I am a Tour and Trekking Guide of Nepal, Sunil Koju and like to be also known as newawalks.
The word ‘newa’ come form the ethnic groups Newari where I belong to. Newars are a traditional merchant and trading caste that are prominent in old urban areas of Nepal like capital city Kathmandu.
The Newa are the indigenous people and creators of the historical civilization of Nepal Kathmandu valley. The valley surrounding territory have been known from ancient times as Nepal mandala, its limits ever changing through history.
Talking about my journey to become a tour and trekking guide, I made my never changing hobbies to travel and trek since childhood till the day into my profession .
To make my hobbies into profession, I did my Bachelor in Traveling and Tourism Management to be qualified for the industry. I have explored the many trekking routes of Nepal myself as a solo traveler and some with my friends which help me to learn the lifestyle and activities of the industry before starting my careers in tourism industry in 2013 A.D. as a Tour and Trekking Guide of Nepal.
I feel proud to share about my country Nepal more than sharing about me. So, to know more about me, you have to visit Nepal with me.
Let’s visit and Trek Nepal together.
Some of the destination around Kathmandu valley.
- Bhaktapur durbar square
(UNESCO World’s heritage site) Bhaktapur durbar square, Bhaktapur (Bhadgaun), Khwopa (in the native tongue) is formed up of religious, cultural and historical heritage. Located 13 km east of Kathamandu valley, durbar square consists of four distinct squares.
The major attractions around the area are 55 window palace, Batsalatemple, statues of Bhupatindra Malla, Nyatapola temple, Bhairav temple, Golden gate, Lion’s gate, Mini Pashupatinath temple etc.
The oldest temple of Nepal has been stated around 1700 years of history, named “Changu Narayan”. Approximately 22 km away from Kathmandu valley, Changu Narayan temple is perched on a high hilltop of a small village, known as Changu Village.
Besides the hill, flowing Manahara River gives a pleasing view. According to the past, it was built on 4th century during Lichhavi Dynasty and remodelled in 1702 after a major fire occurred.
Nagarkot is a village in central Nepal, at the rim of the Kathmandu Valley. It’s known for its views of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest to the northeast, which are especially striking at sunrise and sunset. The surrounding scrubland is laced with trails and home to many butterflies.
- Patan durbar square
Theaesthetic historic monument which describes the oldest architecture of Nepal is Patan durbar square. Located approximately 5 km south of Kathmandu valley, the durbar square is one of the 3 royal cities in the valley. There is a belief that city was built by the Kirant Dynasty in the third century B.C.
The city is bounded by temples, arts, monasteries. Patan or Lalitpur, is encircled by the four Stupas, one at each corner of its leading points. The dubar square has brilliant piece of architecture. The floor of the square is tiled with red bricks. One the significant temple is Krishna Mandir (temple), which is aligned opposite of the old palace.Krishna Marndi’sstone masonry design is of the finest ever which excels that of its southern counterparts.From the architectural point of view, the temples around the square was built in sikhara and multi-storied.
- Kathmandu durbar square
From the early known history of Nepal, the foundation of this country is based on faith and devotion of people and their kings to various Gods and Goddess living in the sky and heaven. Though Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal, Buddhism saw its golden syncretism with Hindu societies of the Kathmandu Valley during Malla Era, around the late 13th century. In the Malla Era, the valley witnessed the flourishing construction of Hindu and Buddhist temples co-existing next to each other. In many cases, inside Hindu temples, there are statues of Buddhist guardians, and inside the Buddhist temples, a devotee will be praying to Buddha and worships Hindu God or Goddess at the same time.
Pashupatinath Temple, one of the holiest Hindu temples in the world dedicated to Lord Shiva. Pashupatinath, which means Lord of all animals, is one of the many names of Shiva. Built-in 400 AD, but later renovated by the Malla Kings around the 6th century, inside the temple there exists the statue of four-faced six-foot lingam, phallic object as a symbol of Shiva, resting in the middle of a rimmed, disc-shaped structure, phallic symbol of Shakti – a concept or personification of divine feminine creative power. Male and female phallic object states the creation of all animals, and four face statue has the meaning that blessing of Shiva can be found in all four directions.
Boudhanath, an ancient Buddhist stupa dominates the skyline which is listed in UNESCO world heritage sites. It is one of the major tourism sites in Kathmandu valley. It is the centre of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu and rich in Buddhist symbolism. Located about 11km from the centre north-eastern outer parts of the Kathmandu, the stupa’s incredible mandala surroundings make it one of the largest in the world. Many people gather daily to make a kora (ritual circumnavigation) of the dome, beneath the observant eyes of Buddha.
Historically it has been told that the stupa was and significant post on the trade route between Lhasa and Kathmandu. The desirable time to visit the stupa is late afternoon, people light butter lamps, spin prayer wheels, clockwise strolling around the monument as a part of their daily spiritual workout. The stupa and it’s encircle are very photogenic.
Nearby stupa, there are various kinds of handicrafts stores. This may be the prime place in Nepal for Buddhist and Tibetan related items; statues, prayer flags, incense etc.
Swoyambhunath stupa commonly known as monkey temple is one of the ancient religious architecture located at 3km west hillock of Kathmandu valley. Swoyambhu is a Sanskrit word that means “self-existing”, that is created by its own recognition. The temple is sacred as a Buddhist pilgrimage sites.
It is said to be evolved spontaneously when the valley was created out of a primordial lake more than 2000 years ago. This stupa is the oldest of its kind in Nepal and contains numerous shrines and monasteries on its premises.
The main stupa is lofty white washed dome with glittering golden spire are visible form many miles and from all sides of the valley. The temple has two access points; a long staircase with 365 steps, leading directly to the main sanctum of the temple, and a pitch road round of the hill directly leaded towards the southwest entrance. At the initial point of the sanctum the huge gold plated vajra “thunderbolt” is placed with two lions guarding the entrance from which a series of clockwise circumnavigation of the stupa begins. On the main stupa, the four sides are painted with the pair of big eyes which has been symbolized as god’s all seeing perspectives. Although Ears has not been shown because it has been said the Buddha is not interested in hearing prayers in praise of him. The base of the stupa consists of prayer wheels with carved sacred mantras’’. The area is surrounded with chaityas, vihars, painted images of deities and other religious objects. The site was severely shaken by the earthquake of 2015, but the main stupa sustained only superficial damage.
- Bungmati and Khokana
The Newari villages, complex of cultural combination are just 10 Km on a southern belt from Kathmandu valley.
Bungamati is a land overlooking the Baghmati River is Newar village. This place is the birthplace of the deity Machhindranath, who stays there for six months of the year and he spends rest of the time in Patan. The procedure of moving him back and forth is one the major annual festivals in the valley.
Besides that, a dedication to Lord Ganesha, the Karyabinayak temple is one of the most important temples in Nepal. From that temple, view of the surroundings looks very spectacular. The major locality of people is living as woodcarvers around that area.
On the outskirts of Patan, approximately 8km away south from Kathmandu, a beautiful traditional Newari village is Khokana. Since ancient time, this place itself very famous for the production of mustard oil. The dedication to shekali Mai-a mother goddess, is constructed of two levels. The temple of Rudrayani and ponds carries similar religious importance as well. There is a small museum which has been maintained by the local people in which they have got old farming tools, jewellery etc.
These are some of the places outside Kathmandu valley
In these destinations you can do hiking for a day or go for sightseeing by car.
Dakshinkali Temple, located 22 km (14 mi) outside Kathmandu and about 1 km (0.6 mi) outside the village of Pharping, is one of the major Hindu temples in Nepal dedicated to the goddess Kali. Animal sacrifices, particularly of cockerels and uncastrated male goats, are the main way that the goddess is worshipped, and this is especially seen during the Dashain festival. Dakshin Kali Temple has also the same religious value as Pashupatinath Temple and Manakamana Temple in Nepal. The temple has more tourist attraction as it is a popular hiking destination located near Pharping village in Nepal.
Pharping or Phamting is a small Newar town lying above the Bagmati river on the southern edge of the Kathmandu valley, about 23 km from the capital. It is now part of the Dakshinkali Municipality.
The town and its environs is the site of several important Buddhist pilgrimage sites as well a number of Buddhist monasteries and meditation retreat centres.
About 1 km south of the town is the Dakshinkali Temple, one of the main Hindu temples of Nepal dedicated to the mother goddess Kali.
Pharping is also the site of the oldest hydroelectric power station in Nepal which is now a living museum.
Visit Kirtipur for an authentic experience of Newari culture, the indigenous culture of the Kathmandu Valley. Walk along its narrow lanes to observe the life of its residents who have maintained their age-old traditions and beliefs to this day. This town is also ideal for trying out some traditional Newari food that hasn’t been changed by outside influences.
Kirtipur is situated on a ridge 8 km southwest of Kathmandu, overlooking the valley. The ancient Newar township with its brick-paved streets lined with typical red brick houses and tiled roofs, and temple squares, is a natural fortress. The Chilamchu Stupa and the temple of Bagh Bhairav are major attractions here. Tribhuvan University, Nepal’s premier university is located at the foot of the hill. Another attraction directly below the town is the interesting Thai Buddhist temple.
Kirtipur can also be the starting point for a lovely day hike to nearby hilltops like Champa Devi from where you can enjoy superb views of the Himalayas and Kathmandu valley on a clear day. Similarly, you can combine this trip with a visit to the Ganesh temple known as Jal Vinayak by the Bagmati River as it flows out of Chobar Gorge. Cycling up to Kirtipur and back is also an option, if you are a biking enthusiast.
The history of Kirtipur goes back to 1099 AD. It was earlier a part of Lalitpur until it was annexed into Kathmandu by Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1767. The Kirtipur residents are said to have put up a fierce resistance against the invaders, resulting in the death of the Shah King’s favorite general, Kalu Pande.
Panauti is one of the oldest towns in Nepal, consisting of many temples that are still present till this day dating back to the 15th Century or earlier. It has been debated that Panauti was founded by Ananda Malla (1274-1310AD), others believe that there is a golden scripture dated 1385, which is located within the Indreshwar temple stating that King Harisingh Dev founded the town.
NamoBuddha is a beautiful place. There is no need to exaggerate this. The place is very quiet and pure. Its environment is very clean, with no pollution, and the natural air is so fresh, cool and healthy. It is also the right place for meditation and practice. In the morning when you wake up, you can see a beautiful sunrise. In the evening you can see a wonderful sunset. You can enjoy snow-covered Himalayan ranges which look so amazing and pure.
From the Buddhist point of view, Namo Buddha is one of the most important religious sites in Nepal. There are three major Buddhist pilgrimage sites: Boudha Stupa, Swayambhunath Stupa and Namo Buddha.
Balthali Day Hike via NamoBuddha is Moderate Day hiking. Balthali village is a beautiful settlement, located at 40km away from Kathmandu. It is situated at the intersection of the Roshi and Ladkhu rivers.
The traditional settlement of the Balthali Day Hike via NamoBuddha is really attractive. The houses are built of pagoda style with different colors. The surrounding location is full of green terraced farmlands and forest. Balthali Day Hike via NamoBuddha village hiking leads through the beautiful tourist destination Dhulikhel, historical Namobuddha monastery and several ascending and descending on the foothills. Namobuddha bears an interesting history of princes a sacrifice to fulfill the hunger of a tigress and her cubs. These attractions are fabulous in your hiking holiday in Nepal.
Chisapani Nagarkot Trek is a short and sweet trip of 3 days tea house trek around Kathmandu and can be extended to Dhulikhel and Namo Buddha for another 1-2 days. This tour plan is designed for the short time travelers in Nepal who would like to taste of Nepal. Chisapani Nagarkot Trek starts from Sundarijal after driving 45 minutes from Kathmandu. In the beginning the trail pierces Shivapuri National Park passing through a big watershed that provides 40 percent drinking to Kathmandu Valley. Chisapani Nagarkot Trek offers beautiful nature and village walk experience, natural environment, stunning Himalaya panorama of Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang Himal, Gaurishankar Himal and even we can spot Mount Everest in far distance.
- Shivapuri National Park
On the northern edge of the Kathmandu Valley, the Shivapuri National Park is the easiest way to get a dose of nature without going far from the city. Starting just above the town of Budhanilkantha, the park is covered in forest, hiking trails and a few cultural attractions like monasteries and nunneries. There are great city views on clear days.
There are many routes you could take through the park, but an ideal day hike is from the Budhanilkantha entrance of the park to Baghdwar or Shivapuri Summit, via Nagi Gompa monastery. The first hour or so follows a dusty road but then cuts up into the forest. The monastery is a good place to stop and admire the city views, before pushing on to the summit of Mt. Shivapuri (8963 feet/2732 meters), or stopping at Baghdwar, the source of the sacred Bagmati River that runs through Kathmandu.
- Chandragiri sightseeing cable car tour
Chandragiri sightseeing and cable car tour is one of the best 1 day destination to see the spectacular Kathmandu valley view, Mountain view of Annapurna region to Everest region and green forest around the hill are the major natural attraction of this hill station. This hill station is important according to historical significance. According to history great king Prithivi Narayan Shah who concurred small country and unite as Nepal. After won the battle in Makawanpur he came through Chandragiri hill and saw the beautiful valley then he decided to attack the valley and make it major part (capital) of Nepal. During that time Malla are the king of the Kathmandu valley then Prithivi Narayan Shah got victory and ruled the valley. Beautiful scenario, hilly topography, dense forest, mysterious weather and splendid Mountain View make this sightseeing destination extra ordinary among other hill station. This hill station is famous according to religious value, when Styadevi died Lord Mahadev carried her body and madly walk away the her forehead was fallen here and spotted Bhaleshowar Mahadev which is another avatar of Lord Mahadev. So, many people go for significance believes of Lord Mahadev.
Chandragiri is popular among hikers, which starts from Mata Tirtha – Chandragiri – Thankot hiking route. Chandragiri cable car starts from Thankot to Chandragiri hill through green dense forest and it take 10-15 minutes (depend on its speed). Chandragiri sightseeing and cable car tour is perfect short destination to escape from the crowed city. You will be delighted to visit this best sightseeing and cable car touring destination.
Elevation: 2540 M
Trip duration: 5-6 hours