People are drawn to this place due to its mesmerizing temples and to experience its rich culture and heritage.
Kirtipur, an ancient city of Kathmandu located 5km southwest of the Valley. It is one of the most culturally rich places to visit when in Nepal. People are drawn to this place due to its mesmerizing temples and to experience its rich culture and heritage.
Here are some of the things you can do in Kirtipur:
1. Visit the Bagh Bhairab Temple and Uma Maheswor Temple
Bagh Bhairab Temple is dedicated to the most ferocious avatar of Lord Shiva in the form of a tiger. This temple was constructed between 1099 and 1126 AD by King Shiva Deva- the founder of Kirtipur. The imposing Bagh Bhairab Temple features an incredible armory of swords and shields. This temple is holy to Hindus and is considered to be the ‘Guardian deity’ of Kirtipur.
The temple of Uma Maheswor is located on top of the Kirtipur Hill. This three- storey Shiva Parvati temple also known as Bhavani-Shankar temple was originally built in 1673 AD and later restored after it was damaged in the earthquake of 1934 AD. It is guarded by two stone elephants, decked out in spiked saddles to discourage children from sitting on them.
2. Taudaha (The lake of snakes)
Taudaha is a small lake in the outskirt of Kathmandu. The name comes from a combination of Newari words 'Ta' meaning snake and ‘Daha’ meaning lake. It is believed that during his pilgrimage from Mount Wutai, Lord Manjushree saw a lotus flower in the center of the great lake, which emitted brilliant radiance. He then cut the hill peak at Chobhar by forming a gorge to evacuate the water from the lake with his flaming sword to drain the lake. Where the lotus flower settled became the great ‘Swayambhunath Stupa’ and thus the valley became habitable. Taudaha is the leftover pool of the huge lake that once existed. Another interesting part of the mythical history of Taudaha is that during the slicing of the hill many Nagas (mythological creatures that were half human and half serpent) went homeless so making the arrangement for the king of serpents, the gods requested Bhimsen to place the Nagas in Taudaha.
3. Chilancho Vihar and Nagar Mandap Shri Kirti Vihar
The stately stupa, Chilancho Vihar was built in the 16th century and is located on the southern tip of the hill. This stupa is surrounded by multiple Chaityas and fronted by a giant Vajra (thunderbolt) symbol. Nagar Mandap Sri Kirti Vihar is a Theravada Buddhist monastery in Kirtipur. It was built using the traditional Thai architectural style in 1975. The monastery features models of the four sacred places in Buddhism; Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kushinaga.
4. Dev Pukhu
This old royal area is one of the most charming places in Kathmandu. Dev Pukhu is where Kirtipur’s main water source is fed by underground water. To the tank’s left is the very well-preserved former Royal Palace. It’s all local accommodation now and it’s a great view on a summer’s day to see people sitting at the old Newari style windows (Sanjhya), looking out.
5. Go for the Newari Food
If you ask any locals of Kathmandu what they recall when they hear Kirtipur is most definitely the Newari Food. Kirtipur is a famous destination for authentic Newari food served by the local community. There are multiple restaurants serving local Newari food. Some of the food you must most certainly not miss out are; Baji set, Choela (roasted or marinated meat), Bhutan (fried intestine), Chatamari (Newari Pizza) and of course Mo: Mo (Nepali dumplings).