Kathmandu is one of the most enthralling capitals in the world, a city where burgeoning modernity is met with a culture steeped in tradition. Find contemporary street art infused with ancient Nepali motifs, and watch how society has evolved around beautiful ancient sites such as Boudhanath and Kathmandu Durbar Square. In the evening, escape to the beautiful Dwarikas hotel and unwind in the Newari inspired courtyards.
Dwarikas Hotel, situated 20 minutes from the city centre, is an exquisite display of Nepali heritage and hospitality. Inspired by the aesthetics and rich cultural traditions of the Newars, the indigenous population of Kathmandu Valley, Dwarikas creates the warm ambiance of peace and serenity. The hotel houses a rare collection of 13th century onwards artifacts, and rooms are individually designed using traditional furniture and Newari motifs. Dwarikas is the perfect base in Kathmandu from where you can explore the surrounding sites.
Boudhanath and Durbar Square
Just 5 kilometres north of Kathmandu Boudhanath, a UNESCO world heritage site, is Nepal’s largest hub of Tibetan Buddhism. At the heart stands the great stupa, Buddha’s deep blue eyes holding a watchful gaze from all four sides. Captivated by the ever-present om chanting radiating from nearby monasteries, one cannot help but get swept up in the graceful clockwise movement of people shuffling around the base. With colourful prayer flags delicately swaying in the breeze, Boudha is a serene stop over perfect for a little soul searching.
Kathmandu Durbar Square similarly captives one’s imagination for its timeless heritage and aesthetics. Referred to as Hanuman Dhoka by locals, Kathmandu Dubar Square was once an ancient seat of Nepalese royalty. Some of the historic buildings and intricately adorned temples date back to the era of King Ratna Malla in the early 1500s. After you have wandered Durbar Square, step into the labyrinth of allies and explore old Kathmandu at it’s best; tiny tea stores, ancient silversmiths and local handicraft stores.
The shrine of the Reclining Vishnu, situated below Shivapuri hill, 8 km. north of Kathmandu city is possibly the largest image of Vishnu. The five-yard long image of Narayan lying on a bed of serpents is one of the incarnations of Vishnu. It is believed the ruling kings of Nepal could not lay eyes of this image without being harmed. The shrine consists of a pond in which lies a great image of Lord Vishnu reclining on the coils of a stone-carved cosmic serpent. The huge statue of the sleeping Vishnu was carved from the single block of black stone of a type not found in the valley. It is believed that in another age, there lived a hardworking, farming couple who maintained their farm here. One day, while ploughing the field they discovered the deity here.
The most sacred of all Hindu temples in Nepal is situated on the banks of the holy Bagmati River and is called Pashupatinath. Non Hindus are not allowed to enter the temple precincts but may look in from the opposite bank. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, It draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and devotees from Nepal and India during the festival of Mahashivaratri (the night of Lord Shiva) that takes place in early spring.