While you are in Kathmandu valley, you should take some time to freely roam and soak in all the wondrous sights and experience the hospitality. You are in Kathmandu for the first time and confused what are the things to do in Kathmandu? No worries. I have listed the top five places to visit.
Three durbar squares
To get you started on the sights, there are three Durbar squares in the valley, Basantapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. These squares are bastions of the ancient Malla art, architecture and culture, and are renowned UNESCO world heritage sites of Nepal. The temples, monuments, statues and other religious shrines in these areas carry the weight of history behind and carry quite a significance to this present day.
You can also see ancient manuscripts and impressive stone carvings all around these Durbar Squares. Though these durbar squares do seem quite similar from afar, the truth is quite different up close. All these areas are quite distinct. All three Durbar Squares have their own character and attractions.
The Basantapur Durbar Square is the area where Hindu and Buddhist beliefs are joined in harmony. Kumari Bahal is the home to the Kumari, living Goddess of Nepal. It lies at the heart of Basantapur Durbar Square.durbar square is surrounded with the ancient art and culture. the monuments around durbar square show the craftsmanship of newar community.lot of festival originated from Kathmandu valley has some history with Kathmandu durbar square.
Krishna Mandir at Patan Durbar Square is the first specimen of Shikhara style architecture in Nepal. It has 21 spires and is completely made from stone carvings. patan durbar square holds the ancient palace of Malla kings of
The fifty-five windows palace at Bhaktapur Durbar Square is astonishing to look at. The five Storeys Nyatapola Temple is one of the tallest pagodas in Nepal.
After the durbar squares, first-time visitors should turn their attention to a popular hill to the west of Kathmandu. This hill hosts Kathmandu’s most iconic monument, a gigantic stupa inhabited by monkeys. As you take the 365 steps up the hill to the renowned Swayambhunath stupa, you will hear the peaceful chant, “OM MANI PADME HUM”. The drooping, but all-seeing eye of Buddha with his long-eared wisdom looking in 4 directions surely has you under his divine gaze. Swayambhunath, also another UNESCO world heritage site, is a significant pilgrimage for both Hindus and Buddhists. Swayambhunath is a place for monks, priests, and wise monkeys.
The next on the list is Pashupatinath Temple, one of the biggest and most sacred Hindu temples in the entire world. The temple’s existence dates back to 400 B.C, making it one of the oldest structures in the entire country. Pashupatinath Temple covers a total area of 264 hectares of land and host more than 500 temples and monuments. If you plan to visit Pashupatinath, which we recommend, the evening aarti (prayer) is a wonderful way to feel the wonder, exuberance, and reverence towards Hinduism.
These 5 places should be on the top of your list while visiting Kathmandu. There are tons of other places to visit as well and lots of things to do in Kathmandu, but you have to start somewhere. We recommend you start your Kathmandu valley exploration with these 5 sites.
Boudhanath is the largest known as the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet and is the largest stupa in Nepal. It is situated in a place called Boudha in the eastern part of Kathmandu. The stupa was built in the 14th century and it is said that it was built right after the passing of Buddha. There are various interesting legends about the construction of the stupa. The Boudhanath stupa is decorated with pairs of eyes on the base of the tower on each wall representing awareness and the all-knowing nature of the Buddha. The stupa is built in in the shape of a mandala. There are four DhyaniBuddhas marking the cardinal point and a fifth one in the center in the white hemisphere of the Stupa. These five represent the five elements i.e. earth, water, fire, air, and ether. The Stupa is surrounded by streets and narrow alleys lined with colorful homes.
you can enjoy the sight of people and pilgrims passing by and praying from top of a rooftop restaurant sipping on a coffee.you can also go sightseeing around the streets of Boudhanath. try out the local dish in one of the local restaurants. you can also join a small session of meditation program happening around the stupa.
Narayanhiti Palace Museum
Narayanhiti Palace Museum was the former royal palace located in Kathmandu. In 1961, the current palace was built by King Mahendra. The name “Narayanhiti” was given to the palace because the temple of god Narayan was located opposite the palace and a waterspout was located in the east of the main entrance. The main gate of the palace is 24 feet wide and seven traditional stone conduits stand on both side of the main driveway. It also has images of the serpent gods the naga as carved on them. There is the image of Hanuman and kumara and an idol of ShahasrabhujaLokheshwar made with bronze and surrounded by two lions a little farther down the western drive. In front of the main stairs, there are two cannons which are facing south which date back to the time of King Surendra (1829-1881). The main stairs are 45 feet with 33 steps decorated with five pairs of stone sculptures.you will see different luxurious objects used by the royal family. you can also see the royal accessories pass down from generation to generation. there is also the area behind the main palace where most of the royal family was massacred.some remaining of the old palace is still there well preserved.