KATHMANDU (/ˌkætmænˈduː/ ; Nepali : काठमाडौं,
Nepali pronunciation: ) is the capital city of the Federal Democratic
Nepal , the largest Himalayan state in
Asia . It is the
largest metropolis in Nepal, with a population of 1.4 million in the
city proper , and 2.5 million in its urban agglomeration across the
Kathmandu Valley , which includes the towns of Lalitpur ,
Madhyapur Thimi and
Kathmandu is also the largest
metropolis in the Himalayan hill region.
The city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600
feet ) above sea level in the bowl-shaped
Kathmandu Valley of central
Nepal. The valley is historically termed as "
Nepal Proper" and has
been the home of
Newar culture , a cosmopolitan urban civilization in
the Himalayan foothills. The city was the royal capital of the Kingdom
Nepal and hosts palaces, mansions and gardens of the Nepalese
aristocracy. It has been home to the headquarters of the South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation (
SAARC ) since 1985. Today, it is
the seat of government of the Nepalese republic established in 2008;
and is part of the
Bagmati Zone in Nepalese administrative geography.
Kathmandu has been the center of Nepal's history , art , culture and
economy . It has a multiethnic population within a
Hindu and Buddhist
majority. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the
lives of people residing in Kathmandu.
Tourism is an important part of
the economy as the city is the gateway to the Nepalese Himalayas.
There are also seven casinos in the city. In 2013,
ranked third among the top ten upcoming travel destinations in the
TripAdvisor , and ranked first in Asia. Historic areas of
Kathmandu were devastated by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April
2015. Nepali is the most spoken language in the city, while English is
understood by the city's educated residents.
Bidya Sundar Shakya is the
Kathmandu and Hari
Prabha Khadgi of Nepalese Congress is the deputy mayor. In the Local
Election of 2017,
Shakya secured 64,913 votes where as Khadgi secured
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.1 Ancient history
* 2.1.1 Licchavi era
* 2.1.2 Malla era
* 2.2 Modern era
* 2.2.1 Early Shah rule
* 2.2.2 Rana rule
* 3 Geography
* 3.3 Climate
* 4 Air quality
* 5 Economy
* 6 Government and public services
* 6.1 Civic administration
* 6.2 Law and order
* 6.3 Fire service
* 6.4 Electricity and water supply
* 6.5 Waste management
* 7 Demographics
* 7.1 Ethnic groups
* 8 Architecture and cityscape
* 8.1 Durbar squares
* 8.5 Rani Pokhari
* 9 Culture
* 9.1 Arts
* 9.1.1 Museums
* 9.1.2 Art galleries
* 9.1.3 Literature
* 9.1.4 Cinema and theatre
* 9.1.5 Music
* 9.2 Cuisine
* 9.3 Festivals
* 9.7 Others
* 10 Education
* 10.1 Medical colleges
* 11 Sports
* 12 Transport
* 12.1 Ropeways
* 13 Healthcare
* 14 Media
* 15 International Organisations
* 16 International relations
* 16.1 Twin towns – Sister cities
* 17 See also
* 18 Footnotes
* 19 References
* 20 External links
The city of
Kathmandu is named after
Kasthamandap temple, which stood
Durbar Square . In
Sanskrit , _Kāṣṭha_ (काष्ठ) means
"wood" and _Maṇḍap_ (/मण्डप) means "covered shelter".
This temple, also known as _Maru Satta:_ in the
Newar language , was
built in 1596 by Biseth in the period of King Laxmi Narsingh Malla.
The two-story structure was made entirely of wood and used no iron
nails nor supports. According to legend, all the timber used to build
the pagoda was obtained from a single tree. The structure collapsed
during a major earthquake on 25 April 2015.
The colophons of ancient manuscripts, dated as late as the 20th
century, refer to
Kathmandu as _Kāṣṭhamaṇḍap Mahānagar_ in
Mandala . Mahānagar means "great city". The city is called
"Kāṣṭhamaṇḍap" in a vow that
Buddhist priests still recite to
this day. Thus,
Kathmandu is also known as Kāṣṭhamaṇḍap.
During medieval times, the city was sometimes called Kāntipur
(कान्तिपुर). This name is derived from two Sanskrit
words – _Kānti_ and _pur_. "Kānti" is a word that stands for
"beauty" and is mostly associated with light and "pur" means place.
Thus, giving it a meaning as "City of light".
Among the indigenous
Kathmandu is known as _Yeṃ
Deśa_ (येँ देश), and Patan and
Bhaktapur are known as
_Yala Deśa_ (यल देश) and _Khwopa Deśa_ (ख्वप
देश). "Yen" is the shorter form of _Yambu_ (यम्बु),
which originally referred to the northern half of Kathmandu.
History of Kathmandu and
Timeline of Kathmandu
Manjushree, with Chandrahrasa, the
Buddhist deity said to have created
Archaeological excavations in parts of
Kathmandu have found evidence
of ancient civilizations. The oldest of these findings is a statue,
Maligaon , that was dated at 185 AD. The excavation of
Chaitya uncovered a brick with an inscription in Brahmi script
. Archaeologists believe it is two thousand years old. Stone
inscriptions are a ubiquitous element at heritage sites and are key
sources for the history of
The earliest Western reference to
Kathmandu appears in an account of
Johann Grueber and Albert d\'Orville . In 1661, they
Nepal on their way from
India , and reported
that they reached "Cadmendu", the capital of
The ancient history of
Kathmandu is described in its traditional
myths and legends. According to
Swayambhu Purana , present-day
Kathmandu was once a huge and deep lake named "Nagdaha", as it was
full of snakes. The lake was cut drained by Bodhisatwa
his sword, and the water was evacuated out from there. He then
established a city called Manjupattan, and made Dharmakar the ruler of
the valley land. After some time, a demon named Banasur closed the
outlet, and the valley was again a lake. Then lord
Krishna came to
Nepal , killed Banasur, and again drained out the water. He brought
some Gopals along with him and made Bhuktaman the king of Nepal.
Kotirudra Samhita of
Shiva Purana , Chapter 11, shloka 18 refers to
the place as Nayapala city, which was famous for its Pashupati
Shivalinga. The name
Nepal probably originates from this city
Very few historical records exist of the period before the medieval
Licchavis rulers. According to
Gopalraj Vansawali , a genealogy of
Nepali monarchy, the rulers of
Kathmandu Valley before the Licchavis
were Gopalas , Mahispalas, Aabhirs, Kirants , and Somavanshi. The
Kirata dynasty was established by
Yalamber . During the Kirata era, a
settlement called Yambu existed in the northern half of old Kathmandu.
In some of the
Sino-Tibetan languages ,
Kathmandu is still called
Yambu. Another smaller settlement called Yengal was present in the
southern half of old Kathmandu, near Manjupattan. During the reign of
the seventh Kirata ruler, Jitedasti,
Buddhist monks entered Kathmandu
valley and established a forest monastery at
Sankhu . Map of
The Licchavis from the
Indo-Gangetic plain migrated north and
defeated the Kiratas, establishing the Licchavi dynasty, circa 400 AD.
During this era, following the genocide of Shakyas in
Virudhaka , the survivors migrated north and entered the forest
Sankhu masquerading as Koliyas. From Sankhu, they
migrated to Yambu and Yengal (Lanjagwal and Manjupattan) and
established the first permanent
Buddhist monasteries of Kathmandu.
This created the basis of
Newar Buddhism , which is the only surviving
Buddhist tradition in the world. With their migration,
Yambu was called Koligram and Yengal was called Dakshin Koligram
during most of the Licchavi era.
Eventually, the Licchavi ruler
Gunakamadeva merged Koligram and
Dakshin Koligram, founding the city of Kathmandu. The city was
designed in the shape of _Chandrahrasa_, the sword of Manjushri. The
city was surrounded by eight barracks guarded by Ajimas . One of these
barracks is still in use at Bhadrakali (in front of
Singha Durbar ).
The city served as an important transit point in the trade between
India and Tibet, leading to tremendous growth in architecture.
Descriptions of buildings such as Managriha, Kailaskut Bhawan, and
Bhadradiwas Bhawan have been found in the surviving journals of
travelers and monks who lived during this era. For example, the famous
7th-century Chinese traveler
Xuanzang described Kailaskut Bhawan, the
palace of the Licchavi king
Amshuverma . The trade route also led to
cultural exchange as well. The artistry of the
indigenous inhabitants of the
Kathmandu Valley—became highly sought
after during this era, both within the Valley and throughout the
Newar artists traveled extensively throughout Asia,
creating religious art for their neighbors. For example,
Araniko led a
group of his compatriot artists through
the princess of
Nepal who married Tibetan monarch
Songtsän Gampo ,
was instrumental in introducing
Buddhism to Tibet.
Skyline of Kathmandu, circa 1793
Kathmandu Durbar Square,
The Licchavi era was followed by the Malla era . Rulers from
upon being attacked by Muslims , fled north to the
They intermarried with Nepali royalty, and this led to the Malla era.
The early years of the Malla era were turbulent, with raids and
Khas and Turk Muslims. There was also a devastating
earthquake which claimed the lives of a third of Kathmandu's
population, including the king
Abhaya Malla . These disasters led to
the destruction of most of the architecture of the Licchavi era (such
as Mangriha and Kailashkut Bhawan), and the loss of literature
collected in various monasteries within the city. Despite the initial
Kathmandu rose to prominence again and, during most of the
Malla era, dominated the trade between
India and Tibet. Nepali
currency became the standard currency in trans-Himalayan trade.
During the later part of the Malla era,
Kathmandu Valley comprised
four fortified cities: Kantipur, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, and Kirtipur.
These served as the capitals of the Malla confederation of Nepal.
These states competed with each other in the arts, architecture,
aesthetics, and trade, resulting in tremendous development. The kings
of this period directly influenced or involved themselves in the
construction of public buildings, squares, and temples, as well as the
development of waterspouts, the institutionalization of trusts (called
guthis ), the codification of laws, the writing of dramas, and the
performance of plays in city squares. Evidence of an influx of ideas
from India, Tibet, China, Persia, and
Europe among other places can be
found in a stone inscription from the time of king
Pratap Malla .
Books have been found from this era that describe their tantric
tradition (e.g. Tantrakhyan), medicine (e.g. Haramekhala), religion
(e.g. Mooldevshashidev), law, morals, and history. Amarkosh, a
Nepal Bhasa dictionary from 1381 AD, was also found.
Architecturally notable buildings from this era include Kathmandu
Durbar Square ,
Patan Durbar Square ,
Durbar Square , the
former durbar of
Nyatapola , Kumbheshwar, the Krishna
temple, and others.
The now demolished old royal palace in 1920
Early Shah Rule
Gorkha Kingdom ended the Malla confederation after the Battle of
Kathmandu in 1768. This marked the beginning of the modern era in
Kathmandu. The Battle of
Kirtipur was the start of the Gorkha conquest
Kathmandu was adopted as the capital of the
Gorkha empire, and the empire itself was dubbed Nepal. During the
early part of this era,
Kathmandu maintained its distinctive culture.
Buildings with characteristic Nepali architecture, such as the
nine-story tower of Basantapur, were built during this era. However,
trade declined because of continual war with neighboring nations.
Bhimsen Thapa supported
France against Great Britain; this led to the
development of modern military structures, such as modern barracks in
Kathmandu. The nine-storey tower
Dharahara was originally built during
Rana rule over
Nepal started with the
Kot Massacre , which occurred
Hanuman Dhoka Durbar. During this massacre, most of Nepal's
high-ranking officials were massacred by
Jang Bahadur Rana and his
supporters. Another massacre, the Bhandarkhal Massacre , was also
conducted by Kunwar and his supporters in Kathmandu. During the Rana
regime, Kathmandu's alliance shifted from anti-British to pro-British;
this led to the construction of the first buildings in the style of
Western European architecture. The most well-known of these buildings
Singha Durbar ,
Garden of Dreams , Shital Niwas, and the old
Narayanhiti palace.The first modern commercial road in the Kathmandu
Valley, the New Road , was also built during this era. Trichandra
College (the first college of Nepal), Durbar School (the first modern
school of Nepal), and
Bir Hospital (the first hospital of Nepal) were
Kathmandu during this era. Rana rule was marked by despotism,
economic exploitation and religious persecution.
Kathmandu is in the northwestern part of the
Kathmandu Valley to the
north of the
Bagmati River and covers an area of 50.7 km2 (19.6 sq
mi). The average elevation is 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) above sea level
. The city is bounded by several other municipalities of the
Kathmandu valley: south of the
Bagmati by Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan
City (Patan), with which it forms one urban area surrounded by a ring
road, to the southwest by
Kirtipur Municipality and to the east by
Madyapur Thimi Municipality . To the north the urban area extends into
several Village Development Committees . However, the urban
agglomeration extends well beyond the neighboring municipalities, e.g.
to Bhaktapur, and nearly covers the entire
Kathmandu valley . ‹ The
template below (_Geographic location _) is being considered for
deletion. See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus. ›
KATHMANDU METROPOLITAN CITY
Bagmati river _
Kathmandu is dissected by eight rivers, the main river of the valley,
Bagmati and its tributaries, of which the Bishnumati , Dhobi
Khola, Manohara Khola, Hanumant Khola, and Tukucha Khola are
predominant. The mountains from where these rivers originate are in
the elevation range of 1,500–3,000 metres (4,900–9,800 ft), and
have passes which provide access to and from
Kathmandu and its valley.
An ancient canal once flowed from Nagarjuna hill through Balaju to
Kathmandu; this canal is now extinct.
Kathmandu and its valley are in the _Deciduous
Monsoon Forest Zone_
(altitude range of 1,200–2,100 metres (3,900–6,900 ft)), one of
five vegetation zones defined for Nepal. The dominant tree species in
this zone are oak , elm , beech , maple and others, with coniferous
trees at higher altitude.
View of Himalayan peaks from the
Map of central
Urban expansion in
Kathmandu (Mar. 2015)
Kathmandu valley from Swyambhunath.
The green, vegetated slopes that surround the
Kathmandu metro area
(light gray, image centre) include both forest reserves and national
Kathmandu and adjacent cities are composed of neighborhoods , which
are utilized quite extensively and more familiar among locals.
However, administratively the city is divided into 35 wards, numbered
from 1 to 35.
There is no officially defined agglomeration of Kathmandu. The urban
area of the
Kathmandu valley is split among three different districts
(collections of local government units within a zone ) which extend
very little beyond the valley fringe, except towards the southern
ranges, which have comparatively small population. They have the three
highest population densities in the country. Within these 3 districts
lie VDCs (villages), 20 municipalities and 2 metropolitan municipality
Kathmandu and lalitpur). The following data table
describes these districts which likely would be considered an
ADMINISTRATIVE DISTRICT (NEPALI : जिल्ला; _JILLā_)
POPULATION (2001 CENSUS)
POPULATION (2011 CENSUS)
POPULATION DENSITY (/KM²)
CLIMATE CHART (EXPLANATION )
14 19 2
19 21 5
34 25 8
61 28 12
124 29 16
236 29 19
363 28 20
331 29 20
200 28 19
51 27 13
8.3 24 8
13 20 4
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
0.6 66 36
0.7 70 41
1.3 77 46
2.4 82 54
4.9 84 61
9.3 84 66
14 82 68
13 84 68
7.9 82 66
2 81 55
0.3 75 46
0.5 68 39
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Five major climatic regions are found in Nepal. Of these, Kathmandu
Valley is in the _Warm Temperate Zone_ (elevation ranging from 1,200
to 2,300 metres (3,900 to 7,500 ft)), where the climate is fairly
temperate, atypical for the region. This zone is followed by the _Cool
Temperate Zone_ with elevation varying between 2,100 and 3,300 metres
(6,900 and 10,800 ft). Under Köppen\'s climate classification ,
portions of the city with lower elevations have a humid subtropical
climate (CWA), while portions of the city with higher elevations
generally have a subtropical highland climate . In the Kathmandu
Valley, which is representative of its valley's climate, the average
summer temperature varies from 28 to 30 °C (82 to 86 °F). The
average winter temperature is 10.1 °C (50.2 °F).
The city generally has a climate with warm days followed by cool
nights and mornings. Unpredictable weather is expected, given that
temperatures can drop to 1 °C (34 °F) or less during the winter.
During a 2013 cold front, the winter temperatures of
to −4 °C (25 °F), and the lowest temperature was recorded on 10
January 2013, at −9.2 °C (15.4 °F). Rainfall is mostly
monsoon-based (about 65% of the total concentrated during the monsoon
months of June to August), and decreases substantially (100 to 200 cm
(39 to 79 in)) from eastern
Nepal to western Nepal. Rainfall has been
recorded at about 1,400 millimetres (55.1 in) for the Kathmandu
valley, and averages 1,407 millimetres (55.4 in) for the city of
Kathmandu. On average humidity is 75%. The chart below is based on
data from the
Nepal Bureau of Standards "> For example, 2003 was the
wettest year ever in Kathmandu, totalling over 2,900 mm (114 in) of
precipitation due to an exceptionally strong monsoon season. In
contrast, 2001 recorded only 356 mm (14 in) of precipitation due to an
extraordinarily weak monsoon season.
CLIMATE DATA FOR KATHMANDU (1981–2010)
RECORD HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
RECORD LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DAYS
AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%)
MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS
Source: Department of Hydrology and Meteorology , World
Meteorological Organization (precipitation days)
source 2 =
Danish Meteorological Institute (sun and relative
humidity), Sistema de Clasificación Bioclimática Mundial (extremes)
Air pollution is a major issue in Kathmandu. According to the 2016
World Health Organization\'s Ambient Air Pollution Database, the
PM2.5 concentration in 2013 was 49 μg/m3, which is 4.9
times higher than recommended by the
World Health Organization . for
PM2.5 . Starting in early 2017, the Nepali Government
and US Embassy have monitored and publicly share real-time air quality
Hotel Shanker is one of the city's popular heritage hotels
Central Bank of
Nepal The Kathmandu-based billionaire Binod
Chaudhary is listed by
Forbes _ as Nepal's richest man
The location and terrain of
Kathmandu have played a significant role
in the development of a stable economy which spans millennia. The city
is in an ancient lake basin, with fertile soil and flat terrain. This
geography helped form a society based on agriculture. This, combined
with its location between
India and China, helped establish Kathmandu
as an important trading center over the centuries. Kathmandu's trade
is an ancient profession that flourished along an offshoot of the Silk
Road which linked
India and Tibet. From centuries past, Lhasa Newar
Kathmandu have conducted trade across the
contributed to spreading art styles and
Buddhism across Central Asia.
Other traditional occupations are farming, metal casting, woodcarving,
painting, weaving, and pottery.
Kathmandu is the most important industrial and commercial center in
Nepal Stock Exchange , the head office of the national bank
, the chamber of commerce , as well as head offices of national and
international banks, telecommunication companies, the electricity
authority, and various other national and international organizations
are in Kathmandu. The major economic hubs are the New Road , Durbar
Marg , Ason and Putalisadak.
The economic output of the metropolitan area alone is worth more than
one third of national GDP around $6.5billion in terms of nominal GDP
NR.s 550 billion approximately per year $2200 per capita income approx
three times national average.
Kathmandu exports handicrafts,
artworks, garments, carpets, pashmina, paper; trade accounts for 21%
of its finances. Manufacturing is also important and accounts for
19% of the revenue that
Kathmandu generates. Garments and woolen
carpets are the most notable manufactured products. Other economic
Kathmandu include agriculture (9%), education (6%),
transport (6%), and hotels and restaurants (5%).
Kathmandu is famous
for lokta paper and pashmina shawls.
Hyatt Regency ,
Tourism is considered another important industry in Nepal. This
industry started around 1950, as the country's political makeup
changed and ended the country's isolation from the rest of the world.
In 1956, air transportation was established and the
Raxaul (at India's border), was started.
Separate organizations were created in
Kathmandu to promote this
activity; some of these include the
Tourism Development Board, the
Tourism and the Civil Aviation Department. Furthermore,
Nepal became a member of several international tourist associations.
Establishing diplomatic relations with other nations further
accentuated this activity. The hotel industry, travel agencies,
training of tourist guides, and targeted publicity campaigns are the
chief reasons for the remarkable growth of this industry in Nepal, and
Kathmandu in particular.
Since then, tourism in
Nepal has thrived; it is the country's most
Tourism is a major source of income for most of
the people in the city, with several hundred thousand visitors
Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world visit
Kathmandu's religious sites such as Pashupatinath ,
Budhanilkantha . From a mere 6,179 tourists in 1961/62,
the number increased to 491,504 in 1999/2000. Following the end of the
Maoist insurgency, there was a significant rise of 509,956 tourist
arrivals in 2009. Since then, tourism has improved as the country
turned into the Democratic Republic. In economic terms, the foreign
exchange registered 3.8% of the GDP in 1995/96 but then started
declining. The high level of tourism is attributed to the natural
grandeur of the Himalayas and the rich cultural heritage of the
The neighbourhood of
Thamel is Kathmandu's primary "traveller's
ghetto", packed with guest houses, restaurants, shops, and bookstores,
catering to tourists. Another neighbourhood of growing popularity is
Jhamel, a name for Jhamsikhel coined to rhyme with Thamel. Jhochhen
Tol, also known as _Freak Street_, is Kathmandu's original traveler's
haunt, made popular by the hippies of the 1960s and 1970s; it remains
a popular alternative to Thamel. Asan is a bazaar and ceremonial
square on the old trade route to Tibet, and provides a fine example of
a traditional neighbourhood.
With the opening of the tourist industry after the change in the
political scenario of
Nepal in 1950, the hotel industry drastically
Kathmandu boasts several luxuries such as the Hyatt
Regency , Dwarika\'s , theYak & Yeti, The Everest Hotel, Hotel
Radisson, Hotel De L'Annapurna, The Malla Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel
(which is not operated by the
Shangri-La Hotel Group) and The Shanker
Hotel . There are several four-star hotels such as Hotel Vaishali,
The Blue Star and Grand Hotel . The Garden Hotel,
Hotel Ambassador, and Aloha Inn are among the three-star hotels in
Kathmandu. Hotels like
Hyatt Regency , De L'Annapurna, and Hotel Yak
"> Office of the Prime Minister of
Kathmandu Municipal Corporation, abbreviated KMC, is the chief nodal
agency for the administration of Kathmandu. The Municipality of
Kathmandu was upgraded to incorporated in 1994.
Kathmandu is divided into five sectors: the Central
Sector, the East Sector, the North Sector, the City Core and the West
Sector. For civic administration, the city is further divided into 35
administrative wards. The Council administers the
Metropolitan area of
Kathmandu city through its 177 elected representatives and 20
nominated members. It holds biannual meetings to review, process and
approve the annual budget and make major policy decisions. The
ward's profile documents for the 35 wards prepared by the Kathmandu
Metropolitan Council is detailed and provides information for each
ward on population, the structure and condition of houses, the type of
roads, educational, health and financial institutions, entertainment
facilities, parking space, security provisions, etc. It also includes
lists of development projects completed, on-going and planned, along
with informative data about the cultural heritage, festivals,
historical sites and the local inhabitants. Ward 16 is the largest,
with an area of 437.4 ha; ward 26 is the smallest, with an area of 4
Kathmandu is headquarters of the surrounding
Kathmandu District . The
Kathmandu forms this district with
Kirtipur Municipality and
some 57 Village Development Committees . According to the 2001 census,
there are 235,387 households in the metropolitan city.
LAW AND ORDER
Metropolitan Police is the main law enforcement agency in the
city. It is headed by a commissioner of police . The Metropolitan
Police is a division of the
Nepal Police , and the administrative
control lies with the National Home Ministry. Royal Netherlands
Kathmandu hosts 28 diplomatic missions
The fire service, known as the _Barun Yantra Karyalaya_, opened its
first station in
Kathmandu in 1937 with a single vehicle. An iron
tower was erected to monitor the city and watch for fire. As a
precautionary measure, firemen were sent to the areas which were
designated as accident-prone areas. In 1944, the fire service was
extended to the neighboring cities of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. In 1966,
a fire service was established in
Kathmandu airport. In 1975, a West
German government donation added seven fire engines to Kathmandu's
fire service. The fire service in the city is also overlooked by an
international non-governmental organization, the Firefighters
Volunteer Association of
Nepal (FAN), which was established in 2000
with the purpose of raising public awareness about fire and improving
ELECTRICITY AND WATER SUPPLY
Kathmandu is regulated and distributed by the NEA
Nepal Electricity Authority . While water supply and sanitation
facilities are provided by the
Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited
(KUKL). There is a severe shortage of water for household purposes
such as drinking, bathing, cooking and washing. People have been using
mineral water bottle and mineral water tanks for all the purposes
related to water. Melamchi water supply project will deliver 170
million litres per day of water by the end of 2017.
There is no proper waste management in Kathmandu, so rubbish piles up
on roads, pavements and in waterways.
Waste management may be through composting in municipal waste
management units, and at houses with home composting units. Both
systems are common and established in
India and neighbouring
Kathmandu's urban cosmopolitan character has made it the most
populous city in Nepal, recording a population of 671,846 residents
living in 235,387 households in the metropolitan area, according to
the 2001 census. According to the National Population Census of 2011,
the total population of
Kathmandu city was 975,543 with an annual
growth rate of 6.12% with respect to the population figure of 2001.
70% of the total population residing in
Kathmandu are aged between 15
Over the years the city has been home to people of various
ethnicities, resulting in a range of different traditions and cultural
practices. In one decade, the population increased from 427,045 in
1991 to 671,805 in 2001. The population was projected to reach 915,071
in 2011 and 1,319,597 by 2021. To keep up this population growth, the
KMC-controlled area of 5,076.6 hectares (12,545 acres) has expanded to
8,214 hectares (20,300 acres) in 2001. With this new area, the
population density which was 85 in 1991 is still 85 in 2001; it is
likely to jump to 111 in 2011 and 161 in 2021.
The largest ethnic groups are
Newar (29.6%), Mongoloid (50.7%), Kirat
, Gurung ,
Magar , Tamang , Sherpa etc.),
Brahmins (20.51%), and
Chettris (18.5%). Tamangs originating from surrounding hill districts
can be seen in Kathmandu. More recently, other hill ethnic groups and
Caste groups from
Terai have come to represent a substantial
proportion of the city's population. The major languages are Nepali
Nepal Bhasa , while English is understood by many, particularly in
the service industry. The major religions in
Kathmandu city are
Hinduism 90% and
The linguistic profile of
Kathmandu underwent drastic changes during
the Shah dynasty's rule because of its strong bias towards the Hindu
Sanskrit language therefore was preferred and people were
encouraged to learn it even by attending
Sanskrit learning centers in
Sanskrit schools were specially set up in
Kathmandu and in the
Terai region to inculcate traditional
Hindu culture and practices
originated from Nepal.
ARCHITECTURE AND CITYSCAPE
Architecture of Kathmandu
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site (WHS) Seven Monuments and
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square in 1920•
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Pashupatinath • Changunarayan
Patan Durbar •
The ancient trade route between
Tibet that passed through
Kathmandu enabled a fusion of artistic and architectural traditions
from other cultures to be amalgamated with local art and architecture.
The monuments of
Kathmandu City have been influenced over the
Buddhist religious practices. The architectural
treasure of the
Kathmandu valley has been categorized under the
well-known seven groups of heritage monuments and buildings. In 2006
UNESCO declared these seven groups of monuments as a World Heritage
Site (WHS). The seven monuments zones cover an area of 189 hectares
(470 acres), with the buffer zone extending to 2,394 hectares (5,920
acres). The Seven Monument Zones (Mzs) inscribed originally in 1979
and with a minor modification in 2006 are Durbar squares of Hanuman
Dhoka, Patan and Bhaktapur,
Hindu temples of Pashupatinath and
Changunarayan , the
Buddhist stupas of
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square and
The literal meaning of
Durbar Square is a "place of palaces". There
are three preserved Durbar Squares in
Kathmandu valley and one
Kirtipur . The
Durbar Square of
Kathmandu is in the old
city and has heritage buildings representing four kingdoms (Kantipur,
Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kirtipur); the earliest is the Licchavi dynasty.
The complex has 50 temples and is distributed in two quadrangles of
the Durbar Square. The outer quadrangle has the
Kasthamandap , Kumari
Ghar , and Shiva-Parvati Temple; the inner quadrangle has the Hanuman
Dhoka palace. The squares were severely damaged in the April 2015
Nepal earthquake .
Hanuman Dhoka is a complex of structures with the Royal Palace of the
Malla kings and of the Shah dynasty. It is spread over five acres. The
eastern wing, with ten courtyards, is the oldest part, dating to the
mid-16th century. It was expanded by King
Pratap Malla in the 17th
century with many temples. The royal family lived in this palace until
1886 when they moved to Narayanhiti Palace. The stone inscription
outside is in fifteen languages.
Kumari Ghar is a palace in the center of the
Kathmandu city, next to
Durbar square where a Royal Kumari selected from several Kumaris
resides. Kumari, or Kumari Devi, is the tradition of worshipping young
pre-pubescent girls as manifestations of the divine female energy or
_devi_ in South Asian countries. In
Nepal the selection process is
very rigorous. Kumari is believed to be the bodily incarnation of the
goddess Taleju (the Nepali name for Durga) until she menstruates,
after which it is believed that the goddess vacates her body. Serious
illness or a major loss of blood from an injury are also causes for
her to revert to common status. The current Royal Kumari, Matina
Shakya, age four, was installed in October 2008 by the Maoist
government that replaced the monarchy.
Kasthamandap is a three-storeyed temple enshrining an image of
Gorakhnath . It was built in the 16th century in pagoda style. The
Kathmandu is a derivative of the word _Kasthamandap_. It was
built under the reign of King Laxmi Narsingha Malla. Kasthamandap
stands at the intersection of two ancient trade routes linking India
Tibet at Maru square. It was originally built as a rest house for
Pashupatinath temple Panorama of the
Pashupatinath Temple from the other bank of
Pashupatinath Temple is a famous 5th century
dedicated to Lord Shiva (
Pashupati ). On the banks of the Bagmati
River in the eastern part of Kathmandu,
Pashupatinath Temple is the
Hindu temple in Kathmandu. It served as the seat of national
deity, Lord Pashupatinath , until
Nepal was secularized. However, a
significant part of the temple was destroyed by Mughal invaders in the
14th century and little or nothing remains of the original 5th-century
temple exterior. The temple as it stands today was built in the 19th
century, although the image of the bull and the black four-headed
Pashupati are at least 300 years old. The temple is a UNESCO
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site .
Shivaratri , or the night of Lord Shiva, is
the most important festival that takes place here, attracting
thousands of devotees and sadhus .
Believers in Pashupatinath (mainly Hindus ) are allowed to enter the
temple premises, but non-
Hindu visitors are allowed to view the temple
only from the across the
Bagmati River. The priests who perform the
services at this temple have been
Karnataka , South
India since the time of Malla king
Yaksha Malla . This tradition is
believed to have been started at the request of
Adi Shankaracharya who
sought to unify the states of
Bharatam (Unified India) by encouraging
cultural exchange. This procedure is followed in other temples around
India, which were sanctified by Adi Shankaracharya.
The temple is built in the pagoda style of architecture, with cubic
constructions, carved wooden rafters (tundal) on which they rest, and
two-level roofs made of copper and gold.
Buildings around Boudha
The Boudhanath, (also written _Bouddhanath_, _Bodhnath_, _Baudhanath_
or the _Khāsa_
Chaitya ), is one of the holiest
Buddhist sites in
Nepal, along with
Swayambhu . It is a very popular tourist site.
Boudhanath is known as Khāsti by
Newars and as Bauddha or Bodhnāth
by speakers of Nepali . About 11 km (7 mi) from the center and
northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu, the stupa's massive mandala makes
it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal.
Boudhanath became a
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site in 1979.
Stupa , one of the
The base of the stupa has 108 small depictions of the Dhyani Buddha
Amitabha . It is surrounded with a brick wall with 147 niches, each
with four or five prayer wheels engraved with the mantra, _om mani
padme hum_. At the northern entrance where visitors must pass is a
shrine dedicated to
Ajima , the goddess of smallpox . Every year the
stupa attracts many Tibetan
Buddhist pilgrims who perform full body
prostrations in the inner lower enclosure, walk around the stupa with
prayer wheels, chant, and pray. Thousands of prayer flags are hoisted
up from the top of the stupa downwards and dot the perimeter of the
complex. The influx of many Tibetan refugees from
China has seen the
construction of over 50 Tibetan gompas (monasteries ) around
Swayambhu is a
Buddhist stupa atop a hillock at the northwestern part
of the city. This is among the oldest religious sites in
Although the site is considered Buddhist, it is revered by both
Buddhists and Hindus. The stupa consists of a dome at the base; above
the dome, there is a cubic structure with the eyes of Buddha looking
in all four directions. There are pentagonal
Toran above each of the
four sides, with statues engraved on them. Behind and above the torana
there are thirteen tiers. Above all the tiers, there is a small space
above which lies a gajur .
Ranipokhari is a historic artificial pond in the heart of Kathmandu.
It was built by king Pratap Mall in 1670 AD. A large stone statue of
an elephant in south signifies the image of
Pratap Malla and his two
sons. Rani Pokhari is opened once a year during the final day of Tihar
i.e. Bhai Tika and Chhath festival. The world largest Chhath takes
place every year in Ranipokhari. The pond is one of Kathmandu's most
famous landmarks and is known for its religious and aesthetic
Culture of Kathmandu A man in one of the Nepalese
national dress Stone carvings, called Chaityas, seen in street
corners and courtyards
Kathmandu valley is described as "an enormous treasure house of art
and sculptures", which are made of wood, stone, metal, and terracotta
, and found in profusion in temples, shrines, stupas, gompas,
chaityasm and palaces. The art objects are also seen in street
corners, lanes, private courtyards and in open ground. Most art is in
the form of icons of gods and goddesses.
Kathmandu valley has had this
art treasure for a very long time, but received worldwide recognition
only after the country opened to the outside world in 1950.
The religious art of
Kathmandu in particular consists of an
iconic symbolism of the Mother Goddesses such as: Bhavani, Durga,
Gaja-Lakshmi, Hariti-Sitala, Mahsishamardini, Saptamatrika (seven
mother goddesses), and Sri-Lakshmi(wealth-goddess). From the 3rd
century BCE, apart from the
Hindu gods and goddesses, Buddhist
monuments from the Ashokan period (it is said that
Nepal in 250 BC) have embellished
Nepal in general and the valley in
particular. These art and architectural edifices encompass three major
periods of evolution: the Licchavi or classical period (500 to 900
AD), the post-classical period (1000 to 1400 AD), with strong
influence of the Palla art form; the Malla period (1400 onwards) that
exhibited explicitly tantric influences coupled with the art of
A broad typology has been ascribed to the decorative designs and
carvings created by the people of Nepal. These artists have maintained
a blend of
Hinduism and Buddhism. The typology, based on the type of
material used are: stone art, metal art, wood art, terracotta art, and
Kathmandu is home to a number of museums and art galleries, including
the National Museum of
Nepal and the Natural History Museum of Nepal.
Nepal's art and architecture is an amalgamation of two ancient
Hinduism and Buddhhism. These are amply reflected in the
many temples, shrines, stupas, monasteries, and palaces in the seven
well-defined Monument Zones of the
Kathmandu valley are part of a
UNESCO World Heritage Site. This amalgamation is also reflected in the
planning and exhibitions in museums and art galleries throughout
Kathmandu and its sister cities of Patan and Bhaktapur. The museums
display unique artifacts and paintings from the 5th century CE to the
present day, including archeological exportation.
Kathmandu museums and art galleries include:
* The National Museum
* The Natural History Museum
* Hanumandhoka Palace Complex
* The Kaiser Library
* The National Art Gallery
* The NEF-ART (
Nepal Fine Art) Gallery
Nepal Art Council Gallery
* Narayanhity Palace Museum
* The Taragaon Museum
National Museum of
The National Museum is in the western part of Kathmandu, near the
Swayambhunath stupa in an historical building. This building was
constructed in the early 19th century by General
Bhimsen Thapa . It is
the most important museum in the country, housing an extensive
collection of weapons, art and antiquities of historic and cultural
importance. The museum was established in 1928 as a collection house
of war trophies and weapons, and the initial name of this museum was
_Chhauni Silkhana_, meaning "the stone house of arms and ammunition".
Given its focus, the museum contains many weapons, including locally
made firearms used in wars, leather cannons from the 18th–19th
century, and medieval and modern works in wood , bronze , stone and
The Natural History Museum is in the southern foothills of
Swayambhunath hill and has a sizeable collection of different species
of animals, butterflies , and plants. The museum is noted for its
display of species, from prehistoric shells to stuffed animals.
Tribhuvan Museum contains artifacts related to the King Tribhuvan
(1906–1955). It has a variety of pieces including his personal
belongings, letters and papers, memorabilia related to events he was
involved in and a rare collection of photos and paintings of Royal
family members. The Mahendra Museum is dedicated to king Mahendra of
Nepal (1920–1972). Like the
Tribhuvan Museum, it includes his
personal belongings such as decorations, stamps , coins and personal
notes and manuscripts, but it also has structural reconstructions of
his cabinet room and office chamber. The Hanumandhoka Palace, a
lavish medieval palace complex in the Durbar, contains three separate
museums of historic importance. These museums include the Birendra
museum, which contains items related to the second-last monarch,
The enclosed compound of the Narayanhity Palace Museum is in the
north-central part of Kathmandu. "Narayanhity" comes from _Narayana_,
a form of the
Lord Vishnu , and _Hiti_, meaning "water
spout" (Vishnu's temple is opposite the palace, and the water spout is
east of the main entrance to the precinct). Narayanhity was a new
palace, in front of the old palace built in 1915, and was built in
1970 in the form of a contemporary
Pagoda . It was built on the
occasion of the marriage of King Birenda Bir Bikram Shah , then heir
apparent to the throne. The southern gate of the palace is at the
crossing of Prithvipath and Darbar Marg roads. The palace area covers
(30 hectares (74 acres)) and is fully secured with gates on all sides.
This palace was the scene of the
Nepali royal massacre . After the
fall of the monarchy, it was converted to a museum.
The Taragaon Museum presents the modern history of the Kathmandu
Valley. It seeks to document 50 years of research and cultural
heritage conservation of the
Kathmandu Valley, documenting what
artists photographers architects anthropologists from abroad had
contributed in the second half of the 20th century. The actual
structure of the Museum showcases restoration and rehabilitation
efforts to preserve the built heritage of Kathmandu. It was designed
by Carl Pruscha (master-planner of the Kathmandy Valley ) in 1970 and
constructed in 1971. Restoration works began in 2010 to rehabilitate
the Taragaon hostel into the Taragaon Museum. The design uses local
brick along with modern architectural design elements, as well as the
use of circle, triangles and squares. The Museum is within a short
walk from the Boudhnath stupa , which itself can be seen from the
Buddhist statue display in
Kathmandu is a center for art in Nepal, displaying the work of
contemporary artists in the country and also collections of historical
artists. Patan in particular is an ancient city noted for its fine
arts and crafts. Art in
Kathmandu is vibrant, demonstrating a fusion
of traditionalism and modern art, derived from a great number of
national, Asian, and global influences. Nepali art is commonly divided
into two areas: the idealistic traditional painting known as Paubhas
Nepal and perhaps more commonly known as Thangkas in Tibet, closely
linked to the country's religious history and on the other hand the
contemporary western-style painting, including nature-based
compositions or abstract artwork based on Tantric elements and social
themes of which painters in
Nepal are well noted for.
Internationally, the British-based charity, the
Art Centre is involved with promoting arts in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu contains many notable art galleries. The NAFA Gallery,
operated by the Arts and crafts Department of the
Nepal Academy is
housed in Sita Bhavan, a neo-classical old Rana palace.
The Srijana Contemporary Art Gallery, inside the Bhrikutimandap
Exhibition grounds, hosts the work of contemporary painters and
sculptors, and regularly organizes exhibitions. It also runs morning
and evening classes in the schools of art. Also of note is the Moti
Azima Gallery, in a three-storied building in Bhimsenthan which
contains an impressive collection of traditional utensils and handmade
dolls and items typical of a medieval
Newar house, giving an important
insight into Nepali history. The J Art Gallery is also in Kathmandu,
near the Royal Palace in Durbarmarg,
Kathmandu and displays the
artwork of eminent, established Nepali painters. The
Nepal Art Council
Gallery, in the Babar Mahal, on the way to
Airport contains artwork of both national and international artists
and extensive halls regularly used for art exhibitions.
The National Library of
Nepal is in Patan . It is the largest library
in the country with more than 70,000 books. English, Nepali , Sanskrit
Hindi , and
Nepal Bhasa books are found here. The library is in
possession of rare scholarly books in
Sanskrit and English dating from
the 17th century AD.
Kathmandu also contains the Kaiser Library, in
the Kaiser Mahal on the ground floor of the Ministry of Education
building. This collection of around 45,000 books is derived from a
personal collection of Kaiser Shamsher
Jang Bahadur Rana . It covers
a wide range of subjects including history, law, art, religion, and
philosophy, as well as a
Sanskrit manual of
Tantra , which is believed
to be over 1,000 years old. The 2015 earthquake caused severe damage
to the Ministry of Education building, and the contents of the Kaiser
Library have been temporarily relocated.
The Asa Archives are also noteworthy. They specialize in medieval
history and religious traditions of the
Kathmandu Valley. The
archives, in Kulambhulu, have a collection of some 6,000 loose-leaf
handwritten books and 1,000 palm-leaf manuscripts (mostly in Sanskrit
Nepal Bhasa) and a manuscript dated to 1464.
Cinema And Theatre
Kathmandu is home to Nepali cinema and theaters. The city contains
several theaters, including the National Dance Theatre in Kanti Path,
the Ganga Theatre, the Himalayan Theatre and the Aarohan Theater Group
founded in 1982. The M. Art Theater is based in the city. The Gurukul
School of Theatre organizes the
Kathmandu International Theater
Festival, attracting artists from all over the world. A mini theater
is also at the Hanumandhoka Durbar Square, established by the Durbar
Conservation and Promotion Committee.
Kathmandu has a number of movie theatres (old single screen
establishments and some new multiplexes) showing Nepali,
and Hollywood films. Some old establishments include Vishwajyoti
Cinema Hall, Jai
Nepal Hall, Kumari Cinema Hall, Gopi
Hall and Guna Cinema Hall.
Kathmandu also houses some international
standard cinema theatres and multiplexes, such as QFX Cinemas, Cine De
Chef, Fcube Cinemas, Q's Cinemas Big Movies, BSR Movies etc.
Buddhist musical performance during
Kathmandu is the centre of music and dance in Nepal, and these art
forms are integral to understanding the city. Musical performances are
organized in cultural venues. Music is a part of the traditional
aspect of Kathmandu.
Gunla is the traditional music festival according
Nepal Sambat .
Newar music originated in Kathmandu. Furthermore,
music from all over
Nepal can be found in Kathmandu.
A number of hippies visited
Kathmandu during the 1970s and introduced
rock and roll , rock , and jazz to the city.
Kathmandu is noted
internationally for its jazz festival, popularly known as
It is the only jazz festival in the Himalayan region and was
established in March 2002. The festival attracts musicians from
countries worldwide, such as
United States ,
Benin , and
The city has been referenced in numerous songs, including works by
Cat Stevens ('Katmandu', _
Mona Bone Jakon _ (1970)), Bob Seger
Beautiful Loser _ (1975)), Rush ('A Passage to Bangkok
', _Pulling into Kathmandu_; _2112 _, 1976),
_Three Springs_ (2000)) and
Fito Páez (_Tráfico por Katmandú_ –
"Traffic through Kathmandu").
One of the typical Nepali meal
Dal bhat in
The staple food of most people in
Kathmandu is dal bhat . This
consists of rice and lentil soup, generally served with vegetable
curries, achar and sometimes Chutney. Momo , a type of Nepali version
of Tibetan dumpling, has become prominent in
Nepal with many street
vendors and restaurants selling it. It is one of the most popular fast
foods in Kathmandu. Various Nepali variants of momo including buff
(i.e. buffalo) momo, chicken momo, and vegetarian momo are famous in
Most of the cuisines found in
Kathmandu are non-vegetarian. However,
the practice of vegetarianism is not uncommon, and vegetarian cuisines
can be found throughout the city. Consumption of beef is very uncommon
and considered taboo in many places. _Buff_ (meat of water buffalo) is
very common. There is a strong tradition of _buff_ consumption in
Kathmandu, especially among
Newars , which is not found in other parts
of Nepal. Consumption of pork was considered taboo until a few decades
ago. Due to the intermixing with Kirat cuisine from eastern Nepal,
pork has found a place in
Kathmandu dishes. A fringe population of
devout Hindus and Muslims consider it taboo. The Muslims forbid eating
_buff_ as from
Quran while Hindus eat all varieties except Cow's meat
as they consider Cow to be a goddess and symbol of purity. The chief
breakfast for locals and visitors is mostly _Momo_ or _Chowmein_.
Kathmandu had only one western-style restaurant in 1955. A large
number of restaurants in
Kathmandu have since opened, catering Nepali
Tibetan cuisine ,
Chinese cuisine and
Indian cuisine in
particular. Many other restaurants have opened to accommodate locals,
expatriates, and tourists. The growth of tourism in
Kathmandu has led
to culinary creativity and the development of hybrid foods to
accommodate for tourists such as American chop suey , which is a
sweet-and-sour sauce with crispy noodles with a fried egg commonly
added on top and other westernized adaptations of traditional cuisine.
Continental cuisine can be found in selected places. International
chain restaurants are rare, but some outlets of
Pizza Hut and
recently opened there. It also has several outlets of the
international ice-cream chain Baskin-Robbins
Kathmandu has a larger proportion of tea drinkers than coffee
drinkers. Tea is widely served but is extremely weak by western
standards. It is richer and contains tea leaves boiled with milk,
sugar and spices. Alcohol is widely drunk, and there are numerous
local variants of alcoholic beverages. Drinking and driving is
illegal, and authorities have a zero tolerance policy.
thwon (alcohol made from rice) are the alcoholic beverages of
Kathmandu, found in all the local bhattis (alcohol serving eateries).
Chhyaang , tongba (fermented millet or barley ) and rakshi are
alcoholic beverages from other parts of
Nepal which are found in
Kathmandu. However, shops and bars in
Kathmandu widely sell western
and Nepali beers.
Samyak , a
Buddhist festival during which
statues of Buddhas from the ancient monasteries are displayed
together. Note the statue of
Hanuman next to the Buddhas in the
picture, a common example of religious harmony in Kathmandu.
Ram Baran Yadav observing the street
Yenya , which literally means "festival of Kathmandu"
Nepali Lakhe dancer View of
Kathmandu valley from Halchowk
hill in Dipawali 2013
Most of the fairs and festivals in
Kathmandu originated in the Malla
period or earlier. Traditionally, these festivals were celebrated by
Newars. In recent years, these festivals have found wider
participation from other Kathmanduites as well. As the capital of the
Republic of Nepal, various national festivals are celebrated in
Kathmandu. With mass migration to the city, the cultures of
the west, Kirats from the east, Bon/Tibetan from the north, and
Mithila from the south meet in the capital and mingle harmoniously.
The festivities such as the Ghode (horse) Jatra,
Indra Jatra , Dashain
Durga Puja festivals,
Shivratri and many more are observed by all
Buddhist communities of
Kathmandu with devotional fervor and
enthusiasm. Social regulation in the codes enacted incorporate Hindu
traditions and ethics. These were followed by the Shah kings and
previous kings, as devout Hindus and protectors of
Cultural continuity has been maintained for centuries in the
exclusive worship of goddesses and deities in
Kathmandu and the rest
of the country. These deities include the
Ajima , Taleju (or Tulja
Bhavani), Digu taleju, and Kumari (the living goddess). The artistic
edifices have now become places of worship in the everyday life of the
people, therefore a roster is maintained to observe annual festivals.
There are 133 festivals held in the year.
Some of the traditional festivals observed in Kathmandu, apart from
those previously mentioned, are Bada Dashain, Tihar, Chhath, Maghe
Sankranti, Naga Panchami, Janai Poornima, Pancha Dan, Teej/Rishi
Pahan Charhe ,
Jana Baha Dyah Jatra (White Machchhendranath
Jatra), and Matatirtha Aunsi.
Assumedly, together with the kingdom of Licchhavi (c. 400 to 750),
Hinduism and the endogam social stratification of the
Kathmandu Valley. The
Pashupatinath Temple , Changu
Narayan temple (the oldest), and the
Kasthamandap are of particular
importance to Hindus. Other notable
Hindu temples in
Kathmandu and the
surrounding valley include
Bajrayogini Temple ,
Dakshinkali Temple ,
Guhyeshwari Temple , and the Sobha Bhagwati shrine.
Bagmati River which flows through
Kathmandu is considered a holy
river both by Hindus and Buddhists, and many
Hindu temples are on the
banks of this river. The importance of the
Bagmati also lies in the
fact that Hindus are cremated on its banks, and Kirants are buried in
the hills by its side. According to the Nepali
Hindu tradition, the
dead body must be dipped three times into the
cremation. The chief mourner (usually the first son) who lights the
funeral pyre must take a holy riverwater bath immediately after
cremation. Many relatives who join the funeral procession also take
bath in the
Bagmati River or sprinkle the holy water on their bodies
at the end of cremation as the
Bagmati is believed to purify people
Buddhism started in
Kathmandu with the arrival of
during the time of Buddha (c. 563 – 483 BCE ). They started a forest
Sankhu . This monastery was renovated by Shakyas after
they fled genocide from Virudhaka (rule: 491–461 BCE).
Hindu Lichchavi era (c. 400 to 750), various monasteries
and orders were created which successively led to the formation of
Newar Buddhism , which is still practiced in the primary liturgical
language of Hinduism,
Bhrikuti (7th-century) and artist Araniko
(1245–1306 CE) from that tradition of
Kathmandu valley played a
significant role in spreading
Tibet and China. There are
over 108 traditional monasteries (Bahals and Bahis) in
Newar Buddhism. Since the 1960s, the permanent Tibetan Buddhist
Kathmandu has risen significantly so that there are now
over fifty Tibetan
Buddhist monasteries in the area. Also, with the
Newar Buddhism, various Theravada Bihars have been
Mundhum is one of the indigenous animistic practices of Nepal.
It is practiced by
Kirat people . Some animistic aspects of Kirant
beliefs, such as ancestor worship (worship of Ajima) are also found in
Newars of Kirant origin. Ancient religious sites believed to be
worshipped by ancient Kirats, such as Pashupatinath, Wanga Akash
Bhairabh (Yalambar) and
Ajima are now worshipped by people of all
Dharmic religions in Kathmandu. Kirats who have migrated from other
Mundhum in the city.
Sikhism is practiced primarily in Gurudwara at Kupundole. An earlier
Sikhism is also present in
Kathmandu which is now defunct.
Jainism is practiced by a small community. A Jain temple is present in
Gyaneshwar, where Jains practice their faith. According to the records
of the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha\'is of Nepal, there are
approximately 300 Baha'is in
Kathmandu valley. They have a National
Office in Shantinagar, Baneshwor. The Baha'is also have classes for
children at the National Centre and other localities in Kathmandu.
Islam is practised in
Kathmandu but Muslims are a minority, accounting
for about 4.2% of the population of Nepal. It is said that in
Kathmandu alone there are 170 Christian churches. Christian missionary
hospitals, welfare organizations, and schools are also operating.
Nepali citizens who served as soldiers in Indian and British armies,
who had converted to Christianity while in service, on return to Nepal
continue to practice their religion. They have contributed to the
spread of Christianity and the building of churches in
Nepal and in
Kathmandu, in particular.
The oldest modern school in
Durbar High School , and the
Tri Chandra College , are both in
Kathmandu city. The
largest (according to number of students and colleges), oldest and
most distinguished university in
Nepal is in
Kirtipur and is called
University . The second largest university, Kathmandu
University (KU), is in Dhulikhel, Kavre on the outskirts of Kathmandu.
It is the second oldest university in
Nepal , established in November
1991. Not surprisingly the best schools and colleges of
Kathmandu and its adjoining cities. Every year thousands of
students from all over
Nepal arrive at
Kathmandu to get admission in
the various schools and colleges . One of the key concerns of
educationists and concerned citizens is the massive out flux of
Nepal to outside
Nepal for studies. Every year thousands
of students apply for No objection certificates for studying abroad.
specialising in preparing students to go abroad can be found in all
prominent locations. The reason for such an outflux range from
perceived low quality of education, political instability, less
opportunities in job market, opportunities of earning while learning
abroad and better job prospects with an international degree .
Institute of Medicine
Institute of Medicine , the central college of Tribhuwan University
is the first medical college of
Nepal and is in Maharajgunj,
Kathmandu. It was established in 1972 and started to impart medical
education from 1978. A number of medical colleges including Kathmandu
Medical College ,
Nepal Medical College, KIST Medical College, Nepal
Army Institute of Health Sciences, National Academy of Medical
Sciences (NAMS) and
Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences
(KUSMS), are also in or around Kathmandu.
Dasarath Rangashala Stadium in
Football and cricket are the most popular sports among the younger
Nepal and there are several stadiums in the city. The
sport is governed by the National Sports Council from its headquarters
in Kathmandu. The only international football stadium in the city is
Dasarath Rangasala Stadium , a multi-purpose stadium used mostly
for football matches and cultural events, in the neighborhood of
Tripureshwor. It is the largest stadium in
Nepal with a capacity of
25,000 spectators, built in 1956. Martyr\'s Memorial League is also
held in this ground every year. The stadium was renovated with Chinese
help before the 8th
South Asian Games were held in
Kathmandu and had
Kathmandu is home to the oldest football clubs
Nepal such as RCT , Sankata and NRT . Other prominent clubs include
MMC , Machhindra FC,
Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) and MPC .
Kathmandu is also home of some of the oldest cricket clubs in Nepal,
such as Yangal Sports Club .
Kathmandu has the only recognised
international cricket ground in the country, TU Cricket Ground at the
University in Kirtipur.
An international stadium for swimming events is in Satdobato,
Lalitpur, near Kathmandu. The ANFA Technical Football Center is just
adjacent to this stadium.
Aerial view of a road in
The total length of roads in
Nepal is recorded to be (17,182 km
(10,676 mi)), as of 2003–04. This fairly large network has helped
the economic development of the country, particularly in the fields of
agriculture, horticulture, vegetable farming, industry and also
tourism. In view of the hilly terrain, transportation takes place in
Kathmandu are mainly by road and air.
Kathmandu is connected by the
Tribhuvan Highway to the south,
Prithvi Highway to the west and
Araniko Highway to the north. The BP Highway , connecting
the eastern part of
Nepal is under construction.
The main international airport serving
Kathmandu and thus
Tribhuvan International Airport , about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from
the city centre. Operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of
it has two terminals, one domestic and one international. At present,
about 26 international airlines connect
Nepal to other destinations in
Asia and the
Middle East , to cities such as
Istanbul , Delhi
Mumbai , Bangalore , Kolkata ,
Kuala Lumpur ,
Dhaka , Paro , Lhasa ,
Chengdu , and Guangzhou . Since 2013, Turkish
Istanbul to Kathmandu.
Oman Air also connects
Kathmandu since 2010. Regionally, several Nepali airlines
operate from the city, including
Buddha Air ,
Nepal Airlines and Yeti
Airlines , to other major towns across Nepal.
Ropeways are another important transportation means in hilly terrain.
A ropeway operated between
Hetauda over a length of 43
km (27 mi) which carried 25 tonnes of goods per hour. It has since
been discontinued due to poor carrying capacity and maintenance
issues. During the Rana period, a ropeway was constructed between
Kathmandu (then Mathathirtha) to Dhorsing (Makawanpur) of over 22 km
(14 mi) in length, which carried cargo of 8 tonnes per hour. Now there
is a cable car operated in
Kathmandu in Chandragiri Hills
Kathmandu is the most developed in Nepal, and the city
and surrounding valley is home to some of the best hospitals and
clinics in the country.
Bir Hospital is the oldest, established in
July 1889 by Bir Shamsher
Jang Bahadur Rana . Notable hospitals
include Bir Hospital, Tribhuwan
University Institute of Medicine
(Teaching Hospital), Patan Hospital,
Kathmandu Model Hospital, Scheer
Memorial Hospital, Om Hospital, Norvic Hospital, Grande International
Hospital , Nobel Hospital.
The city is supported by specialist hospitals/clinics such as Shahid
Shukra Tropical Hospital, Shahid Gangalal Foundation, Kathmandu
Nepal Eye Hospital, Kanti Children's Hospital,
Nepal International Clinic (Travel and Mountain medicine center),
Neuro Center, Spinal Rehabilitation center and
Hospital . Most of the general hospitals are in the city centre,
although several clinics are elsewhere in
Tilganga Institute of
Ophthalmology is an Ophthalmological hospital
in Kathmandu. It pioneered the production of low cost intraocular
lenses (IOLs), which are used in cataract surgery. The team of Dr.
Sanduk Ruit in the same hospital pioneered sutureless small-incision
cataract surgery (SICS), a technique which has been used to treat 4
million of the world's 20 million people with cataract blindness.
Nepali language magazine cover in 1951
Kathmandu is the television hub of Nepal.
Nepal Television ,
established in 1985, is the oldest and most watched television channel
in Nepal, as is government-owned
NTV 2 Metro , Channel
Nepal , Image
Kantipur Television , Sagarmatha TV, Himalayan Television
and other channels.
The headquarters of many of the country's news outlets are also in
the city including
Kathmandu Tribune , the government-owned
Gorkhapatra , the oldest national daily newspaper in Nepal, The
Kathmandu Post ,
Nepali Times ,
Kantipur Publications and its paper
Kantipur , the largest selling
Nepali language paper, The Himalayan
Times , the largest selling English broadsheet in Nepal, Karobar
Economic Daily and Aarthik Abhiyan National Daily are the only
economic daily in
Jana Aastha National Weekly .
Nepal Republic Media, the publisher of
MyRepublica , joined a
publishing alliance with the
International Herald Tribune (IHT), to
Asia Pacific Edition of IHT from
Kathmandu from 20 July
2011. There is a state-run National News Agency (RSS).
Nepal is a state-run organization which operates national and
regional radio stations. These stations are:
Hits FM (Nepal) , HBC 94
FM, Radio Sagarmatha,
Kantipur FM and Image FM. The BBC also has an FM
broadcasting station in Kathmandu. Among them small part of FM radio
Community radio Station, that are Radio Pratibodh F.M. –
102.4 MHz, Radio Upatyaka – 87.6 MHz etc.
Kathmandu is home to several international and regional
organizations, including the South Asian Association for Regional
Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), in order to promote international
relations has established an International Relations Secretariat
(IRC). KMC's first international relationship was established in 1975
with the city of
Eugene, Oregon ,
United States . This activity has
been further enhanced by establishing formal relationships with 8
other cities: Motsumoto City of
Japan , Rochester of the USA, Yangon
(formerly Rangoon) of
Myanmar , Xi\'an of the People\'s Republic of
Belarus , and
Pyongyang of the Democratic Republic of
Korea . KMC's constant endeavor is to enhance its interaction with
SAARC countries, other International agencies and many other major
cities of the world to achieve better urban management and
developmental programs for Kathmandu.
TWIN TOWNS – SISTER CITIES
Kathmandu is twinned with:
Edinburgh , United Kingdom
Eugene, Oregon , United States
Isfahan , Iran
Johannesburg , South Africa
Kyoto , Japan
Matsumoto, Nagano , Japan
Miami , Florida, United States
* Pau , France
Maharashtra , India
Québec City , Canada
* Xi\'an , China
Istanbul , Turkey
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* _ Media related to
Kathmandu at Wikimedia Commons
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for KATHMANDU _.
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West and Southwest Asia
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* ASTANA ,
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