People who are planning to visit Nepal might be interested in the best tourist places to visit in Kathmandu. There are 7 UNESCO listed world heritage sites within Kathmandu valley. The capital is also known as the city of temples and heritage.
Once you step your feet into this city, you will feel the positive aura here. Kathmandu is a heritage itself. The city is crowded with old houses with Newari architecture, small crowded turns with little temples on each corner. Most of the habitants here are Newars. They have maintained the city in such a good way. If you are in Kathmandu, you should definitely not miss visiting these places.
Cultural and heritage sites are the best tourist places to visit in Kathmandu.
Lying on the lap of the beautifully snow capped Himalayas, Nepal is one of the most beautiful countries of the world. Being rich in both natural and cultural heritages, Nepal is visited by thousands of people from all over the world. Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal. If you ever visit Nepal, Kathmandu will be the first hub for every travelers.
Pashupatinath temple is the largest Hindu temple of Nepal. This temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva, also known as Lord Mahadev. It is located on the banks of sacred Bagmati river. Every year thousands of sadhus and priests visit this temple to attain salvation. This place is crowded on Maha Shivaratri and has been listed in the world heritage site by UNESCO. Other attractions of this temple include: Vasuki Nath Temple, Unmatta Bhairav Temple, Surya narayan Temple, Kirti Mukh Bhairav Shrine, Budanilkantha Shrine, Hanuman shrine and 184 Shivaling shrine. You will also get to see monkeys on the premises of Pashupatinath. This is a must visit place once you are in Kathmandu. You will get to experience the state of peace here.
Swayambhunath and White Gumba
Swayambhunath is a hilltop ancient religious site located in Kathmandu. This is a sacred stupa and a temple for both Hindus and Buddhists as well. According to the religious myth, the entire valley was once filled with an enormous lake, out of which grew a lotus. The valley came to be known as Swayambhu, meaning “Self-Created.” The name comes from an eternal self-existent flame (svyaṃbhu) over which a stupa was later built. This place is also known as monkey temple because many sacred monkeys reside there. You have to climb stairs to reach there. But once you are there, you can see the scenario of the Kathmandu from the top. There are little temples and shrines on the premises of Swayambhunath.
White Gumba lies 3 kms ahead of Swayambhunath. This is one of the beautiful places to visit inside Kathmandu Valley. This monastery belongs to female nuns and you can reach there by either hike or by your vehicle.
Bouddhanath and Kapan Monastery
Bouddhanath is the largest monastery inside Kathmandu valley. Lying on the north east part from the centre part of this city, this monastery is also known as the sky line between earth and sky. Once a trading route between Tibet and Kathmandu, this place is visited by thousands of people. You will hear the sacred chants prayed by Buddhists inside the premises. The smell of the Tibetan incest will revive the energy in you. You will see prayer flags and a huge Tibetan settlement around Bouddhanath. It is another must visit place in Kathmandu.
Kapan Monastery is another famous monastery inside Kathmandu valley. Located around Boudhanath stupa, this place holds a greater value for Buddhists people around the world. This monastery is especially famous for teaching Buddhism to the foreigners around the world. One must definitely not miss visiting this monastery.
Budhanilkantha, Jalnarayan Temple
Budhanilkantha is a Hindu open air temple located to Lord Vishnu. The temple is situated below the Shivapuri hill at the northern end of the kathmandu valley and can be identified by a large reclining statue of Lord Vishnu. Temple’s main statue of Budhanilkantha is considered the largest stone carving in Nepal. This temple is also known as Jalnarayan or Sleeping Vishnu Temple of Kathmandu.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square is located at the heart of the old city of Kathmandu, Basantapur. Lying in between the city’s chaos life, this place provides a serene mood to those who want to explore the artistic part of the Kathmandu city. Enriched with religious and historical heritages, this place is famous for its wooden arts and craftsmanship. Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the three Durbar Squares inside Kathmandu Valley. It has been also enlisted in the world heritage site by UNESCO. Kathmandu Durbar Square includes the palaces of the Malla and Shah Kings who ruled over the city.
Along with these palaces, the square environs quadrangles, revealing courtyards and temples. It is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a name derived from an effigy of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the entrance of the palace. There are 50 temples inside the premises including the famous Kumari Ghar where the living goddess resides. You should visit this place during evening. This is a serene place if you want to avoid the hustle and rustle of the city.
Patan Durbar Square
Located in the core of the Patan city, Patan Durbar Square is considered as the oldest durbar squares among the three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu. Enriched with huge settlement of Newars and their living culture, this place is considered as one the most beautiful places inside the Kathmandu valley. Known as the settlement of Mallas during the ancient period, this place is enlisted in the world heritage site. Made with the red bricks, this place is famous for its Newari style architecture.There are many temples and idols in the area. The main temples are allied opposite of the western face of the palace. The doorway of the temples faces east, towards the palace.
There is also a bell situated in the placement beside the main temples. The Square also holds old Newari suburban houses. There are various other temples and structures in and around Patan Durbar Square built by the Newar People. Famous attractions inside the premises include Krishna Mandir, Bhimsen Mandir, Vishwanath Mandir, and Taleju Bhawani Mandir. Few other important temples were destroyed during the recent earthquake. The main palace is now serves as the museum for the local and international visitors. People from all over the world come to this place to study the ancient history and lifestyle of the people. If you are lucky enough, you will get to see different Newari festivals observed in this area.
Ason, the old market
Ason Chowk is primarily an old, but still very active, market square surrounded by temples and shrines. The most popular temple here is the 3-storey Annapurna temple. This market is famous for shopping as well as you can experience the inner beat of this city. It’s an excellent place to pass through if walking to Kathmandu Durbar square on a heritage walk as it’s later linked to Indra Chowk through its six roads.
Thamel, the tourist market
If you want to experience a vintage touristic vibe then Thamel is the right place for you. Thamel is an old yet developed and touristic place of the city. There are vendors selling old antiques and lots of hotels for tourists to reside. The nearest place to visit from here is Garden of Dreams which is also known as Keisher Mahal. Thamel has been the centre of the tourist industry in Kathmandu for over four decades, starting from the hippie days when many artists came to Nepal and spent weeks in Thamel. One of the best part about this place is the eateries here.
Royal Palace Museum
The Narayanhiti Palace is located at the centre of the city. Nepal was a kingdom before and after they resigned, their palace was converted into the Royal Museum. Many people visit this place to understand the monarchy in depth as well as the history of Nepal.
Dating back to some 3000 years ago, Changunarayan is considered as one of the oldest temples of the Kathmandu Valley. Lying around 22 kms away from the main city of Kathmandu, Changunarayan is located amidst the green rice fields of Bhaktapur. Enriched with ancient wooden crafts and history, Changu Narayan temple is a must visit place if you are in Kathmandu. This ancient monument was built by Lichhavi King and is one of the world heritage sites today.
Changunarayan temple is a double-roofed temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in his manifestation as Narayan. The mesmerizing scenario of the place is bound to take one’s breath away. One can hike up to the temple along the old houses and rice trails of Bhaktapur. Since the ancient period, many festivals and fairs have been organized on numerous occasions. One of the main festivals of Changunarayan is called Changu Narayan Jatra. The festival ‘Mahashanan’ is held here as an important festival. On the day of ‘Jugadi Nawami’ and ‘Haribodhini Ekadashi’ special puja is conducted in this temple. People from all around the country come to attend these festivals.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgaun, is one of the most beautiful places inside Kathmandu Valley. Ruled by the great rulers and kings, this place is famous for its rich and ancient royal forts, temples and historic places. Bhaktapur Durbar Square lies just in the middle of Bhaktapur with its existing civilization of Newars from Kathmandu. This place has been listed in the world heritage site because of the immense numbers of momentous heritages. It is one of the most visited sites inside the valley.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square offers its visitors the opportunity to closely study the heritages. As this place was ruled by Lichhavi and Malla kings, one can intimately study their history. There are many shrines, temples and fort inside the Bhaktapur Durbar Square premises. Famous places inside the Durbar Square area include The Lion gate, the Golden gate, the palace of Fifty fife windows, The Art Gallery, The statue of Bhupatindra Malla and few famous temples. You can visit this place to taste the special JUJU Dhau, the traditional Nepali curd. This place will never fail you.
Doleshwor Mahadev and Kailashnath Mahadev
Doleshwor Mahadev, the domicile of Lord Shiva is located at Jangam math in Sipadol village, near Bhaktapur. For the last 4,000 years, devotees have been searching for the missing head of Lord Kedarnath, who assumed the form of a bull in a pastime with the five Pandava brothers. In recent years it was determined by temple priests that the deity at Doleshwar was indeed the missing head of Kedarnath Bull. This temple holds a greater connection with the Mahabharat era. Many devotees from all around the world visit this place. If you are fascinated with past and historic events, then this is a must visit temple.
Kailashnath Mahadev Statue
Kailashnath Mahadev statue is the world’s tallest Shiva statue. It is situated in Sanga, on the border of the Bhaktapur and Kavrepalanchwok districts in Nepal, about 20 km away from Kathmandu. This is a famous sightseeing places around Kathmandu. Due to the number of visitors, the statue has contributed to the religious tourism in Nepal, both locally and internationally, raised the economic activity of the local community, and has made an impact in the development of nearby villages.
Chandragiri Hill is seven kilometers from Thankot, and lies on the south-west side of Kathmandu Valley which is 2551 meters above sea level. This hill is connected with both Buddhist and Hindu religions. The hill provides panoramic views of Kathmandu Valley and the Himalayan ranges from Annapurna to Everest. One can reach on the top by the cable car. You will see a temple on the spot and these days, this place is gaining a lot of popularity. The scenario from the top of the hill will blow away your mind. If you are lucky enough, you will get to experience the snow fall on winter. One must not miss visiting this place if you are in Kathmandu.