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Kathmandu Travel

The Capital City of Nepal

Kathmandu CityKathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is the largest city in the country. Nepal capital city is in shape of Khukuri knife and its glorious history dates back to two thousand years. Located in the bowl shaped Kathmandu Valley, the city is the cultural hub of the country and probably the most sought after tourist destination. The home town of Newaras is the meeting point of various ethnic groups.

Kathmandu city is the conjecture to the major routes within and outside the country. Most of the trekking expeditions and tours start from Kathmandu. The city itself is home to the historical monuments, cultural groups, architectural wonders and exotic tourist destinations. The famous durbar squares of Kathmandu are world famous and the Kathmandu valley is a Cultural World Heritage site listed by UNESCO in 1979.

Fast Facts
Official Name Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC)
Location Central Nepal
Importance Capital City of Nepal
Altitude 1,336 m
Area 16,241/km²
Population 25.3 million
Native Language Nepalese, Newari
Tourism Language English
Temperature Max: 44°C & Min: 7°C
Nearby Cities Pokhara, Lalitpur (Patan), Nagarkot, Bhaktpur, Chitwan, Dhulikhel

Entertainment - Kathmandu Casinos
The casinos of Kathmandu are famous worldwide. These action-packed, lively casinos of Kathmandu make the night life rocking. These casinos run 24X7 and offer ultimate fun games and entertainment. There are four licensed casinos in Kathmandu, all located in the premises of the city's top hotels, which offer your favorite games: poker, baccarat, roulette, pontoon, blackjack, as well as other card games and slot machines.

Tourist Attractions
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 this Square.

Swayambhunath Stupa
Also known as the monkey temple, the Buddhist temple of Swayambhunath is situated on the top of a hill, west to Kathmandu. The temple is considered to be one of the most popular, holiest and instantly recognizable symbols of Nepal. Large tribes of monkeys can be seen inside and around the temple. The golden spire of Swayambhunath stupa crowns a wooded hillock and offers a commanding view of Kathmandu city. This is one of the world's most glorious Buddhist Chaityas.

Boudhanath Stupa
The biggest stupa in Nepal is situated 7 km east to Kathmandu. Boudhanath Stupa looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design. There are more than 45 Buddhist monasteries in the area. The Bouddhanath stupa is also known as Khasti Chitya and is considered as one of the oldest stupas in the country.

Balaju Water Garden
The beautiful Balaju Water Garden is a famous tourist destination. It is situated below the Nagarjun Hill, about 5 km narthwest of akthmandu. The garden has an exotic bank with 22 stone waterspouts, carved in the shape of sea-dragons. The water garden also consists of religious shrines, fishponds and a replica of the statue of Budhanilkantha. The swimming pool inside the park attract a lot of tourists.

This is one of the masterpieces of stone sculptures of Lichchhavi period. This 5th century statue is in the middle of a small pond and seems to float in water. The Budhanilkantha 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 believed to be carved from the single block of black stone of a type not found in the valley. It is believed that ages before the two hardworking farmers (husband and wife) discovered the statue when they were ploughing their field.

Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple, with its astonishing architectural beauty, stands as a symbol of faith, religion, culture and tradition. Regarded as the most sacred temple of Hindu Lord Shiva in the world, Pashupatinath temple's existence dates back to 400 A.D. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga or phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come to pay homage to this temple, that is also known as the temple of living beings. The Pashupatinath Temple is the pride of Kathmandu.

Changu Narayan Temple
The oldest temple in Kathmandu valley, Changu Narayan was built in 4th century. The temple is decorated by some of the best samples of stone, wood, and metal craft in the valley. The temple possess a Vishnu image with ten heads and ten arms that is a fine example of stone carving from the 5th century. The temple stands as a representative of culture, religion, history and faith.

Kumari Ghar (Temple of Kumari)
The temple or the residence of Living Goddess, Kumari, is situated in the vicinity of Hanuman Dhoka Palace. The building has beautifully carved wooden balconies and window screens. The Kumari- the living Goddess acknowledges the greetings from her balcony window.

Narayanhity Durbar
It was the Royal Palace of the Late King, His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shahdev of Nepal. The Shah kings moved to this palace from their old palace in the late 18th century. The new edifice was inaugurated in 1970 on the occasion of the wedding of His Majesty king Birendra Bir Bikram Shahdev. The palace takes its name from the Narayanhiti, a famous historic waterspout situated at the southern corner of the Palace. The Palace compound is immense, surrounded by high walls and guarded by soldiers.

Singha Durbar
A grand imposing palace built on the neo-classical style. It was the private residence of Rana Prime Minister. Now it's the Secretariat of His Majesty's Government of Nepal.

Machchhendrananth Temple
The temple of Sweta Machchhendra Bahal between Indra Chowk and Asan. It is a Pagoda of considerable artistic beauty is also called as "Janmadyo" or "Machchhendra" deity.

The temple of Dakshinkali is situated about two kilometers south of Shekha Narayan. Dakshinkali is regarded as one of the most important Hindu Goddesses. Pilgrims visit this temple to offer their prayer and animal sacrifices to the goddess. Besides, this place has been developed as a popular picnic spot

Art and Culture
Kathmandu is the cultural focal point of Nepal. Being the meeting point of major ethic groups and foreign nationalities, the city has a diverse and rich culture. The unique intermingling of traditional ethnic groups is a characteristic feature of Kathmandu. The popular art museums in Kathmandu are:

National Museum
Two and half kilometers west of Kathmandu, the National Museum has splendid collection of weapons, artifacts from ancient, medieval and modern Nepal. Its archaeological, historical and other heritage displays are worth seeing.

Natural History Museum
Situated 3-kms west of Kathmandu City behind the famous Swayambhunath hillock, this museum has a unique collection of butterflies, fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, plants and a variety of fossils collected from within the country.

Festivals in Kathmandu
Although each day at Kathmandu Nepal is festive, joyous and ecstatic, there are certain days that are celebrated in high spirits throughout the capital. One doesn't have to be religious to enjoy these festivals as the people of Nepal, particularly Kathmandu are tolerant and open to other religions and stream of faith.

Kathmandu's cycle of festivals is rooted in history, mythology and religion. Most festivals honor and propitiate the Valley's multitude of gods, control malicious spirits and celebrate mythological victories over evil. Some mark seasonal changes, celebrating the coming rains or the completed harvest. Others honor kinship ties. Many are socially approved opportunities to "let off steam" and have fun. Above all, a festival is a social occasion, and an affirmation of the Valley's ancient and strong bonds of religion and culture.

Winter Group Monsoon Group
Maghe Shankranti Ghantakarna
Basant Panchami Naag Panchami (Serpent Festival)
Vimsen Jatra Janai Purne
Thousand Lights Ceremony Gai Jatra (Cow Festival)
Shiva Ratri Mata-Yaa
Lhosar (Tibetan New Year) Krishna Jayanti
Holi (Color Festival) Teej Batra
Vimsen's Penis Puja Indra Jatra & Kumari Jatra
Ghoda Jatra
Spring Group Harvest Group
Ram Nawami Bada Dashain
Chaitra Dashain Pachali Bhairav Yatra
Mother's Day Tihar
Voto Jatra Bala Charuadashi
Buddha Jayanti Yomarhi Punhi

Shopping in Kathmandu
Kathmandu is the best place to shop in Nepal. be it contemporary handicrafts, fashion clothing, great books, music or traditional souvenirs and curios. Lets have a look at some of the best buys of Kathmandu:

Traditional Souvenirs and Curios
Household brassware like khukuri knife; musical instruments like flutes; Tibetan-style curios; gem jewellery, glass beads, embroidered and kashmiri handicrafts like silk carpets are found in bulk at the small vendors and street make-shift shops of Kathmandu.

Contemporary Crafts
The Nepali artisans are famous for their unusual range of contemporary crafts like dhaka, beautiful greeting cards of handmade paper, Maithili-style paintings and toys, dolls in ethnic dress, ready-made clothes, woollens, leather goods, batiks, scented candles, and ingenious articles out of bamboo and pine needles.

Fashion Clothing
Thamel and Freak Street in Kathmandu have a lot of shops selling wool sweaters, jackets, embroidered clothings; scarfs and shawls made of pashmina and the famous characteristic topis caps of Nepal.

Apart from this, Thangka art work, music alums and books of Nepal also attract a lot of foreign tourists.

How to Reach
By Air
There are regular flights all major airports across the world to Tribhuwan International Airport, 5 km east of the center of Kathmandu. From the airport, taxis, cabs and buses are available to reach guest houses and hotels within the city.

By Road
Kathmandu has a good road network. There are several land routes that you may take from India to reach Kathmandu. From Kolkata you may travel to Raxaul and via Virganj reach Kathmandu. From Gorakhpur, there are several modes of land transport that take you across to Nepal and Kathmandu in turn.

Tourist Information
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has information centers at Tribhuvan International Airport, and at Basantapur, Kathmandu, Durbar Square.
Telephone: +(977)-(1)-220818
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