It will be very difficult for me to write about all must see places in Kathmandu, as I know most of them got destroyed during the earthquake. I was fortunate to see them all just days before it happened. I don’t know how temples look like now, two years after. Maybe some of them got restored. Definitely not a Durban Square, as I’ve heard from Nepalese that it won’t be fully possible, as of XII century technique they used to build them. More or less, Nepal is a highly spiritual country with strong Buddhism influence, you can see and feel all round. I’ve heard once a saying that there are more temples than houses, so I am sure you still will be able to discover loads of them undamaged. Here are some things I did during my stay there, before earthquake struck.
It’s a number one must see place in Kathmandu. I couldn’t wait to see them while planning my trip back home. There are three of them: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Squares. All of them are fantastic and absolutely breathe-taking. Unique and diverse architecture, that include houses and ancient temples that belong to the periods between 12th and 18th centuries, will take you back in time. All three of them are the main cultural and spiritual places in Kathmandu. I am afraid, I was one of the last people to see them as they were, as I was there just days before the earthquake. I know, and I saw, that they got completely destroyed. I still think it’s worth seeing what remains now. The major Interesting things to see in Kathmandu Durban Square are: “Kumari Gar” (The Living Goddess), “Kastha Mandap”, Maru Ganesh, Mahadev Temple, Shiva Parvati Temple, Bhagwati Temple, Old palace, Saraswoti temple, Krishna Octangular Temple, Kal Bhairav, Jagannath Temple and Taleju Temple. In Patan I have to highlight: Patan Museum, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, Mahabouddha, Golden and Krishna Temple. In the last one you will be able to view the stunning Golden and Lion`s Gate and four temples: Mini Pashupati, Vatsala, Nyatapola and Bhairava Nath. Yeah I know….loads of temples 🙂
View from the Swayambhunath
After a wonderful walk with few local kids that kindly showed me the way to the Monkey Temple, even that I knew it anyway, I was able to see the great Himalayan range for the first time. You can alredy spot them from the bridge just in front of the entrance. Monkey Temple is an ancient religious complex situated at the top of the hill west of Kathmandu city center. It is very easy just to walk there from Thamel. I would say, it will take just an hour of slow walk. After that you have to hike long stairway with 365 steps leading directly to the main platform of the temple. Up there you will face the beautiful view on the city. There`s loads of spiritual things to see there too. Just watch out for the monkeys that can still anything you have in your hand!
Walking with one local
I don’t usually like to walk with anyone, but I’ve met a student from India that came to Nepal to study Buddyzm. At the very beginning he was honest, as he told me that he can show me around if I will buy a bag of rice after for him. I agreed, a bit skeptic, but it was so worth it. He showed me loads of places, I would never discover myself. It’s amazing how you can walk through one small door and see behind one of the most thrilling structures you have ever seen. The religion influence is visible everywhere. You won’t be even able to count all the statues there. I am also pointing this to convince you guys to have a tour with local. Buying food would help those students too.
The Kindness and hospitality of Nepalese is just beyond anything you have experienced before. After All I have witnessed on the streets, shops, hotel, I was able to watch how they all helped each other in that extremely difficult time after the earthquake. I went to Nepal to see the landscape, Himalayas, nature, but I really felt in love with the people there. After visiting 46 countries, they are still my number one.