Kathmandu Valley, one of the most beautiful cities of Nepal is a paradise in itself. The city has many UNESCO world heritage sites, hiking and cycling trails, sumptuous monasteries, and outstanding viewpoint locations.
Kathmandu is the gateway to Nepal. There are many reasons why Kathmandu is the gateway; first Kathmandu is the entrance for a tourist in Nepal and secondly, Kathmandu city is only the city of Nepal that has the international airport.
Kathmandu is the most developed city of Nepal as well. All major tourism agencies are situated in Kathmandu. Tourists who visit Nepal make Kathmandu a hub to disperse for other destinations like Pokhara, Chitwan and other major tourist destinations. People often visit the most visited places or most advertised places in Kathmandu. There are many unexplored and unexploited places around Kathmandu that are equally majestic and exhilarating.
Some places to Visit in Kathmandu before you leave are
Chisapani is a small village nestled on the top of a hill inside Shivapuri National Park. Chisapani is one day hike from Kathmandu Valley. You can reach Chisapani in 4-5 hours hike from Sundarijal. The hiking trail falls inside the Shivapuri National Park. The park consists of several beautiful waterfalls and ponds.
Chisapani is located at an altitude of 2,160 meters; which is the nearest and one of the best place to view snow-capped mountains from a range. Tourists who prefer short stay in Nepal can take this two day trip of Chisapani to get the feel of majestic mountains and the natural beauty of Nepal.
Chisapani trip can also be extended for a round trip to Nagarkot. The hiking route is connected with passes through the picturesque traditional village, Mulkharka and later connects with Nagarkot. Chisapani is the nearest destination from Kathmandu to view Annapurna, Manaslu and Ganesh Himal range.
It is rather easy to reach Chisapani. Bus from Kathmandu to Sundariajal leaves every 30 minutes from Ratnapark. You can catch the bus from there and the last stop of the bus is Sundarijal. From Sundarijal, you can start your hike through the national park. The route is well mapped and people often travel the route.
Dhulikhel is very popular to see a panorama of the Himalayas. Dhulikhel is 30 km east from Kathmandu and can be reached in around 2 hours. Situated at an elevation of 1,550 m you can see the mountain ranges of Langtang, Gauri Shankar, and Numbur. Dhulikhel is also an old Newari settlement where tourists can experience a unique Newari lifestyle and culture. It lies in Araniko Highway that links Nepal to China. Dhulikhel used to be the trading center for centuries; it is still the commercial route connecting Nepal to Tibet.
Dhulikhel is the best place for those who like to escape from bustling Kathmandu valley to unwind under the foot of nature enjoying the serene atmosphere. Dhulikhel is bounded with green forests whereas the lower plains look exceptionally beautiful with carved agricultural terraces. Dhulikhel offers an outstanding view of Himalayan ranges that stretches from Mount Annapurna in the far west to Mount Caroling in the Far East and one can enjoy the sunrise and sunset view. More than 20 Himalayan peaks can be viewed from Dhulikhel.
The botanical garden is dedicated to cultivation, display, and collection of a wide range of plants. The garden comprises greenhouses and shade houses to protect and study tropical plants, alpine plants, and other rare plants. Godavari is full of biodiversity richness; the jungle of Godavari is home to at least 256 species of birds and around 300 species of butterflies and moths. The botanical is one of the places to visit in Kathmandu.
The botanical garden lies southwest part of Kathmandu in Village Development Committee of Godavari. Godavari as a whole is a tourist destination. It is a small town located on the ridge of the Mahabharat range hill. Godavari is covered by dense forest and hence has a very fresh and clean environment. This place is also popular as a stop on the way to Phulchauki. Phulchoki is a hilltop near Godavari at the height of 2,715 meters offers splendid views of the Kathmandu valley with a backdrop of the Himalayas. It is a popular hiking and bird watching destination near Kathmandu. In some cold winter days, there is a chance of snowfall and this place has been an ideal and nearest destination for snow lovers.
Narayanhiti palace is the home of former Kings and Queens of Nepal. The palace is one of the most exquisite palaces of Nepal. The palace has three wings, the guest wing, state wing and private wing. The area of the palace is 3,794-meter square. There are 52 rooms in the palace, each named after the districts of Nepal.
After the revolution of 2008, the Shah d regime came into an end and the newly appointed parliament gave King Gyanendra 15 days to leave the palace. The palace turned to a public museum in February 2009.. It was inside Naryanhiti palace that the Royal massacre of 2001 took place. You can view the artistic beauty and glimpse the royal living standards along with the crown jewel inside the museum.
Nagarkot is one of the most visited destinations by tourists in Nepal. Nagarkot nestled on the height of 2.195 meters and is popular to watch sunrise, sunset and view the Himalayas range. The ridge offers possibly the best afar display of Himalayas including Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) and several countless popular and unnamed peaks like Manaslu, Ganesh, Langtang, Choba Bhamree, Gauri Shankar, Shisha Pangma and so forth.
Visitors must stay overnight to view the sunrise from Nagarkot.
The scene of sunrays hitting the face of the mountains is one of the iconic moments you will experience in Nepal. Nagarkot is also considered as hiking and cycling destination. People looking for a bit of workout and sightseeing take the hiking trails and cycling trails to Nagarkot. Hiking to Nagarkot can be done through Shivapuri National Park on a two-day trek. Nagarkot is also famous for Everest Paragliding.
Seto Gumba also known as White Gumba is a monastery in the hills of Kathmandu. Seto Gumba opens only on Sundays so better prepare beforehand when you get to Nepal if you visit this beautiful monastery. Seto Gumba is an exceptional place to visit in Kathmandu. The gumba is located in Ramkot VDC of Kathmandu in an area called Sitapaila. The monastery is outside the ring road of the Kathmandu Valley to the North West.
The traditional name of Seto Gumba is Druk Amitabh Monastery. This monastery has a unique feature. It belongs to nuns (female monks). Only female monks reside in the monastery. White gumba is a very beautiful place from where scenery of Kathmandu valley is seen.
You can visit the monastery and engage in photography and sightseeing. Taking pictures inside the Gumba is prohibited. You can also meditate inside the monastery on your own.
Visitors also mustn’t enter in restricted areas inside the monastery. The gumba area is a clean and peaceful, so making loud noises and littering around the area should be avoided. Drinking alcohol, smoking and taking outside beverages and food items inside the temple is not entertained by the nuns.
Nama Buddha is a Buddhist pilgrim site situated on the east of Kathmandu Valley. Nama Buddha is 40 km far from Kathmandu and falls under the list of places to visit in Kathmandu. Namo Buddha is among the holiest Buddhist pilgrims in Nepal that carries enormous historical importance.
The traditional name of Nama Buddha is Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery. The Thrangu Tashi Yangtse monastery is a home to more than 250 young monks. Tourists can join the morning and evening prayer in the monastery. The monastery is open to public viewing on Saturdays.
You can reach Nama Buddha in about 4 hours on a local bus. The monastery is in a serene environment between hills on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Namo Buddha is a one day trip. You can visit the monastery and stay the night in Dhulikhel.
Kakani is another hilltop town on the hills of Kathmandu Valley at the elevation of 2.073 meters above sea level. The old settlement of Kakani is full of Tamang ethnic group that still live in the nearby hills. Kakani is a peaceful area famous for picnic and sightseeing. Nowadays, many schools and colleges from Kathmandu bring their students for a day picnic or a camp program.
Kakani is popular among tourists for viewing a range of mountains on the horizon. The hilltop of Kakani can be the destination to enjoy views of Ganesh Himal, Annapurna Range and Dhaulagiri Range. Make sure you avoid visiting Kakani on Saturdays. Saturdays are very noisy and crowded because of numerous picnics and other ceremonies.
These are some of the beautiful places in Kathmandu that you must visit during your visit to Nepal. These places are away from the crowd and bustling city. The environment is sound and peaceful. You can visit these places to calm your mind and avoid the dust and fumes of the city and relax in the fresh air in the hills. There are several other places in the vicinity of Kathmandu to visit like the ones mentioned above.
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