Kathmandu in a day-10 Places to visit

Almost everyone visiting Nepal lands in Kathmandu as it is the only major airport. Thus once in Kathmandu what to do? The best way is to escape to a different part of Nepal as soon as possible to avoid the crowd and dust of Kathmandu. Pokhara, Chitwan and many destinations across Nepal are more calm, pristine and worth visiting.
However you'll invariably have about a day to explore Nepal- like say half a day on your arrival and another half on the day of departure depending on flight timing. Even otherwise, it might be worth sparing a day to explore Kathmandu. In this post I am sharing details of places that we visited in Kathmandu.

1. Pashupathinath Temple
Most popular temple in town- temple campus is open all day, but main core temple is open from 4 AM to 12 Noon and 5.30 PM till 9 PM. You'll have to wait in line to get a few seconds worth of Darshan- if you're not very particular you can skip this part. Photography is NOT allowed inside the complex.
Visit evening aarti, conducted on the banks of the river just behind Pashupatinath temple, which usually begins at about 7-7.30 PM and lasts for over an hour. Not as grand as one seen in Varanasi, but still a good visual treat in the evening.

There is no entry fee, footwear stand is also complementary. Beware of monkeys as well as some sadhus who would pester you for money. Carry water. You can also climb a small hill next to the temple for better view.

We selected Hotel Kailash Kuti inn, right next to Pashupathnath temple, partly because of proximity to temple, partly because it was just 2-3 kms from airport.

2. Boudha Stupa in Kathmandu 6
There're several Boudha stupas and temples- you can visit one or two depending on your time and interested. We stopped by at one which was located between Pashuthinath temple and our next destination, Kopan Monastery.

Known officially as Shree Boudha Ghyang Guthi is a nice circular shaped stupa decorated with rows of coloured piece of cloths, making it fairly photogenic.

There're dozens of shops, restaurants and accommodation options surrounding this stupa.
An entry fee of 100 Nepal rupees applies. There were few secondary entrances without a ticket counter.

Timing: 4 Am to 6 PM (winter) or 7 PM (Summer)

3. Kopan Monastery 
Small, nice monastery located on a hill, involves some curvy drive with views. View of the city from Kopan Monasetery is nice. Besides the monastery there's a cafe, store, small garden.

No entry fee.


Some areas are limited to residents only. So watch out. There'll be various ongoing programs related to Yoga, Spiritual learning etc- if it interests you then sign up and spend some time undertaking the course.

4. Sleeping Vishnu temple at Budhanikantha
This temple wasn't in my plan- was recommended by our driver Krishnaji
A small temple complex whose main attraction is god Vishnu in sleeping position over a pond. Skip if not of interest or short of time.

5. Swayambhunath Temple
#2 temple in Kathmandu after Pashupatinath. Located on a hill- you can take steps or go up in vehicle. 50 Nepali rupee entry fee applies per person (SAARC), more for foreigners.

Offers good views, lots of souvenir shops to consider. Needs about an hour or two to explore the complex.

6. Kathmandu Durbar Square
Dubar Square is like a city centre- there're a few of them in Kathmandu- one near Swayambunath, another in Patan etc. Visit for exploring great temples and ancient buildings- some of these were severly damaged during the earthquake and restoration is in progress.

7. Singha Durbar
Nepal's secretriat- no entry inside, can get a glimpse from outside while heading to next destination, Garden of Dreams

8. Garden of Dreams
Second most expensive entry fee of all attractions in Kathmandu- 200 Nepali rupee per person.



Garden of Dreams is a nice little cozy place in Kathmandu away from the dust, traffic and madness of Kathmandu you'd have seen all through the day. Garden of Dreams has several restaurants to order food from, some open areas and well maintained landscape to relax. Some exhibitions or performances may be happening during your visit.

9. Shopping at Thamel area
Thamel area is close to Garden of Dreams- most popular area in town for food and shopping

10. Patan Durbar Square
Open area similar to Kathmandu Durbar Square- entry fee 250 Nepali rupee per person for SAARC members, but the area is not access controlled well- ticket counter is available in only one spot and there're a dozen different entry and exit points.
Some temples were under renovation. Cafes and shops are available around.

If you start early and manage your time well, you will be able to visit all 10 of above in one day. If you don't want to rush, skip a few for next day.

Chandragiri hill is another attraction some 15 kms from Kathmandu with cable car service to top- this would take minimum half a day- plan if you have spare time.

Similar: Pokhara in a day- places to visitNepal on Budget

5 comments:

  1. Amazing,so many places to explore, enjoyed reading with these beautiful clicks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't been to Kathmandu before. I will surly visit these places on my trip to Nepal.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Srinidhi,
    Is INR accepted there? If yes, what denominations of INR can be used?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, INR accepted, only old 100s, 50s etc.. not new notes

      Delete

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