what to see
- Taleju Temple
Taleju Temple, situated in the heart of Kathmandu, is a revered religious site known for its remarkable Newari architecture and intricate wood carvings. Dedicated to the goddess Taleju Bhawani, it holds great historical and cultural significance. The temple’s pagoda-style structure, ornate decorations, and historical legacy make it a captivating destination. While access to the inner sanctum is restricted to Hindus, visitors can still admire its exterior beauty and experience the spiritual ambiance surrounding the temple. Taleju Temple is an important focal point during festivals like Dashain, attracting devotees and showcasing Kathmandu’s rich cultural heritage.
- Trailokya Mohan Narayan Temple
The Trailokya Mohan Narayan is an elegant three-tiered temple. Built in 1680 and dedicated to Vishnu/Narayan, the Trailokya Mohan is best viewed from the opposite side of the Kumari Ghar in Kathmandu Durbar Square. It’s here you will still see the highly detailed stone Garuda kneeling before it. The temple serves as the setting for dance performances depicting Vishnu’s ten incarnations; the festivities are held here as part of the Indra Jatra festival.
- Kalbhairav Temple
Located at Hanuman Dhoka and surrounded by a diverse range of temples and shrines is the remarkable Kala Bhairav temple in Kathmandu Durbar Square. It is dedicated to a fierce and terrifying avatar of Lord Shiva who is also called the Lord of Time and Death.An outdoor space within the complex serves as a place for people to worship and contains a gigantic statue (standing at twelve feet) of Kala Bhairav which was sculpted during the 6th century. The deity receives several visitors who pay their respects to the deity everyday; witnessing a significant crowd performing prayers is not uncommon.
- Hanuman Dhoka
Kathmandu’s royal palace, known as the Hanuman Dhoka, was originally founded during the Licchavi period (4th to 8th centuries AD), but the compound was expanded considerably by King Pratap Malla in the 17th century.
Ancient Nepalese architecture and culture attracts many locals as well as foreigners who seek insight into its history and the collection of artifacts belonging to the Malla dynasty which is impressively displayed at the museum. In addition to it, this place is also home to the story of the unification of Nepal under the reign of Prithvi Narayan Shah. So, those history enthusiasts would love this place.
- Kumari Bahal Or Kumari Ghar
Kumari Bahal, the palace where the Kumari lives. Yes, the living goddess of the valley. It is a beautiful three-story traditional ancient palace. It is a structure made of wood and red bricks with intricately carved windows, doors, and balconies. The presence of Kumari is believed to protect the community and the region. Interestingly, the major earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015 left only minor damage on the Bahal while the surrounding was impacted majorly. So, understanding this phenomenon, getting to know about the living goddess as well as the palace attracts many throughout the year.
- Singha Sattal
Singha Sattal, also known as Silyan Sattal is a 13th-century shelter located in the Kathmandu Durbar Square. Inside the Sattal is a shrine of Natyeshwar, the God of Dance. It was built alongside the iconic Kasthamandap; with wood left over from the Kasthamandap Temple. Silengu means ‘left over wood’ and a Sattal is a pilgrim hostel; until the addition of the golden-winged singh (lions) that guard each corner of the upper floor was added.
- Kabindrapul Temple
It is a wooden temple, also known as the Dhansa Dega, is an ornate 17th-century performance pavilion that houses the god of music.
- Ashok Binayak (also called Maru Ganesh)
Located on the east of Kathmandu Durbar Square and nestled in Maru Tole within Kathmandy Valley is hindu’s’ sacred site known as Ashok Binayak Temple, where you can find Lord Ganesha who is also known by the name of Binayak. The god is worshiped as the god of luck by Hindus. The temple hosts one of the four original Ganesh shrines of Kathmandu valley.
- Kotilingeshwara Mahadev Temple
The Kotilingeshwar Mahadev Temple stands on the northwest side of the Hanuman Dhoka Darbar Square. The architectural historian Michael Hutt notes that the temple’s central image is a four-faced statue of Shiva in the form of a chaturmukha linga.
- Shiva Parvati Temple
Shiva-Parvati Temple of Kathmandu is one of the glorious temples of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. As you approach the Durbar Square, you’ll notice a pagoda-style building with two stories, where someone is peering out of a window that overlooks a central courtyard. This window houses the beautiful white and blue idols of Shiva and Parvati, adorned with colourful accessories as they bless visitors. Their striking appearance is sure to capture your attention from afar.
- Bhagwati Temple
The Bhagwati Temple, situated at Durbar Square, was initially constructed as a Narayan temple during the 18th century by Jagajaya Malla. It is also believed that the Narayan deity was taken by Prithvi Narayan Shah and replaced with an image of Bhagwati.
- Great Bell
In 1797, the Great Bell was constructed by King Rana Bahadur Shah. Positioned beside the Degutaleju temple, it is exclusively rung during the temple’s puja. At precisely 9 am each day, this ornate bell chimes.
- Tana Deval Temple
The Temple of Goddess Vaishnavi, popularly known as Tarani Devi Temple, is situated at the northeast corner of the Durbar Square. The temple has a rectangular shape and is painted in a striking red color with three entrances. It boasts of three exquisitely carved doorways and several brightly painted struts that depict the Ashta Matrikas, the multi-armed Mother Goddesses.
At the heart of Kathmandu city’s bustling Human Dhoka Durbar Square stands Kasthamandap, a three-story pagoda-style temple that is said to have been built from a single tree. Amazing as it sounds, its name, which means “wood-pavilion,” is quite fitting given its unique construction. Local legend purports that the city of Kathmandu was named after this remarkable temple.