History: The Kathmandu Valley may have been inhabited as early as 900 BC, but the oldest known objects in the valley date to a few hundred years BC. The earliest known inscription is dated 185 AD. The oldest firmly dated building in the earthquake-prone valley is almost 1,000 years old. It is said that the Buddha and his disciples spent some time in the area of present-day Patan in the 6th century BC, although there is no evidence for this. Four stupas around the city of Patan said to have been erected by Charumati, daughter of Ashoka the Great, a Mauryan king, in the 3rd century BC attest to the ancient history present within the valley. As with the tales of the Buddha's visit, there is no evidence supporting Ashoka's visit, but the stupas probably do date to that century. The Kirats are the first documented rulers of the Kathmandu Valley, the remains of their palace are said to be in Patan near Hiranyavarna Mahavihara (called "Patukodon"). The Licchavi Dynasty whose earliest inscriptions date back to 464 AD were the next rulers of the valley and had close ties with the Gupta Dynasty of India. The Malla Dynasty ruled Kathmandu from the 12th century till the 17th century when the Shah Dynasty under Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered the valley as he created present-day Nepal. Most of ancient Nepalese architecture present in Kathmandu today is from the Malla era.
The temple of Pashupatinath.The city of Kathmandu is named after a structure in Durbar Square called Kaasthamandap. In Sanskrit, Kaasth "wood" and Mandap "covered shelter." This unique temple, also known as Maru Satal, was built in 1596 A.D. by King Laxmi Narsingh Malla. The entire structure contains no iron nails or supports and is made entirely from wood. Legend has it that the timber used for this two story pagoda was obtained from a single tree.
Kathmandu is also sometimes called "Kantipur".
The Kathmandu Valley consists of three primary cities - Kathmandu itself, Patan (south of the Bagmati River), and Bhaktapur. Patan and Kathmandu run up right against each other (again, separated only by the river), whilst Bhaktapur is set off much closer to the eastern foothills. A lot of foreigners live in Patan, as that is where the relief agencies tend to be headquartered.
Bhimsen Tower (Dharahara) of Kathmandu itself is home to most of the embassies, businesses, and the palace. The King's Palace (a large newly-pink building) stands right next to Thamel - the main tourist center. (Thamel consists of two parallel streets just to the west of the palace. It is home to lots of hotels, such as the Kathmandu Guest House, and lots of "hole in the wall" type establishments where backpackers tend to stay.) The palace is at the head of Durbar Marg, a street lined with various shops.
Kathmandu itself only recently began to name its streets. Until that time, most residences and buildings were located by general areas.
The "old" city is noted for its many Buddhist and Hindu temples and palaces, most dating from the 17th century. Many of these landmarks have been damaged by earthquakes and pollution. This valley hosts an UNESCO World Heritage Sites composed by seven different Monument Zones: The centers of the three primary cities, Kathmandu Hanuman Dhoka, Patan and Bhaktapur, the two most important Buddhist stupas, Swayambhunath and Boudhanath and two famous Hindu shrines, Pashupatinath temple and Changu Narayan. Since 2003 the site has been inscribed in the World Heritage List as being "in danger" out of concern for the ongoing loss of authenticity and the outstanding universal value of the cultural property.
Tribhuvan International Airport is located about 6 km from the city center, offering domestic an international flights.
Mountains in Nepal:
(1).Everest Height:8848m (29028ft)
(2).Kanchenjunga Height: 8586m (28169ft)
(3).Lhotse Height: 8501m (27890ft)
(4).Makalu Height: 8463m (27765ft)
(5).Dhaulagiri Height: 8167m (26794ft)
(6).Manaslu Height: 8156m (26758ft)
(7).Annapurna Height: 8091m (26545ft)
(8).Putha Hiunchuli Height:7246m (24844ft)
(9).Pumori Height: 7161m (24552ft)
(10).Baruntse Height: 7129m (24442ft)
Mountains to see from Kathmandu:
Himal Chuli 7893m, Manaslu 8156m, Pabil GIV 7102m, Ganesh II 7150m, Ganesh V 6950 m, Lang tang 7246m, Gang Chhenpo 6297m, Sisa Pangma 8013m, Gur Karpori 6874m Dorje Lhakpa 6790m, Gyaltzen PK 6705m, Phurbi Chyachu 6722m, Kharane Tippa 5674m, Choba Bhamare 5970m, Choo-yu 8153m, Gauri Shankar 7145m, Melungtse 7181m, Lindartsubugo 6690m, Mt. Everest 8848m, Chobutse 6660m, Takargo 6782m
Climate: Climate: Nepal's climate varies with its topography. It ranges from sub-tropical to arctic depending upon the altitude. The Terai region has a hot and humid climate. The mid-land region are pleasant almost all the year round, although winter nights are cool. The northern mountain region, around an altitude above 3,353 m. has an alpine climate with a considerably lower temperature in winter as expected.
Arriving & Departing:
Kathmandu is easily accessible by its Tribhuva International Airport, located just 6 km. east of the city. The airport is Nepal's largest and the hub of its business and tourism industries. It serves flights from several major airlines from throughout Europe, Asia, and the U.S. A listing of airlines that serve the airport is available at their website, as are flight arrivals and departures.
To get into Kathmandu city from the airport travelers can take one of the pre-paid taxis available there. These have set rates for different destinations which the customer pays in advance. Taxi drivers in Nepal do not expect to receive tips.
The airport offers a bank for currency exchange, as taxis do not accept foreign currency or credit cards. The Nepal Tourism Board also has an office at the airport with English-speaking guides to help arriving visitors arrange transportation and hotels. They can also provide maps and attraction information
Getting Around in Kathmandu
Getting around inside of Kathmandu is easy with the city's public bus service, plentiful taxis, and bicycle rentals. Traveling from Kathmandu to other locations in Nepal is also simple by bus or domestic air service. To hire a taxi in Kathmandu one can easily flag one down off of the street, as is common practice there. Taxis can be recognized by their signs and black license plates. The tourist board suggests that a trip within the city by taxi should cost from 20 to 200 Rs. Taxi drivers in Nepal do not expect to receive tips. Taxis can also be hired at most hotels and at the airport.
Kathmandu is also home to many types of public buses and minivans, some of which are operated by the city and some of which are privately owned. These can be found at many stops around the city, and they travel several different routes. Kathmandu's central bus station is located at Ratnapark, from which a bus can be boarded to anyplace in the city. Most hotels and some stores can provide bus schedules
Shopping: Kathmandu has much to offer shoppers with its many open markets and shops. Westerners will find that they can get great bargains on a number of items there including cashmere (Kathmandu is the capital of the pashmina scarf), hand-crafted goods such as wooden carvings, Tibetan carpets, paintings and hand-made paper products. Bargaining is recommended but bear in mind that the country has recently suffered a huge dip in tourism and needs an injection of travellers and their cash! Bear it in mind when you find yourself haggling over 50 cents.
Museums & Attractions:
Among the things that draw large amounts of tourists to Kathmandu each year is the city's Durbar Square, a large complex of temples and ancient buildings which were once home to Nepal's royal family. Durbar Square is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Among the fifty temples located in Durbar Square, several of them stand out as significant. The Swet-Bhairav temple is still used for religious purposes once a year during the city's Indra Jatra Festival, held in the early fall to celebrate the upcoming harvest and to honor the rain god Indra. The Kumari temple is also still used. It is the home and place of worship for the living goddess Kumari Keti, generally a young girl chosen for the role from among the community, an ancient tradition in both the Hindu and Buddhist religions.
Night Life in Kathmandu :
As the birthplace of the Lord Buddha, Nepal and Kathmandu City are widely considered to be spiritual destinations, and for many they are. But Kathmandu also has a lively nightlife scene which features several discos, nightclubs, theatres, and casinos.
Kathmandu is home to several casinos, nearly all of which are open 24 hours a day. They are popular with tourists, as most of them are located within hotels. A few of the nicer ones include the Casino Nepal located in the city's Soaltee Crowne Plaza Hotel and the casinos run by the Nepal Casino Group, at various locations around the city.
Kathmandu's discos provide night time fun for non-gamblers. The Galaxy , located in the five-star Hotel Everest, offers upscale entertainment and dancing. Another popular spot, the Hyatt Regency's Rox Bar, offers a quieter alternative with designer cocktails and great views of the city. See the clubs' websites for hours and directions.