The valley, the political and commercial hub of Nepal, is famous for it’s natural beauty and history. It is situated at an altitude of 1336m above the sea level and covers an area of 218 sq. miles. The rich tapestry of the cultural heritage of Nepal is synthesized in the Kathmandu valley, the home of the ancient and sophisticated Newari culture. The Newars are the indigenous inhabitants of the valley and the pioneers of the splendid civilization of its three cities.
Kathmandu Durbar Square (World Heritage Site)
Durbar Square is an overwhelming frenzy of art and architecture. The medieval palace complex is erected in different styles at the right hand side of the Kumari temple. This palace complex is locally known as the Basantapur Durbar or Nautale Durbar and the street is called Basantapur after it. This monument was constructed in 1770 A.D. in the initiation of King Prithivi Narayan Shah after capturing the Kathmandu Valley in 1768 A.D. The massive pagoda structure houses the tutelary deity of the Malla Kings. The palace building is labyrinth of stone paved quadrangles. The coronations ceremony is still performed in the main courtyard, the Nyasal Chowk. The palace façade is tapestry of intricately carved windows, shaded by gently sloping roofs of shimmering brown tiles.
Kumari temple (House of Living Goddess)
It is the house like pavilion located at the left hand side of the huge courtyard known as Basantapur. In Kathmandu valley, there are temples built in different styles such as Pagoda style, Stupa style, Summit style and Muslim style. This temple is built in Harmaya style. In this style, a courtyard is surrounded on all four sides by residential buildings. In Harmaya style, generally the deity of the temple is placed straight behind the front gate. In this shrine, you will see no image inside because it is the home of the living Goddess, a young girl who resigns as goddess Kumari until she reaches puberty. However, if she likes she can appear at the window of the second floor on the opposite of the main gate.
Swayambhunath/Monkey temple (World Heritage Site)
The Swayambhu Stupa crowns a hillock to the west of Kathmandu .A massive white dome Surrounded by a 13 stage spire, the stupa is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Nepal. It is said to be 2000 years old. Its origins are linked to the founding of the Kathmandu valley by draining the water of the lake by Bodhisattva Manjushree. Swayambhu manifested in the lake as a brilliant light emanating from a lotus and Manjushree let the water out by slashing a passage through the surrounding hills to facilitate paying homage to Swayambhu, thus making the valley inhabitable.
Boudhanth (World Heritage Site)
Ii is the world’s biggest stupa located about 2 kilometers to the north of Pashupatinath temple. This colossal Stupa is known by the name of Bouddhanath, the god of wisdom. It is difficult to assign a period to it, as some believe that it was built during the reign of either Shiva Dev or Anshu Verma in the 7th century A.D. The design is much like the Swayambhu Stupa, except that the final consists of receding squares instead of circles. Bouddhanath attracts the Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world.
Pashupatinath (World Heritage Site)
One of the holiest Hindu shrines in the world, the temple of Pashupatinath is the focus of pilgrims from all over Nepal and India. The temple is dedicate to Lord Shiva and is in the familiar Pagoda style. Chronicles indicate the temple’s existence prior to 400 A.D. It lies 5 kms east of the city center. This holy place is picturesque collection of temple and shrines. All the dying persons are brought to Pashupatinath for cremation. Only the Hindus are allowed to go inside.