Kathmandu sightseeing tour of Nepal is popular for both historical insight and cultural diversity. Kathmandu city is the capital city of Nepal and is considered as the heart of Nepal. Kathmandu is a valley with lovely green hills all around and the Himalayan peaks standing behind them. It is surrounded by tier upon tier of green mountain walls above which tower mighty snowcapped peaks. Within the sight of metropolis one can perceive traditional art, architectures and rural life all at the same time. Kathmandu valley tour is the political, commercial, cultural hub of Nepal is framed for its natural beauty and historic and holistic places.
The seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites are the charming and glorious facets of it. Pashupatinath, greatest Hindu temple, Swyambhunath, Buddhist shrine to the hilltop and Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a historical palace area are few spots among many others. At every turn of sightseeing & Kathmandu city tour, one encounters beautiful pagodas, intricately carved wooden windows, huge stones images, and inconspicuous shrines. Teeming with images of gods and goddesses, crowded with temples and shrines, the city streets and country roads of Kathmandu valley seem like a museum, a museum without walls. Depending on your time constraint, the sightseeing tour in Kathmandu is flexible from a single day to multiple days. You can come at any season to enjoy Kathmandu city sightseeing.
Important places to see in Kathmandu Valley:
Kathmandu Durbar Square:
Kathmandu Durbar Square lies in the heart of this city. Locally also called as Hanuman Dhoka Palace Square-an ancient seat of the Nepalese Royalty. Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex consists of a huge Royal Square imposing a tremendous variety of temples dedicated to different Hindu gods and goddess. Most of the buildings we see here date from the 15th to 18th century. The entire Palace Complex here is named after a monkey god called Hanuman. One can see a huge stone statue of Hanuman painted all red right next to the main entrance (the golden gate) of the palace.
Built-in the 16th century, the temple is known for fascinating erotic figures carving the wooden strata eaves.
One of the largest stone idols in Kathmandu, Kal Bhairav, represents the terrifying aspects of Shiva.
It is a17th century Kumari temple, an example of the highly developed Nepalese temple craft. This residence of Living Goddess, Kumari, is situated in the vicinity of Hanuman Dhoka Palace.
Located near the temple of Kumari, Kasthamandap is said to have been built by King Laxmi Narsingha Malla in the beginning of the sixteenth century from the timber of a single tree. The Kathmandu City derives its name from the same temple, Kasthamandap.
This temple is one of the world’s most enchanting, glorious and the oldest Buddhist stupas. It is said to be more than 2000 years old. This glorious manmade landmark is situated on a hillock about 77m above the level of the Kathmandu Valley. The Stupa of Swyambhunath stands on a typically stylized lotus Mandala. One of the major highlights is that from the platform of the spot the splendid changing view of the valley could be seen.
Pashupatinath is Nepal’s holiest Hindu Pilgrimage site (followed by the remote Muktinath in the Himalaya). Dedicated to Lord Shiva (one of the Hindu trinity), the shrines and temples of Pashupatinath, straddle Bagmati River. Listed in UNESCO world heritage, Pashupatinath is the major religious heritage of Nepal.
Bouddhanath is the largest Stupa in South Asia that has become the focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. The Stupa is located on the ancient trade route to Tibet. The Stupa, well known as Khasti, is also known as the World Heritage Site. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of Stupa design. There are more than 45 Buddhist monasteries in the area.
Situated below Shivapuri hill at the northern end of the valley, Buddhanilkantha temple is 9 km from Kathmandu city. The temple consists of a pond in which lies a great stone figure of the Hindu god Vishnu reclining on the coils of a cosmic serpent. The huge statue of sleeping Vishnu is carved from the single block of black stone of a type not found in the valley.
The temple of Sweta Machchhendranath is situated at Machchhendra Bahal between Indra Chowk and Asan. It is a pagoda of considerable artistic beauty.
The small but a very important temple of Ashok Vinayak is situated behind the Kasthamandap -also known as Kathmandu Ganesh or Maru Ganesh.
Five minutes from Kathmandu, the Shiva Temple of Jaishi Dewal is famous for its erotic carvings. It is still one of the main routes of the chariot festival of Indra Jatra, Gai Jatra, and other festivals.
It is a huge Greenfield at the center of Kathmandu valley. Some of the important landmarks of Kathmandu valley are located in the periphery of this area. At the southwestern end of Tundikhel is a 59.29m tower known as Dharahara. Clock Tower and Rani Pokhari (pond) are other attractions around Tundikhel.
Martyr’s Memorial (Sahid) Gate:
Located between Bhimsen Stambha and Bhadrakali temple, the memorial arch contains the statue of the late King Tribhuvan and the busts of four martyrs.
At the eastern edge of the Tundikhel, near Shahid Gate stands the temple of Goddess Bhadrakali.
A grand imposing palace built on the neo-classical style, Singha Durbar was the private residence of Rana Prime Ministers. Now it is the Secretariat of the Government of Nepal.
Located inside the premises of the Ministry of Education, Kaisar library is a great center of rare and valuable books and manuscripts.
Balaju Water Garden:
Situated about five kilometers North-west of Kathmandu, Balaju Garden features fountains with 22 crocodile-headed water spout dating from the mid-eighteenth century. There is also a swimming pool inside the park.
Two and a half kilometers west of Kathmandu, the National Museum has a splendid collection of weapons, artifacts from ancient, medieval and modern Nepal. Its archaeological and historical displays are worth seeing.
Natural History Museum:
Situated three kilometers west of Kathmandu city behind the famous Swayambhunath hill, this museum has a unique collection of butterflies, fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, plants and a variety of fossils collected within the country.
Near Pashupatinath is located another historic and holy temple of Guheswari. However, only Hindus are allowed to enter the temple courtyard.
The lovely Stupa of Chabahil is believed to have been built in the third century B.C. There are ancient statues around the Stupa.
The temple of Chandra Vinayak is situated about 200m. north of Chabahil Stupa. This double tiered brass roofed temple houses a tiny image of Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed god.
This lovely royal game sanctuary, also known as Gokarna Safari Park, lies about ten kilometers north-east of Kathmandu. Many wild animals such as spotted deer can be viewed in the sanctuary from an elephant back. On the northern side of Gokarna, is a pagoda of Gokarneshwor Mahadev.
It is a typical Newari town with many fine old buildings and temples. Beyond the village, up a long flight of stone stairs, is Bajra yogini, a historical temple with a beautiful view of the local area.
Famous for its scenic beauty. Sundarijal presents magnificent waterfalls, cataracts, and rock formations. It is an ideal place for a picnic.
Located 9km southwest of Kathmandu, this place is famous for its gorge. All the water of the valley drains through it. There is a small but picturesque Adinath temple on the top of a hill from where one can take in a spectacular view of snow-topped giant Himalayan peaks.
Situated between Chobhar and Dakshinkali, the temple of Shekha Narayan represents one of the four Narayan’s of the Kathmandu Valley.
Situated in the south-west of Kathmandu valley, the sanctuary and its surroundings are dedicated to goddess Kali. On the way, the sight of the gorge is impressive and it is worthwhile to walk down and across the old suspension bridge.