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Sightseeing Tour

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Sightseeing Tour

Sightseeing Tour

Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley  

The Kathmandu Valley today incorporates three major settlements, each have their own distinctive character with outstanding temples, works of art and architecture and a varied calendar of feasts and festivals, all three have their roots in being capital cities of the valley's three principalities 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, which offer their own reasons for being there.  
 
Kathmandu
The Capital and home to Nepal's only International Airport is a lively and colourful place, although like so many capital cities in the developing world it has begun to show signs of congestion over the past few years, this hardly detracts from its mystery and celebration of life. Ancient temples in a medieval atmosphere sit, somewhat strangely, in harmony with the modern Kathmandu. From the busy tourist bazaar area in Thamel with its restaurants, nightclubs, curio shops and Internet cafes to the holy cremation site at Pashaputinath, Kathmandu, like the rest of Nepal, is diversity itself.
 
Patan
Patan (The City of Beauty) stands on the southern bank of the holy river Bagamti (a tributary of the Ganges) five kilometres south-east of Kathmandu. Nowadays, it has virtually become part of sub metropolitan Kathmandu. The pace of life here is more relaxed than its bigger brother. The city is renowned for its wealth of Buddhist and Hindu temples as well as having an abundance of fine bronze gateways and wonderful carvings. Patan is also known for its expert craftsmen and metal workers.
 
Bhaktapur
Bhaktapur is situated 14 km east of Kathmandu; it is the least developed large settlement in the region. Bhaktapur, (the City of Devotees), is the most "laid back" of the three valley towns. Its narrow brick paved streets remain as intact as they were centuries ago and harbouring, it seems, hidden shrines and statues around every corner. Many of Bhaktapur's practices have changed little over time. It is quite easy to spend a whole day here relaxing and taking in the atmosphere of this ancient Newar town famous for its woodcarvings, pottery and cloth weaving.
 
Some major sights of interest within the valley include.

Kathmandu History

The Kathmandu valley's visible history is inextricably entangled with the Malla kings. It was during their reign, particularly in the 1600s and 1700s, that many of the valley's finest temples and palaces were built. Competition between the cities was intense and an architectural innovation in one place would inevitably be copied throughout the valley. The unification of Nepal in 1768 by Gorkha's King Prithvi Narayan Shah signalled the end of the ...

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Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur means "the city of devotees" in the Sanskrit language. It is also known as Bhadgaon and was founded in 889 AD by King Anand Dev. Today it covers an area of four square miles and is flanked by the Khasa Khusung and Hanumante Rivers. The palace complex in the middle of the city portrays the prosperity of the Malla years and the details in which the craftspeople then worked. The Palace of Fifty-five Windows stands in the square and it was ...

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Patan

Bhaktapur means "the city of devotees" in the Sanskrit language. It is also known as Bhadgaon and was founded in 889 AD by King Anand Dev. Today it covers an area of four square miles and is flanked by the Khasa Khusung and Hanumante Rivers. The palace complex in the middle of the city portrays the prosperity of the Malla years and the details in which the craftspeople then worked. The Palace of Fifty-five Windows stands in the square and it was ...

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Pashupatinath

Pashupatinath is Nepal's holiest Hindu Pilgrimage site (followed by the remote Muktinath in the Himalaya). Like Varanasi in India - although on a much smaller scale - it is a time-warp of temples, cremation ghats, ritual bathers and bearded, half-naked sadhus (religious mendicants). Dedicated to Lord Shiva (one of the Hindu trinity), the shrines and temples of Pashupatinath straddle the now-polluted Bagmati river which, like the Ganges, is consid ...

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Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple)

The history of the Valley, according to the legends, begins with Swayambhu, or "the self-existent". In times uncharted by history, Bodhisattva Manjusri came across a beautiful lake during his travels. He saw a lotus that emitted brilliant light at the lake's center, so he cut a gorge in a southern hill and drained the waters to worship the lotus. Men settled on the bed of the lake and called it the Kathmandu Valley. From then on, the hilltop of t ...

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Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa is among the largest stupas in South Asia, and it has become the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. The white mound looms thirty-six meters overhead. The stupa is located on the ancient trade route to Tibet and Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many of them decided to live around Bouddhanath. They established many gompas, and the "Litt ...

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Budanilkantha

Situated below Shivapuri hill at the northern end of the valley, Buddhanilkantha temple is 9 km from Kathmandu city. The temple consists of a pond in which lies a great stone figure of the Hindu god Vishnu reclining on the coils of a cosmic serpent. The huge statue of sleeping Vishnu is carved from the single block of black stone of a type not found in the valley. It is believed that ages before two hardworking farmers (husband and wife) discover ...

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Hanuman Dhoka (Durbar Square)

The Square is the complex of palaces, courtyards and temples that are built between the 12th and the 18th centuries by the ancient Malla Kings of Nepal. It is the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. Taleju Temple, Kal Bhairab (God of Destruction), Nautalle Durbar, Coronation Nasal Chowk, the Gaddi Baithak, the statue of King Pratap Malla, the Big Bell, Big Drum and the Jagnnath Temple are some of the interesting things to see in ...

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Kasthamandap

King Laxmi Narsingha Malla built this temple in the sixteenth century. It is said to be constructed from the wood of single tree. It is located near the temple of Kumari. Indeed the city of Kathmandu derives its name from this temple. Behind Kasthamandap, there is a small but a very important temple of Ashok Vinayak, also known as Kathmandu Ganesh or Maru Ganesh.

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Changu Narayan Temple

It lies on a ridge over looking the Valley, about twelve-kilometer to the east of the city. It is dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu. The scared complex is a World Heritage Site. It has one of the finest and oldest specimens of pagoda architecture that is embellished with exquisite wood and stone carvings.

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