Exploring Kathmandu Valley - World Cultural Heritage in Nepal
Kathmandu Valley is a valley located in Kathmandu capital of Nepal. The valley has many beautiful buildings with special cultural, historical and religious significance. In 1979, UNESCO recognized the Kathmandu Valley as a World Cultural Heritage and in 2003 UNESCO placed it on the list of endangered world heritage.
Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal, located in the central region. The city lies on a fertile lowland, in the southern Himalayas, at an altitude of about 1,220 meters, near the confluence of the Bghmati River and the Vishnumati River. Kathmandu was founded in 723 and was ruled by the Newar people for centuries. In 1768, the city was occupied by the Shah dynasty and became its capital. From 1846 to 1951, the mighty Rana family ruled Nepal from this city. It is the largest city and also the cultural, political, economic center of the mountain kingdom.
With over a thousand years of history, Kathmandu is considered to be the most unique capital city in Asia. For Buddhists and Hindus, this is one of the ideal pilgrimage locations.
Kathmandu has a history of nearly 2,000 years. The name of Kathmandu derives from a temple in Durbar Square called Kasthamandap. In Sanskrit, Kastha means "wood" and Mandap means "shelter". Kastamandap Temple, also known as Maru Sthal, was built by King Laxmi Narsingh Malla in 1596. The entire structure of the temple is made of wood without the help of any nail or equipment.
In particular, it is legendary that all the wood used to make the two-storey temple was taken from a single tree. Kathmandu is also called Kantipur. Kanti is the alternative name of the god Lakshmi, and pur is a dwelling place of the god. Consequently, Kantipur means the residence of Lakshmi.
With its natural scenery and modern infrastructure, Kathmandu is a attractive destination for the best holidays in Nepal. English is very popular in this city. In addition, many Kathmandu people can speak Chinese, French, Korean, etc. Therefore, language is not a barrier when tourists come to Kathmandu.
The two main religions in Kathmandu as well as in Nepal are Hinduism and Buddhism. So here is also associated with the beliefs of Hinduism and Buddhism. The tourist attraction in Kathmandu is Swayambhu Temple, located west of the city. Also known as the Monkey Temple because many monkeys live in the temple, it is a very sacred temple. Due to the quite high location, visitors can admire the scenery of the whole city. In addition, the visitors shouldn’t miss the Baudha Temple, Narayanhiti Palace Museum, Pashupatinath Temple, Garden of Dreams and Durbar Square.
The most popular dish in Kathmandu is Momo, a kind of cake originating from the Tibetan mountains, almost like dumplings. However, the inside of them may be buffalo meat, chicken, vegetables and can be steamed or fried. The restaurants offer delicious food, especially dishes from many cultures with good service and most reasonable price include Helenas Rooftop, Thamel House, Aqua Java Zing, Krua Thai, Cafe Kaldi, La Dolce Vita, Tashi Delek, Northfield Café, New Orleans and Third Eye.
Nepal is a coffee exporter, so it would be a pity if you went to Kathmandu without tasting a cup of coffee. There is a note that the coffee here may have different flavors than the ones we have tried elsewhere and that would be an enjoyable experience for visitors.
It is an ancient city but there are also bars. There are many bars with very modern, fresh and impressive names such as House of Music, Everest Irish Pub, Irish Pub Lazimpat, Tom and Jerrys Pub, Sams A, Maya Cocktail Bar, Jump Club, J Bar, Tongues and Tales and Full Moon Club. If you want to participate in games or sports such as hiking, rafting, exploring deep forests ... then go to the suburbs of Kathmandu.
Today, this valley is not only a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists but also an attractive destination for international tourists.
By: Gitta Russell