Friends Overall rating 9 Overall Guide: Kathmandu is no doubt an amazing city to visit. In a certain sense, Kathmandu is a city of stark contrasts too – on one side you have the peace and serenity found in places like Boudha, Swoyambhu and Pashupati and But in this trip of mine to Kathmandu I came across this young company called Backstreet Academy and it was pretty amazing experience learning pottery from them. Apparently they have offices in several other cities across asia too! If there was every an ideal way to get a pulse of the city, this would probably be it.

10 BEST Places to Visit in Kathmandu

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Ultimate Guide to Kathmandu’s Cultural Highlights Kathmandu is more than just a launch pad for trekking. Its cultural highlights, alone, warrant a visit to this Himalayan country. All the main cultural highlights of the Kathmandu Valley are worth the visit, but often planning your visit in a slightly different way opens up a much more rewarding experience.

From avoiding the crowds to finding the local lunch spot overlooking the temple courtyard, here are a few ways to experience these places like a local. Boudha was on the main Tibet-Kathmandu trade route for many centuries, and there is a large population of Tibetans leaving in Nepal. Nowadays, the town around the stupa is a thriving center of Tibetan life and culture. Early morning and dusk are the most atmospheric times to visit, when the devout come to circumambulate the enormous stupa always clockwise , whispering prayers and lighting butter lamps.

Spend the night at a Tibetan Guesthouse If you can, we highly recommend spending at least one night at one of the local guesthouses around Boudha so you can get the most out of the experience, explore the Tibetan shops, and visit the monasteries. Hotel Shambaling is one great option, just a short walk from the stupa, built with Tibetan designs and with a great peaceful courtyard for breakfast. Tibetan food with a view There are numerous places around the Boudha to have a great Tibetan meal.

Many rooftop restaurants have amazing close-up views of the Stupa, while others are tucked away in the narrow alleys radiating out from the stupa grounds. Swayambhunath Stupa Swayambhunath perched high above the valley Views over Kathmandu from Swayambhu Buddhist shrines around the Stupa Swayambhunath Swayambhu for short is another fifth-century Buddhist stupa two kilometers west of central Kathmandu, perched high up on a hill.

When the weather is clear, the views of the city and the greater Kathmandu Valley from Swayambhu are well worth the energy it takes to climb the steep steps to get there.

A family

If you need a touch-up and forgot to pack your lipstick or powder before heading out the hotel, those are great spots to find a quick fix. Georgina Donn Eveandboy is a Thai-owned store that is always packed with customers, from school girls to professional working ladies. The reason is simple: Their drugstore options are phenomenal, and include lesser-known brands such as Elf Cosmetics, Makeup Revolution and Melanie blushes — and all at discounted prices.

Likewise, luxury make-up brands are also available and cheaper than regular retail prices.

Patan and Durbar City Square. One of the 3 royal cities of old Nepal, Patan is also one of the largest cities of present d across Bagmati river near Kathmandu; it’s a place which is the proud owner of once famous Durbar Square.

Koirala In the mid th century, Prithvi Narayan Shah , a Gorkha king, set out to put together what would become present-day Nepal. He embarked on his mission by securing the neutrality of the bordering mountain kingdoms. After several bloody battles and sieges, notably the Battle of Kirtipur , he managed to conquer the Kathmandu Valley in A detailed account of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s victory was written by Father Giuseppe, an eyewitness to the war.

A dispute with Tibet over the control of mountain passes and inner Tingri valleys of Tibet forced the Qing Emperor of China to start the Sino-Nepali War compelling the Nepali to retreat and pay heavy reparations to Peking. At first, the British underestimated the Nepali and were soundly defeated until committing more military resources than they had anticipated needing. They were greatly impressed by the valour[ citation needed ] and competence of their adversaries. Thus began the reputation of Gurkhas as fierce and ruthless soldiers.

19 best Places to Go

Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing The political, commercial and cultural hub of Nepal is the first stop for the majority of visitors to the country. Once a separate kingdom in itself, it contains three fabled cities – Kathmandu , Patan and Bhaktapur. The history of the Valley begins with the Buddhist saint Manjushree who slashed a passage through the surrounding hills to drain out the primordial waters and make it inhabitable.

Visit the Rato Machhendranath Temple, dating back to the 16th century; and the rest of Nepal has spared it from much of the development and cultural degradation that has occurred in other places. The village is located 10 kilometers south of Kathmandu city.

Added to this, natural beauty and artefacts created over centuries make the valley a living museum. Kathmandu takes its name from Kasthamandap, a wooden pagoda near Hanuman Dokha and this is the best place to start a leisurely walk through the old city. Take a taxi or rickshaw from your hotel, down New Road to the junction with Indrachowk. The old trade route to Tibet began from Kasthamandap and the city grew along it. Walk westward through Basantapur square. The old Royal Palace appears on your right dominated by the nine-storey Basantapur Tower decorated by some of the finest wood carving in the valley.

The square is now used by street-sellers but was earlier used as elephant stables. At the far end of the square you reach the richly decorated Kumari Bahal on your left. The tradition of the Kumari, or living goddess, is unique to Nepal; a symbol of the peaceful coexistence of Hinduism and Buddhism, and the merging of one into the other. The Kumari is said to be the living incarnation of the Hindu Goddess Durga, as invested in a young virgin Buddhist Newari girl chosen after a search conducted by five high priests.

After a series of tests, the new Kumari is installed in a secret ritual held at the Taleju Temple see p. She is revered and worshipped by the royalty as well as ordinary citizens, living in her 18th-century palace on the edge of Durbar Square. She makes rare public appearances during festivals. Her own 3-day festival of Kumari Jatra is held within the longer Indra Jatra, when her chariot is dragged by worshippers through the streets of Kathmandu.

Nepali women

A Vegan Guide to Nepal An abundance of vegan food and gorgeous scenery makes this Asian country a must-visit. Kathmandu and Pokhara offer fun city activities, and the gorgeous Kathmandu Valley is perfect for seclusion in nature and total relaxation. Luckily, vegan travelers will find that Nepal has plenty of animal-free fare, along with a number of dishes that can easily be modified. Vegetarian curries, soups, breads, and dumplings abound.

Kathmandu (Nepali: काठमाडौ) is the largest city and capital of Nepal and the namesake of the Kathmandu thought to be the fabled and inaccessible Shangri-La, Kathmandu is a fast growing spot catering to a wide range of holiday types and budgets.

The city is located in the eponymous Kathmandu Valley, which also houses the cities of Bhaktapur, Kirtipur, Madhyapur Thimi, and Lalitpur. Kathmandu has a population of around 1. The city is seen as the gateway to the Himalayas and has an incredible history behind it, being settled many centuries ago. Historians and archeologists exploring Kathmandu have found evidence of civilizations dating back several millennia, with various peoples migrating to the valley and inhabiting the area over time.

There are a lot of stories to be heard in Kathmandu and the city’s streets are lined with mixtures of old and new buildings as a testament to its rich history. With unique sights, smells, and other sensory experiences all around, Kathmandu is a highly popular touristic destination and one of the most visited capital cities in all of Asia. Especially over the last few decades, tourism has skyrocketed in the area, with hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to Kathmandu each and every year.

Many new hotels, restaurants, and stores have opened up to cope with the influx of tourists, and the city boasts a huge array of sights and attractions like its historic Old Town district, the ‘Garden of Dreams’ area, and various old temples and monuments. Elevation of Kathmandu Whenever we talk in detail about a town or city, elevation is an important factor to mention. Elevation is a geographical term relating to the height of an area in relation to sea level and can be important and influential in a variety of ways, like having an effect on the climate, for example.

The elevation of Kathmandu is particularly interesting as Nepal is known for being one of the highest countries on the planet. Statistically speaking, the nation of Nepal is second only to Bhutan in terms of elevation, with Nepal’s average elevation being 10, feet 3, m above sea level, while Bhutan’s mean elevation is just slightly higher at 10, feet 3, m.

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Previous Next 5 Awesome Things to See and Do in Kathmandu Kathmandu is where every hiker starts their journey into the Nepali mountains — whether it be Everest, Annapurna Circuit, or something in between. Kathmandu offers an overload of sights, sounds and tastes ranging from intricate temples adorned with colorful prayer flags, peaceful gardens, spicy dal bhat, and a sea of hiking stores.

The streets of Thamel are full of hiking gear shops; cafes down every alley serving traditional and Western cuisine; and shops selling a blend of handicrafts, tea, yak wool blankets and pashminas. Thamel is a good place to simply wander. You can walk there in about 30 minutes from Thamel but be warned that it does involve a few flights of steep stairs.

Make sure you take in the view of Kathmandu below from the top of the temple stairway.

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Squeezed between India and Tibet, it stretches from rich subtropical forest to soaring Himalayan peaks: Climbing the hillside of one valley alone you can be sweltering in the shade of a banana palm in the morning, and sheltering from a snowstorm in the afternoon. Its peoples belong to a host of distinctive ethnic groups, and speak a host of languages. They live in everything from dense, ancient cities erupting with pagoda-roofed Hindu temples to villages perched on dizzying sweeps of rice-farming terraces and dusty highland settlements clustered around tiny monasteries.

Religious practices range from Indian-style Hinduism to Tibetan Buddhism and from nature-worship to shamanism — the indigenous Newars, meanwhile, blend all these traditions with their own, intense tantric practices. The cultural richness owes something to the shaping force of the landscape itself, and something else to the fact that it was never colonized. This is a country with profound national or ethnic pride, an astounding flair for festivals and pageantry and a powerful attachment to traditional ways.

But it would be misleading to portray Nepal as a fabled Shangri-la. Long politically and economically backward, it has developed at uncomfortable speed in some areas while stagnating in others. Following a soul-scouring Maoist insurgency, which ended in , it has ended up as a federal republic — governed, for the time at least, by Maoist rebels turned politicians. Nepal seems always to be racing to catch up with history, and the sense of political excitement in the country is thrillingly palpable.

Planning your trip to Nepal Everything you need to plan where to go and what to do.