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sight seeing

The Kathmandu (Capital City): Situated at an altitude of 4500ft and founded in the 8th Century A.D. the valley of Kathmandu is composed of three royal Cities, Kathmandu, and Patan & Bhadgaon. The valley surrounded by tiers or green hills topped off by snow capped peaks covers an area of 218 sq. miles. Kathmandu has always been a renowned center for Buddhism and its art where you will find the stupa of Swayambhunath, Bouddhanath and hundreds of temples depicting Buddhist and Hindu theology-complex blending of Hinduism & Buddhism where by legend and reality live side by side.

Durbar Square: It is the historic seat of royalty. The Durbar Square, with its old temples and places, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of the people. It is here that Kings of Nepal are crowned and their coronations solemnized. Interesting things to see here are; Taleju Temple built by King Mahendra Malla in 1549 A.D., Kal Bhairav, the God of destruction, Nautalle Durbar, Coronation Nasal Chowk, the Gaddi Baithak, the statue of King Pratap Malla, the Big Bell, Big Drum and the Jagannath Temple. On the right-hand corner, large wooden lattice screen hides an enormous gilded face of SwetBhairav. The screen is removed only during the Indra Jatra festival. There are also Numismatic and Tribhuvan Musum inside the Hanumandhoka Palace building. Photography is prohibited inside the museums. Both the museums remain closed on Tuesday and government holidays. This is the one of the UNESCO cultural heritage sites of Nepal.

Temple of Kumari: The temple or the residence of Living goddess, Kumari, is situated in the vicinity of Hanumandhoka Palace. The building has profusely carved wooden balconies and window screens. The kumari -the living Goddess, acknowledges the greetings from her balcony window. Photography is prohibited.

Swayambhunath: The history of the Valley, according to the legends, begins with Swayambhunath, or "the self existent". This is one of the world's most glorious Buddhist Stupa. It is around 2000 years old. The Stupa, which forms the main structure, is made of brick and clay supporting the lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt. Painted on the four-sides of the spire base are the eyes of Lord Buddha. It is three kilometers west of Kathmandu City, and is situated on a hillock about 77m above the level of the Valley. This hill is a mosaic of small chaityas and pagodas. Swayambhunath is, perhaps, the best place to observe the religious harmony of Buddhist and Hindu, in Nepal. It provides an excellent view of the Kathmandu Valley. This is the one of the UNESCO cultural heritage sites of Nepal.

Bouddhanath: The Stupa of Boudhanath lies eight kilometers east of Kathmandu. This colossal and ancient Stupa, one of the biggest in the world, features all the eyes of Lord Buddha. It has become the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism. Lichchhavi king Kana Dev built it in the fifth century AD. It is built on an octagonal base, inset in the design of Mandala with prayer wheels. This is the one of the UNESCO cultural heritage sites of Nepal.

Pashupatinath Temple: About five kms from Kathmandu the famous Pasupatinath Temple renowned for its superb architecture, its two-tiered golden roof and silver doors. Thousands of devotees converge here on an annual pilgrimage on the occasion of Maha Shivratri, the night of Lord Shiva falls in the month February. Entrance into the temple-precincts is permitted only for the Hindus but other can clearly see the temple and rituals beings performed inside from the eastern bank of the Bagmati river. The temple was listed in the UNESCO world Heritage Monument list in 1797.

Budhanilkantha: About eight Kilometers north of Kathmandu, at the base of shivapuri hill is a remarkable colossal statue of Lord Vishnu, reclining of the bed of snake. This is one of the masterpieces of stone sculptures of Lichchhavi period. This fifth century statue is in the middle of a small pond and seems to float in water.

The City of Patan: This ancient city of Patan is situated on the southern bank of the river Bagmati and is about five kilometers Southeast of Kathmandu. Lalitpur, "The City of Beauty" is another name for Patan. The city is full of Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments exhibiting skillful carvings. Noted for its craftsmen and metal workers, Patan is also known as the city of architecture and craftsmanship.

Durbar Square: This whole square is a cluster of fine pagoda temples and stone statues, it is at the same time the business hub of the city. At every step one comes across a piece of art or an image of a deity, testifying to the consummate skill of Patan's anonymous artists. The ancient palace of the Malla kings and the stone baths associated with various legends and episodes of history are especially interesting to visitors. The stone temple of Lord Krishna and the Royal Bath (Tushahity) with its intricate stone and bronze carvings are two other masterpieces in the same vicinity. This is the one of the UNESCO cultural heritage sites of Nepal.

Patan Industrial Estate: Patan Industrial Estate is situated at Lagankhel in Lalitpur (Patan) near Sat Dobato. This industrial Estate is well known for Nepali handicrafts such as wood carvings, metal crafts, carpets and thangka paintings. For the convenience of the tourists there is a shopping arcade where all the handicraft products of the Estate are exhibited in the shopping arcade.

The City of Bhaktapur (Bhadgaon): Bhaktpur means "the city of devotees". Situated about 14 Km east Kathmandu was founded in 9th Century by King Anand Dev. About 4000 feet above the sea level this city renowned for its pottery and weaving industry.

Durbar Square: The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces such as lion gate, the golden gate, the statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, Dattatraya Temple etc. A magnificent statue of King Bhupatindra Malla in the act of worship is placed on a column facing the palace. It was listed in the UNESCO world Heritage Monument List in 1979.

Palace of 55 Windows: Being built by King Yaksha Mall in 1427 A.D. and remodeled by King Bhupatindra Malla in 17th Century, the balcony and the windows are intricately carved, is a masterpiece of wood carving.

Nyatapola Temple: This five storied Pagoda Style temple was built by King Bhupatindra Malla in 1708 A.D. well known for its massive structure and subtle workmanship. It is the tallest pagoda structure in the Kathmandu valley.

Kirtipur: It is a small town, eight Kilometers southwest of Kathmandu on the top of a hill. Tribhuvan University is located at the foot of the hill. This historic town has many things to offer like old shrines and temples, old houses. Some of the folks are typically dressed in traditional costumes and can be spotted working on looms.

Chobhar: Situated 9 Kilometers South-west of Kathmandu, this place is famous for its gorge. All the water of the valley drains through it. There is a small but picturesque temple of Adinath on the top of a hill. From this top one can have a panoramic view of snow capped mountain peaks.

Dakshinkal: The temple of Dakshinkali is situated about two km south of Shekha Narayan. Dakshinkali is one of the very important places of pilgrimage in relation to Hindu goddess, which dates back to time immemorial. Every Tuesday and Saturday, pilgrims visit this temple to offer their prayers and animal sacrifices performed.

Changu Narayan: Narayan, or Vishnu, is the preserver of creation to the Hindus. The temple of Changu Narayan is said to be the most ancient temple in the Kathmandu Valley. Although it was rebuilt in 1702, its origin goes back to the 4th Century. Located on the top of a spur rising in the eastern part of the valley, it is 22 kilometers from Kathmandu. It was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument List in 1979.

Nagarkot: Nagarkot is a popular tourist resort of Nepal, famous for sunrise and sunset. It is situated 32 km east of Kathmandu at an altitude of 2,175 m above the see-level. The panorama of the major peals of eastern Nepal Himalayas including Sagarmatha, (Mt. Everest), can be seen from here. Himalayan peaks like Manaslu(8,163m) Ganesh Himal (7,111m) Lang tang (7,246m) Choba Bhamre (6,016m) Gaurishankar (7,134m) and Numbur (6,957m) are also seen on a clear day. A motor able road links Nagarkot with Bhaktapur.

Dhulikhel: Dhulikhel is a scenic and ancient Newari town situated 30 kilometers east of Kathmandu on the Arniko Rajmarg (Kathmandu Kodari Highway) and has a panoramic view of the Himalayan range. From the main town, a short visit to Namobuddha, with the stupa and Buddhist Monastery, is highly recommended. Panauti, a village noted for its numerous temples with magnificent woodcarvings, is a short distance from Dhulikhel.

Namo Buddha: It is situated on a hill above Panauti. It requires an easy drive or good walk to get there. There is an amazing story concerned with the Buddha which is commemorated by an ancient stone slab and a Stupa with the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. According to the legend, one of the earlier Buddha offered his own flesh to a hungry tiger unable to feed her hungry cubs. It is also 3 hrs. Trekking from Dhulikhel through a number of small villages.

Pokhara: The Pokhara Valley is one of the most picturesque spots of Nepal. The beauty of the Valley is enhanced by its lovely lakes Phewa, Begnas, and Rupa. Which have their source in the glacial region of the Annapurna Range of the Himalayas? Pokhara is situated 200 km west of Kathmandu located at an altitude of 900 meters from the see-level for the mountain views Pokhara offers the magnificent views of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machchha-puchhre, five peaks of Annapurna and others. Pokhara is one of the few places in the world to provide dramatic views in a subtropical setting. One can start from here trekking to different routes depending upon days available, A must for visitors.

Chitwan: The main attraction of Chitwan is Royal Chitwan National Park which is situated 120 km southwest of Kathmandu. This is one of Nepal's first and largest forest region with range of wildlife the rage great one horned rhinoceros, several species of deer, sloth bear, leopard, wild boar, fresh water dolphin, crocodile, more than 400 species of birds, and the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger. Visitors to Chitwan may view game on elephant back excursions, nature walks, canoe trips and Jungle treks. Royal Chitwan National Park is known to be Asia's best managed National Park. This trip could be more interesting if combined with white water Rafting.

Lumbini: Lumbini the birthplace of Lord Buddha is the pilgrimage destination of the world's millions of people faithful to the schools of Buddhism. UNESCO lists this nativity site, identified by Indian Emperor Atoka's commemorative pillar as a world Heritage Site. The main attraction is the Sacred Garden spread over 8sq km and possessing all the treasure of the historic area. The Mayadevi temple is the main attraction for pilgrims. Lumbini was so important that the world community, particularly the United Nations and the Government of Nepal, has launched a master plan for the maintenance and preservation of Lumbini.

Gorkha: Gorkha is the birthplace of King Prithvi Narayan Shah the Great, the founder of modern Nepal. Situated on a hill overlooking the snowy peaks of the Himalaya is a beautiful old palace known as Gorkha Durbar. There are two attractive Temples of Gorkhanth and Kali inside the palace precinct. Gorkha can be reached in about 6 hours by road from Kathmandu and four hours from Pokhara. A side trip Manakamana temple on the way to Gorkha is very enjoyable and interesting.

Tansen: Situated at an altitude of 1,343m, Tansen is the most popular summer resort in the western Nepal on account of its position and climate. It has the most extensive views of the country's chief attraction, the Himalaya from Dhaulagiri in the west to Gaurishanker in the northeast. It takes just seven hours by bus from Pokhara to reach Tansen. The town's mostly Newar and Magar inhabitants have long been known as staunch warriors. The kings of Tansen wielded great power over western Nepal in the fifteenth century.

Muktinath / Jomsom: The famous temple of Muktinath lies in the district of Mustang and is situated 18 km north east of Jomsom at an altitude of about 3,749 meters. The temple is situated on a high mountain range and is visited during fair weather. During the festival of Janai Purnima, Hindu devotees gather here to pay homage to lord Muktinath. It is believed that all miseries are relived once you visit this temple. Another famous temple of Jwala Mai, the goddess of flame, is situated about hundred meters south of Muktinath. There are two ways to get to Muktinath from Kathmandu. One should either take a direct flight from Kathmandu via Pokhara to Jomsom or hike for couple of hours via Kagbeni or trek all the way from Pokhara, which takes about 7/8 days. There is also an air service from Pokhara to Jomsom

Mustang: Jomsom is the district headquarters for the Mustang region of Nepal. Too many people, however, Mustang implies the area of Nepal that extends like the thumb into Tibet.

Bandipur: Located on a 1,000m ridge in Tanahu district some 140 km from Kathmandu, Bandipur's hallmark is its beautiful scenery. Bindabasini temple, Bandipur's guardian deity has the rich wooden carvings and detailed brass works that adorn the temple are replicas of those found in many old pagoda structure of the Kathmandu valley.

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