Once known as 'Kantipur', covering an area of 564 sq.km. the valley is 1348 metres above sea level, Kathmandu is the largest city of Nepal, is the political capital and a cultural one as well. The old, fabulous palaces, the superbly crafted pagodas and the monumental stupas are reminders of the Golden age of architecture in Nepal. And rightfully, the Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath, Boudhanath and Pashupatinath have been enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Monuments.
The three cities that were built in the valley: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur have seen many battles and intrigues through the centuries and have benefited from the artistic rivalry that led to the building of opulent palaces, fabulous squares, artistic temples and other well-designed monuments.
It is the grandeur of the past that enchants the visitor whose gaze may linger on an exquisitely carved wooden, window frame, an 18th century bronze sculpture or the spiritually uplifting stupa of Boudhanath.
The Temple house of Kumari – the residence of living Goddess has profusely carved wooden balconies from where they acknowledge greetings of her devotees. The National Museum houses a splendid collection of artifacts from ancient, medieval and modern Nepal.
In this valley, Buddhism and Hinduism have co-existed in religious harmony over the centuries, and many deities are common to both religions. Pashupatinath Temple situated on the bank of the sacred Bagmati river is a pagoda style temple with gilt roof and richly carved silver doors.
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