The valley of Kathmandu is fertile, flat and compact. Kathmandu Valley is situated at the altitude of between 1300 to 1500 meters. The valley is also small, with an area of only 22o square miles (570squre kilometers).Evan this smallest places, there are recoded seven World Heritages declared by the UNESCO -a fact unrivalled anywhere in the world. The seven man made wonders are the milestone of Nepal's past prosperity, artistry and religiosity which make the Valley "living museum".
Kathmandu Durbar Square:
It is known as Hanuman Dhoka (the gate of monkey god hanuman) which is divided into two principal chowks (courtyards). The outer one is renowned for the KUmari Ghar (the house of the Kumari or virgin or the "living goddess"), Kasthamandap (the wooden house which made from single tree), Narayan Mandir, the stone state of Garuda (man-bird), Kal Bhairav statue and Shiva-Parvati temple house. Most of them built in the pagoda style embellished with intricately carved exteriors, built between 12th to 18 centuries by Malls and Shah Dynasty.
The main inner chowk is the Hanumandhoka and its Durbar complex. There are many temples here, the most notables being the Talegu Temple which dedicated to the female royal deity, Taleju Bhabani. This ultra -sacrosanct temple is opened only once a year and only certain priests can inter it. One of the main buildings of this is call Basantupar Durbar or Nau-talle (nine-storied) Durbar which was built by King Prithavi Narayan Shah in 1770. It is known as Kathmandu Tower, was built along with three other towers named after three ancient cities of Kathmandu valley.
Patan Durbar Square:
Patan Durbar Square is the most spectacular example of Nepalese architecture in an urban context. Patan is also notable for the four stupas erected by the Indian Emperor Ashoka at the four cardinal directions of the city on his pilgrimage tour some 2250 years ago. The palace square sits somewhat between these four milestones. The royal palace's sprawling landmarks are Sundari Chowk, Tusahiti, Mul Chowk, Binaya Mandir, Taleju Shrine, Taleju Bhawani Temple, Gloden Gate, and Keshab Narayan chowk.
The outer perimeters are noteworthy for the Krisna mandir in stone, Hari Shanker Temple, statue of King Siddhi Narsingh, Char Narayan Temple, Bishwanath Mandir, Bhimsen Mandir, Manga Hiti and many others. It is recorded that there are more than 1200 Buddhist monument of various shapes and sizes scattered in and around this city alone. It is said that Patan was founded by King Veer Deva in 299 A.D., that it indicate Patan is the oldest of all three cities of Valley.
Golden Temple (Hiranya Varna Mahavihar):This three storey golden pagoda of Shakyamunu (Lord Buddha)was built in the 12th century by King Bhaskar Verma, where you can see the white image if Amoghpash Lokeshwor and a large prayer wheel.
Krishna Mandir: This is the first specimen of pagoda style temple all made by stone. It is only temple in Nepal having 21 golden pinnacles. This temple dedicated to lord Krisna and built by King Siddhi Narshing Malla in 17th century. Kumbheshower: It is one of three five storied temple in Kathmandu valley. This is temple of Lord Shiva, built by King Jayaiddhi Malla.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square:
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is entered through the massive royal gate and opens up to a most unspoiled complex of palaces, shrines and other landmarks in the Valley. On the right is pair of statues in stone of Ugrachandi with her 18 arms. Then there is the Rameshwor Temple. In the middle of the square is the gilded statue of King Bhupatindra Malla seated on a tall stone pillar, and faces the most exquisitely artistic Suun Dhoka, or the golden gate, Leading into the royal place. The royal place is also known as the "place of 55 windows", next to which is the National Art Gallery. The inner portion of the palace has the Taleju courtyard and her house. Beyond is the Sundari Chowk. The outer perimeters of the complex is replete with pillars and pavilions: Chyasalin Mandap, Durga Temple, Taumadhi Tole and others. To the right, and in another square, is the famed 30-meters (98 feet) Nyatapole Temple (built in 1702), the tallest and most multi-roofed edifice in To Nepal. To its right is the Kashi Bishwanath Temple. On the side of the square is the vantage Nyatapole Café, and beyond it is the community of the famous potters. There are marvelous pottery squares where you can see the living workshop in pottery turning the traditional wheel, making different item and draying it.
The itinerary leads to the distant Dattatreya Square; it is name after the triad deities Bharma (creator), Bishnu (presenter) and Mahesaor (emancipator). This Square is famous place for wood carving as well. The peacock and lotus windows along the Pujari Math are the great in wood carving consecrated to Humanity representing in 16th century technology.
Swayambhunath is a Buddhist stupa on a western hill of Kathmandu. More than 2,500 years old, this ancient landmark is connected to the visit of Manjushree who created Kathmandu- a lake then - by draining its waters. The sage saw a celestial lotus in bloom on the top of this hill and sanctified it. The stupa of Swayambhu is a hemispherical mound of compacted earth , and is built to specific rules, and is replete with symbols. The mound of compacted earth, and is built to specific rules , and is replete with symbols. The mound represents the four elements of earth, fire, wind and water. The 13 gilded rings of the spire symbolize the 13 steps of the ladder leading to nirvana, the final salvation. The shrine is bedecked in colorful prayer flags and monkeys hanging around.
The pilgrim's progress to swayambhunath's holy premises is actually through a sylvan path of are 365 steps. The entrance is graced by a huge vajra (symbol of thunderbolt). Statues of Buddha on the four corners of the stupa. Statues of goddesses Ganga and Jamuna guard the eternal flame behind it. There is a Tibetan Gompa (monastery ) and innumerable chaityas (small stupas ). The balconies of Swayambhunath are ideal for viewing the entire Valley.
The Great Stupa of Bouddhanath is a jewel point in the center of a natural mandala, a store of secret energy. It is built on flat surface, and is the largest in Nepal It is in various levels of terraces, and is painted in pastel, and is adorned with player flags. It is set in the mandala design. Altogether 108 Buddha images and 147 insets of prayer wheels adorn the base of the huge circular edifice.It was built by the LIchavi King Man Dev in the 5thcentury.
Bouddhanath is one of the most sacred places of the Buddhist. For the Tibetan Buddhist, it's even more sacred and therefore more crowded by the Tibetan Monks and Nuns than other Buddhist site. All pilgrims and devotes walk, and prostrating clockwise direction (this is known as kora), turning the mani wheels recite the holy mantras of the dates of compassion.
Changu Narayan is the most ancient Hindu temple in Kathmandu , and is dedicated to lord Vishnu. Another face is that the complex is built on a peninsula which was not submerged in water as most of the flat valley once was. The lavishly decorated two -tiered principal Temple stands on a spacious courtyard, and is literally littered with artistic and priceless statues, idols and sculptures. Some date back to 4th century AD.
Pashupatinath is the one of the most sacred Hindu temple in the world; it is dedicated to the lord Shiva (god of the god). The Pashupatinath complex is very large with 492 temples, shrines, stupas Patis (public inn), Satals and other landmark. There are more than thousand Shiva lingams (Phallic symbol of Shiva).Its burning Ghats on the riverbank are the holiest in Nepal. There is no dated record showing when the temple of Lord Pashupatinath was first build but some of unclrearify carving dated found first existed at 459 A.D. However it is rebuilt several times, the present temple built by King Shiva Deva III around 1120 A.D and King Jayasthgiti Malla in the late 14thcentury.A gold plated roof, silver doors and woodcarving of the finest quality decorates the Pagoda construction. There are many great festivals,which are celebrate according to Lunar calendar such as Teej (Women fulfill festival), Balachaturdasi, full moon day and Mahashivaratri. Mahashivaratri is great night of lord Shiva, which celebrate all Shiva's temple with devotion, enthusiasm and jubilation to the greatest day of Load Shiva. Every year thousands of Sadu and pilgrimage come from India and around the world. Ancient religious scriptures said that if you visit this holy site, you can clear the way to haven.
Lumbini: The Birth Place of Lord Buddha
Lumbini is located 300 km southwest of Capital Kathmandu; the birth place of Lord Buddha (Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who later attained enlightenment as the Buddha)) is one of the greatest pilgrimage site for all who cherish peace and harmony. He was born in Lumbini garden in 623 B.C., when Maya Devi (the queen of Shakya King Suddhodhana of Kapil vastu) was walking to her parent home in Devedaha in the full moon day of May. A great stone pillar from the Indian Emperor Ashoka, who made a pilgrimage tour in 249 B.C. inscription signifying the birth of Load Buddha.The stupas built during different periods dating from 3rd B.C. to 15th century A.D., the Maya Devi Temple and Pushkarni Pound where the baby Siddhartha was given his first bath are some edifices of Lumbani. The world-renowned architect professor Tang from Japan design the master plan of Lumbini them government of Nepal established Lumbini Development Trust in 1978.The master plan segregates the Lumbini area in to four main components:
i)The sacred garden which includes, the Maya Devi Temple, the Nativity Sculpture, the Marker Stone, Puahkarini Pound, Ashokan Pillar and Group of Stupas.
ii) The Monastic Zones: Eastern lane of the Theravada Monastic Zone including Royal Thai Monastery which are built by the Government of Thailand, Indian Monastery which is built by Maha Bodhi Society of Kolkatta, Burma Temple and monastery which is built by the Government of Myanmar, Sri Lankan Monastery which is built by Government of Ceylon, Nepal typical monastery, and Nepal Vipasana center.
Walking through western Monastic Zone:Panditaram Meditation Center, Dharmodaya Sabha, Manang Stupa, Korean Monastery, the China temple (the Chinese Monastery), Vietnamese Monastery, French and Austrian monastery and guest houses for mediation practice. On the north side is situated Japanese Monastery, Ladakh Monastery,German Monastery and Nepali Buddhist monastery.
ii) The Lumbini Culture site: Lumbini Museum, Lumbini International Research Institute and Friendship Bridge.
iv) The Lumbini Buddhist Circuit tout to Tilaurakot,Kundan, Gatihawa, Niglihawa, Devadha and Ramagrama. There are 62 archeological sites scattered outside the Lumbini.
The cultural walk through the villages surrounding Lumbini interacting with the warm and hospitable local people, buying their authentic handicrafts product and observing their traditional rituals bring one closer to understanding the diversity of Terai cultures and landscapes in Nepal.
Pokhara - A Blend of culture, Nature and Adventure
Pokhara - a city of lakes and blessed with matchless natural beauty, is situated at an elevation of about 800 meters above sea level and lies 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu. Pokhara is the second largest tourist destination in Nepal after the Kathmandu Valley. With its several lakes and green hills, and the picturesque view of the snow-capped mountains, Pokhara is also known as Nepal’s Switzerland. Pokhara is well-known city for adventure activities such as trekking, mountaineering, kayaking, boating and whitewater rafting. It also offers opportunities of sightseeing and bird watching and three out of the 10 highest mountains on earth - Mt Dhaulagiri, Mt Annapurna I and Mt Manaslu. Pokhara, an ancient trade route, and its surrounding areas are a melting pot of different ethnic groups of Nepal. The city attracts a lot of domestic visitors as well. The number of tourist buses operating between Pokhara and Kathmandu has been increasing significantly over the years because of the growing demand.
In recent years, Pokhara has become a sanctuary for adventure sports like paragliding, skydiving, zip flyer and other ultra-light aircraft flights. On board an ultra-light aircraft, one can have a complete spectrum of the Pokhara Valley, mountain peaks and lakes. Zip-flyer is new adventure tourism product in Pokhara. Nepal's only zip-flyer connects Sarangkot hill, a famous paragliding spot and view point in Pokhara, with Hemja. The 1860 meters long zip-flyer is regarded as the world's longest, tallest and most extreme zip-flying adventure.
Access to go Pokhara:
1) By Land - There are regularly operation tourist bus from Kathmandu, Chitwan, Lumbini and also connect from Delhi, a capital of city of India.
2) By Plane - Plane is another option to go in and out from Pokhara but the flight only connect with Kathmandu and many flights are operating everyday from different airlines of Nepal.