Thirteen things you must do in Kathmandu
Nepal which is recently opened for all vaccinated travelers from all around the globe. Nepal is one of the fascinating destinations as many people consider going to Nepal means participating in different type of adventure activities like trekking and mountaineering. Nepal is not only famous for adventures but also here is a great collection of different cultural heritage as Kathmandu itself is a packet of seven different world heritage sites. Here you can see the Ten must do’s in Kathmandu.
1.Observing the valley from Swoyambhunath Stupa
As Swoyambhunath itself is elevated than the rest of the valley, there is a very nice view one can get from the top of the Swoyambhunath hill. There are quite a few monkeys and temple often get crowed during public holidays and Saturdays. One can also observe the people busy on doing worships here specially in the mornings.
The biggest of its kind Boudhanath is famous for encircling as you get religious merits, remember to go clockwise, anti-clockwise movement not considered auspicious, entering the monasteries located in the vicinity and get blessed by the monks or simply observe the Puja they organize every morning in the monasteries can be an unforgettable experience for everyone. There are slightly overpriced restaurants located in the vicinity, seeping a coffee there or drinking a chilled beer with some light meals even worth paying little higher. Observing the folk of people in the afternoon also gives you idea of how many people are still very religious.
3.Observing the living goddess in Kathmandu Durbar Square
A mixed tradition of both Hindus and Buddhists, a virgin girl worshipped as a reincarnation of Hindu goddess Taleju show up on the window for the foreigners. The powerful goddess exists in all different Newar towns but still the Kathmandu one is very special. Check the timing as she does not show up all the time. Besides observing the Kumari the complex is full of temples and part of the old palace. Avoid some local touts who will say if you pay $10 she will show up for you, she has her own timing but small donation to the house is expectable. The courtyards which are under renovation after the earthquake worth visiting and if you are a good bargainer the street market next to Kumari house sell wide variety of locally made, Chinese made and Indian made small souvenirs.
4.Discover the courtyards of Patan
As Patan is considered another separate town it also has beautiful palace complex with very elaborated courtyards which was once used by royalties for residential purpose and the extensions are used as temples and places to organize different type of social and religious functions. The building now occupied as a museum is worth visiting. The whole complex is full of temples for different Hindu god and goddess.
5.Sitting in the bank of the Bagmati River and observing the funeral
A Hindu funeral which is done on the open platforms at the bank of the river can be watched by anyone interested, please maintain the distance, you can observe clearly from left bank of the river as the river is not so big and in the dry season there is not much water in the river. The cremation platforms are located on the right bank of the river. As the dead body arrives there are ceremonies from cleansing up to burning of the body. There are special platforms which are used for royalties and high-class officials. An observation deck is good view point to see the temples and activities in and around the temple. Unfortunately, the main shrine is closed for the foreigners.
6.Walk in the streets of Bhaktapur and discover the oldest remaining palace of Kathmandu valley
Even a novice guide gets lost in the streets of Bhaktapur, but this is not a big town, the treasure packed town with so many tiny streets is the wonders to discover and walk around. One can practice pottery and one can try spicy Newari delicacies in this town. Regarding the monuments the five roofed Nyatpole is still survived even during different episodes of earthquake. The secluded courtyard is open to only Hindus but rest of the palace building can be seen. The enjoyment of trying Ju Ju Dhau sitting on a street gives immense pleasure to many yogurt lovers. The fifty-five windowed palace and its surrounding temples are of historical and cultural importance to all.
7.Discover the oldest temple of Nepal, Changunarayan, observe its vicinity and day to day life as well as capture lush green terraces
The drive to Changunarayan hill itself is a romantic experience, besides the brick kilns on the middle of the farmland the nice green terraces in rainy season and yellowish color during the harvesting season make you think how the fertile Kathmandu valley was destroyed to make concrete buildings. After making few minutes of stone paved stair cases one can reach the oldest temple of Changunarayan which was once inside the chaughera and also inside the forest of magnolia. As it was not visible during invasion by Samasuddina during 12th century it remained intact and timely renovated. The inscription on the pillar there is considered original from 5th century.
8.Drive to windy hills of Nagarkot, breathe fresh air here, overnight stay to observe the sunrise with mountain range
Hunters and fishers are the biggest liars but our climatic condition in Nagarkot is above this. Many days there is a very good views of the mountain and many days there will be dense fog even it is hard to see your spouse who is 5m. apart from you. Once they cancelled the mountain flights then we moved to Nagarkot there was a great view of mountains, the fact was Kathmandu airport is closed due to poor visibility but the mountains were clear.
9.Discover the small old Newar town of Dhulikhel, going to the Namobuddha discovering the monastery and back to Panauti to see the still survived old town
Although Dhulikhel now houses many new constructions it has its own Encanto. The lifestyle there with few temples will be beaten by the 1000 steps and a view point from where one can observe the Panchakhal valley. Namobuddha monastery is one of its kind to give permission for foreigners observe monastic life. One can enjoy the night stay there in guest house run by the monastery and participate with monks for worship and meals. The meals at monastery is an experience but not of the test to the foreigner, give a try to a café nearby and fulfill your appetite. Panauti the same day or next day before returning to Kathmandu gives an insight to old survived towns in Nepal.
10.Trip to Everest on small fixed wings airplanes
If you have money and power walk all the way to Everest, if you have thicker wallet take a helicopter trip to Everest, but not the above condition and still want to get extra take a mountain flight which is operated in the morning to show the range including Everest and many other peaks. Window for everyone, although it is scratched little bit and seat under the propeller for at least few passengers but still worth flying. The flight is not cheap but it is a unique budget and muscle friendly way to see the Everest.
11.Take a walk in Ason and Indrachok
Street life, street shops, vegetable market, chaos all meet in this walk. Many people find this walk very interesting if you do it early in the morning and late in the afternoon. One can go inside the small monuments to go away from chaos and take some rest.
12.Discover serene village of Kirtipur with Pharping and Dakshinkali
Many years back Kirtipur was wanderer’s choice with stunning temples and view of the city and remain in shadow for few years but now a days reviving again. Pharping has a nice landscape and monastery with a famous cave where guru Rimpoche has meditated. Pharping actually is a spiritual place than other major attraction. Dakshinkali is a small shrine of powerful goddess where Hindus go for sacrifice to get a power.
13.Feel the peace of dream garden and have a coffee at Kaiser Café
Inside the chaos of Thamel, a tiny cozy garden where one can sit and feel the peace for few minutes to hour and drink a coffee at royalty’s place although it is not budget friendly brings change in you and rejuvenate you to fight the chaos again.