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Glimpses Of Nepal
Kathmandu Valley :
Kathmandu Valley has been called on big museum - a vast store of Hindu and Buddhist art with more shrines and temples per square km than anywhere else in the world.Nepalese culture has immense vitality and countless festivals are celebrated each year. Institution such as the "Living Goddess" forms a direct link between the past and the present.
The valley is above 25 Km from east to west and 20 Km from north to south with an area of 570 square Km and a population of 1.5 million Kathmandu lies at a height of around 1300 meter while the surrounding hills range from 1500 meters to 2800 meters in height Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Gaurishanker and Everest are visible from different points in the valley. The bowl like small mountain - sheltered Kathmandu Valley is the historical center of Nepal and the place where kingdoms rose and fell, palaces and temples were built and rebuilt, and Nepalese art and culture were developed and refined is equally religious.
Patan situated across the Bagmati river to the south of Kathmandu is Known to this day for its excellent works of art and carving in wood and bronze .Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgoan, is the most medieval of the lot and is situated in the eastern part of the valley. While kathmandu and patan have undergone great changes in the three decades since Nepal its isolation, Baktapur has changed much less.
PATAN (The City Of Beauty )
Patan locally referred to as Lalitpur and situated at the south of Kathmandu is the second largest town in the Valley. Patan's great building boom took place under the Mallas in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Numerous temples of widely divers style as well as many Buddhist monasteries are scattered around the fascinating town. The city is famous for its crafts and metal works which are wonderful souvenirs to be carried home.
The City Of Devotees Bhaktapur also Known as Bhadgoan is shaped like conch. It is medieval city designed in the 19th century by its founder King Ananda Malla. Having an area of 139 square Kilometer, it is situated at 1331 meter from sea level and 13 Km far from Kathmandu on the east side, linked with motorable road. Bhakatapur has not yet lost its old traditions but rather has maintained them very well.
Bhaktapur not only grows sufficient food for the city but support Kathmandu city also. The city's craftsmen build and decorate houses, make pottery and adorn temples. From the very beginning Bhaktapur has attracted the foreigners and local tourists as well. Durbar square, "palace of 55 windows", Golden gate leading through to the Taleju temple, National Art gallery having a good collection of Thangkas paintings - all are the immense attraction.The ancient Royal Palace is remarkable and an excellent example of 18th century architecture made by king Bhupatindra Malla whose statue stand infront of Golden Gate. Around the Durbar Square the curio shop, wood and stone carving, thangkas have became a good attraction. Nyatapola, Nepal's tallest five roofed temple, stands not far from Durbar Square. The pottery market is very near to Nyatapola temple.The Akash Bhairab Temple, the Dattatraya shrine, Pujarimath with excellent wood work, the famous peacock window located south of Dattatraya temple, the Bramayani Mandir - all are of equal importance and work of fine art and culture.
Swyambhunath Stupa :
This stupa is one of the oldest and holiest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal situated on the top of a hillock on the western side of city overlooking the kathmandu city. The creation of this stupa is linked to the creation of kathmandu valley out of a primordial lake. This stupa is also famous as monkey temple among the tourist and also listed as one of many heritage site of Nepal.
Kathmandu Durbar Square :
This place is also listed as UNESCO heritage site and this place is the complex of palaces, courtyards, and temples built between 12th and 18th centuries. This place is the combination of temples and royal palaces such as, Mahadev parbati temple, Taleju Bhawani, Aakash Bhairab, Kumari The living Goddess, Hanuman Dhokha, Gaddi Baithak to name few. You can also found the examples of some of the best wood works.
Pashupati Temple :
This temple lies 5 km east of city center on the bank of Holy River Bagmati and is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world. This temple is built in pagoda style with brass roof, before 400 A.D dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is also a listed heritage rite. You can also see many many temples and Shiva Linga near around this temple.
Boudhanath Stupa :
This is one of the biggest stupa in the Kathmandu valley and also listed in the world heritage site and is about 6 km away from Kathmandu city center. It is 36 meter high built on flat surface and set in Mandala Design. In the morning you can even see the Tibetan Lama's performing their regular prayer around the stupa. There lies more than 40 monasteries in and around Boudhanath Stupa.
Dakshinkali :
Temple of Dakshinkali is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Kali and also known as goddess of destroyer. This temple is 22 km away from Kathmandu and situated on the southern rim of Kathmandu valley. This is a Hindu temple, one of the most popular places to worship and this place is mostly crowded on Tuesday and Saturday when animal sacrifices are offered to the Diety.
Chnagu Narayan Temple :
This temple is also a world heritage site and situated on a ridge over looking the valley, about 12 km east of Kathmandu City. This temple is dedicated to Lord Bishnu. This temple is the combination of stone and wood arts built in pagoda style.
Dhulikhel :
Dhulikhel, a hill top town lies 32 km east from Kathmandu and is at the height of 1625 meter from sea level, is easily accessible from Kathmandu by road. In the old days, it lay on the main trade route between Kathmandu and Tibet. The old Dhulikhel Bazaar Where one can see craftsman sitting cross-legged next to their work places and tiny shops selling vegetables to metal goods, is a typical Newar settlement. This town is famous for its panoramic views of the sunrise and sunset over the Himalayan range where the natural beauties of this places is attractive and breath taking, the climate is also healthier . This is the best place to view the Himalaya where the majestic icewhite panorama of Himalayan peeks like Manaslu, Lamjung, Ganesh Himal, Mahalangur and many more can be seen. Dhulikhel is a very ideal place to stay overnight in the hotel. From Dhulikhel a number of interesting treks both long and short can be taken within the surrounding country side - such as - Dhulikhel to Panauti, Dhulikhel to Nagarkot, Dhulikhel to Palanchowk Bhagbati are some of the trek routes for those who likes to walk ascending and descending with their friends and families. If someone is interested, a day trip to Nepal - China border - Kodari and rafting at Sunkoshi River can be arranged from this place.
Nagarkot :
Another famous destination away from Kathmandu city is Nagarkot, located about 14 km north east from Bhaktapur at the height of 1838 meter from the sea level is the best place for countryside walking and mountain viewing. On the way to Nagarkot one sees the terraced farm land and pine forest. From this place one can view the panorama of the entire eastern central Himalaya, to name the few are Mount Everest, Numbur, Chooyu, Nuptse, Lhotse, Makalu and to the west Manaslu and Himalchuli - five out of ten world's highest peaks. One can see many varieties of flowers and can enjoy the songs of the many birds in the morning. For over night stop, there are every type of accommodation for all class of tourists, from budget to Deluxe.
Daman :
Daman, situated 78 km south of Kathmandu at the height of 2322 m. along the Tribhuwan Rajpath - old road to the Indian border, gives the panoramic view of the entire Himalayan ranges visible from central Nepal. This is a three and half hour drive from Kathmandu. As a matter of fact, one should stay overnight at Daman to have the complete excitement of the trip.
Panauti :
It is the ancient Newar triangular city, well connected with Banepa by a motorable road, is situated in the confluence of two rivers - Punyamati and Roshi khola, at the height of 4600 ft. A three tiered Indreshwor Mahadev temple was built over the Shiva Lingam, at the beginning of Malla period. In addition to religious value, this temple is architecturally and historically one of the most important temple. The roof struts showing incarnation of Shiva are matchless in their serenity. Outside the courtyard, there is temple of Bhairab. At the point where the two river meets is a temple of Lord Krishna. Across the Punyamati river stands the famous 17th century Brahmayani temple. There is a sanctuary of Gorakhanath, the great 13th century yogi, up the steep hill rising above the punyamati river. Besides the religious and historical importance, Panauti is famous for classic 20th century Rana style Newar houses.
Namo Buddha :
The term "namo" in Tibetan means blessing or adoring. The century old legend of Namo Buddha says that a Prince came to the forest for his penance. While he was walking through the area he found a Lioness with newly born 5 cubs. The lioness, whose mate has gone away and she did not want to leave newly born cubs alone in the jungle and she was almost dying due to hunger. The Prince when saw this, tried to save the life of lioness offering his own flesh. Namo Buddha has two areas, the lower section and upper section. Lower section lies at the end of the roadway where stupa and prayer chapel are constructed. To reach the upper section, a trail rises from the south west side of the stupa and ascends to the hill top and the retreat center . This center, from the long time, has been used by the monks to further their spiritual knowledge. There is stone tablet near the retreat centre depicting this scene. Here, one sees several stupas. Alongwith its religious importance the entire setting is peaceful and the scenery and view is equal breath taking.
Kakani :
Kakani is a village on the ridge of north west of Kathmandu, just 23 km away at the height of 2073 m. and offers good view of Ganesh Himal. The road to Kakani also offers beautiful views with terraced farming lands and unique hut style houses. This place is most famous to see the sunsets behind the mountains.
Lumbini - Birth Place of Lord Gautam Buddha :
Lumbini is the birth place of Siddhartha Gautam, the founder of Buddhism - the Buddha himself. It is situated 74 km from Palpa and 298 km from Kathmandu in western terai of Nepal connected both by Air and Land route. The broken Ashkon Pillar, remounts of old monasteries, images of Buddha's mother Maya Devi, the scared pond, the Mahayan and Theravada Vihar still preserved here. Extensive excavation work is being carried out here with promising result. Recently many Buddhists stupas has been constructed by different countries like, Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka, China, Korea, Japan etc. This entire area is very peaceful and the peace garden is worth seeing. Another worth seeing place in Lumbini is Lumbini Museum located in the central zone, contains Mauryan and Kushana coins, religious manuscripts, terra-cotta fragments, and stone & metal sculptures. Lumnibi International Research Institute located opposite the museum provides research facilities for the study of Buddhism and religion in general.
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