Phenomenal rail journeys of Asia
By Sukie Chapman
18 January 2018
You love rail travel but also want to explore further afield than Europe; this is a conundrum many of our customers call us about.Read more
The largest city in the tiny and mountainous Democratic Republic of Nepal, the legendary Kathmandu has been enthralling visitors for decades thanks to its intoxicating blend of ancient history, an enlightened culture, countless exquisite temples, stupas and monasteries and a mountain-valley setting that provides vistas of breath-taking beauty.
Ancient tools and carvings found in the region suggest that Kathmandu's is at least two thousand years old. A city beside the Bishnumati river was first established between the fifth and eight centuries and originally named Kantipur. This city gained a royal palace and eight temple under the rule of King Gunakama Deva in the tenth century, with significant further expansion in the form of temples, pagodas, houses and public squares being undertaken under the Malla dynasty which ruled between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries.
These remarkable ancient buildings and landmarks remain some of Kathmandu's greatest treasures today; Kasthamandap, for example, from which the city takes its most recent name, is a three-storey wooden pagoda built, according to legend, from a single tree in the twelfth century. An exploration of the city's exquisite temples and pagodas is justification for a trip to Kathmandu on its own, but they are just the beginning of the many highlights and wonders that this ancient yet modern city has to offer.
Explore the highlights of India and Nepal on this grand tour which includes some of the world's most beautiful temples, sights and scenery. We witness colourful ceremonies, a game drive, and experience breathtaking views of the Himalaya from Pokhara on this adventurous tour.… see more
18 days from £2,895 ppView tour details >
A haven of tranquillity at the heart of the city, The Garden of Dreams was originally the private garden of Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher Rana. Created in 1920, the neo-classically designed garden was fully restored between 2000 and 2007 to create a green space with beautifully maintained lawns, flowers and shrubs.
A thousand years old, and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Durbar Square is surrounded by some of Kathmandu's most historically important temples and buildings. Abuzz with activity by lunchtime, the magical ambience of Durbar Square is perhaps best appreciated at sunrise or sunset.
Just ten kilometres north of Kathmandu, the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park is the perfect destination in which to become immersed in the Kathmandu Valley's sublime scenery. Abundant bird species and wildlife make this a must for spotters who can choose from the many hikes and woodland trails that the park offers.
Another UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the most significant Buddhist sites on earth, the stupa at Boudhanath, eleven kilometres northeast of Kathmandu, was built in the fifth century. One of the largest stupas (a dome-shaped building typically used for Buddhist meditation) in the world, the Boudhanath Stupa is steeped in history, spirituality and atmosphere and is a must-see landmark on any visit to Kathmandu.