KATHMANDU: Kathmandu is situated in a bowl shaped valley in central Nepal. The Kingdom extends about 885 km. east to west and 193 km. in width north to south. The entire terrain is like a steep incline, descending from the icy Himalayan heights to the hot Terai flatland within a short distance.
The city of Kathmandu was built by king Gun Kamdev in 723 A.D. It is said that Kathmandu was a lake in the past and was made habitable by Manjushree, who cut open the hill to south Chovar) as to allow the water of lake to flow out.
It is said that Kathmandu city was named after " Kastha-Mandap" meaning the temple made of wood in Sanskrit , an imposing pagoda near Hanuman Dhoka Palace. It was built in 1596 out of a single tree by King Laxmi Narashingha Malla.
Kathmandu is the capital of the kingdom, situated in a valley which is an open air museum of famous sites, ancient temples and shrines, golden pagodas and are inspiring deities, is a city of inexhaustible historic artistic and cultural interest. Several beautiful and interesting villages and towns surrounding the valley offer ideal destinations for mini treks. The dazzling Himalayan peaks are visible from several points on the mountains around the valley.
The capital is quite upto date in terms of comfort and convenience boasting luxury hotels, bars, restaurants, shops and casinos. Transportation is convenient and inexpensive. Medical service is quite good. Shoppers may purchase unusual gifts and souvenirs from an interesting assortment of items such as handicrafts, carpets, wooden art works, bronze casting and metal work, thankas, Nepali paper prints and readymade garments.
Places to see- Kathmandu Durbar Square - Swoyambhu Nath Stupa - Boudha Nath Stupa - Pasupatinath Temple - Budhanilkantha
BHAKTAPUR- Situated at an altitude of 1,401 m, Bhaktapur covers an area of four square miles. Bhaktapur or "the City of Devotees" still retains the medieval charm and visitors to this ancient town are treated with myriad wonders of cultural and artistic achievements. The past glory of the Malla rulers continue to be reflected at the Durbar Square. Pottery and weaving are its traditional industries. The city lies about 14 km east of Kathmandu.
The oldest part of the town is around Tachupal Tole (the Dattatraya Square), to the east. Bhaktapur was the capital city of the whole valley during the 14th to 16th centuries and during that time the focus of the town-shifted west, the Durbar Square area. Much of the town’s great architecture dates from the end of the 17th century during the rule of King Bhupatindra Malla. On Yaksha Malla’s death, the kingdom after a period of joint rule among his sons eventually became divided into three small kingdoms, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu and Patan.
Orientation:Bhaktapur drapes across an east-west fold in the valley, its southern fringe sliding down towards the sluggish Hanumante River. Owing to a long-term westward drift, the city has two centres (residents of the two halves stage a boisterous tug- of-war during the city's annual Bisket festival} and three main squares. In the west, Durbar Square and Taumadhi Tol dominate the post-fifteenth-century city, while Tachapal Tol presides over the older east end.
You'll arrive by one of two routes. Our Private car/coach or local buses that leaves from Old Bus park Kathmandu every 10 minutes drops you on the main road about ten minutes' walk south of town. Arriving by minibus from the City Bus Park, you'11 be deposited near Sidha Pokhri, a five-minute walk west of Durbar Square. Local buses from Nagarkot terminate at Kamal Binayak, five minutes northeast of Tachapal; tourist buses from Nagarkot continue to the main intersection just north of Durbar Square.
Bhaktapur has no rikshaws and just a few resident taxis, but it's compact enough to be explored on foot One-speed bikes can be rented along the road east of minibus park (west of Durbar Square)
Places to see - Durbar Square - Taumadhi Square - The Nyatapola Temple - Dattatraya Square - Pottery Square
PATAN: The ancient city of Patan, lying 5 km southeast of Kathmandu, is known as the city of fine arts. The city is full of Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments.The diversity of the medieval culture that allowed both Hinduism and Buddhism to flourish has left a rich legacy of impressive sightseeing in this city for today's visitors.
Lalitpur (Patan) said to have been founded by King Veer Deva in 299 A.D. has many old names such as Yala, Yupagram, Lalitpatan, and Maningal. Several historical records plus many other legends, also indicate that Patan is the oldest of all three cities of Kathmandu Valley. Patan was founded by Kirab rulers long before the Lichhavi rulers came into the political scene in Kathmandu Valley. It must be remembered here that one of the most used and typical Newari name of Patan is Yala. It is said that King Yalamber named this city after himself and ever since then this ancient city was known as Yala.
Old Patan developed along two intersecting axes, which extended out to the four Ashokan stupas. The northern route, now pedestrianized, takes in Patan's Durbar Square and also the famed Golden and Kumbeshwar temples. Patan's western axis serves as the main way into town from Kathmandu. The busy southern road runs past the Machhendranath Mandir and the Lagankhel bus park, while the eastern road skirts the temple of Mahabuddha. The 'fibetan crafts centre of Jaulakhel is located at the southwestern edge of the city.
Getting to Patan has become a bit more civilized and less polluting since the introduction of the battery-powered Safaa Tempo ("Clean Tempo") service. the white three-wheelers run from Kathmandu's northern suburbs to Patan's Mangal Bazaar via the City Bus Park and Martyrs' Gate.
By bike, it shouldn't take more than half an hour. Coming over the main bridge from Kathmandu, you can enter the city via the Western Stupa or more directly via Patan Dhoka. Our private transfer will take about 15-20 minutes drive from your hotel to Patan.
Places to Visit: Durbar Square * Krishna Mandir * Mahaboudha * Hiranya Verna Mahavihar *Kumbheshwor Jagatnarayan Temple * Rudra Varna Mahavihar * The Ashokan Stupas *Acchheswor Mahavihar Temple of Machhendranath and Minnath * The Zoo * Patan Industrial Estate * Bajra Barahi Godavari * Phulchowki
DHULIKHEL: is justly famous as a well-preserved Newar town, mountain viewpoint, and hiking and biking hub, but its popularity is waning as road-building and modernization take their toll. Located 5km east of Banepa, just beyond the Kathmandu Valley rim, it sits in a saddle at the relatively low elevation of 1550m, which makes it warmer than Nagarkot. A number of resort hotels and guest houses are positioned along the highway to catch the best mountain views in the immediate vicinity, but the full vista can only be seen from a small summit above the town. Most visitors to Dhulikhel stay at least two nights, which allows time for a wander around the old town, a sunrise walk and a full-day circuit of the surrounding countryside and the cultural sites of Namobuddha and Panauti. Unfortunately, the increasingly busy Arniko Highway passes just north of Dhulikhel and creates a less than idyllic barrier between most lodgings and the old town. On top of that, a major new highway to Sindhulimadi and the eastern Tarai is being built along the town's western and southern flanks. Donated by Japan, it's supposed to relieve pressure on the Prithvi (Pokhara) Highway by providing a second route into and out of the Kathmandu Valley, and its completion will turn Dhulikhel into one of Nepal's principal transport junctions, with all the revving and tooting that that entails. Meanwhile, a flurry of secondary road-building in the area has taken a lot of the pleasure out of the standard Namobuddha-Panauti itinerary, although the destinations themselves remain as worthy as ever. Looking on the bright side, the new roads make possible more and still largely untested mountain-biking possibilities.
Dhulikhel is less well-served by tourist buses than is Nagarkot. Local buses (every half-hour from Kathmandu's City Bus Park or from Bhaktapur's trolley bus stop; Rs15) are exasperatingly slow. You can ask to be dropped off at any of the hotels along the highway, but for most of the cheap lodgings you'll want to stay on until the small bus park. On a bike, it's better to come one of the back ways - via Lubhu-Panauti, Bhaktapur-Nala or Nagarkot-Nala.
KRITIPUR: Kirtipur is situated on a ridge 10 Km southwest of Kathmandu. The ancient Newar township is a natural fortress and has a proud and courageous history. The Chilamchu stupa and the temple of Bagh Bhairab are major sights here. Kirtipur offer quaint streets lined with artistic houses and temple squares. The people are known for their skill in building and weaving.
DAKSHINKALI: The temple of Dakshinkali is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali and is one of the most popular places of worship in Kathmandu. Located 22 Km from the city center on the southern rim of the Valley, the shrine is especially crowded on Tuesdays and Saturdays when animal sacrifices are offered to the deity.
CHOVAR: Situated nine-kilometer southwest of Kathmandu, this place is famous for its gorge. All the water of the valley drain through it. There is a small but picturesque temple of Adinath on the top of a hill. From this top one can have a panoramic view of snow capped mountain peaks. On the way back, stop at Chobhar gorge. The narrow gash in the hills was made by Lord Manjushree to drain out the lake, which once covered the Kathmandu Valley.
NAMO BUDDHA: Better know by Tibetans as Tag-mo Lu-jin. This means the place where the Buddha offered his body to the hungry mother tigress. It is renowned for Shakyamuni's act of compassion upon encountering a hungry mother tigress he offered her his body so that she could feed her cubs. There are a couple monasteries and one ancient stupa erected nearby in which one can make offerings, pray, and light butter lamps. This sight can be reached in a couple hours by jeep or for those who prefer a half-day hike it gives beautiful views of the local villages and lush scenery
BANDIPUR: Bandipur, an ancient Newari mountain town, is a treasure waiting to be discovered by travellers. Situated 7k.m. above Dumbre Bazaar at an altitude of 1,005 meters, this ancient trading post lies cradled in the saddle of some of the country's most peculiar-shaped hills. Untouched by modernization, and laced with an abundance of ancient houses, temples of great significance, and historical architecture, this medieval-era town boast festivals all year around, besides plethora of cultural offerings. Neighboring Magar, Gurung, Bahun, Chhetri, Damai and Sarki villages all contribute to the cultural diversity of the region.
TANSEN: The township of Tansen is among a few towns outside the capital which bears a rich legacy of the traditional art and architecture. Perched on the lap of the spectacular Srinagar Danda (hill) Tansen, commands a gorgeous panorama of the Himalayas as well as the plains of Terai. Located at an elevation of 1310 meters Tansen is a pleasant place to visit during any season of the year. The hill of Srinagar, half an hour’s walk up Tansen Bazaar at an elevation of 1524 m. is rare vantage point to view the contrasting manifestation of nature. An Incredibly Long panorama of the mountains encompassing Kanjiroba, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Langtang Himal at a stretch is visible from here on one hand, while on the other the plains of Madi valley and the bigger terai also comes to distinct view from the same point. Tansen is a good put off point for short as well as long treks. You can visit some of the beautiful points on the Kali Gandaki river such as Ranighat Palace and Ramdi Ghat the dense and serene woody slopes of Rambhapani and Satyawati lake.For longer treks you can choose any area in Annapurna-Dhaulagiri region such as Dhorpatan, Jomsom, Ghorepani or Annapurna Sanctuary. Tansen also provides opportunity for study of Buddhist culture and the life and culture of Magar tribes.
Tansen and its Environs:
Tansen, situated at an altitude of 1,371 meters above the sea level on the lap of picturesque Shreenagar hill, is one of the most popular summer resorts of western Nepal. On account of its unique geographical location, climate and the people, Tansen spells an area of dreamy holiday. Although the administrative headquarters of Palpa district, Tansen is free of usual urban hectic life. In Tansen, tourists can make detours at ease to see and admire the narrow zigzag streets, stream of colorful people passing by in local attires. Even in the heart of the town an unmistakable charm of simple rural life is easily felt. However, Tansen is another miniature Kathmandu One could see old Kathmandu style hangovers in the cobbled streets up and down. Typical newari houses, pagoda style temples, shrines and stupas are abound here. Also, Tansen is the starting point for many short treks for places of touristic interest in Palpa and in the surrounding districts of western Nepal.
DAMAN: Daman has some of the most fantastic views of the Himalaya. It has a great view of the mountains from Dhaulagiri to Mt Everest. Daman is halfwaay between Kathmandu and Hetauda. It is definitely a worth visiting.
Daman is situated 80 kilometers south- west of Kathmandu at an altitude of about 2400 meters. Daman is located on the Tribhuvan Highway in between Kathmandu and the town to Birgunj. For the view of the Breath taking grandeur of the world's highest peaks extending in one glittering are from far-east of Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) there is no better place than Daman. There is a view tower fitted with long range telescopes. Daman can be reached in four hours from Kathmandu because of mountain highway. However it worth visiting the area after watching the landscape of the Himalayas with having luxurious accommodation and cuisine of International standard there if one wish to stay overnight.