KATHMANDU CITY- Nowhere in the world can one find the same concentration of culture, art and tradition that exits in Kathmandu valley. Once known as Kantipur, Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. The city is a concentration of temples. Near the Durbar Square is the residence of Kumari the Virgin Goddess who acknowledges the greetings of the devotees from the balcony of her temple residence. Kasthmandap, the source of the name of Kathmandu. Hanuman Dhoka the ancient palace of the Nepalese Royalty.
PATAN CITY is 5 kms/3 miles away from Kathmandu City. It is also known as Lalitpur, the city of fine arts.
Main places to visit are Durbar square; the Krishna Temple, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar and Mahabouddha Temple. While visiting Patan city, a trip to the Tibetan Refugee Camp and the Handicraft Center can be made to witness the hand weaving of Tibetan carpets, wood carving and mounding of metal statues.
BHAKTAPUR CITY, the city of devotees is the home of medieval art and architecture. Situated 12 km/8 miles to the east of Kathmandu City, this place was founded in the 9th century and is shaped like a conch shell. The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces – the Lion Gate, the Palace of 55 windows, the Batsala temple and the Nyatapola temple which is the best example of Pagoda style structure in Nepal. Besides this, a visit to pottery also can be made.
BUNGMATI AND KHOKANA: Bungamati is a traditional and tiny Newari village from the 16th century and is located at eight kilometers south of Kathmandu (on the outskirts of Patan). The village has its own history and has retained its tradition and culture. It is a living museum and recalls medieval times. The farming community of Newars, original inhabitants of Kathmandu valley who live here are mostly dependent on agriculture and much of their daily activities take place outside of their dwellings. However, they are also busy in making handicrafts mostly wood carving. It is perched on a spur of land overlooking the Bungamati River and is shaded by large trees and stands of bamboo. Fortunately, the village streets are too small and hazardous for cars. Visitors are rare, so tread gently.
Khokana another typical village of Newars is just 20 minutes walking distance from Bungmati. The village begins with a narrow cobbled street and in the middle of the main street lies the temple of Shekali Mai, a local mother Goddess. Khokana is famous for its mustard oil made in a traditional way which is very popular in Kathmandu valley. The villagers in these villages hang red chilly and vegetables garlands from the top floor to almost to the ground floor of most of the houses after the month of September.
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