NEPAL TOUR: KATHMANDU [2 NIGHTS / 3 DAYS]
Major Tourist Destinations: Kathmandu, Nagarkot, Patan, Bhaktapur, Dhulikhel, Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini, Lukla and so on.
Area: 147,181 Sq Km
Population: Approx. 26.5 million (as per 2011 census)
Religion: Hindu 81.3%, Buddhism 9%, Islam 4.4 % Others 5.3%
Currency: Nepalese Rupee
Drives on: Left
Calling Code: +977
Literacy Rate: Approx. 66% ( Year 2011)
The elevation of Kathmandu is 4,600 feet from sea level. Kathmandu is the capital and largest urban agglomerate of Nepal. Kathmandu is the gateway to tourism in Nepal. It is also the nerve center of the country’s economy. The city of Kathmandu was named after Kasthamandap temple that stands in Durbar Square. In Sanskrit, Kastha means “wood” and Mandap means “covered shelter”. This temple, also known as MaruSatal, was built in 1596 by King Laxmi Narsingh Malla. The two-storey structure is made entirely of wood, and uses no iron nails nor supports. According to legend, all the timber used to build this pagoda was obtained from a single tree.
The colophons of ancient manuscripts, dated as late as the 20th century, refer to Kathmandu as Kasthamandap Mahanagar in Nepal Mandala. Mahanagar means “great city”. The city is called “Kasthamandap” in a vow that Buddhist priests still recite to this day. Thus, Kathmandu is also known as Kasthamandap. During medieval times, the city was sometimes called Kantipur. This name is derived from two Sanskrit words – Kanti and pur. “Kanti” is one of the names of the Goddess Lakshmi, and “pur” means place.
Among the indigenous Newar people, Kathmandu is known as Yen Desa , and Patan and Bhaktapur are known as YalaDesa and KhwopaDesa.”Yen” is the shorter form of Yambu , which originally referred to the northern half of Kathmandu.