It is the capital of Nepal and the most touristic city of the country. Nepal is the ultimate exponent of spirituality and in Kathmandu there are many Buddhist monasteries, some of them open to tourists here who want to do a meditation experience. The importance of Buddhism in the daily life of the city is well visible by the number of temples and other religious monuments scattered throughout the city. Kathmandu is also an important starting point for the many climbers who venture into Himalayas. In addition to the visible monuments, some of them are unfortunately damaged by the earthquakes frequent in the region (as is the case of the Bhimsen Tower that I had the privilege of seeing, a monument that no longer exists because it was totally damaged by the earthquake of April 25, 2015) .
Suggested Tour : 8 Days – Nepal Tour (Kathmandu Valley Trekking)
Also Read : Top Things To Do In Kathmandu
Beyond the value of the legacy of the past, it is quite interesting to immerse yourself in the everyday life of its people and stroll through the bustling shopping area Thamel, with streets crowded with people and a visual confusion of buildings with facades full of signs and signs posted in a disgusting way.
Patan is one of the largest city in Nepal and is very close to Kathmandu, just 6 km. Despite the proximity of the capital, Patan is a quieter town with less stirring and where Buddhist spirituality is most felt. Some people, especially locals, call it Lalitpur, the original name in Sanskrit which means “City of Beauty.” In fact the historical center is impressive, in the Durbar square (main square) each building is a monument, the square has numerous temples and palaces of a meticulous architectural detail. This square was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, unfortunately suffered major damage in the earthquake of April 25, 2015. In addition to the monuments within the square, there are others around that are worth discovering as the Hiranya Varna Mahavihar Temple (Golden Temple) the Krisnhna Mandir Temple and the Mahaboudha Temple.
Lumbini Lumbini : It is a sacred city, because it was the place where Buddha was born. It is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from all over the world but especially for Buddhist Indians, given the proximity of the Indian border. According to legend Buddha’s mother, Queen Maya Devi, was passing through this region when she went into labor and gave birth in the beautiful garden that was Lumbini at that time. In the place was erected a temple dedicated to the mother of Buddha. Beside the temple is the sacred pool (Puskarni), where it is believed that the Buddha’s mother has dived before giving birth and where Buddha has received his first purification bath. To the north of this place there are several temples and monasteries built by different Buddhist branches and by different countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Mongolia, France, Germany and Sri Lanka.
Suggested Tour : 14 Days – India Nepal Buddhist Tour
Tansen: It is a secular city about an hour from Lumbini, to North. It is known for its traditions, handicrafts, monuments and the beautiful landscapes. On clear days one can see the peaks Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu and Gauri Shankar of the city of Tansen. The temples in pagoda style are a characteristic image of Tansen. The main monuments of the city and surroundings are the Tansen Palace (Tansen Durbar), Palpa Ranighat Palace, Amar Narayan Temple, Bhagwati Temple and Bhairabsthan Temple. A visit to Palpa Ranighat is worth the monument itself, known as the Taj Mahal of Nepal and the walk there. The 2-hour walk down the valley to Palpa Ranighat Palace, on the banks of the Kali Gandak River is a beautiful route during which you can enjoy beautiful natural landscapes and pass through some typical villages.
Bhaktapur : It is a city in the Kathmandu Valley and was capital of Nepal until the middle of the 15th century. The name of the city can have two origins: from the Sanskrit “town of the devotees” or the Newari language meaning “mask”. In fact the city is known for the typical dances where masks are used. The city is included in the list of UNESCO heritage for its culture, monuments and handcrafts in wood, metal and stone.
The main places to visit in Bhaktapur are the main square (Durbar Square or Layaku) and the Nyatapola, Bhairavnath, Dattatraya and Changu Narayan temples.
The monuments of the city were among the best preserved in Nepal but after the earthquake of 25 April 2015 many of them were totally destroyed and others with serious damage.
Janakpur : is a city about 20 km from the border with India and was once the capital of the Kingdom of Mithila. It is the center of Mithila art, known for its colorful paintings. This city is an important pilgrimage destination for the Hindus and of course for many tourists from around the world. In the center of the city is the iconic Janaki Mandir Temple, the largest temple in Nepal and one of the most important representative works of the Mughal architectural style, whose highest exponent is the Taj Mahal. Other sacred sites in the city are the temples Vivah Mandap, Laxman, Sankat Mochan and Hanuman and the sacred lakes where bathing rituals are held: Dhanush Sagar and Ganga Sagar.
Janakpur used to be the only city in Nepal served by rail, but the Janakpur Dham railway station is now deactivated.
Also Read : How to Reach Nepal