A Day In Kathmandu– Everything That You Need to See and Do.
The capital of Nepal, Kathmandu is a thriving multicultural metropolitan city. Exploring the entire city in 24 hrs is just an impossible thing to do. However, if you wish to make the Most Of a Day in Kathmandu even in your tight schedule before heading off for the trek. Here are a few places you must not miss to visit.
A full day sightseeing in Kathmandu must include a visit to a few famous World Heritage Sites. Likewise, a walk through the busy local markets to a beautiful view of the entire city from the roof and a pure local food together will make your day a memorable one.
Explore your Morning around the Periphery of Thamel ( a vehicle-free area)
After having a beautiful sound sleep, start your day with a good breakfast around Thamel assuming your hotel around.
Thamel is the Main Attraction of Tourists and the major hub of tourist activities so it absolutely is the perfect place to start your exploration!
2. Kathmandu Durbar Square
Statue of Kal Bhairav: the largest stone idol in the center of Durbar Square
Secondly, right after Thamel, we recommend your further step to Kathmandu Durbar Square. Situated in the heart of Kathmandu city in Basantapur, Kathmandu Durbar (Square/Palace) never fails to impress the visitors with its intricate wooden carvings along with the rich ancient history.
Kathmandu Durbar Square area is actually made up of three loosely linked squares;
- Basantapur Durbar Square to the south
- The main Durbar Square to the west.
- Similarly, the second part of Durbar Square to the running northeast containing the entrance to the Hanuman Dhoka Palace and an assortment of temples.
Highlights of Kathmandu Durbar Square:
- Taleju Temple–the tallest building in Kathmandu Durbar Square
- Kal Bhairab–the largest stone idol in the center of Durbar Square
- Statue of King Pratap Malla-facing the palace in the square
- Jagannath temple- oldest temple in Kathmandu
- Kasthamandap- the city Kathmandu derived its name from Kasthamandap
- Kumari Ghar- a small palace where the Living Goddess (Kumari) is kept.Kumari (Living Goddess)spreading smiles during the festival of Indra Jatra in Nepal.
Kumari is regarded as the only last Living Goddess of Nepal worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists. Kumaris are the young prepubescent girls who receive the power of the Goddess of Kali and symbolizes the power of protection.
Moreover, Kumari is believed to be the human manifestation of Goddess Taleju until she menstruates, after which it is believed that the goddess leaves her body.
3. Boudhanath Stupa
Boudhanath Stupa: A holy place of Enlightenment in Kathmandu
After exploring Kathmandu Durbar Square the next destination would definitely be the Boudhanath Stupa. It is the largest Stupa in Nepal that symbolizes the Peace and spreads a unique vibe.
I assure you will absolutely get lost in this quiet and peaceful environment. All you will hear is a peaceful Buddhist prayer song(Avalokiteshvara mantra) while roaming around the stupa which certainly is so relaxing and mind refreshing.
The Wisdom Eyes of Lord Buddha(The Light of Asia)
In the stupa, there are huge pairs of eyes staring out from the four sides of the main tower. These are the “Eyes of the Buddha” staring out in all four directions the wisdom eyes. The Buddhas’ eyes in the stupa symbolize the all-observing capability of Lord Buddha.
Likewise, between the wisdom eyes, there is a carving symbol(Nose) and it looks like a question mark. It symbolizes unity and enlightenment.
The stunning view from the rooftop, a cup of coffee, and perfect weather!
Are There Any Places like Restaurants or Cafes around Boudhanath Stupa?
Of course, there are. In fact, there are a number of cafes at Boudha where you can go and chill for some time.
So, after doing a few koras (walk around) the Boudhanath stupa go at any rooftop cafes and enjoy the stunning view along with a cup of coffee or any drinks. Certainly, this is one of the best things I love to do at Boudhanath Stupa.
The prayer flags tied to the stupa flickering in the wind, the flock of pigeons flying around Boudhanath Stupa and the peaceful surrounding are truly mind-blowing!
A flock of Pigeons flying over The Stupa
These are the most beautiful things you can definitely witness at Boudhanath Stupa. Moreover, pigeons symbolize Love and sacrifice. Similarly, offering butter lamps are the most powerful offering.
Just like a lamp eliminates darkness, offering light clears away the darkness of ignorance to attain Buddha’s clear wisdom.
Lighting the lamps eliminates darkness in a faithful sense
Besides all these, you can also light the butter lamps in the name of the people who are passed away. Traditionally, it is believed that lamps are offered as a dedication to the passed away people in order to guide them by wisdom light.
4. Swoyambhunath Stupa
‘All-Seeing Eyes’ of Lord Buddha, keeping an immortal watch on the valley.
The next is to the Swoyambhunath Stupa also known as the Monkey Temple is another most important Buddhist shrines. It is known as the Monkey Temple because it is the home of spiritual monkeys.
The complete architecture of the stupa is deeply significant: the white dome signifies the earth, the 13-tiered, tower-like structure at the top represents the 13 stages to enlightenment. Similarly, the nose-like twist below the eyes signifies unity, and a third eye signifies the ”all-seeing vision of the Buddha”.
There are 365-step staircases to the top of the hill at Swoyambhunath.
You can see an outstanding panoramic view of the Kathmandu valley, from the top of the hill. Moreover, sitting on top of the hill while the cool fresh air hits right on your face is such an overwhelming experience.
These are worth watching after a long up climb of 365 steps staircases. Each and everything you witness will leave you absolutely speechless.
The peculiar activities of the monkeys at Swoyambhunath Stupa
Likewise, the monkeys swinging from trees and prayer flags hanging around the colorful temple as well. Jumping from high and dive into the water with a splash is such a peculiar.
Consequently, this is another thing you will enjoy the most while sightseeing around Swoyambhunath Stupa.
5. Things to Do In Thamel
A busy local market in Ason Thamel
- Explore The Busy Local Market, Ason, Thamel
After finished sightseeing the beautiful view of Swoyambhunath Stupa you can return back to Thamel passing through the amazing busy local markets of Ason Thamel.
Meanwhile, its pretty crowd, however, you can witness the simple yet beautiful lifestyle of people within the crowd.
- Enjoy The Street Food
You can try some best street foods in Thamel as well. It’s fresh delicious and extremely cheap. Trust me you definitely gonna love it.
6. Evening View Of Kathmandu
A beautiful evening view of Kathmandu
Finally, you can witness a spectacular evening view of Kathmandu city. Moreover, the city during the Tihar Festival (festival of lights) will look utterly gorgeous as the entire city will be decorated with lights.
Above all, you can spend a day in Kathmandu exploring these beautiful places and turn the single day into a memorable one.
Note:- The first impressions of Kathmandu city are traffic, dust, and pollution. The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” actually applies to Kathmandu city.