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Situated 5 kilometers east of Kathmandu City, Pashupatinath temple is one of the holiest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of the sacred Bagmati river, the temple built in pagoda style has a jilted roof and richly carved silver doors. Visitors are permitted to view the temple from the east bank of the Bagmati River, as entrance to the temple is strictly forbidden to all non Hindus. Pashupatinath is the center of the annual pilgrimage on the day of Shivaratri which falls in the month of February or March. Behind the temple are the cremation grounds.
This Stupa, 8 kilometers east of Kathmandu City, is one of the biggest in the world of its kind. It stands with four pairs of eyes in the four cardinal directions keeping watch for righteous behavior and human prosperity. This Buddhist Stupa was built by King Man Deva at the advice of the Goddess Mani Jogini. It is built on an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels. The shrine is ringed by houses of Lamas or Buddhist priests.
Bhaktapur (1,401m) covers an area of four square miles. Bhaktapur or the city of devotees still retains a medieval charm and visitors to this ancient town are treated to myriad wonders of cultural and artistic achievements. The past glory of the Malla rule continues to be reflected at Durbar Square. Pottery and weaving are its traditional industries. Bhaktapur is famous for woodcarving and the traditional topi or cap. The places of interest include Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the National Art Gallery, Nyatapola Temple, Bhairavnath Temple, Dattatreya Temple and Dattatreya Square.
The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces such as the lion gate, the golden gate, the statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, Dattatraya Temple etc.
A magnificent statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, in the act of worship is placed on a column facing the palace. It was listed in the UNESCO world Heritage Monument List in 1979.
Being built by King Yaksha Malla in 1427 A.D. and remodeled by King Bhupatindra Malla in the 17th Century, the balcony and windows are intricately carved and are a masterpiece of wood carving.
This five storied Pagoda Style temple was built by King Bhupatindra Malla in 1708 A.D. well known for its massive structure and subtle workmanship; it is the tallest pagoda structure in the Kathmandu valley.
Located approximately 4 kilometers west of Thamel, this Buddhist Stupa is said to be 2000 years old. The Stupa which forms the main structure is composed of a solid hemisphere of brick and earth supporting a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt. Painted on the four sided base of the spire are the all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. This hill is a mosaic of small Chaityas and Pagoda temples.
The ancient city of Patan, lying 5 kilometers southeast of Kathmandu, is also known as Lalitpur, or the city of fine arts. The city is full of Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments. The diversity of medieval culture that allowed both Hinduism and Buddhism to flourish has left a rich legacy of impressive sightseeing in this city. In Patan you can explore Patan Durbar Square, Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor temple, Krishna Temple, Golden Temple and many other places of Patan. As you tour Patan, you will be treated to beautiful architecture as displayed through the intricately carved windows, intrinsic roof struts, statues of gods and goddesses, temples designed in pagoda style with erotic carvings and repose metalwork facades and many other exquisite facets. You will also get to see a handicraft center in Patan.
Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the major attractions in the Kathmandu Valley. The word Durbar Square translated in English is Palace Complex. The Durbar Square, with its old temples and palaces, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of the people.
Kumari (The Living Goddess) Ghar
At the West end of the square is a beautiful house full of woodcarvings of different Gods and Goddesses. This Palace is three storied and in this palace, lives the famous living Goddess known as Kumari. Both Hindus and Buddhists equally venerate her. For Hindus she is the reincarnation of the Hindu Goddess Kali. She is equally worshiped by Buddhists because she is chosen from a Buddhist family. This shows the harmony between Buddhist and Hindus in Nepal.
One of the popular temples of Kathmandu Durbar Square is Kashamandap, locally known as Maru Sattal. It is believed that the name of Kathmandu City is derived from the name of this temple. Kastha means wood and Mandap means pavilion. And it is said that this temple is built by one single Sal (sorea robusta) tree. In the center of this temple, one can see the statue of a Hindu God Gorakhnath and in the four corners of the temple one can see Ganesh statues.
Small, yet the most visited temple of Kathmandu is Maru Ganesh. The people of Kathmandu valley believe that the four Ganesh in four corners of Kathmandu valley protect the people living in Kathmandu. Every day people go to worship this temple and especially on Tuesdays one can see a long queue of people waiting for hours to worship. Tuesday is considered the day of Ganesh.
Other interesting things to see here are Mahadev Temple, Shiva Parvati Temple, Bhagwati Temple, Old palace, Saraswoti temple, Krishna Octangular Temple, Big drums, Kal Bhairav, Jagannath Temple, and Taleju Temple etc.
The Kirtipur is situated on the top of hillock 6 km southwest of Kathmandu. The ancient township is a natural fortress and has a proud and courageous history. It was founded by Shiva Deva between 1099 and 1126. It was a part of the kingdom of Patan after the division of Kathmandu valley in 1482. Historically, this city is famous for its resistance against the invasion of Gorkhas. The King of Gorkha, Prithivi Narayan Shah attacked three times to conquer this city. The city is historically and artistically important. There are many small and big temples and stupas scattered around the city. The Chilamchu Stupa and the temple of Bagh Bhairav are the major sites here. Kirtipur offers quaint streets lined with artistic houses and temple squares. The people are known for their skill in building and weaving.
The temple of Dakshinkali is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali and is one of the most popular places of worship in Kathmandu. Located 22 km from the city center on the southern rim of the valley past Pharping village, the shrine is especially crowded on Tuesdays and Saturdays when animal sacrifices are offered to the deity. According to a mythology the Goddess Durga killed the demon and drank the blood of animals. This is the reason for sacrificing animals to her. The temple was built by Pratap Malla during 17th century.
On the way back, you stop at Chobhar gorge. Legend has it that Manjushree cut out the gorge to drain out Kathmandu valley which was then a lake. There is a small but picturesque temple of Adinath on the top of a hill. From the top of this hill one can have a beautiful view of snowcapped mountain peaks.
Day 01: Arrival at Kathmandu International Airport and transfer to hotel. Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Sightseeing tour of Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath, and Bhaktapur, and drive back to Kathmandu. Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 03: Sightseeing tour of Swayambhunath, Patan and Tibetan village and Nepali handicraft center, and Kathmandu Durbar square. Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 04: Sightseeing tour of Kirtipur, Chovar, and Dakshinkali, then drive back to Kathmandu. Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 05: Fly out from Kathmandu.