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Kathmandu Valley

 

 

 

 

 

Kathmandu Valley :

The valley is situated at an altitude of 1,336 m above sea level and covers an area of 218 sq. miles and is surrounded by Shivapuri (North), Nagarjun Danda (South-West) and Phulchoki (South-East) hills. The rich tapestry of the cultural heritage of Nepal is synthesized in the Kathmandu Valley, the home of the ancient and sophisticated Newari culture. The Newars are the indigenous inhabitants of the valley and the creators of the splendid civilization of its three cities - Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. The skillfully-built temples and places, delicately-engraved stone and metal images, carved wooden columns and pillars, and the history laden shrines and chaityas of these three historical cities stand testimony to the Newar's artistic achievements. Around the Kathmandu valley, the popular tourist destination such as Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Kakani, and Daman offers the world-class panoramic view and natural scenic beauty.

 

The major attractions of Kathmandu valley are :

- Swayambhunath Stupa :

Located approximately 4 kms./2.5 miles, this Buddhist Stupa is said to be 2000 years old. The Stupa which forms the main structure is composed of a solid hemisphere of brick and earth supporting a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt. Painted on the four sided base of the spire are the eyes of Lord Buddha. This hill is a mosaic of small Chaityas and Pagoda temples.

 

- Pashupatinath Temple :

Situated 5 kms. east of Kathmandu City, Pashupatinath temple is one of the holiest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of the sacred Bagmati river, the temple built in pagoda style has jilted roof and richly carved silver doors. Visitors will be permitted to view the temple from the east bank of Bagmati river as entrance in the temple is strictly forbidden to non Hindus. Pashupatinath is the centre of annual pilgrimage on the day of Shiva-Ratri which falls in the month of February / March. Behind the temple are the cremation grounds.

 

 - Bouddhanath Stupa :

This Stupa, 8 kms. east of Kathmandu City, is one of the biggest in the world of its kind. It stands with four pairs of eyes in the four cardinal direction keeping watch for righteous behaviour and human prosperity. This Buddhist Stupa was built by King Man Deva at the advice of the Goddess Mani Jogini. It was built on an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels. The shrine is ringed by houses of Lamas or Buddhist priests.

 

 - Budhanilkantha Temple :

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 - Kathmandu Durbar Square (Hanumandhoka Durbar Square) :

Known as Kantipur, where you will visit the temple of the Living Goddess who acknowledges the greetings of the devotees from the balcony of ther temple residence. Kansthamandap - the source of the name of Kathmandu and supposed to be made from the timber of a single tree and the Durbar Square are with its array of temples overlooked by the Hanuman Dhoka Palace, the ancient palace of the Nepalese Royalty.

 

 - Hanumandhoka Museum :

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- National Museum :

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- Natural History Museum :

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- Patan Durbar Square :

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5 kms./3 miles away from Kathmandu City, Patan also known as Lalitpur, is the city of fine arts, enclosed within4 stupas said to be built in 3rd Century AD by Emperor Ashoka. You will see the Durbar Square, the Patan Durbar Square which houses a bronze collection, the Krishna Temple built by King Siddhi Narsing Malla, Hiranya Varna Mahavir and Mahabouddha Temple. A trip to the Tibetan Refugee Camp and the Handicraft Centre will also be done while, visiting Patan where you will witness the hand weaving of Tibetan carpets and moulding of metal statues.

 

- Bhaktapur Durbar Square :

Bhaktapur is also known as Bhadgaon, meaning city of devotees, this place is the home of medieval art and architecture. Lying 14 kms./9 miles east of Kathmandu City. This place was founded in the 9th Centure and is shapped like a conch shell. The city is located 4600ft. above sea level. In Bhaktapur, you will visit the Durbar Square with its array of temples overlooked by the Palace of 55 windows built by King Bupatindra Malla. The Nyatapola Temple, also built by King Bhupatindra Malla, is the best example of Pagoda style and stands on five terraces on each of which stands a pair of figures - two famous strong men, two elephants, two lions, two griffins and two goddesses. Time permitting, a visit to the museum of Thanka painting can also be considered.

 

 - Changu Narayan Temple :

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- Kirtipur :

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- Bungmati :

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- Khokana :

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- Panauti :

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- Dhulikhel :

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- Nagarkot :

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 Namo Buddha :

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- Daman :

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- Kakani :

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Pokhara Valley :

Pokhara, lies at the foot of the Annapurna Massif, an enchanting city nestled in a tranquil valley and is the center of adventure, starting point for many of Nepal's most popular trekking and rafting destinations. The rare combination of snow clad peaks and snow fed lakes and rivers has helped to make Pokhara valley one of the most picturesque natural attractions in the kingdom. A must for all visitors to Pokhara valley is the Phewa lake and the magnificence of the Fish-tail summit of Machhapuchhre (6,977 m) rising behind it create an ambience of peace and magic. Indeed, the valley surrounding Pokhara is home to thick forests, gushing rivers, emerald lakes, and of course, the world famous views of the Himalayas. This is the land of Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned worldwide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship.

The main attractions of Pokhara valley

 

- Mountain View :

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- Fewa Lake :

 - Davis Fall :

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 - Gupteshwar Cave :

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- Mahendra Cave :

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- The Pokhara Museum :

 - The Annapurna Regional Museum :

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 - Beghnash Lake :

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- Rupa Lake :

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- Sundare Danda :

 - International Mountaineering Musem :

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Chitwan (Jungle Safari) :

Chitwan is one of the most popular tourists destination in Nepal and finest national parks in Asia, which provide the opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat. Chitwan, which means the “heart of the jungle” is among the last surviving examples of the continuous band of forests and grasslands which once extended from the Indus river in Pakistan to the Burmese border. Chitwan situated in the foothills of Churia ranges, 75 air-miles south west of Kathmandu, houses the first National Park of the Kingdom. Royal Bengal tigers roam the region; one-horned rhinos can be seen charging through the underbrush, feeding and even courting. The Rapti River has been dammed to form a man-made lake called Lamital where water-birds and marsh mugger peckers and many other birds are found in plenty in these forests. Elephant grass, five to six feet tall, provides excellent camouflage for animals. This grass serves as food for the gaur (a local bison), rhino and other herbivores.

The main attractions of Chitwan is Jungle Safari.

 

Gorkha :

Gorkha is a scenic hill-town with great historical significance where King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who unified the Kingdom of Nepal during eighteenth century, was born in the township. Gorkha is situated on a small hillock at an attitude of about 1000 m. The town of Gorkha located at a distance of 144 km/90 miles, north-west of Kathmandu was the ancient Kingdom of the present Shah Kings. The black coated road ends just below the Gorkha town and all tour of this place has to be done on foot. Gorkha palace located on top of a hill overlooking the town of Gorkha, can be reached after a steep uphill climb of an hour and a half. Though the main palace courtyard is closed to all foreigners, one can however enter the outer part, which offers a spectacular birds eye view of the Gorkha town. From the top of the hill above Gorkha palace and from a saddle east of the bazaar, the view of Manaslu and Himalchuli is spectacular. For the more energetic hiker, a further climb of half an hour is suggested. This particular point known as Upalla-kot gives the best aerial view of the palace. Gorkha can be reached by road in conjunction with Pokhara or a same day trip can be undertaken from Kathmandu.

  

 

Lumbini :

Lumbini is a small town in the southern Terai plains of Nepal where Shakyamuni Buddha was born to a royal family as Prince Siddhartha Gautam in 623 B.C. who later became light of Asia-the enlightened one. The sacred area of Lumbini is one of the holiest places of the world's great religions and contains the important evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage. The restored garden and surroundings of Lumbini have the remains of many of the ancient stupas and monasteries from a very early period. An important part of Lumbini is the temple of Maya Devi; the images of Buddha's mother Maya Devi are still preserved here. To the south of temple is a pool called 'Puskarni' where Queen Maya Devi is said to have bathed and given her son his first purification bath. And the other attraction is large stone pillar, which is erected by Indian Emperor Ashoka in 250 B.C., the pillar is 6 m. high of which half lies underground. The visitors can take flight (35 minutes) to Bhairahawa then 22 km. road to Lumbini or by road from major cities like Kathmandu (284km / 177miles) and Pokhara (286km / 179miles). The best season for visit is the spring one.

 

At the time of his birth, the city was the part of the Kingdom of Kapilvastu which is 30 km/18 miles north-west of Lumbini. It evokes the ancient palace where Lord Buddha spent his formative years. Scattered foundations of the palace are abundant, and archeologists have by now discovered 13 successive layers of human habitation dating back to the eighth century BC. A must for archeological and historical buffs! Besides its religious and historical significance, Lumbini offers cultural insights into the village life of southern Nepal. Kapilvastu Museum is situated 27 km. west of Lumbini in the village of Tilaurakot. The Museum holds coins, pottery and collection of jewelry and other ornaments dating between the 7th century B.C. and 4th century A.D.

 

Bandipur :

Bandipur, a pleasant and charming hill town is situated on the hill-crest that offers a magnificent view of the central Nepal Himalayas and the Marsyangdi Valley. Located somewhat mid-way between Kathmandu and Pokhara and only eight kilometers above the Prithvi Highway, it is the ideal spot for travelers to take a lunch-break, stretch the body with a refreshing swim or simply gaze at the enchanting mountain views.

 

 

Tansen, Palpa :

Palpa is a district of Lumbini zone & Tansen (Tansing, the original Magar name) is its headquarters. In the past Tansen was on the trade route between the plains and hills. Tansen is between Pokhara (5 hrs, 110kms) and Bhairahawa (2 hrs, 55kms) and pleasant place to stop on the way or cover in a package between the two places. It is also known for metalware and dhaka (material for Nepali hat & shawl).

The great views of Madi valley from town, day trip hike to Ranighat Palace, excellent Mountain views from Srinagar Danda are the main attraction of Tansen. The town is built on steep. Before the unification of Nepal (1806 AD), Tansen was the capital of Palpa kingdom ruled by Sen Dynasty & also powerful administrative city of Western Region of United Nepal for many years. Most of the people in Tansen are Newars who mainly migrated in the 19th century when trade opportunities opened up here. The city is surrounded by Magars, Chhetries & Brahmans.

The main attractions of Palpa are

- Tansen Durbar (Palace) :

This former palace of the provincial governor was built in the Rana style and is now government office. It has an impressive but run-down eastern gate called Baggi Dhoka, or Mul Dhoka. Outside the gate is a public square called Sitalpati.

- Amar Narayan Temple :

This temple is a traditional three-tiered pagoda-style temple built in 1806. It has well carved doors and has some intricate woodwork. It has erotic figures on the roof struts. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful temples outside of Kathmandu Valley. The temple was built by Amar Singh Thapa, who annexed Tansen to become part of Nepal.

- Bhagawati Temple :

This temple, near the Tansen Durbar was originally built in 1815 to commemorate the victory over the British at Butwal. It was renovated in 1035 and 1974 after earthquakes. In the area there are small temples dedicated by Ganesh, Saraswati and Siva.

- Srinagar Danda :

Srinagar Danda is a 1600m high hill just north of Tansen, from where there are excellent views over the Kali Gandaki River of the Himalaya. You can see Kanjiroba in the west to Annapurna and to Langtang in the east.

- Ranighat Durbar (Palace) :

Ranighat Palace