Voted one of the top destinations to visit in 2016 by TripAdvisor, Kathmandu has many temples and heritage sites to visit as well as much more! It is located in South Asia between India and China where once the Shah Dynasty ruled between 1768 – 2008.
Did you know Kathmandu translates as wood? Don’t miss the incredibly crafted wooden doors and windows.
Almost one year after the major earthquake struck, I was impressed to see how well Kathmandu and it’s many residents were fairing. Of course some of the devastation can still be seen but by no means will it detract from your visit. I was in awe and can’t wait to return! Here are some of the top things to do in Kathmandu, featuring the most important and fascinating places you should visit when in Nepal.
Top Things to Do in Kathmandu
Named after the many trees found on the hillside, it is said that the ancient religious site at least, dates back as far as the 5th century and be the most sacred of Buddhist sites in Kathmandu, with the Newari Buddhists being its most fervent devotes. Also known as the Monkey Temple with its swathes of Monkeys running around, the incredible site can be accessed via the 365 stairs or by driving to the other side and climbing the more manageable 50 stairs.
The sacred Pashupatinath Hindu Temple lays on the banks of the Bagmati River, said to flow off of the River Ganges in India. Stroll around the ancient site with Ashrams and speak with the holy men or Sadhu’s.
Considered to be the most sacred Tibetan temple outside of Tibet, the great stupa is worshipped by the Tibetan Buddhists – making a holy circumambulation or within the maze of temples and stalls surrounding it. Once the gateway to many Tibetans where prayer took place before and after the arduous walking journey over the dangerous mountains of the Himalayas. Today Budnath is still seen as an import place for pilgrimage, as well as a popular tourist site. The site has been damaged by the 2015 earthquake but great progress is being made and it is expected that the work will be complete by September of this year. Did you know from the air you can see that it represents a Mandala? If this is something you are interested in, then visit The School of Thangka Painting where you can, not only discover more about Mandalas but they also offer painting courses to paint your own.
Treasures of Patan and Bhakapur
A visit to Nepal would not be the same without visiting one of it’s most spectacular sites – Durbar Square. See the stupas and architecture in Patan dating back to the late Malla period between the 16th – 18th centuries. Once a fiercely independent state, the fortified town was founded in 745 AD by the most prominent king – Vanraj Chavda.
The name comes from the meaning of craft and today you can still see the many skilled crafts taking place such as pottery, metalwork, art and woodwork.
While visiting, one of the top things to do in Kathmandu I would highly recommend is the Patan Museum. It is full of antiquities and artefacts with Hindu and Buddhist deities originating in the Kathmandu Valley, Patan, India, Tibet, and the Western Himalayas. The museum is housed in the Royal Palace behind the golden door.
Bhakapur (meaning Place of Devotees) the Newari city or also known as the 99 city is made up of three squares which are filled with shrines, temples and are a hive of activity. Known as the 99 city as it has 99 water spouts, the palace of 99 court yards (although with the damage of the earthquake in 1934 only 6 courtyards remain) and now 99 hotels.
Nepal is a fascinating country with its many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, religions and cultural diversity. Help re-build some of its damaged sites by visiting and exploring today.
There is accommodation available to suit all needs and budgets from the luxury 5 star to the basic hostel.
I hope I have inspired you to visit Nepal. As always we would love to hear from you, please leave any comments/questions below if have other ideas about top things to do in Kathmandu. If you enjoyed reading, don’t forget to share! Happy Travels 🙂 x
Note: The above tour was provided by Rickshaw Travel and all thoughts and experiences expressed are my own.
Rickshaw Travel has been providing enriching, experiential and meaningful travel since the company was launched in 2008. Now covering 24 destinations across Africa, Asia, Central and South America, its individual approach to independent exploration enables adventurous holidaymakers to experience the real spirit of a local culture. Rickshaw’s dedicated team of Travel Specialists create unique travel itineraries using a combination of 2-4 day bite-sized trips which include all accommodation, local transport and excursions; ensuring a hassle-free holiday. They are committed to providing meaningful travel experiences and use a mixture of transport including sleeper trains, private transfers with friendly local guides and drivers or even tuk-tuks to link their trips together so each journey becomes part of the adventure!
Rickshaw Travel offer ready-made itineraries of some of the top things to do in Kathmandu or other cities in Nepal. You also have the opportunity to build your own holiday from a series of bite-size trips to Nepal. For your trip the below bite-size trips were combined to make up a personalised itinerary. A minimum of three bite-size trips are required to make an itinerary.
Kings and Gods of the Valley: This 4-day bite size trip is priced from £185 per person (based on two sharing) and includes 3 nights accommodation with breakfast, guided day tour of Kathmandu City and guided day tour of Bhaktapur and Patan including transport.
For more information visit www.rickshawtravel.co.uk or call 01273 322399
Rickshaw Travel can organise international flights to all of its destinations and the team of travel experts will always aim to secure the best deals and options to suit each traveller’s need.