Historical Kathmandu valley is the capital of the nepal. The valley has got significant importance about the ancient architecture ,art and craft,most of those structures are built for religious ,historical and kingship purposes. The valley is spread over 6.65 sqkm with a population of one million these days.o the ancient time many dynasties ruled on this valley so they made the architecture according to thiers ritual, Mainly lichhavi ,malla and shah were the major who ruled over here. This valley is known as temple city too there are 190 temples and monuments located.actually kathmandu was known as kasthamandap before kastha stands for woods and mandap stands for shelter but later it name is changed into kathmandu.kathmandu is a valley where was a lake before and later manjushree ,the chinese pilgrim cut the chovar hill by khadga and made this place suitable for settlements.
“History of Nepal” book from Cambridge in 1877 during the prime Ministership of Jung Bahadur writes that in the treta yuga (eon), Manjushree came from Mahachin (China) and rested on Mahamandap, a hill east of Bhaktapur for three nights and saw the “Swayambhu lights”. He decided he needed to approach the source of the light and hence drain the Nagdaha (lake of the spirited serpents) by cutting a gorge at Chobhar. “He placed his two goddesses, named Barda and Makshada on Phulancha and the other on Dhyanchha, placing himself in the middle. He then cut through the mountain which he called Kotwal. As the water escaped, several nags and other animals living in it went out, but he persuaded Karkotaka, king of nags to remain and on the Mesh Sankranti day, having pointed out to him a large tank to live in (Taudaha) , he gave the nag power over all the wealth of the valley.
Kathmandu is also known as a hub for hindus and buddhist pilgrims.famous pashupatinath temple, boudhanath ,swayambhunath, changu narayan and many other temples monasteries are major religious spots in kathmandu.many jatras and festival make kathmandu more attractive because of this specification UNESCO has enlisted seven world heritage sites inside the valley.many archeological sites
Major attraction of the kathmandu valley:
Swayambhunath:swayambhunath is one of the major tourist destinations in north west of kathmandu situated on a small island. The stupa is also called “monkey temple” in Kathmandu since the 1970s because lots of monkeys also used to stay around here. This stupa is really famous among tourists and pilgrims.the holiest stupa in kathmandu there are many other monasteries ,praying wheels and statues of many buddhas on its premises. This mahachaitya was built by lichhavi king Manadeva in thirteen century; it is also mentioned that emperor Ashoka built it firstly in the 3rd century bc.There are holy monkeys living in the north-west parts of the temple. They are holy because Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom and learning, was raising the hill which the stupa stands on. He was supposed to leave his hair short but he made it grow long and head lice grew. It is said that the head lice transformed into these monkeys.Manjusri had a vision of the Lotus at Swayambhu and traveled there to worship it. Seeing that the valley could be a good settlement, and to make the site more accessible to human pilgrims, he cut a gorge at Chovar. The water drained out of the lake, leaving the valley in which Kathmandu now lies. The Lotus was transformed into a hill and the flower became the stupa.
Kathmandu durbar square:among three durbar squares inside valley which are enlisted in UNESCO world heritage site the one is kathmandu durbar square.this is also known as basantapur durbar square.this palace is very rich in terms of the ancient art and architecture.The preference for the construction of royal palaces at this site dates back to as early as the Licchavi period in the third century. Even though the present palaces and temples have undergone repeated and extensive renovations and nothing physical remains from that period. Names like Gunapo and Gupo, which are the names referred to the palaces in the square in early scriptures, imply that the palaces were built by Gunakamadev, a King ruling late in the tenth century. When Kathmandu City became independent under the rule of King ratna malla (1484–1520), the palaces in the square became the Royal Palaces for its Malla Kings. When Prithvi Narayan Shah invaded the Kathmandu Valley in 1769, he favored the Kathmandu Durbar Square for his palace. Other subsequent Shah kings continued to rule from the square until 1896 when they moved to the NarayanHiti Palace.
Though there are no written archives stating the history of Kathmandu Durbar Square, construction of the palace in the square is credited to Sankharadev (1069–1083). As the first king of the independent Kathmandu City, Ratna Malla is said to have built the Taleju temple in the Northern side of the palace in 1501. For this to be true then the temple would have had to have been built in the vihara style as part of the palace premise surrounding the Mul Chowk courtyard for no evidence of a separate structure that would match this temple can be found within the square.
Construction of kernel chok is not clearly stated in any historical inscriptions; although, it is probably the oldest among all the courtyards in the square. The Bhagavati Temple, originally known as a Narayan Temple, rises above the mansions surrounding it and was added during the time of Jagajaya Malla in the early eighteenth century. The Narayan idol within the temple was stolen so Prithvi Narayan Shah replaced it with an image of Bhagavati, completely transforming the name of the temple.
The oldest temples in the square are those built by Mahendra Malla (1560–1574). They are the temples of Jagannath, Kotilingeswara Mahadev, Mahendreswara, and the Taleju Temple. This three-roofed Taleju Temple was established in 1564, in a typical Newari architectural style and is elevated on platforms that form a pyramid-like structure. It is said that Mahendra Malla when he was residing in Bhaktapur, was highly devoted to the Taleju Temple there; the Goddess being pleased with his devotion gave him a vision asking him to build a temple for her in the Kathmandu Durbar Square. With the help of a hermit, he designed the temple to give it its present form and the Goddess entered the temple in the form of a bee.major attraction of the Kathmandu durbar square.
Major attraction inside kathmandu durbar square:
Akash bhairab temple
Kumari house(living goddess house)
3.Patan durbar square: Patan durbar square is also another attraction of the lalitpur . The malla and thakuri dynasty used to rule here in ancient times.premises of the durbar square is paved with the bricks and structures are made with newari architecture.there are many temples made by newa people which are center for hinduism and buddhism.there are 136 bahal( the courtyards) and 55 major temples inside square made with amazing wood carving and carved bricks.this durbar square is also enlisted by UNESCO on world heritage sites in 1979 AD.
Other major attraction inside patan durbar square:
Taleju bhawani temple
4. bhaktapur durbar square:bhaktapur is another district inside valley 13km far from central capital kathmandu.literally bhakta means devotee and pur means city so this is city of devotee. bhakta pur is also known as bhadgaon .the architecture of the bhaktapur is really impressive with wooden ,metal,stone,temples and culture work.malla dynasty ruled over this city starting until prithvi narayan shah invaded kathmandu valley.
major attractions inside patan durbar square:
55 windows palace
Bhairab nath temple
Local culture of newar people
5. Pashupatinath temple:Pashupatinath is a famous and sacred temple on the bank of Bagmati river in Kathmandu. The temple lies 5 km north east from central Kathmandu. This is really the holiest temple for the devotee of lord shiva. The famous Pashupatinath temple was built in the 5th century and later renovated by malla kings in Kathmandu. With an amazing craft of construction materials many temples and monuments have been built for the deities of hindu and buddha inside pashupati area. The mythology says that the temple was built here after the shiva lingam was found here. This temple area is also known as the largest temple complex area in Nepal with distinct wood carving and an amazing pagoda style temple. The bagmati river is taken as a shrine place for hindu people that's why there are more than 490 temples ,15 shivalayas( holy places for lord shiva ) and 12 jyotirlinga (phallic shrines ) on the bank.
With genuine evaluation of the religious ,architectural and spiritual importance of the pashupatinath UNESCO has enlisted as world heritage sites.cremation of the hindu takes places over this river then the belief is to send the soul to heaven. On famous maha shivaratri festival there used to be thousands of lord shiva's devotees attending as pilgrims.
6. Boudhanath stupa:boudhanath stupa is one of the largest stupa inside the valley with deepest faith and center of peace for the buddhist devotee. 8 km east from the central kathmandu stupa is surrounded by many other monasteries. The boudhanath stupa is 36 m high and built on the shape of mandala.boudha is center for the tibetian buddhism in nepal.this is also the world heritage sites listed by UNESCO.
Day 1: arrival inn kathmandu and transfer to hotel.
Day 2: full day kathmandu sightseeing of swayambhunath ,pashupatinath , boudhanath and kathmandu durbar square.
Day 3: full day sightseeing of patan and bhaktapur durbar square then drive to changu narayan and overnight at nagarkot.
All the accommodation (B,L,D) during the programme.
Deluxe AC rooms on twin sharing basis.
Professional english speaking tour guide (local one from kathmandu) .
All the permits needed for tours.
Transportation during exploration around the places in lumbini.