Is Kathmandu worth visiting?
We will all have to at least pass through here if we are on going to Nepal, but Is Kathmandu worth visiting? Well, In this post, I will be giving you everything you need to know about the answer to that question. Many of us associate the capital with overcrowding and heavy pollution. However, there is another side to the great city and you will find its charms a lot more Intoxyfying than the exhaust fumes.
The city is simply bursting with culture and despite it being the beating heart of the nation its people still cling tightly to their traditions. In fact, Kathmandu and the surrounding valley is an absolute pleasure to travel to. So the short answer to the question is Kathmandu worth visiting is an unequivocal yes!
I know many people who come to this tiny country are in a rush to get to the mountains but give the capital a little time to show you its charms and you won’t be sorry. Now let’s look at how to get the most out of this ancient city.
What is worth visiting in Kathmandu?
When it comes to answering what is worth visiting in Kathmandu it is such a big question I can not begin to list everything. I have spent a long time in this city because after a massive adventure elsewhere in the country the comforts that come with staying here can make you never want to leave. I am only going to list my absolute favourite must-see sights in Kathmandu.
Swayambhunath or Monkey Temple.
The Swayambhunath or monkey temple has to be one of the most famous temples in the whole country. This timeless little corner of the universe is visible from much of the city and it is very much iconic to Kathmandu. It is spread out all across a hill and it will take you a whole afternoon to explore. It is very much an active temple that is important to both Hindus and Buddhists. It is very hard not to appreciate the sense of calm that comes with visiting here. However, be prepared for a long hike up some steep steps to access it though.
Durbar Square is simply a must for anyone visiting Nepal. Most of us will be staying in Thamel and the walk between these two areas is one you will not forget. There are countless historical monuments en route and then it culminates in the spectacular Durber square. Despite substantial earthquake damage in 2015, this place will still blow your socks off. The Newari architecture is completely unique to Nepal and it is concentrated here.
Patan Durbar Square.
Patan Durbar square is actually part of a city called Lalitpur. Apparently, it is the third-largest city in Nepal but unless you are Nepali you are probably not going to know where one city starts and the next one ends. Patan is yet another UNESCO world heritage site and the red brick architecture will have your jaw dropped. Like many of the archaeological wonders in Kathmandu, it suffered extensive earthquake damage. The Nepali people are fiercely proud of their heritage and much of the damage is already repaired.
What is worth visiting in the Katmandu Valley?
What is worth doing in the Kathmandu Valley has to be one of the toughest questions ever. There are just far too many things to choose from. Again I will be picking my top three but I can assure you it is not easy. The Kathmandu Valley is quite vast yet almost everything is easily accessible on a day trip from Thamel. The three places to visit I am about to list certainly are.
Bhaktapur is a whole freakin town that is a living museum. It costs quite a bit to gain entrance and you cant see all of this in a single day so I recommend staying at least one night here as it just makes sense. Not only does that work out much better value for money it will also give you time to explore the countless alleyways, courtyards and ponds that make this village so damn moreish. There are also a number of beautiful temples within walking distance of Bhaktapur such as the epic two-storied Changu Narayan temple.
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most incredible places I have ever seen in my life. However, visiting here is nothing to take lightly. While this place is insanely atmospheric and well worth the entrance fee it is an active temple. It is also a place where Nepali people go to be cremated so they can obtain moksha. The Hindu right of gaining entrance into Nirvana and breaking the cycle of reincarnation. It is a deeply moving experience and one that makes any trip to Kathmandu worth it.
Dakshin Kali temple is near the village of Pharping twenty kilometres from Kathmandu. This temple is dedicated to the god Kali. She is both a female and pissed incantation of Vishnu who needs appeasing by blood sacrifice. Today the local people only sacrifice livestock but this is sure to be yet another crazy intense experience. You can make it out here and back again in a day But I stayed overnight just because it is amazing.
In summary of my post on is Kathmandu worth visiting?
This post was designed to just answer the question of is Kathmandu worth visiting and perhaps whet your appetite to see it. If you like the sound of any of these places then simply check out the Wikipedia links. They all have well written and thoughtful posts. Alternatively, you can pick up a copy of The Lonely Planet guides to Nepal. You cant go wrong with that and they are always helpful to have. I never leave home without mine.
If you are on a long trip remember you can easily incorporate Nepal into your itinerary. A trip here really would be a crowning glory to anyone’s dream trip. There are many crossing points along the long border with India. The most direct and the most popular is the Sanauli border where you can find direct busses from Kathmandu.
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