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Sightseeing in Nepal

Katahmandu Durbar SquareThe political, commercial and cultural hub of Nepal is the first stop for the majority of visitors to the country. Once a separate kingdom in itself, it contains three fabled cities - Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Out of ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites, seven cultural heritage sites are in Kathmandu Valley.

The history of the Valley begins with the Buddhist saint Manjushree who slashed a passage through the surrounding hills to exhaust out the primordial waters and make it inhabitable. Over the centuries, a refined urban civilization emerged, built on a unique synthesis of Hinduism and Buddhism

Dynasties came and went. Trade and the arts flourished. Its deeply religious Newar inhabitants built fabulous cities and artistic temples that attracted devout pilgrims as well as rampaging invaders. In the late 18th century, following the founding of modern Nepal within more or less the present boundaries, Kathmandu was made the capital. Kathmandu, the largest city in Nepal is situated at an altitude of 1350m

The program will be for two days and the details are below.

What kind of facilities Unique Nepal Adventure Trek will provide for this program?

  • Airport pickup and drop off by private vehicle.
  • Kathmandu Hotel with breakfast according to your requirements.
  • We provide a two day's service for all round sightseeing.
  • Private vehicle for transportation during your sightseeing tour.
  • One English speaking government trained license holder and well informed trekking guide.
  • overnment taxes.

Your own expenses:

  • Lunch and dinner.
  • Travel insurance.
  • All entrance fees.
  • Nepal entry visa fee etc.

Schedule of Kathmandu Valley sightseeing:

  • • Kathmandu Durbar Square
  • • Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple)
  • • Boudhanath Stupa (Large white Buddhist Stupa)
  • • Pashupatinath (Hindu Temple)
  • • Patan Durbar Square (Ancient city)
  • • Bhaktapur Durbar Square (55-window palace
  • • Changu Narayan Temple

Day 1: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath Stupa, and Pashupatinath temple.
Kathmandu Durbar Square: This complex of palaces, courtyards and temples like Hanumandhoka Palace, Kumari Ghar (Abode of the Living Goddess), Taleju temple, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, used to be the seat of the ancient Malla Kings of Kathmandu. An intriguing piece here is the 17th -century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages. The Durbar Square, protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. Even to date, all the major state and social ceremonies, including the solemnization of coronations are performed in one of the courtyards in this complex. There are also museums inside the palace building. Your ticket to the Square entitles you to visit all the museums.

Swayambhunath Stupa:
Swayambhunath StupaThe Swayambhunath Stupa Monkey temple is an attractive Buddhist temple carrying much history and has a wonderful view point to all of the Kathmandu valleys. It resides on top of a hillock on the western side of Kathmandu just three kilometres west of the city centre. The Stupa is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal and its establishment is linked to the creation of the Kathmandu Valley out of a primordial lake. Swayambhunath is also known as Samhengu and is listed as a World Heritage Site. It is also one of the oldest and glorious Buddhist shrines in the world, which is said to be two thousand years old. The four sides of the Stupa are painted with the eyes of Lord Buddha and the temple is also known as the watchful eyes of Buddha.

Boudhanath Stupa:
It lies about 6 kilometres east of downtown Kathmandu and it is largest Stupa in the world. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of Stupa design with hundreds of prayer wheels and 108 small images of Buddha all around. Just like the Swayambhunath, the Stupa has four sides with the watchful eyes of Lord Buddha. When there is a Buddhist festival, people come here to celebrate and pray their sacred rituals at this time. The people of Buddhist religions live around Monasteries and Stupa's and they like to go around every morning and evening once or three times. There are plenty of shops with a fantastic view point restaurant as well as many Monasteries.

Pashupatinath Temple:
It is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world; Pashupatinath lies 5 kilometres east from the city centre. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga, or phallic symbol, of Lord Shiva as well as the noteworthy gold plated roofs and silver coated doors. This is the abode of God Shiva and is the holiest of all the Shiva shrines.

Religious pilgrims and Sadhus, travel all the way from the remote areas of India to visit this sacred sight, especially during Shivaratri (the night of Shiva) that falls between February/March. Even though these devotees have denounced worldly possessions, each carries a Sadhu ID (Identification card) to freely cross over the border between India and Nepal.

Chronicles indicate Pashupatinath's existence prior to 400 AD. Devotees can be seen taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati River flowing beside the temple, also a World Heritage Site. The crematorium is just outside the temple and it is a dream of almost every Hindu to be cremated by the side of Pashupati Aryaghat after their death.

Day 2: Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Changu Narayan Temple.
Patan Durbar Square:
Patan Durbar SquareIts counterpart in Kathmandu is an enchanting mélange of palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the former royal palace complex is the centre of Patan's religious and social life, and houses a museum containing an array of bronze statues and religious objects. One remarkable monument here is a 17th century temple dedicated to the Hindu God Krishna – Krishna Mandir built entirely of stone with rare stone carvings on its walls depicting the epic wars from Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Iba Bahi is situated about a two-minute walk south of Durbar Square. It is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Kathmandu Valley and reflects the sophisticated architecture of the Malla period. A two-step platform leads to the courtyard with a hall called Dalan. There is a shrine dedicated to Shakyamuni right across the entrance.

Kwa Bahal, also known as the Golden Temple, is a Buddhist monastery courtyard dating to the 12th century. It is a five-minute walk west and north from the northern end of Durbar Square. The monastery building is embellished with exceptionally fine wood-carvings and repousse work. Artistic images are scattered around the courtyard, and devotees can be seen offering worship at the many shrines here.

Mahabouddha can be reached by walking east from the southern end of Durbar Square and then turning right at the sunken water taps. This Buddhist monument is an excellent example of terra cotta art form which points to the skill of Patan's ancient craftsmen with a variety of building styles. The 14th century monument's obelisk-like design is also unusual in a city of pagoda roofs.

Oku Bahal is situated a few steps past Mahabouddha and is one of the best known Buddhist places of worship in Patan. The stone-paved courtyard is enclosed by a two-story building with gilded roofs. The wood-carvings on the roof struts are especially attractive. The place is peppered with sacred images and other small shrines.

Walkabout Besides these much frequented tourist attractions, there are other ancient parts of Patan worth sight-seeing. Nakabahi, Nyakha Chuka, Nagbaha, Swotha Square, Tumbaha, Walkhu Tole, Chyasa, Kapinche, Chapat, Subaha, Bhinchhebaha, Dupat and Nugah make up a nice half-day walk around the squares, temples and monuments of inner Patan.

The Central Zoo in Jawalakhel is a pleasant diversion after a tour of the cultural sites. The only zoo in Nepal, was first established in 1932 by a Rana Prime Minister as a private zoo and later opened to the public in 1956. It houses about 106 species of birds and over 665 different animals and has 14 of the 38 endangered animals of Nepal. There is also a pond where you can go boating. The zoo is open daily except Mondays from 10 am to 5 pm

Tibetan Refugee Camp was set up in 1960 under the initiative of International Red Cross and the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC), known as Swiss Association for Technical Assistance (SATA) then, in cooperation with His Majesty's Government of Nepal. Its main objective is to enable the Tibetan refugees to do something productive and support themselves. The carpet industry of Nepal is almost run by the Tibetan refugee families and the carpet factories have been a great source of employment for them to become self reliant economically. Apart from the carpet industry, Tibetan refugees are also engaged into handicrafts and there are many handicraft centres providing work opportunities to the families of the refugees with its profits going for the education, sanitation, healthcare of the Tibetans in the Refugee Camps including the physically handicapped and senior Tibetans.

BHAKTAPUR
BhaktapurDurbar Square. As you walk in, you cannot but be overcome by a feeling of inner harmony. Such is the art and architecture and the special layout here. The Palace of 55 Windows built during the period of King Bhupatindra Malla in 1754, situated to the left as you enter through the city gate, inspires admiration. The National Art Gallery is also housed inside. The palace entrance, the Golden Gate known as Sunko Dhoka in Nepali is a masterpiece in repousse art. In front of the palace building is a medley of temples of various designs. Amongst the three Durbar Squares in the Valley, the Durbar Square in Bhaktapur is the best preserved one.

Taumadhi Square lies to the east of Durbar Square reached by a narrow brick-paved lane. The towering five-roofed Nyatapol temple presides over the square. The monument gracefully soars into the sky atop a five-story plinth. The stairway leading up to the temple is flanked by stone figures of deities and mythical beasts, each 10 times more powerful than the one immediately below.

Dattatreya Square takes its name from the Dattatreya temple dedicated to a three-headed combination of the Hindu deities Brahma, Bishnu and Shiva. If you want to experience the feel of the traditional urban layout of Bhaktapur, Dattatreya Square is it. Set in a maze of streets lined with richly ornamented houses, the square is famed for its many ornate Hindu monasteries known as Math. The National Woodworking Museum is also housed here and the Brass and Bronze Museum is across the street. The oldest structure in Bhaktapur was raised during the reign of the last Malla King, Yaksha Malla who ruled the Valley before it was divided into three Kingdoms amongst his three heirs.

Potter's Square. A two-minute walk south of Durbar Square brings you to Bolachhen, also known as Potter's square because of the many potters seen here moulding wet clay into different kinds of earthen ware. It has a display of fresh pottery left out to dry in the open square. This place can be approached from Taumadhi Square. The elephant-headed Lord Ganesh is the patron of potters, thus the Jeth Ganesh temple in the square.

Siddha Pukhu, a pond dating back to the Lichhavi period, is better known as Ta-Pukhu, meaning big pond. Though situated right at the bus stop, it provides a serene atmosphere with its sashaying fish and the stone images of different Hindu and Buddhist Gods.

Surya Binayak is one of Kathmandu's most popular pilgrimage spots, 12 kilometres east of the centre. It has been positioned in such a way to catch the first rays of the sun in the morning. Situated in a thick forest to the south of Bhaktapur, it is a 20-minute walk from the trolley bus terminal. The temple, dedicated to the Hindu deity Ganesh (the Elephant headed God) is crowded with devotees especially on Tuesdays and Saturdays. It is also one of the favourite picnic spots offering elegant views of Bhaktapur and other attractive landscapes.

Thimi
ThimiThimi (population 48,000) is a farming town situated 8 kilometres east of Kathmandu on the way to Bhaktapur. Exquisite temples and other religious shrines dot its streets. It is known for its artistic masks and earthen pots, often seen spread out on the streets to dry in the sun. It can be called a traditional pottery locality with almost 80% of the population still involved in pottery. Hand spun cotton cloth is another Thimi specialty.

Changu Narayan Temple
The temple is situated on a ridge overlooking the Valley, about 12 kilometres to the east of the city. It is dedicated to the Hindu God Bishnu – the Preserver. One of the finest and oldest specimens of pagoda architecture, the temple is embellished with exquisite wood and stone carvings and is said to be the oldest pagoda style temple in Nepal, built sometime back in 323 AD. The sacred complex is a World Heritage Site and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding at 125 meters.


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