The Kathmandu Valley, popularly known as a ‘city of temples’ which is surrounded by amazing hills is not only the popular cultural destination to discover the century-old temples, stupas, and Durbar Squares but the best place for various hiking and biking adventures that can be organized the Kathmandu valley perimeters.
Kathmandu valley is surrounded by 6 amazing hill stations on all four sides. Around the Kathmandu valley edge, Phulchowki is the highest point in the south towering at an altitude of 2,765 meters, Shivapuari in the north rises to an altitude of 2,732 meters, Chandragiri Hill in the southwestern part of the valley has an altitude of 2,561 meters, Nagarkot in the northeast part has an altitude of 2,188 meters, Champadevi in the western part has an altitude of 2097 meters, & Pokhari Thumko in the southeastern part has an altitude of 2,005 meters. So near yet so far from the noise, pollution, and smog-covered bustling capital, various hiking and biking activities can be organized around the valley perimeter. Apart from these stunning Hill around the Kathmandu valley, we have to see some other amazing landmarks & attractions that are absolutely necessary to explore before going back home.
The rainbow view from Dhulikhel town during Nagarkot Dhulikhel one-day hike
You should see the great sights of Kathmandu, the temple complex at Pashupatinath, the holiest Hindu site in Nepal. Pashupatinath is one of the many names of Lord Shiva, the most respected god in the Hindu Pantheon. The main sacred is the site where non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple at the heart of it. Below the temple and flanked by the burning Ghats runs the river Bagmati. A number of platforms, sort of jetties for the soul, are built on the riverbank, and on these, the dead are cremated on wood funeral pyre according to the Hindu tradition. Moreover, Sadhus, itinerants who have renounced all worldly possessions and dedicated their life to Lord Shiva, at Pashupatinath Temple. They are the world’s most sociable hermits. These Sadhus will do anything for you, including their Roy Wood and Wizzard impersonation. This is a must-see site in Kathmandu valley.
Boudhanath is the biggest Buddhist temple in Kathmandu, built for thousand of years has come through here on the road to and from the lands to the north. Boudhanath Stupa is immense, some 130 feet (38m) high, and it squats like some great white spaceship, surrounded by shops, hotels, restaurants, and perhaps one of the busiest streets of the city. A pair of painted eyes look down from the wall, serenely surveying the flock of birds, spread across the dome-like stubble on a hug bald head, the shopkeepers, and the crowd of pilgrims walking round and round in a clockwise direction, gaining more merit for each circuit they make. Prayer flags flutter from the huge Stupa at Boudhanath, the most important Buddhist site in Kathmandu and the heart of the city’s Tibetan community.
A doorway in Patan shows the fine design and craftsmanship of the Newari people. The Jewel at the heart of Patan, a dazzling collection of buildings dating back 350 to 500 years, to the days before Prithivi Narayan Shah (the first king of Nepal Royal Dynasty), King of Ghurkha, unified the kingdoms of the valley in 1768 and created modern Nepal. There are temples, palaces with golden gates, a huge bell suspended between two pillars, and a lion on a column. Nepal was never colonized, so the architecture has no Western derivative and its distinctive fusion of Indian and Tibetan influences was created by the Newars, the people of the valley, and craftsmen of the highest order.
Swoyambhunath stupa, the famous pilgrimage site for Buddhists, is situated on a beautiful hill. It is a holy Stupa among the ancient Buddhist Mahachaitya of the Kathmandu valley. It is situated at the hill that could be observed from almost every part of Kathmandu valley. The tourists call the Stupa ‘Monkey Temple’ as there are many monkeys living around this place. Swayambhunath Stupa was built in the 5th century during the Lichhavi period by the Kushan community. The Stupa provides a panoramic view of Kathmandu valley. Its surrounding area is full of temples, monasteries, and statues dedicated to different deities. UNESCO has listed Swayambhunath Stupa as a world heritage site. There is a Bishwo Shanti (world peace) pond near the Stupa.
Shivapuri National park is 15 km north of the capital city of Nepal. It was declared as a National park in 2002 for the protection of Flora and Fauna. This national park is home to different national species of plants animals and birds. It is ideal for a hike, jungle walk, and bird watching. The popular hill stations around Kathmandu valley like Chisapani, Kakani, Budhanilakanth, and Nagarkot can be reached from the Shivapuri National Park. The highest point of this National park is Shivapuri Hill located 2,732 meters.
The above attractions are popular for Day Tour packages in Kathmandu, we recommend you choose the Kathmandu valley day tour of Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Squares Day tour in order to explore popular landmarks in and around Kathmandu valley. The trip to Kathmandu valley is still fascinating and worth visiting even after a massive 2015 earthquake and worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.
– This blog was originally published on 12 January 2017 and updated on 20 February 2021.