It is both the capital and the name of a district. The city is full of old houses, temple, stupas and chatyas that are scattered all over the city. The square near the old palaces of the Malla rules lure greatly. According to one legend, Gunakamadeva was assigned to build a city by Goddess Mahalaksmi between two rivers, Bagmati and Bisumati. The old name of the city was Kantipur. The city’s name changed after the construction of a scattal from the wood of a single tree, named Kathmandu (a sankrit word meaning house of wood).
Places to See
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Durbar Square of Kathmandu is one of the major attractions in Kathmandu Valley. The word Durbar Square translates in English as Palace Complex. There are several ways to visit the Durbar Square of Kathmandu, which is centrally located and easily accessible.
Kumari (The living Goddess) Ghar
At the west end of the square, is a beautiful house full of woodcarving of different Gods and Goddesses. This palace is three stories and in this palace, living the very famous living goddess kumari. Both Hindus and Buddhist equally venerate her. For Hindu she is the reincarnation of Hindu Goddess kali. She is equally worshipped by Buddhists because she is chosen Buddhist family. This shows the harmony between Buddhist and Hindus in Nepal.
Kumari ( Kumari Ghar)
The worship of Mother Goddesses is a very old tradition of the Indian sub-continent.It was prevalent before the arrival of Aryans in Indian. She is worshipped as a female power or energy. The Goddess is worshipped in many forms; the main form can be firce and destructive forms as Durga, Bhavani, kali etc. The second represent many,non violence, peace etc, as Sawar. Trailokya Mohan Temple
At the west of kumari palace, there is the temple of Trailokya Mohan, which is a three-storied temple. This is temple of Vishnu and was built by Parthibendra Malla in 1680. Now a days this temple is used Dasain to show the 10 reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. One can see a very beautiful of Garuda, which was built about 3years after the temple, was constructed.
One of the popular temple of Kathmandu Durbar Square is Kasthamandap locally known as Maru Sattal. It is believed that the name of Kathmandu city is derived from the name of this temple.Kastha means wood and Mandap means pavilion. And it is said that this temple is built by one single SAL (Sorea robusta) tree. At the center of this temple, one can see the statue of a God Hindu God can see the Statue of Hindu God Gorakh Nath and in the four corners of the temple one can se Ganesh Statues. Maru Ganesh
Small yet the most visited temple of Kathmandu is Maru Ganesh. The people of Kathmandu valley believe that the four Ganesh in four corners of Kathmandu valley protect the peoples living in Kathmandu. Every day people go to worship this temple and especially on Tuesdays one can see a long queue of people waiting for hours to worship. Tuesday is considered the day of Ganesh. Mahadeva Temple
One of the tallest temples in Kathmandu Durbar Square is the temple of Shiva (Magadev Temple). This is the temple from where visitors can take very good photograph of Durbar Square. The three storied pagoda style temple was built by Ridhi laxmi in 1690. It can accommodate many visitors who would like to observe various festivals Cultural in Kathmandu Durbar Square. The temple stands on wide nine plinths. Shiva Pravati Temple
Normally the statues in the temples are inside but the temple of “Shiva Parvati”Looking at the street of Durbar Square is the unique of this temple. Shiva parvati temple was built by king Rana Bahadur Shah in 1750AD. Very interesting stone can be seen in this temple.
On the east side of Shiva Parvati temple lies of Bhagawati. It is believed that Prithivi Narayan Shah had brought an image of Bhagawati from Nuwakot and named the temple after it. It has the finest wood carving not only in the temple, but also in the whole Durbar Square complex. It is difficult to locate the temple because of its narrow path.
Pashupati in Nepali means ‘Lord of the Animals’. It is a pagoda style Hindu Temple with gilt roofing and a richly carved silver door dedicated to lord Shiva is situated at the bank of the holy Bagmati River. The Pashupati has received the attention & faith of worshippers for at least 2000 years. This is one of the most sacred Hindu Temples in the entire Hindu World and one of the most important Hindu pilgrimages destination in Nepal. According to history, a temple dedicated to lord Pashupati was existed at this site in AD 879. However, King Bhupatindra Malla built the present temple in 1697. A pinnacle made by pure Gold, gold-plated roof, silver doors and woodcarving of the finest quality decorate the pagoda construction. ONLY HINDUS ARE PERMITTED TO ENTER THE MAIN COURTYARD OF THE TEMPLE. ALIEN TOURISTS CAN VIEW THE TEMPLE FROM THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE BAGMATI RIVER. The Bagmati River flows close by and the cremation spots (Arya-Ghat) are here.
A top the green hillock west of Kathmandu stand the great Stupa of Swoyambhu – a masterpiece of bronze art, situated some 4 Kms. from main Kathmandu City and above 77 meter from Valley floor. On all four side of the structure are painted the ‘All seeing’ eyes of Buddha looking out on all direction at the Valley below. Between them is the mystic third eye symbolic of true wisdom. Its dazzling white hemispherical mound represents the four-element earth, fire, air and water. The thirteen gilded rings on the spire are the thirteen degrees of knowledge and represent the ladder to “Nirvana” symbolized by the umbrella at the top. Around the Stupa runs a row of prayer wheels which is turned symbolically by Buddhist devotees representing the “Cycle of life and death” The Stupa was established some 2500 years ago and is the main center for all Buddhist settled in Nepal and Tibet. The spot commands a beautiful ‘bird’s eye view’ to Kathmandu Valley. The site is listed as ‘world heritage site’ by UNESCO and is one of the other seven such sites in Kathmandu Valley.