While talking about Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, the first thing that comes to our mind is diversity. The place is the perfect amalgamation of some busy happening marketplaces and some of the most peaceful religious places of the world like Pashupatinath Temple, house of living Goddess Kumari-the Kumari Bahal, Boudhanath Stupa, etc.
On one side, you will be amazed at the city’s rich culture, breath-taking Newari architecture, and centuries-old Hind and Buddhist religious sites; on the other hand, the busy Durbar square and Thamel market will attract your inner shopping bug with its traditional as well as modern products.
Here are 4 nights and 5 days tour plan for this beautiful city. Let’s explore.
How to Reach
Kathmandu is well connected to the world by air. The Tribhuvan International airport is located 5 km away from the city centre of Kathmandu. You can easily get a cab to reach your hotel from the airport.
Food of Kathmandu
Kathmandu is famous for delicious Newari food. Your visit to Kathmandu will be incomplete if you don’t taste the famous delicious local cuisine from the famous food joints of Thamel market. Some of the must-have options are:
Momos- the absolute best local dumplings are the momos. It is a Tibetan food that can be stuffed with chicken, buff or veggies. You can get it either steamed or fried.
Other than momos, there are Thukpa, which is a noodle soup and you can get it with both vegetables and meat.
Moving on, you can get some sekuwas. Sekuwa is a local grilled kebab, which is mostly prepared with meat marinated in local herbs and spices. The food is generally roasted in a natural wood fire. It is absolutely delicious and a must eat.
If you have a sweet tooth then don’t forget to taste the famous Newari desert Lakhamari.
Top Places to Visit in Kathmandu
There are many beautiful locations available in Kathmandu. Most of these places are located around the city center. So, if you wish you can hire a local rickshaw for this day trip. Otherwise can hire a local taxi for the tour. Here I would like to mention one thing that bargaining is allowed in Kathmandu. So, before hiring a rickshaw please do negotiate the price and fix it. The taxi or rickshaw fare may vary depending upon the traffic condition of the city.
Taxi fare can be around 300-400NPR for going one place to another.
In Kathmandu, you may also hire a motorbike or bicycle for this day tour.
The main places of interest are:
Kumari Bahal is the palace where the Kumari or the living Goddess, lives while she is the chosen Devi or Goddess. It is a beautiful old palace built in the mid-1700s by Jaya Prakash Malla. It is a three-story architecture made of wood and red bricks that shows resemblance to a Buddhist Vihara. The structure also houses a stupa with symbols of Goddess Saraswati and a huge chariot that is used to take the Kumari around the city during the annual festival of Indra Jatra. The presence of Kumari is believed to protect the community and the region.
Hanuman Dhoka was once the royal palace of Malla kings and Shah Dynasty. It is actually a palace complex with some structures as old as the mid-16th Century. It is located in the Darbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square is located in front of the old royal palace of the former Kathmandu Kingdom. It is one of three Durbar or royal palace Squares in the Kathmandu, all of which are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Several buildings in the Square collapsed after the major earthquake on 25 April 2015. Durbar square was surrounded by spectacular architecture that showcases the skills of the Newar artists and craftsmen over several centuries.
Kala Bhairav of Kathmandu
Kala Bhairav is a grand temple located at Kathmandu Durbar Square in the religious complex of Hanuman Dhoka. The temple is dedicated to a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva. The place of worship is an open-air area and has a 12-foot tall idol of Kala Bhairav. The idol and the structures that surround it are made of stone and were carved in the 5th century.
The magnificent Taleju temple is located in Durbar Square of Kathmandu. It is dedicated to the clan Goddess of Malla kings, Devi Taleju Bhawani. Traditionally, entry into the temple was restricted to kings but now it has been opened to the Hindu devotees.
It is located on the India-Tibet trade route and is a busy commercial and ceremonial area having many shops selling local products. The especially famous product of this place is glass beads.
Seto Machindranath Temple
It is a Hindu and Buddhist temple located in Jana Bahal. The temple is believed to be built around the 10th century and houses the idol of Seto Machindranath, also known as Janabaha Dyo.
Annapurna Temple is located at Asan Tole. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Annapurna, the Goddess of abundance. At the centre of the temple, there is an old bowl full of grain which represents the Goddess. It is believed that walking around the shrine while touching a coin to the head and then throwing it into the temple will bring prosperity and abundance of all worldly goods.
It is a famous market place of Kathmandu. The most popular products of this market are vegetables, fishes, cloths, pieces of jewelry and spices.
Located in the heart of the city, the Kathesimbhu Stupa is a replica of the Swayanbhunath Temple.
The place is the commercial hub of Kathmandu and you can get all sorts of local products here.
The best options that you can get here are Pashmina, thanka, bead jewellery or handicrafts.
It is one of the holiest Hindu shrines in Nepal. The Pashupatinath Temple is located along both the banks of the beautiful and sacred Bagmati River of Kathmandu. The magnificent temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple draws thousands of devotees every year who come to offer their prayers and seek blessings from him.
In1979, Boudhanath Stupa was honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entire complex houses 50 gompas. This stupa is said to be the resting place of Kassapa Buddha.
Located on top of the Semgu Hill, Swayambhu Temple is one of the most important religious shrines in the city of Kathmandu.
White Monastery or Seto Gomba is a Buddhist Monastery in Nepal. Enjoy a beautiful sunset from the lush green surroundings of this Monastery.
Where to stay
There are plenty of options available in Kathmandu where you can put up for the night. A typical mid-range hotel will cost around Rs 3000 to 4000 per day. Food will cost around Rs 500 per person per day.
Overall Kathmandu is a nice place to enjoy during the holiday.
Picture Courtesy: Wikipedia & Lonely Planet