Kathmandu the city of temples

(February 2014)

Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, is for sure a city full of temples, but the Nepalis are what makes this city even more beautiful. The backpackers neighborhood is by far Thamel, it is basically just around the corner of everything else. There is accommodation for every budget or interest and although it is a busy hood you can find accommodation far from the craziness of the metropolis. If you’d like to travel within the country and don’t know how there are many travel agencies which offer tons of activities in Thamel too. So whatever you feel like it, you can find it in Kathmandu.

Durbar Square, main square, is huge in this city and has so many temples that it will be easy to spend the whole morning if you have any sort of interest. A market of offerings at the entrance of this square gathers antique and tradition as well as building with a complete different architecture style.

Most temples in this city will blow your mind, but this World Heritage since 1979 will do so even more: Boudhanath Stupa.  This Buddhist spheric stupa is one of those world wonders, but all that is around it will surprise you too. From the souvenir and offering sellers to the best-view rooftop restaurants. You can be in peace for hours in this place.

Nepal-Boudhanath1

You stop on the road, there is a huge unsafe-looking theme park, and a dirt road full of shops, and that is how you get to the temple. We change from Buddhism to Hinduism and to one of the most important temples of Shiva: Pashupatinath. This is a very simple temple, with lots of shadus who you can try to take a picture with. As many other temples, this is still active, meaning there are cremation pyres for the funerals.

You can enjoy Kathmandu skyline from the Monkey Temple or Swayambhunath, if you don’t want to walk for an hour, please avoid getting into a rickshaw as the way is very steep. To get to the top you still have to walk a long set of stairs. Once you are up there are different temples and also lots of souvenir and handicraft shops. It is unbelievable to watch how they work with the stone and wood. And as the name says, you’ll find monkeys.

If you want some peace and quiet even in Thamel you can have a bite at Decheling Garden (or in any other small street of the neighborhood or step in the Garden of Dreams, lay down in the grass and enjoy a little bit of nature inside the city.

Are you still up for more temples? That is not a problem! Take a car (hire a taxi driver for the whole day) to take you around. Changu Narayan temple is not best conserved but it has pieces of the V century and it is still open for prayer.

Nepal-Changu

Bhaktapur, which was the country’s capital until the XV century also has a Durbar Square full of tourists and locals like the rest. It also has fountains that give the residents water when needed. In the temples you can find many amazing and delicate details.

Nepal-Bhaktapur1

Patan, was once an independent city, it has another but smaller Durbar Square. The fountains and the Bhismen temple are the biggest attraction, although you can always walk around the city and find many other very interesting spots, like the Golden Temple, outside of the busy square.

So now it is your turn to decide whether you want to see them all or only some, our recommendation is not to miss the opportunity to talk to the locals no matter what temples you choose to visit.

If you’d like to know more about our trip to Nepal check the link and if you want to take a look to the photos here.

 

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