Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square Durbar literally means Palaces is in the heart of old city Kathmandu in Basantapur. . Kathmandu valley was divided into 3 kingdoms from the 9th century onward till 1768 AD. The founding of the Palace dates back to Licchavi times. With considerable renovations by Malla rulers and later the Ranas, construction was accomplished progressively over many centuries.
There are around 50 temples in the vicinity including the temple Taleju Bhawani which was brought from the Indian continent by Mallas with them in around the 9th Century. The Durbar is divided into two courtyards, the outer comprising Kasthamandap, Kumari Ghar, and Shiva-Parvati Temple, and the inner consisting of Hanuman Dhoka and the main palace. Important ceremonies, including the coronation of the Nepali monarch, are held in Kathmandu Durbar Square. Most parts of the palace premise are open for tourists throughout the week during office hours.
Kumari, a Virgin lady recognized as Goddess in the valley by both Hindus and Buddhist families. Kumari is selected from one specific clan called Shakya residing nearby the square at around the age of 3 / 4 and brought up here in the palace till her maturity... She is highly worshipped by the people of Nepal who put strong belief in her. She lives in the palace during the period and on very limited occasions she got a chance to come out of the Palace.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square: Bhaktapur Durbar Square another palace complex of the Malla Kings during the 9th - 18th Century is located in the center of Bhaktapur. The Square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the Valley as it highlights some of the finest medieval arts of Nepal. The main items of interest in Bhaktapur Durbar Square are the Lion Gate, the Golden Gate, and the statues of kings on stone monoliths. The Golden Gate was erected by King Ranjit Malla as the entrance to the main courtyard of the Fifty-five Windowed Palace.
The Palace of Fifty-five Windows was built during the reign of King Yakshya Malla in A.D. 1427 and was remodeled by King Bhupatindra Malla in the 17th century. The art gallery of Bhaktapur Durbar Square contains ancient paintings belonging to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of various periods. This gallery is open every day except Tuesday.
Besides this complex amazing 5-storied Nyatapola temple and Dattatreya, the temple complex is great to enjoy. The narrow lanes with puppets and handicrafts, and wooden carvings on sale is worth walking around. Bhaktapur is popular for its woodcarving and pottery art.
Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar SquarePatan Durbar Square another royal palace complex of the then Malla Kings during the 17th century is situated in the center of Patan city. This was taken as the youngest Kingdom. The Square and its surroundings provide a very good example of ancient Newari architecture. Patan City is taken as a Buddhist city and can be seen in many Buddhist shrines, stupas, monasteries, etc.
The palace has three main courtyards the central and the oldest is Mul Chowk. To the west of the complex are a dozen free-standing temples of various sizes and styles. Krishna Temple widely worshipped on Krishna's Birthday, Bhimsen Temple, the Golden Temple of Hiranya Varna Mahavira and Sundari Chowk ( the bathing complex of the then Malla Kings ) mark the architectural excellence of its era. The Sundari Chowk with the sunken bath of Tusha Hiti, contains exquisite woodcarvings, stone, and metal sculptures. Patan Durbar Square also houses a temple of Taleju Bhawani. In this complex, there is an amazing museum of art where the collection of Hinduism and Buddhism are displayed.
Swayambhunath StupaSwoyambhu literally means Self-Existent One. Swoyambhunath is believed to have been established more than 2,500 years ago. An inscription dated 460 A.D. states that the construction was carried out by King Manadeva. By the thirteenth century, Swoyambhunath had developed into an important Buddhist learning site.
The history of Kathmandu Valley is said to have started with the beginning of Swoyambhu. The largest image of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Nepal is in a monastery next to the Stupa. Behind the hilltop is a temple dedicated to Manjusri of Saraswati - the goddess of learning. Statues and shrines of Buddhist and Hindu deities dot the Stupa complex.
Large numbers of Buddhists and Hindus alike visit Swoyambhunath. Swoyambhu is perhaps the best place to observe religious harmony in Nepal. The Stupa is atop a hill and requires a considerable walk. There is also a road that leads almost to the base of the statue
Pashupatinath StupaPashupatinath is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for Shiva devotees. Pashupatinath, dedicated to Shiva the Destroyer, is the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destination in Nepal. Although the Pashupatinath Temple was only built in the fifth century and later renovated by Malla kings, the holy site is said to have existed from the beginning of the millennium.
A gold-plated roof, four silver doors, and wood carvings of the finest quality decorate the pagoda temple of Pashupatinath. Temples dedicated to several other Hindu and Buddhist deities surround the temple of Pashupatinath. Nearby is the temple of Guheshwori dedicated to Shiva's consort, Sati Devi. Behind the temple is the River Bagmati. On the banks of Bagmati are raised platforms used as cremation sites for Hindus. Only Hindus are allowed inside the Pashupatinath courtyard.
Pashupatinath, in a limited sense, literally means the Lord of the Animals. But an animal is also a term that denotes the animal-like instincts in human beings. Capable of destroying instantly every evil force either with his trident or the third eye, when it comes to his devotees, the Lord Pashupatinath destroys their ignorance. Be it an issue of material gain or release from the cycle of mortal existence he is the height of compassion, generosity, as well as consciousness.
Shiva has been worshipped in Nepal from the beginning of the Neolithic civilization in the Kathmandu Valley, with scientific archaeological studies and findings around the temple proving that the god Pashupatinath was worshipped here from about the beginning of the Christian era. From about the 7th century onwards, it became the first and foremost temple of Nepal, with kings, aristocrats, and the rich offering a great deal of wealth and land in trust to the god, making it one of the richest temples in Nepal. Many temples and statues around the temple were added making it a big complex rather than just a temple. The main God or the Lingam of Pashupatinath is carved on a blackish stone, with four faces engraved on four sides of the Linga
Boudhanath StupaBouddhanath is the center of Tibetan culture in Nepal. The 36-meter-high Stupa of Bouddhanath is one of the largest stupas in South Asia. Bouddhanath Stupa was renovated by Licchavi rulers in the eighth century. The Mandala design in Bouddhanath is a copy of the one in Gyangtse in Tibet.
The Stupa is located in the area of an ancient trade route to Tibet where Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to live around Bouddhanath. Hence, a complete township has developed around Bouddhanath. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of a Kasyap sage venerable both to Buddhists and Hindus. Smaller stupas are located at the base. Gompa monasteries, curio shops, and restaurants surround Bouddhanath.
Because of its location and size, it seems much larger than the Swoyambhunath Stupa, with the same hemispherical dome symbolizing the emptiness from which everything emanates.
On top is the Harmika painted on each side with the eyes of the Buddha symbolizing awareness, and above the spire with its 13 stages to the canopy. At ground level, there is a brick wall with 147 niches and 108 images of the meditational Buddha inset behind copper prayer wheels. Early morning and evening are the times to visit Bouddha to join the local residents in kora (walking the pilgrim's circuit, sometimes with Tibetan pilgrims on their hands and knees)
PokharaMillions of people travel thousands of miles in the search of Heaven or Paradise on Earth, fully unaware of the existence of a corner of real paradise. Pokhara valley is situated at an altitude of 827 meters from sea level. This is one of the picturesque spots of Nepal. Its lovely lakes and mountains enhance the beauty of the valley. Pokhara is situated 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu. It is linked by Air and by road from Kathmandu and the Indian border Sunauli. Pokhara offers magnificent views of Dhaulagiri, Fishtail, Manaslu, five peaks of
Annapurna and others. This is one of the few places in the world to provide such a dramatic view in a sub-tropical setting. The nearest snow-capped mountain, Fishtail, is less than 30 kilometers from Pokhara. Pokhara's numerous lakes offer fishing, boating, and swimming.
LumbiniShakyamuni Buddha was born in Lumbini, in southern Nepal, twenty-five hundred years ago. Lumbini has since been a holy ground for Buddhists all over the world. The restored garden and surroundings of Lumbini have the remains of many of the ancient stupas and monasteries. A large stone pillar erected by the Indian Emperor Ashoka in 250 BC bears an inscription about the birth of the Buddha.
An important part of Lumbini is the temple of Maya Devi. It has a stone image of Maya Devi giving birth to Lord Buddha as she holds onto a branch. It has been well worn by the strokes of barren women hoping for fertility. To the south of the temple is a pool where Queen Maya Devi is said to have bathed and given her son his first purification bath.
A quiet garden, shaded by the leafy Bo tree (the type of tree under which Buddha received enlightenment), and a newly planted forest nearby lend an air of tranquillity that bespeaks Buddha's teachings. Lumbini is now being developed under the Master Plan of the Lumbini Development Trust, a non-governmental organization dedicated to the restoration of Lumbini and its development as a pilgrimage site. The plan, completed in 1978 by the renowned Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, will transform three square miles of land into a sacred place of gardens, pools, buildings, and groves. The development will include a Monastic Zone, the circular sacred Garden surrounding the Ashoka pillar and Maya Devi temple, and Lumbini Village, where visitors will find lodges, restaurants, a cultural center, and tourist facilities.