is a magically romantic place where fact entwines with
fiction, myth with legend, religion with mysticism,
adventure with meditation. It is also a pulsating
tourist centre with a hectic nightlife. The area around
the Kathmandu Guest House has mutated into a throbbing
little quarter in the evenings. The Thamel and Freak
Street bars attract many budget travellers. The fancier
nightclubs outside Thamel attract a more diverse
clientele. All in All, Kathmandu will unfold to you
whichever aspect you are looking for: religious,
adventurous, meditative, mystic or entertaining.
in the middle of Kathmandu sits the Durbar Square. It is
a complex of beautiful temples and shrines, both Hindu
and Buddhist. The Old Royal Palace or the Hanuman Dhoka
lies on the eastern edge of the square and was the
former royal residence.
House of the Living Goddess, the Kumari, is also located
within this square. The Kumari is usually a
pre-pubescent girl of tender years who ceases to be
venerated as Goddess once the menstrual cycle sets in.
Another child then takes her place.
Kasthamandap is a wooden pavilion at the southwestern
end of Durbar Square. It is believed to be one of the
oldest wooden buildings in the world. This lovely pagoda
served as a resting spot on the Tibet road and gave its
name to Kathmandu.
is considered the holiest temple in Nepal by Hindus. It
is dedicated to Lord Shiva in his avatar as the Master
of all beasts. Beautifully built, it is a sight to
huge temple is perched on a hill 2 km west of Thamel.
The gigantic hilltop temple is overrun with pilgrims and
monkeys and is the most profound expression of Buddhist
symbolism in Nepal.
few kilometres from Kathmandu stands the huge and
impressive Bouddhanath Stupa. An active centre of
Tibetan Buddhism, it is frequented by Tibetans in exile.
Royal Botanical Gardens
Botanical gardens lie 19km south of Kathmandu and can
easily be reached by road. Numerous species of trees,
shrubs and beautiful orchids make it an idyllic setting
and a great place to picnic in.
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