If you are in Kathmandu, no matter for work or travel, going around the city is a must. Kathmandu city has become the cauldron where people from across the country have travelled and settled in. Moreover, the centuries-old historical and cultural imprint in the city makes it a perfect place for a day out. Being in place means to experience that place. Here are some of the must-visit places to experience the city.
1. Swayambhunath Stupa
At the top of a hill, Swayambhunath Stupa stands tall as one of the ancient architectures and holy places in Kathmandu. To reach the top, you have to climb the stairs, which leads you to the platform with the main stupa, some shrines, and other temples. It is believed that they were built during the Lichhavi period (fifth-eighth century). The main stupa, also known as the monkey temple, is an architectural marvel with a white dome and a tower-like structure with Budhha’s eyes painted on it. This place is most admired for the panoramic view of the city, on all sides.
2. Bouddhanath Stupa
Another famous Buddist pilgrimage in Kathmandu is Bouddhanath Stupa. It is one of the largest and holiest sites with equal architectural importance in the community. Buddhist devotees throng the place in abundance. However, it is equally famous among the youth for the ambience and the food. It is located on the northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu. Its main stupa is closely similar to that of Swayambhunath but has an outstretched, layered compound where people pay their homage.
3. Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most important heritage sites in Nepal and the most important place for Hindus of the country. It is the home to different forms of Lord Shiva along with other Hindu gods and goddesses worshipped in the religion. The main temple has a pagoda-style roof and has exquisite wood carvings on its sides making it an architectural masterpiece. The daily evening rituals and Hindu religious festivals attract a lot of people here every time.
4. Kathmandu Durbar Square
At the heart of the city, Kathmandu Durbar Square is the most common and famous place people visit. The Durbar Square area has two sub-areas; one with other famous temples and landmarks including Kumari Ghar, Jagannath Temple, Kasthamandap, Shiva-Parbati Temple, Big Bell, Dabali, etc., all of which have great historical, cultural and architectural importance. The second area is the palace area with museums and courtyards including Nasal Chowk, Sundari Chowk, and Mul Chowk. It is said that the then King Prithvi Narayan Shah built the palace in 1770 and used it to rule over the kingdom during his reign. The place is filled with a vibrant crowd and there is a lot to explore.
Established as a tourist hub in Kathmandu, Thamel is another of those must-visit places in Kathmandu. The place has been developed to cater to the international crowd with its shops, cafes, clubs, art galleries, and other activities fit for the tourists. It is also the hub to get the best cultural and traditional souvenirs including thangka and singing bowls as well as the wide variety of food and cuisines. You can also visit the Garden of Dreams at the eastern end of Thamel and enjoy the serene and beautiful spread of flora inside.
6. Narayanhiti Palace Museum
On the eastern side of Thamel, there lies the then royal palace of monarchs in Kathmandu. Narayanhiti Palace, which was the royal residence built by King Mahendra in 1963, was reestablished as a museum in 2009, years after the Royal Massacre occurred (in 2001). It is now open to the public where one can see and experience the life and history of the royal family of Nepal.
7. White Monastery
On the western side of Kathmandu is one of the popular destinations, White Monastery, also known as Seto Gumba or Druk Amitabh Mountain. This Buddhist monastery is a religious site and is home to the rich Tibetan culture and architecture. The ambience of this place attracts many whereas it also allows one to enjoy the scenic view of Kathmandu and the panoramic view of the mountain ranges. It is also a great place to enjoy sunrises and sunsets.