Kathmandu Durbar Square (Hanuman Dhoka )
Kathmandu Durbar Square is the site of the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex, which was the royal Nepalese residence until the 19th century and where important ceremonies, such as the coronation of the Nepalese monarch, still take place today. The palace is decorated with elaborately-carved wooden windows and panels and houses the King Tribhuwan Memorial Museum and the Mahendra Museum.
Time and again the temples and the palaces in the square have gone through reconstruction after being damaged by natural causes or neglect. Presently there are less than ten quadrangles in the square. The temples are being preserved as national heritage sites and the palace is being used as a museum. Only a few parts of the palace are open for visitors and the Taleju temples are only open for people of Hindu and Buddhist faiths.
At the southern end of Durbar Square is one of the most curious attractions in Nepal, the Kumari Chowk. This gilded cage contains the Raj Kumari, a girl chosen through an ancient and mystical selection process to become the human incarnation of the Hindu mother goddess, Durga.
She is worshiped during religious festivals and makes public appearances at other times for a fee paid to her guards.
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…
The Singhha Durbar, literally, Lion Palace in Kathmandu valley is the official set of government of Nepal and the largest Palace in Asia. Originally built by the Rana Dynasty. In 1904 this was the private Property of Prime Minister Dev S. Janga Bahadur Rana who was forced to abdicate by Prime Minister Chandra S. J.B Rana and his brothers, claimed to be the biggest and most luxurious palace in Asia and until 1973 was the largest government secretariat in Asia. It was the private residence of the hereditary Prime Minister on Nepal, now the Singha Durbar now houses both chambers of the Parliament (the Pratinidhi Sabha, or House of Representatives, and the Rashtriya Sabha, or House of States), as well as ministries and government offices. Now it’s the Secretariat of His Majesty’s Government of Nepal.
Singha Durbar is also the headquarters of Radio Nepal and Nepal Television. It was designed by Kishore Nar Singh Rana as neo-classical architecture typical of the style of the 19th century.A grand imposing palace built on the neo-classical style.
Bhadrakali, (literally “Good Kali,”) is a Hindu goddess popular in Nepal. In Sanskrit, Bhadra means good. The Sanskrit word ‘Bhadra Kali’ can be translated to Hindi as ‘Mahamaya Kali’.Bhadrakali is one of the powerful goddess of Nepal. Located near the Sahid Gate at the eastern side of Tudikhel is the temple of Bhadrakali. Also known as Shree Lumadhi Bhadrakali, the temple is considered as one of the most renowned “Shaktipith” of Nepal.
A form of Goddess Kali, Bhadrakali in Sanskrit means “blessed, auspicious, beautiful and prosperous” and she is also known as “Gentle Kali”. Another name for the goddess is Lazzapith.She is represented with three eyes, and four, twelve or eighteen hands. She carries a number of weapons, with flames flowing from her head, and a small tusk protruding from her mouth.
It is at the eastern edge of the Tudikhel, near Shahid Gate. This temple is one of the main “Shankta or Shaktipeeth” temples of Kathmandu> City.
Narayanhiti Palace, or Narayanhiti Durbar, is a palace in Kathmandu ,Nepal, which long served as a primary residence for the country’s monarchs. The palace compound is located in the north-central part of Kathmandu, at the head of Durbar Marga. It is designed to be a contemporary pagoda style with sprawling, park-like grounds covering an area of 30 hectares (74 acres)) all fully enclosed with walls and guarded gates. The current Narayanhiti Palace was built in 1970, replacing the original 1915 building, which had been destroyed in an earthquake. It was first used on the occasion of the marriage of King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, the then heir apparent to the throne. The southern gate of the palace is located at the intersection of Prithvi Path and Durbar marga streets. The palace was also the scene of the 2001 Nepalese Royal Massacare. After the 2006 revolution toppled the monarchy, the newly elected assembly declared Nepal a republic and ordered the King to vacate the palace.
It was the Royal Palace of King, His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shahdev of Nepal. The Shah kings moved to this palace from their old palace in the late 18th century. The new edifice was inaugurated in 1970 on the occasion of the wedding of His Majesty king Birendra Bir Bikram Shahdev.
The palace takes its name from the Narayanhiti, a famous historic waterspout situated at the southern corner of the Palace. The Palace compound is immense, surrounded by high walls and guarded by soldiers.The royal palace was turned into a public museum immediately after the country was declared a republic. The crown jewels are considered to be among the most valuable objects in Nepal.
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 Site.
Boudhanath also called Boudha, Bouddhanath or Baudhanath or the Khasa Caitya is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu, Nepal. Located about 11 km from the center and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu, the stupa’s massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal. 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 center.
The Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath dominates the skyline. The ancient Stupa is one of the largest in the world. The influx of large populations of refugees from Tibet has seen the construction of over 50 Tibetan Gompas (Monasteries) around Boudhanath. As of 1979, Boudhanath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with Swayambhunath, it is one of the most popular tourist sites in the Kathmandu area.
The Stupa is on the ancient trade route from Tibet which enters the Kathmandu Valley by the village of Sankhu in the northeast corner, passes by Boudnath Stupa to the ancient and smaller stupa of Ca-bahi (often called ‘Little Boudnath’). It then turns directly south, heading over the Bagmati river to Patan – thus bypassing the main city of Kathmandu (which was a later foundation). Tibetan merchants have rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to live around Boudhanath. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha.
Balaju Water Garden
Balaju water garden is situated five kilometers north-west of Kathmandu below Nagarjun hill.It 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.
Balaju garden features fountains with 22 crocodile -headed water spout carved in the shape of sea-dragons dating from the mid eighteenth century. There is also a swimming pool inside the park. It also consists of religious shrines, fish ponds and a replica of the statue of Budhanilkantha.
Budanilkantha is a village in Kathmandu District in the Bagmati Zone of central Nepal. At the time of the 2001 Nepal census it had a population of 133,244.The Budhanilkantha statue of the Hindu god Vishnu, located approximately 10 kilometers from the center of Kathmandu at the base of the Shivapuri Hill, is the largest and most beautiful stone carving in all of Nepal. It is also the most enigmatic.
It is 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.
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most significant Hindus temple of Lord Shiva in the world, located on the banks of the Bagmati River in the eastern part of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The temple serves as the seat of the national deity, Lord Pashupatinath. The temple is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
The temple is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams (Holy Abodes of Shiva) on the continent. Over the past times, only born Hindus were allowed to enter the temple. Others could look at it from other side of the river. However, the norms have been relaxed due to many incidents. If the individual is destined, he/she takes and completes the journey to reach these footsteps without any resistance or obstructions along the way, is believed to be under loving grace of Rudra. It is final stage of harsh penance. Thus, the slave (pasu – the human condition) becomes the master (pati – the divine condition).The Bagmati River, which runs next to Pashaputinath Temple, has highly sacred properties. Thus the banks are lined with many ghats (bathing spots) for use by pilgrims. Renovating or furnishing these sites has always been regarded as meritorious.
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 Lord Shiva. 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.
It is a small town, situated on a ridge 6-km southwest of Kathmandu. The ancient township is a natural fortress and has a proud and courageous history. The Chilamchu stupa and the temple of Bagh Bhairav are major sights here. The city offers quaint streets lined with artistic houses and temple squares. The people are known for their skill in building and weaving.
Gokarna is a village development committee in Kathmandu District in the Bagmati Zone of central Nepal. At the time of the 2011 Nepal census it had a population of 7,508 and had 1,768 households in it. Gokarna is situated about ten-kilometer northeast of Kathmandu, this lovely Royal Game Sanctuary is also well known as Gokarna Safari Park. Many wild animals like spotted dear can be viewed in the sanctuary from an elephant bank. On the northern side of Gokarna is a pagoda of Gokarneshwor Mahadev.This site offers 18 hole GOLF courses and has a beautiful 5 star resort named Gokarna Forest Resort. Many wild animals such as spotted deer can be viewed in the in this sanctuary from an elephant back. On the northern side of Gokarna there is pagoda of Gokarneshwar Mahadev.
In the village, on the banks of the Bagmati, stands the Gokarna Mahadev temple. It was built in 1582.In late August or early September people go to this temple to bath and make offerings in honor of their fathers, living or dead, on a day called Gokarna Aunsi. Southwest of Gokarna is the Nepal Medical College and Teaching Hospitals.
Sankhu is a place made of combination of different parts of three Village Development Committees, Bajrayogini, Pukhulachhi, and Suntol, in Kathmandu District in the Bagmati Zone of central Nepal. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 2097 living in 353 individual households.
This place is also known as the Eighty Siddhas as there are four of five caves where the siddhas of India are said to have stayed. One of the caves is also said to have been the practice cave of Nagarjuna, and an image of the great master which was originally in the cave has been taken outside and placed some distance away.It is a typical Newari town with many fine old buildings and temples. Beyond the village, up a long flight of stone stairs, is Bajra Jogini, a historical temple with a beautiful view of the local area.
Sundarijal is a village development comottee in Kathmandu district in the Bagmati zone of central Nepal. The VDC was named after the Hindu goddess, Sundarimai. A temple is dedicated to the deity in Sundarijal. In 1960, the Sundarijal Military Detention Camp was the location of Nepali Congress leaders B.P. Koirala. Sundarijal is located 15 kilometres northeast of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. It is west of Gagalphedi, east of Nayapati and Baluwa, and north of Aalapot. The VDC touches Nuwakot and Sindhulpalchok Districts to the north.
Sundarijal covers an area of 5.18 square kilometres. The Bagmati River flows through the VDC, where it is joined by the Shyalmati and Nagmati Rivers. Largely hilly in its terrain with few flat areas, the VDC is covered by forests. Shivapuri National Park covers large amounts of the Sundarijal.It is a famous for its scenic beauty. There are magnificent waterfalls, cataracts and rock formations. It is an ideal place for picnic requiring a short walk after the motorable road.
It is a famous for its scenic beauty. There are magnificent waterfalls, cataracts and rock formations. It is an ideal place for picnic requiring a short walk after the motorable road.
Situated nine-kilometer southwest of Kathmandu, this place is famous for its gorge. The mention of Chobhar goes back to the ancient legends that tell of the time when all of Kathmandu valley was a lake surrounded by hills. It is said that Manjushree, a divine saint from China, came upon this lake eons ago and saw a huge lotus emanating bright light at the center. So he cut a deep gorge in the wall of the lake and let the water out in order to observe and worship the lotus.
Changu Narayan Temple
The ancient temple of Changu Narayan is located on a high hilltop that is also known as Changu or Dolagiri. The temple is surrounded by forest with champak tree and a small village, known as Changu Village. The temple is located in Changunarayan VDC of Bhaktapur District,Nepal. The Manahara River flows beside the hill. This shrine is dedicated to Lord Visnu and held in especial reverence by the Hindu people. This temple is considered as the oldest temple in Nepal.
Changu Narayan Temple lies on a ridge overlooking the Valley, about twelve-kilometer to the east of the city north of Bhaktapur.The scared complex is listed in the UNESCO a World Heritage Site list. It has one of the finest and oldest specimens of pagoda architecture that is embellished with exquisite wood and stone carvings.
Akash Bhairav Temple
Akash Bhairav is a Hindu deity; one of the different forms of Bhairava. The head of the Aakash Bhairav was dug up several hundred years ago in Kathmandu. The head sits in a Hindu temple in Indra Chowk Kathmandu not far from Durbar Square. It is taken out once a year on the occasion of Indra Jatra Festival and is blessed by the Kumari — the living goddess who lives in the nearby Kumari Chowk. This ceremony is held in the month of August/September in monsoon season.In the period of ceremony large number of prayers come to visit the Aakash Bhairav. During the ceremony prayers offers peda(sweets made from milk), flowers, money and several others things.This is a three-storey temple situated in the main Market Avenue called Indra Chowk.
Kumari Ghar (Temple of Kumari)
Kumari, or Kumari Devi, is the tradition of worshiping young pre-pubescent girls as manifestations of the divine female energy or devi in Hindu religious traditions. The word Kumari, derived from Sanskrit Kaumarya meaning “virgin”, means young unmarried girls in Nepali and some Indian languages and is a name of the goddess Durga as a child. In Nepal a Kumari is a pre-pubescent girl selected from the Shakya or Bajracharya clan of the Newari community. A Kumari is believed to be the incarnation of the goddess Taleju. The Kumari is revered and worshiped by some of the country’s Hindus as well as the Nepali Buddhists, though not the Tibetian Buddhists. While there are several Kumaris throughout Nepal, with some cities having several, the best known is the Royal Kumari of Kathmandu, and she lives in the Kumari Ghar, a palace in the center of the city.
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 Ganesh.
Jaisi Dewal Temple is 400 meter south of Kasthmandap. Five minutes from Kasthmandap the Shiva Temple of Jaishi Dewal. It is a three-storied pagoda le temple. Enshrined nearby the big temple is almost two meter high Shiva Linga. According to the a local belief, sterile women and those dealing with irregular periods could be cured if they worship this Shiva Linga. There is also a statue of Kam Dev, the god of love, to the East of the temple. It is believed men who are incapable of satisfying their partners in bed should worship this statue to overcome the problem. The Shiva Temple of Jaisi 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.
Dakshinkali Temple or Dakshin Kali Temple, located 22 kilometres outside Kathmandu and about 1 kilometre outside the village of Pharping, is one of the main temples of Nepal dedicated to the goddess Kali.
Dakshinkali Temple; is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali and is one of the most popular places of worship in Kathmandu. The word Dakshinkali is made up of Dakshin and Kali. Dakshin means south and Kali is derived from one of the Hindu goddess Kali. So it basically means the goddess Kali of the south.The shrine is especially crowded on Tuesdays and Saturdays when animal sacrifices are offered to the deity. According to a mythology the Goddess Durga has killed the demon and drank the fresh blood of animals. So lots of devotees gather there in a huge mass especially on Tuesday and Saturday where they usually sacrifice rooster and he goats.Animal sacrifices particularly of cockerels and uncastrated male goats are the main way that the goddess is worshipped, and this is especially seen during the Dashain festival.Besides, this place has been developed as a popular picnic spot.