Durbar Square is the heart of Kathmandu. Through the alleys that link it with Thamel, temples and stupas overlook temples and prayers, always in a respectful way. Durbar means “Palace” and is a medieval square where the kings were once crowned. Between the Great Bell, who’s ringing they say that drives away evil spirits, propped up temples and others that more or less survived the disaster, a continuous stream of faithful flows to ask for the favors of Ganesh and Siva.
Apart from being the neighborhood where foreigners stay with numerous souvenir shops at a bargain price, the terraces, gardens and restaurants Hindu, Nepali and Tibetan give it a very international atmosphere, where you can eat and dine cheap and rich. Find here about the top places to visit in Kathmandu :
1. Garden of Dreams:
Restoring tranquility is easy without leaving Kathmandu. The Garden of Dreams is located in Thamel but crossing that door is transported thousands of kilometers to the west. Inspired by English gardens, this is the work of a marshal in 1920. Fountains, ponds, benches on which to sit and meditate or simply let the lost tranquility reclaim your site.
2. The Narayanhiti Palace Museum:
Only a decade has passed when the royal family of Nepal Country was expelled and a Republic was established. Today the residence of the monarchs is open to the public as a sample of the waste and opulence in which the elite of the country lived while the rest of their subjects went through hardships. Tigers and lions with glassy eyes, whose life was taken away to decorate luxurious rooms; stare at their sad look from the place they never belonged. Outside in the gardens, the bullet holes originated by Prince Dipendra when he murdered his family in 2001 are seen. No photographs are allowed.
3. Swayambhunath Temple:
The so-called Monkey Temple, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, rises on a hill in the upper part of Kathmandu. Only for the breathtaking views of the Kathmandu valley is it worth climbing the steep stone staircase where colorful Buddha’s greet visitors. The monkeys observe with the face of few friends. The prize: an imposing white stupa with the eyes of Buddha painted in blue, where the Tibetan banderillas swing under the north wind. The pilgrims turn the mills, always in a clockwise direction: you have to complete three turns to formalize a prayer.
4. Stupa of Boudhanath:
On the opposite side of Kathmandu is another stupa, without such good views but larger: Boudhanath in the Tibetan neighborhood. The best time to visit is at dusk, when you can see the Tibetan monks with their shaved heads and maroon togas. They study and live in the surrounding monasteries like Kopan , where the young man from the Alpujarra lived who they pointed out as the reincarnation of his Lama.
5. Pashupatinath – the cremations in the Bagmati:
The most important Hindu temple in Nepal is a group of pagodas that radiate music and spiritual songs. They come to families to give the last goodbye to their loved ones, in a ceremony that consists of washing their bodies in the sacred Bagmati River to burn them later in the pyres of the shore. The rituals surrounding death are part of the culture and are a reflection of it from ancestral times.
6. Kathmandu Valley:
In the south of Kathmandu, the sacred Bagmati River marks the separation with Patán, a city – state in the middle Ages with a monumental historical center, sadly badly damaged after the earthquake. Its most important point to start exploring is its Durbar Square, with magnificent Hindu temples dedicated to Bhimsen, Siva or Krishna and the bell of Taleju, with which the inhabitants of the city showed the king their complaints.
Smaller and less colorful than the previous ones, a small walk in the middle of the morning is enough to get to know its historical jewels, such as the main square, in whose pond children will fun taking a dip, the great temple of Bagh Bhairab or the sanctuary of Ganesh Uma Maheshwar, guarded by two stone elephants and carved wooden friezes with erotic scenes.
These are the topmost places to visit in Kathmandu. Exploring India with Nepal is the beautiful combination of experiencing two countries together and learns the culture.