Kathmandu Valley is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, groups of monuments and buildings that showcase the rich history and art culture of Nepal. Durbar Square in Kathmandu, the nation's capital, is one of the sites that visitors should consider including in their custom Nepal travel package.
Not only is Durbar Square the center of social, religious and urban focus in Kathmandu, but it is also a complex display of temples, palaces, and streets that date back as early as the 12th century. The square is littered with statues and temples dedicated to Hindu gods like Shiva and Vishnu, and even those of other faiths can appreciate the beauty and intricacy of their design.
The Taleju Temple is one of the most famed sights in Durbar Square. Legend has it that the Taleju Goddess herself instructed the builders to construct the temple in the shape of a yantra, a symbol often thought to possess mystical powers. When construction was complete, the goddess is rumored to have appeared as a bee at the dedication ceremony. Taleju is considered to be the main protective deity of Nepal, and her namesake temple is only one of the many sites dedicated to her.
This temple is only open to the public once a year, and those who want to tour the inside of the majestic structure should be prepared to get there early and wait in line. However, seeing the famed temple from the outside can be just as fulfilling. The three-tiered temple was the first to have more than two roofs and be built on a raised platform.
There are a number of temples and sculptures worth seeing, but UNESCO points out a few other sites that visitors will not want to miss. The Nautalle Durbar, Kal Bhairab, Gaddi Baithak and Jaganath temples are all exquisite examples of traditional Nepalese architecture. Sculptures like the statue of King Pratap Malla, the Big Bell and the Big Drum are worth checking out as well.
Kathmandu is full of beautiful sights and impressive buildings, and Durbar Square is the place to go for anyone who wants to see as much of what Nepal has to offer as they can. Some temples allow visitors to go inside, but others do not and International Expeditions’ custom Nepal Travel Planners can help direct your sightseeing when putting together your itinerary.
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|Image courtesy of chenevier & Creative Commons|