See the sights of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal on a 6-hour tour of an area that covers 218 square miles (350 kilometers). Kathmandu Valley contains 3 fabulous cities of great historic, religious, and cultural interest: Kathmandu (Kantipur), Patan (Lalitpur), and Bhadgaon (Bhaktapur). The Kathmandu Valley has often been described as an open-air art gallery with thousands of sacred shrines in brick, stone, metal, and wood scattered throughout it.
On your tour, you will not be able to see the entire valley, but you will be taken to some of the most important and monumental sites. Many of these are squares or temples that are also designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
This square is home to a house full of woodcarvings of different gods and goddesses. In this 3-story palace you will also find the living Goddess Kumari. Both Hindus and Buddhists venerate her, and she serves as an illustration of the harmony between the Hindu and Buddhist people.
One of the popular temples of Kathmandu Durbar Square is Kashamandap, locally known as Maru Sattal. It is believed that the name of Kathmandu City is derived from the name of this temple, and it is said that this temple is built by one single Sal (sorea robusta) tree. At the center of this temple, one can see the statue of a Hindu god Gorakhnath and in the 4 corners of the temple one can see Ganesh statues.
The most visited temple of Kathmandu is Maru Ganesh. The people of Kathmandu Valley believe that the 4 Ganesh statues in the 4 corners of Kathmandu Valley protect the people living in Kathmandu. Every day people go to worship this temple, and especially on Tuesdays, you can see a long line of people waiting for hours to worship. Other interesting things to see here are Mahadev Temple, Shiva Parvati Temple, Bhagwati Temple, Old Palace, Saraswoti Temple, Krishna Octangular Temple, Big Drums, Kal Bhairav, Jagannath Temple, and Tal.
Swayambhunath / Monkey Temple is a 2,500-year-old Stupa situated overlooking Kathmandu Valley. Its name comes from the holy monkey living in part of the complex. The painted eyes on 4 sides symbolize the all-seeing eyes of Buddha, and the site is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites.
Pashupatinath is a temple of Lord Shiva and the most sacred of the 275 Shiva temples worldwide. It is also the oldest temple in Kathmandu. The Bagmati River runs alongside the temple, and is the site not only of pilgrims who bathe in the river, but also contains a special area where members of the royal family are cremated.
Boudhanath Stupa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also one of the biggest in the world. It is the most important pilgrimage site for Tibetan Buddhists, who come here by the thousands during the winter festival to pay their respect.
Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square is home to the former Patan Royal Family. The most photographed of Kathmandu’s 3 Durbar Squares, it features a remarkable display of Newari architecture. Its main attractions include the Krishna Temple, with its 21 golden pinnacles, Rudra Varna Mahavihar, a Buddhist Monastery that houses local treasures, and the central courtyard of Mul Chowk.