The Kathmandu Valley is surrounded by tier upon tier of green mountain walls above which tower mighty snow capped peaks. It consists of three main cities of great historic and cultural interest: Kathmandu, Lalitpur (Patan) and Bhaktapur (Bhadgaon): the Kathmandu Valley covers an area of 218 square miles. It is situated at 1,336 meter above sea level.
From the air, the oval shaped Kathmandu Valley looks like a large chess board with sacred Bagmati river winding its way to the south. Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Is said to be named after Kasthamandap, an imposing pagodas near Hanuman dhoka palace. The city is said to be built in its present form by Gunakama Dev in 724 A.D.
HANUMAN DHAOKA (Durbar Square)
This large square is the historic seat of the Nepalese Royalty. The square, with its old temples and palaces, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of the people. It is here where Kings of Nepal were crowned. Interesting place to visit in the square includes:]
Taleju Temple built by King Mahendra Malla in 1,549 A.D. Gigantic figure of Kal Bhairav, the God of Destruction. Basantpur Durbar or Nautalle Durbar, built by King Prithivi Narayan Shah. Coronation Platform (Nasal Chok ). Hall of Public audience (Gaddi Baithak) Statue of King Pratp Malla-Big Bell-big Drums and Jaganath Temple.
TEMPLE OF KUMARI (The Living Goddess)
The temple and the residence of the Living Goddess; Kumari, is located in the vicinity of the Hanuman Dhoka Palace: The building has many carved wooden balconies and window screens. It was built by Jaya Prakash Malla, the last Malla King of Kathmandu. The Kumari Godess is also known as the virgin Goddess. She is required to be from the Newari Sakya caste and a virgin with no body marks or injuries. When she achieves puberty she is replaced by another Kumari.
Situated 5 k.m. east of Kathmandu on the banks of the sacred Bagmati river, the temple of lord Shiva, it has two tiered golden roof and silver doors. It is fampus for its superb architecture. It is a center of annual pilgrimage on the day of Maha Shivaratri.
About 8 k.m. north of Kathmandu, at the base of Shivapuri hill. The beautiful idol of Sleeping Vishnu on the bed of Serpents in the mid of the pond, The history dates back more than 7th century old.
This is one of the world’s most glories Buddhist stupa. It is said to be 2000 years old and visitors often called it the “Monkey Temple”. The stupa, which forms the main structure, is made of solid hemisphere of bricks and clay supporting a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt. Painted on the four sides of the spire are the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. It 3 k.m. west of Kathmandu city, and is situated on a hillock about 7 meters above the level of the Valley. The hill is a mosaic of small Stupas and pagodas temples. One can have great view of Kathmandu city right from here with the snow capped mountains in the distance on a clear day.
The temple of Dakshikali is situated about 2 k.m. south of Shekha Narayan which is about 10 k.m. from Kthmandu city. This place holds an important pilgrimage, drawing over 400,000 pilgrims a year. Pilgrims visit this temple to offer prayers and animal sacrifices to the Goddess Kali.
The stupa of Boudhanath lies 8 k.m. east of Kathmandu. On this colossal and ancient stupa; one of the biggest in the world, are the all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. It is said to have been built by Lichchhavi King Mana Dev in the 5th A.D. It is built on an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels.