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  Places of Interest in Nepal  
     
  KATHMANDU  
 

Durbar Square: This complex of palaces, courtyards and temples, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, used to be the seat of the ancient Malla kings of Kathmandu. An intriguing piece here is the 17th-century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages. The Durbar Square, protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. There are also museums inside the palace building. There is an entrance fee of Rs. 250 for foreign visitors. Your ticket to the Square entitles you to visit all the museums.

 
     
 

Heritage Walk: A walk through selected historic sites seldom visited. This revitalizing walk starts at Teku, south of old Kathmandu, leading on to Wonder Narayan, a 17th-century temple dedicated to Lord Bishnu. Strolling through HyumatTole, arrive at Kusah Bahi, a Buddhist courtyard built in 1754. The next stop is the Narayan Dewal, another Bishnu temple (built in 1865) with a small Ganesh temple at the entrance. Walk on to Tukan Baha, built in the 14th century as a replica of the Swayambhu stupa. Admire the Ram temple at the Ramchandra Dewal before reaching Jaisi Dewal, a huge Shiva temple built in 1688. Saunter down to Kohiti to study the Buddhist and Hindu sculptures in this sunken water fountain. Walk through Chikan Mugal and stop by at the Atko Narayan Dewal, an important Bishnu temple built in 1857, before visiting the namesake of the city, the Kasthamandap pavilion. After a further five-minute walk, reach the final destination, the Bhimsen Dewal, built in 1655 and dedicated to the main deity of local traders.

 
     
 

Swayambhu Stupa: watches over the Valley from the top of a hillock on its western side. The stupa is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal and its establishment is linked to the creation of the Kathmandu Valley out of a primordial lake. Swayambhu is also known as Samhengu and is listed as a World Heritage Site. Entrance fee Rs. 50 (SAARC nationals Rs. 30).

 
     
 

Balaju: consists of a sprawling garden of stone water spouts, religious shrines, fish ponds, and a replica of the statue of Budhanilkantha. Situated below Nagarjun hill about 3 km northwest of the city center, Balaju is known for its bank of 22 stone water spouts (hiti) carved in the shape of sea-dragons. Devotees take ritual baths under the gush of water. Balaju is also known as Lhuti.

 
     
 

Budhanilkantha: is situated below Shivapuri hill at the northern end of the Valley. It is about 9 km from the city center. The hub of the temple complex is a pond in which lies a great stone figure of the Hindu god Bishnu reclining on the coils of a cosmic serpent. It is also known as Bhuijasi.

 
     
 

Bouddhanath Stupa: lies about 6 km to the east of downtown Kathmandu and is the largest stupa in the Valley. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design.

 
 

Bouddhanath, a World Heritage Site, is also known as Khasti. There are more than 45 Buddhist monasteries in the area. Many have schools that teach young monks like thoughs pictured here.

 
  An information counter, run by the Bouddha Area Preservation & Development Committee (Ph: 471368), offers assistance to visitors.  
     
 

Changu Narayan Temple: is situated on a ridge overlooking the Valley, about 12 km to the east of the city. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Bishnu. One of the finest and oldest specimens of pagoda architecture, the temple is embellished with exquisite wood and stone carvings. The sacred complex is a World Heritage Site.

 
     
 

Pashupatinath Temple: One of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world, Pashupatinath lies 5 km east of the city center. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred br> Religious pilgrims and sahdus, like the one pictured here, travel all the way from the remote areas of India to visit this sacred sight. Even though these devotees have denounced worldly possessions, each carries a Sahdu ID (identifications card) to freely cross over the border between India and Nepal.
Chronicles indicate the Pashupatinathís existence prior to 400 AD. Devotees can be seen taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati river flowing beside the temple, also a World Heritage Site.

 
     
 

Kirtipur (pop. 35,000) is situated on a ridge 6 km southwest of Kathmandu. The ancient township is a natural fortress and has a proud and courageous history. The Chilamchu stupa and the temple of Bagh Bhairav are major sights here. Kirtipur offers quaint streets lined with artistic houses and temple squares. The people are known for their skill in building and weaving.

 
     
 

Dakshinkali and Chobhar: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. On the way back, stop at Chobhar gorge. The narrow gash in the hills was made by Lord Manjushree to drain out the lake which once covered the Valley.

 
     
  PATAN  
 

Durbar Square: Like its counterpart in Kathmandu, is an enchanting melange of palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the former royal palace complex is the center of Patanís religious and social life, and houses a museum containing an array of bronze statues and religious objects. There is an entrance fee of Rs. 200 per foreign visitor. One remarkable monument here is a 17th-century temple dedicated to the Hindu god Krishna, built entirely of stone. like its counterpart in Kathmandu, is an enchanting melange of palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the former royal palace complex is the center of Patanís religious and social life, and houses a museum containing an array of bronze statues and religious objects. There is an entrance fee of Rs. 200 per foreign visitor. One remarkable monument here is a 17th-century temple dedicated to the Hindu god Krishna, built entirely of stone.

 
     
 

Iba Bahiis: situated about a two-minute walk south of Durbar Square. It is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in the Kathmandu Valley and reflects the sophisticated architecture of the Malla period. A two-step platform leads to the courtyard with a hall called Dalan. There is a shrine dedicated to Shakyamuni right across the entrance.

 
     
 

Kwa Bahal: Also known as the Golden Temple, is a Buddhist monastery courtyard dating to the 12th century. It is a five-minute walk west and north from the northern end of Durbar Square. The monastery building is embellished with exceptionally fine wood-carvings and repousse work. Artistic images are scattered around the courtyard, and devotees can be seen offering worship at the many shrines here. Entrance fee Rs. 25.

 
     
 

Mahabouddha: Can be reached by walking east from the southern end of Durbar Square and then turning right at the sunken water taps. This Buddhist monument is an excellent example of terra cotta artform which points to the skill of Patanís ancient craftsmen with a variety of building styles. The 14th-century monumentís obelisk-like design is also unusual in a city of pagoda roofs.

 
     
 

Oku Bahal: Oku is situated a few steps past Mahabouddha and is one of the best known Buddhist places of worship in Patan. The stone-paved courtyard is enclosed by a two-story building with gilded roofs. The wood-carvings on the roof struts are especially attractive. The place is peppered with sacred images and other small shrines.

 
     
  BHAKTAPUR  
 

Durbar Square: As you walk in, you cannot but be overcome by a feeling of inner harmony. Such is the art and architecture and the spacial layout here. The 15th-century Palace of 55 Windows, situated to the left as you enter through the city gate, inspires admiration. The National Art Gallery is also housed inside. The palace entrance, the Golden Gate, is a masterpiece in repousse art. In front of the palace building is a medley of temples of various designs. There is an entrance fee of Rs. 30 for SAARC nationals and Rs. 500 for other foreign visitors.Taumadhi Squarelies to the east of Durbar Square reached by a narrow brick-paved lane. The towering five-roofed Nyatapol temple presides over the square. The monument gracefully soars into the sky atop a five-story plinth. The stairway leading up to the temple is flanked by stone figures of deities and mythical beasts, each 10 times more powerful than the one immediately below.

 
     
 

Dattatreya Square: takes its name from the Dattatreya temple dedicated to a three-headed combination of the Hindu deities Brahma, Bishnu and Shiva. If you want to experience the feel of the traditional urban layout of Bhaktapur, Dattatreya Square is it. Set in a maze of streets lined with richly ornamented houses, the square is famed for its many ornate Hindu monasteries known as Math. The National Woodworking Museum is also housed here and the Brass and Bronze Museum is across the street.

 
     
 

Potterís Square: A two-minute walk south of Durbar Square brings you to Bolachhen, also known as Potterís Square because of the many potters seen here moulding wet clay into different kinds of earthen ware. It has a display of fresh pottery left out to dry in the open square. This place can be approached from Taumadhi Square also. The elephant-headed Lord Ganesh is the patron of potters, thus the Jeth Ganesh temple in the square.

 
     
 

Siddha Pukhu: a pond dating back to the Lichhavi period, is better known as Ta-Pukhu, meaning big pond. Though situated right at the bus stop, it provides a serene atmosphere with its sashaying fish and the stone images of different Hindu and Buddhist gods.

 
     
 

Surya Binayak: is one of Kathmanduís most popular pilgrimage spots. Situated in a thick forest to the south of Bhaktapur, it is a 20-minute walk from the trolley bus terminal. The temple, dedicated to the Hindu deity Ganesh, is crowded with devotees especially on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

 
     
       
     
 

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