As seen in the photos, the Buddha eyes are look down from the top of the stupas with a contemplating look. Swayambhunath is the most popular Buddhist temple in Nepal and is also known as the Monkey Temple, WATCH OUT! Be careful with them, they are little thieves. There are also lovely views of the Kathmandu Valley.
It was damaged in the 2015 earthquake but with support from the Buddhist community it has been fully restored in under 2 years. On story claims the stupa was founded by a widow. When she asked the king for permission she was told it could not be bigger than the size of a single ox skin.
However the cunning widow cut the ox skin into thin strips. The result is the 6,756 square meter site which was listed by UNESCO in 1979. Take some time to wander around, watching today's widows turning the prayer wheels, looking around the shops selling singing and medicinal bowls or painted mandalas or getting a bird's eye view from a rooftop restaurant whilst enjoying a 'buff' momo.
The Kathmandu Durbar Square is the main square in Nepal. This is the true epicenter of this chaotic, but charming city. It is also the perfect spot to see some great sites. The square is full of ancient buildings, which are very characteristic of Nepalese architecture. Among them, the palace dedicated to the monkey god Hanuman. When we were there, the statue of Hanuman's face was painted red. In Kathmandu Durbar Square you can also see the Taleju Temple, Jagannath Temple, the super scary Kal Bhairav, the King Pratap Malla statue, the Kasthamandap, the Kumari Ghar Nautale and many more. But what I found interesting was the atmosphere this place had. It was definitely Asia at its best. In the morning it's a place where a ton of cultural charm can be found and in the afternoon it's a veritable market.
Patan is one of the oldest Buddhist cities in the world. Also known as Lalitpur, this little gem in the Kathmandu Valley was founded in the III century BC. One of the most interesting place to visit is its beautiful Patan Durbar Square (or Royal Plaza). In 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its beautiful old buildings. I especially remember the fabulous Krishna Mandir or the Hiranya Varna Mahavir (best known as the Golden Temple of Patan). However, the best of Nepal is its people, their smiles and beautiful colors. A beautiful place to spend an afternoon visiting craft stores or eating in one of the terraces.
Smells, colors, people, all form a part of Thamel, after climbing to the highest mountain you may just want to get lost in the urban world, where time slips by, floating on the aromas of incense mixed with the colors of the dyes in the marketplace.
Pashupatinah is undoubtedly one of the most impressive places in Kathmandu. The city's mortuary is located along the Bagmati, a river that's as sacred for the Napelese people as the Ganges is for Indians. Pashupatinah is located on the outskirts of Kathmandu, but you can walk there, especially if you're staying in Bodhnath. The big ceremonial Hindu city is made up of several buildings and temples. The main one is for Shiva, and non-Hindus aren't allowed to enter. However that pales in comparison to the adventure of walking aimlessly through the mystical city dotted with temples and sculptures minors, and packed with sadhus, or holy men. The ghats of the Bagmati offer a unique and strong: The cremations witnessed closely. Life and death, wealth and extreme poverty, are part of a ritual emotional, intimate and chilling.
In early September, the Indra Jarta festival takes place in Nepal to celebrate Lord Indra, the God of Rain and also the King of Heaven. Thousands of people gather in Kathmandu's Dubar Square to see the Kumari, a child who is revered as a living goddess. The Kumari is selected by tantric ritual from among thirty-two girls between four and seven years of age. They consider the voice, the color of the eyes, the shape of the teeth, etc., during the selection. Then the girls must endure a ritual involving a goddess with the head of a buffalo howling in a darkened room. Only a girl who is able to remain quiet and calm in this frightening environment can become the Living Goddess. She and her family can then move to live in the house prepared for them at Durbar Square until she reaches puberty when new Kumari is chosen.
Mythic, suggestive, and remote, the Kathmandu Valley is a fertile strip of land that has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to the amount of ancient towns and fabulous temples scattered through it. Kathmandu and some surrounding cities (like Patan and Bodhnath) are in the valley, but you can also see far older settlements, including the spectacular, medieval city of Bhaktapur. This makes the perfect base for exploring the region, whether on foot, on mountain bike, or by bus. The valley is stunning and lush, with fields that look like colourful tapestries, and worked by Newari women dressed in red. The valley is crossed by a single road, but it's better to get off the beaten track in search of adventure. You will always find a humble farmhouse, or an ancient temple surrounded by rice or wheat, with smiling people everywhere you go.
Nearby is Patan Kathmandu, with its numerous temples. I was struck especially by Krishna Temple (the 8th incarnation of Vishnu) situated in the central square. At the entrance is rope hanging from the doorway. When asked they said they were ox intestines that were sacrificed sometimes inside the temple. There, among several statues and relics you can see the place where sacrifices are made.
Kathesimbhu Stupa: a few metres from Tahiti Tole, on the right. This Buddhist temple is a highly revered major pilgrimage centre, dating from 1650. It's guarded by two bronze lions and has brightly painted statues.
Pashupatinath is situated on the banks of the Bagmati River, 6 kilometers from Katmandu. It is the most important Hindu center of Nepal and one of the seven most important holy cities for Hindus. Pashupatinah houses a vast complex dedicated to the worship of Pashupati, God of animals, the benevolent Shiva and Parvati, lady of the mountains. Pashupatinah and the Bagmati River are what Varanasi and the River Ganges are to India, sacred places where the dead are cremated. The dead are cremated along the banks of the Bagmati and the ashes and remains are thrown into the river afterwards. In the sacred complex of Pashupatinah many temples can be found as well as theatrical fake sadhus (holy men), cremation ghats (Arya Ghats) as well as a lot of monkeys. I'll never forget the smell of burning flesh.
You'll need plenty of patience to get through the airport. First, you need to fill in forms to get the visa, which costs $25 US dollars, and you need a photo. If you don't have one of your own, there's a booth available. The queue for the visa is tremendous, and plenty of people have problems with money - but I'd recommend waiting until you get to your hotel before changing it.
Everest Base Camp Located at the height of 17500 feet. You can view the beautiful Khumbu Glacier from there.
Everest Base Camp is at the height of 17,500 feet. It take 2 hours from Gorakshep to reach it. You can see several tents near the beautiful and challenging Khumbu Glacier. It is a must-visit.
To get to this temple that's more than 700 years old, you have to climb a winding 12 kilometer hike. Getting to the top of the mountain where the village of Manakamana is isn't easy. This village is about 100 kilometers west of Kathmandu and you can take a bus there from the capital. The truth is that you will reach the Manakamana cable car station, which is an amazing way to get there in just 15 minutes. At the top of the hill you'll find the temple. I was lucky, as many others in Nepal were, to go the same day they were making an offering to a Hindu god. The main religion is Buddhism, although the two coexist here in harmony, so it is at least unusual, this kind of ceremonies in this Buddhist country so where BUDDHA say he was born in Nepal.
The Bagmati River is one of the most important rivers in Nepal, especially given its importance in funeral rites held at the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath. The cremations take place on one side of the river while just on the other side you can laugh at the antics of the monkeys. The monkeys roam in groups and our guide explained that it's very common to see them fight each other - as we saw first-hand. Usually these are territory disputes, or it might be to protect their young. Visitors are advised not to feed or touch the monkeys. The Bagmati River is very polluted and they are not very clean animals, so it's best to avoid them.