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NEPAL ATTRACTIONS

Mount Everest, Nepal

Being a tourist destination it offers many attractions for its visitors to see. Some of the major tourist places to see are:

Kathmandu
It is the Nepal's capital and largest city with a total area of 218 square miles of land. It is situated 4400 ft above sea level. Kathmandu valley comprises of three historic, artistic and cultural towns namely Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur and they together form Nepal's traditional cultural and arts hub. This is the place for rest, relaxation and easy-day sightseeing of historic and artistic temples and monuments, and mountain views. One can also enjoy good nightlife & shopping experience in Kathmandu.

Kathmandu Durbar Square
Also called Hanuman Dhoka (the gates of Hanuman) the Kathmandu Durbar Square 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), Narayan Mandir, the stone statue of Garuda (man-bird), and Shiva-Parvati Temple House.

The inner chowk is the Hanuman Dhoka and its durbar complex. The principal chowk-within-chowks is Nasal Chowk, the seat of important national ceremonies, including coronations and nothing to do with the nose. Mohan Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Lohan Chowk are other courtyards. There are four towers named after Basantpur, Kirtipur, Lalitpur (Patan) and Bhaktapur.

There are many temples here, the most notable being the Teleju Temple dedicated to the female royal deity, Taleju Bhawani. This ultra-sacrosanct temple is opened only once a year, and only the King and certain priests can enter it.

Patan Durbar Square
Patan is also notable for the four stupas erected by Emperor Ashoka at the four cardinal directions of the city. The palace square sits somewhere in between these four milestones. The royal palace's sprawling landmarks are Sundari Chowk. Tusha Hiti, Mul Chowk, Bidya Mandir, Taleju Shrine, Taleju Bhawani Temple, Golden Gate, Keshab Narayan Chowk and Degu Talle.

The outer perimeters are noteworthy for the Krishna Mandir in stone, Hari Shanker Temple, statue of King Siddhi Narsingh, Char Narayan Temple, Bishwanath Mandir, Bhimesen Mandir, Manga Hiti and others.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Of the three Durbar Squares this one is entered through the massive royal gate, and opens up to an almost virginal complex of palaces, shrines and other landmarks in the Valley. On the right are a pair of statues in stone of Ugrachandi with her 18 arms and 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 palace. The royal palace is also known as the "palace 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: some of which are the Yasalin Mandap, Durga Temple, Taduchhen Bahal, Batsala Durga, Pashupati Temple, Taumadhi Tole and others. To the right, and in another square, is the famed 30-meter (98 feet) Nyatapola Temple, the tallest and most multi-roofed edifice in Nepal. To its right is the Kashi Bishwanath Temple. On the side of the square is the vantage Nyatapola Cafe, and beyond it is the community of the famous potters.

Swayambhunath
A Buddhist stupa on a western hill of Kathmandu it is 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 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.

The pilgrim's progress to Swayambhunath's holy premises is actually through a sylvan path of 365 steps.

The entrance is graced by a huge vajra (symbol of thunderbolt). Statues of Buddha are 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.

Boudhanath
This is another Buddhist stupa, but built on a flat surface, and is the largest in Nepal. It is in various levels of terraces, and is painted in pastel, and is adorned with prayer 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. The settlement of Boudhanath has the largest community of Tibetans-12,000 in all.

Changu Narayan
This is the most ancient Hindu temple in Kathmandu, and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Another fact 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
The most sacred Hindu temple in Nepal, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. In February-March, the site holds the famed Maha Shivaratri, the great night of Shiva.

The Pashupatinath complex is very large, with guest houses, temples, shrines and other landmarks. Its burning ghats on the river banks are the holiest in Nepal.

One need not restrict to these 7 sites alone. Each temple or durbar square is a discovery in itself and leads to many more explorations of Nepal.

National Parks
Now Nepal inspite of its size, surprisingly has a large area under protection as either hunting game reserves or national parks. There are more than a dozen that one could visit, and they are perfect for camping out at, trekking or just for checking out the fauna and flora of the parks.
Langtang National Park  |  Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park  |  Dhorapatan Hunting Reserve  |  Royal Chitwan National Park  |  Royal Bardia National Park  |  Royal Suklaphant Wildlife Reserve


Explore Nepal
Nepal Adventure
Architecture
People and Religion
Shopping in Nepal
Nepal Attractions

Nepal National Parks
Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve
Langtang National Park
Royal Bardia National Park
Royal Chitwan National Park
Royal Suklaphant Wildlife Reserve
Sagarmatha National Park





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