Kathmandu comes to you like images out of a picture book. As this magical landscape opens up before you, let your guide share with you the history and secrets of this spectacular place.
During your day, you’ll experience the old houses, temples, stupas and chatyas that are scattered across the landscape. You’ll learn legends of the city and visit iconic locales such as the Kathmandu Durbar Square and the Kumari Ghar.
First off, your guide will share with you the story of the founding of Kathmandu. According to legend, Gunakamadeva was assigned to build a city by Goddess Mahalaksmi between two rivers, Bagmati and Bisumati. The old name of the city was Kantipur. The city’s name changed after the construction of a scattal from the wood of a single tree, named Kathmandu (a sankrit word meaning house of wood). From here, you set off into the Durbar Square for a look at the Palace Complex of the city.
At the end of the square, you’ll find a lovely woodcarving dedicated to the Gods and Goddesses of this place. Both Hindu and Buddhist iconography is present here, and you’ll find the two cultures greatly intertwined in their respect for the Goddess Kumari.
The Mother Goddess Kumari holds old tradition over the sub-continent, and your guide will help open your eyes to this important symbol of power and energy. While worshiped in many forms, Kumari can be seen in the visages of Bhavani, Durga, Kali and even as Sawar – the representation of non-violence and peace. In this yin-yang representation, we find solace.
One of the most popular temples in Kathmandu is Kastha Mandap, and you’ll vista here with its beautiful temple. It is said that this temple was carved out of one single Sorea Robusta tree, and in the center you can see the statue of the Hindu God Gorakh Nath, alongside the Ganesh statues.
We’ll also visit Maru Ganesh, this small temple dedicated to the god. Many in the Kathmandu valley worship Ganesh, where you can receive alms from the priest on Tuesdays.
Next up it’s a visit to the tallest temple in Kathmandu, the Mahadeva Temple. Here you can snap a lovely photo of Durbar Square and explore this lovely church built in 1690.
No visit to Ganesh would be complete without a stop off at his father’s house, the Shiva Pravati Temple. This temple was constructed in 1750 and boasts majestic stone carvings.
On the east side of Siva Parvati lies the Bhagawati, where it is believed that Prithivi Narayan Shah had brought an image of Bhagawati from Nuwakot and named the temple after it. It has the finest wood carving not only in the temple, but also in the whole Durbar Square complex. It is difficult to locate the temple because of its narrow path.
Continuing along our temple tour, we’ll stop at Pashupati, which in Nepali means “Lord of the Animals.” This pagoda style Hindu temple is dedicated to Shiva and has brought worshippers here for at least 2000 years. This most sacred of Hindu Temples is a pilgrimage site that has existed in some form since 879. However, this pure Gold temple was completed in 1697 by King Bhupatindra Malla. Please note, that only Hindu’s are allowed inside this temple.
Finally, it’s a stop off at the Swoyambhunth Temple, which sits atop a greek hill west of Kathmandu. This gives you a wonderful overview of all that you’ve seen today, and you can relax with the all seeing eye of the great Buddha looking out in all directions over the valley. There are spectacular prayer wheels here, and the umbrella sitting atop the Stupa brings you one step closer to your own personal Nirvana, should you choose to take the journey. This last stop is a UNESCO world heritage site, and a truly majestic end to your day of exploring Kathmandu’s temples.
• Air-conditioned transportation
• English-speaking tour guide