Famous for it's simple, yet vast cultural and historical magnificence, Kathmandu is home to 7 of the 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal. Kathmandu has been the center of attraction due to its welcoming nature since the dawn of a unified Nepal. Regardless of modernization, Kathmandu is still the pinnacle of culture and historical heritage in Nepal. The easiness in accessibility and exposure on all kinds of media has helped the likes of Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, and the three Durbar Squares in the valley become the most visited sites by tourists. Additionally, the mesmerizing view and the adventurous journey to Swayambhunath and Changunarayan attract a large number of hikers and bikers more than other sites in the valley.
Located at the heart of Kathmandu city, Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the oldest sites in Kathmandu. It is also home to buildings and monuments of major religious, historical, and cultural significance. Hanuman Dhoka, Kumari Ghar, Kaal Bhairav, and Taleju Temple are few of the examples. Open all year round, it is most alive during festivals and events like Bhoto Jatra, Indra Jatra, Holi, and Tihar. Entry is free for Nepali citizens but foreign visitors have to pay a certain amount for getting in there. Citizens of SAARC countries pay NRs. 150 whereas other passport holders pay NRs. 1000.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is composure of Durbar, Taumadhi, Pottery, and Dattatraya Squares within the same boundary. The area offers numerous examples of expert woodwork and craftsmanship in palaces and temples that include the 55 window palace, Vatsala Temple, Naytapola Temple, Golden Gate, Lion’s Gate, Mini Pashupatinath Temple, and so on. Located 13 kilometers east of Kathmandu, it is dominantly inhabited by Newari people. The Durbar Square is the hotspot for them to celebrate their festivals like Bisket Jatra, Machhendranath Jatra, and Newari New Year. To enter the durbar square premise, SAARC citizens and foreign visitors pay NRs. 500 and USD 15 respectively.
Patan Durbar Square, although its origins cannot be traced back entirely, has been the pinnacle of Nepalese artistry and innovation. It is most famous for the Krishna Temple within its premises, which has been the focus for celebration of Krishna Janmashtami. The other famous architectural masterpieces include Bhimsen Temple, Vishwanath Temple, and Taleju Temple. A museum and a golden temple have also been opened to the public. Nepali students need to pay NRs 10, SAARC citizens NRs 250 and foreign visitors NRs 1000 to enter the Museum. Accordingly, the entry to the golden temple is listed as NRs 20 for SAARC citizens and NRs 50 for foreigners.
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most divine and biggest Hindu temples in the world. Located 3 kilometers northwest of Kathmandu, it is home to numerous temples, Shivalaya (shrines of Lord Shiva), and statues of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. UNESCO has included the whole of Pashupatinath Area as the heritage site that includes Guheshwori Temple, a part of Bagmati River, and also the Sleshmantak Forest. Shivaratri and Teej festivals are celebrated with a huge fair all around the Pashupatinath area. Additionally, the Mondays of the month of Shrawan is focused as Shiva Month every year. Entry is free for all Nepali and Indian Citizen and all the others have to pay NRs 1000 each.
Boudhanath Stupa is one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal. It is a major tourist attraction because of its calming atmosphere and richness of Buddhist art, architecture, and scriptures. Thousands of visitors and monks circumambulate the stupa every day. The stupa premise hosts the number of shrines and monasteries which perform rituals to pay homage to their deities. It is also a famous destination to meet and enjoy with friends and family. There are a large gathering and worshipping during Ropai Jatra, Buddha Jayanti, and many other Buddhist festivals. Visitors from SAARC countries pay NRs 100 whereas people from other countries need to pay NRs 400 to enter.
Located atop a hill at the edge of Kathmandu valley, Swayambhunath is another chief Buddhist Temple in the valley. What makes this place so undeniably desirable to visit is the surrounding and location. Swayambhunath also revolves around the legend of Manjushree and various other Buddhist deities. Apart from the religious perspective, it provides a very beautiful and clear view of the Kathmandu Valley with the freshness of the forest that surrounds the hill. Visitors can hike, take the stairs, or ride a vehicle to the top which makes it easily accessible to everyone according to their preference. The entry here is listed as NRs. 50 for SAARC citizens and NRs 200 for everyone else.
Kathmandu Valley is just the perfect mix and an ideal location for a tourist, either national or international. Not only does Kathmandu have to offer beautiful craftsmanship and natural beauty, but the generous array of diverse cultures and ethnicities make Kathmandu an ideal destination to make your vacation worthwhile.