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Cities / Kathmandu City

Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city of Nepal. The city is situated in Kathmandu Valley that also contains two other cities - Patan and Bhaktapur. Nepali is the lingua franca of the valley and is the most widely spoken language. Nepal Bhasa/Newari is the language spoken by native people, the Newars. English is understood by most of the educated people of the city. The city stands at an elevation of approximately 1400 m and is inhabited by about 700,000 people. Kathmandu is the most developed city in Nepal.

Airport

Tribhuwan International Airport is an international airport situated in Kathmandu, Nepal.
It is the sole international airport in Nepal. There are two terminals, one domestic and one international. Facilities include a few shops and cafes. In the international terminal there are several duty free shops. Radisson Hotel Kathmandu operates an executive lounge for First and Business class passengers for different airlines and Thai Airways International operates a business lounge for its Business class passengers as well as Star Alliance Gold card holders. A recent extension to the international terminal has made the distance to the airplanes shorter. At the present, about 22 international airlines connect Nepal to various other destinations in Asia and the Middle East. The airport is about six kilometers from the city center in the Kathmandu valley. For more information click www.tiairport.com.np

Historic Places


Kathmandu is situated in the heart of the mountains, and has a rich history. Considered by some to be among the most beautiful cities in the world, the earliest known inscription in the Kathmandu Valley is dated 185 AD. The oldest firmly dated building in the earthquake-prone valley is almost 1,992 years old. Four stupas around the city of Patan said to have been erected by Charumati, attest to the ancient history present within the valley. The Kirats are the first documented rulers of Kathmandu Valley, the remains of their palace are in Patan near kendra Hiranyavarna Mahavihara (called "Patukodon"). The Licchavi Dynasty whose earliest inscriptions date back to 464 AD were the next rulers of the valley. The Malla Dynasty consisted of Newar rulers, who ruled Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding area from the 12th century till the 17th century when the Shah Dynasty founder Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered the valley as he created present-day Nepal. Most of ancient Nepali Architecture present in Nepal today is from the Malla/Newar era.
The city of Kathmandu is named after a structure in Durbar Square called Kaasthamandap. In Sanskrit, Kaasth (काष्ठ) is "wood" and Mandap (मंडप/मण्डप) is "covered shelter". This unique temple, also known as Maru Sattal, 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". Kanti is an alternate name of the Goddess Laxmi, and Pur means the place where such a goddess resides; thus, the name Kantipur demonstrates the ancient belief that it is the place where Laxmi dwells. Newars, the native people of the Kathmandu valley use the original term from Nepal Bhasa, Yne.

Present

Being the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu is home to most of the government offices, embassies, corporate houses, and the palace. A golden heaven to the most famous artists in the world, it has the old palace of Newar kings, Kathmandu Durbar Square, which is listed as UNESCO world heritage site, is in Basantapur, next to Freak Street, which was the popular hippie spot during the seventies. The Shah King's Palace stands right next to Thamel - the tourist hub of the country. A small world within itself, Thamel is famous for the most attractive hotels and shopping centers in the world. It consists of two parallel streets just to the west of the palace. It is home to world famous hotels, ranging from different stars. The palace is at the head of Durbar Marg, a street lined with various shops. Most of the streets in Kathmandu are named from Nepal Bhasa, owing its origin to the rich Newari Culture and heritage. In a sense, Kathmandu is the most read text in the field of culture, history and Newari civilization in South Asia.
The "old" city is noted for its many Buddhist and Hindu temples and palaces, most dating to 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.
Kathmandu has been popular with western tourists since the 1960s when it became a key stop on the Hippy Trail, when Jho: Chheen (Nepal Bhasa, continuous house) (Freak Street) was the one of the main location. It is also the subject of a popular Bob Seger song for the same reason. It is rumoured that many rock singers used to visit Jho: Cheen and downtown Kathmandu in search of tranquility and Nirvana.
Tribhuvan International Airport is located about 25 km from the city center, offering domestic and international flights.

Geography

The city is located in the northwestern part of Kathmandu Valley. The Kathmandu Valley covers an area of 565 sq. kilometers. It is situated at 1336 m above the sea level. Bagmati, Bisnumati, Dhobikhola, and Tukucha rivers wind through the city.

Administrative division

The metropolitan has been divided into around 5 sectors by metropolitan authorities as follows
Central sector
The central sector consists of wards 1, 5, 11, 31, 32 and 33.
East sector
The east sector consists of wards 6, 7, 8, 9, 10(Baneshwor), 34 and 35.
North sector
The north sector consists of wards 2, 3, 4, 16, 29.
City core
This is the most densely populated part of the city. This part consists of most of the historical and cultural monuments of the city.
West sector
The west sector consists of wards 13, 14 and 15.

Demographics

According to 2001 census, there are 235,387 households in the metropolitan city. Kathmandu metropolitan authorities estimate the numbers of people living in the city to be around 1,081,845 people.The largest ethnic groups are Newars, Brahmins and Kshetris. The major languages are Nepali and Nepal Bhasa. The major religions are Hinduism and Buddhism.
Government
The city is looked after by Kathmandu metropolitan office located at Bagdurbar. The city hosts Singha durbar, the government seat of Nepal (with office of Prime Minister, Supreme Court and Senate). Most of the ministries are present in the Singha Durbar premises.
Economy
Tourism, sometimes said to be the 'third religion' of Nepal, is the country's most important industry, and plays a large role in the economic activity of Kathmandu. The neighborhood of Thamel is Kathmandu's primary traveler's ghetto,' packed with guest houses, restaurants, shops and bookstores catering to tourists from abroad. Freak Street, Kathmandu's original traveler's haunt made popular by the hippies of the 1970s, remains a popular alternative to Thamel.
In addition, Kathmandu houses most of the banks, business houses, offices, organizations and share market of Nepal. The busiest economic centers are New Road of Kathmandu, Ason, Putalisadak and Durbar Marg. New Road is regarded as financial hub with presence of most of the banks in this street.

Notable landmarks

  • Pashupatinath Temple
  • Boudhanath
  • Swoyambhunath stupa
  • Durbar Square
  • Budhanilkantha Narayanthan
  • Dakshin Kali
  • Kirtipur
  • Taudaha
  • Sundarijal
  • Shivapuri
  • Gokarna Gulf Resort
  • Kapan Gompa
  • Balaju
  • Thankot

Cultural impact


The city has been referenced in numerous songs, including works by Cat Stevens "Katmandu", Mona Bone Jakon (1970)), Bob Seger ("Katmandu", Beautiful Loser (1975)), Krematorij ("Kathmandu, Three Springs (2000)), Fito Páez ("Tráfico por Katmandú" -- "Traffic through Kathmandu"); Will Ackerman ("A Happy Home in Kathmandu", The Opening of Doors (1993)); Tantra ("The Hills of Katmandu", early 1980s); and Godiego ("Coming Together in Kathmandu" (1980).
Numerous works of literature have been set in Kathmandu, including Kim Stanley Robinson\'s 1989 work, Escape from Kathmandu. Recently, the book ("Arresting God in Kathmandu") by Samrat Upadhyay has got international acclaim.
In some travelogues, the Kathmandu valley has been referred to as the "Emerald Valley".
The location is mentioned in the film Bewitched as the title of a fictional movie Will Ferrell\'s character stars in prior to his role in the Bewitched remake.



 

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