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Around Kathmandu Valley

Popular Tourist Destinations In Nepal

Around Kathmandu Valley

Thimi lies about 10km. east of Kathmandu near Bhaktapur. It is well known for pottery, making of masks and as a vegetable growing area for Kathmandu so that this place is also known as kitchen garden of Kathmanduites. The main deity in town is the Goddess Balkumari. It attracts tourists by its enchanting culture of the farmer community.

Changu Narayan
Narayan, or Vishnu, is the preserver of creation to Hindus. His temple near Changu village is often described as the most ancient temple in the Kathmandu Valley. A fifth century stone inscription, the oldest to be discovered in Nepal, is located in the temple compound and it tells of the victorious King Mandev. The temple now covers sixteen hundred years of Nepalese art history. The temple, built around the third century, is decorated by some of the best samples of stone, wood, and metal craft in the Valley. In the words of one tourist guide, "When you look upon Changu Narayan, you observe the complete cultural development of the Valley." On the struts of the two tiered Changu Narayan Temple, are the ten incarnations in which Narayan destroyed evil doers. A sixth-century stone statue shows the cosmic form of Vishnu, while another statue recalls his dwarf incarnation when he crushed the evil king Bali. Vishnu as Narsingha disemboweling a demon is particularly stunning. The western bronze doors sparkle in the evening sunlight, dragons decorate the bells, and handsome devas stare from the walls. Garuda, half man and half bird, is the steed of Vishnu, and his life sized statue kneels before the temple. The favourite of many tourists is the statue of Vishnu sitting astride his steed.

Sankhu, located twelve kilometers east of Kathmandu, is a good example of a small Newar town , with many fine old buildings and temples. Beyond the village, up a long flight of stone steps, is Vajra Jogini, a historic temple with beautiful views of the Valley.

Nagarkot, located 32 kilometers east of Kathmandu, is one of the most scenic spots in Bhaktapur district and is renowned for its spectacular sunrise view of the Himalaya when the weather is clear. Visitors often travel to Nagarkot from Kathmandu to spend the night so that they can be there for the breathtaking sunrise. Nagarkot has acquired famous as one of the best spots to view Mount Everest as well as other snow-topped peaks of the Himalayan range of eastern Nepal. It also offers an excellent view of the Indrawati river valley to the east. With an elevation of 2195 meters, Nagarkot also offers a panoramic view of the Valley and is described by visitors as a place whose beauty endures year round. Many visitors prefer to visit Nagarkot in the spring when surrounding valleys break out in a rich kaleidoscope of different coloured flowers. The flowers are beautiful against the serene backdrop of the snow covered mountains. Ever popular among the tourists are the short treks and picnics which Nagarkot offers. Treks from Nagarkot are unique and delightful. For anyone who wants to have an adventure without exerting much efforts, a hike to Nagarkot's surrounding areas would be a good option. One can traverse short distances on trekking trails and come close to nature's wonders such as the outer of verdant forests, flower covered meadows and unusual rock formations.

Dhulikhel is a scenic and ancient town situated 30 kilometers east of Kathmandu on the Arniko Rajmarg (Kathmandu Kodari Highway). From here one has a panoramic view of the Himalayan range. From the main town, a short visit to Namobuddha, with the stupa and Buddhist Monastery, is highly recommended. Panauti, a village noted for its numerous temples with magnificent woodcarvings, is a short distance from Dhulikhel.

Namo Buddha
It is situated on a hill above Panauti. It requires an easy drive or good walk to get there. There is an amazing story concerned with the Buddha which is commemorated by an ancient stone slab and a Stupa with the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. According to the legend, one of the earlier Buddha offered his own flesh to a hungry tiger unable to feed her hungry cubs. It is also 3 hrs. trekking from Dhulikhel through a number of small villages.

Surya Binayak
About 2 miles south of Bhaktapur is an important shrine of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of good fortune. The shrine has been positioned in such a way as to catch the first rays of the morning sun. Excellent views of Bhaktapur with snow peaks in the background can be seen from here. Being located in a thick forest, it is also a good picnic spot.

Nagarjun is named after a famous sage. There is a stupa at the top and the forest is well known for its animal life. Controlled by the army, the animal life is protected here and the forest is also known as the Queen's Forest. Leopard, deer, birds, squirrel, and other animal species may be seen and the hill tracks are perfect for mountain biking as well.

Kakani is another good location for viewing the mountain scenery. Only two hours north-west of Kathmandu, one can see the mountain landscape of central Nepal, a vast collection of majestic peaks stretching from Ganesh Himal to the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. There is an unusually perfect blending of the imposing mountain scenery with the more sylvan environment of the lower valleys. Rhododendrons growing wild on the mountain slopes begin to bloom in late winter and stay in bloom for several months, giving the village even more charm

For a view of the breathtaking grandeur of the world's highest peaks from the far west of Dhaulagiri to the east of Mt. Everest, there is no better place than Daman. It lies eighty kilometers south-west of Kathmandu on the mountain highway known as Tribhuvan Rajpath as has a view tower fitted with a long range telescope.

Kirtipur is a small town located eight kilometers south-west of Kathmandu on the top of a ridge. Tribhuvan University sits at the foot of the hill. This historic town has many things to offer including ancient shrines, temple, old style houses, and villagers dressed costumes and weaving on hand looms.

Chobhar is famous for its gorge said to have been cut by the god Manjushri to drain the water from the Kathmandu Valley which was at that time a lake. On a hilltop, there is a small pagoda dedicated to Adinath. From this point one has a superb view of snow=clad mountain peaks. Chobhar is located eight kilometers south-west of Kathmandu.

Pharping & Daskhinkali
Pharping has a shrine of Shesh Narayan which is richly endowed with art . The picturesque shrine stands beneath a rock cliff beside many fish ponds. The famous temple of Dakshinkali is situated about two kilometers from Pharping. Every Tuesday and Saturday, pilgrims congregate at the temple to sacrifice animals and worship the goddess Kali.

The ancient temple of Vajravarahi is situated in a small woodland park located about ten kilometers south of Patan, near the village of Chapagaon. A visit to Tikabhairav and Lele from here is well worthwhile.

Phulchocki is a 2791 meter hill and a good hiking spot as it offers a spectacular view of the whole Kathmandu Valley. Rhododendrons of different colours are found here, including pure white and dark red varieties. A jeep able road leads to the top of the hill, where there is a Buddhist stupa.

This scenic village is situated ten kilometers south east of Patan. The road from Patan passes through the towns of Harisiddhi, Thaibo and Bhadgaon. One of Nepal's holy places, Godavari is also a good picnic spot set amidst a dense forest. The Royal Botanical Garden, a fish hatchery

Balaju Water Garden
Situated five kilometers north west of Kathmandu, Balaju Water Garden is an ideal place for rest and relaxation. The park features a long line of twenty two stone water spouts from the mid eighteenth century, each of which is ornately carved with crocodile heads. The garden also includes many other ponds, some of them containing large and small varieties of fish. Adjoining the garden is an Olympic size swimming pool open to the public. Balaju Industrial Estate is located nearby.

Eight kilometers north of Kathmandu is a remarkable, colossal statue of the god Vishnu reclining on a bed of snakes. The fifth-century statue lies in middle of a small pond Budhanikantha is a place of pilgrimage for all Hindus and is the scene of great activity at such festivals as Haribodhini Ekadasi and Kartik poornima. An interesting feature of this shrine is that the reigning King of Nepal may not visit spot according to an old tradition.

Shivapuri provides most of the water to the Kathmandu Valley and among the hills, it is closest to the high Himalaya. The wildlife sighting here is also excellent as the park has access to wider lands and areas behind the Kathmandu Valley. You may wish to visit the Buddhist monastery set high on the hill.


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