The ancient city of Kathmandu is slowly turning into a modern metropolis, but within its bustling streets and squares remain numerous temples and monuments of great beauty and historical significance. The rich tapestry of the cultural heritage of Nepal is synthesized in Kathmandu valley, representing a perfect example of harmony in urban design, elegant architectures, refined cultures, colourful bazaars and straightforward and hospitable people. Once separate kingdoms in it, Kathmandu valley contains three fabled cities – Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Out of ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country, seven cultural heritage sites are in Kathmandu Valley, and all those heritage sites are like open museums!
Some two hundred years ago a Western visitor wrote that there were as many temples as there were houses and many idols as there were people, in the city. Indeed, Kathmandu boasts one of the largest assemblages of magnificent historical monuments and shrines ever built.
Geographically Kathmandu valley is surrounded with several most beautiful viewpoints such as Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Namobuddha and Chandra Giri, from where one can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the Himalayas: Manaslu (7,111m.), Langtang (7,246m.), Choba Bhamre (6,016m.) and even Everest (8,848m.). The view is particularly memorable at the end of the day when the sun slowly sets beyond the horizon, and the mountains glow in the evening light. Both sunrise and sunset, from these viewpoints, are truly breath-taking. Sometimes the lower valley remains under a thick cloud, setting off the mountains high above them. One needs a minimum of 6 days to visit all the historical sites of the valley that includes seven world heritage sites and others. The other hill sites around the Kathmandu valley are Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Namobuddha and Kakani, which area accessible with a short-day hike or an hour’s drive and provides exceptional sceneries of Himalayan and sunrise and sunset.
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