The Kathmandu Valley
This verdant valley was once a huge lake, legend dictates that in the middle of the lake was a brilliant flame emanating from a Lotus flower. People would come from miles around to wonder and worship the flame. A Chinese disciple Bodhisattva Manjushree, wishing to worship the flame more closely sliced a portion of the hills with his sword draining its waters and thus the fertile Kathmandu valley was created.
Chovar gorge where the valley waters drain today remains the focus of the legend. In the years since, the Kathmandu valley has seen many dynasties and empires come and go, each leaving their own mark on the valley's mystique.
The valley today incorporates three major settlements, all have their own distinctive character with outstanding temples, works of art and architecture and a varied calendar of feasts and festivals, their roots in being capital cities of the valleys three principality's in times gone by. Between them they boast the highest density of World Heritage Sites to be found anywhere in the World, seven in total. There are many other fascinating settlements in the valley offering their own reasons for being there.
The Capital and home to Nepal's only International Airport is a buzzing vibrant place, although like so many capital cities in the developing world it begins to show signs of congestion over the past few years, this hardly detracts from its mystery and celebration of life. So much history interwoven and sitting strangely in harmony with the modern Kathmandu. Ancient temples in a medieval atmosphere sit side by side with Internet cafes. Old blends with new ways…Welcome to Kathmandu.
Patan (The city of beauty) is situated on the southern bank of the holy river Bagamti (a tributary of the Ganges) some five kilometers southeast of Kathmandu. Nowadays, it has virtually become part of sub metropolitan Kathmandu. The city is famed for its wealth of Buddhist and Hindu temples with an abundance of fine bronze gateways and wonderful carvings. Patan is known for its expert craftsmen and metal workers.
Bhaktapur is situated 14 km east of Kathmandu and is the least developed of the three cities in the valley. Translated Bhaktapur means the city of devotees. The most laid back of the three valley towns its narrow brick paved streets harbor hidden shrines and statues around every corner. It is quite easy to spend a whole day here relaxing and taking in an almost surreal atmosphere. Bhaktapur is famed for its woodcarvings, pottery and cloth weaving. Many of Bhaktapur's practices have changed little over the centuries..
Pokhara valley (827m.) lies in 200 Km west of Kathmandu valley. The valley is the most popular destination in Nepal after Kathmandu. It is the second biggest city of Nepal where around 135000 inhabitants live. This city became the most interesting especially when explorers found that it is the only valley in the world from where one can see snowcapped mountains higher than 8000m. from below 1000 m. These mountains lie in about 25 to 35 km. Arial distance. This valley is the most famous trekking starting gateway for world famous trekking areas such as to Fishtail, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri area. More than 70% of the total trekkers of Nepal trek in Annapurna region. scenery .There are seven lakes including the second biggest lake of the country in this beautiful valley and it is known as the most beautiful tourist valley of Nepal. The crystal clear reflection of snow capped mountains on the lake really makes the city unique and adds more features to make the city more attractive. There are several ethnic groups and the Gurungs who are world famous British Gurkhas live harmoniously and all of them preserve their cultural features. The smooth and harmonious blend of natural beauty and cultural attractions make this city as a unique city. It is only 30 minutes flight and 6 hours drive from the capital. There are around 20 flights and several deluxe tourist bus services daily. More over, This city is also linked with some mountain airports. Mustang (3000m) and Manang (3400m.) are major of them. you can reach in 20 minutes to such wonder places from this city. There are hundreds of tourist standard hotels including around a dozen of star level hotels. All sorts of tourist amenities such as; Foreign currency exchange, ACAP entry permit, visa extension, flight ticket reconfirmation etc. are available in this multi -cultural city. This city popularly known as "City of Tourism" is absolutely free from any type of pollution and city dwellers and their leaders are aware about the effect of the pollution.
A birthplace of Lord Buddha. The sites described as a beautiful Garden in the Buddha's time still retain its legendary charm and beauty. Located 150km south from the tourist city of Pokhara.
A resort town, in the rim of Kathmandu valley, famous for Sunrise and Sunset view. It is 30km south from Kathmandu. Various sorts of hotels with modern amenities are available here.
A resort town, east of Kathmandu valley, famous for countryside tour and historical significance.
Sherpa settlement at the base of Mt. Everest. Can be reached by trekking. It is a focal point of trekking in Everest region. Sherpa cultural always adds more wonders.
A scenic and pilgrim spot and is reached by Cable Car or half day trek. This is the origin place of Shah Dynasty and Great king Prithvi Narayan shah was born there and his processes of unifying Nepal started from there about 200 years ago. The present king is the 11th generation of him. There is a great temple called Manakamana Temple. It is a famous temple where you wish to fulfill your wishes. It is located in about 90 km west from Kathmandu.
A mid-hill town lies between Kathmandu and Pokhara. The legend of Gurkhas begins here. Sightseeing: Gorkha Durbar, Gorkha Nath Temple, Gorakh Kali Temple, etc. Starting point of Trek to Manaslu region.
One of the holiest shrines of Lord Shiva. Reached by air up to Jomsom; Mustang, and then trek (pony) two days to Mukti Nath Temple. This also route for the world famous Thorung-la trek. If you walk all the way from Pokhara, it takes about six days to get there. Ever burning lamp on the water just beneath the shrine, shows the mystery of almighty God.
The upper reach of the Kali Gandaki valley is known as Mustang. A trekking to Mustang, which is also known as "Forbidden land", is a journey of remarkable contrasts. Other side of the Annapurna Himalaya is a stark Tibetan landscape, with cliff hanging monasteries, which contrasts with lush rice field and Hindu shrines.
A birthplace of Janaki Sita in Terai, a region of Mithila Arts and Craft.