Religious tour in Kathmandu will enlighten anybody including people who are less or not religious at all. I am saying that with a straight face because I for one belong to that category. Besides, you don’t have to be religious to be spiritual. So with that out of the way, let me tell you about a few temples you can visit while in Kathmandu that all come under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
If you take a morning bus to Bhaktapur it will take you about an hour to reach Changu Narayan Temple which is the oldest temple in Nepal. It dates back to 1702 AD, when it was rebuilt after a fire; however its origins go back to the 4th century. This temple will reward you with a mix of history, remarkable temple carvings and great mountain landscapes.
After Bhaktapur, you can make Swayambhunath Stupa your next destination. It has a compelling mix of both Hindu and Buddhist shrines and stupas. Since the temple area is fairly large you can spend almost an hour or two within the temple’s vicinity. After paying my respect to the stupa, my other favorite thing to do there is to place a coin in the right spot in a pond. Yes! There is a pond not so far from the main stupa and you get to exchange your cash with coins with vendors nearby. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too. But be careful of the monkeys. The monkeys there are no ordinary animals. They’ll snatch your coins if you are also carrying any food item with you.
After spending sufficient amount of time in the Swayambhu area you can go to Pashupatinath Temple. Situated on the banks of river Bagmati, it is one of the principal temples of Lord Shiva. The temple area is full of other smaller temples of numerous Hindu deities which gives the whole place an ambience of a sacred paradise. After paying your respect to lord Shiva, you can travel towards the exit and this is where you can stop for a quick lunch. There are quite a number of shops that offer you a wide variety of food and tea. So just pick one that looks clean and satisfy your hunger because now you and I will travel to Boudhanath which is only about twenty minutes ride from Pashupatinath Temple.
The Boudhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in South Asia which is built on the ancient trade route to Tibet. Beside the main stupa which is built in a Nepali Buddhist style, there are over fifty Tibetan monasteries around the area built by Tibetan merchants and the large influx of Tibetan refugees over the years. Here, you not only get to appreciate the spectacular art and architecture of ancient Nepal but of neighboring Tibet as well.
With the visit of four holy sites in Kathmandu now over, we come to the end of our journey. So, if you are ready to feel like you have gone back in time and also attain a sense of purity and peace, I suggest you to pack your bag and visit Kathmandu right away. Himalayan Glacier has several cultural tours packages which will aid you in becoming one with the Nepalese people and their rich cultural heritage.