It’s not often that one gets invited to a fully sponsored eight day long road trip to Kathmandu. So when the plan for the road trip was shared by ScoutMyTrip in association with OYO rooms, I was ecstatic to become a part of this journey. After making a pit stop in Lucknow and Gorakhpur we reached Kathmandu on day four, late at night after an adventurous long journey. We stayed in Kathmandu for two days and explored the most the city had to offer. And we tell you how you can explore Kathmandu in 48 hours, just like we did.
Day One : Taking Blessings At The Pashupatinath Temple
We began our first day in the city by visiting the iconic Pashupatinath Temple. People from all parts of the country visit this temple to worship lord Shiva who is the saviour of all pashus – living and non living beings. At the entrance of the temple, you will find several devotees and saints praying or singing songs of worship. The temple is built in the Nepalese pagoda style architecture and has four entrances to the courtyard in all directions.
Visiting The Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square is a world heritage site that houses several temples and has a marvel of Newar architecture. Located in central Nepal in the city of Lalitpur, Patan Durbar Square is a centre for worship for Hinduism and Buddhism. Due to the earthquake in 2015, the city of Patan was majorly destroyed and we could see only a few temples that were open during that time. The rest were being constructed. With 55 temples in the square, the main ones are Krishna Mandir, Bhimsen Temple, Vishwanath Temple and Taleju Bhawani Temple.
We got an opportunity to visit one of the Thangka Schools at Patan Durbar Square where we saw how Thangka paintings were made. These paintings depict the life of Buddha and it takes months to complete one painting.
The architecture of the Patan Durbar Square is stunning and makes it a must visit place for all architectural enthusiasts and religious travellers.
Seeking Blessings At The Serene Swayambhunath Stupa
Swayambhunath Stupa is also known as the Monkey Temple which is located on the hilltop of Kathmandu Valley from where one can enjoy panoramic views of the city. According to legends, this is the place from where the Kathmandu city originated. In order to reach the stupa, one has to climb 365 steps. We did not have much time so we chose to take the nearest entrance to the stupa. As soon as you enter the premises of the stupa, there is a Peace Pond that has a statue of lord Buddha. People believe that if you are able to flip a coin in the cauldron placed at the foot of Lord Buddha, your wish will come true. You can purchase the coins from the vendor sitting next to the entrance and aim at the cauldron kept in front of the statue or simply throw the coin in the well making a wish. I tried to make my wish come true but after missing my aim for the third time, I was busy improving my aim for the next time.
The large complex of the Swayambhunath Stupa comprises temples as well as monasteries and here too one can see the cultural amalgamation of Hinduism as well as Buddhism. Everywhere around the stupa, you will find praying wheels that you can spin and pray to attain peace. You can also shop and sit at rooftop cafes in the complex. From paintings to jewellery, puppets, fancy wollen caps, shawls and fridge magnets you can
Trying Our Luck At The Casino
Our visit to Kathmandu would have been incomplete without gambling. So before calling it a night, we went to Casino Royale in Yak Hotel. The casino was buzzing from people who had come from all over the world and the best part was that as long as you are playing on the table, drinks and food are complimentary. The casino did not have any entry fee as well. After playing a few games of roulette and losing, we moved to the slot machine. As luck would have it, the slot machine showed a triple seven and the screen blinked for more than ten minutes followed by the sound of the coins which didn’t stop coming from the machine. We indeed did get lucky that night!
Day Two : Beginning The Day At The Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square was by far my favourite place to be in Kathmandu. Here it felt like we were transported back to the age old story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is another UNESCO world heritage site in Kathmandu and one of the three kingdoms that is larger than the Patan Durbar Square. From temples to the royal palaces, here you can get a glimpse of Newar houses and intricate wooden work.
Narrow lanes with pottery makers in each lane – Bhaktapur Durbar Square houses paintings, jewellery and several other souvenirs for you to take back home. You can also dine here at the fancy cafes this place has.
Dining At Utsav And Enjoying Authentic Nepalese Thali
Your trip to Kathmandu would be incomplete without having a sit down dinner at Utsav Hotel and devouring a traditional Nepali thali with Traditional Nepalese dance from all parts of the country. We were invited for dinner at the hotel by Mr. Youb Raj Shreshta who is the owner of Oyo Rooms in Kathmandu. It was a fun evening with delicious grub.
As soon as we sat down for dinner, we were served the traditional Nepali drink called Raksi which is made from fermenting rice. Later we had a lentil soup and for starters we had momos that were served with peanut dip. The Nepalese thali was quite similar to Indian food. The thali comprised rice, spinach, dal, vegetables and chicken and everything on the plate was delicious.
Street Shopping In Thamel
If you are a hippie at heart then this is a market for you! A narrow lane that has shops on both sides is how you enter Thamel for a fantastic street shopping experience. The first few stores have pollens from Kashmir, handmade wollen purses, socks, head gears and everything else that you can think of.
Other things that you can get at Thamel are lamps, accessories for men and women, raincoats that can be packed in a tiny packing , local tea and coffee and handmade soaps and other beauty products. While you are shopping, you must stop by at the Thamel Kathi Roll and Burger Centre to have a burger. You can get this burger for INR 150 and the best part about these burgers are that it has Yak cheese inside apart from the other stuffings and tastes absolutely delicious!
Article Source : www.365daysofbliss.com