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Kathmandu previously named Kantipur is the major social, cultural, political, and economic hub, as well as the first entry point of most tourists entering the country. Nepal’s only international airport is centrally located in the Kathmandu Valley. The city is rich in ancient cultures, traditions, and buildings. The prevailing lifestyle, ceremonies, old temples, buildings, and monuments reflect the richness of a tradition blended in Hinduism and Buddhism. Kathmandu is known as the “City of the Gods.”
Therefore, the city’s major tourist attractions are religious structures such as temples, shrines, and monuments. At the very heart of Kathmandu is Hanuman Dhoka Darbar Square. This ancient square includes a complex of palaces including Kumari Ghar, home of the living goddess Kumari, courtyards, temples, and a museum. Most structures were built between the twelfth and eighteenth centuries. Hanuman Dhoka Palace was the main political center and residence of the king before Narayanhiti Royal Palace was constructed. This palace is still important because of its historical traditions, and most important state social, religious, and political ceremonies are performed here. The valley offers excellent scenery, including picturesque views of Manaslu, Gorakh, Everest, and other peaks. A combination of historical, cultural, and natural features in and surrounding Kathmandu have contributed to the city’s charm. The myths and legends, religious traditions and mysticism, reverence and meditation combine to make Kathmandu a magically romantic place. It is said that the name Kathmandu was taken from Kasthamandap (a temple of wood), which was made from a single tree in the pagoda style in a.d. 1596. Thamel is the main tourist hot spot. Nightlife there has a strongly Western (hip hop) flavor, as it blends the tastes of Eastern and Western cultures. Hinduism’s oldest and holiest temple, Pashupatinath, and the Buddhist shrines Swayambhu and Buddhanath are the most popular tourist spots in Kathmandu.

The city of Kathmandu was built by king Gun Kamdev in 723 A.D. It is said that Kathmandu was a lake in the past and was made habitable by Manjushree, who cut open the hill to south Chovar) as to allow the water of lake to flow out. It is said that Kathmandu city was named after . Kastha-Mandap. meaning the temple made of wood in Sanskrit , an imposing pagoda near Hanuman Dhoka Palace. It was built in 1596 out of a single tree by King Laxmi Narashingha Malla. Kathmandu Metropolitan City was established as a city sanitation Unit ( Saphai Adda ) on B.S.. 1976. Later on it was changed to Municipality Office during the premiership of Bhim Shamsher J.B. Rana on B.S. 1988. After the destructive tremor of 1990 BS ( 1993AD ) modern urbanization was started and roads were planned For the first time municipality office distributed the land plots in concession rates to the people . During the Premiership of Padma Shamsher J.B.Rana a city Municipality board was formed but it could not function and all representative resigned. After the democracy movement of B.S. 2007 (1950 AD ) Municipality Act was passed and Kathmandu City was divided into 18 sectors and 18 members were elected to form the municipality Board on B.S. 2110.

Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city in Nepal. The Kathmandu Valley is around 25km from west to east and 20km from north to south. Kathmandu is at an elevation of 1300m and the surrounding area and hills range from 1500m to 2800m. There are three roads that come into the valley, two to the south going towards India and one in the north going towards Tibet. Throughout Kathmandu they are many temples, shrines, interesting buildings, traditional villages and some great scenery. It can easily spend a week visiting the places in the valley. Besides visiting the main city in the Kathmandu Valley there are other interesting places to visit such as temple, stupas, villages and mountain viewpoints. Thing can get much quieter after leaving Kathmandu. One of the main places to visit is the Buddhist site of Swayambhunath, which has a great setting on top of a hill. It is easy walking distance from Kathmandu. The most important Hindu temple is Pashupatinath, on the east side of Kathmandu near the airport. Also interesting is the Tibetan Buddhist site of Bodhnath. Some of the good mountain viewpoints on the edge of the valley are Nagarkot, Dhulikhel and Kakani. Some interesting temples you may want to visit are Changu Narayan, near Bhaktapur, which has some great ancient sculptures, Budhanilkantha, north of Kathmandu, which has an ancient 1400-year-old deity of Lord Vishnu, and Dakshinkali, in the southwestern part of the valley, which is a Kali temple.

The locale, with its attractions and amenities, is the most important as these are very basic to tourism. It is the products which motivates tourists to visit and see certain things in certain destination. Accommodation plays a central role and is very basic to tourist destinations. And Accessibility is a very crucial factor as it is a means by which a tourist can reach the area where attractions are located. Every country of the world possesses varying attractions. Natural attractions, cultural values and archaeological beauties are the main attractions in Kathmandu. With possession of such numerous attractions, the potentiality of tourism is very high in Kathmandu city.

ATTRACTIONS IN KATHMANDU

Kathmandu, a blend of ancient history, vibrant cultures and scenic grandeur, is rich in cultural, traditions, historical, art, archaeological, and scenic attractions. Kathmandu has a pleasing weather and different types of festivals are observed throughout the year. The Kathmandu and many other parts of the country are endowed with arts, sculptures and architectures. Simplicity of design, regularity of motifs and refinement of taste are the salient features of Nepalese temples.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Durbar Square

The best place to begin your sightseeing of Kathmandu valley is the Kathmandu Durbar. An entrance fee of Rs. 200 for foreign nationals and Rs. 25 for the SAARC countries is to be paid to get into Durbar Square. A very old Hindu text has described Kathmandu as the land of gods surrounded by beautiful mountains around. Some two hundred years ago a western Visitor wrote that there were as many temples as there were houses and many idols as there were people. In fact Kathmandu boasts one of the largest congregations of magnificent historical monuments and shrines ever built. Duly recognized as a world Heritage Site by UNESCO- this particular area best known as Kathmandu Durbar Square lies in the heart of this city. The Newars are regarded as the original inhabitants of this majestic valley, but their origins are shrouded in mystery. They speak Newari language and their physical features range from distinctively Mongoloid. Kathmandu Valley has long been a cultural and racial melting pot with people coming from both east and west. This fusion has resulted in the unique Newari culture that is responsible for the valley.s superb art and architecture. Locally also called as Hanuman Dhoka Palace Square-an ancient seat of the Nepalese Royalty. Some of the important monuments to be seen here are:

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 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. Hanuman here is regarded as a powerful protector of the entire Durbar Square. Kneeling in his usual posture on a pedestal, Hanuman is a hero from the Hindu epic Ramayana, who endows military success to his devotees – the reason why he has been placed there. The gate is guarded by two stone lions that are mounted by the god Shiva and his consort, Parvati. Immediately inside is the biggest of the Hanuman Dhoka Palace.s chowks courtyards, Nasal Chowk. This is where the king’s coronation takes place and where various other festivities are held. Here we also find the entrance to the Tribhuvan Museum largely dedicated to the memory of the late king Tribhuvan. The Panch Mukhi Hanuman Temple, with its five circular roofs, whose entrance is limited only to priests, lies at the north-eastern corner of the Nasal chowk.

Basantapur Tower

There are four towers in the palace. Of these, Basantapur Tower, built by King Prithvi Narayan Shah around the Lohan Chowk, is the tallest. Mook Chowk is the courtyard dedicated to the goddess, Taleju Bhawani, and is used only for religious functions of the palace. Taleju temple, tallest of all structures built by king Mahendra Malla in 1549 A.D.

Kumari Ghar

17th century Kumari temple, an example of the highly developed Nepalese temple craft. It the house of the Royal Kumari acknowledged to be a Living Goddess. The building has profusely carved wooden balconies and window screens. Two painted stone lions stand guard at the entrance. Visitors may enter the courtyard to see Kumari, but are forbidden to take photographs.

Shiva Parvati Temple House

Temple lies on the left as one walks into the Durbar Square from Kumari Bahal. The celestial couple carved in wood look down into the street from the central window on the upper floor. They are overlooking the place, have a look where Shiva is holding his left hand! Again this Temple has fantastic carved windows and two lions guarding the entrance.

Maju Deval

This Temple is dedicated to Shiva and inside you will find a famous Lingam. The temple is set atop nine levels of plinth. The steps of this temple is a favorite place to sit and watch the daily life. Both locals and tourists can be found reposing against the many levels of platforms watching the bustle of the crowd below or even enjoying a siesta. Gadhi Baithak stands out very conspicuously, or rather, incongruously in the same square with its neoclassical European architecture. Built in the early years of the 20th century during the Rana period, its balcony overlooking the square is from where the king witness the pageantry of the Indra Jatra festival.

Trailokya Mohan Narayan Temple

The Trailokya Mohan Temple was built in 1680 by Prithvibendra Malla. It is on the immediate left as one walks out of the Kumari Bahal. It is built on a panoply of five plinths that narrow down at each upper level and above the shrine is a three-tiered roof. On the back you see a beautiful Garuda.

Bhagwati Temple

Is the three storied building next to the Gaddi Baithak. Built by King Jagat Jaya Malla in 1670 and originally dedicated to Lord Narayan.

The Big Bell

Was erected by the son of Prithvi Narayan Shah, Rana Bahadur in 1797. The ringing of bell is said to drive away evil spirits, and is rung on occasion when ceremonies are held at Degu Taleju Temple.

Vishnu Temple

Lies next to the Big Bell and after it comes the Saraswati Temple. Both were severely damaged in the Great Earthquake of 1934. Krishna Mandir is the next monument and was built in 1648 by King Pratap Malla in imitation of its more famous namesake in Patan. It has an octagonal shaped construction with a three-tiered roof.

Pratap Dhvaja

King Pratap Malla’s statue called Prataf Dhvaja lies mounted on the high pillar on the outer courtyard. He sits with hands folded and surrounded by is two wives and five children facing the entrance of Hanuman Dhoka. Seto Bhairab.s huge glided face lies hidden behind a latticed wooden screen. The screen is only opened for ten days once every year during the festival of Indra Jatra when devotees flock around the shower this image with rice and confetti of flower petals.

Jagannath temple

The temple is in the central part of the Durbar Square, exhibits a variety of erotic carvings on the struts supporting its canopies. Built in the 16th century, known for fascinating erotic figures carving the wooden struts eaves. Next to it lies Gopinath Mandir, a temple honoring Lord Krishna.

Kal Bhairav

Is one of the largest stone idol in Kathmandu representing the terrifying aspects of Shiva. Kal Bhairav is a massive relief in stone of a fierce-looking deity, painted in black and garlanded with skulls around neck, and bright red and yellow ornaments. Indrapur Temple lies immediately east of the Kal Bhairav and adjoining it is the Vishnu Temple. North of it is the Kakeshwar Temple built in 1681. Stone inscriptions in 15 languages, including English and French, can been seen outside the wall of the Hanuman Dhoka opposite the Vishnu Temple.

Kotilingeshwar Mahadev Temple

Is a Shiva Temple built in the 1500s in the era of King Mahendra Malla. Set atop three levels of plinth, it is a square structure with a domed roof. Mahavishnu Temple stands on a set of four levels of plinth and has a two-tiered roof. Mahendrashwar Temple is another temple dedicated to Shiva. It has two levels of plinth and it topped by a golden umbrella.

The Ganesh shrine Ashok Binayak

One of my favorites places on Durbar Square is the little Ganesh temple on the corner of the Kasthamandap. From the early morning an, devotees are coming to give some offerings to Ganesh, asking luck for a travel or a business. After giving a little offering to the god, they receive a little spot of red color on their head, the Hindu Thikka. This magic place is absolutely worth to be visited very early in the morning.

Kasthamandap

The name means house of wood. The Kathmandu City derives its name from Kasthamandap. This Temple is supposed to be on of the oldest remaining houses of Kathmandu. This unique wooden temple is also known as Maru Satal. It was built in 1596 A.D. by King Laxmi Narsingh Malla. They say the timber used for its relevant construction was sawed out of a single tree.

Taleju Temple

The grandest among all the temple in Kathmandu Durbar Square is Taleju Temple. Standing on a level of twelve plinth at a height exceeding 35 meters, this temple dominates the landscapes around Durbar Square. Built in 1564 by King Mahendra Malla. It is only opened to the public during the festival of Dashain.

Nautale Durbar.

Besides this other fascinating part of this palace complex is the towering Nautale Durbar overlooking the beautiful cityscape and the vast Basantapur square where Prithivi Narayan Shah built mansion to commemorate his victory in 1768 A.D. This building complex is known for the most intricately carved wooden doorways roof struts and massive lattice windows full of mythical figures.

Swoyambhu Nath Stupa

Swoyambhu stupa

Svayambhunath is a hilltop temple complex situated on the northwestern boundary of Kathmandu, with panoramic views of the valley and city. Its main feature is a Buddhist stupa, the Maha Chaitya, reputed to be more than 2,000 years old. Located in a lovely little hill rock Swoyambhu Nath Stupa is one of the most fascinating architectural jewels of the world. This great Stoup is said to have been built around 250 B.C. It is indeed listed a World Heritage for Site to prove that it serves as the nerve center of faithful worship for all the devout philosophy of Bajrayan in particular and honors Lord Adi Buddha. Generally a holy memorial site Stoup represents a typical Buddhist architecture. Its main feature the white dome is identified with a spotless pure jewel of Nirvana and a thirteen tiered golden spire in conical shape surmounted on the dome. Underneath this towering structure are a pair of all seeing eyes of Buddha painted on all four sides of the Stupa. The Stupa of Swoyambhunath stands on a typically stylized lotus mandala base-a long time ago believed to have originated from a legendary lake of Kathmandu Valley. As the ancient legend goes Kathmandu Valley was a lake a long time ago. Right in the centre of this lake was a full blown lotus with the divine light a top.

When Maha Manjushri a saint from China heard about this he came rushing all the way from China to the Valley. He cut through the southern wall hill of the valley with his divine sword. The cleft made by the sword immediately drained the entire lake water making the valley floor open for a close up view of the divine lotus light. This holy site in fact is the massive stupa complex ever built in Nepal. Hundreds of votive shrines and other historical monuments built in and around this stupa speak a lot about the significance and antiquity of this famed stupa. It lies about 3k.m. west of down town Kathmandu. There are two different ways to reach for this site. One is from the west side which is relatively a short cut and another is from the east side where it leads to the main entrance with 360 steps leading all the way to the top, where the most venerated Swayambhu Stupa stands-commanding a magnificent view of Kathmandu Valley and the breathtaking panorama of the north eastern Himalayan range. Other important things to be seen here include a magnificent two tiered golden temple dedicated to Harati. She is the grandmother deity of children and small pox who was said to be the Ogress until Lord Buddha converted her to be the great caretaker of the children. Not to far from this temple is Dewa Dharma monastery-noted for a bronze icon of Buddha and traditional Tibetan paintings . The huge gold plated vajra the priestly symbol of Vajrayana Buddhism set on the Dharmadhatu mandala at the side of the stupa is worth a close look. Important days to visit this holy site: Buddha Purnima, Gunla, Kojagrath Purni and Samyak day.

Pasupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple

Pasupatinath is considered one of the holiest shrines of all the Hindu temples. It is pagoda style Hindu temple with gilt roofing and richly carved silver doors dedicated to Lord Shiva The temple has remained the presiding deity of ruling Nepalese Royalty. Located on the banks of the Bagmati river, this two tiered magnificent golden temple with four triple silver doorways is unique example of the Nepalese temple architecture. It is one of the largest Hindu temple complex in South Asia with hundreds of Shiva lingams, shrines icons of various Hindu god and goddess insides. This temple site occupies an area of 281 hectares in total. The main entrance of this temple is in the western side facing a small street of Deopatan market. As non Hindus are not allowed to enter this temple courtyard. They are advised to go on the other side of the river in the East to have a glimpse of the temple complex. In the middle of the spring (Feb.- March) every year there occurs a festival called Shivaratri. The world Shivaratri means the holy night of Lord Shiva. On this day many devotees visit the Pashupati Nath temple and make the ceremonial fire. Most of the devotees spend the night offering prayers to Shiva. This festival attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims from India besides the locals. Historically pre-Christian era this temple seems to have its origin away back to the early Kirat period. Stone sculptures found in the vicinity support the antiquity of this place. This holy site is 6 km. east oil down town Kathmandu. Regular bus and taxi services are easily available from a city points. Temple is the nerve center of pilgrimage on the festival of Shivaratri and Teej.

Guheshwori Temple

Guheshwori Temple lies 500 meters east of Pashupatinath across the Bagmati River. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shivas wife, Parbati. On a forested knoll, further behind Pashupati Temple to the eastern direction and also by the side of the bending or winding Bagmati River appears the gracious temple of Guheshwori sometimes known as Nairatma Yogini or Aksah Yogini. It is another famous spot of Hindu pilgrimage. In this case, also, only Hindus are authorized to enter the premises.

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath stupa

Boudhanath is a colossal stupa north east of Pashupatinath and lies a further 2 km by road. One of the oldest and the biggest Buddhist monuments ever built in Nepal, Boudhanath is an imposing structure standing some 36 meters. This is declared to stand as the largest Buddhist shrine of South Asia. The Stupa stands on the massive three level mandala style Platforms surrounded by colorful private family houses. The basic feature of this great stupa is very much like that of Swoyambhunath stupa except its finial displaying. It is much bigger than Swoyambhu stupa and lies on the valley floor whereas the former one stands on the hill top. This stupa is said to have been built in 5th century A. D. The site is considered very much like Mecca for the Tibetan Buddhists and every year tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the Himalayan region visit the stupa. Some of the gompas surrounding Boudha are Sakyapa Gompa, Chinya-Lama Gompa, Nyingmapa Gompa, Kargyupa Gompa, Gelugpa Gompa etc. According to a very popular legend long time ago the kingdom of Kathmandu was under terrifying draught. King Dharma Deva was very worried. An astrologer advised him that only the sacrifice of an ideal man with 32 virtues in front of the dry royal water spout could make the rain fall in the country. And in the following night he commanded his son to go to the dry water spout inside the royal palace compound at mid night and behead the person shrouded in white robe without looking at him. The Prince obeyed his father but to his great horror only to find it was none other than his own father. In order to atone the big sin and in removal the prince said to have built this great stupa. As an entry point of ancient Nepal-Tibet trade rout, the site is popularly frequented by Tibetan visitors. During Lhosar festival the pilgrims worship the Buddhist deities, light the increase and butter lamp day and night. Every twelve year a special ceremony is observed with great gusto and fervor . During that time they dance, play musical instruments, chant and hymns.

Changu Narayan

Changu Narayan, with an ancient Hindu temple complex inside an enclosed courtyard, located approximately 13 km. east north- east from Kathmandu, the temple is also on a hilltop, at an altitude of 1550 meters above sea level. Narayan, or Vishnu, is the preserver of creation to Hindus. Situated on the beautiful hill, the square two storey temple stands in the centre of a brick paved courtyard, with the main structure raised on a three tier diminishing plinth, with doors on all four sides. The doors have pairs of carvings of animals such as lions, horses, griffins, and elephants with the main western door richly carved in brass, with a brass tympanum above the door. The roof is supported by 24 struts or brackets, which serve as decoration and to support the temple roof. His temple is often described as the most ancient temple in Kathmandu, based on a fifth century inscription on a stone pillar discovered inside the temple grounds. The Changu Narayan complex and associated statues, carvings and artifacts cover sixteen hundred years of Newari art and in effect chart the cultural development of the indigenous Newari people. The courtyard has many other temples such as that of Kileshwar Shiva, , Chinnamasta Devi, and other figures like that of Garuda. The temple and surrounding buildings exhibit some of the finest stone, wood, and metal craft in the Valley. It is therefore sacred to adherents of both religions and attracts thousands of pilgrims from around the world each year as one of the three most venerated power places in the Kathmandu Valley.

Dachhinkali

Kali is a bloodthirsty Hindu Goddess. This particular temple lies in the southernmost suburbs of the Valley, beyond Furping downward in a solitary ravine. So she is termed .Dachhinkali. meaning South Kali. The important days for religious pilgrimage include Tuesdays and Saturdays. A ritual worship attached by animal sacrifice would not be an uncommon scene here the practice of which is totally against Buddhism in the birth land of Lord Buddha. The poor victims include the fowls, birds and sheep in general.

Buddhanilkantha

Situated in the northern suburbs of the Valley just at the foot of Mt. Shibapur, this is an enchanting Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Bishnu Narayan. So the locality is also known as Narayanthan. He lies in a bed of serpents amidst the pious pool and seems to float on water. The surrounding pond actually represents the sea. The reclining statue was built in the 5th century A.D.The season of religious celebration here takes place right after the festival of Tihar. Although it is a renowned spot of worship, the reigning king of Nepal may it be contemporary or any Hindu monarch may not visit this place for reasons particularly unknown. Thus to please the king a replica of it has been built elsewhere if he wishes to visit it much.

Bhadrakali Temple

As the eastern edge of the Tundikhel, near Shahid Gate stands the temple of Goddess Bhadrakali. This temple is also known as Lumarhi Temple and is one of the main Shakta Temples of Kathmandu city.

Karunamaya Temple

It is a Buddhist pagoda of considerable artistic beauty located in a holy courtyard called Jan Bahal, which is full of stupas and statues nearby Indra-Chowk. It consists of a two tiered bronze roof built by King Yakshta Malla in 1502 A.D. This authentic temple is surrounded by residential houses and busy shops. The chariot festival of White Karunamaya-the .God of Mercy is annually celebrated in Kathmandu Valley.

Akash Bhairab Temple

Also referred to as the Blue Bhairab sometimes, it is a three-storeyed temple in the principal market called Indra Chowk. The divine image of the Akash Bhairab is displayed outside for a week – long period during the great festival of Indra Jatra. The celebration of Indra Jatra honors Indra- the King of Heaven and the God of Rain.

Jaishi Dewal

Five minutes from Kasthmandap 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.

Kimdol Monastery

Situated within Ward No. 15 of Kathmandu City adjacent to Swayamvu Hill is another famous Buddhist monastery called Kimdol. It is a small town itself full of Buddhist citizens. Kimdol resumes a hillock atop which sits a Buddhist embracing the two major aspects of Buddhism including Mahayan Lamaism and Hinyan Therbad. Apart form that we find numerous stupas, chaityas and chhortens scattered around. Prayer-flags with printed Tibetan characters and holy diagrams flutter many terraces and rooftops. Kimdol bahal is believed to be the location whence the Hinyan Therbad from of Buddhism highly developed. Today only nunnery of the saffron robe is practiced here; monk hood has eventually shifted elsewhere. The bahal restricts the consumption of liquors of any kind strong or mild, tobacco, meat, fish, egg and even garlic for all visiting the monastery. The spectacular view of old Kathmandu, i.e. Kantipur, can be clearly fetched form Kimdol height.

Kopan Monastery

Hundreds of monks and nuns live at this monastery, which offers meditation courses year round.

Other temples

Some of the other religious temple situated around Kathmandu are:
Sweta Macchendra Temple. Temple attracts both Hindus and Buddhists.
Lunchun Lunbun Ajima. Tantric Temple.
Krishna Temple. Temple jammed between buildings in Ason Tole.
Annapurna Temple. Dedicated to the goddess of abundance.
Ugratara Temple. A prayer at the shrine said to work wonders for the eyes.
Ikha Narayan Temple. Temple with four armed Vishnu figure.
Kathesimbhu Stupa. South of Thahiti Tole.
Jaisi Deval Temple. Shiva Temple, as shown by the bull on the first few steps.
Ram Chandra Mandir. This temple is notable for the tiny erotic scenes on its roof.
Adko Narayan Temple. One of the four most popular Vishnu Temple.
Kalmochan Temple. On the side of Bagmati River, known as kalmochan Temple.
Tripureshwar Mahadev. Along the footpath of Tripureshwar.
Tindeval Temple. It is recognized by its three shikaras.
Pachali Bhairab. The image of Pachali surrounded by tridents.
Nava Durga Temple. A small two storey pagoda.
Mahankala Temple. The Temple of Great Death.
Neel Saraswati. Dedicated to the goddess Saraswati, located at Gairidhara.
Ganesthan. Dedicated to the god Ganesh, located at Gairidhara.
Maitidevi. Dedicated to the goddess Durga.
Naxal Bhagawati. Dedicated to the goddess Bhagawati.

Narayanhiti Royal Palace

This is the current Royal Palace where the Himalayan Monarch of the Shah dynasty resides. It is built on a site of a much older one and owns a colossal compound. During the reign of late King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, the father of the present king, the main gate was facing west. Today the main gate eventually faces south. Special permission has to be gotten to enter the palace premises on days of privilege. A famous historic water spout called Narayanhity, is situated at the southern corner of the Palace.

Singha Durbar

Literally meaning Lion Palace, it is a grand imposing palace built on the neo-classical style surrounded by a colossal compound. It was built by His Excellency Maharaja Chandra Shamsher S.J.B. Rana- the 5th Rana Prime Minister. It once stood as the private residence of the Rana Premiers till 1950 but now remains the Secretariat Building of His majesty.s Government. The Parliament including the Upper House and the Lower House, the Radio Station, the Television Station, etc. are all located in the very premises.

Martyr’s Memorial/Sahid Gate

This is located on the way to Singha Durbar, between Bhimsen Stambha and Bhadrakali temple. The memorial arch contains the effigies of four political leaders who were mercilessly martyred in 1940. Two were hung and two were shot. They include Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Shukra Raj Joshy, Dashrath Chand and Ganga Lal Shrestha. The fatherly statue of late King Tribhuwan Bir Bikram Shah Deb appears high in the middle. Late King Tribhuwan is solely held responsible to lead the Historical revolution of 1950- 51 for laying the foundation of today.s democratic system, virtually replacing the cruel family autocracy of the Ranas.

Dharahara

Also known as Bhimsen Tower to the local people, it is a 165 feet tall tower built by Premier Bhimsen Thapa in 1932. One fetches a panoramic view of the whole valley of Kathmandu from the top of the tower. It has been open for the general public since Magh 2061 B.S.

Ranipokhari

Situated in between Ratna Park and Jamal. This historical pond has been built by Pratap Malla to sympathize his beloved wife who was deeply shocked by the death of his son. The pond is opened for public only at the last day of Tihar – .Bhai Tika.. Those who doesn.t have any brothers or sisters visit Rani Pokhari to pay homage to Lord Shiva on that day.

Nagpokhari

Nagpokhari is situated at Naxal, at the eastern side of the Royal Palace along the main road stretching from Thamel upto NaniKeshar Bahal. Nagpokhari bears great religious and historical significance possessing perennial importance after Ranipokhari. Its overall importance gradually increased after the renovation as a park on the initiative of Her Late Majesty the Queen Aishwarya Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah. There are other historical and cultural heritages situated in and around Nagpokhari area mainly Royal Palace, Lal Durbar, NAFA Hall, Phohara Durbar, Naxal Bhagawati, Nandikeshar Bahal, Shankar Kriti Mahabihar etc. Naga Panchami is the festival of snakes celebrated on the fifth day of the bright fortnight in the month of shravan. Naga, the Snake God is one of the important deities worshipped by the Nepalese believing that Naga or Snake protects and fulfill their wishes.Great lord Shiva wears Nagas as garland on his neck.

Town Center/Street/Neighborhood:

Thamel is action central. The number of shops, selling everything from antiques to hiking boots, seems uncountable. Signs jam every inch of wall space and nearly overwhelm the visitor. Trekking, rafting, travel agencies, hotels and guest houses bump up against one another. one can’t imagine how so many businesses manage to survive. But they do, along with the tailors, jewelers, book shops, cassette dealers, and others who make the Thamel area a kaleidoscope of sights and sounds. There are three main shrines in Thamel. The Thamel Bahal is enroute to Kantipath. It consists of three temples known popularly as the .three sisters.. During Dasain, the bahal is decorated with red paint and fresh green shoots. Devotees go to pay their respects and to celebrate the triumph of the goddess Durga over Mahisasur, the embodiment of evil. The last shrine juts out into a lane in Thamel. The stone figure of Durga is in its well-known stance, but the face has been restored in gilded metal. This small temple remains brightly lit throughout the night. Apart from legends, walking away from the royal palace towards Thamel, you’ll find the Thamel Bahal guarded by stone griffins. Adjacent to it is Sanchaya Kosh, a large shopping arcade. The frenzied tourist activity in the surrounding area. To the right, the road leads to Bhagwan Bahal. There are still some old houses with fragments of carved window frames visible. Thamel.s curio and antique shops are fun to browse in. Thamel is a book-lover’s paradise. Both new and used books jam every inch of space in Thamel.s book shops. Eating out is never a problem in Thamel. Restaurants serve Italian, Austrian, Indian, German, Thai, Chinese, Nepali, and Tibetan food. Pizza, burgers and fries, croissants, hot dogs, steak, and vegetarian specialties are readily available. By night Thamel is the social center of Kathmandu. Enjoy a few drinks while listening to oldies or the latest rock music. Watch a movie on video while enjoying your pizza. Meet up with friends old and new around the tables of Trammel’s restaurants and bars. Or catch up with friends and family in other time zones through the international telephone and fax services now available throughout the area.

Durbar Marg

Durbar Marg runs south from the gates of the Royal Palace and is Kathmandu’s main upscale shopping and hotel street. Lining this wide avenue, you.ll find expensive restaurants, deluxe hotels, and shops selling jewelry, imported clothing, and Tibetan antiques.

Freak Street

Well-known in the days when Kathmandu was the hippie capital of the world, Freak Street is no longer the budget traveler’s main lodging area in Kathmandu. However, shops and very cheap guest houses still line this street just south of Basantapur Square, which itself is at the southeast corner of Durbar Square. This area is a thriving center for bargaining, eating and meeting other travelers.

Tundikhel

A huge green field, flanks one entire side of the old city TundikheL. Some of the important landmarks of Kathmandu valley are located in the periphery of this area. At the south western end of Tundikhel is a 59.29m. tower built by Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa in 1832 A.D. known as Dharahara (or Bhimsen Stambha). Sundhara-fountains with golden water spouts is situated at the foot of this great tower also belonging to the same period.

Museums and Art Galleries
National Museum

The National Museum is located at Chhauni which is close by the Swayambhunath Stupa. Religious, secular and military artifacts of all kinds are housed in the three buildings comprising this museum complex. Situated two and a half kilometers west of Kathmandu City, the National Museum has a splendid collection of arms, artifacts, statues, etc. from ancient, medieval and modern Nepal. Its archaeological and historical displays are real worth-seeing. It is a veritable storehouse of breathtaking bronze statues, rich collection of Paubha scroll paintings or thangkas, leather cannons and relics of the Great Earthquake of 1934, along with the collection of terracotta. The museum is open everyday except Tuesday and government holidays. National Numismatic Museum Housed in the Mahendra Memorial Building of the National Museum at Chhauni, this museum contains a rare collection of Nepali coins spanning from the 2nd till the 18th Century, right across the reigns of the Licchavi, Thakuri, Malla and the Shah dynasties. Extraordinary exhibits on display include clay coins. The museum stands in old gardens and is ripe for renovation and upgrading in the same style as the Patan Museum. Open daily, except Sundays, Mondays and Holidays, from 9.00am to 4.30pm.

Tribhuvan Museum

This museum dedicated to one of Nepal.s beloved kings is located in Hanuman Dhoka Palace and highlights the life of King Tribhuvan, chief architect of the liberation struggle against the authoritarian rule of the Rana family in 1951. Exhibits include King Tribhuvan.s childhood dresses, ceremonial costumes, personal belongings, including dioramas his bedroom and office room. the galleries displays rare photographs, paintings, and portraits of other Shah rulers and members of the royal family. The Hanuman Dhoka Palace, also Known as Nolchhen, used to be the seat of the Malla Kings of Kathmandu by Prithivi Narayan Shah in 1768. Yours tickets entitle you to climb the Basantapur Tower and look out over the temples of Darbar Square. Cameras. Cameras are not allowed inside the museum. Open daily, except Sundays, Mondays and holidays, from 9.15am to 4.00pm.

Mahendra Museum

Another attraction in the historic Hanuman Dhoka Palace complex, this section vividly sheds light on the life of late King Mahendra. The King’s cabinet room, office chamber and personal belongings such as medals, decoration, gift, coins, stamps, and his literary creations are on exhibition. Open daily, except Sundays, Mondays and holidays, from 9.15am to 4.00pm. You can visit the Mahendra Museum with your ticket to the Tribhuvan Museum.

Natural History Museum

This museum is behind Swayambhunath Stupa and houses exhibits of animals, butterflies and plants. Open daily from 10:00 am till r:00 pm, expect Saturdays and government holidays. Stuffed animals, birds and crocodiles are a big draw at the museum, particularly for children. Open daily, except Saturdays and holidays, from 10.00am to 5.00pm.

The National Birendra Art Gallery

The Nepal Association of Fine Arts (NAFA) at Naxal has a collection of about 150 art pieces by prominent Nepalese artists. Art exhibitions are held regularly, and there are also studios where artists can be seen at work. Housed in a fine old unrestored Rana palace, named Bal Mandir. Open daily except Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Woodcarving Studio

Nepal’s ancient tradition of woodcarving still flourishes among the Newar community. You can find the collection of traditional window frame-styled photo frames, lamp stands, mirror stands, jewelry boxes, tables and a variety of furniture.

Asa Archives

The archives are located on the western fringe of the old part of Kathmandu, and possess an exceptional collection of about 7,000 loose-leaf handwritten books and over 1,200 palm-leaf documents. The oldest manuscript in the collection is dated 1242 A.D., and the manuscripts are in Sanskrit and the Newari Language (Nepalbhasa), located at Tengal west of Nhyokha Tol. Open daily except Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Keshar Library

This library houses the collection of one man, Kaiser Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana (1891-1964). Located in a palatial building on the corner of Tridevi Marg, Thamel and opposite the west end of the Royal Palace. It includes books, (over 45,000) covering unrelated topics such as astrology and law, history, hunting, religion and philosophy. This library is one of the finest and oldest libraries in Nepal that reflects the priorities, pursuits and interests of a bygone era. Here your search ends in the discovery of many interesting and rare books. Exquisitely framed photographs of eminent people are assets to this haven of knowledge. It is also like a museum harboring a precious collection. This library waits to be discovered but more so, to impart knowledge to people. Open daily except Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Scenic Attractions in Kathmandu
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. This is an interesting large compound sitting at the foot of Mount Nagarjun in the northeast corner of the Valley. Its premises include numerous worthy items. The important ones are the Twenty-Two Water Spouts, the replica image of Lord Buddhanilkantha, the Olympic size swimming pool, etc. Among all the attractions, the major one stands as the Twenty-Two Water Spouts and the whole compound uphill and downhill itself makes an enchanting picnic-spot for holiday-makers. The annual festival is celebrated on a full-moon day of the spring season. It is a merry day when many Nepalese Buddhists and Tibetan Buddhists hike up to the summit of Jamacho the starting point being Balaju or Lhuti.

Sudarijal

At the northeastern edge of the Valley, the cool streams the eventually join the holy Bagmati River flow over the waterfalls at Sundarijal into a hundred year -old reservoir. This titanic reservoir was built during the time of the Ranas. Sundarijal is fifteen kilometers away form Kathmandu City and is also the starting point for the popular trek to Helambu- the nearest Sherpa village. The main reservoir which supplies drinking water to the valley is roughly and hour walk uphill form here. A tinier trail forks off before the reservoir to a small rock cave, where a thirteenth century image of Mahadevi (the great Goddess) can be found. It is a pleasant bike ride along the quite roads past Gokarna. The long valley-rim walk, a minor trek that is, from Sundarijal to Nagarkot or vice-versa is suggestive to every enthusiastic trekker.

Sankhu

This is a peaceful small town the old name of which goes Shankharpur according to classical Sanskrit. The current name as referred by the local citizens goes Sakwo as well. It is situated at the northeastern corner of the valley and served to bet the exit point to Lhasa of Tibet in the earlier days. This trekking route was much used by the lucrative merchants of Nepal called the Lhasa-Newa. The whole town takes the shape of a .Shankha., which signifies the conch-shell. This falls to be the sheer reason why it has come to be titled Shankharapur and inhabited by the bonfire indigenous natives of Newars who speak a special tonal dialect Tibeto-Burmese in nature. Two kilometers above the village on a hill is the Vajra Yogini Temple dedicated to another powerful Tantric deity. Lovely chlorophyll fields and forestations surround the area.

Furping

This is a popular village amidst a lovely setting by the hillside. It is situated at the south-west corner of the Valley. Inhabited mostly by the Newars and the Tamangs both of whom are Buddhists by faith, the village is dotted with numerous Mahayan Lamaism monasteries. Another important sight is the Buddhist temple of Bajra-Yogini pertaining to the authentic philosophy of Bajrayan. A cave temple also bears an interesting tale of its own. There are healthy sectors abound with pine woods apart from the local bazaar. The Newars call this settlement Fumpi. The green premises of the one and only famous boarding high school established din 1952 assumes the name of paradise Garden.

Nagarjun Forest

This hill above Balaju and the road leading to Kakani and Trishuli shelters a pristine forest barricaded at accessible points by walls. The entrance is guarded and a nominal fee is levied for entry inside. This is another good area for bird watching and the forest also harbors deer and pheasants. On the top of the hill is a Buddhist shrine and on the eastern slopes are two caves, one of which is dedicated to the Buddha, and the other to Nagarjuna, a famous South Indian philosopher.

Shivapuri Wildlife Reserve

The Shivapuri Hills behind Budhanilkantha is a fine area for bird watching, and on a clear day, the hilltop which is at a height of 2,732 meters offers a great view of the Central Nepal Himalaya, while providing a grand panorama of the Kathmandu Valley.

Gokarna

The sacred site for the Gokarna Aunshi pilgrimate is 4 kmeast of the Boudhanath Stupa situated at the banks of the Bagmati River. Gokarna Mahadev Temple is another Shiva shrine lying on a bed of stone cobras including a beautiful 8th-century carving of Parbati. Close to Gokarna village and the Gokarna Mahadev Temple is the 260 hectares of Gokarna Park, another favorite picnic spots for locals. Within its confines are a multitude of spotted deer and black bucks roaming in the open. There is also a Golf course where weekends find diplomats, expatriates and affluent Nepali honing their skills.

Arts, architecture and Handicrafts

Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal is the storehouse of Nepali arts and architecture. You can find so many temples and statues in the streets, every other building is a temple in the city. For this reason this valley is also known as the city of temples and shrines. There are over 2,500 big temples and monuments in the small valley. The art and architecture of Kathmandu is inspired by Hindu and Buddhist religion and culture. Kathmandu is endowed with such arts and sculpture. Here are the facts about some of the famous architectural designs of Kathmandu:

Pagoda Style

The pagoda style temple is Nepals unique architectural contribution to the world. The pagoda style of architecture refers to multi-roofed structure with wide caves of the roof supported by carved wooden struts. The roofs are either topped with tiles or plated with copper gilt. A pagoda temple roof is topped off by spires. The windows are generally latticed and the doors carved. Nepal is the only country having so many temples made in the pagoda style. Some of the pagoda style temples are Changu Narayan, Pashupatipath, Taleju, Kasthamandap, Nyatapola etc.

Stupa Style

Another important style of architecture of Nepal is represented by the Stupa which is known as Chaitya also. The stupa style of architecture is Buddhist in concept. A Stupa is a solid hemispherical mound of earth, bricks or stones with a square base at the top. The square top supports a series of thirteen circular rings narrowed towards the top, and is crowned by a parasol. The four sides of the square base are painted with pairs of eyes. The eyes represent the eyes of Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Some examples of the Stupa style of architecture are Swayambhunath stupa, Bouddhnath stupa etc.

Shikhara Style

This is a tall pyramidal structure. It has either five or nine sections. The final section consists of bell-shaped top. This architectural style is actually Indian in origin. The famous example of this design is Krishana Mandir of Patan. Other better known examples of this style are the Mahabouddha temple and Jagat Narayan temple in Patan, the Vatsala temple in Bhaktapur and the Gorakhnath temple in Kathmandu.

Entertainment in Kathmandu
Night life

The most interesting after-dark activity is simply wandering the streets of old Kathmandu. As you wander the streets at night, listen for traditional Nepali music. In the evenings, impromptu bands often perform at small temples all over the city. This is also a good time to do your shopping since many shops catering to tourists stay open until 9pm. If you are dying to experience video night in Kathmandu, check the restaurants around Thamel. Many show videos of the latest Hollywood releases. There’s also a video theater at the Kathmandu Guest House.

Pubs

Pubs and bars around Kathmandu offer a lively atmosphere in the late hours. Some of these feature live local bands who present renditions of past and present Western hits. Most are located in and around the tourist area of Thamel. A wide range of drinks, including punches cocktails, can be found in these establishments. There may be temptation to try Nepali liquor but stand warned that it is a bit too strong both to the palate and the gullet. Opt for cocktails and punches. The barmen are sure to offer you a variety of cosmopolitan concoctions including a few that have been formulated locally. The best among hard liquor produced in Nepal are Himalayan Brandy, Snowland Gin, Bagpiper Whisky, Ruslan Vodka and Khukuri Rum. On the other hand locally manufactured beer happens to be good. Resulting from a combination of Nepal’s Himalayan waters and technical collaboration with celebrated international master brewers like Carlsberg, Tuborg, and San Miguel, the beers of Nepal stand at par with top world brands.

Some of the interesting bars and pubs are:

Blue Note Bar/New Orleans Café Bars & Pubs
Maya Cocktail Bar Bars & Pubs
Maya Pub. Bars & Pubs
Rum Doodle Bars & Pubs
The Tunnel Club Bars & Pubs
Tom & Jerry.s Bars & Pubs
Underground Bars & Pubs
Holiday KTV Karoke Bar

Cultural Shows/Lok Dohari Restaurants

This is one way to get a taste of Nepal’s varied cultural traditions without taking much trouble. The Lok Dohari Restaurants present Nepali cultural programs during dinnertime. Dance troupes with musical accompaniment perform a variety of Nepali folk and classical dances. These are usually performed before dinner beginning at 7:00 pm and run for an hour and a half or so. That gives you enough time ro enjoy a few drinks before your order is served. To soak in the ambience of totally Nepali experience, Nepali dishes are recommended for such an evening.

Disco and Dance Resturants

Different disco are operating in Kathmandu. Some of the famous Disco theque in Kathmandu are Babylon Disco, Galaxy, Club Dynasty, Royal Disco, Fire Disco, Club Platinum, etc. Similarly, there are different dance restaurants around Kathmandu.

Gazals

A popular spot for Nepalis dining out is the gazal restaurants. These are Indian-style restaurants but which offer Chinese and Continental cuisine as well where singers perform live. The songs are generally popular Nepali and Hindi songs and, hence, are not strictly gazal restaurants. There are, however, a few that have gazals soulful Urdu songs only on their repertoire.

Special Interest
Ceramics and Pottery

Pre-historic pottery of Nepal consists of red, brown or black shades on unglazed surfaces. Excavation on various sites in the Kathmandu Valley have revealed specimens of ancient pottery ware. They are usually terracotta unglazed, although a few pieces of glazed pottery have been found. Most of Nepalese pottery ware is for utilitarian purposes, such as container jars, water pitchers, lamps, washing bowls, flowers vases, and chilims-small objects used in religious worship. The pottery clay is found in the Kathmandu Valley. Black terracotta is another variety of folk pottery.

Bronze & Metal

Nepal, specially Kathmandu is an .Aladdin.s Cave. for shoppers, with reliable original antiques, along with reproductions of antiques plus masks, woodcarvings, and metal work all made to look old. From the beginning Nepal produced beautiful art work in metal. In temples of the Kathmandu valley there are copper statues made from the lost wax process that can be dated back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. Along with casting the Nepalese are experts in repousse – hammer beaten brass and copper works. There are life size repousse images of Ganga and Jamuna in the three royal palaces of the Kathmandu Valley. The copper and brass sheets are beaten by hammer into the required shape and then gold is applied. Many tympanums, the royal statues of the three cities supported by the tall monolithic stone pillars are done this way. The golden gate of Bhaktapur, the golden windows of Patan durbar and Hanuman Dhoka are the best examples of these.

Gold Jewelry

Jewelry is closely associated with a culture’s aesthetic ideals, with its sensuous contours, the glistering patterns of its stones – even materials from which they are made – all reveal a culture’s impassioned view about what is beautiful. The Newar craftsmen of the Kathmandu valley created amulet boxes adorned with both HIndu and Buddhist iconography for their customers, Jewelry plays a significant role in Buddhist and Hindu iconography, with the gods and goddesses of these traditions richly adorned with abundant jewelry- crowns, earrings, necklaces, armlets, anklets, finger and toe rings. Along with the gold the HImalayan stones of coral, amber and turquoise decorate the amulets, the jewelry, the ornaments, rings, earrings, and necklaces, and even belts. Hunting among the antique, metal and jewelry shops of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur is a shopper’s delight.

Semi Precious Stones

The artistic finesse of Nepal is also seen in semi precious stones like coral, quartz and crystal. Hindus of Nepal use as pendant statue of a multiarmed Ganesh carved in coral, and some wear a ring carved from coral. The real art works are all handmade with traditional technology and or course their price reflects these age old techniques. In Thamel, there are bead shops which sell beads for jeweler, using coral, amber, turquoise and silver made up, or loose to design yourself.

Masks

The gods are on the one hand, the demons on the other, representing good and evil; they are the two radical opposing forces in Hindu mythology who have been fighting ever since the beginning of creation itself. Masked dances are performed in Nepal on almost every major religious occasion, like Gaijatra, Indra Jatra, Pachalibhairab Jatra, etc. and the dancers are mostly gardeners from the Newar community. At Bouddhanath you can see many old wooden masks which are quite old and have an antique or art value, and Thimi is the place to see the paper and clay masks including the masters turning a lump of clay into a beautiful masked wall hanging.

Handmade paper

The Nepalese handmade paper is called .kancho kagaz. This paper is ancient in origin. Nepali paper is used in making kites, dolls and toys, papier-mâché, calendars, envelopes and writing material, in writing horoscopes, mandalas and thangka painting. The raw material of Nepali paper still grows wild; it has not been cultivated as yet. The common name for the bark is Lokta. Handmade paper produciton can be seen very easily on the edges of the Kathmandu Valley. More enterprising entrepreneurs are now pressing petals, flowers and leaves into the paper and are making wallpapers, lamp shades and other designer items.

Tibetan Woollen Carpets

The famed Tibetan woollen carpets are found aplenty. In Durbar Marg and Bouddhanath there are antique stores selling old carpets from Nepal and Tibet. The modern carpets, copies of old Tibetan designs, are woven with New Zealand or Tibetan wool, and mostly with reliable Swiss dyes, but vegetable dye rugs or carpets are sought after and can be found. As well there are modern designs, and of course they all come in different qualities, ranging from 60 knot to 100 knot.

Textiles

Raw materials for textiles are abundant in Nepal, and with the contrasting climates and altitudes there has been a wealth of materials which for centuries have been extracted, spun, twisted and woven into a multitude of textiles. Textiles in Nepal are woven, knitted, crocheted, plaited or braide. The most remarkable and visible cotton textile are the intricately patterned, colorful cotton panels used for caps for men, and blouses and shawls for women, called Dhaka-cloth. A lovely cotton, with a very free design, very much up to the individual weaver, with no two pieces the same. The Limbus and Rais of the mid-mountains are famous for their Dhaka cloth. Pashmina shawls and lambswool shawls are everywhere, plus jumpers and cardigans from Cashmere, and some hand knitted jumpers in local colors and designs. Cashmere, Pashmina shawls are in demand in Tokyo, New York, Paris, London etc. Yak hair is made into shelters, ropes and cloting, yak skin for shoes, saddle bags and straps. Sheep’s wool was made into rainproof Nepalese woolen blankets that were used for trading items 2,000 years ago; and now woven clothing, blankets and rugs are still in use in the mountain areas. The most attractive Sherpa woolen front apron is woven from sheep’s wool, hand spun and colored with multi colored natural dyes. Silk is also used in the pashmina and silk combined shawls. Jute goods and raw jude are important export items for Nepal to India and Bangladesh. Within Nepal the jute is sold to the mills in the Terai where it is machine spun and made into sack cloth and rope.

Thangkas

Painting is the mother of all forms of art. Wall paintings, frescos and mural paintingsare found in the Kathmandu valley, with whole rooms painted without an inch uncovered, showing both religious and secular themes. Thangka painting in Nepal was used to describe the complicated tantric philosophy which also worked as a visual aid to a layman. The two types of thangka painted are the Newari Thangka and the Tamang Thangka. The Newar thangkas have gods, Buddhist gods dominating the whole canvas, while the Tamang thangkas mostly depict mandalas, the life of Buddha and the wheel of life. Throughout Kathmandu valley, Thangka schools and painters can be visited, and time can be spent learning, listening and watching the artists at their work.

Woodcarving

In the annals of the art and architectural treasures of Nepal wood has been the most common material used for carving. Besides the struts, windows of various designs, the peacock window, the Desemaru Jhya, meaning the unparalleled one, fake and lattice windows have added to the beauty of Nepalese temples and monasteries. They have beautiful carvings on their pillars and door-frames, lintels and cornices. There are intricate carvings of a number of animals and birds including the story of Ramayana,. These temples have erotic carvings at the bottom of their roof struts, a symbol of the tantric cult.

Khukuri

Khukuris, curved steel knives used by the Gurkha soldiers, are particularly a popular souvenir to take back home. An authentic khukuri should have a notch on it.s blade near the handle. Sheathed together with the khukuri in the scabbard are two tiny knives: one is the karda which is used for sharpening the khukuri, and the other called a chakmak is for striking a flintstone to make fire.

Facilities are a necessary aid to the tourist centre. The elements of services added to any other three elements gives rise to tourism. So, amenity is one of the basic elements of tourism. Amenities are facilities added to the attractions, accommodation transportation. These include facilities and services provided by the government, travel agencies or middlemen or commission agents, hotels, airlines and transport companies, financial institutes, insurance agents. etc.

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