Top 10 Things to do while you are in Kathmandu

I have been coming to Kathmandu since the early 2000’s. I have climbed Everest and led over 35 treks to Everest Base Camp and climbed Island peak over 16 times. I have led treks in the Annapurna region and around the western Himalaya.  Nepal has so much to offer and love visiting Pokhara and surrounding area as often as possible. I find it one of the most relaxing places to visit hope to own a place there over the coming year, but as we are looking at Kathmandu, let’s get into it.

I highly recommend arriving to Kathmandu early before you depart on your onward journey. It is important to re-hydrate and get using to living in a new time zone and build up you immune system before heading on your trekking or mountaineering adventure. If you need further information on our trips just CONTACT US for specific information you are looking for.

1). A visit to Boudhanath Stupa the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal is fascinating. It is a religious center for Buddhists in Kathmandu. It is the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal and is surrounded by houses, shops, cafes and monasteries. It is a wonderful place to spend time watching pilgrims from all over the world circumambulating the site, saying their prayers and spinning their prayer wheels. It is thought to have been built in the 5th century, was destroyed in the 14th and rebuilt again. It was also badly affected by the earthquake of 2015, but has been restored. It is set on concentric ascending terraces in the powerful pattern of a Mandala. The 36 meter-high Stupa of Bouddhanath is one of the largest stupas in South Asia. Bouddhanath Stupa was renovated by Licchavi rulers in the eighth century. The Mandala design in Boudhanath Stupa is a copy of the one in Gyangtse in Tibet.

2). Swayambhunath Stupa (Also known as Monkey Temple) is the most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in the Kathmandu valley. Its position atop a hill means it can be seen for miles around, and is a great view point for the city itself. A stone inscription is evidence of the importance of the stupa as a Buddhist pilgrimage site from the 5th century. It is visited by Hindus, Vajrayana Buddhists of Northern Nepal and Tibet and Newari Buddhists of central and southern Nepal. Each morning before Dawn hundreds of pilgrims climb the 365 steps before circumambulating the Stupa.

3). Pashpatinath Temple Complex is the largest and most important Hindu Temple in Nepal. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The architecture is incredible though non Hindus cannot visit the temple itself they are allowed in the complex. This is the cremation ghats of the Hindus of Kathmandu. It is an interesting place to visit for historical, cultural and religious reasons, but remember there are families mourning the loss of loved ones and we should at all times be respectful of this.

4). Kathmandu Durbar Square (Palace Square) was where the city kings were crowned, legitimised and ruled. It is one of three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley. As such, it was and still is the heart of the old town and Kathmandu’s most spectacular legacy of traditional architecture. Many buildings and temples date back to 17th and 18th centuries, many are much older.  The square was seriously damaged in the 1934 earthquake and again in the earthquake of April 2015, with many towers and temples collapsing. It continues to undergo restoration at this time but remains a very interesting place to visit.

5). Patan Durbar Square is situated at the centre of the city of Lalitpur in Nepal. It is one of the three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of its attractions is the ancient royal palace where the Malla Kings of Lalitpur resided. There are other temples in the square and the area is surrounded by more temples and stupas. The museum is very much worth a visit. There are shops, art galleries, cafes and restaurants which make the area a fun day out. It received serious damage during the 2015 earthquake and is presently under reconstruction.

6). Bhaktapur Durbar Sqaure in beautiful Newari town of Bhaktapur is very much worth visit. There are 4 squares to visit, all of which are interesting.  It is undergoing restoration since it was badly damaged in the 2015 earthquake but this should not stop you visiting. The palace, stunning golden gates, royal baths and temples are incredible. The whole area is full of narrow streets and quirky buildings. There is wood carving, pottery, arts and crafts for sale in many of the little shops and by the street vendors.

7). Changunarayan Temple. If you have time after visiting Bhaktapur a short visit to this beautiful temple is a must see. Though it is absolutely worth a visit in its own right. A short walk from the areas car and bus park takes you through the village which boasts museums, shops and is topped by the beautiful Changunarayan Temple complex. Changu Narayan is a Vishnu Temple and is considered to be the oldest temple of Nepal.  The main temple itself, the stone carvings date back to the 7th century and along with the woodcarvings are a sight to behold.

8). Namobhouda is a very important Buddhist Pilgrimage site. It lies about 38km from Kathmandu in the district of Kavre. The stupa and shrines built in this lovely little hill mark a very ancient holy site which signifies the place where a legendary prince named Mahasattva offered himself to a starving tigress with several underfed cubs. This legendary episode is depicted on stone slab which is right next to a holy stupa.

9). Kailashnath Mahadev Statue is the world’s tallest Shiva statue. It is second tallest Hindu deity after Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue in Bali, Indonesia. It is situated in Sanga, on the border of the Bhaktapur and Kavrepalanchwok districts in Nepal, about 20 km from Kathmandu. The statue itself is beautiful and is set on a hill where it can be seen from various points in the valley, the views are also beautiful from the site.

10). Chandragiri Cable Car. You can wonder the back streets of Kathmandu and find your way to gondola lift transportation system located in Chandragiri Municipality. This cable car opened in 2016, the Chandragiri Cable Car runs from Thankot to Chandragiri hills. The 2.4km 9,095 feet line has two stations. The cable car system consists of 38 gondolas that can carry 1,000 people per hour. On a clear day it overs some great views of the Kathmandu valley and Himalayan mountains surrounding Kathmandu.

We arrange day tours, multi-day tours in and around the Kathmandu valley. CONTACT US for further information and we can tailor make a tour to suit your needs.