Resembling a medieval city of temples, shrines and living gods, Kathmandu is Nepal’s biggest and most cosmopolitan city, a meeting place of a dozen ethnic groups and once one of the most important points on the caravan routes between Tibet and India. Said to have been founded by king Gun Kamdev in 723 AD, one of the more likely theories of how the city got its name is that it was named after Kastha-Mandap, a pagoda carved from a single tree.Read More
Sights to see in this mystical city, imbued with history and legend, include Pashupatinath Temple which stands on the banks of the River Bhaginiti, Swayambhunath Pagoda, the colossal Bodhnath and the King‘s Palace with the giant bats hanging from the trees and bamboo. Many festivals take place in Kathmandu as well and it is also the starting point for many adventure activities. New Road is great for shopping, Freak Street, once the home of hippies, is now a restaurant area and Thamel Chowk is also great for its array of eateries and quality shopping.
Durbar Square, in the heart of Kathmandu, is home to more than 50 stunning temples and shrines and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The most notable sites are Taleju Temple, one of the oldest temples and an example of Newari architectural style, Kumari Palace, home of the living goddess, Saraswati Temple - the goddess of knowledge and learning and the Sweta Bhairab statue that is only on show during the Indra Jatra festival. Each site has its own unique charm and will lead visitors closer to understanding the incredible cultural heritage of Nepal.
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Kathmandu. Alternatively, if you would like to include a visit to Kathmandu on a bespoke touring itinerary to Nepal, take a look at our tailor-made holiday planning section.