Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. This is a mysterious and enigmatic country located in the Himalayas. Here is the high-altitude pole of the world – the mountain of the gods Chomolungma, or Everest, or Sagarmatha (depending on what language this name is pronounced). Buddha was born here in the 6th century BC. About 80% of the population of Nepal are Hindus, but most Nepalese worship two gods at once: Buddha and Shiva, and it is characteristic that there are usually no conflicts.
According to Countries Annals, the city of Kathmandu was founded in the 10th century. The population of Kathmandu is approximately 300 thousand people. It is a city of temples, religious statues and sculptures – both Hindu and Buddhist. There are so many of them here that in any courtyard there can be a magnificent monument of art and culture, and an ancient sculpture can stand right on the pavement.
Pilgrims from all over the world come to Nepal to the birthplace of the Buddha. One of the most important places of worship is the Swayambhunath temple in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, dedicated to Ali-Buddha – the Primordial Buddha. According to legend, Ali Buddha appeared in Kathmandu when the valley was one huge lake, and he grew here in the form of a lotus flower. Now a huge stupa-temple, as if hanging over Kathmandu, is illuminated by spotlights, which makes it seem that it is floating in the air, from where the Buddha’s eyes painted on the stupa are watching people.
The influence of India has left its mark on the social structure of Nepal, creating a relatively strong caste system here. The highest caste, the Tagadharis, or “twice-born”, are those who, after death, are reborn as human beings. There are also castes of brahmins (priests), chetris (warriors) and the lowest caste – the so-called “untouchables”. The latter are not even allowed to use the same sources of water as the higher castes. Brahmins never take food from the hands of untouchables, and therefore during ritual holidays they cook all the food themselves. Interestingly, the entrances of houses belonging to representatives of the upper castes should be turned away from the pedestrian part, in order to hide the inside of the houses from prying eyes. Generally speaking, the relationship between castes in Nepal is a very complex system that requires special consideration.
Until the mid-50s, Nepal was closed to foreigners, which is why it retained its originality. This is a poor country whose people do not consider themselves poor. He has his own human values and lives by his own rules. Nepal forces visitors to adapt to their lifestyle.
October-November – April-May – Nepal time. Thousands of tourists from all over the world travel to this amazing country to spend the best months among Hindu temples and Buddhist pagodas, on the mountain paths of the Himalayas and on the rapids of Nepalese rivers. Spring and autumn are the most “golden” seasons. Traveling on the rivers of the Himalayas (rafting) and hiking are very popular in the West. Warm, dry weather, lack of mosquitoes and reptiles, eastern exotic cities – all this attracts tourists. Usually there are no restrictions on such trips, they are available to any healthy person without any special training, and you can’t imagine a better way to get to know the country.
At present, the Russian tourism market offers numerous tours to China, Tibet and Nepal that can satisfy the most diverse and unexpected wishes. Undoubtedly, extraordinary landscapes, majestic cliffs and noisy mountain rivers will delight you. You will get acquainted with the history and culture of ancient civilizations, you will be able to see with your own eyes all the wonders that you heard about in childhood.
Durbar Square – Kastamandap temple (XII century). This temple is the oldest surviving wooden structure not only in Kathmandu, but also in the world, with which the name of the Nepalese capital is associated. House-temple of the living Goddess Kumari. Also here you can see numerous temples and shrines – Vishnu, Shiva, Black-Bhairava, Ganesha, Hanuman Dhoka.
Kathmandu Valley Temple complex of the Kathmandu Valley – Swayambudnath (it is over 2000 years old). It is also called the “City of the Gods”. The stupa is one of the oldest temple complexes in the valley, and possibly one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the world.
Ancient Hindu temple complex Pashupatinath (17th century). This is one of the four most famous Hindu temples dedicated to the god Shiva, located on the banks of the sacred river Bagmati. It is here, on the banks of the sacred river, for many centuries that the ritual of burning the dead has been unceasingly going on. The dust then descends into the holy waters of the river, which bestows purification and liberation of the soul from the wheel of samsara.
The Buddhist monastery Kopan is located on a hill among picturesque nature. The monastery was founded by Lama Rimpoche in 1979. More than five hundred monks and nuns live and study in Kopan, both from Tibet and from the highlands of Nepal, located in the Himalayan valleys.
The Buddhist stupa Boudhanath (5th century) is the largest stupa in the world and a recognized center of Buddhism. Near the stupa there are several temples and monasteries that can be visited during the service. Walking around the stupa clockwise and rotating the drums, believers say a prayer many times and purify their minds.
The medieval city of pilgrims Bhaktapur is an open-air museum. Bhaktapur is included in the cultural heritage of UNESCO. The uniqueness of its architecture can be felt by walking through the royal chambers of the Palace of 55 Windows and the Golden Gate, visiting the temples of Vatsala Durga, Bhairabnath and Nyatopol.
The Hindu ancient temple of Changu Narayan (4th century) – the temple of Vishnu, is located on a picturesque hill. In front of the temple there is a sculpture of Garuda – a huge bird at war with snakes-nagas, the means of transportation of the god Vishnu (5th century).
Mountain resort of Nagarkot.
The Pokara valley is an amazing nature, mountains covered with lush greenery and snowy mountain peaks that can be seen in clear weather. One of the most important sacred places in Pokhara is the Barahi temple, located on a small island in the center of Lake Phewa. A small two-tier temple is dedicated to the goddess Ajima, one of the incarnations of the goddess Shakti (Durga, Kali). As in other Shaivist temples, animal sacrifices are performed here on holidays and Saturdays. Pilgrims and tourists are brought to the temple by boat.
2 km from the local airport there is a deep depression with a waterfall going underground. The locals call it the Patal Chhango (Hell’s Falls) waterfall.
Another attraction is the sacred cave Gupteswar Gupha, located near the Hell Falls, the total length of which exceeds 3 km. Gupteswar Gupha is a chain of large and small caves, interconnected by narrow passages, many of which can only be moved on all fours. The cave is of particular value to Hindus, as there is a stone in the form of a Shivalingam.
Mount Panchase. It offers a magical view of the mountains and the Pokhara valley, the Panchase lake and the Shiva temple, which is a Hindu pilgrimage center.
Begnas Tal Bazar town, Begnas lake surrounded by mountains. The lake has amazing water. It is pure and soft, as if distilled.