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Tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath Stupa
Today you will join your guide for a half day tour of Kathmandu. Today a large city, the historic Kathmandu is quite manageable and set around its majestic Durbar Square, one of city’s several UNESCO World Heritage sites.
While shaken by the 2015 earthquake, the square is a great place to get to know your inner-Nepal among the pyramidal temples, street vendors, bicycles and enigmatic traffic wardens. Dating back to the 16th century, your guide will introduce you to the highlights and history of the square, the scene of coronations, festivals and devotion to the gods for almost 500 years.
Its oldest and perhaps grandest structure is the Teleju Temple and a fine example of Newari architecture that you will see throughout Kathmandu. Alongside this, the Bhairava temple, to worship the Lord of Destruction, is also well worth a visit and famed for its colourful representation of the Hindu deity.
After visiting the square, your guide will take you to Swoyambunath Stupa, nicknamed the Monkey Temple due to the holy monkeys moved in centuries ago who have been looked after ever since. One of the city’s most famed landmarks, the stupa sits atop a hill near the centre of Kathmandu and offers incredible views of the valley and beyond. The 365 steps to the summit pass a number of small temples and statues and you will often witness both Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims ascending them to begin a ceremonial circumnavigation of the stupa at the summit.
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