Swoyambhunath Stupa or Monkey Temple, on the west side of Kathmandu gives a global view of whole Kathmandu valley from the top of a hillock. The huge Stupa is one of the holiest Buddhists’ sites in Nepal and its establishment is linked to the creation of the Kathmandu valley out of primordial Lake. UNESCO lists it in world heritage site.
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world. The richly ornamented pagoda houses the sacred phallic symbol. Devotees can be seen taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati River beside the temple. This is one of the most sacred Hindu cremation sites. UNESCO publishes it as a world heritage site.
Boudhanath is known as a Tibetan style of Buddhist Stupa. This is the oldest Tibetan Buddhist site in Kathmandu. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of Stupa design. It was constructed in the first century and is one of the largest Stupas in the world. All day long, the devotees walk around the Stupa, moving and unforgettable scenes. A great influence from Tibet can be experienced here. Boudhanath protected as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Kathmandu Durbar (Palace) Square:
The palaces, courtyards and temples were built between 12th and 18th centuries during the ancient Malla and Shah Kings of Kathmandu. This large square is the historic seat of the Nepalese Royalty. A captivating piece here is the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages. The Durbar Square protected, as a UNESCO world heritage site is the social, religious and urban focal point of the city.
Patan Durbar Square:
Patan is another city next to Kathmandu about 5 kms far from city heart. It is also known as city of fine art. A two-story building with gilded roofs encloses the stone-paved courtyard. The woodcarvings on the roof struts are especially attractive. The palace is prepared with sacred images and other small shrines. The museum in the courtyard is a collection of masterpiece of ancient arts and history to express the religious and cultural lives then in Nepal. This are is also protected as UNESCO world heritage site.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square:
Bhaktapur and its Durbar Square, about 20 kms far from the city heart, one of the three Royal towns of Nepal, is now a model town for the country for its calm, cleanness and preservation of cultural heritages. The 15th century palace of 55 windows inspires admiration. The golden gate is a masterpiece in art and the National Art Gallery is also housed inside. In the east of Durbar Square, a narrow-paved lane leads to another big square with a towering five-roofed Nyatapol temple. The stairway leading up to the temple is flanked by stone figures of deities and mythical beasts, each considered ten times more powerful than the one immediately below.
Nagarkot, at around 2100m high, 35kms from city heart, provides the breathtaking panoramic view of the Himalayas: Mt. Everest (8848m), Mt. Lhotse (8516m), Mt. Cho Oyu (8201m), Mt. Makalu (8463m) and Mt. Manaslu (8163m) and Kanchenjunga (8585m) till the Annapurnas (8091m) on the west can be seen from here. It is regarded as one of the best viewpoints in Nepal. A breathtaking view of sunset and sunrise can be experienced staying overnight here.
A half-hour drive from Pokhara and another half-hour walk takes us to the top of Sarangkot hill (1500m). It is another best viewpoint in western Nepal famous for sunrise and a panoramic view of Mt. Annapurna (8091m), Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m) and Mt. Machhapuchhre (6697m) known as Fishtail and other mountains. A small hike for two days can also be comprised for the hike lovers including this hill.
Lumbini: Lord Buddha's birthplace:
Lumbini, a world heritage site, is the sacred birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam, the Shakya Prince, the eventual Shakyamunu and the ultimate Buddha - the Enlightened One. It is the holiest pilgrimage site for Buddhists. The main attraction at Lumbini is the sacred Garden that is spread over 8 sq. km. and possesses all the treasures of the historic area. The Mayadevi temple is the main attraction for pilgrims and archeologists alike. To the south of the temple, we find the sacred pond - Puskarni - where Queen Mayadevi had taken a bath just before giving birth to the Buddha.
There are more than fifty monasteries around the area. A visit to different monasteries from different Buddhist school gives an important memory. Some of the monasteries are: Chinese monastery, Japanese monastery, Korean monastery, Tibetan monastery, Thai monastery, Srilankan monastery, Burmese (Myanmar) monastery, Indian and Nepalese monasteries.
Narayanhity Royal Palace
The Narayanhity Royal Palace or Narayanhity Durbar is a palace in Nepal which long served as a primary residence to that country's monarchs. On June 1, 2001, it was the site of the Nepalese royal massacre, where King Birendra of Nepal and Queen Aiswarya were allegedly shot to death by Crown Prince Dipendra along with 6 others before Dipendra turned his weapon on himself.
The ex-king Gyanendra and his wife left Narayanhity Palace on 11 June 2008. The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly on May 28, 2008 had decided to convert Narayanhiti into a public museum, only this formal opening of the palace as a museum has executed the decision. Though the people's double-triangle flag had replaced the king's royal standard at the palace on June 10, it was not official because until then Gyanendra Shah had not left the palace.
The palace covers over 730 ropanis of land (more than 4 million square feet), preserving the historically important objects and continuously promoting it in the national and international arena. Not only Nepal, many countries in the world have converted their former royal palaces into commercially viable museums. Narayanhiti can a place to learn the true history of Nepal's Shah Dynasty. Until now, the Nepali people have been told only the history that successive Shah Kings wanted the people to know.
Nepals' Tallest Shiva
Bum bum bhole baba-The Nepal’s tallest statue of Lord Shiva constructed at the initiative of Nepal’s Jain community is set to open for public visit in the outskirts of the capital .
According to project sponsor Kamal Jain, the 108 feet tall statue in Sanga, some 20 km away from Kathmandu on the way to Banepa. The function will be graced by Hindu leader Shankaracharya from Badri.
Though it was not intended to make it a place of attraction for tourists and other visitors, the statue has already drawn attention of Nepalese and foreigners as a place of retreat and religious destination.
The center spreading over 75 ropanies of land .
Though his religion mentions nothing about Lord Shiva, Jain says he chose this God, believed to reside in Kailash, further north from the statue, due to his closeness to Pashupatinath over the past 20 years he stayed in Kathmandu valley.
Built with cement, Jain said the statue, named Kailashnath Mahadev, can resist minor earthquakes and strong winds.
Facilities like spa, yoga, meditation center, horse riding and nature walks around the parks are sure to invite more tourists and not merely those visiting for the purpose of rituals