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Capital City Of Nepal

kathmandu

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Thinking of traveling to Nepal? Are you interested to learn detailed information about Nepal’s capital? Do you wish to know what are the favorite things to do in the capital of Nepal? You have come to the right place!

This article will help you understand all the details regarding the capital city of Nepal, including the best things to do, top hotels to stay, top restaurants to dine at, top sights to visit and much more!

Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal and is located between two major cities: Bhaktapur and Patan. The city’s name is derived from Kaasthamandap, a monumental wooden structure in the heart of Durbar Square.

Kathmandu’s mythical history is estimated to be around 2000 years old. Buddhists and Hindus dominantly populate the city. Consequently, the city is a unique blend of culture and traditions. The city mainly showcases vibrant cultural traditions passed down for many generations.

The History of Kathmandu

Most of Kathmandu’s history is derived from the ancient Swayambhu Purana. The mythological stories in this Purana suggest that back in ancient times, the city was a lake called “Nagdaha”. The story tells that Nepal’s Capital was a giant lake of snakes, which was later drained by the mighty swing of Bodhisattva Manjushree.

After some time, the valley was ruled by Gopalas, Aabhirs, Mahispalas, Somavanshis, and Kiratas. The city later experienced significant cultural and economic revolutions during the 4th to 9th centuries. In this period, the capital city of Nepal was ruled by the Licchavi kings.

After their short reign, the Malla Kings took over the city during the 13th to 18th centuries. During this time, numerous temple-filled squares and palace complexes were built under the supervision of the Malla Kings. Further, around this time, the Newari inhabitants of Kathmandu introduced the famous “Pagoda temple.”

The unique nature of their architecture started to gain popularity among neighboring cities like Kirtipur, Bhaktapur, and Patan. 

How The Modern Era Influenced Kathmandu?

The Modern era has significantly impacted the city of Kathmandu, Nepal. The arrival of Western travelers and traders in the late 19th century brought new ideas, technologies, and cultural practices to the region.

Consequently, it led to the introduction of modern amenities such as electricity, automobiles, and telecommunication. In Western architectural styles, Kathmandu city also saw the construction of new buildings, such as hotels and government offices.

The modernization of Kathmandu has also brought new economic opportunities, leading to increased tourism and the growth of the service sector. However, it has also led to the loss of traditional architecture and cultural heritage sites, which are being replaced by modern European buildings.

Kathmandu Geography and Climate

Nepal’s Capital city is located in the northwestern part and sits at a height of 1,500 meters from the sea level. The city is surrounded by hills such as the Chandragiri, Shivapuri, Nagarjun, and Phulchowki. According to a recent census, the city is occupied by 1.442 million inhabitants.

The city covers a total area of 570 kilometers and consists of significant rivers like the Bagmati River and other smaller rivers and tributaries. Further, the city has numerous historical and religious sites like Changu Narayan, Boudhanath, Swayambhunath, and Pashupatinath temple.

The Kathmandu valley has a subtropical highland climate with hot summers and cool winters. The temperature in the capital city of Nepal varies greatly depending on the time of year. The average temperature is around ten °C from December to February.

The months of June to August experience temperatures around 25°C to 40°C during the peak summer season. The temperature is pleasant and relaxed in the rainy season, with occasional rains throughout the Kathmandu valley. Overall, the climate of Kathmandu is characterized by warm summers and cool winters, with moderate to high humidity throughout the year.

The article aims to help you gain more insight into Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. If you seek to travel to other regions of the Himalayan country, we recommend the best-rated trekking companies in Nepal and top Nepalese travel agencies. They have attained numerous positive reviews through years of providing excellent service. So to enhance your visit to Nepal, you should go through the packages and deals provided by these companies to ensure a hassle-free and memorable trip.

Things to Do in The Capital City of Nepal

Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu is a vibrant and culturally rich destination for tourists. Kathmandu offers a wide range of experiences from exploring ancient temples and palaces to shopping in bustling markets and trying traditional Nepalese cuisine.

If you are interested in history and culture, outdoor adventure, or simply soaking up the local atmosphere, Kathmandu has numerous opportunities to offer you. You can visit famous temples such as Pashupatinath Temple, which is regarded to be one of the holiest Hindu temples in the world.

You’ll also have the chance to explore UNESCO world heritage sites, historic landmarks, temples, and other hidden gems. The city is steeped in culture and history, reflecting the country’s rich heritage. Travelers can explore these historical sites to learn and better understand about the past and present of Kathmandu.

To get better insight, we have listed some of the best activities you can do during your tour of Nepal. 

Explore The Historic Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square is a historic complex located in the heart of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. It served as a royal palace for the Shah and Malla dynasties during ancient times. They held many events in durbar square, such as royal ceremonies and coronations.

Due to its historical importance, Kathmandu Durbar Square has been listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Consequently, it is considered an important historical and cultural attraction of Nepal.

It is home to numerous palaces, monuments, and temples, which reflect a unique aspect of Kathmandu’s rich architectural and cultural heritage. During your tour in Kathmandu, you can witness the intricate woodwork, stunning temples, and carvings, along with the bustling energy of the surrounding area.

Hang Out in Thamel

thamel

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Thamel is a vibrant neighborhood and a popular destination of capital of Nepal for tourists and backpackers. It is known for numerous shops and vendors selling textiles, jewelry, clothing, and souvenirs. After you are done shopping, we recommend you try the street foods from the wide range of food stalls and restaurants in Thamel.

Several reputable shops sell trekking and mountaineering gear if you plan to start a trekking expedition. You can find everything from tents to sleeping bags and climbing gear.

Visit The Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple is one of the four sacred places in Asia for Hindus worldwide. It is located near the banks of the Bagmati river. The temple was built during the 5th century and is considered an important religious site for deities from Nepal and India.

The temple is built in the pagoda style, with a golden roof, four doors covered with silver, and wood carvings of supreme quality. It covers a total area of 284 hectares and includes multiple shrines and smaller temples within its premises.

Travelers can admire the temple’s beautiful architecture and intricate carvings and explore the beautiful natural setting and the tranquil Bagmati River. Pashupatinath is also known for being an important location to commence traditional Hindu cremation ceremonies.

Any traveler needs to visit the holy Pashupatinath to experience the unique tradition, culture, and religion of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. Besides, visitors should know that authorities do not allow photography within the temple premises.

Explore Swayambhunath Temple

Swayambhunath

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Swayambhunath Temple, commonly known as the Monkey Temple, is located in the city’s northwestern part. Similar to Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath temple is one of Nepal’s oldest and most important religious heritage sites.

The temple sits atop an overlooking Kathmandu valley, offering travelers a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding area. Swayambhunath is characterized by a unique structure featuring a large dome with a stupa at the top.

Beautiful ornate gateways, temples, and other smaller stupas surround the temple. Visitors admire it for its sculpture, painting, and carvings, which depict Buddhist mythology. If you plan to visit the temple, you can participate in traditional Buddhist ceremonies and rituals.

Garden of Dreams

If you want to take a break after traveling around the capital city Kathmandu, The Garden of Dreams is a perfect destination to spend your day with your friends and family. The park was built by Marshal Kaiser Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana in the early 20th century and became public to visitors in 1970.

It covers a total area of over 6 acres and is popular among visitors for its intricate design and beautiful garden, fountains, and pools. Visitors like you can escape the chaos of the city and stroll through the garden, and admire the beauty of the place’s blooming flowers and hidden nooks.

The Garden of Dream serves as a peaceful retreat for anyone looking to relax in a peaceful and beautiful environment.

Museum and Art Galleries

Apart from religious heritage, Kathmandu is renowned for the variety of museums it has to offer. They provide a glimpse of Kathmandu’s heritage, tradition, and history. These museums are dedicated to showcasing and preserving a vast collection of exhibits and artifacts of Nepal.

Visitors can witness a massive collection of weapons, traditional costumes and ancient manuscripts of different ethnic groups of Nepal. Some of these museums demonstrate the diverse flora and fauna available in Nepal. You can learn exclusively about the variety of species of animals and birds in different regions of the country.

Besides, through this exploration, you will learn about Nepal’s political and cultural history and gain a deeper understanding of the current state and development of the country. Some museums you can visit in Kathmandu include the Tibet Museum, the National Museum of Nepal, and the Natural History Museum.

Popular Restaurants in Nepal

Similar to cities like Pokhara, Nepal’s capital Kathmandu consists of numerous top restaurants that offer travelers the taste of Nepal’s culinary heritage. Some of the most popular food outlets among the best include:

  • Bhojan Griha: This particular restaurant serves authentic Nepali dishes such as Dhedo, Sel-Roti, Gundrunk, Thakali Khana Set, and Momo. It is located in center of capital city of Nepal, Dillibazar, Kathmandu.
  • Roadhouse Café: The Roadhouse, located in Thamel, Kathmandu, is another popular choice among visitors. The outlet is famous for its live music performance, Western menu, and relaxed atmosphere.
  •  Himalayan Java: There are numerous Himalayan Java outlets across Kathmandu. So you can easily access any one of them. It is a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy freshly made tea and coffee.

Apart from these top restaurants, we recommend you try other distinguished outlets such as Fire & Ice Pizzeria and OR2K. And the Yellow Chilli. So, if you are looking to try international cuisine or traditional Nepalese dishes, there is a restaurant in Kathmandu, which will surely satisfy your cravings.

Activities and Adventure

Activities and Adventure

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The capital city of Nepal is a favorite destination for adventure travelers to enjoy. The valley’s surrounding hills offer tremendous opportunities for travelers to enjoy activities such as mountain biking, trekking, and hiking.

If you seek a more adventurous activity, you can enjoy an adrenaline-fueled experience while rock climbing, kayaking, and rafting on the soaring rivers near the Kathmandu valley. On the other hand, for peaceful outdoor activities, you can explore the local hills around the city for photography and birdwatching.

To make your travel more convenient, we have listed activities you can choose and enjoy during your visit to Kathmandu.

Outdoor activities and sportsAdventure tours and treksExploring the surrounding valleys
SoccerJamacho hikeBird watching
SkateboardingPhulchowki hikePhotography
Zip LiningLangtang valley trekExplore Boudhanath Stupa
Rock ClimbingChiso Pani to Nagarkot hikeVisit Gokarna Forest Resort

Transportation in Kathmandu

Nepal’s Capital, Kathmandu, combines modern and traditional transportation. Some of the most common modes of traveling in Kathmandu are buses, rickshaws, and taxis. If you plan to travel by airplane, you can book a ticket and catch your flight to Tribhuvan International Airport.

While traveling in Kathmandu, you should remember that the traffic can get congested during peak hours. So, we suggest you avoid hitching a ride on public vehicles around 9:00 am and 5:00 pm in the late evening.

It should also be noted that you can make your way around the city on foot. By doing so, you will be able to explore the city streets without any restraints and expose yourself to the natural ambiance of Kathmandu city.

Accommodation in Kathmandu

Hotels in Kathmandu range from luxury brands to budget-friendly options. If you plan to reduce your travel expenses, numerous budget hotels and guesthouses offer excellent service at an affordable price range.

On the other hand, if you are looking forward to spending your time in a luxurious hotel. You can book a room at four to five-star hotels that provide top-notch services and amenities. Besides, homestays are available for travelers who want to experience unique hospitality blended with an immersive cultural experience.

It should be noted that the prices of these hotels fluctuate according to the season. So, we recommend you research and find yourself suitable accommodation on the basis of your budget and needs.

Regardless, we recommend these top hotels for you to experience high-quality services and amenities.

  • Yak & Yeti Hotel
  • Hotel Himalaya
  • Hotel de Annapurna
  • Radisson Hotel Kathmandu
  • The Malla Hotel

While visiting Kathmandu of Nepal, you may love to trek the impressive Nepalese mountains. On our Nepal tour package page, you can find the best trekking deals offered by the top-rated local trekking companies. If you are interested in trekking to the Everest base camp, you can visit our article named – best rated and most highly reviewed Everest base camp trekking companies.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Kathmandu

Visiting the capital city of Nepal is a rewarding experience for travelers who want to immerse themselves in our rich history and cultural diversity. The experience of stunning natural beauty surrounding the city and the mixed fusion of distinctive traditions is genuinely mesmerizing.

It is essential to respect the local customs and traditions of the local community. We recommend you interact with the people, as they are genuinely hospitable and will help you understand their sacred customs and guide you through your exploration of the city.

In addition, we advise you to book your accommodation, and activities in advance during the peak tourist season in Nepal. Not only will it offer you a favorable package deal but also a smooth and enjoyable trip.

In conclusion, Kathmandu is a perfect destination for travelers who want to explore a unique blend of culture, tradition, and important cultural heritage. To further enhance your experience, we recommend you go through the Kathmandu article tour. It will give you a better insight into traveling to the capital city of Nepal and additional information to make your trip memorable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kathmandu City known for?

The capital city is known for being Nepal’s cultural and vibrant hub and as a gateway to the majestic Himalayas.

What is the best time to visit Kathmandu?

The best time to travel to Kathmandu is from September to November; during this season, the weather is favorable for outdoor excursions and exploration of the city.

What is the language spoken in Kathmandu?

Most Nepalese people speak Nepali in Kathmandu, but most can converse in English.

What is the currency used in Kathmandu?

The Nepalese Rupee is used for financial transactions in Kathmandu.

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