Places to see in Kathmandu: Kathmandu Sightseeing
This article is regarding “Places to see in Kathmandu” . It is obvious that there are different people with different opinion in the world. Among them, somebody wants to visit Kathmandu at least once in their lifetime. Kathmandu and Kathmanduties too won’t let them down because Kathmandu has so many interesting things and places to see, which lure the tourists. It will be worthwhile for the tourists visiting Kathmandu.
You can find many interesting places to see in Kathmandu valley as well as things according to your choice. At the end of Kathmandu sightseeing, you can satisfy yourself because of its monuments, history, festivals, culture or lifestyle of Kathmandu. Nepal is home to ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Out of ten, seven in Kathmandu Valley. and remaining three are Lumbini (the Birthplace of Buddha), Chitwan National Park and Sagarmatha National Park.
Seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites are:
- Kathmandu Durbar Square
- Bhaktapur Durbar Square
- Patan Durbar Square
Above mentioned sites are the places must to see in Kathmandu . It is worthwhile to visit them.
The major places to see in Kathmandu are:
The places to see in Kathmandu are as follows:
I. Kathmandu Durbar Square
The other name of Kathmandu Durbar Square is Hanuman Dhoka, Basantapur Durbar Square. It is one of the major attractions of the capital city. It lies in the heart of Kathmandu. This site is also in the list of UNSECO World Heritage Site due to its historical significance. Most probably, the square’s construction time is around third century and has gone through many reconstructions over the centuries.
Similarly, The name of Hanuman Dhoka Palace comes after the statue of Lord Hanuman at the entrance of the palace which, holds the history of enthronement of the royal family over the several centuries too. The palace is now has been using as a museum for the visitors to analyze the mesmerizing architecture of the doors and windows constructed by the Malla and Shah Kings during their ruling period.
Kathmandu Durbar Square is the most important place to see in Kathmandu.
Also, this site is full of many temples and cultural sites that has been worshipping everyday by various devotees. It mostly consists of Hindu temples. The major features that appeal to the visitors are as follows:
- Kasthamandap: Construction of this monument was around the 7th century and, the other name of Kasthmandap is Maru Satal. It was one of the oldest architecture of Kathmandu before destroying by the saddening earthquake of 2015 and is currently under reconstruction. We believe that it constructed out of a single Sal tree which is native to South Asia and there was no use of metal nail. The architectural style of this construction is in a traditional pagoda style. Next to it lays Ashok Binayak Temple. Most probably, the name of the capital as ‘Kathmandu’ derived from Kasthamandap.
More in Kathmandu Durbar Square
- Kaal Bhairav: The 12 feet high stone image of the Lord Kaal Bhairav. We believe that Kaal Bhairav is as the Lord of Death and the most deadly and powerful form of Lord Shiva and visiting this temple helps a person to get rid of negative feelings. On the basis of many proofs, the image had built around 6th century. Many devotees worship the lord everyday and the people who pass through the temple, bow their head and pray to god too.
- Taleju Temple: Once in a year in mid Dashain, we can access in the temple. The main goddess of the temple is Goddess Taleju Bhawani. Taleju Goddess is a sacred deity who has four heads and ten arms. The temple has constructed on a 12 storey base and is 36.6 meters high. Inside the temple we can be find several shrines of Goddess Taleju and the living Goddess, Kumari.
- Living Goddess Kumari: To the east of Kasthamandap and southern side of the square, lies Kumari Ghar. As the name says, it is the home to Kumari. Kumari is a pre-pubescent girl chosen from the Shakya or Bajracharya clan of the Nepalese Newari community. She has been worshipping during many festivals by hindus and has been taking around the city in chariots since Malla regime. However, the Kumari Ghar is accessible for the tourists but not everyone can meet Kumari.
- Jagannath Temple: This temple is famous for erotic carvings on its roof. Construction time of this temple is not sure. It has three entrance doors but only the centre door is open for visit. Lord Jagannath is the main god in this temple.
Last but not least…
Furthermore, this historical site has many other temples such as Swet Bhairav which is on full display during the festival of Indra Jatra, Shiva-Parvati Mandir, Krishna Mandir etc. and also antique large drums that used to aware people about the conduction of town meetings.
It is full of other temples that are small in size but have huge significance in the history of the city. Likewise, this area also has a lot of restaurants, cafes, antique stores and cool places for visitors to hang out. Even though a lot part of this site has destroyed by the earthquake of 2015, it is on reconstruction process. So, one cannot miss the beauty.
Pashupatinath is the temple of Lord Shiva. The location of the temple is in the bank of Bagmati river, which is in the centre of the place Deopatan. Many Hindus visit this temple every year from all over the world. Hindus bring their relatives here and cremate, when they have last few weeks or days of their life. The architecture of the main temple is in Nepalese Pagoda-style and it has golden roofs. It has a cubic construction similarly it has 4 entry doors made up of silver. It is 23.7m. tall. Moreover, inside and outside the temple, near the banks of river, there are many statues of various gods also devotees of lord Shiva.
If you want to see the best view then you need to go to the opposite side of the temple in the bank of the river. Since Pashupatinath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site so, it is another important places to see in Kathmandu. The date of the establishment of this temple is unknown.
Swoyambhunath is one of the ancient stupas among the stupas in Kathmandu valley and also the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It lies on the top of the hill, at the center of Kathmandu. There are stairs up the hill and one of them is direct to the face of Lord Buddha. From the top of the hill, the beautiful view of the city is visible. The monuments of Lord Buddha in Swayambhunath represent peace and unity. Therefore the Buddhists from all over the world visit this stupa. When one goes around the stupa, five shrines are visible which refers to the mandala of five Buddha families. They are Akshobhya, Vairocana, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha and Amoghasiddhi.
According to the legend, once, Kathmandu Valley was a lake and the stupa stood like an island. Then a monk names Manjushree cut up the hills to make a passage for people to access the stupa.
Swoyambhunath is another important places to see in Kathmandu for both Hindu and Budhhist too.
Boudhanath is a stupa similar to Swayambhunath because it is also a Buddhist stupa. And it is one of the tallest stupas in the world. About the architecture, there lies a giant dome on the ground and on the top of it, is Lord Buddha. The stupa has a pair of eyes watching every direction which reflects the nature of Lord Buddha, meaning he is watching everyone. There are many monasteries in Boudhanath along with museums and galleries. They are full of arts and history of the place. Apart from all these, there are also many cafes that can give the tourists, the perfect view of the stupa. Certainly, not only tourists but Boudhanath is full of crowd by many local people as it is a peaceful and refreshing area which is great for hangouts.
This site is also one of the UNESCO world heritage site as well as important places to see in Kathmandu.
V. Narayanhity Palace Museum:
Narayanhity Palace, lies in King’s Way, Kathmandu. It was the monarch’s residence area until 2006 when monarch system ended in Nepal. All the royal activities used to take place there. The construction time of palace was palace is 1963 by King Mahendra. It occupies an area of 383,218 sq. m. There are 52 rooms in the palace and are called “sadans” and all the Sadan’s name represents the name of the districts of Nepal. However, out of 52, only 19 rooms can visit by visitors. The interior of the palace is in a Late Victorian Style.
Anyone interested in The Royal Massacre that took place in 2001 can surely visit there. There are several bullet holes on the wall and followed by the spot where the royal family members were unfortunately killed. The palace is filled with royal portraits and history. Also, there are many royal jewelries, collections and classic materials that are very amusing to learn and look.
Entrance Fee: NRS. 100 per Nepalese Person
NRS. 20 per student
NRS 250 fro SAARC Nationals and Chinese
NRS. 500 per Foreigner
Location of Kirtipur is in the southwest of Kathmandu which is an ancient city of Kathmandu. This city is also in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not only has the beauty of this city, but the temples have attracted a lot of visitors too. It is only an hour away from Central Kathmandu. The major attractions of this place are as follows:
- Uma Maheshwar: Uma Maheshwar Temple is located at the highest point of Kritipur (1414m). We can see the whole city of Kathmandu and other mountains from this temple. There is two elephants at the entrance of this temple and beautiful wooden structure, enhance the beauty of this temple. This temple is a Shiva-Parvati temple but we can find many other monuments of various gods there. The bell on the northern side of temple was cast in 1895 by Gillett & Johnston Founders, Corydon.
- Bagh Bhairav: Another temple in Kirtipur is Bagh Bhairav temple which represents the most dangerous form of Lord Shiva. The temple is big and beautiful and the statue of Bhairav. The people on Kirtipur always worship this deity before any ceremonies like wedding, rice-feeding ceremony, etc.
- Chilancho Stupa: Kirtipur not only has temples for Hindus but for Buddhists too. Constructed in 1509, Chilancho Stupa is in southern direction of the hill. It is held by four small stupas.
- Dev Pukku: Dev Pukku is an old pond and is the main source of underground water of Kirtipur. Beside the pond is an old palace. It is a beautiful palace built in a Newari Style and is the living chambers of the local people. Furthermore, it has a lot of restaurants where the visitors can enjoy Newari Cuisine. It is very much peaceful location for refreshment.
B. Places to see in Kathmandu (Lalitpur, Patan)
Lalitpur, also known as Patan is beautiful city full of culture and history. Filled with skillful people involved in arts and crafts, this city is best known for festivals. The major appeals of this city are given below:
I. Patan Durbar Square:
One of the major attractions of Lalitpur is Patan Durbar Square. It is the former Royal Palace of the Malla Kings of Patan. The main features of Patan Durbar Square are as follows:
- Krishna Temple: The main god is Lord Krishna. It is famous as Krishna Temple and the construction time is in 1637 by King Siddhinarasimha Malla. Instead of wood and/or bricks, the temple constructed by carving stones. The 3 storied temple has 21 golden pinnacles. Non-Hindus aren’t allowed in the temple. It is the most beautiful and full of croud during the festival Krishna Asthami which falls between August-September.
- Vishwanath Temple: Lord Shiva is the main god of this temple. Vishanath is other name of Lord Shiva. Vishwanath temple, with Shiva Linga inside is guarded by two elephants made out of stone. The temple is full of erotic carvings and 1627 is its construction time by king Siddhinarasimha Malla.
- Taleju Bhawani Temple: In the temple, there is Goddess Taleju Bhawani. King Shree Niwas Malla constructed the the temple in 16th century. The beautiful temple is five storied. In front of this temple is a big Taleju bell. The king used this bell to arrange the meeting with the public.
- Bhimsen Temple: This temple constructed in 1680 by Srinivasa Malla, Bhimsen Temple lies in the northern side of the Durbar Square. The main god is in the temple is one of the five Pandavas of the epic Mahabharata, Bhimsen, who was very strong and brave. This three storied temple has been worshiping by devotees for good business and trade. Apparently, tourists can not enter inside the temple.
More in Patan Durbar Square
- Mahaboudha Temple: Mahaboudha Temple, built in 15th century has 9000 carvings of Lord Buddha. The name Mahaboudha was derived from it. It is built in ancient Shikhara Style. This temple is surrounded by many metal statues made by the local people of Patan.
- Hiranya Varna Mahavihar: Situated in Kwabahal, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar is a Buddhist monastery. It is three storied, pagoda style, golden temple built in 12th century. The upper story contains a large image of Lord Buddha and large prayer wheel.
- Kumbheshwor Jagat Narayan Temple: Kumbheshwor Jagat Narayan Temple is a temple devoted to Lord Vishnu built by Jung Shamsher who himself was a big devotee of Lord Vishnu. This Shikhara Style temple was built in 19th century by red bricks. In the temple is statue of Garuda mounted on a stone monolith along with several images of Lord Ganesh and Lord Hanuman.
- Rudra Varna Mahavihar: Constructed by Sivadeva, a Lichhavi King in the 6th century is a Buddhist Monastery that represents the architecture and history of Patan. The architectural style is in Pagoda Style and shows off bronze and brass statues of Buddha and also animals and birds metallic work. It has a peaceful and calm surrounding
II. Ashoka Stupas:
According to the legend, Emperor Ashoka built four stupas during his visit in Lalitpur in 250 BC. He established the four stupas in four directions. They are as below:
- Eastern Stupa (Teta Thura): In the east lies Teta Thura. A square shaped Harmika enshrines the dome. There are three stone inscriptions led in the Vedika. However no inscription can find before the 18th century.
- Western Stupa (Pucho Thura): To the west of Patan is Pucho Thura Stupa that has firebrick Vedika of height 1.2 m. with one Tathagata in each direction. The dome is 6.5 meters tall which is too paved by firebrick. It has no Harmika. The thirteen rings Cakravalis are constructed directly over the dome in square shaped pyramid structure. A Yasti placed is on the top of the spire with a parasol.
- Nothern Stupa (Ibahi Thura): The northern stupa, Ibahi Thura is similar to the Swayambhunath stupa and has five Buddha in the Vedika with their consorts except the Tathagata Vairocana. It has a Vedika of 1.5 m. and dome of 5.5 m. in height. Construction of a square Harmika over the dome with 13 steps Cakravali and a parasol.
- Southern Stupa (Lagan Thura): Lagan Thura is the largest stupa among all the four stupas. It is 47.40 m.in diameter and 11.80 m. in height. The mound is crowned by a recent structure, a miniature cenotaph added on the top. The shrines of Tathagatas were supposedly added in 1878; even as others were added to the eastern mound in 1846. An inscription tells us that on the western Stupa the Tathagatas were already in place by 1455.
III. Patan Industrial Estate:
As the name explains, Patan Industrial Estate of Lalitpur has many different industries of various products. It is open for tourists. Inside the industrial state, the visitors can see live view handicraft making, art being painted, metalwork, stone carvings, sculptures, high quality carpets, etc. and easily purchase them. However, the plastics, pipe and other hardware materials are not sold to visitors.
At the distance of 19km from Kathmandu, lies a botanical garden called Godavari. It preserves many plants with their written description so that tourists can be informed about the plants. Along with variety of flowers, it has many water resources too; like waterfall, pond, river etc. It has tall trees and around it is beautiful green hills. Godavari serves as a great picnic spot for families and for excursion to students. The Kathmandu Valley receives water in their homes via the water sources of Godavari. Anyone who wants a peaceful and soothing break from the chaos of city can spend their day here.
Entrance Fee: NRS. 34 per Nepalese Citizen
NRS. 57 per SAARC country member
NRS. 226 per foreigner
The Central Zoo, which is the only zoo of Nepal, is located in Jawlakhel, Lalitpur. It was established by Juddha Shamsher Rana in 1932 and was accessible to the public since 1956. According to the data of 2011, there are altogether 708 numbers of animals including mammals, reptiles, fishes and birds. If anyone has a child whom they’d like to take for a day out, the zoo is perfect for it. The zoo has not only has a lot of animals for them to see but also many other activities like: elephant rides, paddleboat and rafting, picnic spots, children grounds etc. Additionally, it also has visitor centre with audio visual facilities, library, aquariums etc.
NRS. 150 per adult (Nepalese)
NRS. 90 per student with ID card (Nepalese)
NRS. 50 per child (Nepalese)
NRS. 750 per adult foreigner
NRS. 375 per child foreigner (4-12 years)
C. Places to see in Kathmandu (Bhaktapur)
Similarly, Bhaktapur is an ancient Newa city of Nepal. Further more, it is the “Place of Devotees”. This city is rich in culture and history, and the mesmerizing beauty of this city attracts a lot of tourists every year. Keeping the Newari culture alive since the ancient times therefore this city becomes one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The major destinations of Bhaktapur are as follows:
I. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
The former royal palace of the kingdom of Bhaktapur is within the distance of 13km to the northeast of Kathmandu. It holds many ancient monuments and architecture that one can never get enough of. The main appeals of this Durbar Square are as follows:
- Nyatapola Temple: Constructed during the ruling period of King Bhupatindra Malla in the 17th century, this temple is one of the tallest temples of Nepal. This five storied artistic temple’s architectural style is Pagoda Style. The name of Nyatapola temple comes from its meaning. Because the meaning of ‘Nyatapola’ means five storied in Newari language. Goddess Laxmi is in the temple. Similarly, this temple has a pair of 2 m. high stone statues of the heroic wrestlers named Jaimal and Pata, a pair of elephants, lions and tantric goddesses.
- Golden Gate: One of the major appeals of the Durbar Square, Golden Gate is one of the most artistically built gates in the world. Built in the 17th century by King Ranjit Malla with the process of copper gilding, this large gate is hard to miss when in Bhaktapur. On the top of the gate lies Garuda with Toran, a pair of flags, lion and elephant. Below it is, a statue of Taleju Bhawani spreading her ten arms.
- 55 Windows Palace: 55 Windows Palace, also known as The Palace of 55 Windows, is an architectural art in the history of Nepal. The construction time is in the 17th century, this palace has 55 windows and the western end of this palace has been transformed to a National Art Museum for people to see the royal arts and monuments. It also used to perform and conduct some occasions for the Kumari of Bhaktapur.
More in Bhakatpur Durbar Square
- Lion Gate: Past the 55 Windows Palace is a gate with lions on each side that seems to be protecting something on the other side of gate. Anything that used to be inside the gate was unfortunately destroyed during the earthquake of 1934 but according to rumours, there used to be a three storied temple. Alongside the stone statues of lion, there is Urgachandi who is killing the evil.
- Pashupati Temple: Not available to enter, King Yaksha Mall constructed the Pashupati Temple in 14th century. This wooden temple consists of many erotic carvings on the roof and pillars. According to the legend, the king dreamed of Lord Shiva asking him to build a mini Pashupati temple for him in his palace and so he did.
- National Art Gallery: Guarded by lions, this art gallery is in the western end of 55 windows palace. The museum was established in 1960 to preserve the cultural and historical royal artworks and also so that the people can see and grab the knowledge of ancient royal family. This art gallery is full of stone sculptures that dates back to 14th century. One can see a lot of exceptional paintings, metalwork’s and woodworks. The images of former kings are also hanging on the walls. We can find many inscriptions and manuscripts from the 12th century here.
- Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla: In front of the palace of Bhaktapur, there is a brass statue of King Bhupatindra Malla who has made a great contribution in the architectural history of Bhaktapur Kingdom. Constructed in 1699, his statue sits in a prayer position.
Near by Bhaktapur Durbar Square
- Surya Binayak Temple: The temple that is known as ‘the rising sun’ is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Hindus has been worshiping first before any ceremony in the Hindu culture. This Ganesha temple has one of the most important shrines in all of Kathmandu Valley. Surrounded by trees one can observe not only the beautiful monuments and structure but the tall trees and the view of the city from the hill. It is usually full of crowd on Tuesdays. On the way to the temple, one can see a lot of shops that sell potteries, metal works and craft works.
- Siddha Pokhari (Ta-Pukhu): The big rectangular pond situated near the city of Bhaktapur, built by King Yakshya Malla in the 15th century. In the second day of Indra Jatra, one of the most important festivals for the newar community, a fair takes place here. According to the legend, anyone who takes a bath in the pond on this day, their life will fill with happiness and prosperity. There are many fishes in the pond and the visitors can feed them fish food by purchasing it nearby the pond. Similarly, it is great place for picnics, hangouts and peaceful day out too.
Apart from all these destinations there are many more other Places to see in Kathmandu. At this time, we have One day Kathmandu Tour package, 2 days Kathmandu Tour Package and 3 Days Kathmandu Tour Package. You can select these packages or you can customize too according to your interest.