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Kathmandu

Kathmandu is the capital and largest city of Nepal. It is situated in a valley in the heart of Nepal. The entire terrain of Kathmandu is like a steep incline, descending from the Himalayan heights to the Terai flatland within a short distance.

Kathmandu is really two cities: a fabled capital of convivial pilgrims and carved rose-brick temples, and a frenetic sprawl of modern towers, mobbed by beggars and monkeys and smothered in diesel fumes. It simultaneously reeks of history and the encroaching wear and tear of the modern world.

Explore the wonders of Kathmandu

Kathmandu is truly the heart of the Himalayas, it has a wonderful history that goes back to about two hundred years and a very refined culture, the richest of all in Asia. Kathmandu attracts many tourists all year round, and it is not only just a tourist destination it is also an important business hub and a sacred place for pilgrims.
Kathmandu is bordered by two of the world's biggest countries, China and Taiwan and therefore it has very good import and export partners and a fairly constant economy.

It is said that Kathmandu has been found by king Gun Kamdev in AD 723. According to the legend, the area was a lake in the past, but Manjushri, a disciple of the Shakyamuni Buddha, cut open a hill to the south and allowed the water to flow out, making the region habitable. The origin of the present name is unclear, but one of the more likely theories is that it was named after Kastha-Mandap ("temple of wood" in Sanskrit), after a pagoda carved from the single tree on the order of King Lakshmi Narasingha Malla in 1596.

The old city is noted for its many Buddhist and Hindu temples and palaces, most dating from the 17th century. One good example is the Kathmandu's Durbar Square. This Durbar Square was built in the 16th century. It contains a marvelous royal palace and many temples built in the traditional Newar, Pagoda style. In the square is a house called the Kumari Chowk. The Kumari Chowk is home to Nepal's 'Kumari' ¨C a little girl that is chosen as the living incarnation of the Hindu goddess.

The old royal palace is a part of Durbar Square, which remains the traditional heart of the old town and a spectacular legacy of traditional architecture. The king no longer lives here and the 1934 earthquake damaged the complex, but it remains a fascinating place to explore.

Freak Street
 
Kathmandu's most famous street from the hippy overland days of the 1960s and '70s runs south from Basantapur Square. Its real name is Jochne but since the early '70s it has been better known as Freak Street. In its prime, the street's squalor and beauty was irresistible.
The smell of sweet incense, children fluttering prayer wheels, cheap hotels, ad hoc restaurants and shops selling enlightenment, were standard sights on Freak Street. Not surprisingly, it made an instant rapport with the dusty-haired 'freaks' who gave the street its name. Love-ins are a thing of the past, but Freak Street's history and plum position in the heart of old Kathmandu still make it a popular destination.