Cross Country Treks and Travel Expedition Pvt Ltd
Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal. Kathmandu is also known as living museum. The city is laden religious temples, shrines and statues of deities. The sight of pilgrims paying homage to the holy carved stone idols or practicing sacred rituals are common in this city.
Places to Visit in Kathmandu
Pashipatunath is the holiest Hindu's pilgrimage destination in Nepal .It is one of the most important Shiva temples on the subcontinent In Pashupatinath we can find Shiva's linga along with other temples. The present Temple is built by King Bhupatindra Malla. A gold-plated roof, silver doors, and woodcarvings of the finest quality decorate the pagoda construction. Pashupatinath, an ancient plinth, by the banks of the holy Bagmati River, stands the 16th century of Pashupatinath - Shiva, as Lord of all Creatures. The flowing Bagmati is a holy river and the ghats (crematorium) at its bank are the earnest Hindus truest cremation center. We can find the Guheswari
Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Siva's First wife "Satidevi".
A circuit of the Pashupati area takes visitors past a sixth-century statue of the Buddha, an eighth-century statue of Brahma the creator and numerous other temples. Some other places to visit are Rajrajeswari Temple, built in 1407, Kailas with lingas more than 1,400 years old, Gorakhnath temple, and the courtyard of Biswarup. There are rows of Shiva shrines and Hindu pilgrims from all over South Asia offer worship to Shiva, the Lord of Destruction.
In this area, there are a lot of sadhus who follows the life styles of Lord Shiva. It is not allowed to take photos within the temple.
This temple is also known as "Monkey Temple". It is located on the hill. So from this we can view the Kathmandu valley. Swayambhunath is one of the most recognizable symbols in Nepal and the painted eyes of Buddha watch all that ascend the worn stone steps. It is a World Heritage Site and one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal. The temple complex is scattered with shrines and statues of Buddhist and Hindu deities and the assortment of pilgrims from both faiths characterizes the country’s unique religious harmony.
Rani Pokhari or Queen's Pond:
In the middle of the pond, stands a whitewashed Mughal-style temple dedicated to Shiva. The lake is said to be haunted, and the temple is opened only once a year during the October Tihar festival. The rest of the year, the lake is locked behind a fence. King Pratap Malla built this for his queen.
With its three-roofed metal pagoda, this temple is dedicated to the goddess whose name means "Full of Grain." There is no image of Annapurna inside this temple, only a large silver kalash (holy water pot). Be sure to notice the two unusual brass statues out front. One depicts a fat man, the other a skeleton. Across the square from this temple is a two-story pagoda temple that houses the most elaborate Ganesh statue in the city. The four-armed stone statue wears a silver crown and is surrounded by a gilded frame. In the middle of the square is a small temple dedicated to Narayan, who is an aspect of Vishnu.In the middle of the square, you'll find what looks like a pothole enclosed by an ornate wrought-iron fence. This is Asan Tole's:
It is in the heart of the market district. The square is almost always packed with shoppers searching for deals on fruits and vegetables that are displayed in baskets or on sheets spread open on the street. There are also several spice stalls around this square. This is a good place to shop for various Asian spices, including saffron, cardamom, and the many masala spice mixes that are so essential to Nepali and Indian cooking. At the time of occasions, people gather to buy spices, fruits and vegetables. At that time you could hardly find the space to stand. On the square , here are "annaPurna Tmple", "Ganesh Temple" and "Narayana Temple".
Seto Machhendranath Temple:
This temple is dedicated to a rain god who is particularly popular in the Kathmandu Valley. The temple itself is incredibly ornate with roofs of gilded copper and a gilded and embossed facade. Once a year, during the Seto Macchendranath Jatra festival, the temple's statue of Machhendra is taken out of its enclosure, bathed, and paraded around the city in a huge chariot. Machhendra, who is an aspect of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara is worshiped by Hindus and Buddhists alike.
This wide-open square is across the street from both Hanuman Dhoka Palace (the old royal palace) and the Gaddi Baithak (a palace built in the European style in the early 20th century). If it's early in the morning, Basantapur Square may still be empty, but by midmorning, the square will be filled with dozens of vendors selling all manner of Kathmandu curios. If you buy something, remember to bargain hard; these vendors start out asking more for their wares than just about any other vendors in Kathmandu.
Kumari (Living Goddess):
Not only does Nepal have countless gods, goddess deities, bodhisattvas, avatars and manifestations which are worshipped and revered in the form of statues, image painting and symbols. In Nepal there is a real living goddess known as a Kumari Devi. The Kumari Devi is a young girl who lives in the building known as the Kumari Bahal, right beside Kathmandu's Durbar Square.The practice of having a living Goddess probably came about during the reign of Jaya Prakash Malla, the last of the Malla kings of Kathmandu whose reign abruptly ended with the conquest of the valley by Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1768. Once chosen as the Kumari, the young girl moves into the Kumari house with her family and makes only a half dozen ceremonial forays into the outside world each year. The most spectacular of the occasions is the September Indra Jatra festivals. The Kumari's reign ends with their first show of womanhood or any serious accidental loss of blood.
One of the most unusual buildings in Kathmandu. The Kastha-mandap, meaning "Wooden Pavilion," is an imposing three-story pagoda-style building that legends say was built from a single tree in the 12th century. On each of the four corners of its first floor there is a viewing platform surrounded by low carved wooden railings. In the dark recesses there is a tiny statue of Guru Goraknath, a revered Hindu saint. Today it is a temple of sorts and is frequently used as a gathering spot.
It is an 18th-century house-style temple, two painted statues, the Hindu god Shiva and his consort Parvati, gaze down from a second-floor window. The garish paint jobs allow them to fit right into the colorful scene of the square. The lions guarding the entrance to this temple indicate that the temple houses a goddess, in this case a black stone image of Asta Yogini. Behind the Shiva-Parvati Temple, Durbar Square is lined with shops selling thangkas and other tourist items. Surprisingly, these shops are in the outside wall of the Hanuman Dhoka Palace. As you round the corner just past these shops, you enter Hanuman Dhoka Square and come to a large lattice screen.
Hanuman Dhoka Palace:
It is the former royal palace, the oldest sections of which were built in the 17th century. However, from that time until early in this century, there were frequent additions. The king no longer lives here (his new palace is at the top of Durbar Marg, Kathmandu's most upscale shopping street), but coronations are still held here. The lavishly decorated Golden Door, beside the statue of Hanuman, is the main entrance to the palace and is flanked by colorfully painted stone lions. Atop one lion sits Shiva and atop the other sits his shakti (consort), Parvati. On either side of the door are painted numerous Hindu and Buddhist symbols. Above the door are several statues and bas-reliefs of different gods. Just inside on the left is a stone statue of Narsimha, a half-man, half-lion god, who is shown devouring the evil demon Hiranyakashipu.
This particular area of the market is devoted to cloth and carpet merchants, many of whom display their wares on the terraces of an old pagoda on the north side of the square. The naturally colored shawls, called pashmina, are made from the belly wool of a goat. This wool is similar to cashmere, and the shawls are surprisingly warm.
It is among the largest stupa in South Asia, and it has become the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. The white mound looms thirty-six meters overhead. The stupa is located on the ancient trade route to Tibet, and Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many of them decided to live around Bouddhanath. They established many gompas, and the "Little Tibet" of Nepal was born. This "Little Tibet" is still the best place in the Valley to observe Tibetan lifestyle. Monks walk about in maroon robes. Tibetans walk with prayer wheels in their hands, and the rituals of prostration are presented to the Buddha as worshippers circumambulate the stupa on their hands and knees, bowing down to their lord.
A short rickshaw ride north of Durbar Square is the neighborhood of Thamel. Thanks to an abundance of cheap (but quite serviceable) hotels and eateries, the area is flooded with tourists of every nationality, but the neighborhood's energy and abundance of useful shops make it an enjoyable experience. Souvenir stands, craft shops, bookstores, bars, trekking companies and Internet cafes crowd the narrow streets, as do scores upon scores of roving vendors who will offer you everything from Tiger Balm to Hindu statuettes to hashish.
Narayanhity Durbar Museum: (former Royal Palace)
'Cross Country ' has introduced the visit of Narayanhiti Durbar Museum in our tour itineraries in Kathmandu. The Narayanhiti Palace (Durbar) Museum, the throne and resident of the former Shah kings of Nepal, has been converted into Narayanhiti Durbar Museum recently. It took its name from the Narayanhiti, a famous historic waterspout situated at the southern corner of the museum. The museum is situated near the tourist hub Thamel and has been considered to hold a great significance for tourists. Many travelers are flocking to see the Palace-turned-museum. Spread in an area of over 700 acres, the museum has various historical relics, artifacts, sculptures and wildlife trophies on display for the public. The then King Birendra, queen Aishwarya and their two children and five other relatives were killed by the crown prince Dipendra, who at the end turned the gun on himself in the notorious royal massacre of 2001.An entrance fee at the museum is USD 8. The museum is opened for five days a week, except Tuesday, Wednesday and on public holidays. The visit takes approx 1.5 hrs. The visit of the museum is recommended to be combined with the tour of Budhanilkantha temple to make a halfday tour. Budhanilkantha temple is situated at the base of Shivapuri hill is a remarkable colossal statue of Lord Vishnu, reclining of the bed of snakes. This fifth century statue is in the middle of a small pond and seems to float in water. The king of Nepal was not allowed to see the deity at Budhanilkantha. It is believed if the king sees this deity of Vishnu he will die immediately
Dakshinkali is 18 km south of Ratnapark, Kathmandu. The ancient Kalika temple is to the south of the capital which some believe is why it was named Dakshinkali ( dakshin means south in Nepali). The Dakshinkali temple is dedicated to Kali, the fearful form of Lord Shiva's consort, Parvati. The myth is that in the 17th century an oracle spoke to King Pratap Malla in the form of a dream to establish a temple for the goddess. It was said that no epidemic would befall his subjects. The king deciphered the omen and the temple was erected. Buses are available from Kathmandu every day, though they are often crowded. Travel by bicycle or motorbike is interesting but the roads are steep. You should start early because the temple is busiest in the morning. A little uphill from the Dakshinkali temple is the Mata Mandir( The mother temple), dedicated to the mother of Dakshinkali. The temple still draws devotees, as the goddess symbolizes power and prosperity.