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Your flights to Lukla from Kathmandu may be diverted to Ramechhap Airport. Here’s Why!

Your flights to Lukla from Kathmandu may be diverted to Ramechhap Airport. Here’s Why!

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN KATHMANDU

The must-visit place in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is chaotic, but at the same time, it is magical. For those of us who are stepping into Kathmandu for the first time, it is definitely chaotic; the hustling and bustling of the city are far away from your expectations. You want to avoid spending another night here. Yet, on the other side, Kathmandu is beautiful. You will end up staying for days on end. Whether a casual traveler or an avid adventurer, you will love Kathmandu with an undying longing to explore more. Kathmandu has a lot to offer. That said, there are a plethora of opportunities to choose from while you are in Kathmandu and here are the top 10 things to do in Kathmandu.

Marvel at the incredible view of Kathmandu from Swayambhunath Stupa

Swayambhunath Stupa, atop a hill, bestows stunning views of Kathmandu Valley. Swayambhunath Stupa, a self-existing stupa since the 5th century, is the must-visit place in Kathmandu. Overlooking the Kathmandu Valley, the Swayambhunath stupa with the whitewashed dome, fluttering prayer flags, and abounding monkeys have a distinct aura amidst the chaotic Kathmandu. It comprises a large stupa with Buddha eyes gazing sleepily, surrounded by small temples, chaityas, and numerous other religious objects.
The long inclined stairway that runs the forest is inhabited by hundreds of monkeys, which gives rise to its name (the Monkey Temple). Huge numbers of prayer wheels around the stupa are spun by devotes to release prayers and mantras to heaven. This UNESCO world heritage site in Kathmandu is considered a vantage spot to revel in the bird-eye views of Kathmandu Valley.

Enjoy Evening Aarati at Pashupatinath Temple

If you are visiting Pashupatinath temple, make sure to visit in the evening from (6-7:30 pm) – to indulge in evening aarati, a religious ritual of worship, the highest form of prayer. Songs with the religious theme, tandav, and custom with oil lamps are performed to offer reverence to Lord Shiva, the holy Bagmati River and Pashupatinath.
Vedic mantras are chanted, incense is burnt, and oil lamps are lit to create a blissful aura that draws hundreds of devotees. Pashupati Bagmati aarati is conducted for about 1.5 hours and ends with a thankful gesture to the god for the wellness of every living soul.

Explore Boudhanath Stupa

The list of top things to do in Kathmandu would be incomplete without Boudhanath Stupa. Boudhanath Stupa, also a UNESCO site, is one of the largest spherical stupas in the world. You are lucky if you get to spot the imposing and iconic Boudhanath Stupa when flying into Kathmandu. The massive whitewashed dome topped by a Buddhist pyramid tower and adorned with colorful prayer flags truly captivates your eyes as you enter the site.
Just as you walk in, make sure you circumambulate the stupa in a clock-wise direction. You may spin the prayer wheels as well. The burning of incense, chanting of mantras and the fluttering of the prayer flags will definitely delight your soul. Most people love to sip coffee at one of the rooftop cafes and marvel at the astounding view of the stupa.

Fly to Everest

If you want to catch a glimpse of Everest without hiking for days, you can fly to Everest from Kathmandu. Yes, you read it right; you don’t have to trek for weeks to admire the mighty Everest. Interestingly, you can admire stunning views of more than 10 peaks. All you need to do is hop aboard a plane from Kathmandu.
The classic way to admire the breathtaking views of Everest is to trek for days. And if you want to skip days of trekking, embark on a beautiful journey of about an hour-a flight tour to Everest. Just make sure to book a window seat and hope for a clear day. Note the flights get canceled due to poor weather.

Hike on the outskirt of Kathmandu Valley

There are four hills on the outskirts of Kathmandu: Phulchoki, Shivapuri, Nagarjun, and Champadevi. About an hour away from Kathmandu’s busy streets, the green hills with amazing views of the mountains welcome you. You can either hike or go cycling along the hills. Many local travelers hike in the hills to escape the chaotic atmosphere and admire Kathmandu’s rustic charms. Kathmandu boasts some of the best hiking trails.
Hiking around Kathmandu Valley offers an opportunity to embrace the incredible sights of lofty mountains and visit rural Nepali villages and explore the lifestyle of local people. A hike to Nagarkot is one of the most popular hikes- it offers stunning views of the Annapurna range, Manaslu range, Ganesh Himal range, Langtang range, Jugal range, Rolwaling range, Everest range, and Numbur range. Similarly, a day hiking to Shivapuri is another popular hiking route for tourists.

Taste Momo and Dal Bhat

Your travel to Nepal is incomplete without tasting Dal Bhat and Momo. Dal is a cooked lentil soup seasoned with herbs and assorted Masalas (spices). Sprinkled with herbs and spices such as coriander, garam masala, cumin, and turmeric, these can be eaten with onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, tomato, or tamarind.
Dal Bhat is always accompanied by Curry (vegetable or non-vegetarian) -a mix of available seasonal vegetables, such as cauliflower, battered broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, soybeans, etc. Momo is the dumplings that are steamed over some soup broth. Momo shops are almost in every corner of the city, whether in hotels or streets.

Wander in the Trekker’s Paradise

Thamel is the most happening place in Kathmandu. Also called The Backpacker’s Paradise, Thamel is the place where you can find anything (from currency exchanging booth to trekking gears) for your adventure to the Himalayas. Check the hashtag #thamel, and you will get some photography ideas in the Thamel area.
Thamel, a commercial neighborhood in Kathmandu, is a haven for every backpacker, a pit stop full of shops and vendors selling everything from intricate artifacts to trekking gears, walking gears, souvenirs, and attires catered specially to travelers from Western countries. The narrow alleys in Thamel lead to pubs, travel agencies, small grocery stores, foreign money exchange booths, budget hotels, restaurants, and clubs on either side of the street. Strolling or rushing the road of Thamel in a taxi or rickshaw will make you realize that Thamel is the hottest spot for
tourism in Nepal.

Shop at Ason Bazaar

Kathmandu’s busiest market square, Ason or Asan, is crammed with shops selling everything from tea to yak tails, condiments to chicken, cup to cakes, clothes to chocolates, and everything imaginable. A swarm of pedestrians, two-wheelers, rickshaws, and sometimes even four-wheelers congest the streets of Ason. Visit Ason and surprise yourself with some classic photographs of busy alleyways, traditional markets, and temples and shrines.
6 narrow streets (Bhotahiti, Kamalachi, Nhai: katwa, Teuda, Balkumari, and Makhan: Galli) converge towards the market. In the southeast corner, you can see 3-storey Annapurna Temple.
Wander around, and you will find shops selling vegetables, spice, and metalwares. This historic marketplace buzz from dusk till dawn. Remember, this market attracts shoppers and very few wanderers. If you can dodge the crowd, I can assure you that you will love to explore Ason.

Explore Narayanhiti Museum

Narayanhiti Museum, next to Thamel, is one of the reasons why you should visit Kathmandu. Built by King Mahendra in 1963, this palace, now a museum, is embellished with extraordinary courtyards, gardens, and buildings. After abolishing the Nepalese monarchy following the 2006 revolution, this palace was turned into Public Museum.
It is said that there are still bullet holes from the massacre of the royal family, and the palace contains the deepest dark history of the kingdom of Nepal. The museum showcases the old monuments and the remains of the kings and their family, including the royal crown made from 730 diamonds, over 2,000 pearls, and other gems. The palace is divided into three wings: the guest wing, the state wing, and the private wing. You have to pay the entrance fee, and leave all bags, cell phones, cameras, etc., in the locker room before entering the palace. Taking photos is strictly prohibited.

Visit Kopan Monastery

A Buddhist monastery on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Kopan Monastery is a must-visit destination in Kathmandu. Every year hundreds of foreigners arrive at this popular monastery to study Buddhism and enjoy the spiritual atmosphere. It is home to more than 300 monks and lamas.
Kopan Monastery is possibly the first monastery to accept Westerners to attend the full course of discovering Buddhism. Currently, the monastery is closed, and the course program has been canceled. The Kopan Monastery official website states that “Kopan is distributing food for people in remote areas affected by the coronavirus lock-down.”

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