Author Topic: 8 Reasons to Visit Kathmandu Valley  (Read 11675 times)

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kurakani

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8 Reasons to Visit Kathmandu Valley
« on: June 19, 2010, 08:00:53 AM »
posted by: Ian Harrison on January 21, 2009

At the confluence of ancient civilizations deep within mystical Nepal
 is spectacular Kathmandu Valley. Home to five municipal sectors, with
the capital city of Kathmandu most notable among them, the valley is
ground zero to some of the most spiritual and powerful Hindu and
Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world. We toss around the word “holy”
quite a lot in travel circles but in the case of Nepal and specifically,
 Kathmandu Valley, the term is no more appropriate.


Here are eight superb reasons to take on the precious destination on
your next search for adventure.


Pashupatinath
 Temple


With some estimates as far back as 1,500 years ago, Pashupatinath
Temple is certainly ancient. The Hindu temple is one of the primary
reasons why Kathmandu Valley has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for
almost thirty years. A place of supreme spiritual importance, non-Hindu
visitors may only gaze at Pashupatinath from the shores of the Bagmati
River.







Chabahil


Within Kathmandu city proper, Chabahil is the historic location of a
famous stupa, or Buddhist treasure and tribute mound. Most date
 the stupa to as far back as the 3rd century BC, although it may prove
to be much older. Whatever the specific date of origin, Chabahil remains
 one of the most venerated sites in the Kathmandu Valley.





Boudhanath


A holy site of record among many holy sites, Boudhanath, in the
appropriately-titled town of Bouddha, is a mere 11 km from Kathmandu.
The colossal stupa provides Nepal with one of the most recognizable
Buddhist shrines on record and certainly one of the most beautiful. The
UNESCO World Heritage Site was built around 500 AD.





Swayambhunath


From a beautiful hillside perch, the ancient complex of Swayambhunath
 provides Kathmandu Valley with yet another pilgrimage jewel. Also known
 as Monkey Temple, it trails only Boudhanath in terms of sacred status.
Although the complex can be seen as a member of the Tibetan school of
Buddhism, it is in fact a holy site for all practitioners, in addition
to Hindus.





Changu
 Narayan


This ancient Hindu temple was one of the first to be built in the
entire Kathmandu Valley and remains relatively intact to the present
day. At almost two thousand years old, that places Changu Narayan in
select company. The shrine to the Hindu deity Vishnu is a major
pilgrimage site in Nepal.





Patan


With a population just over 160,000, Patan is one of the most
important towns in Nepal. Part of the UNESCO Kathmandu Valley site, the
venerable sub-metropolitan area is on the shores of the Bagmati River,
across from Kathmandu proper. Places of note include Durbar Square,
former home of the Mullah rulers, as well as the temples of Banglamukhi,
 Kumbeshwor, Hiranya Varna Mahaa Vihar and Mahaboudha.





Bhaktapur


The Newar, a designation that represents the native people of
Kathmandu Valley, town of Bhaktapur is another precious site in Nepal.
The main square of Durbar – common to all three major metro areas of the
 Valley – is the focal point for spiritual and secular visitors. In this
 city of just over 60,000 people, the main attractions of note line the
picturesque plaza. They include the National Gallery, former Mullah
palace, and several Hindu temples. Known as Nepal’s “City of Culture”,
Bhaktapur is a must-visit destination in the Kathmandu Valley.





Kathmandu


One has to visit Nepal’s capital city when in the valley of the same
name. Without a doubt, Kathmandu is a curious enigma and a city with
loads of mysterious allure. Though more overrun by the ravages of modern
 tourism than at any other time, with air pollution more and more of a
problem, you still need to check Kathmandu off your list. Many consider
the city of 700,000 people to be one of the most comely in the world,
with a rich past that dates back two millenia. Like the artists of yore
who made it ground zero on the “Hippy Trail”, you may yet find a slice
of Nirvana for yourself in Kathmandu.


Check out the best
hotel rates in beautiful Kathmandu.





Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8