Activities in Kathmandu

Kathmanu.

Most of the cultural  of Nepal lies in the Kathmandu valley; among those cultural sites, the important one is the Hanuman-dhoka Durbar Square. The name Hanuman-dhoka Durbar came from the statue of Hanuman established by the King Pratap Malla at the entrance The Hanuman-dhoka Royal Palace is included in the Protected Monument Zone along with other private building .The site is enlisted in the World Heritage Site of UNESCO along with other six monument zones of the Kathmandu Valley in October 1979. King Prithvi Narayan shah in 1770 builds Basantapur Durbar. The whole complex is also known as Kathmandu Durbar Square. Located at the heart of ancient city Kathmandu, it is a complex of beautiful temples and shrines.

Bakhtapur –

Bakhtapur is in the Kathmandu Valley, not far from Kathmandu. You can walk, bike, and take a bus or a cab to Bakhtapur. Walking will take about 3 hours. Biking will take about an hour. There is an admission charge of about $10 for tourists to enter the city. It is not necessary to get a tour guide because many kids will offer to give you a tour. I suggest finding someone around 14-15 years old who knows English pretty well to give you the tour, and then tip him at the end however you see fit. In addition, while in Bakhtapur, you can buy or just look at Thanka paintings; in fact, there are Thanka painting schools that you can visit to see how the Nepalese learn this craft. I don’t suggest buying a Thanka from one of the schools because they will probably rip you off, but it is a great place to learn about the various Thanka designs and what makes a painting valuable. In addition, Durbar square in Bakhtapur is a great place to have lunch.

Patan –
(World Heritage Site), an enchanting mélange of palace buildings, courtyards and pagoda temples, is the center of Patan’s religious and social life. An entrance ticket which costs Rs.200 (SAARC Rs.25) entitles you to visit the palace and other sites in Patan like Oku Bahal, Mahabouddha.Krishna Mandir built in the 17th century, the temple of Lord Krishna holds a commanding position in the palace complex of Patan. It is supposed to be the first specimen of Shikhara style architecture in Nepal. It is the only temple in Nepal having 21 spires and is completely made of stone.

Datchin Khali

Every Tuesday and Saturday in the town of  Datchin Khali (on the edge of  the Kathmandu valley, easily accessible by taxi) there are ceremonial sacrifices held at the temple there.  This is a very scenic area, but not for the faint of heart—everything from flowers, to coconuts, to chickens, to goats are sacrificed at the altars.

 

Monkey Temple (Swayambunath) –
A wonderful walk from thamel, complete with monkeys that will greet you at the bottom of the temple and follow you all the way to the top.  A definite must do if staying in Thamel.  There is also a history museum near by if you want to get a bit more formal history lesson than the children guides can give you.

 

Pashupati Nath
A temple on the east side ofKathmandu in which human cremations are carried out during the daylight hours.  This interesting sight gives a westerner a different perspective on eastern though.  In these ceremonies, the body returns to the 4 elements (earth, wind, water, fire).  This area is also nice for walking around.

 

 

Budhanath Stupa.

According to legend, Boudhanath Stupa was built during the 5th century AD, by an an old poultry woman who asked the king for land to construct a shrine to the Buddha. The king agreed, and offered her as much land as she could cover with the skin of a water Ox. The lady proceeds to cut a Ox put out of sight into thin strips, and placed them end to end to form a huge circumference. The king realized that he had been trick by the old lady, but he adhere to his word, and the stupa was constructed according to these dimensions. Nowadays, the stupa is the most popular site for Buddhists inNepal, and during the day pilgrims can be seen circumambulating the structure chanting mantras. It is especially spectacular at night when adorned with butter lamps. Remember to walk around the stupa in a clockwise direction and also to spin the prayer wheels clockwise. There is a small entry fee (rps 150) to enter the stupa area. This can be waived for guests of hotels located at the other side of the stupa.

 

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