The main attraction of the country is the mountains. Nepal hosts all or part of the eight highest peaks in the world, the famous Annapurna and Machapukchi massifs, as well as thousands of hiking trails, usually passing through the most picturesque places. Rafting on mountain rivers on rafts, kayaks or other watercraft is no less popular. But besides the usual image of the “Mecca of mountaineering”, it is worth paying attention to the history and culture of Nepal – an ancient and original country. Monasteries and stupas, thousands of rituals and ceremonies, the rich history and mythology of the country, the unique coexistence of dozens of nationalities and religions, hundreds of festivals and religious ceremonies – this is another, no less interesting face of the country. The Kathmandu valley is the most populated part of the country.
According to recipesinthebox, there are three main cities of the country, three capitals – modern Kathmandu, as well as two old ones – Lalitpur (Patan) and Bhaktapur (Bhadgaon). Kathmandu is a fairly large city, but despite its metropolitan functions, it has remained almost the same as it was a hundred years ago – narrow streets, many houses of the most unusual architecture, hundreds of temples and stupas, the eternal aroma of incense and the rhythm of life incomprehensible to a foreigner. There is clearly not enough space in a small valley, so it is quite difficult to understand where Kathmandu ends and, for example, Lalitpur begins. And at the same time, there is a lot of greenery on the surrounding hills, and literally near the side of the capital there is a small nature reserve Nagarzhun. There are hundreds of attractions in the city, among which the most interesting are the wooden temple of Kasthamandal (723), which gave the name to the city, the temples of Jagannath, Ashok Vinayak (Maru Ganesh, III century BC), Jaishi Deval (Shiva temple, famous for its carvings of erotic content), Sveta Machchendranath (Janmadio), the temple of the sky god Akash Bhairav, the huge temple of Taleju (1549, open only to Nepalese once a year), lying on an island in the center of the Rani Pokhari pond (XVII century), Kumari Ghar (the temple of the goddess Kumari, in which the living personification of the deity lives), as well as many small places of worship, often located in the most unexpected places. The famous stupas of the capital deserve special attention – the colossal Swayambhunat (Swayambhu, “Temple of Monkeys”, founded more than 2 thousand years ago) on a hill in the northwestern part of the city (according to legend, it was here that the earth arose from the lotus seed thrown by Shiva), Budnat (the most the great stupa of Nepal and the recognized center of Buddhism) and a huge area of monasteries on the northeastern outskirts of the city, A huge number of markets and small religious buildings are concentrated in the vicinity of the square, so you can wander here for hours.
Also of interest are the Thaumadhi-Tole Square with the five-tiered pagoda Nyatapole, the “old city” Tundikhel with the Dharahara tower (59 m, 1832) and fountains, the water of which flows from golden taps, a unique center for rare books and manuscripts – the Kaiser Library, a tourist quarter Tamel with many shops for tourists and the famous Yak-and-Yeti hotel (the first hotel in the country, opened by the Russian traveler B. Lisanevich), the National Historical Museum at the foot of Swayambhunat Hill, Ratna Park, etc. A huge number of interesting places are also concentrated in the vicinity of the city. places – the famous statue of Vishnu lying on a bed of snakes in the center of the pond – Budhanilkantha (V century), Balaju water garden (XVIII century, 5 km. northwest of Kathmandu) with a cascade of 22 fountains, the Gokarnath temple, the temple complexes of Guheshvari and Vishvarut, the magnificent stupa (III century BC) and the Chandra Vinayak temple in Chabakhil with an extensive “sculptural park” around, the colorful town of Kirtipur, Dakshinkali Temple, the National Museum with a good historical and weapons collection (located 2.5 km west of the capital), Chobhar Gorge with the magnificent Adinath Temple, the mountain resort of Nagarkot (35 km east of Kathmandu) and the Gokarna Royal Reserve (Gokarna Safari Park) with the Gokarneshwar Mahadev Pagoda. Behind the Bagmati River begins the satellite city of Kathmandu – Lalitpur or Patan (“city of beauty”), which was until 1768 the capital of Nepal (founded in 229). Here are interesting four stupas of Ashoka (III century BC), a unique terracotta Temple of a Thousand Buddhas, the five-tiered shikhara Kumbeshwar (1392, the oldest temple in the city), the Krishna Mandir temple (1723), the Buddhist monastery Rudravarna Mahabihar, in which the Nepalese kings were crowned, the Aksheswor Mahabihar temple (XVII century), the central Darbar square surrounded by stupas and the Royal Palace, Jagannaraya temple, city gate decorated with Ganesha and Krishna sculptures, Hiranya Varna Mashavishar shrine, Mahabodha temple (a copy of the temple in Bodhyaga in India, where Buddha gained enlightenment), Visankhu Narayan temple, the only zoo in the country, as well as numerous jewelry and art workshops (the city has long been famous for its blacksmiths and chasers). 10 km. southeast of Patan is Mount Pulchowk (2758 m), on top of which is a Buddhist monastery, and at the foot is the Godavari Royal Botanical Garden. Bhaktapur (Bhadgaon, ” the city is quite well suited to serve tourists – along the entire coast of the lake stretches the area of countless hotels, restaurants and shops Lakeside, on the island in the center of the lake there is a Hindu temple, on the opposite shore – the magnificent Shanti Stupa and Bishwa Shanti Monastery, and in the vicinity of the city – many monasteries, the “sacred” caves of Mahendra Gufa or Rupa, Venas-Tuls lakes and the unique Davis Fall waterfall. But the main thing for which tourists come to Pokhara is a magnificent panorama of the snow-covered peaks of the Annapurna massif and trekking in the surrounding mountains. In the south of the country is the town of Lumbini – a place that is considered the birthplace of the Buddha. In memory of this event, there is a pond in which the mother of Siddhartha Gautama bathed before giving birth, a temple in her honor, many Buddhist temples, built in different architectural styles by countries where Buddhism is practiced. Temples are scattered throughout the vast park that surrounds this sacred place for every Buddhist. Marfa (2600 m.) is also interesting – the place of residence of the Tibetans, famous for its apple orchards, apple cider and pies, as well as a functioning temple. After the annexation of Tibet by China, many refugees settled in the country, bringing with them their traditions and customs. Thyangpoche, Pangpoche and Devuche monasteries are recognized centers of the Tibetan variety of Buddhism and Lamaism.