Water Garden-Situated five kilometres north-west of Kathmandu,
Balaju Water Garden is an ideal place for rest and relaxation. The
park features a long line of twenty-two water spouts, each of which
were ornately carved with crocodile heads during the mid-eighteenth
century. The garden also includes many other ponds, some of them
containing large and small varieties of fish. Adjoining the garden
is an olympic-sized swimming pool open to the public; Balaju Industrial
Estate is located near by.
is said to be two thousand years old, making it one of the world's
oldest and most glorious Buddhist Chaityas. The Chaitya (Stupa)
which forms the main structure, is composed of a solid hemisphere
of brick and earth supporting a lofty conical spire capped by a
pinnacle of copper gilt. Painted on the four-sided base of the spire
are the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. The temple is situated three
kilometres west of Kathmandu city, and stands on the Valley. This
hill is a mosaic of small Chaityas and pagoda temples.
Boudhanath-This colossal stupa,
one of the biggest in the world, is situated eight kilometres east
of the capital. Like Swayarnbhu, the stupa is inset on four sides
with the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha gazing in each direction.
Built on a huge octagonal base, the stupa is also inset with prayer
wheels. It is common to see dozens of worshippers constantly perambulating
the stupa while taking care to spin each of the sacred prayer wheels.
Around the stupa are various smaller shrines and the houses of important
Lamas (Buddhist priests). The stupa takes an added importance at
all the Buddhist festivals when Buddhists come from all over the
country to take part in the sacred rituals.
Gokarnaban-This lovely Royal Game
Sanctuary, also known as Gokarna Safari Park, lies about ten kilometres
north- west of Kathmandu. It is situated on the bank of the river
Bagmati. Many wild animals such as the spotted deer, are found in
the sanctuary and can be viewed from the elephant back. One can
enter the game sanctuary on paying an entrance fee at the gate or
by making arrangements with a travel agency. On the northern side
of Gokarna, on the way to Sundarijal, there is a pagoda-style temple
of Gokarneshwar Mahadeva. To its right, situated on a hillock, there
is a small village known as Gokarnagaon. Accommodation is also available
in Gokarna Safari Park.
the road to Boudhanath is the lovely stupa of Chabahil that could
be even older than Boudhanath itself. According to the tradition,
it was built in the 3rd century B.C. by Charurnati, the daughter
of the Indian Emperor Ashoka, after she married and settled in the
Valley. There is also some ancient statuary about the stupa.
ten kilometres north-east of Kathmandu, Sundarijal is famous for
its scenic beauty. There are magnificent waterfalls, cataracts and
rock formations, making it an ideal place for a picnic. One has
to walk a short distance after the motorable road ends.
is a small town located eight kilometres south- west of Kathmandu
on the top of a hill or plateau- shaped ridge. Tribhuvan University
sits at the foot of the hill. This historic town has many things
to offer including ancient shrines, temples, old houses, villagers
typically dressed in old traditional costumes and people 1 weaving
on hand looms.
located twelve kilometres east of Kathmandu, is a good example of
a small Newari town, with many fine old buildings and temples. Beyond
the village, up a long flight of stone steps, is Bajra Jogini, another
historic temple with beautiful views of the Valley.
Chovar-Chovar is famous for its
gorge, said to have been cut by the god Manjushree to drain the
water out from the Kathmandu Valley which was at that time a lake.
On the hilltop, there is small pagoda dedicated to Adinath. From
this point one can see a superb view of snow clad mountain peaks.
Chovar is located eight kilometres south-west of Kathmandu.
Pharping and Dakshinkali-Pharping
has a shrine of Shesh Narayan which is richly endowed with history
and art. The picturesque shrine stands on a hillock below which
there are many fish ponds. The famous temple of Dakshinkaii is situated
about two kilometres from Pharping. Every Tuesday and Saturday,
pilgrims congregate at the temple to sacrifice the animals and worship
the goddess Kali.
kilometres north of Kathmandu is a remarkable, colossal statue of
the god Vishnu reclining on a bed of snakes. The 5th century statue
lies in the middle of a small pond. Budhanilkantha is a place of
pilgrimage for all Hindus and is the scene of great activity at
such festivals as Haribodhini Ekadasi and Kartik Poornima. But the
reigning King of Nepal may not visit the spot.
scenic village is situated ten kilometres south-east of Patan city.
The road from Patan city runs to Godavari passing through the towns
of Harisiddhi, Thaiba and Badegaon. One of Nepal's holy places,
it is also a good picnic spot set amidst dense forest. The Royal
Botanical Garden, a fish hatchery and a marble quarry are also located
Bajrabarahi-The ancient temple of
Bajrabarahi is situated in a small woodland park located about ten
kilometres south of Patan, near the village of Chapagaon. A visit
to Tikabhairab and Lele from here is well worthwhile.
Phulchoki-Phulchoki is a 2,791
m. hill, and a good hiking spot as it offers a spectacular view
of the whole Kathmandu Valley. Rhododendrons of different colours
are found here including pure white and dark red varieties. A jeepable
road leads to the top of the hill, where there is a Buddhist shrine.
is the shrine of Ganesh, the elephant- headed god. The shrine has
been positioned in such a way as to catch the first rays of the
morning sun. Excellent views of Bhaktapur with snow peaks in the
background can be seen from here. Being located in a thick forest,
it is also a good picnic spot flanked by
many attractive landscapes.
Changu Narayan-Chanqu Narayan is
situated at the end of a long ridge which runs well into the Valley.
It is said to have been built by King Hari Dutta Varma in 323 A.D.,
the King also installed the goddess of Chinnamasta. The temple is
richly decorated with suciptures and carvings and is said to be
the oldest pagoda-style temple in the Valley. It is situated about
125 metres above the Valley floor and affords a beautiful view of
the surrounding countryside.
Pashupatinath-This is the holiest
of all the Shiva shrines in Nepal and is the abode of lord Pashupatinath,
the guardian God of Nepal. The temple of Pashupatinath is a large
double-roofed pagoda of gold-gilt and brass; the gateway are plated
with silver. It stands on the western bank of the Bagrnati, about
five kilometres north-east of Kathmandu and contains the sacred
lingam of Pashupatinath. The whole place is a mosaic of other temples
and shrines dominated by the big gilted figure of Nandi, the mount
of Shiva; this is seated on a stone pedestal opposite the main gate,
flanked by a golden trident. There is a crematorium outside the
temple by the side of the wide but shallow river. On the occasion
of the annual festival of Shivaratri (February/March), the temple
is thronged by thousands of devotees, including a large number of
pilgrims from India. The temple is also the site of a number of
other different festivals and rituals taking place throughout the
a quarter kilometre beyond Pashupatinath temple, on the left bank
of the river Bagmati, the temple of goddess Sati, Lord Shiva's consort,
stands in the middle of a paved courtyard surrounded by rows of
rest houses. This temple has the usual arched construction of tubular
metal work covering the main building. Towards the top, it transforms
itself into four gilded snakes which support the crowning piece
of the roof. The whole structure of the temple is designed after
the tantric yantra or geometric triangle, signifying the female
principle of procreation.