There are many very beautiful walks within the Kathmandu Valley that combines cultural experience and natural heritage. Most of these walks can be accomplished in a day unless wants to combine some and make few days trip. On all of them, you will sample the rewards of getting off the beaten track: the serenity of the countryside and the drama of mountain views. Most walks also will take you to sites of great spiritual importance.
- » Nagarkot to Changunarayan
- » Sankhu via Bajra Jogini to Nagarkot
- » Ichangu Narayan to Balaju
- » Gokarneswar to Bodhnath via Kopan
- » Kirtipur to Patan via Chobar
- » Bungamati, Chapagaon and Lele
- » Dhulikhel to Panauti via Namobuddha
- » Buddhist Shrines: The Eyes have it
- » Pashupatinath: The Shepherd of Fertility
As you pass the stone paved street leading to the temple, not the quantities of stone sculptures littering the roadside. After marveling at the beauties of Changu Narayan temple, cross the courtyard and leave through a doorway on the western side. Aim for a point northwest of Changu Narayan where a collection of small houses and a little tea room encourage you on your descent.
The oldest three-storied Hindu temple Indreshwar Mahadev Mandir, which is believed to date from the 13th century, can be seen on the southwest of the village. This temple has admiring woodcarvings and roof strut figures are carved from single lengths of wood.
Namobuddha is one of the Nepal’s holiest Buddhist sites and commemorates the supreme compassion of the Buddha in his legendary self-sacrifice to a starving tigress at Panuati. Namobuddha is dominated by a large stupa surrounded by chaityas, bells, prayer wheels and Buddhist accoutrements.
Swayambhunath : A top a green hilltop west of Kathmandu, at the point where the legendary patriarch Manjushri discovered the lotus of ancient Valley lake, stands the great stupa of Swayambhunath. On all the four sides of this ancient structure, looking out in all directions at the Valley below, are painted the eyes of the Lord Buddha. Apart just being a temple, it also offers great view of whole Kathmandu Valley. On all four sides of this ancient structure looking out in all directions at the Valley below are painted the eyes of the Buddha. Their gaze is one of compassion, an omnisighted stare from beneath heavy black eyebrows. Between them is a mystic third eye, symbol of true wisdom. The nose, with the appearance of an incomplete question mark, is the Nepalese number of ‘ek’ or ‘one’ a symbol of unity.
Bodhnath’s simple beauty : The other great stupa of the Valley and the largest in all of Nepal, is Bodhnath. Bodhnath’s great size and its red, white and blue painted eyes, are more remarkable even than Swayumbhunath give it a striking appearance.
Tastes of Tibet : With a community of Tibetan exiles, the Kathmandu Valley is fast becoming one of the principal centers of Tibetan culture outside of Tibet. Several Buddhist monasteries have sprung up in the immediate vicinities of Bodhnath and Swayambhunath. Near Pharping, just outside the valley southwest of Patan, Tibetans have built a white castle-like monastery on a forested slope at the entrance to the Gorakhnath cave, formerly a hermit’s refuge now turned into a thriving center of Tibetan worship. On the platform in front of the cave are the footprints, which according to the inscription were carved in 1390. Tibetan Buddhists consider this site sacred to Padma Sambhava, the “second Buddha” who introduced Buddhism to Tibet.