For the artists, in Bhaktapur, you can visit an art school, where many, starting at an early age, discover the complexity and the beauty of thanka painting. Listen, as the history of the paintings is related by a monk who is well-versed in the history of this art form. While there, be sure to sample the wonderful yogurt and visit the temple square. From Bhaktapur one can venture outside the city to enjoy the beauty and the complexity of modern Nepalese life, with a one to three day walk.
Let Himalayan Dreams share the best 5 incredible trips in Kathmandu Valley
1. Bhaktapur Durbar Square And Changunarayan Temple Tour
Be sure to visit the city that time seems to have stood still. Although some damaged was done to the temple square, the rebuilding continues apace with the need for the tourists to return. Be awed by the Thanka school of painting and marvel at the hand carved wooden peacock that resides atop a store front. View the latticed windows of the women's quarters, which have recently been replaced, and be aware of the explicit temple paintings that were used to help explain the many aspects of human relationships. The Changunarayan Temple will certainly please the photographers and the casual tourist as this magnificent temple becomes a must see for everyone visiting Bhaktapur.
2. Bungmati and Khokana – Patan Durbar Square – Krishna Temple
Bungamati is a small Newari village still abiding its tradition as their significant part of life. Very less influenced by the modern city just a few kilometers far from the village, Bungamati exemplifies true beauty of the still living age old culture and civilization, your journey to Bungamti, starts with a vantage point where one can behold the entire village of Bungamati and Khokana. Walking down the lanes of Bungamati, you will pass through local Newari people busy working intricate designs in wood or stone on their way to creating many more beautiful artifacts keeping their talents running for the future generations to enjoy. Though, small in size, at least 100 people from the village earn their living through wood carving. The village was earlier, the origin of the precession of the chariot of Machindranath, one of the most important festivals of the Newari community. Not far from the village of Bungamati, is another interesting Newari village called Khokana, where an important temple of Durga is situated.
Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square complex, situated in the center of Patan city, also known as Lalitpur. It houses the residence of the former Patan royal family. Patan Square and its surroundings are good specimens of ancient Newari architecture. There are three main courtyards in the palace: Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Keshav Narayan Chowk. Mul Chowk, the oldest one, is at the centre of Patan square. Several multi-sized and multi-styled temples occupy the western part of the complex. Main among these are Krishna Temple, Bhimsen Temple and the Golden Temple of Hiranya Varna.
3. Pashupati Temple and Boudanath Stupa Tour
Pashupatinath Temple is the richest and holiest Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is 6 km east of Kathmandu and a center of the annual pilgrimage on the day of Maha Shivaratri which falls in the month of February/March. This temple is situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of the sacred Bagmati River. The temple, in Pagoda style, has a gold gilded, two-tier roof and richly carved silver doors which are famous for their superb architecture. The premise of this temple is accessible only to Hindus. Visitors and non-Hindus are permitted to view the temple only from the east bank of River Bagmati.
Most iconic spiritual centers in Kathmandu, with huge eyes watching, is located in the heart of the capitol. This will allow you to stroll the circumference of the domed stupa and spin the myriad of prayer wheels that line the path. Surrounded by shops and souvenir bargains, this event alone can bring smiles to your face and leave you feeling you have touched and sensed the heart of Nepal.
This is NOT for the faint of heart and will also eat into your pocketbook. However, the views and the end visit to the Mt. Everest Base camp are well worthy the time and the expense. See Mt. Everest up close and reward yourself with a wonderful array of photos as you soar up and over and eventually land, allowing for a really good close up of the famous mountain.
This is not nearly as exciting as the helicopter ride, but it does give you a chance to fly by the fabled mountain and at least give yourself the chance to snap a picture from the security of a well-maintained plane. This ride is available only if the weather permits a flight with good views.
5. Sankhu to Nagarkot Hike
Begin your hike from an ancient newari town north-east of Kathmandu Valley. This historic village has a significant religious value as Bajrayogini temple still stands on middle of hill attracting many worshippers. The pleasant hike offers stunning views of mountain ranges including Langtang Himal, Dorje Lhakpa, Ganesh Himal, Sisapangma, Manaslu, Gaurisaknar, Mt. Everest etc. Nagarkot is absolutely the exquisite hill station to enjoy the finest panoramic views of glorious mountains.
If you need more time, and more of Nepal will open up to the casual tourist or hardy traveler. More activities are available for almost any tourist. For the hardy teenager there is bungie jumping and the thrill of white water rafting is available to all tourists. Shop in the wonderful Thamel area where you can bargain for those gifts to take home with you. Again, isn’t it time to book that trip?