Activities and Major Attraction
Pashupatinath is the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destination in Nepal. There are Linga images of Shiva along with statues, shrines, and temples dedicated to other deities in the complex. A temple dedicated to Shiva existed at this site in AD 879. However, the present temple was built by King Bhupatindra Malla in 1697. A gold-plated roof, silver doors, and wood carvings of the finest quality decorate the pagoda construction. Guheswari Temple, restored in AD 1653, represents the female \”force\”. It is dedicated to Satidevi, Shiva\’s first wife, who gave up her life in the flames of her father\’s fire ritual.
A circuit of the Pashupati area takes visitors past a sixth-century statue of the Buddha, an eighth-century statue of Brahma the creator and& numerous other temples. Some other places to visit are Rajrajeswari Temple, built in 1407, Kailas with Lingas more than 1,400 years old, Gorakhnath temple, and the courtyard of Biswarup. There are rows of Shiva shrines and Hindu pilgrims from all over South Asia offer worship to Shiva, the Lord of Destruction.
The Bagmati River flows close by and the Arya Ghat cremation grounds are here. We strongly advise photographers not to take photos of cremations and of bereaved families. Sadhus, sages who follow the lifestyle of Shiva, may be seen covered in ashes and loin-cloths. They ask for money in case you want to take their photos. The main Pashupatinath courtyard may be entered by those of Hindu faith only.
Kathmandu Durbar Square: UNESCO listed world heritage sites
Kathmandu Durbar Square is in the heart of old city Kathmandu in Basantapur. The Royal complex was residence to Nepal\\\’s Royal family before the construction of the Narayanhiti Royal Palace. The founding of the Royal Palace dates back to 16th to 17th centuries with some section from the 12th century. With considerable renovations by Malla rulers and later the Ranas, construction was accomplished progressively over many centuries. There are around 50 temples in the vicinity including the temple of Royal titular deity, Taleju Bhawani. The Durbar is divided into two courtyards, the outer comprising Kasthamandap, Kumari Ghar, and Shiva-Parvati Temple, and the inner consisting of Hanuman Dhoka and the main palace. It also houses two museums. Important ceremonies, including the coronation of the Nepali monarch, are held in the Kathmandu Durbar Square. Most parts of the palace premise are open for tourists throughout the week during office hours.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square: UNESCO listed world heritage sites
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a unique city located east of Kathmandu at 1,400m above sea level. With an area of 5 Bhaktapur sq. km. this unique city is divided into 24 traditional localities. It was founded by King Ananda Dev in 889 A.D.Bhaktapur in supposed to have been built in the shape of a conch shell, a scared symbol of Lord Vishnu. The world Bhaktapur means The City of Devotees. Bhaktapur; at one time an independent city, was ruled by the Malla Kings. They were very religious and gave importance to their artistic heritage which is evident throughout the city. Some of the significant monuments are:
– The Lion Gate: Built by King Bupatindra Malla in 17 th century A.D.
– Golden Gate: The main entrance to the famous 55 Window Palace and Royal Taleju. Constructed in 1754 A.D
– The statue of King Bupatindra Malla.
– 55 Window Palace: This architectural structure dominates the entire Bhadgaon Durbar Square. It is worth admiring.
– Vastala Temple.
– Pashupati Nath Temple.
– Nyatapole Temple.
– Bhairav Nath Temple.
Swoyambhunath Stupa: UNESCO listed world heritage sites
Swoyambhu literally means Self-Existent One.Swoyambhunath is believed to have been Swoyambhu established more than 2,500 years ago. An inscription dated 460 A.D. states that the construction was carried out by King Manadeva. By the thirteenth century Swayombhunath had developed into an important Buddhist learning site. The history of Kathmandu Valley is said to have started with the beginning of Swoyambhu. The largest image of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Nepal is in a monastery next to the Stupa. Behind the hilltop is a temple dedicated to Manjusri of Saraswati – the goddess of learning. Statues and shrines of Buddhist and Hindu deities dot the Stupa complex. Large numbers of Buddhists and Hindus alike visit Swoyambhunath. Swoyambhu is perhaps the best place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. The Stupa is atop a hill, and requires considerable walk. There is also a road that leads almost to the base of the statue.
Boudhanath Stupa: UNESCO listed world heritage sites
Boudhanath is the center of Tibetan culture in Nepal. The 36-meter-high Stupa of Bouddha 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 Bouddhanath is a copy of the one in Gyangtse in Tibet. The Stupa is located in the area of ancient trade route to Tibet where Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to live around Bouddhanath. Hence, a complete township has developed around Bouddhanath. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of a Kasyap sage venerable both to Buddhists and Hindus. Smaller Stupas are located at the base. Gompa monasteries, curio shops, and restaurants surround Bouddhanath.
Deep below at the base of the Shivapuri Hill within the Kathmandu Valley on the northern end, lies the mystical Buddhanilkantha Temple, meaning ?old blue-throat?, just 9 km away from the main city. It is at this location that you will find one of the three images of the deity Lord Vishnu or in full Vishnu (Narayan) Jalasayana which is regarded by the local people as the principal deity.It is with the sacredness of this particular god that a deep-seated belief was created by King Pratap Malla through a prophetic dream. It was his strong belief and fear that should the King of Nepal visit the Budhanilkantha temple, death would be imminent upon his departure. The two other images of the deity which were carved during the same time lie at two particular destinations: the Balaju Gardens where public viewing can take place and the beautiful Royal Palace in Kathmandu. It is here at Budhanilkantha Temple, however, that public viewing is not permitted.The Deity of Lord Vishnu lies prominently at 5 meters in length inside a tank 13 meters long giving the impression of floating. It is thought that the Deity is approximately 1500 years old and is believed to have been sculpted during the Licchavi period, around about the 7th or 8th century.
Changunarayan Temple: UNESCO listed world heritage sites
Narayan, or Vishnu, is the preserver of creation to Hindus. His temple near Changu village is often described as the most ancient temple in the Kathmandu Valley. A fifth Changu Narayan century stone inscription, the oldest to be discovered in Nepal, is located in the temple compound and it tells of the victorious King Mandev. The temple now covers sixteen hundred years of Nepalese art history. The temple, built around the third century, is decorated by some of the best samples of stone, wood, and metal craft in the Valley. In the words of one tourist guide, \”When you look upon Changu Narayan, you observe the complete cultural development of the Valley. \”On the struts of the two-tiered Changu Narayan Temple, are the ten incarnations in which Narayan destroyed evil-doers. A sixth-century stone statue shows the cosmic form of Vishnu, while another statue recalls his dwarf incarnation when he crushed the evil king Bali. Vishnu as Narsingha disemboweling a demon is particularly stunning. The western bronze doors sparkle in the evening sunlight, dragons decorate the bells, and handsome Devas stare from the walls. Garuda, half man and half bird, is the steed of Vishnu, and his life-sized statue kneels before the temple. The favorite of many tourists is the statue of Vishnu sitting astride his steed.
Patan Durbar Square: UNESCO listed world heritage sites
Patan Durbar Square complex, situated in the center of Patan city, houses the residence of the former Royal family of Patan. The Square and its surroundings provide very good example of ancient Newari architecture. The palace has three main courtyards the central and the oldest is Mul Chowk. To the west of the complex are a dozen free standing temples of various sizes and styles. Krishna Temple, Bhimsen Temple, the Golden Temple of Hiranya Varna Mahavira and Sundari Chowk mark the architectural excellence of its era. The Sundari Chowk with the sunken Royal bath of Tusha Hiti, contains exquisite woodcarvings, stone, and metal sculpture. Patan Durbar Square also houses a temple of Taleju Bhawani.
Kirtipur is a medieval settlement located along a narrow ridge towards the southwest of the Kathmandu Valley. The medieval Newari settlement was developed with fort-like characteristics. The victory over Kirtipur by the army from Gorkha was pivotal in the history of the unification of Nepal. Kirtipur is a testimony to the medieval art and architecture of the Newars. The classified monuments include: Chilancho Vihar, Jagat Pal Vihar, Buddha Dharma Sangha Shikhara, Baghbhairab Temple, Vath (Layaku), Umamaheshvar Temple, Indrayani Pith, Chitu Bahail, Lokeshwar Shikhara, Buddha Temple, Chve Bahal and Kwe Bahal.
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. So the Dakshinkali temple is situated south-west part of the Kathmandu which is just 45 minutes drive from Kathmandu. The sanctuary and its surroundings are dedicated to goddess Kali, the deity who claims at least twice (Tuesday and Saturday) a week a good portion of fresh animal blood. So lots of devotees gather there in a huge mass especially on Tuesday and Saturday where they usually sacrifice cocks and he goats. Dhakshinkali is even important for entertainment prospect as well as holy place. People do believe that if they pray to the goddess and offer sacrifices our enemies will demise and we will be victorious in their way, and lots of other people do make their wish to the goddess and they believe the goddess will make those wishes come true if you wish from heart and offer sacrifice to the goddess. Well that\’s about the place and the rituals of Dakshinkali.
Godavari is a perfect delight for those who wish to get lost in the blissfulness of nature. The greenery is astounding and the place is home to a tremendous variety of birds. The Botanical Garden is situated here. Spread over 24 hectares of land, the garden has a fascinating collection of plants including orchids, ferns, cacti and lotuses. It is also a favorite spot for picnickers from Kathmandu. The other enticement of Godawari is its sacred pond at Panch Dhara. A grand festival is held here once every 12 years. Hindus believe that a ritual bath in the sacred pond during the festival absolves them from all sin. Phulchowki, at 2,762 m, is the highest of the peaks ringing the Kathmandu Valley. This vantage point offers an unobstructed 360-degree view of the Valley\’s clustered settlements and the expansive Terai to the south. A 320-km panorama of the Himalaya from Annapurna to Everest can also be enjoyed from this hill-top.The village of Godavari lies at the foot of Phulchoki. Nepal\’s famous Botanical garden with a fascinating collection of plants is in the village.
Sundarijal is located 15 kilometers northeast of Nepal\’s capital, Kathmandu. The Bagmati River flows through the main village, where it is joined by the Shyalmati and Nagmati Rivers. Largely hilly in its terrain with few flat areas, the village is covered by forests. A large part of Sundarijal is covered by Shivapuri National Park covers. The place was named after the Hindu goddess, Sundarimai. Sundarijal observes a large number of internal and foreign tourists owing to its natural and cultural beauties. The main cultural sites in Sundarijal are the temples of Sundarimai Mandir, Ganesh Mandir, and Krishna Mandir. The visitors are attracted to the area\’s natural beauty, including the waterfalls and rivers. Sundarijal is also a starting point for hikers along the Langtang Range. There are several picnic tables to meet the needs of tourists.
It is situated on a hill above Panauti. It requires an easy drive or good walk to get here. According to the Buddhist legend,there is an amazing story concerned with the Buddha which is commemorated by an ancient stone slab and a Stupa with the all- seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. According to the legend, one of the earlier Buddha offered his own flesh to a hungry tiger unable to feed her hungry cubs. It is also a three hour trekking from Dhulikhel through a number of small villages.The entire town of Namo Buddha is a built on a single piece of solid stone, making it protected to earthquake.
Dhulikhel is a fascinating old Newari town at the foot of a nearby hill, situated in 32 km east of Kathmandu. Many of the houses in the old part of the town suffered serious damage in an earthquake in 1934. For the most part they haven\’t been repaired and they\’re still lived in as damaged. Dhulikhel is rightly famous as a mountain viewpoint and for excellent day walks. At 1450 meter above sea level, it is a little cooler than Kathmandu but not as cold as Nagarkot. The Narayan and Harisiddhi temples in the old part of town are both beautifully adorned with intricate wood carvings. Because the tracks linking Dhulikhel with other towns are not paved but still well defined, this town would be an excellent place to spend a few days by mountain cycling.
Nagarkot is located 32 kilometers east of Kathmandu which is one of the most scenic spots in Bhaktapur district and is renowned for its spectacular sunrise when the weather is clear. Visitors often travel to Nagarkot from Katmandu to spend the night there so that they can then get up early and observe the breathtaking sunrise and preferred weekend getaway for nature lovers. Nagarkot has acquired the fame as one of the best spots to view Mount Everest as well as other snow- topped peaks of the mountain in the eastern Nepal. It also offers an excellent view of the Indrawati river valley lying to the east.With an elevation of 2195 meters, Nagarkot also offers a Panoramic view of the Valley and is generally described by visitors as a place whose beauty endures all year round with a harmonious blending of the changing scenery.
Kakani is another awesome location near Kathmandu for viewing the spectacular Himalayan scenery. From there one can see the mountain landscape of the central and western Nepal, a vast collection of majestic peaks stretching from Ganesh Himal to the peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Kakani is unique in the sense that there is an unusually perfect blending of the imposing mountain scenery with the more sylvan environment of the lower valley. Trees growing wild on the mountain slopes begin to bloom in late winter and stay in bloom for several months, giving the Kakani village even more charm.
For those who are seeking the ultimate panoramic Himalayan view, Daman is the place to visit. Located approx 80 km southwest of the Kathmandu valley, Daman (2,400 m) offers the only unimpeded view of the entire Himalayan range roughly 400 km of Himalayan panorama. Daman is located on the Tribhuvan Highway between Kathmandu and the town of Hetauda and can be reached by car or jeep in four hours from Kathmandu.A walk around the surrounding area or a lounging on the one of the resort here is just a different experience in itself. Rock climbing, cycling, hiking are few of the many activities possible here. There are couple of accommodation option for a comfortable stay.
King Prithvi Narayan Shah the great who unified the Kingdom of Nepal during the 18th century was born in the township of Gorkha. The Gorkha Durbar situated on the top of a fortified hill above the township about one hour\’s walk uphill from the bus station. The Gorkha Durbar also a holy shrine for Goddess Kali, the goddess of valour. There is also a famous cave sheltering the statue of Gorakhnath Baba (sage) on the premises. From the top of the hill above the Gorkha Durbar and from a saddle east of the bazaar, a spectacular view of Manaslu and Himalchuli peaks is possible. On a beautiful ridge south-east of the township of Gorkha lies the holy temple of Manakamana, the goddess of aspirations. It is a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus. Manakamana is 4 hours walk uphill from Anbu Khaireni on Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway and since few years there has been facilities for pilgrimage to visit Mankamana Shrine by the Cable Car(through by Electricity). There are a number of good lodges at the Manakamana hill and the township of Gorkha.
Manakamana is situated in the height of Gorkha district, from 12 km south of Gorkha Bazzar. Cable car is the newly introduced phenomenon in Nepal which becomes extremely popular among the locals as well as the tourists. This cable car is in Kurintar, from where Manakamana is 10 minutes distance via cable car. Kurintar is around 105 KM west of Kathmandu on the highway to Pokhara.This place is popular for the temple of Manakamana, one of the manifestations of the Hindu goddess Bhagwati. Manakamana temple is located 12 Km south of historic town Gorkha and situated on a prominent ridge (1302 mt. above sea level) overlooking the river valleys of Trisuli (south) and Marshyangdi (west). The unique location of the place is dramatized during winter when the ridge appears as an island above the sea of morning mist. People believe Manakamana Devi fulfills the wishes of her devotees, thus called the wish fulfilling Deity. The reward on reaching the shrine is both spiritual and physical exhilaration. Spectacular views include deep valleys, terraced fields and the Manaslu-Himalchuli and Annapurna ranges. The adventure is to getting your wishes fulfilled.
Chitwan National Park:
The Chitwan Valley was famous for the big games due to lowlands and being exclusively managed as hunting reserve till 1950. In 1963, it was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. In 1970, His Late Majesty King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev had graciously approved in principle the creation of Royal Chitwan National Park. Please visit Safari page of our site for more detail and wildlife activity in this park.
The birthplace of Lord Buddha – the founder of Buddhism is situated 340 Kms. Southwest of Kathmandu, which is one of the most holy sites for Buddhists from all over the world. The broken Ashokan pillar, holy remnants of an old Buddhist monasteries, divine images of the Buddha\\\’s mother great Maya Devi, etc. are still well preserved here. The main attraction at Lumbini remains the Sacred Garden spread over 8 Sq Km and possesses all the treasures of the historic area. Historical sites around Lumbini are Kapilbastu, Arorakot, Chtradei, Gotihawa, Kudan, Niglihawa and Sagarhawa. Important religious spots & images around Lumbini Garden are The Buddhist Temple, The Ashokan Pillar, Santum-Sanctorium of the Birthplace, Image of Maha Maya Devi and Puskarni – the Sacred Pool
Tansen is a small ancient hill town situated 4300 meters above sea level. It is located on the way from Pokhara to Lumbini. Major attractions here are the ancient culture, excellent mountain views, serene atmosphere and friendly people. The weather here makes it a pleasant place to visit in any season. On clear days Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, Gauri Shankar and other peaks can be seen.The most popular hand woven cloth of Nepal comes from this region is Dhaka. The Nepali Topi (national cap) is made of Dhaka and You can see the weavers at work on their looms or see a bazaar of Dhakas in Tanseen.It is believed that the migrant from Kathmandu valley, specially the Newars played an important role in enriching the architecture and culture of Tansen, and this can be seen today in Tansen.Palpa is a district of Nepal. It is one of the district of the Lumbini Zone. Tansen is the head quarter of Palpa district and hence, many people commonly refer Tansen as Palpa. Butwal, Bhairahawa and Lumbini are other three important cities that are part of the Lumbini Zone.
Located on a 1000 meter ridge, about 140 Kms from Kathmandu, Bandipur\’s hallmark is its beautiful scenery. At the eastern part of the town is the pagoda roofed temple, which houses goddess Durga – town\’s guardian deity. The rich wooden carvings and detailed brass – work that adorned the temple are replicas of those found in the many old pagoda structures of the Kathmandu valley. The other important temples and shrines in the vicinity include the Mahalaxmi temple with its exquisite woodwork and the Khadga Devi temple, which comes alive once a year during the Dashain festival. An impressive view of Annapurna and Manaslu range can be seen from here.
Janakpur is a Terai town in the Central Nepal 375km south-east of Kathmandu and the birthplace of Janaki Sita. Places of interest in this city includes: Janaki Temple, Biwaha Mandap, and numerous beautiful ponds. The most famous landmark in Janakpur is the Janaki Temple.The Janaki Mandir in Janakpur is also place of great importance for the followers of Hinduism. The Janaki Mandir is an artistic marble temple of Sita (known as Janaki) which is popularly known as Naulakha Mandir which literally means 900,000 a popular way of saying incalculable. The temple was built by Queen Brishabhanu of Tikamgarh of India.Janakpur is also a place for learning Mithila paintings. While Thangka paintings portray the Tibetan Buddhist rituals in Nepal\’s north, the Mithila paintings illustrate the social & religious lifestyle in Nepal?s southern plains. Interestingly, Mithila paintings traditionally seem to be the domain of the women only.
Ilam – \”Queen of Hills\” situated in the hilly Eastern Region of Nepal surrounded by Panchthar in the North, Jhapa in the south, West Bengal (India) in the east and Morang district in the west. It lies to the south of the Mahabharat range in the lap of Shinghalila range famous for its natural seriousness and landscapes. Ilam is one of the richest districts in Nepal in terms of its bio-cultural diversity, natural landscape and flourishing professionalism in agricultural especially in cash crops sector. Ilam is the most famous District of Nepal for the production of tea. It is widely famous for 6 major cash crops all – initiating from the same vowel sound in Nepali, so it is also known as the district of 6 as Potato, Cardamom, Ginger, Red Round Chilly, Milk and broom grass are the major cash crops, which are known as Aalu, Alainchi, Akabare Khursani, Olan & Amilso respectively in Nepali language.The climatic condition of the Ilam as a whole is dry and cold in winter, while it is hot and rainy in summer. Wide range of ethnic groups with their typical customs, traditions and cultures resides here. These include Lepchas (tribes entitled as proper natives of Ilam), Gurungs, Rais, Limbus, Sherpas and many more.
Information from our partner Corsa Nepal Adventure