Kathmandu : Kathmandu is the largest city and capital of Nepal and the namesake of the Kathmandu Valley. Once thought to be the fabled and inaccessible Shangri-La, Kathmandu is now a hub for independent travellers as well as a growing vacation spot catering to all budgets. As a result of considerable urban growth in recent decades, it is now part of one continuous urban area together with Patan to the south.
The Bodhanath Stupa, just outside of Kathmandu, is one of the largest stupas of its kind in the world, and dates to sometime around the 6th century, possibly even earlier. Like Bhaktapur, it lies on the old trade route to Tibet and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stupa sustained minor damage during the 2015 earthquake but is otherwise in good condition.The stupa itself is a symbol of enlightenment but at Boudhanath the symbolism is particularly clear. Each different shape represents one of the five elements, earth, water, fire, air, and sphere, which are also the attributes of the five Buddhas. Brought together in the form of the stupa, their unity reflects in abstract fashion the structure of the universe itself.
Patan is also known as Manigal. It is best known for its rich cultural heritage, particularly its tradition of arts and crafts. It is called city of festival and feast, fine ancient art, making of metallic and stone carving statue. At the time of the 2011 Nepal census it had a population of 226,728 in 54,748 individual households. The city received extensive damage from an earthquake on 25 April 2015.
Set on a hilltop to the west of Kathmandu, Swayambhunath is the second most important shrine in the Kathmandu Valley after Boudhanath. Due to the resident monkeys that inhabit parts of the temple, it is more affectionately known as the Monkey Temple. The Swayambhu Stupa, painted with the eyes of the omnipresent god, forms the centerpiece of the temple complex. It was originally a prehistoric cult site, but the temple complex dates to the 5th century. Swayambhu plays a major part in the lives of the Vajrayana Buddhists of Northern Nepal and Tibet, but especially of the Newari Buddhists of the Kathmandu Valley. The 2015 earthquake caused some damage to the Swayambhunath temple complex.
Pashupatinath temple is a famous, sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Pashupatinath and is located on the banks of the Bagmati River 5 kilometres north-east of Kathmandu Valley in the eastern city of Kathmandu,the capital of Nepal. This temple is considered one of the sacred temples of Hindu faith . The temple serves as the seat of the national deity, Lord Pashupatinath. This temple complex is on UNESCO World Heritage Sites’s list Since 1979. This “extensive Hindu temple precinct” is a “sprawling collection of temples, ashrams, images and inscriptions raised over the centuries along the banks of the sacred Bagmati river” and is included as one of the seven monument groups in UNESCO’s designation of Kathmandu Valley as a cultural heritage site. One of the major Festivals of the temple is Maha Shivaratri on which day over 700,000 devotees visit here.The twelve Jyotirlinga (in India) are the body and the Jyotirlinga at Pashupatinath in Kathmandu (Nepal) is the head over this body.
Manakamana Temple is situated in the Gorkha district of Nepal is the sacred place of the Hindu Goddess Bhagwati, an incarnation of Parvati. The name Manakamana originates from two words, “mana” meaning heart and “kamana” meaning wish. Venerated since the 17th century, it is believed that Goddess Manakamana grants the wishes of all those who make the pilgrimage to her shrine to worship her.
Kopan Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery near Boudhanath, it is a member of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international network of Gelugpa dharma centers, and once served as its headquarters. Kopan has become especially famous for teaching Buddhism to visiting Western foreigners. The first of what would become annual month-long (November–December) meditation courses was held in 1971. These courses generally combine traditional Lam Rim teachings with informal discussion, several periods of guided meditation, and a vegetarian diet.. Kopan now encompasses two separate institutions: the monastery, atop Kopan Hill, and the nearby Khachoe Chakyil Ling Nunnery (known as the Kopan Nunnery). Kopan Monastery has also recently become a popular recreational destination for Kathmandu residents and tourists.
A typical Buddhist Newar village is tightly clustered against a hilly riverside slope surrounded by terraced rice fields. A stone paved path leads to a gate guarded by two lions and the head of a third one. Here is the powerful Shikara style Rato Machhendra Nath temple with heavy columns and beautiful supports at its lower part. Bungamati is one of the best places to visit near Kathmandu Nepal.