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  • Nitisha Agrawal

What are the must-visit places for tourists in Nepal?

Kathmandu City’s key landmarks

As a vibrant city like Kathmandu, there are undoubtedly many attractions and landmarks to explore, but to get you started, here are a few places you just must NOT miss!

* ★ – Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

★ Pashupatinath: Nepal's national deity, Lord Shiva, resides in this hallowed Hindu temple complex. Lord Shiva is one of the main deities in Hinduism, and Pashupatinath or Pashupathi is one of his given names. As the oldest Hindu temple in the city, you will find a wide combination of temples, ashrams (spiritual monasteries), images, and inscriptions from the time that you set foot in this place.

TIP: If you're looking for a special experience, you can come in the morning to witness the cremations or come in the evening starting at 6 PM to witness the aarti (fire worship).

★ Boudhanath: This famous stupa (concentration spot) dominates the Kathmandu skyline and is one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal due to its enormous mandala, a Buddhist spiritual symbol. It is beneficial to remember that it has served as a symbol of Buddhist faith for generations. Many Tibetan and Nepali Buddhists in the area have used it as a major location for meditation and pilgrimage ever since.

★Swayambhunath is an old religious structure including shrines, temples, stupas, a Tibetan monastery, a museum, and a library. According to local legend, it is also surrounded by "holy monkeys," which is how it got the moniker "Monkey Temple." Both Buddhists and Hindus still hold this monument in high regard, despite the fact that it is classified as Buddhist.

TIP: Go inside the Tamang Gompa monastery for an amazing 360-degree view of the stupa. Meanwhile, it's recommended to arrive early in the morning or early in the evening for a less congested setting.

★ 'Durbar Square' is a generic term for plazas opposite old royal palaces in Nepal, and this particular Durbar Square in Kathmandu city is surrounded by spectacular architecture that has showcased the skills of Newar (historical inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley) artists for centuries. Unfortunately, several of the structures here have collapsed owing to the 2015 earthquake, but the charm of this square survives thanks to its magnificent palaces, courtyards, and temples.

Old City: Explore this maze of small streets and temples north and south of the central Durbar Square as one of your things to do in Kathmandu city to obtain a better understanding of the local culture and way of life.

Other Durbar Squares: If you have time, you should visit the other Durbar Squares in Kathmandu Valley (at Patan and Bhaktapur).

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