They left behind some of the most breathtaking sites that display elevated art forms mixed with history and culture. As most travel experts or companies recommend a visit to the glorious Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur or the Buddhist havens of Swayambhu and Boudha, many other sites are totally overlooked. There are a few dinners, some dance programs and that sum up Kathmandu for you. It is only a rare traveller that gets to discover more.. Most of these sites are outside the perimeter of the city of Kathmandu, and where the air is crisp and clean. We have listed out a few of the most overlooked places by tourists that are actually worth visiting, to say the least.
According to some ancient inscriptions excavated in Kathmandu, Pharping was once known as “Phalapringga” and was in existence as far back as 3000 B.C. Today it’s a quaint little settlement outside the city limits and visited by just a handful of tourists each year. Today it is renowned for the Palyul Retreat Centre, which is the residence of Khenpo Namdrol Rinpoche. Pharping has several monasteries and temples. To the south is the famous temple of Dakshinkali, dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Kali. Pharping is about 20km away from the city of Kathmandu and is rarely visited by tourists. Anyone looking for solitude and Buddhist spirituality must visit this place at least once.
Changu Narayan is perhaps the most distinguished monument built in the history of Nepal. It is a grand monument dedicated to Vishnu, the Hindu God. Located at about 22km east of Kathmandu, this temple is a decorative monument of religious architecture built in the 3rd century by the Lichhavi King Manadeva. Around its beautiful temple complex are historical artefacts like ancient Lichhavi stone inscriptions and ornate stone pillars. The temple itself is grand with beautiful wooden carvings and metal work to decorate its walls.
Bungmati is a small Newari village located in the Lalitpur disctrict 10km south of Kathmandu. Even though it’s a fairly small village, Bungmati is known as the capital of art and architecture in Nepal as it is home to some of the most creative artists, sculptors and wood carvers. This ancient village came into existence as early in the 7th century. However some historians are of the view that it came into existence as a religious centre in around 300B.C. Regardless of the rapid changes in lifestyle of the urban population and the globalized way of living, the Bungmati locals have remained unruffled by modern times and are living their lives rooted deeply in traditions.
Namobuddha is basically a Buddhist pilgrimage site where it is believed that one of the Buddhas offered his body to a hungry tigress and its cubs. Today, it’s a hill with beautiful Buddhist shrines and a monastery. It is situated at 45km to the south east of Kathmandu city. This place is famous for Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery which has a beautiful assortment of Stupas among other structures with Buddhist spiritual motifs. According to popular legend, Gautama Buddha visited this place when he had come to Kathmandu.
Panauti is one of the oldest towns of the Kathmandu valley. It is located at a distance of about 35 km south of Kathmandu city. This is essentially a town inhabited by the Newari people, so if you are looking for close cultural interactions, this is the right place to visit. This town was founded by King Ananda Malla in the12th century and is famous for the Indreshwar temple located here. The people of Panauti also celebrate their indigenous festival known as the Panauti Jatra. Panauti Jatra is a chariot festival which takes place every year in Panauti, at the end of the monsoon- typically in the month of June.