Travel Guide to Kathmandu

Kathmandu In the heart of Nepal lies a beautiful city Kathmandu, besides being the capital of the country the alluring state nestles in the lap of four major mountains namely Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun and Chandragiri.

The state is placed 4,600 feet above the sea level and surprisingly covers 600 sq mi of area that is even more than that of Delhi.

It became metropolis of Nepal in 1990, the state keeps on moving with the motto: “My Legacy, My Pride, My Kathmandu.”

The city forms a shape of bowl, covered by the mountains all around. This serene state gains major part of its economy through tourism. In fact, out of 10 world heritage sites of Nepal 7 heritage sites are bagged by Kathmandu itself.

Besides this, the state is named as “The City of Temples.” With Pashupatinath Temple, Shri Muktinath Temple, Changu Narayan and Bhageshwari Temple being the oldest and most eminent temples of all time. It is said that if you visit Kathmandu, you will get to know the culture and the religion of the country. Interestingly, the country is sandwiched between India and China but was never occupied by any of the extraterrestrial community.

History of Kathmandu

History of Kathmandu backs to the origin of the Sanatan Dharma, as the remnant of the place are found in various Holy Scriptures such as Swayambhu Purana and Shiva Purana.

According to which the place was considered as a lake full of snakes and named as “Nagdaha”, that was drained by their deity Manjuri and established a city named Manju-Patan that was later conquered by a demon named Banasur who blocked the outlet of the valley that lead to the formation of lake again.

Eventually, lord Krishna put an end to the demon and cleared the output to settle the valley again. Instance like this serves a strong bond to the Indo-Buddhist community. It is said that it was found by Raja Gunakmadeva in early 723. People of Kathmandu are known as “Newar” and the meaning of the newest name Kathmandu is interpreted to be wooden temple (kath-wood, mandu-mandir, Temple).

According to Raja Lachmina Singh it is said to have been built from the wood of a single tree. The day back from the origin of the city it has been ruled by various native rulers that specifically include Licchavi era rulers, Malla era rulers, Early Shah rulers and Rana rulers.

Attractions in Kathmandu

Kathmandu can never be explored by just walking, you need to have a local person to help you out or you may find a guide in order to attain the maximum knowledge of the legends and the history of the historical monuments, cultural heritage sites and temples. But don’t worry we got a plan for you. Here are the following places you need to see, we got all organized for you.

1. Boudhanath Stupa

This is one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world. It was built around n 14th century and is said to be built just after the death of the Buddha. The Stupa is structured with a round dome as a base and a Buddhist pyramid on it, the dome is meant as the world and the pyramid as the ladder to enlightenment.

2. Pashupatinath Temple

It is a Hindu Temple that attracts a huge number of attractions as tourists annually. It is collection of various shrines and scriptures that can generate an ever lasting impression on your mind. The Temple is located on the bank of Bagmati river.

3. Swayambhunath Temple

This one goes really back to the date, from 5th century AD. It has got some really impressive infrastructure, it lets you cover the whole valley and it is such a mind blowing view. Just beware of Monkeys there.

4. Thamel

It is closely interlinked and webbed structure of various streets including tour offices. Thamel acts as a place for accommodation of tourists and serves affordable service in terms of food and accommodation.

5. Kathmandu Durbar Square

It is on walking distance from Thamel. It was used to be the seats of the ancient rulers, its main attractions are the three temples named as Trailokya Mohan Narayan Temple, Indrapur Temple and Vishnu Temple. These are located right in the middle of the square.

Things to do in Kathmandu

1. Bungee Jumping

The visit to Kathmandu is not only limited to the Temples but also includes thrilling adventures. You can enjoy the thrill of bungee at any time of the year. The arrangemenr is made at 160 meter above from the Bhote Kosi River Gorge. You may find some more locations nearby.

2. Hot Air Balloon Ride

If you are in love with the Sky and want to conquer it, then this ride is definitely for you. This ride will make your heart galvanize. At the height of 3000 meters, you can easily have a view of the Everest.

3. Everest Base Camp Trek

This is one of the most popular destination among the tourists around the world. At a height of 29,035 ft, this base camp trek makes your heart go wild with the magnificient view of sky, peaks and hills.

4. River Rafting

Kathmandu is home to various Rivers that includes Trishuli and Seti Rivers, Bhot and Sun Koshi River with their turbulent flow accompanied by eight out of fourteen highest peaks in the world. That makes it perfect place for river rafting.

Culture of Kathmandu

Kathmandu forms the most unique and peaceful culture by meeting of the Hindu and Buddhist ethics that is highly and devotionally practiced by its natives.

Surprisingly, Islam, Christianity and Jainism can also be found there. Kathmandu was the centre of the Indo-Tibet trade roude that provided with the shared architectural traditions. The beauty of the culture can be easily seen in the art of the artisans.

Quality work of the artisans can be easily categorized under various following categories such as wood carving, stone carving, metal casting, weaving, pottery and other crafts. Carving skills of artisans can be easily observed in every single corner.

Shopping Places in Kathmandu

1. Thamel

As already told, Thamel is not only a place for the accommodation of tourists but also a great market place for them. Here, various shops sell different kinds of products that are mentioned as below:

  • Trekking Gear - Sleeping bags, boots, jackets and authentic branded materials.
  • Pashmina Fabrics - Woven from the fur of mountain goats, lighter and cheaper than other places. These include shawls, stoles, scarves and many more.
  • Thangkas - These are unique paintings that are made on cotton or silk fabrics, used to adorn walls and depicts Hindu and Buddhist deities.
  • Singing Bowls - These bowls are made up of five elements and a wooden stick is used to rub around the edges of the bowl in order to obtain the sound of “OM”.

2. New Road

It is a very popular place among the tourists to buy goods and it lies in the south of the Thamel. Various goods that can be bought here are as below:

  • Beads and Jewellery - Neckpieces, anklets, colorful earrings can be easily found here.
  • Handicrafts - Prayer wheels, pottery, antique pieces, puppets can be found here.
  • Statues - Statues of Lord Buddha and Hindu deities can easily be found.
  • Nepali Tea - Authentic Nepal Tea can easily be found in the various shops of New Road.

Nightlife in Kathmandu

Feeling like explored the state to the full extent, halt a while there is still a lot to see. Days at Kathmandu are filled with adventure whereas nights are relishing. Here, days and nights are in sharp contrast to each other. One can’t believe it is the same place thet they visited in the day time. Here, the nightlife can be enjoyed by visiting the following places.

1. Dejavu Club

It is located centrally at the Durbar Marg. It has an appealing interior design to attract the people. Lounge seating here is differentiated with those of the VIP rooms. Club consists of two floors that enjoy a rush of various locals and tourists.

2. Casino Anna

Locatd at Seto Dhoka Marg, This casino is 24 hour open and is famous for having the most jackpot winners. Games like Blackjack, poker, card games, pontoon etc. are offered here.

3. Upstairs Jazz

One can fulfill his thirst of ears by listening to the jazz music, provided by some of the best jazz musicians in the town. Generally, weekends are considered to be the best time to visit the place.

Currency and Money Used

The currency of the Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee that is abbreviated to NPR. 1 NPR consists of 100 Nepalese paisa with Nepalese Rastra Bank as the central authority that issues the currency. The notes and coins are available in following denominations of NPR 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500 and 1000.

Exchange rates of NPR can be known as under:

  • 1 Pound Sterling is equal to 153.87 NPR
  • 1 Euro equals to 133.08 NPR
  • 1 United State Dollar is equal to 117.91 NPR, and
  • 1 INR is equal to 1.59 NPR

*As per the latest recorded data of 2020

There are various places for the exchange of the currency that include banks, authorized dealers, hotels and international airport. Some of the money changing centers can be named as Annapurna, Dolphin, North Point Money Exchange, etc. in Thamel.

Restaurants and Local Cuisine

Restaurants and local cuisines are the lifeline of a nation, and is very much required in order to keep the community motivated and easy going. The food of a place represents its culture and tradition. Here is the list of few restaurants you must visit before returning from Kathmandu

1. Le Sherpa Restaurant

The place is adorned with classy interiors and decorations, professional chefs provide fastidious and mouth watering food. They carefully select the ingredients to provide an everlasting dining experience.

2. Tamas Spa Lounge

Undoubtedly, this is one of the most sophisticated place that provide exquisite service and is a wonderful place to eat, drink and get together with your mates and family members.

3. Yala Cafe

This cafe is the only place to visit for the breakfast. Try getting some coffee and pancakes as they serve one of the best breakfast around.

4. Newa Momo

Newa momo provides you the best quality momos and gives you a variety of the moms. You can try Banana Chocolate momos as a dessert.

After evaluating every aspect of the state it can clearly said that Kathmandu is really a state worth visiting.