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The KATHMANDU VALLEY (Nepali : काठमाडौं उपत्यका, Nepalbhasa :स्वनिगः, नेपाः गाः), located in Nepal
Nepal
, lies at the crossroads of ancient civilizations of Asia
Asia
, and has at least 130 important monuments, including several pilgrimage sites for Hindus and Buddhists . There are seven World Heritage Sites within the valley.

Historically, the valley and adjoining areas made up a confederation known as the Nepal
Nepal
Mandala . Until the 15th century, Bhaktapur was its capital, when two other capitals, Kathmandu
Kathmandu
and Lalitpur (Patan) , were established. After the annexation of the valley by the Gorkha Kingdom , and subsequent conversion of the Valley
Valley
as the capital of their empire, the designation of "Nepal" was extended to all the lands they had conquered.

The Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley
Valley
is the most developed and populated place in Nepal. The majority of offices and headquarters are located in the valley, making it the economic hub of Nepal. It is popular with tourists for its unique architecture, and rich culture that includes the highest number of jatras (street festivals) in Nepal. The valley itself was referred to as " Nepal
Nepal
Proper" by British historians.

In 2015, Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley
Valley
was hit by the April 2015 Nepal
Nepal
earthquake . The earthquake caused thousands of deaths and destruction of many infrastructures.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology

* 2 History

* 2.1 Newars

* 3 Mythology * 4 Geography * 5 Places to see * 6 Present * 7 Musical inspiration * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 External links

ETYMOLOGY

The city of Kathmandu
Kathmandu
is named after a structure in Durbar Square called by the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
name Kāsṣtha mandapa "Wooden shelter". It was destroyed in the 2015 earthquake. This unique temple, also known as the Maru Sattal, was built in 1596 by King Lakshminarasimha Malla . The entire structure contained no iron nails or supports and was made entirely from wood. Legend has it that the timber used for this two-story pagoda was obtained from a single tree.

HISTORY

The Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley
Valley
may have been inhabited as early as 300 BCE, since the oldest known objects in the valley date to a few hundred years BCE. The earliest known inscription is dated 185 CE. The oldest firmly dated building in the earthquake-prone valley is almost 1,992 years old. Four stupas around the city of Patan that are said to have been erected by a Charumati , a purported daughter of the Maurya emperor Ashoka
Ashoka
, in the third century BCE, attest to the ancient history present within the valley. As with the tales of the Buddha's visit, there is no evidence supporting Ashok's visit, but the stupas probably date to that century. The Licchavis , whose earliest inscriptions date to 464, were the next rulers of the valley and had close ties with the Gupta Empire
Gupta Empire
of India. The Mallas ruled the Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley
Valley
and the surrounding area from the 12th until the 18th century CE, when the Shah dynasty of the Gorkha Kingdom under Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered the valley as he created present-day Nepal. His victory in the Battle of Kirtipur was the beginning of his conquest of the valley. Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple
, dedicated to Pashupati .

NEWARS

The Newars are the indigenous inhabitants and the creators of the historic civilization of the valley. The language is today known as Nepal
Nepal
Bhasa . They are understood to be the descendants of the various ethnic and racial groups that have inhabited and ruled the valley in the two-millennium history of the place. Scholars have also described the Newars as a nation . They have developed a division of labour and a sophisticated urban civilization not seen elsewhere in the Himalayan foothills. They are known for their contributions to art, sculpture, architecture, culture, literature, music, industry, trade, agriculture and cuisine, and left their mark on the art of Central Asia.

Newa architecture consists of the pagoda , stupa , shikhara , chaitya and other styles. The valley's trademark is the multiple-roofed pagoda which may have originated in this area and spread to India, China, Indochina and Japan. The most famous artisan who influenced stylistic developments in China and Tibet was Araniko , a Newar who traveled to the court of Kublai Khan in the 13th century AD. He is known for building the white stupa at the Miaoying Temple in Beijing
Beijing
. At present, people from other parts of Nepal
Nepal
tend to migrate to the valley for a better life due to its high level of cultural and economic development.

MYTHOLOGY

Swayamhbu Stupa
Stupa

According to Swayambhu Puran, the Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley
Valley
was once a lake, deemed by scientists as Paleo Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Lake . The hill where the Swayambu Stupa
Stupa
rests had lotus plants with beautiful lotus flowers bloom. One story says that the God Manjusri
Manjusri
cut a gorge at a place called Kashapaal (later called Chobhar) with a sword called Chandrahrasha and drained away the waters in order to establish a habitable land.

According to Gopal Banshawali, Krishna
Krishna
cut the gorge with his Sudarshana Chakra to let the water out. He then handed the drained valley to the Gopal Vansi people, who were nomadic cow herders.

GEOGRAPHY

Mountain view from Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley
Valley

Kathmandu
Kathmandu
valley is bowl-shaped. Its central lower part stands at 1,425 metres (4,675 ft) above sea level . Kathmandu
Kathmandu
valley is surrounded by four mountain ranges: Shivapuri (at an elevation of 2,800 metres or 9,200 feet), Phulchowki (2,795 metres or 9,170 feet), Nagarjun (2,825 metres or 9,268 feet) and Chandragiri (2,551 metres or 8,369 feet). The major river flowing through the Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley
Valley
is the Bagmati .

The valley is made up of the Kathmandu
Kathmandu
District , Lalitpur District and Bhaktapur District covering an area of 220 square miles (570 km2). The valley consists of the municipal areas of Kathmandu
Kathmandu
, Patan , Bhaktapur , Kirtipur and Madhyapur Thimi ; the remaining area is made up of a number of village development committees . The valley is a cultural and political hub of Nepal. The Kathmandu
Kathmandu
valley was accorded the status of a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
by UNESCO
UNESCO
in the year 1979.

PLACES TO SEE

Desay Madu Jhya , the only window of its kind in the country

This is an incomplete alphabetical list of notable temples and monuments in Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley. Seven of these are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites .

* Bhaktapur District

* Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Durbar Square
(a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site) * Changu Narayan Temple (a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site) * Doleshwor Mahadeva Temple * Kailashnath Mahadev Statue * Suryavinayak Temple * Kamal Binayak Temple * Dattatreya Temple

* Kathmandu
Kathmandu
District

* Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple
(a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site) * Aditnath Temple * Boudhanath
Boudhanath
Stupa
Stupa
(a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site) * Bagh Bhairab Temple * Dakshinkali Temple * Guhyeshwari Temple * Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square
(a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site) * Narayanhiti Palace
Narayanhiti Palace
* Ranipokhari * Swayambhunath Temple (a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site) * Uma Maheshwar Temple * Ajima Templehttps ://www.facebook.com/welcometomanamaiju/ * Jal Binayak Temple * Chandra Binayak Temple * Budhanilkantha Temple

* Lalitpur District, Nepal
Nepal

* Patan Durbar Square
Durbar Square
(a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site) * Temple of Rato Macchindranath , Bungmati

PRESENT

Changu Narayan temple

This valley hosts a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
with seven preserved locations: the centers of the three primary cities, Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Hanuman Dhoka, Patan Durbar Square
Durbar Square
and Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Durbar Square
, the two most important Buddhist stupas, Swayambhunath and Boudhanath
Boudhanath
and two famous Hindu
Hindu
shrines, Pashupatinath temple
Pashupatinath temple
and Changu Narayan . Since 2003, UNESCO
UNESCO
lists the sites as being "endangered" out of concern for the ongoing loss of authenticity and the outstanding universal value of the cultural property.

In the past, Tibetan Buddhist Masters including Marpa, Milarepa, Rwa Lotsava, Ras Chungpa, Dharma Swami, XIII Karmapa, XVI Karmapa and several others visited and travelled in the Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley. However, the largest group of Tibetans came in the 1960s. Many settled around the Swayambhunath and Boudhanath
Boudhanath
Stupas. Many other famous Lamas known throughout the world have their Buddhist monasteries and centers in the Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley.

The 1500-year history of funerary architecture in the Valley
Valley
provides some of the finest examples of stone architecture found in the subcontinent. A caitya is placed in almost all courtyards in cities like Patan . Stone inscriptions in the Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley
Valley
are important sources for the history of Nepal.

MUSICAL INSPIRATION

* Cat Stevens wrote a song titled Katmandu, which appeared in his 1970 album, Mona Bone Jakon . * Rock musician Bob Seger wrote a song titled Katmandu, which appeared on his 1975 album, Beautiful Loser . * Kathmandu
Kathmandu
is mentioned in the song Cry Baby, by Janis Joplin. * Kathmandu
Kathmandu
is also mentioned in the song Nobody Told Me, by John Lennon. * A Russian rock band Krematorij had a song titled Kathmandu
Kathmandu
on their 2000 album Three Springs. * The Argentine musician Fito Páez has a song called Tráfico por Katmandú (Traffic through Kathmandu
Kathmandu
in English). * New age guitarist Will Ackerman has a song called A Happy Home in Kathmandu
Kathmandu
in his 1993 album The Opening of Doors. * The group Tantra recorded a song called The Hills of Katmandu in the early 1980s. * Banjo
Banjo
player Béla Fleck
Béla Fleck
has a number called Kathmandu. * David Hughes from Sweden included a track titled Kathmandu
Kathmandu
on his 2007 release Foreign Shores. * Canadian prog-rock band Rush mentioned Kathmandu
Kathmandu
in the song A Passage To Bangkok on their 1976 album 2112 . * OK Go , an American band, have a song titled Back from Kathmandu. * The English space rock band Hawkwind
Hawkwind
has a song called Kadu Flyer on their 1976 album Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music .

Narayanhiti Palace
Narayanhiti Palace
Museum

SEE ALSO

* Nepal
Nepal
portal * Geography portal

* Culture of Nepal
Nepal
* Kathmandu
Kathmandu
* Bhaktapur * Patan * Dolakha Newar Language * Battle of Kirtipur * Battle of Kathmandu
Kathmandu
* Battle of Lalitpur

REFERENCES

* ^ " Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley". Retrieved 2 May 2017. * ^ A B http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/121 * ^ Slusser, Mary (1982). Nepal
Nepal
Mandala: A Cultural Study of the Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley. Princeton University. ISBN 978-0-691-03128-6 . Page vii. * ^ " Nepal
Nepal
Disaster Risk Reduction Portal". Government of Nepal. Retrieved 5 May 2015. * ^ von Furer-Haimendorf, Christoph (1956). "Elements of Newar Social Structure". Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 86: 15. JSTOR 2843991 . doi :10.2307/2843991 . * ^ http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft6k4007rd&chunk.id=d0e550&toc.depth=1&toc.id=d0e550&brand=ucpress * ^ A B https://archive.org/stream/areahandbookforn00amer/areahandbookforn00amer_djvu.txt * ^ ISBN 1-870838-76-9 * ^ "places-to-see/unesco-world-heritage-sites". * ^ Observation on the influence of Tibetan Buddhism
Buddhism
in the Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley: * ^ Gutschow, Niels (1997). The Nepalese Caitya: 1500 Years of Buddhist Votive Architecture in the Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Valley. ISBN 978-3-930698-75-2 . Pages 30-31.

EXTERNAL LINKS

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for KATHMANDU