“The city of temples”.
Where is Kathmandu?
The city of Kathmandu is the capital and largest city of Nepal. Located in the northwestern part of the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley and to the north of the Bagmati river in the centre of Nepal.
The city is the host to palaces, mansions, and gardens of the Nepalese aristocracy. On the ancient trade route between India and Tibet, Kathmandu’s monuments have been influenced by Hindu and Buddhist religious practices.
Our journey from Chitwan to Kathmandu was on the tourist bus.
During our time in Kathmandu, we chose to stay at The Life Story Guest House. Booked through Booking.com. A boutique mini-hotel in the historical Patan area of Kathmandu city. Located in Newary courtyard it is very close to Durbar Square, one of the main tourist attractions.
The guest house is an authentic Newary building that has been renovated in traditional style with the addition of western comforts. Our room had an ensuite bathroom, an electric heating blanket, and a Calor gas heater for when it got cold. The roof-top cafe serves a healthy breakfast as well as other food.
Places of interest
The main tourist area within Kathmandu is the area of Thamel, with hotels, restaurants and shops in abundance.
A stupa located about 11 km from the center in the north eastern outskirts of the city. The stupa’s massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal.
Thousands of prayer flags are blowing in the breeze. The stupa is surrounded by a wall with 147 niches, each one containing four or five prayer wheels. The tourist charge to enter is 400 Rupees per person.
Kathmandu Durbar Squares
There are actually 3 Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley
Found in front of the old royal palace of the former Kathmandu Kingdom is the first of three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu Valley. All are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Several buildings in the Square collapsed during the earthquake in 2015. The tourist charge to enter into the square is 1000 Rupees per person. This square was within walking distance for us to get to.
The second is in the Patan district of the city. One of its attractions is the ancient royal palace where the Malla Kings of Lalitpur resided. The tourist charge entry into the square is 1000 Rupees per person. Also within walking distance from our accommodation.
The final one is in Bhaktapur about 13km outside of the city. It was the royal palace of the old Bhaktapur Kingdom and sustained considerable damage during the 2015 earthquake. The tourist charge to enter into the square is 1500 Rupees per person.
Being 13km outside of Kathmandu, we had to get the bus to get there. The bus left from Lagankhel Bus Station in Patan, only a 15-minute walk from our guest house. The journey took approximately 50 minutes on a very crowded bus. Just ask around at the bus station and you will be told where the bus goes from.
Arrival in Bhaktapur is at Haaku Falcha which is at the end of the road for the entrance to the square, on Nagarkot Road. Although there are many entrances into this square.
Famous King curd
When in Bhaktapur make sure you try it. Made from naturally sweet buffalo milk, it is boiled up, spices are added then served in clay pots. The result is a sweet tasting yogurt like curd, very nice.
Also referred to as Monkey temple, is a Buddhist stupa resting on a hillock 3 km west of Kathmandu. One of the holiest Buddhist stupas in Nepal. Offering panoramic views over the city. The tourist charge to enter the temple is 200 Rupees per person.