Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is located in Asia at the foothills of the Himalayas. It is very common to travel here after visiting India and actually turns out to be a sweet after the chaos, misery and contrasts of the neighbouring country.
Seen from the rooftops, with the mountains on the background it looks like a typical Alpine postcard, however the reflection of the Buddhist temples’ decorations will remind you where you are.
The oldest known building is almost 1992 years old. The Kirat are the first known rulers of the valley and the remains of the palace built by them are in Patan near Hiranya Varna Mahavihar.
In the historic centre you can see crowded streets knotted together around Durbar Square, where years of history blend with monks, ancient Buddhist temples, tourists and stands where you can buy food, goods, handicrafts, etc. Ason Tole and the Swayambhunath Stupa are a must see.
The city of Kathmandu is named after a structure in Durbar Square called Kasthamandap. This temple was built in the year 159 AD by King Laxmi Narsingh Malla. It is built entirely of wood without any iron nail or support of any kind. A legend says that all the wood required was obtained from a single tree.
- From Kathmandu you have the possibility to make excursions to Patan (second largest city in the valley and more relaxed) Bhadgaon, Pashupatinath (one of the most important Shiva temples in Asia and sacred place of cremation) and Boudhanath Stupa (one of the biggest in the world and rallying point for Tibetans)
- The best time to go is October to November or March and April when the dry season starts and ends respectively.
- Look at the size of the doors.
- By mid-afternoon, devotees come to the Buddhist temples and begin to circle the monument clockwise. I urge you to join this group because you will live a truly special moment.