The Himalayan Home of the Gods

Kathmandu

Venture into a world of spirituality and faith nestled in the heart of the Himalayas! Kathmandu, the capital city to Nepal, is packed with countless temples and shrines to explore. The locale’s religious significance and sacred energy owes itself to the city’s rich history. Early as fifth century BCE, a vital trading route between Tibet and India flowed through Kathmandu Valley. Siddharta Gautama (later known as Gautama Buddha) was believed to be born in Lumbini, just west of Kathmandu, in 563 BCE. The influx of foreigners passing through town and the birth of Buddha created a melting pot of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs still seen today. Follow in the footsteps of Tibetan monks, wise men, and other adventurous travellers who have wandered the streets from past to present-day.

  • Religious
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lemi

Updated a year ago

Kumari Ghar (Kumari Bahal)

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Kathmandu, Nepal • Recommendation • 

The Living Goddess of Kathmandu calls Kumari Ghar her home. The Royal Kumari is a young girl carefully selected to embody Devī, the Hindu expression of divine female energy. Petitioners come to her for healing from blood-related illnesses and predictions of the future. Even just a glimpse of her is said to bring good fortune to people! Pay a house-visit to join the constant crowd of visitors in Kumari Ghar’s courtyard as they faithfully await her presence through the third-floor windows. Note that taking pictures of the Living Goddess is prohibited, in case you spot her. Whether or not the Royal Kumari makes an appearance, Kumari Ghar’s architecture and the air of anticipation is always worth the visit.

  • Layaku Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal
    लायकू मार्ग, काठमाडौँ 44600

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Pashupatinath Temple

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Kathmandu, Nepal • Recommendation • 

Pashupatinath Temple is one of the holiest sites in Hinduism where devotees from all over come to worship. It is dedicated to Pashupati, the guardian deity of Nepal and an incarnation of Shiva in the form of the Lord of Animals. The edifices date as far back to the 5th century, being one of the privileged few that survived Nepal’s devastating 2015 earthquake. The main temple is off-limits to foreigners, though there’s still plenty to see around the complex! Witness cremations that spill from the temple into the sacred Bagmati River. Discover meditation caves where ancient men dedicated their time seeking the path to enlightenment. People are always coming-and-going and rituals abound around every corner of this sprawling complex!

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Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple)

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Kathmandu, Nepal • Recommendation • 

Ascend 365 steep stone steps up a hill to Swayambhunath, commonly known as Monkey Temple. Friendly little primates will keep you company along the way up, and at the top you are rewarded with sweeping views of the area! Stay for the picture-perfect sunset and behold hundreds of the holy monkeys reclaim the temple once night falls. The site incorporates both Hindu and Buddhist shrines. Its main feature is a stupa, topped with a gilded tower. The spire is painted with Buddha’s eyes looking out onto the valley and the sight of worshipers below!

  • Swayambhu, Kathmandu, Nepal
    काठमाडौँ 44600

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Boudhanath

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Kathmandu, Nepal • Recommendation • 

Under the watchful gaze of Buddha painted onto a golden spire, a procession of worshipers circle the base of Boudhanath Stupa. Join the crowd as they circumambulate (a devoted act of moving around a sacred object) and spin prayer wheels. This Buddhist stupa, one of the largest in the world, is right in the thick of town and remains unperturbed by the roaring commotion of the city. In the brief pockets of silence, you’ll catch the faint sound of Tibetan monks chanting mantras and the smell of incense wafting from over 50 nearby gompas (Tibetan monasteries).

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Budhanilkantha Temple (Narayanthan Temple)

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Kathmandu, Nepal • Recommendation • 

Budhanilkantha Temple is an open-air Hindu place of worship. Its main draw is a massive idol of Lord Vishnu carved out of black basalt as if floating on the water. He lies peacefully in a sleeping position over the tangled body of the thousand-headed cosmic snake named Shesha. The stone figure’s origin is legendary with some locals believing it was dug up perfectly formed in the likeness of the deity. Worshipers come to pray at the temple and touch Vishnu’s feet. Approaching the carved statue is a privilege given only to Hindus, so foreigners should refrain from coming too close.

  • Budhanilkantha Municipality, Kathmandu District, Nepal
    बुढानिलकण्ठ 44606

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Kirateshwar Mahadev

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Kathmandu, Nepal • Recommendation • 

During the full moon, music students from a nearby ashram (monastery) perform a free concert in the temple of Kirateshwar Mahadev. Acclaimed musicians join emerging local talents to showcase Nepali classical music. Spend an enchanting night listening to sweet serenades under the glow of the full moon. Discover new instruments, like the tabla (a bongo-like percussion), harmonium, and sitar as they are played together skillfully. Time your trip wisely to catch this special affair that takes place on select nights from 4:00PM to 7:00PM.

  • Gaurighat Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal

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Kopan Monastery

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Kathmandu, Nepal • Recommendation • 

Pursue a deeper understanding of one of the religions that drive the city at Kopan Monastery. Here, the community of monks offer introductory courses into Tibetan Buddhism and intensive retreats at their hilltop sanctuary. Whether you’d like to spend a meditative day overlooking the valley or seek your own enlightenment, they’ve opened their doors to foreigners. Check their website for availability and schedule of events since there’s always something happening—from seminars to private visits!

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About Nepal

With its majestic mountains and equally magnificent temples, Nepal conquers all heights

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