Nepal Sightseeing

Cultural tours and sightseeing involves places of various interest in the Kathmandu valley, primarily to ancient religious sites of the two mail religion: Buddhism and Hinduism and the cities of the valley founded at various times from 3rd century B.C. and 9th century A.D. established by the Malla rulers at the peak of their ascendancy in the 17th century in which condition they remain today. Tours also take you to different small but ancient places of beauty out of Kathmandu valley into remote places of Nepal.

Sightseeing & Religious Tours

Popular legend has it that Goddess Manjushree, an incarnate of Lord Buddha, was responsible for carving  out the Kathmandu valley with one swipe of her sword. Be it true or a legend the result was a spectacular setting which has brought forth endless praises from the pens of the great poets of Nepal. Surrounded by mountains and hills, Kathmandu today is a hustle and bustle of a city which Manjushree would hardly recognize as her own handiwork. Situated at an altitude of 4’423 ft. above the sea level and covering an area 218 sq. miles, it is a place that has been a source of fascination to visitors over the years.

The marriage of Buddhism and Hinduism in the valley has given the city a rich cultural mix of traditions and beliefs. it is a place filled with prayers, gods and legends which has given rise to monuments which have became world heritage sights.  Kathmandu Durbar Square is an overwhelming house of monuments. within it are The Kumari Ghar or the house of the living goddess.  Kashtamandap a huge resthouse that is said to have been built with the wood from a single tree and is the source of which Kathmandu valley got it’s name. Other sites around the Kathmandu Square are the ferocious Kal Bhairab - the red monkey God- Hanuman, Hundreds of erotic carvings, temples and statues dedicated to different deities.


Swayambhunath , “the self existent”, Is a gigantic stupa located on a hilltop and houses images of important deities of both Buddhists and Hindus. Swayambhu, is perhaps the best place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. In the shadows of the imposing structure and beside the integrate architecture can be found the daily surge of devotees faithfully offering their prayers to the gods. Swayambhu is a major landmark of the Kathmandu valley and looks like a beacon attracting hundreds of people towards it.

Pashupatinath, an ancient plinth, by the banks of the holy Bagmati river, stands the 16th century of Pashupatinath - Shiva, as Lord of all Creatures. The old buildings on the site were leveled by Moslem invaders in the 14th century, its stone lingam smashed to dust, but it rose again  behind their retreating backs. succeeding monarchs added votes temples, their images, and they and their subjects donated their wealth to buy a hasty entrance into heaven. Today, earnest Hindus about to die are brought to expire the its sacred and their remains burnt to ashes on the stone platforms lining the river’s banks.

A short distance off, the small stupa at Chabahil and the 4th and 5th century statuary that litters its surround  is all that remains of Buddhist convent founded by the widowed consort of a 3rd century prince. And still father, one comes upon the great hemisphere of Boudnath, great eyes gazing with serenity upon the valley and crowned a massive golden spire. A-flutter with streamers of colorful prayer - flags, the great base is crowded with pilgrims from far and near circumscribing the stupa came about and how it came by its two romantic monasteries - the flat plains around this monument support a good many, gaily painted, flicker with the flames of a million butter lamps.

There are more than 50 Buddhist Monasteries in the Kathmandu Valley and half of them you find only in Boudhanath area which is a focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal and around it has sprung up, what can be called - ‘Little Tibet’.  Dhiya Gonpa is one of the oldest monastery in Boudhanath.  Thangu Gonpa runs a school for monks and for outsider children at Boudha and also has a retreat - center in Namo Buddha. Che-chen Shedupling Gonpa, has a very special statue of Sakya-muni called ‘Chhowo Rinpoche’ very similar to Lhasa ‘Chhowo’ which is extremely famous. It has one retreat center in Pharping. Jamchhe Lhakhang has a special statue of Lord Buddha called ‘Jawa Shapma’ which is known as future Buddha. Shechen Gonpa has a very special  statue of Lord Padma Sambava and three Buddhas of future, present and past in their main temple where they attain their daily their puja.  Samteeling Gonpa which is also a one of  the oldest monasteries in Boudhanath as it was established by a Mongolian monk a fifty years ago. Kopan Gonpa is also a popular monastery for its retreat center.  These with Ka-Nying Gonpa and small several monasteries are the main monasteries of Boudhanath area.

Afternoon, being better for photography, also known as Lalitpur, city of fine Art, Patan has the most impressive Durbar - square on the valley. Beautiful stone baths, repose images of river sprites, great golden audience windows, 14th century terra-cotta temples and 17th century stone ones. A terra-cotta shikara temple, each brick bearing an image of the Buddha. A sober blackstone entrance to a temples of gold and an exquisite 5-story pagoda from the 14 century, earliest of the standing temples. Spring legend tells us rise in  the holy  lakes of Gosainhund to the north of Kathmandu. And walks through the sides streets of the city, still busy today with the tap-tap  of hammers and chisels and bronze and wood, as the descendants of the creators of this ancient splendor carry on the trade ancestors.

This was originally set up as a Tibetan refugee camp but over the years has been transformed by the refugees living there as a center for handicrafts. Things that are made her include traditional crafts such as wooden masks, carpets, thankas, etc. There are all made in the same manner as they were made centuries ago.

Best preserved of the Valley’s cities. Begin at the farther end of Bhaktapur, entering from the Nagarkot road. Here around  the Dattatreya Square, the 9th century markets grew gradually, spreading to the Taumadi Square with its 3 - tiered temple of Bhairab and great 5 - storied temple to the Goddess of Light and Space and finally to the magic of the main Palace Square, Its statue of King Bhupatindra Malla frozen in gilt before the exquisite golden door he ordered for his tutelary deity, a hidden stone pool where Malla Queens bathed  and sported, watched over by great stone cobras.

Kritipur is the city of the Valley, quite different from the others as it stands on the peaks of two hills and covers the saddle between.  Largely neglected, Kirtipur has a decayed charm and a walk through this town can be an exhilarating experience.  Drive on a little farther to view the gorge at
Chobar where the Buddhist legends tell us Manjushree cut the side of the lake that once filled the valley and the Hindus have it that Krishna hurled a thunderbolt to open up its sides.  Whatever the legend or the reality, it certainly opened up a very fertile valley for human habitation !!

Nagarkot is one of the vantage points on the rim if the valley, from where on a clear day the magnificent High Himalayan may be viewed. A quiet. Cool spot that embraces several peaks in atmosphere make this a walker’s paradise.  From here it is  possible to follow a trail down along  the ridge to the magnificent 4th century site of Changunarayan, a Vishnu temple, whose main shrine was rebuilt in 1702 after a fire destroyed the original building.

Pharping or Shesh Narayan is an ancient shrine to Vishnu where his sacred carp live in the clear water of natural springs and his temple stands beneath the great overhang of stalagmites.  Sacred to the Buddhists too because the Buddha was believed to have rested on visit from the Valley and where his 9th reincarnation, Pdmasambhava was supposed to have meditated in order to contain the rampaging.
Kali in her shrine of Dakshinkali where her devotees come to slake her thirst with the blood of chickens, ducks, goats and young buffalo.

Past the great stupa at Bodha, a dirt road leads off towards the natural reservoir of Sundarihal.  A short distance along this road, the 16th century temple of Gorkha Mahadev stands on the banks of the Bagmati.  Recently restored, several ancient stone statues surround it but look for the
unparalleled beauty of an 8th century Parvati.
At the end of the motorable road lies the ancient trading village of Sankhu, once an important stop on the trading route through Helambu.  The forests behind shade the 17th century temple of the tantric deity, the Vajra Yogini.

It is a beautiful village and wonderful views of merge above the 16th century village of Bungamati, the last home to the Rato Macchendranath deity who was filched by a Patan King and who is ferried each year between his Patan City Home and his rural shrine in a palanquin but travels in state in state every 12 years in a towering chariot of wood!  This town is also popular for crafts and craftsmanship, specially wood carving.

Pokhara Valley lies 200 kms from Kathmandu and is the home of  famous Gorkha soldiers. It lies in the shadow of the mighty Annapurna mountains, in the warm tropical climate of its bare 3000”. And from its groves of bamboo and banana, rise paddies and poinsettia, you can enjoy such a view of the high snow peaks unparalleled in any other part of the world ! And of course boating on lake Fewa is an additional activity you can enjoy there.

Nepal’s famous national park, situated on the low lands of the Inner Terai, covering an of 900 sq. km, is the largest  remaining home in Nepal for more than 300 of the endangered Asian one-horned rhinoceros and harbors one of the largest populations of the elusive and rear Royal Bengal tiger. Chitwan also supports 450 species of birds, four kinds of deer, spotted chattel, leopard, sloth bear, wild boar, monkeys, and many other smaller animals and a great variety of flora and fauna.


Tansen is a beautiful town located amidst the grander of the surrounding mountains and is considered one of the most beautiful town in Nepal. This place is modeled as a sister town of Kathmandu.  All the important monuments and temples of Kathmandu have been replicated here.  It is like being in a Kathmandu perched on a mountain top minus the noise and the congestion. Sightseeing here includes: Visiting the Srinagar hills which offers the best view of the western Himalayas in Nepal.

Lumbini - the birthplace of Lord Buddha.  The Lumbini gardens which houses the actual spot where Lord Buddha was born and where a pillar erected by Emperor Ashoka of India in 249 BC to mark the exact spot.  This area also houses ruins of ancient monasteries and the temple of Mayadevi - Lord Buddha’s mother.  Other monuments here are the various monasteries constructed by other countries like Japan, Burma, Korea Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Kapilbastu is not far from Lumbini and was in 563 BC, the Kingdom which Gautam Buddha’s father ruled.  Around here are many ruins which indicate the old  forts and palaces  of the time.  Tilorakot, the capital of Kapilbastu where Siddhartha (Buddha) spent his days inside a palace as an heir apparent to the throne.  It was here he came to know about the suffering of people and decided to choose the way of the Buddha.

Located 80 Km southwest of the Kathmandu Valley, Daman (2400m) offers the only unimpeded view of the entire Himalayan range.  Daman is located on the Tribhuwan Highway in between Kathmandu and the town of Birgunj.  There is a  view tower fitted with long range telescopes.  Daman can be reached in four hours in Kathmandu.

A great religious place, Janakpur is famous as the birthplace of Sita, the consort of Lord Ram.  There is an artistic marble temple of Sita (Janaki), popularly known as Naulakha Mandir.  Maithali paintings are getting popular among western countries.

Gorkha, 25 kilometer road off the main highway connecting Pokhara and Kathmandu brings you to an ancient Gorkha - the untouched and captivating town of Nepal! Some 300 years ago, Nepal was divided into 50 tiny states, and Gorkha was one of them. King Prithivi Narayan Shah, the founder of `Shah Dynasty' which runs Nepal today, unified Nepal into one kingdom. His Gorkha palace resides on top of a hill at an altitude of 3281 feet (about 1000 meter) The King would watch-over his people as far as his eyes could see from the tallest palace in the very center of Nepal! Gorkha is also the home of Gurkhas - the legendary brave warriors who fought with knives against guns.

Bandipur is located on a ridge above the Kathmandu to Pokhara road and has superb views of the Himalayan peaks to the north (Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Ganesh Himal). Bandipur has been considerately developed for tourists whereby some of the old houses have been carefully converted to hotels and there are thankfully few concrete buildings like elsewhere in Nepal. Compared to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu Bandipur is very peaceful as vehicles are not allowed into the main square.