Visiting Nepal and not taking a tour of Kathmandu Valley – that barely happens to tourists visiting Nepal.
Kathmandu plays a pivotal role in the tourism of Nepal and thanks to its aesthetic ambiance; the impression and wonders that cannot be denied.
As you first land on Kathmandu, you might get opinionated about this city; that it is a mixed-up place of a random tall building, clouds of smog, the crowd all the way and nothing systematic about it; it is all true, but beyond those tall building lies ancient regard and incredible history.
Be the start or the end of your journey in Nepal, Kathmandu is the place for it. So, why not take a tour of a few days and get yourself soaked in the classic beauty of Kathmandu. Let’s get to know on the best part of this city and why Kathmandu tourism is blooming every day.
The Stirring History
Kathmandu is the ancient city, whose formation dates back to hundreds of year. There are myths and legend on how this valley came into existence. According to a popular myth, Kathmandu was once a lake, and Manjushri cut a gorge with a sword draining out the water and establishing a habitable land.
Moving on to its history, it is estimated that the valley may have been inhabited as early as 300 BC. There are tales of Buddha visiting Kathmandu after he attained Enlightenment. Likewise, Kathmandu bore many rulers, first Kirants, Licchavi, Mallas and then Shah Dynasty under Prithvi Narayan Shah who created present-day Nepal. The revolting history throughout the phase of time has invited researchers and historians from around the world in here, which has ultimately secured Kathmandu tourism. To unravel some parts of that history, you can visit the three durbar squares of Kathmandu Valley, that are more than just historical monuments.
Babar Mahal in Thapathai, Park Art Gallery in Phulchowk, Patan Museum in Patan, Simrik Atelier in Patan Dhoka, National Museum of Chauni; these places will give you an insight history and historical figures.
Exotic Exhibition of Art and Architecture
Kathmandu Valley stands out with numerous exemplary work of art and architecture with its inclination towards aesthetics. The art and architecture of Nepal are inspired and based on religion. You will witness the exotic exhibition of art walking down in the streets of Kathmandu; form Buddhist thangka and Newari Paubha painting to traditional crafts of woodwork and metal.
You will observe the impeccable architecture in the temples, heritages, and monuments around the valley. The contemporary Nepali art represents two distinct segments; traditional idealistic painting and contemporary western style. As it happens, Nepali painters have mastered in both segments and have also earned international recognition for abstract work based on these paintings.
There are numerous sites like Word Heritages around Kathmandu, Museums, temples and monasteries and art galleries where you can take note of ancient architecture. Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Boudhanath, and Swayambhunath are some of the most prominent places in Kathmandu, where belief and art foster at the same time. It is the old practice and ways that keep up the charm, and that has ultimately bolstered Kathmandu tourism.
Quaint Alleyways and Streets
It is these narrow streets and alleyway that puts a reminder on us that life can be rustic and youthful at the same time. Kathmandu is known for traditional built, although most of them have been commercialized. Still, there is a fair bit to observe, and it is these place that forms Kathmandu tourism first started to take a pace. These traditional houses around the valley have formed streets and small shops run by local Newars, which gives the insight into traditional life in the midst of modern setting.
The view itself is engaging with all the crowds, hand-pulled wooden cart shop, street shops with woolen garments, soft silks, idols and statues, artifacts and so on. It can be the best place if you want to get the best deal out of your money. Art and craft to souvenir gifts, mouth-watering street foods to delightful road cafes; the streets in Kathmandu will give a wonderful ride. The charming streets of Kathmandu including Thamel, Asan, and Mahaboudha, where lies the crowd and so is the real-life picture of Nepali.
Exclusive Tradition and Beliefs
Kathmandu is the root of Newar ethnicity who is considered as an example of a national community with a relict identity. And Newar community fosters distinctive tradition and belief unlike any other.
The custom of Goddess Kumari, where a young prepubescent girl is worshipped as a manifestation of divine female energy. She has to go through many rigorous tests until she finally proves her being. However, after her first menstruation begins, it is believed the goddess leaves her body. It is one of the oldest tradition that dates back to the 17th century where Hinduism and Buddhism interlinks. This tradition takes places in Kathmandu Durbar Square, wherein resides the Goddess Kumari.
Likewise, tongue-piercing tradition in Thimi during Sindoor Jatra in the occasion of Bisket Jatra is another shocking tradition of Kathmandu. The tradition dates back to Lichchhavi ear, and it signifies the conquest over demons and evil spirits.
Every festival and tradition are vibrant and witness large participation of the public in Kathmandu. Indra Jatra, Bisket Jatra, Ghode Jatra, and Kumari Jatra are some of the exuberant street festivals of Kathmandu valley that are intriguing and interesting for any foreigners. Similarly, the festival of Shivaratri in Pashupatinath is the most extravagant. As our belief are rooted in Gods, these customs and practices are part of our life. It is our festivals too which have intrinsically aided on Kathmandu tourism.
Serenity of Nature
Kathmandu might feel like a never-ending rail of people, but that’s not it. You have to know the place to get the things of your expectation. In most places you visit in Kathmandu, you will find crowds of locals and tourists, both comprised. From your busy itinerary of touring around Kathmandu, you might want a day or two off to have some moments in peace, in somewhere with fewer people and more nature.
The surge in Kathmandu tourism is not just of the cultural ambiance and ancient heritage and monuments; the whole natural aspect is another attraction of this place. Places like Nagarkot and Phulchowki are the ultimate destination if you want to enjoy the serenity. One-day hike in this place is also very popular. Both of these places famous hilly places and is considered the most scenic spots in the vicinity of Kathmandu city. You can enjoy sunrise view of the Himalayas including Everest and other peaks of the eastern Himalayas in Nagarkot.
Apart from the popular Nagarkot Hike and Phulchowki Hike, there are Champadevi Hike, Chisapani Hike, Namo Buddha Hike, Kakani Hike, Shivapuri Hike, Sundarijal Hike and many more destinations that few hours and are equally rewarding too.
Valley of Temples
Kathmandu literally represents the religious belief of Nepal; it is the homes almost every religion and ethnicity existing in Nepal. As an ancient-religious country and Kathmandu the origin, there is a high chance you are walking in close proximity of temples or sacred sites.
Kathmandu, which was once the royal capital of the Kingdom of Nepal, has probably thousands of temples, shrines, and stupas. The awe-inspiring statuary, incredible carvings in woods, the sound of holy bells, smells of incense sticks, the crowd of devotees with so much passion in their eyes; the temples are not the home of gods, it’s the place where faith and belief brews. Temple is an intriguing place to visit for tourists as the place give them a totally different perspective, and they have not just fostered Kathmandu tourism, but awakened an interest amongst foreigners as well.
Pashupatinath of Kathmandu, Changu Nagaran of Bhaktapur, Krishna Temple of Patan, Swayambhunath and Boudhanath of Kathmandu, Kal Bhairav of Kathmandu; there are numerous temples and religious sites to make your Kathmandu tour even more exciting.
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