Tourism is considered one of the important industries in Nepal. In 1956, air transportation was started and the Tribhuvan Highway, between Kathmandu and Raxaul (at India’s border), was established. Separate organizations were created in Kathmandu to promote tourism activity; Furthermore, Nepal became a member of several international tourist associations. Here, in this post I will try to share my experience from Pokhara to Kathmandu road trip and as well as Bhaktapur Sightseeing.
Tourism is a main source of income for most of the people in the city, with several hundred thousand visitors annually. Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world visit Kathmandu’s religious sites such as Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, Budhanilkantha etc.
The neighborhood of Thamel is Kathmandu‘s key “traveller’s den”, packed with guest houses, restaurants, shops, and bookstores, catering to tourists. Another neighborhood of growing popularity is Jhamel.
DAY 5- Pokhara to Kathmandu. Night stay at Kathmandu.
The next day we had a long drive to our destination of Kathmandu. Along the way we stopped in the Himalayan hilltop village of Gorkha. Gorkha is a municipality of Nepal. The old royal palace (Gorkha Durbar), Gorakhnath and Kalika (temple of the goddess Kali) are the chief attractions. The Royal Palace itself was devastated in the 2015 earthquake. At here we had our lunch on the rooftop restaurant at the Hotel King. The food was quite good with unobstructed views of Himalaya. The village and all the homes are attached up the dramatic hillside. The road in town is reasonably steep and was surprising to see buses navigating the narrow pathways.
After a lovely lunch, while others in my group were roaming around, I went for a walk through town. Everywhere I went in Nepal, I was struck by the scenery and photo opportunities (as a beginner). From the people of Nepal, to their way of life, I was captivated by it all.
Generally the benefit of taking a private vehicle is that you can ask the driver to stop whenever you like and smaller vehicles tend to be able to move through the traffic a little faster than larger buses. Private vehicles come with their own driver.
As we looped our way through the hilly terrain, we would occasionally stop for bathroom or sightseeing opportunities. We would often see farmlands that terraced up or down the lush green mountainside—it reminded me of the rice terraces in Uttarakhand, India particularly in Chaukari, Kumaon. It was another very long day of travel from Pokhara to Kathmandu accounting for our lunch break and some stops along the way it took some 7 hours, even though it was just over 200 km in distance.
We reached Kathmandu around 5 pm and directly went to our pre booked hotel. Our hotel is at Paknajol Marg 16, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal, Phone: +977 1-4383566. The name of our hotel is Hotel Moonlight.
Kathmandu may not seem far from Pokhara, but the Nepali terrain and road quality make for a very long drive. That’s why many travelers opt to fly. Here are your choices for traveling between the two cities, either by air or road.
Flying is by far the quickest and most comfortable way of traveling between Kathmandu and Pokhara and highly recommended if you’re short on time.
Numerous flights of Yeti and Buddha Air leave each day from the Pokhara Airport and take Kathmandu only around 30 minutes. It’s a very scenic flight, especially if you sit on the left-hand side of the plane, so you can see the Himalaya. When flying, you’re likely to arrive feeling energetic and with plenty of time for activities the same day, which can’t possible if you arrive Kathmandu by road.
Flights run daily, with the last flight (either direction) leaving around 3:30 pm. Costs vary by season and counting on how you purchase them. If purchasing online, you should expect to pay about Rs. 8000, one-way, and it’s generally easier to include these flights as part of your tour. (Keep in mind, airfare rates change frequently). Aside from the higher cost, the drawback of flying is that flights can often be delayed due to poor weather, either ways.
In the night I opened my laptop once again and started researching about Kathmandu. Kathmandu is the capital and largest city of Nepal, and also known as the city of temples, with one of the oldest temples, known as Pashupatinath Temple. The valley is the home of Newar people, a cosmopolitan urban civilization in the Himalayas foothills. The city was the royal capital of the kingdom of Nepal and hosts palaces, mansions and gardens of the Nepalese aristocracy. It has been the headquarters of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) since 1985.
Tourism is an important part of the economy of Nepal as I have earlier mentioned. Historic areas of Kathmandu were severely damaged by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April 2015. Some of the buildings have been restored and some remain in the process of reconstruction.
Now I’ll share my experience about staying at Hotel Moonlight. We stayed there for 3 nights and 4 days. In one word the stay was awesome. Few points I would like to ponder-
1. The staffs are professional and friendly.
2. The hotel staff is extremely hard working and went beyond our expectations to make us happy.
3. The restaurant menu is extensive and therefore the food is mouth-watering.
4. There’s a choice of eating within the restaurant or outside within the courtyard garden.
5. The garden is extremely beautiful with shady trees.
6. There’s a rooftop courtyard on top of the 8th floor and this has amazing views of Kathmandu.
7. The rooms are relaxing and filled with charm.
8. Wonderfully located a laneways walk into the tourist district of Thamel and15 mins drive to most other tourist attractions.
9. The hotel rooms are clean, the bed is comfortable has quality clean linen sheets.
10. The rooms are quiet and have good working air conditioners.
11. The complimentary breakfast is of a top quality with fresh foods and a daily menu change.
DAY 6- Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Nightstay at Kathmandu.
Today we are getting to visit Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur is 16 km from Kathmandu and can take around 45 minutes. Bhaktapur, is a city in the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. Bhaktapur was the capital of Nepal ‘Malla Kingdom’ until the last half of the 15th century. Bhaktapur has the best-preserved palace courtyards and ancient city centre in Nepal and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its rich culture, temples, and wood, metal and stone sculptures. This is often supported by the renovation and preservation efforts of German-funded Bhaktapur Development Project (BDP). The town is well-known for a special sort of dahi (yogurt) called “Ju Ju(king) dhau(curd).
DAY 6- Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is an accumulation of pagoda and shikhara-style temples, mostly dedicated to Hindu gods and goddesses made from brick and wood. The square is one among the foremost charming architectural showpieces of the valley because it highlights the traditional arts of Nepal.
The royal palace was initially situated at Dattaraya square and was only later moved to the Durbar Square location. The square in Bhaktapur was heavily damaged by an earthquake in 1934 and hence appears more spacious than those at Kathmandu and Patan.
Nyatapola Temple is a 5-story pagoda style temple situated in Bhaktapur, Nepal. The temple was created by Nepali King Bhupatindra Malla. It’s the temple of Siddha Laxmi, the Hindu goddess of affluence.
This is another pagoda temple of lord Bhairab, the awful aspect of Lord Shiva. It positions near the Nyatapola temple and was originally built by King Jagat Jyoti Malla on a modest scale.
Dattatraya Temple sites
The temple of Dattatraya is as old because the Palace of Fifty-five Windows. The three-story Dattatraya Temple, with statues of the Hindu trinity, (Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer), was built during the reign of King Yaksha. This temple, consistent with local belief, was constructed from one piece of wood from one tree. Round the temple are wood engraved panels with erotic decorations.
Just beside temple may be a monastery (Math) with beautifully carved peacock windows. These famous windows were engraved during the reign of King Vishwa Malla.
Changu Narayan is an ancient Hindu temple situated near the village of Changunarayan within the Kathmandu Valley. It’s 6 kilometres to the north of Bhakathapur and 22 kilometres from Kathmandu. The temple is one among the oldest Hindu temples of the valley and is devoted to Lord Vishnu. The temple may be a double-roofed structure where the idol of Lord Vishnu in his personification as Narayana is sacred.
Ta Pukhu (Siddha Pokhari) is a big water pond near the most city gate. It had been constructed during the reign of King Yakshya Malla within the early 15th century and is said with variety of myths. From this spot a good range of snowy peaks are noticeable on clear days.
Kailashnath Mahadev Statue
Kailashnath Mahadev is that the World’s Tallest Lord Shiva statue. The peak of this statue is 143 feet high and is found 20 km from Kathmandu, Nepal. It’s been made from copper, cement, zinc and steel. To form this huge building possible there have been many professional workers and statue makers from India.
I sat down in one temple premises and remembered ‘Mahan’ song of Amitava and Zeenath. Suddenly my dream broke off after my driver’s call. We came back to our hotel and prepared for our next day tour.