Dhoka ( Durbar Square )
The square is the complex of palaces, courtyards
and temples that are built between the 12th
and the 18th centuries by the ancient Malla
Kings of Nepal. It is the social, religious
and urban focal point of the city. Taleju Temple
, Kal Bhairab (God of Destruction), Nautalle
Durbar, Coronation Nasal Chowk, the Gaddi Baithak,
the statue of King Pratap Malla, the Big Bell,
Big Drum and the Jagnnath Temple are some of
the interesting things to see in this Square.
An intriguing piece here is the
17 th century stone inscriptions that is set
into the wall of the palace with writings in
15 languages. It is believed that if anybody
deciphers this entire inscription, the milk
would flow from the spout, which lies just below
the inscripted stonewall. Some people say that
the inscription contains coded directions to
a treasure King Pratap Malla has buried beneath
Mohan chowk of Durbar Square .
There are several museums inside
the palace building. There is an entrance feeof
Rs. 250 for all the foreign visitors to visit
all the museums of the palace building.
Akash Bhairav Temple
This is a three-storey temple situated in the
main Market Avenue called Indra Chowk. The image
of Akash Bhairav is displayed outside for a
week during Indra Jatra, the festival of Indra
(the God of Indra). The festival of Indra falls
on monsoon season of Nepal.
Kumari Ghar (Temple of
The temple or the residence of Living Goddess,
Kumari, is situated in the vicinity of Hanuman
Dhoka Palace. The building has beautifully carved
wooden balconies and window screens. The Kumari-
the living Goddess acknowledges the greetings
from her balcony window. Photography is prohibited.
King Laxmi Narsingha Malla built this temple
in the sixteenth century. It is said to be constructed
from the wood of single tree. It is located
near the temple of Kumari . Indeed the city
of Kathmandu derives its name from this temple.
Behind Kasthamandap, there is
a small but a very important temple of Ashok
Vinayak, also known as Kathmandu Ganesh or Maru
Five minutes from Kasthmandap the Shiva Temple
of Jaishi Dewal is famous for its erotic carvings.
It is still one of the main tourist routes of
the chariot festivals of Indra Jatra, Gai Jatra
and other festivals.
The most ancient and enigmatic of all the Valley's
holy shrines lies 2 km west of Kathmandu city,
across the Vishnumati river. The golden spire
of Swayambhunath stupa crowns a wooded hillock
and offers a commanding view of Kathmandu city.
On clear days, one can even view a line of Himalayan
peaks. The view is splendid at dusk as city
lights flicker one by one, and even better when
a full moon hangs in the sky.
The establishment of Swayambhunath
Stupa goes back to the legendary beginning of
the Kathmandu Valley.The legend says that when
the bodhisattva Manjushri drained the waters
of the lake to reveal the Kathmandu valley,
the lotus of the lake was transformed into the
hillock and the blazing light became the Swayambhu
stupa. Swayambhunath stupa is a World Heritage
It is the biggest stupa in the Valley. The stupa,
well known as Khasti, is also known as the World
Heritage Site. It looms 36 meters high and presents
one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa
design. There are more than 45 Buddhist monasteries
in the area. It lies about 6 km to the east
of downtown Kathmandu . The Bouddha Area Preservation
& Development Committee runs an information
Balaju Water Garden
It is situated below Nagarjun Hill about five-kilometer
northwest of Kathmandu City. The garden is known
for its bank of 22 stone waterspouts (hiti)
carved in the shape of sea-dragons. It also
consists of religious shrines, fishponds and
a replica of the statue of Budhanilkantha. .
There is also a swimming pool inside the park.
Situated below Shivapuri hill at the northern
end of the valley, Buddhanilkantha temple is
9 km from Kathmandu city. The temple consists
of a pond in which lies a great stone figure
of the Hindu god Vishnu reclining on the coils
of a cosmic serpent. The huge statue of sleeping
Vishnu is carved from the single block of black
stone of a type not found in the valley. It
is believed that ages before the two hardworking
farmers (husband and wife) discovered the statue
when they were ploughing their field.
Besides Budhanilkantha temple,
there are other two sets of exactly similar,
but smaller statues of 'sleeping Vishnu' in
the Valley. One set is in the Balaju garden
and the other is hidden in the old garden of
Hanuman Dhoka Palace of Kathmandu city. A prophetic
dream of King Pratap Malla generated the belief
that the King of Nepal should never visit Buddhanilkantha
temple on threat of death. He then built the
similar statue in two places.
The temple of Pashupatinath is Nepal's most
scared Hindu shrines and one of the subcontinent's
greatest Shiva sites, a sprawling collection
of temples, ashrams, images and inscriptions
raised over the centuries along the banks of
the sacred Bagmati river.
The richly- ornamented pagoda,
houses the sacred linga or phallic symbol of
Chronicles indicate the temlple's existence
prior to 400 A.D, but a shrine may have stood
here nearly 1000 years before that. Legend says
that Shiva once took the form of an antelope
and sported unkown in the forest on Bagmati
river's east bank. The gods later caught up
with him , and grabbing him by the horn, forced
him to resume his divine form. The broken horn
was worshipped as a linga and overtime was buried
and lost. Centuries later an astonished herdsmen
found one of his cows showering the earth with
milk. Digging deep at the site, he discovered
the divine linga of Pashupatinath.
The temple complex has been renovated
and improved over the centuries. Entrance to
the shrine is only restricted to Hindus, however,
one can still get the good view of the sacred
temple from vantage points across Bagmati river.
Across the river, one can also visit the temple
of Guhyeshwori and a classic 6th century ekmukhi
"one-faced" linga of Shiva.