Kathmandu and the Nepalese crew...

Kathmandu Travel Blog

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Sri Devi Temple (Kathmandu; Nepal)

Destinations with an element of the superlative usually succeed effortlessly in attracting tourists purely to discover the mystique surrounding that very superlative, and in this case, the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest, has been Nepal's ID card since time immemorial. The nation's capital city of Kathmandu though, has developed an identity all of its own, and this being the first port of call in Nepal, the challenge was laid out to see the highlights of Kathmandu on a whirlwind sightseeing tour lasting just one solitary day. Skimming the surface might have been the order of the day, but there is no doubting the fact that the itinerary was mightily impressive, and included stop-offs at places of interest which were destined to add colour and depth to a day out of hardcore sightseeing.

Durbar Square (Kathmandu; Nepal)
Boudhanath Stupa was first up, and this place of magical appeal is surrounded by buildings and stores of such colour and design that it could be argued even detract from the naked beauty of the stupa itself. Calling in at Kathmandu's Durbar Square is an absolute must, especially given the fact that the square contains a condensed collection of all things Nepalese from multi-tiered pagodas to market-style souvenirs, and a museum which will put the nation's historical background into perspective. Pashupatinath temple is yet another draw card, and a must-see on a Kathmandu sightseeing tour, and if you are starting to get the overall impression that the city comes across too much as a jumbled thrown-together mass of sights, sounds with no logical, clean or sensible structure, then be sure to drop by at the city's supreme Garden of Dreams.
Garden Of Dreams (Kathmandu; Nepal)
The Garden of Dreams is just about the city's best-kept treasure, and the visuals will transport the visitor's soul to a place where indelible memories begin to etch their way onto your mind, and the greenery, flower beds, stonework, water features and Italianate-looking building which houses a delightful cafe is sure to impress even the hardest-to-please visitor who seems to think they have 'seen it all before'. Within easy reach of the Garden of Dreams is the busy enclave of commerce known as Thamel, a somewhat pricier place to do your shopping, but an area not to miss out on due to its prominence and hubbub which make it something of a magnet for visitors who insist on basing themselves somewhere central. The last port of call on the grand circuit tour of the city also happened to be well sequenced for the intended climax, and Swayambunath Temple scores highly on all sides, with its colourful penant-laden entrance, and the steps of glory leading up to the monumental peak where symbolic structures abound and wild monkeys roam free, to the tune of a contented visitor's purr.
Durbar Square (Patan; Nepal)
Once a separate entity, now an adjoining suburb, neighbouring Patan (or Lalitpur, as you may hear it being called) is a slightly less hectic area of Kathmandu where another Durbar Square acts as the centrepiece, has attractions a-plenty including the Golden Gate, the Palace of 55 windows, and Patan museum, which all add up to a glorious Nepalese whole. Fine eateries abound in Kathmandu, and for a dining-cum-cultural show experience, the Nepali Chulo venue is all you need to indulge in a traditional dinner set to the backdrop of an even more traditional show. If it is shopping which you crave, then be aware of the fact that Nepalese shopping malls come across as being somewhat redundant when compared to the atmosphere generated by enchanting shopping streets such as the Asan bazar and the glorious street market atmosphere of the area. Nearby New Road is the commercial and financial hub of Kathmandu and the busiest high street of all Nepal, but wherever you choose to shop, you can rest assured that prices are favourable and the exotically-tinged array of goods is destined to captivate the visitor in similar ways to the charms of the city itself. Moving on from this can only lead a visitor to wonder how the rest of Nepal measures up by comparison....

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Sri Devi Temple (Kathmandu; Nepal)
Sri Devi Temple (Kathmandu; Nepal)
Durbar Square (Kathmandu; Nepal)
Durbar Square (Kathmandu; Nepal)
Garden Of Dreams (Kathmandu; Nepal)
Garden Of Dreams (Kathmandu; Nepal)
Durbar Square (Patan; Nepal)
Durbar Square (Patan; Nepal)
Kathmandu
photo by: sharonburgher