Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square is an Incent royal palace. Kathmandu Durbar Square is also known as Hanuman Dhoka royal palace. This royal palace was established by the son of the king Yaksha Malla in the 14th century. And different Malla kings ruled until the 18th century. The last Malla king of Kathmandu was Jayaprakash Malla who started the Kumari( Living Goddess). The old name of Kathmandu was Kantipur.
There are lots to see like, Kastamandap(which was made in the 12ve century from a single cedar tree), Kumari Ghar (Temple of the living goddess), Pagoda temples, Icons, Wood carvings from the Malla period, Courtyards and the Newari festivals. During visiting this place you will know lots of mythical stories and history from your guide.
Things to See
The Kastamandap is a historical building which was made in the twelve century. It was made out of a single huge tree and named Kastamandap. This building has two meanings Kasta(wooden) and Mandap (building). The name Kathmandu had been given by this building. In the beginning, it was the shelter for the people that had been changed to Gorakhnath Temple (Hindu Temple).
There are several Pagoda temples on this site. Most of them were made in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Pagoda temples are Nepali style temples which we can see in China too. The Nepali artists were invited by the Chinese king to make them in China. These Pagoda temples are mostly tall with a high platform from where the visitors can enjoy the views. The stone statue of Garuda (The vehicle of the god Vishnu) also is an attraction to see.
The big white building here is the royal palace from where the King used to rule the country. It is a museum now. Gahdhi Baithaik is joined with it which was made in 1908 AD by Chandra Samser Rana (One of the Rana Prime ministers). This building was used to visit the public and visit the living goddess (Kumari) by the King. There are some beautiful yards for different propose of the Royal family inside this building.
Taleju is one of the Hindu goddesses to whom people sacrifice animals. Goddess Taeju is the family goddess of the Nepalese royal family. It was made in the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries. The main door of the temple is always closed except one day of the year. During the biggest festival of Nepali Hindu in November, one day will open the main door and sacrifice fifty-four buffalos and fifty-four goats. There are hundreds of visitors on this day.
Kumari( The Living Goddess)
Kumari is the young virgin lady who is considered the living goddess. The living goddess is the form of the goddess Taleju. This system was started in the eighteenth century by King Jaya Prakash Malla. Usually, a young lady with certain criteria will be chosen as the living goddess. When the lady will have the time for menstruation then they will change into another lady as the goddess. For more detail, the tour guide will brief in detail on this area and the sites.
Swyambhunath is a Buddhist site which is on the hill station. At an early age, the Kathmandu valley was full of water. Swyambhunath was alike an island with a natural gas flame. The Manjushree from Tibet came here and saw the flam named Swyambhunath( The is the god itself). Later on, the monkeys started to live here then named the monkey temple. There are more than a hundred different types of flora and birds. Swyambhunath is also known as an open museum. We can see a good view of Kathmandu valley from here and a nice White Mountain on a clear day.
Things to see
There are thousands of monkeys in this area because the trees are here for their shelter. The monkeys here are not aggressive if we don’t tease them. We better not tease, not try to feed them. Sometimes the mother monkey with their baby may be aggressive if we got closer to them. There is a swimming pool for monkeys so they swim during summer.
Buddhist Monument and Temples
The colourful prayer flags are nicely decorated for the area. It has five different colours. They represent five different elements. The name of the flag in Tibetan is Lungta. Vasubandhu Stupa, word peace pond( Wishing pong), big main stupa, Harati(The goddess of pneumonia), Thunderbolt, the statue of Depanker Buddha(Made in the seventh century), Pratap Pura and Ananta Pura, and much more religious things are the things to see here.
Pashupatinath is a Hindu site. It is about 5km. east from tourist pace(Thamel). 'Pashupati is head of the animal' or 'husband of the animal'. The pagoda-style temple with a golden roof and four silver doors is the main temple of Shiva(god of the destroyer). There are lots of festivals during the year according to Hinduism. The site is Hindu but it is a holy place also to the Buddhists. Hindu cremation is the main attraction for outsiders. Sadhus(Hindu holy people), small temples, the Bagmati river, Hindu icons and rituals are good to see in this place.
Things to see
Here is the open cremation for the Hindu people. This is not one and only the cremation place in Kathmandu but this is the main one. Thirty to forty dead body cremated in this place. There are different open cremation places for the people according to their economic condition and ethnic group. Always the dead body will be cremated at the riverside in Nepal for any Hindu people. There is the Bagmati River which is the Holy River. Everything will be clear out to this river after the cremation. For more detail, about cremation, your tour guide will brief more.
Temples and Statue
There are lots of Hindu temples around this area. Some temples are offered by different devotees and some do not. The statues of Birupakkshe, Human, Vishnu, and much more are nice and attractive to see.
Bouddhanath is a famous Buddhist site. It is about eight km away from Thamel. Boudhanath stupa is the highest stupa in Nepal and the second highest in the world. This stupa exists in the 4th/5th century. This is one of the peaceful places in Kathmandu. More than 100 Monasteries are around Boudhanath. Tibetan refugees are living in this area and doing some different types of business like Thanka(religious paintings) Schools. Lots of Buddhist ceremonies and rituals can see in Bauddhanath most of the time.