Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour Overview
Upper Himalayan Treks and Adventures created their Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour to allow visitors the opportunity to explore the temples, stupas, and shrines in the Kathmandu valley. These areas are world heritage sites, with each offering a unique glimpse into Nepal’s past, and its culture. The world heritage sites include: Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Boudhanath Stupa, Changu Narayan Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Patan Durbar Square, and finally Swayambhunath Stupa.
Unfortunately, all the Kathmandu world heritage sites can’t all be seen in 1 day; there are too many sights too far apart. Fortunately, you have this guide to help you choose which places to visit. In this blog post I provide a description of each of the world heritage sites, a few photographs and links to detailed articles further explaining the sites. I hope you enjoy!
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur is an amazing old-world town with a long history and rich culture. Its most famous temple is the Nyatapola Temple, which has 5 stories. It has a pottery area, where people can see craftsmen create earthenwear. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is known as the way back to culture. You can find out more about it here.
The history of Boudhanath Stupa is a shrouded mystery and covered in folk tales and lore. You can receive 3 different backgrounds from 3 different people and they will all have some aspects of truth. Without giving away too much detail, one history involves a human sacrifice, a chicken, and water. Another involves an old woman and the king of Nepal. Hint: the old woman isn’t his grandmother! You can read about these interesting stories here.
Changu Narayan Temple
Full disclosure: I’ve never been here, but I hear its nice! From what I understand its an old Hindu temple that is beautifully carved and constructed. Most tours do not go here because it is very far away from the other heritage sites in Kathmandu. If you do visit, let me know how it went and I will rewrite this blog post with your description. Really, you can write whatever you want, and I’ll post it here! “tempting offer” you say. You can read more about it here before you make up your mind.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square has a similar history as Patan Durbar Square. It was ruled by both the Mallas (from noth east Indians) and the Shahs (from Gorkha). It has a beautiful pallace and many supporting temples. The main attraction of Kathmandu Durbar Square is the Kumari (living goddess), who you can see, if she is there. You can read more about it here.
Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square is an amazing old-world town with a long history and rich culture. Its most famous temple is the Shiva Temple, which was carved from imported stone from India. It has a phenomenal 3 story museum, which houses relics and cultural artifacts from the past. Patan Durbar Square is known for its Newari architecture, museum, and palace. You can find out more about it here.
You are only allowed entrance into the Pashupatinath Temple if you are Hindu. You can say you’re Hindu and try to enter, but you should not be wearing any leather products. Upper Himalayan Treks and Adventures’ guides will help you, if you have any issues. In addition, I’ve even met people who have been turned away for being white. The racial bigotry aside, the temple complex is very cool. It is located on the Bagmati River and there is a mini-zoo too. You can read about the significance of the river and zoo here.
The Swayambhunath Stupa has a very beautiful myth about its creation. The myth involves a giant lake, a god with lice, and a single lotus flower. It is a miniaturized version of Boudhanath Stupa, but with statues, and a small brick stupa. Do not come here if you are allergic to monkeys stealing your lunch. Swayambhunath is also known as the monkey temple. To find out why, follow this link.
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