APTLD 73
Courtesy of Chandra Chakradhar



About

We did not stroll across the Universe
Singing songs back and forth
But let us tell you in advance
There is no better place in paradise
Than our dear Kathmandu


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For many, stepping off a plane into Kathmandu is a pupil-dilating experience, a riot of sights, sounds and smells that can quickly lead to sensory overload. Whether you’re barreling through the traffic-jammed alleyways of the old town in a rickshaw, marveling at the medieval temples or dodging trekking touts in the backpacker district of Thamel, Kathmandu can be an intoxicating, amazing and exhausting place, echoes our favorite Lonely Planet.

From the moment we stepped outside I was struck with a tingling of excitement. This was one of those places. Somewhere that I instantly loved, adds an enchanted travel blogger.

So, what is so special about this city which makes one heart go boom?

Indeed, Kathmandu is an eye popping, jaw dropping experience, a riot of sights, sounds and smells that can make your senses explode. Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal is bestowed with “City of Glory” fame. It serves as the home to more than half of the population of Nepal. Tourist’s footfall is quite high in this city. Nepal is culturally so diverse that Kathmandu is also known as the living cultural museum of the world!

Just imagine that in ancient times, Kathmandu Valley was actually a huge lake which was surrounded by the Himalayan mountain range. This huge lake was filled with lotuses floating about. And it has been scientifically proven by geologists. Amazing! Isn’t it?

Kathmandu derived its name from the unique temple, Kaasthamandap which was built in 1596. This temple is still there! It is located in Basantapur Durbar Square and is also known as Maru Satal.

The Newari community of Nepal is considered as the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley. They are considered as the direct descendant of the ethnic and racial group who had ever resided in the two millennium period in the Kathmandu Valley.

While most parts of the neighboring countries like India and China were once under foreign rule; Kathmandu had never been ruled by foreigners. No one has ever been able to conquer Kathmandu.

Kathmandu Valley was given the status of World Heritage Site in 1979 by UNESCO. Before the earthquake of 2015, Kathmandu valley consisted of about 130 significant monuments and pilgrimage sites.

In Nepal and Kathmandu, people greet one another by touching both their palms and saying Namaste which means ‘I salute the God in you.’ But (sigh!) modern girls and boys have nowadays started greeting each other in European style.

Kathmandu was in the middle of the ancient trade route that connected India and Tibet. This caused a fusion of artists, architecture, and traditions in Kathmandu. That’s why there is so much diversity in all aspects of the city of Kathmandu.

Kathmandu is covered with heritage monuments and other places of scenic beauty. This is the reason why it is chosen as the backdrop for many movies and TV series. So, you can always find some celebrity around the city of Kathmandu.

Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most famous and sacred Hindu temples located in Kathmandu. This temple is dedicated to Lord Pashupati (Lord of Animals) who is more popularly known as Lord Shiva. One other interesting fact about Pashupatinath Temple is that only Hindu can enter this temple. If you are non-Hindu then have to enjoy the happenings from the opposite bank of River Bagmati. Also, after the 2015 earthquake when all nearby structures and monuments were turning into dust, Pashupatinath temple stood with only a few cracks in its wall.

What if the beautiful garden which appears in your dream suddenly materializes in front of your eyes? This is the effect which the Garden of Dreams creates on the minds of people who visit Thamel, Kathmandu. Amidst the daily hustle bustle of Kathmandu, the serene and tranquil Garden of Dreams appears out of nowhere. It is the best place to calm your senses while enjoying the European style architecture of the garden and the fresh air.

Westerners have always been fascinated with the city and it still boasts the Freak Street, which is a famous street in Kathmandu. This street got its name due to a large number of hippies residing here in the 1960 s and 1970s.

The 2015 earthquake brought devastation to parts of the city – including Kathmandu's Unesco-listed Durbar Square – but many areas emerged unscathed, and the soul of the city endures. Stroll through the backstreets and Kathmandu’s timeless cultural and artistic heritage will reveal itself in hidden temples overflowing with marigolds, courtyards full of drying chillies and rice, and tiny hobbit-sized workshops.

Not sure if you should go there? Then listen to Bob Sieger who made it pretty clear back in the 1970s singing:

I got no kick against the West Coast
Warner brothers are such good hosts
I raise my whiskey glass and give them a toast
I'm sure they know it's true
I got no rap against the southern states
Every time I've been there it's been great
But now I'm leaving and I can't be late
And to myself be true
That's why I'm going to Katmandu
Up to the mountain's where I'm going to
And if I ever get out of here
That's what I'm gonna do
Aw, k-k-k-k-k-k Katmandu
Really, really where I'm going to
If I ever get out of here
I'm going to Katmandu!



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