Nepal has many different things to offer for sightseeing. The natural beauty and Himalayan views, the culture and traditions, the historical monument, art and architecture, Hindu temples and Buddhist stupa and monasteries, its people and rites, myths and mysteries which are a part of the daily life of the people of Nepal. Kathmandu is the first arrival point for most visitors. Mountains surround the valley and it is divided into the three major cities of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. These were once three different kingdoms and to this day retain their own rich artistic styles and traditions. Out of the valley there are also other beautiful unexplored destinations, sight seeing packages are included some of them.
Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the major attractions in the valley. The word Durbar Square translates in English as palace complex and is listed as a World Heritage Site. Clustered around Durbar Square is the old Royal palace, which has been converted into a well-equipped museum. Numerous other beautiful temples, shrines, Kumari Bahal, House of the living Goddess, Kastamandap(a house build from the wood of a single tree) and other small temples are scattered everywhere in the square. The main palace building is 9 stories high and anyone can visit to the top and experience panoramic views of the city
Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square is a concentrated mass of temples, the most stunning display of Newari architecture to be seen in Nepal. Listed in World Heritage Site, the former Royal Palace complex is the center of Patan's religious and social life, and houses a museum containing an array of bronze statues and religious objects. One remarkable monument here is a 17th century temple dedicated to the Hindu God Lord Krishna, built entirely of stone.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is much larger and more spacious than Kathmandu's and much less crowded with temples than Patan.The disasterous earthquake in 1934 destroyed many of the beautiful monuments in the square and are now marked only by empty platforms where they once stood. Some of the most popular monuments golden gate, peacock window and Nyatapola temple are main attractions.
Swayambhunath is one of the most ancient Stupas in the Kathmandu vally.It lies on the top of the hill in west of the valley. The unique architecture of Swayambhunath is one of the most easily recognizable symbols of Nepal. From here one can enjoy a spectacular view of Kathmandu City. Legend says that ancient times the valley was a lake and it was known as the serpent's lake. Saint Manjushree cut the southern part of the valley and drained the water out. The Swayambhu was the first exit and became most important pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists.
Boudhanath is the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal. It is religious center for the Buddhist people. Surrounding the stupa there are many different monasteries belonging to different Buddhist sects. Most of the visitors use go to The Stupa for sightseeing and shopping and Tibetans handicrafts. During the full moon day many Buddhist people come to celebrate and take part in various religious activities.
Pashupatinath is one of the holiest pilgrimage destinations for all Hindus of the world. This temple is dedicated to lord Shiva and one of the oldest temples on the bank of holy Bagmati river. Various religious activities take place here almost everyday. Sadhus (holymen) from many different countries especially from India, visit the temple to pay homage to Lord Shiva. There are Ghats in the bank of Bagmati River, which are rectangular and made of stones. The rectangles are for the cremation of dead bodies and the square ones are for ritual baths.
Museums in Kathmandu
One of Nepal's delights is the variety of Museums found in the Kathmandu Valley. As rich as Nepal's unique culture and landscape, these museums provide a fascinating look into Nepal's art, people, history and architecture. They also serve as an enjoyable serene alternative to the vigorous of walking and trekking in the countryside.
This temple is situated on a scenic hill top 20km from Kathmandi and 7 km from Bhaktapur. King Hari dutta verma built this temple. The temple is decorated with magnificent art works made of metal and woodcarvings. This is the finest example of Nepalese pagoda architecture.The inscription at Changunarayan is the oldest recorded in history, dating to the 4th century. Its history dates back to the Lichhavi period when the Lichhavi king Manadeva installed pillars in 464 AD. The temple is worth visiting to see the architectural and iconography combination.
Nagarkot is a popular place to see the mountain ranges and sunrise. It lies at an altitude of 2175m and it is 32 km north east of Kathmandu. It is the nearest place to see the panoramic views from Kathmandu valley. Close up mountains are from Nagarkot Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Dorje lakpa, Sishapangma, Gauri shanker and more.When the sun begins to rise from behind the Himalayas. It looks spectacular as the mountains change color. Many tourists go to Nagarkot and stay over night to enjoy the scenic beauty of the country side and from Nagarkot one can hike to Changunarayan, Banepa and to Sankhu Vajrayogini too.
Dhulikhel is an ancient small town situated 30km away from Kathmandu. The drive from Kathmandu to Dhalikhel is very scenic and beautiful rice terraces on both sides of the road are spectacular. It is a popular panoramic Himalayan viewpoint, which is also a good starting place for short treks where visitors can stretch their legs before starting for a longer one.
The small village of Daman is an interesting place to see mountains. One can see whole mountain range of 400km from Dhaulagiri to Mt.Everest.Daman lies 2323m above the sea level. It is 85km away south West from Kathmandu and It also one of the most spectacular mountain-bike routes in the world.
Lumbini is situated about 250km South West of Kathmandu. This place famous for Buddhist pilgrimage because Lord Buddha was born here in 560 BC. The birth of Buddha at Lumbini has been recorded in the pillar inscription 'The Light of Asia' although there is not much to see but the peaceful environment provides you with inner sense of tranquility. In some ways, Tilaurakot, the site of Kapilavastu, the fortress-palace where Buddha was raised as a prince of the royal family is more evocative.
Tansen lies 1310m above sea level, at the southern slope of Mahabharat range. It lies on the way from Pokhara to Sunauli and is known as the Siddhartha highway. Tansen city itself is very colorful with its old houses and slopes landscapes. There are different types of people-Magar, Brahmin,Chhetri, Newar, have been living in the city.It is popular for its metal crafts and Dhaka cloth,shawls and caps. Place to visit in Tansen- Shrinagar hill Amarnarayan temple and Tansen Durbar etc.
Pokhara is the second major tourist destination in Nepal. It is 200km west of Kathmandu. Standing at 884m above the sea level, Pokhara offers a mild climate. It is famous for the natural beauty of its lakeside location and its proximity to the mountains. Especially stunning views of Machapuchhare 6997m (also known as the Fishtail mountain). There are many places to visit in this beautiful city such as the panoramic mountain views, Phewa Lake and the Varahi Temple on its island, David's fall, Mahendra Cave, etc. Activities such as boating, fishing and canoeing can be organized on the Phewa Lake.