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When you visit Nepal, visit the following places in the Kathmandu Valley.
Swayambhu: The history of Kathmandu valley begins from the Swayambhu temple. This valley was a lake, but later when Bodhisattva Manjusri cut a gorge in a southern hill and drained the waters to worship a lotus that he admired during his travel to the region, it lead men to settle on the bed of the lake and named this land Kathmandu Valley. The word Swayambhu means "the self-existent" in English. Today this complex of stupas offers an opportunity to study the religious harmony in Nepal. Tibetan monks, Brahimn priests and Newar nuns are the major worshipers here. Most of the monasteries have huge prayer wheels, fine Buddhist paintings and special butter lamps all add an elegant touch to the Swayambhu. Photos of Swayambhu
Pashupati: When Lord Shiva came to Pashupati to escape from his boredom, he became famous as the lord of Animals (Pashupati) Today, millions of Hindu pilgrimage pour into this temple. Many Hindus from Indian sub contents, Nepal, Pakistan, Asia come to Pahsupati to pay their respects to the lord Shiva. From other parts of the world, many Hindus come to Pashupati to fulfill their dream of visiting the holiest Hindu pilgrimage in the world. You can see the pagoda house which has gold-plated roof, silver doors and find woodcarvings. The linga (phallic symbol) of Lord Shiva, his images, statues, and Bagmati river that flows beside it add to the holiness of Pashupati which lies just 1.5km from the international airport. The region is also surrounded by thick green jungle where monkeys and birds live and play and are often seen in large groups playing on the pavements of the temples in Pashupati. Sadhus who follow the life style of Shiva are found in Pashupati region. They paint their bodies with ashes, wear loin-cloths, Tika, and Rudraksha Malas.
Changu Narayan: The temple, situated at Chingu village 12 km to the eat of the city, is fully dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu (the god of creation). The temple is believed to be the most ancient temple in the Kathmandu valley. The temple covers over sixteen hundred years of Nepalese art history presenting some of the best samples of stone, wood and metal craft in Nepal. There is also everyone's favorite statue of Vishnu sitting astride his steed. For a view of the ancient arts this is a must see place.
Bouddhanath Stupa: The 36 meter tall, among the largest stupas in South Asia, is a home to Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. It is situated on the ancient trade route to Tibet (6km to the east of the city). For shopping, the area is a bazaar of Tibetan jewelry, hand made carpets, masks, kukuri knives (the knives used by Gorkhas) and Tibetan paintings known as thangkas. There are many stupas in the nearby surroundings all of which deserve a through observations by visitors. View Pictures of Bouddhanath
Kathmandu Durbar Square: This is a durbar of history and arts. One can see artistic monuments, find the house of the living goddess, learn about the Kal Bhairam temple, red monkey god, and hundreds of erotic wood carvings. The kastamandap rest house located within the durbar square is said to have been built from a single tree, it is because of this house, Kathmandu valley got its name. There is also a museum located at the Durbar Square which presents a complete history of Nepal's King and Rulers.
Half-Day Itineraries for Kathmandu Valley:
a quick sheet of Kathmandu Valley (Includes Kathmandu, Lalitpur (Patan), and Bhaktapur Cities)
a video with a few tips
In short Kathmandu = Temples + Crowds, watch the video to learn more.
Pictures of Kathmandu - web links:
- Molon.De:Galleries:Nepal:Kathmandu - photo gallery of Kathmandu area
- Yahoo-Gallery-Kathmandu - with pictures of Kathmandu
- Google-ImageSearch-Kathmandu - browse picture files relevant to Kathmandu
- WorldHeritagesite.org/gal/pics121.html - Heritage Sites in Kathmandu
- EtravelPhotos.Com/Nepal - pictures of Kathmandu and trekking regions
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