Kathmandu Durbar Square:
The mysterious tales that surround Katmandu Durbar Square along with its preserved art and architecture, history and culture is noteworthy. The historic palace of Kathmandu is named after the Hindu monkey God, Hanuman. Crowing ceremony of the Kings of Nepal used to be conducted in the courtyard inside the palace. The statue of King Pratap Mall sitting on the stone pillar can be seen at the front along with the Jagannath temple which dates back to the mediaeval period. Within walking distance, you will find the temple of Taleju from 1549 AD, the large stone statue of Kal Bhairav, the God of destruction, the Big Bell and Big Drum and Hindu Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati peeping from window. Visit the residence of living Goddess Kumari, a virgin girl selected from Buddhist family to act as a deity. The building has profusely carved wooden balconies and window screen. Kasthamandap temple, just by its side is believed to be built from a single tree trunk. The name Katmandu is derived from this temple.
Interesting things to see in Kathmandu Durbar Square:
Kumari (The Living Goddess):
At the West end of the square, is a beautiful house decorated with woodcarving of different Gods and Goddesses. This Palace is three storied and houses the famous living Goddess Kumari. Both Hindus and Buddhists equally venerate her. For Hindus she is the reincarnation of the Hindu Goddess Kali. She is equally worshiped by Buddhists because she is chosen from a Buddhist family.
Kashamandap, locally knows as Maru Sattal is another popular temple in Kathmandu Durbar Square. It is believed that the name of Kathmandu City is derived from the name of this temple. Kastha means wood and Mandap means pavilion. The temple is believed to be built from a single Sal (sorea robusta) tree. At the center of this temple, one can see the statue of the Hindu God Gorakhnath and in the four corners of the temple, one can see Ganesh Statues.
Small yet most visited, the Maru Ganesh is the busiest in the Durbar Square. People of Kathmandu valley believe that the four Ganesh in four corners of Kathmandu valley protect the peoples living in Kathmandu. The worship of Ganesh is considered to bring a Lucky Charm if you are starting something new. Everyday people go to worship this temple and on Tuesdays one can see a long queue of people waiting for hours as this is the day considered for the day of worship for Lord Ganesh.
Other interesting things to see here are Mahadev Temple, Shiva Parvati Temple, Bhagwati Temple, Old palace, Saraswoti temple, Krishna Octangular Temple, Big drums, Kal Bhairav, Jagannath Temple, and Tal.
Swayambhunath / Monkey Temple is a 2500 years old stupa situated on a hillock about 77 m above the ground level. The hillock gives a wonderful view of the Katmandu valley. The dome on top with painted eyes on four sides symbolize the all-seeing eyes of Buddha. Swayambhunath is a religious shrine of Buddhists. Two Buddhist monasteries within the complex and a temple of Haratima where both Buddhists and Hindus worship form other attractions of the places. The temple of Manjushree and the Anandakuti Bihar are a short walk from the main site.
Bouddhanath stupa located 6 km to the east of Kathmandu and is believed to be built in the 5th century AD. The Stupa is one of the biggest Buddhist Stupas in the world and is ringed by Buddhist lamas and monasteries. Bouddhanath is a holy stupa for Tibetan Buddhists who come here in thousands in winter to pay their honor.
Pashupatinath is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva situated five kilometer east of Kathmandu at the bank of Bagmati River. The temple has two golden roofs and four silver doors and is a holy place of pilgrimage that attracts tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year in spring. At the banks of the Bagmati River one can also observe the cremation ritual of Hindus.
Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square is home to the former Patan Royal Family. The most photographed of Kathmandus 3 Durbar Squares, it features a remarkable display of Newari architecture. Its main attractions include the Krishna Temple, with its 21 golden pinnacles, Rudra Varna Mahavihar, a Buddhist Monastery that houses local treasures, and the central courtyard of Mul Chowk.
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