Kathmandu

Blessed with the densest concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Kathmandu Valley is a treasure trove of religious, cultural, and architectural heritage.  It’s pagoda roofed temples, squares choking with sculptures, sites that are holy to both Hindus and Buddhists, and countless festivals evoke Rudyard Kipling’s famous line, ‘The strangest dreams of Kew are the facts of Kathmandu.’ Walk into the Kumari Temple in Kathmandu, and the dream of seeing a living goddess comes true.

    1. Boudhanath Stupa
      Boudhanath Stupa (or Bodnath Stupa) is the largest stupa in Nepal and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. It is the center of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu and rich in Buddhist symbolism. The stupa is located in the town of Boudha, on the eastern outskirts of Kathmandu.
       
    2. Swayambhunath Temple
      Perched atop a hill on the western edge of the Kathmandu Valley, the ancient Swayambhunath Stupa (known to tourists as the Monkey Temple) is Kathmandu's most important Buddhist shrine. The sleepy, all-seeing Buddha eyes that stare out from the top have become the quintessential symbol of Nepal.
       
    3. Changu Narayan
      The ancient temple of Changu Narayan is located on a high hilltop that is also known as Changu or Dolagiri. The temple is surrounded by forest with champak tree and a small village, known as Changu Village. The temple is located in Changunarayan VDC of Bhaktapur District, Nepal. This hill is about 8 miles east of Kathmandu and a few miles north of Bhaktapur. This shrine is dedicated to Lord Visnu and held in especial reverence by the Hindu people. This temple is considered as the oldest temple in Nepal.
       
    4. Garden of Dreams
      The Garden of Dreams, a neo classical historical garden, is situated in the midst of Kathmandu city, Nepal. The Garden's design has much in common with formal European gardens: paved perimeter paths, punctuated by pavilions, trellises, and various planting areas, surrounded by a sunken flower garden with a large pond at its center. It is an architectural landscape that encourages the visitor to stroll around and discover the Garden's treasures from many different vantage points.
       
    5. Pashupatinath Temple
      Pashupatinath, or Pashupati, is a Hindu temple on the banks of the Bagmati River in Deopatan, a village 3 km northwest of Kathmandu. It is dedicated to a manifestation of Shiva called Pashupati (Lord of Animals). It attracts thousands of pilgrims each year and has become well known far beyond the Kathmandu Valley. The temple is barred to non-Hindus, but a good view of the temple can be had from the opposite bank of the river.
       
    6. Budhanilkantha Mandir
      The Budhanilkantha statue of the Hindu god Vishnu, located approximately 10 kilometers from the center of Kathmandu at the base of the Shivapuri Hill, is the largest and most beautiful stone carving in all of Nepal. It is also the most enigmatic. Carved from a single block of black basalt stone of unknown origin, the Budhanilkantha statue is 5 meters in length and it lies in a reclining position inside a recessed tank of water (representing the cosmic sea) that is 13 meters in length. 
       
    7. Kathmandu Durbar Square
      Kathmandu Durbar Square or Hanumandhoka Durbar Square is the plaza in front of the old royal palace of the Kathmandu Kingdom. It is one of three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

      The Durbar Square is surrounded with spectacular architecture and vividly showcases the skills of the Newar artists and craftsmen over several centuries. The royal palace was originally at Dattaraya square and was later moved to the Durbar square location.
       
    8. Thamel
      Thamel is located in Kathmandu. It is a heaven for tourists visiting the city. It contains numerous hotels, restaurants, and shops that cater specifically to western tourists. It is located in the northern region of Kathmandu past the government district on Tridevi Marg. Although some consider it to be overcrowded, it has been used by westerners since the 1970's when hippies in the region discovered it. Thamel is an easy walk from anywhere in central Kathmandu though the roads can be quite busy during the day, and traffic can be quite heavy.
       
    9. Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park
      Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park is the ninth national park in Nepal and was established in 2002. It is located in the country's mid-hills on the northern fringe of the Kathmandu Valley and named after Shivapuri Peak of 2,732 m (8,963 ft) altitude. It covers an area of 159 km (61 sq mi) in the districts of Kathmandu, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchowk, adjoining 23 Village Development Committees. In the west, the protected area extends to the Dhading District.
       
    10. Dakshinkali Temple
      Dakshinkali Temple , located 22 kilometers (14 mi) outside Kathmandu and about 1 kilometer (0.6 mi) outside the village of Pharping, is one of the main temples of Nepal dedicated to the goddess Kali. Animal sacrifices, particularly of cockerels and uncastrated male goats, are the main way that the goddess is worshipped, and this is especially seen during the Dashain festival.
       
    11. Kasthamandap
      Kasthamandap is a three-storied temple situated at Maru, Kathmandu. It is one of the largest and most noted pagodas of Nepal. The pagoda enshrines a statue of Gorakhnath. This temple is built in pagoda style design, built in the early sixteenth century by King Laxmi Narsingha Malla. The whole temple is built from just wood of a single tree, and covered with the shrine. The name of capital city is named after this temple. This temple is one of the major tourist attractions too. Everyone is allowed to visit inside the temple, but people are not allowed to take photographs inside the temple. The temple is open after mid day until midnight. The unique feature of Kasthamandap has made it the most noted pagoda of Nepal.
       
    12. Babar Mahal Revisited
      Originally built in 1919, this unique complex of old Rana palace outbuildings has been redeveloped to house a warren of chic clothes shops, designer galleries and handicraft shops, as well as a couple of top-end restaurants and bars. The outlet of famous ‘Kobold’ watch which is made in Nepal is also located inside this palace. It’s aimed squarely at expats and wealthy locals so prices are as high as the quality. It’s southeast of the city near the Singh Durbar government offices.
       
    13. Narayanhiti Palace Museum
      The Narayanhiti Palace Museum or Narayanhiti Durbar (formerly Narayanhiti Royal Palace), is a palace in Kathmandu, Nepal which long served as a primary residence for the country's monarchs. The palace compound is located in the north-central part of Kathmandu, at the head of Durbar marg. It is designed to be a contemporary pagoda with sprawling, park-like grounds covering an area of (30 hectares) all fully enclosed with walls and guarded gates. The royal palace was turned into a public museum immediately after the country was declared a republic. The crown jewels are considered to be among the most valuable objects in Nepal.
       
    14. Dharahara
      Dharahara, also called Bhimsen Tower, is a nine story (61.88m) tall tower at the center of Sundhara, Kathmandu. It is situated in the historical city of Kathmandu, and is a part of Architecture of Kathmandu recognized by UNESCO. It was built in 1832 by the Prime Minister of the time, Bhimsen Thapa of Nepal. Bhimsen Thapa built the tower under the orders of Queen Lalit Tripura Sundari.

      The tower has a spiral staircase containing 213 steps. The 8th floor holds a circular balcony for observers that provide a panoramic view of the whole Kathmandu valley. The tower has a 5.2m bronze mast on the roof. The tower has been open for the general public since 2005 for a small fee.
       
    15. Taleju Temple
      The square’s most magnificent temple stands at its northeastern extremity but is not open to the public. Even for Hindus, admission is restricted; they can only visit it briefly during the annual Dashain festival. The temple was built in 1564 by Mahendra Malla. Taleju Bhawani was originally a goddess from the south of India, but she became the titular deity, or royal goddess, of the Malla kings in the 14th century, after which Taleju temples were erected in her honour in Patan and Bhaktapur, as well as in Kathmandu.

      The temple stands on a 12-stage plinth and reaches more than 35m high, dominating the Durbar Sq area. The eighth stage of the plinth forms a wall around the temple, in front of which are 12 miniature temples. Four more miniature temples stand inside the wall, which has four beautifully carved wide gates. If entry to the temple were permitted it could be reached from within the Hanuman Dhoka or from the Singh Dhoka (Lion Gate) facing Durbar Sq.