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Path: An Introduction to Nepal > Kathmandu Valley
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Kathmandu Valley



Sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley

Besides the three famous city kingdoms in the Kathmandu valley (Kathmandu itself; Patan, also called Lalitpur; and Bhaktapur, also called Bhadgaon) and their well-trodden Durbar Squares and temples, there are many other, less well-known sights in the valley.

The first may well be the valley itself. The valley is roughly an oval, measuring 25km east to west and 20km north to south. The altitude varies mostly between 1300 and 1600m, though a few summits in the surrounding rim reach heights of more than 2700m. On a cloudless day the views extends across the whole valley (much of the cities often covered with thick layers of smog) to the pristine snow giants in the north. The valley has about 2 million inhabitants but vast tracts of land are still rural. (It always amazes first-time visitors of Kathmandu how easy it is to escape the city's noise and pollution to rural scenes which haven't changed much in several centuries, give or take the odd bus or tractor.) Anyone who spends any time in the valley should, after dutifully having done the obligatory 3-star sights (which are also extremely impressive), visit some of the rural bit and pieces.

To provide you with some ideas, here's a list of some of the less-visited highlights we find especially endearing:

If you can find it (scour the better Thamel bookshops), the 1: 50.000 Kathmandu Valley map, part of the so-called Schneider series, is a very worthwhile companion to your valley explorations. It covers the whole valley and most of the rim and is detailed enough for shorter walks and even daytrips.

$updated from: Background.htxt Mon 03 May 2021 16:08:33 trvl2 (By Vero and Thomas Lauer)$