the last Hindu kingdom and birthplace of the Budda, Nepal
has an extremely rich cultural heritage,encompassing a wide
varity of ethnic groups, each having their own colourful
festivals and customs. Nepal has a wealth of beautiful old
buildings, temples and palaces. Whether you want to go for
a half day sightseeing trip or venture further afield, we
can provide you with a tailor made agenda to suit your interests.
The most popular places to visit are as follows:
SQUARE: Kathmandu’s most impressive sight,
Durbar Square is a colourful hotch-potch of temples and
palaces. It is also home to Kathmandu’s Kumari, or
‘living goddess’, a young girl believed to be
a reincarnation of the goddess Durga.
SWAYAMBHUNATH: Known as the ‘monkey
temple’ because of its resident swarm of apes, this
spectacular Buddhist Stupa, from which the Buddha’s
eyes gaze serenely down, lies on a hilltop only 2km from
Kathmandu. The views down over Kathmandu and the surrounding
valley are superb.
BOUDHANATH: 8km from the city centre,
this is Kathmandu’s largest Stupa. It’s especially
colourful on Saturdays, when Tibetan refugees flock here
PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE: On the bank of the
sacred Bagmati River, this Shiva Temple is famous for its
two-tiered golden roof and silver doors.
ancient city of Patan faces Kathmandu on the southern bank
of the River Bagmati. It’s a colourful place, with
Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments jostling side by side
in its narrow, winding streets and unexpected squares.
DURBAR SQUARE: Exquisitely carved palaces,
temples and shrines litter the square, which is dominated
by the ancient Royal Palace. Nestling in one corner is the
triple-roofed octagonal tower of the 17th Century Teleju
KRISHNA MANDIR: The first of its kind
to be built, this 17th Century temple is the only one in
Nepal with entirely stone-carved shrines.
HIRANYA VARAN MAHAVIHAR: A 12th Century,
three-tiered Golden Pagoda of Lord Buddha.
KUMBHESHWOR A Shiva Temple with an unusual
of the three ancient cities of Nepal, Bhaktapur is the home
of medieval art and architecture, as well as thriving local
pottery and weaving industries
DURBAR SQUARE: This spacious, beautiful
square is packed from end to end with ancient temples and
monuments. These include the colourfully named ‘Lion
Gate’ and ‘The Bell of the Barking Dogs.’
It’s a great place to explore for an hour or two and
absorb the local life.
NYATAPOLA TEMPLE: Dating back to 1702,
this five-storey pagoda is an impressive sight. Staring
down at you from the terraces are intricately carved figures
of wrestlers, elephants, lions and griffins.
WILDLIFE SAFARIS The beauty of Nepal’s
natural heritage can be enjoyed by a visit to one of it’s
famous National Parks.
is one of the oldest settlements in the Kathmandu valley,
dating back more than 2,100 years. The village is famous around
the valley for the quality chaku produced here. This ancient
settlement a maze of narrow lanes and tightly packed houses
punctuated by pagoda temples, reflects the traditional layout
of the valley towns and is a different world altogether. Tokha
lies about 7 km directly Langtang & Ganesh Himal past Samakhusi.
lies on the old pilgrim trail to Gosaikund in the Langtang
mountains, about 6 km Langtang & Ganesh Himal via Balaju. It is
a typical Newar farming village and is known for its beautiful,
serene and greenery. As with all Newar settlements, there
are many temples in the area. Buses leave regularly for Dharmasthali
or Sakwa, is a small and charming town situated 16 km to the
east of Kathmandu. Believed to have been established in 1299
BC, it is the oldest urban center in the valley. Sankhu once
bustled as the terminal on the old trade route to Tibet. The
artistic temple of Bajra Jogini, the town’s guardian
goddess, is a major pilgrimage site.
lies just beyond Gorkarna, 7 km to the north – east
of Kathmandu past the Boudhanath stupa. Sundarijal, which
means pure water, is a beautiful waterfall cascading down
from a hilltop. For the best view, climb up a long stone stairway.
Nearby lies one of the country’s oldest hydro- electric
power houses. Besides being a popular picnic spot, Sundarijal
is also the starting point for adventurers embarking on the
popular Langtang- Helambu trek.
is one of Kathmandu’s most popular pilgrimage and
picnic spots. It is a 20- minute walk from the trolley bus
terminal, south of Bhaktapur, 12 km east of Kathmandu on the
Arniko Highway. An ornate shrine of Surya Binayak is set in
the midst of a thick forest. The deity’s image has been
carved on a huge rock jutting out from the hillside. On Tuesdays
and Saturdays, Surya Binayak is crowded with worshippers and
newly- married couples who come to offer animal sacrifices
seeking success in their lives.
lies 19 km east of Kathmandu on the Arniko Highway to Tibet.
Also known as Bhonta, this Newar town has a glorious history
as a trade and cultural center. To reach the town’s
old quarter, turn left at the statue of King Tribhuvan. There
are many stone carvings dating to the Lichhavi period. The
temple of Chandeswari, a goddess with both Hindu and Buddhist
features, is its main shrine.
lies about 3 km to the north of Banepa. In the center of this
farming village is a 12th century temple of Bhagwati, one
of the only two four- storied Bhagawati temples in or near
the Kathmandu Valley. To the west of the village is a shrine
to Karunamaya, the Buddhist deity of compassion. An annual
procession of the deity takes place in early spring.
is a charming old Newar town which lies 10 km south of Banepa.
From the Tribhuvan statue at Banepa, a road turns right leading
to this ancient settlement located at the confluence of the
Roshi and Pungmati rivers. Its main attraction is the 12th
– century Indreswar Mahadev temple, the country’s
oldest existing pagoda structure, whose carved wooden struts
are said to be the finest in Nepal. Namo Buddha, where the
Buddha is said to have offered his own flesh to a starving
tigress, is four – five hours walk east of Panauti.
is situated at the foot of Phulchoki, the highest peak surrounding
greenery, and is home to a rich variety of birds. The Botanical
Garde, spread over 24 hectares, has a fascinating collection
of plants, including orchids, ferns and cacti. The other enticement
of Godavari is its sacred ponds. A grand festival takes place
here once every 12 years. Godavari lies 20 km south –
east of Kathmandu via Lagankhel, at the southern end of patan.
lies about 10 km out on the road to Godavari. It is also called
Jalan. The quaint Newar farming town is best known for its
spectacular Jalan Pyakhan, to which, it is said, there is
no equal in the valley. The origins of the dance date back
to the Lichhavi period. The Trishakti Bhavani temple, dedicated
to Goddess Durga, is another attraction here. The four –
tiered pagoda is looked after by priests who wear white pleated
gowns and keep their hair tied in a bun.
NARAYAN: is one of the most celebrated Bishnu shrines
in the valley. His image is enshrined a cave which is reached
through a rock fissure. It is said sinners cannot squeeze
through this opening. On the ground level of the cave, down
a narrow spiral stairway, is a statue of the Hindu god Hunuman.
Bishankhu Narayan is situated on a hill 12 km south of Kathmandu.
It lies at the end of a dirt road that branches off at Baregaon
on the way to Godavari.
is a charming 16th century village about 12 km from Kathmandu
on the southern fringe of the valley. It has an attractive
temple of Balkumari with a stone pillar in front marked by
a peacock on top. Surrounding this temple are several stone
seats where you can sit and watch life go by. To the north
is the temple of Brahmayani with her vehicle, the swan, atop
a stone column guarded by lions.
is an ancient village dating by to the Lichhavi period and
draws visitors for its peaceful atmosphere. Adding to the
scenic allure is Saraswati Kunda, a spring, with a shrine
built in 1668. Lele lies 20 km south of Kathmandu, up and
over the valley rim. The road begins at sat Dobato on the
Ring Road and passes through the quaint Newar villages of
Sunakhoti, Thecho and Chapagaon. Near Lele valley is a Shiva
temple with huge fresco of Tika Bhairav painted on a brick
BARAHI lies 3 km to the east of Chapagaon, Newar village
that comes shortly after Thecho. The tantric temple of Bajra
Barahi is one of the manifestations of Ajima, or mother goddess.
The boar- headed deity is worshipped as a protectress of livestock.
Built in the center of a thick grove, this 15th – century
temple is a popular site for both devotees and picnickers.
Various naturally sculpted stones abound here which are considered
to be images of Ganesh, Bhairav and the Asta Matrikas.
is a medieval village situated about 12 km south-east of Kathmandu.
It is a natural sanctuary that has few rivals in the valley.
A sacred pond, Nagdaha attracts many devotees, especially
during the festival of Nag Panchami. The road to Dhapakhel
branches off from the Ring Road at Sat Dobato. From here it
is a pleasant countryside drive with rice fields to the left
is 7 km east of Patan past the intersection on the Ring Road
at Gwarko. Set amidst lush greenery and fields of paddy or
wheat, it is a Newar village with alluring scenery. As with
all old Newar village with alluring scenery. As with all old
Newar towns, there is a gate at the entrance. People socialize
in the streets, winnowing grain, washing clothes and massaging
their babies with oil.
is a Newar village 6 km south of Patan where Red Machhendranath,
the God of Rain, spends his winter months before being brought
to Patan for the chariot festival in summer. The shrine is
a large open square with a 10- m shikara temple in the middle.
The courtyard is used for socializing by the local inhabitants.
To reach the village, head south past the zoo at Jawalakhel.
After crossing the Ring Road, descend to the village of Nakhu.
Take the left fork over the bridge and continue south.
is the twin Newar village lying next to Bungmati, both dating
back to the 16th century. In between the two settlements is
the temple of Karya Binayak. Just like Bungmati, Khokana is
a compact village. Running through it is a wide main street,
which was built after the 1934 earthquake. In the middle of
the street is the temple of Sikali Mai, khokana’s guardian
mother goddess. Khokana has long been famous as an oil pressing
center where mustard seeds are pressed using traditional methods.
lies 18 km south of Kathmandu on the valley rim. Perched on
a hilltop overlooking a cluster of Newar settlements is a
Buddhist monastery. Pharping’s main attraction is an
elaborate 17th – century temple which houses a gilded
image of Goddess Bajra Jogini. A cave and a hand-imprint of
the Buddhist saint Padmasambhav on the rock face over its
entrance are other intriguing sights here.