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Amazing Nepal
SIGHTSEEN  

Kathmandu Valley The Kathmandu valley, the political, commercial cultural hub of Nepal is famed for its natural beauty and historic, holistic place. Once a separate kingdom in itself, it contains three fabled cities, Kathmandu, Patan & Bhaktapur. Each is an artistic exposition of graceful temples, elegant palaces, brick paved courtyards and quaint streets. As a whole, the valley is surrounded by tier upon tier of green mountain walls above which tower mighty snow capped peaks. The valley is rich in places of pilgrimage for both Hindus and Buddhists. Both of their deities well side by side by both tantric symbolism and ancient animistic beliefs.Kathmandu boasts one of the largest congregations of magnificent historical monuments and shrines ever built.

Kathmandu Durbar Square – Duly recognized as a world Heritage site by UNESCO this particular area best known as Kathmandu Durbar Square lies in the heart of this city. The locals know this area by its old name "Hanuman Dhoka" Palace Square an ancient seat of the Nepalese Royalty. Hanuman Dhoka Palace complex consists of a huge Royal Square exposing a tremendous variety of temples dedicated to different Hindus gods and goddess. Most of the buildings we see here date from 15th to 18th century.

Swayambhunath Stupa- Three kilometer west of Kathmandu city complex locates the one of the worlds most glorious Buddhist Stupa, it is said to be 2000 years old. Visitors often call it "Monkey Temple". The main structure brick and clay which supports a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt. There are the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha on the four sides of spire. Being situated seventy meter above the level of valley, the hill of Swayambhunath is a mosaic of small stupa and pagoda temples. Aside, in front of the temple, one of the famous goddess with the shrine of Ajima called "Harati Mata" is there. This temple of goddess believes to be famous in the way of tantric. Both the stupa of Lord Buddha and temple of a goddess are surrounded by other temples and Tibetan monasteries. Being located in the top level of valley, this place is famous for visitors for sightseeing.

Pasupatinath Temple - Pasupatinath temple being the temple of Lord Shiva possessed its two-storied golden roof and silver doors and is famous for its superb architecture. The temple is situated 5 kilometer east of Kathmandu heart, on the banks of sacred Bagmati River. Being one of the most important Hindu temples, this is a center of annual pilgrimage. From time immortal, the Pasupatinath area has contained numerous temples, stupa, monasteries, images and inscriptions. Not only is the Pasupatinath area a pilgrimage site for the Hindus and it is also an important cultural treasury for the whole world. Only Hindus are permitted to enter from the main gate.

Bouddhanath Stupa –One of the oldest and the biggest Buddhist monuments ever built in Nepal, Bouddhanath is an imposing structure standing some 36 meters. The Stupa stands on the massive three level Mandala style platform surrounded by colorful private family houses. The basic feature of this great stupa is very much like those of Swayambhunath stupa except its finial displaying. It is much bigger than Swayambhunath Stupa and lies on the valley floor where s former one stands on the hilltop. This stupa is said to have been built in 5th century AD.

Patan Durbar Square–Patan located on lovely little plateau across the Bagmati is only 7-k.m southeast of Kathmandu. By King Veera Dev has a finest Newar crafts since time immemorial. Meaning the city of fine arts has hundreds of fascinating Hindu and Buddhist monuments scattered in and around. The most important monument area of course is Patan Durbar Square. Recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. The Square has been described as one of the most picturesque collection of buildings that have been set up so small a place by the piety of oriental man. Most of the monuments in this square date back to the medieval Malla period 15th to 17th century as the golden period of Nepalese art and architecture. The important things to be seen in this area include the Golden Gate and the Golden Window of the old Palace, the beautiful piece of traditional metal crafts, the famed Krishna temple with 21 golden pinnacles, the Royal bath of Sundari chowk, a perfect piece of the classic work in stone. Royal Taleju temple, Viswa Nath Temple and Char Narayan temple are the finest examples of the unique craftsmanship in wood; the temple of Bhimsen with the magnificent golden balcony overlooking the square outside plus many other shrines and sculptures scattered in and around the square.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square – Situated at an altitude of 1401 meter above sea level Bhaktapur only is a very unique old town. This city divided into 24 traditional locality covers an area of 5 square kilometers. Founded by King Anand Dev in 889 AD Bhakatapur is said to have been built in the shape of conch shell a sacred symbol of Lord Vishnu. The word Bhaktapur means the city of devotees. Before the unification of Nepal, Bhaktapur was an independent principality ruled by the Malla Kings, who were very much devoted to religion, culture and art. During the period many magnificent temples and mansions were built. This period is remembered as golden period in the Nepalese art and remains a unique example.

Changu Narayan Temple – The temple of Changu Narayan situated on the hillock of Dolagiri to the north of Bhaktapur is one of the oldest temples in Nepal. Situated at an altitude of 5000ft. This temple has its distinct historical and architectural significance. The most authentic and oldest ever inscription is located in the precinct of Changu Narayan. The oldest inscription dated 464 AD is a credited to have been set up by Lichchshavi King Manadeva. The erection of Garuda Piller by Manadeva is expression of his devotion and reverence to Chang Narayan as learnt from the inscription, points that the temple of Changu Narayan was built sometime before 464 AD.

CHOBHAR – It is situated nine kilometers southwest of Kathmandu. This place is famous of its gorge. All the waters of the Valley drain though it. Legends says that the god Manjushree cut the gorge to drain out Kathmandu Valley which was then a lake. There is a small but pictusque temple of Adinath on the top of a hill. From this point, one has a complete view of snow-capped mountain peaks. Just beyond the Chobhar Gorge. There is the 17th-century temple of Jal Vinayak. The main image of the temple is on a massive rock. Only a small part in front vaguely resembles an elephant's head. The image at Jal Vinayak is different from other images of Lord Ganesh. Shrine of Shekha Narayan is situated between Chobhar and Dakshinkali which represents one of the four Narayans of the Kathmandu Valley. The shrine stands on a hillock beneath a stalactite rock. At the base of Shekha Narayan is a pond with several verities of fish. .

Nagarkot – There are various places around the edge of the Kathmandu Valley which offer great mountain views, but the resort village of Nagarkot is generally held to be the best mountain watchers make their way up to the village, stay overnight in one of Nagarkot's lodges or hotels than rise at dawn to see the sun appear over the Himalayas. Nagarkot is popular tourist resort of Nepal. It is situated 32 Kilometers east of Kathmandu at an altitude of 2175m. above the sea level. The panorama of the major peaks of eastern Nepal Himalayas including Mt. Everest can be seen from here. Himalayan peaks like Manaslu (8463m) Ganesh Himal (7111m) Langtang (7246m) Gaurishanker (7134m) can also clearly seen from Nagarkot. A motor able road links Nagarkot with Bhaktapur.

Manakamana Temple – Goddess Manakamana is highly noted as a wishful filling goddess through out the country. The holy temple of goddess Manakamana lies on a beautiful ridge west of Kathmandu valley. It is said that she is the younger sister of goddess Kali. She is regarded to be a very sacred goddess. The temple is important from the historical and archeological point of view. It is a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus. Manakamana is four hours walk up hill from the highway. On the occasion of Visit Nepal Year 1998, the cable cars have been plied from Kurintar Village, Chitwan to the hill of Manakamana, which takes only 8 minutes to reach there.

Daman – Daman is situated 80 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu at an altitude of about 2,400m. Daman is located on the Tribhuvan Highway in between Kathmandu and the town of Birgunj. For the view of breathtaking grandeur of the world's highest peaks extending in one glittering are from far-west of Dhaulagiri to far-east of Mt. Everest there is no better place than Daman. There is a view tower fitted with long range telescopes. Daman can be reached in four hours drive from Kathmandu.

Pokhara – Pokhara valley is situated at an altitude of 827 meters above the sea level and is 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu valley. Prithivi Raj Marga is the highway linked with by Bhairahawa by Siddhartha Raj Marga [Sunauli border] It is a combination of the long arrays of world famous snow clad peaks, emerald lakes, turbulent rivers with deep Georges and picturesque villages inhabited by Magar, Gurungs and Thakalis. Pokhara offers the magnificent views of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhare, five peaks of Annapurna Himalayas and others. Pokhara numerous lakes known as "Tal" in Nepal offer fishing, boating and swimming, which ensure the famous Phewa, Begnas and Rupa lakes of Pokhara. Pokhara is also referred as the center of adventure. It is the starting point for most of the popular trekking & rafting destination. The serenity of Phewa lake and the magnificence of Machhapuchhare [6,977m] rising behind it, creates an ambiance of peace and magic

Seti River Gorges – carved by Seti-Gandaki is one of the natural wonder of Pokhara. K.I. Singh bridge at Bagar, Mahendrapool & Prithivi highway Bridge near bus park, provides a perfect view of the river's dreadful rush and the deep gorge made by the turbulent flow of white water.

LUMBINI: – Lumbini is the birth place of Lord Buddha, the apostle of peace and compassion. It is 21 km west of Bhairahawa and 285 km south-west of Kathmandu. In Lumbini the central attraction is the sacred garden with Maya Devi temple depicting the birth of Lord Buddha, Ashoka Pillar pinpointing the birth place of Buddha and Shakya Tank where Maya Devi, the mother of Lord Buddha, is supposed to have taken a dip before bringing forth the baby - Lord Buddha. Around this holy site, there are remnants of Monasteries and Chaityas built over the centuries following Buddha's birth in 632 BC.
The Lumbini village lies as a gateway to the outer world. The second zone, on either side of a canal and walkway will be developed into a monastic enclave where nations, institutions and organization can build places of worship that reflect varying religious ideals and styles. A meditation center will be the highlight of this zone. The third and most important zone is the sacred garden itself where the beauty of its plant life will be restored to create a reverent atmosphere in which one can experience Buddha's universal message.

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