several ancient towns, monuments and architectural wonders.
The city of Kathmandu is a perfect mixture of the ancient,
traditional and modern. Kathmandu is also the centre of all
commercial, political, cultural and social activities and the
tourist, adventure and mountaineering excursions. It is also
the headquarters of the government of Nepal. Kathmandu has all
the features that describe it as a truly modern city. The
climate of Kathmandu is seldom very cold for most of the
year. The best time to visit Kathmandu is from September to
November and February to May.
History of Kathmandu
Kathmandu was founded in 723 AD by the Licchavi king Gunakama
Dev at the confluence of the Bagmati and Bishnumati rivers.
The original name of the city was Kantipur, the glamorous
city. The hub of the city is the area around the oldest
building, the Kastha Mandap, which stood at the crossroads of
two important trade routes. When the valley was unified in the
14th century by Jayasthiti Malla, Kathmandu became the
administrative centre and this sparked off an expansion that
was sustained over many years. In the 19th century, due to the
Rana's travels overseas, new European styles were introduced.
Under the Ranas, various places were built at Patan and
Kathmandu, but with the return of the monarchy, these became
neglected. There are various attractions in the ancient city
of Kathmandu due to which various people came here as
conquerors, traders and businessmen, as seekers of adventure
and economic migrants.
Tourist Attractions in Kathmandu
There are about 2000 temples and shrines in Kathmandu. The
most interesting things to see in Kathmandu are clustered
around the old towns between the old marketplace and the
shopping centre along the New Road. The main places to visit
in Kathmandu are Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa, Kumari
Temple. Besides visiting the above places, the tourists can
also have one day excursion to various places nearby Kathmandu.
Some of these places are Bodhnath, Pashupatinath Temple,
Budhanikantha Temple and Dakshinkali Temple, Daman, Changu
Narayan Temple, Nagarkot and Dhulikhel.
How to reach Kathmandu
Today, Kathmandu is no more the distant Shangri La that it was.
It is connected with various cities by air, rail and road.
The Kathmandu airport is internationally connected by air with
Bangkok, Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Varanasi,
London, Paris, Moscow, Vienna, Dubai, Karachi, Dhaka, Paro,
Lhasa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Osaka.
The first surfaced road to reach Kathmandu, from Raxaul Bazar
was completed in 1956. Kathmandu is also direct connected with
East Uttar Pradesh, Lhasa in Tibet and Pokhara in the west.
Modern highways connects Kathmandu with all the Himalayan
cities like Darjeeling, Gangtok, Phuntsholing and various
north-eastern states of India. The Arniko Highway connects
Kathmandu with Tibet and China, via Kodari and Dolalghat in
Nepal, through Tatopani (Liping) on the Nepal border and Lhasa
in the Tibet. There are various entry points from where the
tourists can enter into Nepal from India like Kakarbhitta,
Birgunj, Belhiya, Kodari, Sunauli, Nepalgunj, Dhangadi and
The nearest railway station is located at Amlekhganj in the
Terai region and linked with Raxaul Bazaar on the Indian
border which is connected with Gorakhpur and Patna.