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Kathmandu

Mystical and mythical, Kathmandu is an assault on all the senses.  With its small, narrow streets brimming with with rickshaws and shadowed by medieval temples, the hustle and bustle, crazy colours and sounds, it can all seem quite daunting at first - but you will soon discover that Kathmandu and its people are great fun.
Durbar Square is the heart of Kathmandu; it's an ancient square crowded with palaces and temples that has been an active site in everyday life for over a thousand years and as a result it has become one of the more popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal. The square also has the Kumari Palace, the home of the living goddess and consequently many festivals are celebrated here during the year, making it is a fun and lively place to visit. 
Boudhanath is a small village located about 7km’s from Kathmandu and is home to one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world and without a doubt the most popular Buddhist site in Nepal and attracts pilgrims from all over the world who come and walk around the base spinning the prayer wheels whilst chanting Buddhist Mantras. There are many small coffee shops and restaurants littered around in front of the stupa for you to relax and watch the world go by.
 
Kumari Bahal is home to the Kumari, a young girl who is selected to be a living goddess for a few years of her younger life. Built in 1757 and situated in Durbar Square, it is a fine example of a Buddhist abode of the Kathmandu Valley.You can enter and photograph the inner courtyard, but only when the Kumari is not present in the building.

Swayambhunath or known locally as the Monkey Temple, due to the increasing amount of mischievous Holy Monkeys living within the complex that will go after anything not tied down. The temple sits atop a hill with stunning views out across Kathmandu and on a clear day to the valley beyond. Being second only to Boudhanath in sacredness for Buddhist pilgrims and it is still a living breathing temple complex.Pashupatinath is a revered Hindu Temple on the banks of the Bagmati River just outside Kathmandu, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple attracts thousands of pilgrims every year, and while only Hindus are allowed to enter the temple complex itself, you can enjoy fine views of the temple from across the river, which provides a good vantage point for great photographs too.
 
Just across the Bagmati River from Kathmandu, Patan is the second largest city in Nepal and is famous for its Durbar Square, which is a lot less crowded than the one in Kathmandu and with as many beautiful buildings. Exploring the palace and museum here makes for a much quieter and interesting alternative.
 
Bhaktapur  is similar to an open air museum with its intricate maze of historic narrow streets. This medival town in the Kathmandu Valley  was built in the 12thCentury, and is renowned for its art, culture and festivals. At one point it was the capital of the Malla Kingdom until the 15thCentury, which is when most of the buildings here date from. Bhaktapur is well known for its pottery, and there are many workshops in the town where everything is still made by hand. An amazing town to wander around, with history at every turn.

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