Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal situated approximately 1350 meters above the sea level. The valley itself covers about 218 square miles of the land. The Kathmandu valley is the arrival point for most of the visitors. There are many best places to visit near Kathmandu. There are historic temples, shrine palaces, brick paved courtyards and quaint streets. Above all, the valley is surrounded by the tier of green mountain walls making the valley Centre of attraction for the visitors. In this article you will find the best places to visit near Kathmandu for couples and family.
Kathmandu makes a perfect base. You might spend two or three days exploring the city’s attractions. Wandering the maze-like alleys of the old city, marveling at the temples and palaces of Durbar square, and striking out to the nearby
Beautiful Best Places to Visit near Kathmandu
A short holiday in Nepal would seem to make a trek out of the question. But this is not entirely true. There are some magical day walks you can do that serve as the perfect trekking sampler, leaving you fulfilled but hankering for the day you can come back and do something longer.
There are many beautiful places to visit near Kathmandu, Nepal. Some of the popular destinations include:
This ancient city is known for its well-preserved architecture, including the Durbar Square, the Temple of the Five Gods, and the Bhaktapur Durbar Museum.
Bhaktapur is also signified by UNESCO as World Heritage site. Bhaktapur is well known for its old temples and the main items of interest in the Durbar Square are:
The Lion Gate: A gate with statues of two lions and two stone images of Lord Shiva dating as far back as 1696 AD.
The Golden Gate: Most beautiful door surmounted by the figures of Goddess Kali and Garuda attended by two heavenly nymphs. The Golden Gate is the loveliest piece of art in the whole country decorated by Jewels.
The palace with fifty five windows: This palace is an example of a perfect work of art, which was built in 1427 AD by then ruled king Yakshay Malla. Among the brick walls with their gracious setting and sculptural design, is a balcony with fifty-five Windows, considered a unique masterpiece of woodcarving.
Bhaktapur Durbar Squire
The Art Gallery: If you are fond of Art, this is the place to visit to see ancient paintings belonging to both Hindu and Buddhist traditions of various periods.
Located just 32 km from Kathmandu, Nagarkot offers stunning views of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest. This place is for mountain watchers. The place is at the edge of the Kathmandu valley, 32 km east of Kathmandu city. The resort village of Nagarkot is the best option for mountain watchers to make their way up to the village.
You can find best hotels and stay overnight. You can see different mountain ranges from Nagarkot such as Mt. Everest (8848m), Mt. Manaslu (8463m), Ganesh Himal (7111m), Langtang (7246m), Gaurishanker (7134m).
This small town is known for its panoramic views of the Himalayas, including Langtang, Gaurishankar, and Dorje Lakpa.
Dakshinkali is located about 20 km south of Kathmandu city. This is an important place of pilgrimage, drawing attention of about 400,000 pilgrims a year. The temple of dakshinkali is visited to offer prayers and animal sacrifices to the Goddess kali, the fearful form of Lord Shiva’s consort, Parvati. Sacrifices are usually made on Saturdays but Tuesdays are also equally busy day for pilgrims. Pictures are not allowed to take inside the temple but can be taken from outside the temple. Be prepared to pay donation if you are willing to take pictures of sadhu.
Dakshinkali is also a great place for picnic lovers. It takes some walk to visit the best picnic area from the temple. It is also equally interesting place for mountain biking as you would find steeps downhill and up for bikers to start from Kathmandu city to reach Dakshinkali.
Boudhanath (Largest Stupa in Nepal)
This 14th century built temple is the largest Stupa and the holiest Tibetan Budhist temple outside Tibet. This temple is situated in the eastern outskirt of the capital city, Kathmandu. The main entrance to the upper platform is in the north side. The base consists of three large platforms inconsistent in sizes. They symbolize earth. Mountains can be viewed from the base and take pictures. Surrounding this stupa are streets, colorful houses, and other monasteries.
This temple is very famous among Hindus in Nepal and all over the world. This is the temple of Lord Shiva, a supreme God of Hindu. The temple is located about 5 kilometers east of Kathmandu, at the bank of sacred Bagmati river. This temple is visited throughout the year by Hindu all over the world and is also a center of annual pilgrimage.
Manakamana Temple (Temple of wish fulfill Goddess)
The temple is situated in Gorkha District of Nepal that is approximately 106 kilometers away from the Kathmandu valley. Manakamana is the name of Hindu Goddess. It is believed that the Goddess fulfills the wishes of the people. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit this temple in hope of fulfilling their wishes.
The temple is at the altitude of 1302 meters high in Gorkha district. It used to be a hiking destination for a lot of youngsters in the past. But now cable car services have been introduced for older people to visit the temple easily.
Pokhara is yet another interesting place to visit in Nepal, which is 200 km west of the Kathmandu Valley. If you have not visited Pokhara, you have seen nothing of Nepal. From Pokhara, you can see many mountains such as Manaslu, Machhapucchre (Fish tail), the five peaks of Annapurna Himalayas etc. Pokhara is a popular destination for trekking, rafting, and paragliding. The city is also home to several beautiful lakes, including Fewa Lake and Begnas Lake.
This place represents Nepal to the world. This place is located about 300 kilometers south west of the capital city, Kathmandu. Lumbini is the birthplace of the Buddha and is a popular destination for Buddhist pilgrims. The city is home to several important temples and monasteries, including the Mayadevi Temple and the Lumbini Museum.
Recently, many devotees from all over the world have changed the way Lumbini used to look in the past. Several beautiful shrines have been built. You will notice the satisfaction of being in peaceful environment the moment you are in this place.
This small hill town, located about 140 km west of Kathmandu, is known for its well-preserved Newari architecture and breathtaking views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.
Patan Durbar Square:
Patan, the oldest of the three cities in the Kathmandu valley is located only 5.9 km (Via putalisadak) southeast of Kathmandu city. There are roughly 1,25,000 people living in this city mainly following Hindu and Buddhist religion. The city is famous for the fine arts that have hundreds of fascinating Hindu and Buddhist monuments scattered in and around.
The most important monument is the Patan Durbar Square, which is recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. The square is formed by many small picturesque collections of buildings and most of these monuments date back to the medieval Malla period 15th to 17th century as the golden period of Nepalese art. The main things to be seen in the area include:
- Golden gate and golden window of old palace
- God Krishna Temple with 21 golden pinnacles
- A perfect piece of classic work in stone
- Old Temples with magnificent golden balcony
Located just 15 km northwest of Kathmandu, Nagarjun Hill offers beautiful views of the Kathmandu valley and is a popular destination for hiking and picnics.
Located about 150 km northwest of Kathmandu, Gorkha is the birthplace of Prithvi Narayan Shah, the founder of modern Nepal. The city is home to the Gorkha Palace, which offers stunning views of the Himalayas.
Buddhist stupas of Swayambhunath and Bodhnath. Just as simple is to spend the mornings in Kathmandu and the afternoons in the ancient Buddhist city of Patan half an hour distant by taxi. The predominantly Hindu city of Bhaktapur, is about one hour away, where city and international efforts have achieved a time-warping preservation job on the local architecture.
Nagarkot or Dhulikhel
An excursion out of Kathmandu you will never forget involves an overnight stay at either Nagarkot or Dhulikhel. Both towns are on ridges that offer panoramic views of the Himalayas. Nagarkot has the best views, but Dhulikhel has better access and is quicker to get to (around two hours by bus).
You can arrive in the late afternoon, and check into one of the many hotels or guesthouses – there’s something to suit all budgets and tastes. then settle down somewhere comfortable perhaps the verandah of your hotel room or the rooftop of your guesthouse to watch shifting colors play over the Himalayas as the sun goes down. The next morning you should be up early to watch a repeat performance (though no two are ever the same) in the light of the rising sun.
Namobuddha trek out of Dhulikhel
One of the best days walks in Kathmandu is the Namobuddha trek out of Dhulikhel (see above). The beauty of this six-hour circuit hike is not only that it provides stunning views of the Himalayas, but that it takes you through villages with tea houses, through pine forests, to a stupa, and past water mills just as the longer treks do.
Chitwan National Park
Located about 150 km southwest of Kathmandu, Chitwan National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including rhinoceroses, tigers, and elephants. The park offers opportunities for jungle safaris, elephant rides, and birdwatching.
If wildlife is your main interest, even a safari on elephants back at Royal Chitwan National Park need not be out of the question on a short trip. Chitwan is just five hours away from Kathmandu by taxi or bus; providing you arrive in Kathmandu by mid-afternoon, you can be in Chitwan Park by the evening, ready to mount your elephant the next morning. And if time is of the essence, don’t worry: two days on the back of an elephant is more than enough for most people.