Kathmandu: Its unique sites
The capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal is Kathmandu, a beautiful city located in the central part of Nepal. It is situated in a valley and looks magnificent from top of the hills surrounding the city. Also known as the city of gods and goddess, it consists of many cultural heritage sites that make the city unique. Some of them are duly recognized as world heritage sites. Kathmandu Durbar (palace) square, Swayambhu Nath stupa and Pashupati Nath temple are some of those wonderful cultural heritage sites that make Kathmandu culturally and historically unique, and opulent in today’s fast developing world.
The Kathmandu Durbar square, located in the heart of the city, is significant in terms of history, arts and architecture. It consists of a huge royal square including variety of temples that were made in 15th century, dedicated to different Hindu gods and goddesses. It is also known as Hanumandhoka Palace Square named after the monkey god, Hanuman. He is regarded as a powerful protector of the entire palace square. There is a huge stone statue painted all red right next to the golden gate or the main entrance of the palace in the name of hanuman. Some of the important monuments to be seen in Kathmandu Durbar Square are Taleju temple, which was built by Mahendra Malla; Kaal vairab, which is one of the biggest idols of the god; and Kasthamandap, which was built from the timber of a single tree. The name Kathmandu came from the word- Kasthamndap, meaning building made up of wood. There is also a Nautale palace ( mime storied palace) that contains a museum and is also known for the carved wooden doors, roofs and windows.
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Swayambhu Nath stupa, located in a lovely hill rock, is one of the fascinating architectural jewels of the world. It represents a typical Buddhist architecture. There are 360 steps leading all the way to the top of the hill to the stupa. There are paintings of pairs of eyes on the four faces of the stupa. The smaller stupas and other monuments built around the Swayambhu Nath stupa speak a lot about the existence of Buddha. The place is more crowded in Buddha purnima, the birthday of lord Buddha, which falls on the full moon of April-May.
Located on the banks of the river Bagmati, Pashupati Nath temple is the most popular Hindu temple in the south Asia. It is temple of lord Shiva, greatest of all Hindu gods. There are four silver doorways facing the four directions: east, west, north, and south. The doors of the temple are unique examples of Nepalese temple’s architecture. In the middle of the spring, every year, there occurs a festival called Shiva Ratri, meaning the holy night of lord Shiva. Many people including devotees from other different countries worship lord Shiva during many Hindu festivals.
Only to name a few, Kathmandu Durbar square, Swayambhu Nath stupa, and Pashupati Nath temple are the unique sites of Kathmandu. There are several other unique places that make the valley rich and diverse, historically as well as culturally. The historical and cultural diversity is so magnificent that one must visit this paradise once in their lifetime.