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Places to visit in and around the Kathmandu Valley


 
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Indrachowk
Indrachowk, a square, the courtyard of Indra named after an ancient Hindu deity is within walking distance from Durbar Square. Akash Bhairab temple, a three- story temple lies at Indrachowk the main market avenue of the Kathmandu city. The image of Akash Bhairav is displayed outside the temple for a week during Indrajatra, the festival of Indra or the God of Rain.

Freak Street
Locally known as Jhhonchen Tole, the once famous "Freak Street" is well known to all low budget tourists. In seventies this area was full of small hotels, lodges, restaurants, taverns as well as shops that "buy and sell anything". But all this is now a matter of the past as the p

Machhendranath (white) Temple
The temple is situated at Machhendra Bahal near Indrachowk. This two storeyed temple was built by Yaksha Malla in 1500 AD The chariot festival of white Mahchendranath (the god of mercy) is annually celebrated in Kathmandu Valley. The traditional music is always played in the evening at this temple which is also open to westerners.

Asan
Asan is one of the busiest squares in Kathmandu and has six roads radiating from it. The three storey high pagoda styled Annapurna (goddess of food grains) temple is situated at Asan. Another two storey temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesh. All kind of household goods available in this traditional marketplace.

Thamel
Thamel area has recently emerged as the most popular tourist area of Kathmandu. Thamel is a 15 to 20 minute walk from the center of Kathmandu. Thamel has clean narrow streets full of mushrooming lodges, hotels for budget travellers. Restaurants, bars and other tourists oriented shops can be seen bustling with activities.

lace has been dethroned by another part of the city called Thamel.

Hiranya Varna Mahabihar
This three-storey golden pagoda of Lokeshwar in Patan was built in the twelfth century A. D. by King Bhaskar Varma. Located in the courtyard of Kwabahal, this temple is in a class of its own. A golden image of Lord Buddha and a big prayer wheel can be seen on the pedestal of the upper part of the Car while intricate decorative patterns on its outer walls add charm to the mellow richness of the shrine.

Mahaboudha
The temple of Mahabouddha is a masterpiece of terra-cotta. Like the Krishna Mandir, it reveals an artistic tradition which evolved outside of Nepal and shows how native Nepalese craftsmen have been able to do justice to an unfamiliar art form. This temple was built by Abhaya Raj, a priest of Patan and is sometimes referred to as the temple of a million Buddhas because every single brick bears a small image of Buddha. There is an astonishing total of nine thousand bricks. It was levelled to the ground in the great earthquake of 1933 but was rebuilt exactly to the original specifications, proving that the templecraft is still one of the living arts of Nepal.

Ashokan Stupas
Popularly believed, though not proven without doubt to have been built by Ashoka, the Buddhist Emperor of India, these stupas stand at four different corners of Patan, giving the whole city a monastic character. All these Buddhist mounds were built in 250 A.D.at the time when Buddhism was making headway in the Kathmandu Valley.

Machhendranath Temple
The temple of Red Machchhendranath is another center of attraction in Patan. The temple lies in the middle of a wide, spacious quadrangle just at the outer rim of the market place. A fine clay image of Red Machchhendranath Avalokiteshwar is housed here for six months every year, after which it is taken round the city of Patan in a colourful chariot during the festival beginning in April-May and lasting sometimes for several months.

The Tibetan Refugee Camp
An attraction of a different kind is the Tibetan Camp on the outskirts of Patan. The small Tibetan population living here has set up a number of shrines and stupas as well as several souvenir shops offering authentic Tibetan handicrafts such as prayer wheels of wood, ivory, silver or bronze, long temple horns made of beaten copper, belt buckles, wooden bowls and jewellery. In this area, the Tibetans can be seen weaving carpets by hand.

Bhairav Nath Temple
This is another pagoda style temple dedicated to Lord Bhairav, the dreadful aspect of Shiva. It stands a short distance away from the temple of Nyatapola and was originally constructed by King Jagat Jyoti Malla on a modest scale. It was later remodelled by King Bhupatindra Malla, a zealous lover of the arts, into what is now a three-storey temple.

Thimi
Thimi lies about 10 km east of Kathmandu near Bhaktapur. It is famous for pottery, making of masks and as a vegetable growing area for Kathmandu so that this place is also known as kitchen garden of Kathmanduites. The main deity in the town is Goddess Balkumari. It attracts tourists by its enchanting culture of the farmer community.

Nagarkot
Nagarkot, located 32 kilometers east of Kathmandu, is one of the most scenic spots in Bhaktapur district and is renowned for its spectacular sunrise view of the Himalaya when the weather is clear. Visitors often travel to Nagarkot from Kathmandu to spend the night so that they can be there for the breathtaking sunrise. Nagarkot has become famous as one of the best spots to view Mount Everest as well as other snow-topped peaks of the Himalayan range of eastern Nepal. It also offers an excellent view of the Indrawati river valley to the east. With an elevation of 2,195 meters, Nagarkot also offers a panoramic view of the Valley and is described by visitors as a place whose beauty endures year round.

Many visitors prefer to visit Nagarkot in the spring when surrounding valleys break out in a rich kaleidoscope of different coloured flowers. The flowers are beautiful against the serene backdrop of the snow-covered mountains. Ever popular among the tourists are the short treks and picnics which Nagarkot offers. Treks from Nagarkot are unique and delightful. For anyone who wants to have an adventure without exerting much efforts, a hike to Nagarkot's surrounding areas would be a good option. One can traverse short distances on trekking trails and come close to nature's wonders such as the outer of verdant forests, flower-covered meadows and unusual rock formations.

Dhulikhel
Dhulikhel is a scenic and ancient town situated 30 kilometers east of Kathmandu on the Arniko Rajmarg (Kathmandu Kodari Highway). From here one has a panoramic view of the Himalayan range. From the main town, a short visit to Namobuddha, with the stupa and Buddhist Monastery, is highly recommended. Panauti, a village noted for its numerous temples with magnificent woodcarvings, is a short distance from Dhulikhel.

Namobuddha
It is situated on a hill above Panauti. It requires an easy drive or good walk to get there. 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.

Kirtipur
Kirtipur is a small town located eight kilometers south-west of Kathmandu on the top of a ridge. Tribhuvan University sits at the foot of the hill. This historic town has many things to offer including ancient shrines, temple, old-style houses, and villagers dressed in traditional costumes and weaving on hand looms.

Chobhar
Chobhar is famous for its gorge said to have been cut by the god Manjushri to drain the water from the Kathmandu Valley which was at that time a lake. On a hilltop, there is a small pagoda dedicated to Adinath. From this point one has a superb view of snow-clad mountain peaks. Chobhar is located eight kilometers south-west of Kathmandu.

 
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