Kathmandu: City of Temple

Kathmandu is the capital and largest city of Nepal is located in a valley under the same name. This Asian country congregates Hindus and Buddhists in equal parts or at least in a large number of temples and population, creating an environment very different from other countries with a clear religious majority and long tradition. Perhaps this is something that most attracts tourists, not only the appearance of the Nepalese mark the differences but also its architecture and its temples. However, both are well-matched in an almost parallel coexistence.

The center of Kathmandu was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, unfortunately, several earthquakes destroyed the area in both historic buildings and crowded houses. During this time, the country and the city has received a lot of help for its reconstruction and, although we have not returned, we know that much progress has been made and much of the city recovered.

Around Kathmandu 

Kathmandu is undoubtedly a city full of temples, but it is the Nepalese who make this city even more beautiful. The backpacker neighborhood par excellence is Thamel, which is situated around the corner from everything else. There is accommodation for all kinds of pockets and interests and despite being a very busy neighborhood find accommodations that move away from the hustle and bustle. So no matter what you really prefer, you can certainly find it in Kathmandu.

The Kathmandu Durbar Square, the central square of the city is huge and has so many temples that it is easy to spend the morning as soon as you have a little curiosity. With a market for offerings at the entrance this square brings together antiquity and tradition together with architectural buildings that have nothing to do with each other, an example is the white neoclassical building that will draw your attention not so much for its beauty but because “it does not paint anything in that space. ”

Boudhanath Stupa (Buddhist)

Kathmandu: City of Temple
Picture Credit: Julien

Most of the temples of this city will leave you speechless, but this one is also a World Heritage Site since 1979: Boudhanath Stupa. This Buddhist Buddhist stupa is a wonder, but everything that moves around will not stop surprising you. From sellers of souvenirs and offerings to terraces with the best views of this sacred place. You could spend hours in peace in this place meditating or observing.

Pashupatinath (Hindu)

Kathmandu: City of Temple

You stop on the road, there is a huge amusement park of doubtful security, and a dirt road full of merchants, and so you get to the next temple. We change from Buddhism to Hinduism and one of Shiva’s most important temples: Pashupatinath. It is a simple temple, with many Shadus to which you can try to steal a photo. As many other temples are still active, this means that here crematories are made to dismiss the deceased. And you can see the whole ceremony if you want. This type of thing is a little uncomfortable for us, although it is public for us the death of a loved one is usually quite painful and something that is not usually shared with strangers; so we decided not to see the entire ceremony out of respect, thinking about what we would like others to do for us.

Swayambhunath (Buddhist)

Kathmandu: City of Temple
Picture Credit: Edwin Leung

You can have a view of the city from the Temple of the Monkeys or Swayambhunath, avoid getting into a rickshaw because the road is quite steep,   you can go by taxi if you do not want to walk for about an hour. To get to the top you have to climb a steep staircase. Once up there are different temples, a stupa, and multiple souvenir and craft shops. It is wonderful to see how stone and woodwork. And as its name says, you’ll find monkeys.

I climbed in a rickshaw, the boy assured me it was a very hard road and I thought he wanted to cheat me. What a shame I felt when I saw the poor man pull the car as if he were a mule! I could not pay what we agreed, had to be more and give the reason. That’s why I ask that you choose another means to get to the temple.

Garden of Dreams

Kathmandu: City of Temple

If you want to rest and tranquility even being in the center you can eat in Garden of Dreams (or any other in the alleys at the entrance of Thamel) or the Garden of Dreams to rest on the lawn and enjoy the little nature that is in the city. Here also the lovers come to spend the afternoons among the flowers and of course, it is a usual place to hold photo shoots, maybe you will see some couple portraying their link or something similar.

Nearby Kathmandu: Bhaktapur & Patan 

Have you stayed wanting more temples? Well, that has a solution! By car, rent a taxi for a full day, you can see more. The Changu Narayan temple is not in the best conservation conditions but it has pieces of the 5th century and it is still open to worship.

Bhaktapur, capital of the country until the fifteenth century also has a Durbar Square, which like the rest has a large influx of locals and tourists. It also has sources that are supplied with water. In the temples, there are many striking details for their delicacy.

Patan, which was once an independent city, has another Durbar Square but smaller. The fountains and the Bhismen Temple are its main attraction, although you can always walk through the city and find other places of great interest, such as the Golden Temple, outside the bustle of the square.

Now you choose if you want to see all the temples or just some, our recommendation is that you do not miss talking to the locals choose what you choose.

Would we go with children?

Nepal is a safe, friendly and smiling country, with large squares and without many formalities, ideal for little ones who like to run around among pigeons. Of course, we would go with them again.