Kathmandu valley in the west and Indrawati in the east and nowadays there are from simple guest house to 5 star standrard resorts and hotels providing luxury accommodation and verities of dishes for the ttravellers. Mount Everest and other Himalayan peaks can be seen from here.
Situated at 2100m. above sea level, 80 km. From Kathmandu, Daman is known for its views of Himalayan peaks Everest, Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Dorje Lakpa , Gauri Shanker, Cho Oyu,can all be seen. The viewing tower offers an amazing panoramic view of 300 miles of the Himalayan range.
This was the home of Gorkha Kings— The Kings of the present dynasty that expanded itself into modern Nepal. The Shah dynasty of Nepal descends from the Gorkhas. Located some 160 km. West of Kathrkha soldiers were originally from this area. Points of interest include ornate ancient temples and mandu, Gorkha is a picturesque hill resort steeped in ancient history. The world renowned Gothe Royal Palace.
Most treks in the Annapurna region commence from the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara with arguably the most impressive mountain backdrop anywhere on earth . Pokhara provides a perfect setting to prepare for and relax after your trek and access to the mountains is easy.It is also an ideal place to do very little in but relax,perhaps some boating on the huge lake or just relaxing in one of the many lakeside restaurants.
One of the largest hill towns in Nepal, Tansen (1371 m.) is some 300 km. southwest of Kathmandu. Tansen served as the capital of the tiny Kingdom of Palpa before it was annexed into the unified Nepal. Nestled on top of the highest hill in the area, Tansen offers a breathtaking view of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Manaslu to the north contrasted by the forests and valley farm houses to the south. The town is rich in ancient temples and other places of historical and cultural interest.
Lumbini, (the birthplace of Lord Buddha) is situated on the South-Western plains of Nepal. Lumbini gardens, dotted with holy shrines, stupas, monasteries and the temple of Maya Devi, the mother of Lord Buddha, are the principal attractions. A great pillar from 250 B.C. carries an inscription signifying the birth of Lord Buddha. Beside the Maya Devi temple to the south is a sacred pole where Lord Buddha received his first purification bath. Close to Lumbini is Tilaurakot, an archaeological site over 2000 years old.