Kathmandu is one of the most dreamt about cities and also one of the oldest cities in the world. With more temples than homes and the narrow winding streets in the medieval centre Kathmandu offers something new to discover behind every corner.
Holiday in Kathmandu takes you to the bustling capital of Nepal and the country’s largest city. From the moment you step out of the plane your senses are on overload with the sounds, the smells and the delightful sights of the city. There is plenty to see in Kathmandu, take your time to not only explore the major sights but also wander through the backstreets and experience a Kathmandu that has remained largely unchanged since the Middle Ages.
There are seven major heritage sites in Kathmandu and the surrounding valley, that together make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kathmandu Valley: The Durbar Squares of Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu), Patan and Bhaktapur, the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhunath and Boudhanath and the Hindu temples of Pashupatinath and Changu Narayan.
Kathmandu has always been a melting pot for the different ethnic groups of Nepal, and therefore boasts an unbelievably rich cultural heritage. Here you will find a unique symbiosis between Buddhism, Hinduism and Tantrism, as alive today as it has been hundreds of years ago.
In the centre of the old town you will find Durbar Square. Once this square was home to Royalty and great coronations: It is a cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets dating back to the 12th and 18th centuries. The Temple of the Living Goddess, Hanuman Dhoka, the ancient royal residential quarter, and the Mahadeva and Parvati Temples are worth visiting with plenty of time so you can savour the grand architecture.
Pashupatinath in the northeast of Kathmandu is one of the most important Hindu temples of Lord Shiva in the world. It draws wandering Sadhus from all over India. With its astonishing architectural beauty it stands as a symbol of faith, religion, culture and tradition. Its existence dates back to 400 AD. Only a short walk away you can find Boudhanath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world. Around here you will experience vibrant and unfettered Tibetan culture from the large community of Tibetan exiles.
In the touristy location of Thamel you can find a great variety of shops, hotels and restaurants. It is a buzzing centre and at the weekends you will find many places that offer live music.
From Kathmandu you can book stunning mountain flights to have close views of Mt. Everest, the world’s highest peak at 8,848m, and many other peaks of the Himalayas.
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By Anil Blon