Bouddhanath is one of the largest stupas in the entire South Asia. Situated in Bouddha, a short drive from city center, the white mound with a tall steeple is about 36 meters tall. Believed to have been constructed in the 5th century, there are many monasteries around the stupa as the area has been inhabited by people having faith in Buddhism. Buddhist monks wearing maroon robes can be seen circumbulating the stupa with prayer wheels on their hands. Numerous small stupas can be seen in the premises of Bouddhanath Stupa. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Nepal.
Bhaktapur, literally the city id devotees, is the smallest district in Nepal. However, the district is rich in terms of medieval culture, Well-preserved ancient monuments and living cultural heritage. The district is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites- Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Changu Narayan temple. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is rich in its medieval art and architecture. Major landmarks in the palace complex are: Golden Gate, Pachpanne Jhyale Durbar (55-window palace), Nyatapola, Dattatreya temple, metal and woodcraft museum. Nagarkot and Changunarayan are the popular gateways in Bhaktapur.
Gorkha is the ancient seat of the Shah dynasty which used to rule the country until few years ago. Gorkha is the birthplace of late Prithvi Narayan Shah who unified small territories into a strong nation. It is because of Gorkha that Nepali soldier inherited the name Gorkhali. Situated on the top of a hill around 1,000 feet above the Gorkha bazaar, the Gorkha palace is the major attraction in Gorkha. The palace complex offers attractive views of mountains like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Himchuli, Lamjung Himal and other peaks in the north and lush green valley in the south. The temple of Goraknath is another attraction in Gorkha.
Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, is the fountain of world peace. Situated in Kapilbastu district, Lumbini is a pilgrimage of lifetime for Buddhists throughout the world. Mayadevi temple, renovated recently as per the Lumbini Master plan, is the biggest attraction in Lumbini. The temple has stone image of Maya Devi giving birth to Lord Buddha as she hold unto a branch. The Ashok pillar, which signifies Lumbini as the birthplace of Lord Buddha, is another attraction in Lumbini. Remnants of stupas and monasteries, believed to have been constructed centuries ago, can be found all over this scared area. International Monastic Zone is constructed by Germany, Korea, China, Myanmar, Thailand and others.
Dashain, which usually falls in the month of September- October, is the greatest Hindu festival of Nepal. The festival continues is celebrated for 15 days. It is also called Durga Pooja as the festival is celebrated to commemorate the slaying of demon Mahisahur by Goddess Durga. The first day of festival is called Ghatasthapana when a sacred jar with holy water is installed in each Nepali house and barley seeds are sowed in the sand. The seventh day is called Fulpati , when a bunch of ginger stalks, banana leaf , sugarcane and seasonal flower is introduced in the Dashain ghar. The eighth day of the festival is called Mahaastami and it is the day of great sacrifice. The 10th day of the festival, Vijaya Dashami, is the major day of the festival when people take tika and jamara from their elders and relatives. The festival ends on the day of Kojagrat poornima.
Maha Shivaratri is the festival devoted to Lord Shiva. The festival usually falls in the month of February. On this day, people throng the temples dedicated to Lord Shiva throughout the country. They fast for the whole day and worship Lord Shiva wishing for the well-being and prosperity of themselves and their family members. The Pashupatinath temple, lying on the bank of the holy Bagmati River, wears festive look on this day. Hundreds of thousands of devotees from around the country and different parts of India come to the temple premises to offer worship to Lord Shiva. Sadhus from India and Nepal add extra charm to this festival.
Fagu Purnima or Holi is one of Nepal’s most colorful festivals. It is the festival of color and people smear different colors to their friends and family members to celebrate this day. The day signifies the demolition of demoness Holika by Lord Bishnu. The eighth-day festival formally begins with the erection of a ceremonial pole at the Kathmandu Durbar Square. People also throw water-filled balloons to their friends and strangers as a part of celebrating this festival. The people in the Tarai celebrate the festival the following day. The festival usually falls in the month of March.