Sightseeing around Kathmanndu valley offersNepal’s historical and cultural glimpse which includes two other neighboring cities Patan and Bhaktapur specially these are most visited spots due to their own reorganization. Besides Nepal’s country side other destinations are also major places of interest among visitors some of them are Pokhara - Annapurna region for short hike and long trek, Everest region to explore Sherpa Land, Chitwan for wildlife safari tour, Lumbini birth place of Lord Buddha, Nagarkot, Daman and Sarankot for sunrise & sunset views as well Bandipur, Gorkha and Nuwakot etc. Here some of the most visited spots of Nepal are described in brief. Here in below major sightseeing spots around Kathmandu valley;
Kathmandu Durbar Square
The UNESCO world heritage site-Kathmandu Durbar Square is well renowned as Hanuman Dhoka Palace which is Nepal’s most popular site as a historical and cultural heart. The main palace and monuments of around built in medieval age by Malla Dynasty kings. The antique historical palace bears Nepal’s former reminisce of Royal family, traditional culture, authentic architecture and arts as well main festive ceremonial site. It was also until 1886 palace for Shah Dynasty and thereafter shifted to Narayanhiti palace. The most astonishing palace and of around to explore Tribhuvan Museum, Nine storey Basantapur Tower, Hanuman Temple, Taleju Temple, huge Kal Bhairab statue, Kumari-Living Goddess Temple, Kasthamandap, and 17th century old stone inscriptions which is written in 15 different languages as well amazing wooden art carvings.
Patan Durbar Square
The Patan is also renowned as city of arts in Nepal and commonly Nepalese called it Lalitpur. Nepal’s metal and stone artifacts are almost made in Patan city which are real authentic product of Nepalese culture. The historical Patan city offers for travelers to see some of the very rare iconographies and wonderful monuments of Nepal. Mainly the major sightseeing sports are located around the Patan Durbar Square area. Old historical palace, Krishna Temple, Golden Temple, Kumbheshwor Temple and other pagodas are main attraction of Patan city.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
The ancient city Bhaktapur lies on the Eastern part of Kathmandu valley which is also known as Bhadgaon or Khwopa, Bhaktapur. It is regarded as the abode of traditional Nepali culture, custom and unique arts of wooden and potteries. The historical monument on around signifies medieval age culture and tradition of Nepal and this old city is inhabited by indigenous Newari people in large group. The main attractive monuments are Nyatapola Temple, statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, Peacock Window, Golden Gate and fifty-five windowed palace of Bhaktapur Durbar Square. To visit this ancient place requires foreign tourists have to pay $10 as entry fee (US$ 15 from 2011) and only NRs 50 for nationals from China and SAARC nationalities.
The Pashupatinath temple is a temple of Lord Shiva and is the holiest shrine for Hindus. The sacred temple lies on the bank of holy Bagmati River 5 km east of Kathmandu city. Non-Hindus are strictly prohibited from entering the temple. The temple has two-tiered roof and four silver doors and opens its doors early morning and evening for pooja. Devotees from all over the world come here to pay their homage to lord Shiva as well pilgrimage their visit.
The most remarkable monument of Buddhism was built in the 5th century A.D. during the ancient Licchavi Dynasty’s king Mandev who also introduce first metric system in Nepal. Now it is belongs to UNESCO World Heritage Site which is one of the world’s biggest octagonal stepped stupa and popular shrine for both Buddhist and Hindu religious people as well one of main tourist attraction of Nepal. The entire Stupa of around has many other sects’ monasteries (Gompas & Chaityas) and many devotees pray, fire incenses, lit butter lamps and creak prayer wheels together chants of monk which makes ambience of a place centre to nirvana.
The most popular as a monkey temple (Swayambhunath Stupa) lies 3 km away from west of Kathmandu on small hill. It is also most visited Buddhists monument and holy shrine for both Hindu and Buddhists which was built by King Manadeva first. In 14th century Mughals from Indian sub continent attacked the Kathmandu valley and destroyed most of the historical monuments. Later it again renovated and during Malla Dynasty’s king Pratap Malla in 17th century enhanced the architecture also added rocky steps to get to the Stupa. At present day, the Stupa is a solid hemisphere of brick and clay, underneath an arrogant conical spire capped by a pinnacle of bronze and copper and has Lord Buddha’s eyes adorned on all the four sides of the spire base. Besides from the hill top travelers can enjoy wonderful views of entire Kathmanadu valley.
Nepal’s national museum is situated at Chhauni in Kathmandu which is close to famous monkey temple (Swoyambhunath Stupa) and it was established in 1938. National Musiem has preserved many artistic masterpieces, artifacts, sculptures, historical pictures of former royal family and martyrs, large number of geographic evidences and ancient monuments etc are showcased. Travelers can visit this museum to know about and understand real history, culture and tradition of Nepal.