Kathmandu Valley

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November 15th 2010
Published: September 9th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

The Kathmandu Valley offers a vast number of important monuments, including both places of pilgrimage for Hindus and Buddhists and old royal cities featuring beautiful architecture.

Founded in the 12th century, Bhaktapur was the capital of Nepal (then the Malla Kingdom) until the 15th century. From then, it was an independent kingdom until it was unified with the kingdoms of Patan and Kathmandu in the 18th century.

Bhaktapur is filled with ancient palaces, courtyards and Hindu and Buddhist sites. The Durbar Square, or Royal Square, is dominated by the ornate 55-Window Palace. The seat of royalty until 1769, the building now houses the National Art Gallery. Nyatpol Temple on Taumadhi Square was built in 1702 and is Nepal's tallest pagoda temple. It is decorated with several pairs of massive stone sculptures. Dattatreya Square features the large three-storied Dattatreya temple that was built in 1428. At the northern end of the square is a 15th century building that is adorned with intricately carved wooden windows including the famous Peacock Window.

The Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath, one of the largest in the world, dominates the skyline some 10km from Kathmandu. The colossal and ancient Buddha's eyes painted on
Durbar Square, PatanDurbar Square, PatanDurbar Square, Patan

Visit one of the rooftop restaurants for a stunning temple and mountain scenery
it and is surrounded by several dozen prayer wheels.

In close proximity to Boudnath stands this significant Hindu temple, the oldest one in Kathmandu. The temple grounds are home to many other temples, shrines and statues. The Bagmati River which runs next to the temple is lined with many ghats that are used for both bathing and cremating.

Similar to both Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, the city of Patan also features a Durbar Square. The traffic-free square is home to an amazing cluster of pagoda temples, stone statues and a palace. Just north of Durbar Square is the 12th century Golden Temple and the tall Kumbheshwor Temple. Dating back to 1391, the temple stands next to a large pond that is used by the locals as their main water supply.

Further afield, the clean air at one of the mountain resorts in Dhulikhel provides a welcome change from the polluted valley. With the snowy mountains as a backdrop, Dhulikhel is a stage of beauty and an ideal place to recover from trekking.

Additional photos below
Photos: 62, Displayed: 23


Nyatapola Temple, BhaktapurNyatapola Temple, Bhaktapur
Nyatapola Temple, Bhaktapur

This 5-storey pagoda is the temple of the Hindu goddess of prosperity
Nyatapola Temple, BhaktapurNyatapola Temple, Bhaktapur
Nyatapola Temple, Bhaktapur

Each level features a pair of guardians
Nyatapola Temple, BhaktapurNyatapola Temple, Bhaktapur
Nyatapola Temple, Bhaktapur

View from the top of the temple platform
Nyatapola Temple, BhaktapurNyatapola Temple, Bhaktapur
Nyatapola Temple, Bhaktapur

The temple was built in 1702.
Durbar Square, BhaktapurDurbar Square, Bhaktapur
Durbar Square, Bhaktapur

A woman walks past the 17th century statues of the Hanuman and Vishnu
Local women, BhaktapurLocal women, Bhaktapur
Local women, Bhaktapur

These women wear a sari-like garment that is draped around the waist and worn with a separate shawl on the upper body
Durbar Square, BhaktapurDurbar Square, Bhaktapur
Durbar Square, Bhaktapur

The National Art gallery, the 55 window palace and two temples make up the eastern end of this impressive square
Dattatreya temple, BhaktapurDattatreya temple, Bhaktapur
Dattatreya temple, Bhaktapur

This temple dates back to 1427 and is guarded by two wrestler stone statues
Siddhi Lakshmi templeSiddhi Lakshmi temple
Siddhi Lakshmi temple

This 17th century temple features horses, rhinos and lions with human faces
Peacock window, BhaktapurPeacock window, Bhaktapur
Peacock window, Bhaktapur

This finely carved wooden window dates back to the 15th century
Patan DhokaPatan Dhoka
Patan Dhoka

The starting point for the Lonely Planet walking tour through Patan
Cheap haircut and shaveCheap haircut and shave
Cheap haircut and shave

Roadside barber in Patan
Barefoot butcherBarefoot butcher
Barefoot butcher

This shows why you should probably stay away from meat whilst in Nepal.

9th September 2011

Magical images from an exotic locale...beautiful

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