Known For : Boudhanath Stupa Pashupatinath Temple Swayambhunath Temple
Kathmandu, the city of peace, lives true to this description. The city is charming, busy, bustling, serene, alive and asleep - all at once. The capital of Nepal, Kathmandu is the most accessible city in the country - it is Nepal's only metropolitan city as well. From buying trekking equipment in Thamel or taking a rickshaw ride through traffic-packed alleys of the old part of the city or simply visiting the fascinating buildings in Durbar Squares, Kathmandu is truly a place filled with warmth.
Best Time: September to November
Known For : Annapurna Circuit Sarangkot Shree Gaden Dhargay Ling Monastery
Pokhara, the 'Tourist Capital of Nepal,' is the second-largest city in this Himalayan country, after Kathmandu. At an altitude of more than 900m, it is one of the highest cities, making it the base for many world-famous treks. The highlight of the town is its Lakeside, which is a boating paradise flanked with charming shops, dreamy cafés, restaurants and pubs that make up this postcard-perfect town.
Best Time: September to November
Known For : Janaki Mandir Ram Mandir, Janakpur Rolwaling Valley
Janakpur is a city in Nepal which is believed to be the birthplace of Goddess Sita and the place of her marriage with Lord Ram. Also known as the City of Ponds, Janakpur boasts of more than seventy ponds that dot its verdant landscape. Here you can learn more about the ancient and revered Hindu epic, the Ramayana and its significance today. Visit the actual sites mentioned in the great epic and listen to local lore as well!
Best Time: September to March
Known For : Maya Devi Temple Bodhi Tree, Lumbini Mayadevi Pond
Nestled in the Himalayas near the Indian border, the beautiful town of Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a plethora of ancient stupas dating back to 2000 years and monasteries that were built by past dynasties. People come here from all over the world to this abode of Buddhism to study scriptures, meditate, practise yoga, trek, learn more about Buddhism and find inner peace. 'Lumbini' literally means 'The Lovely' in Sanskrit, and true to its name it stands!
Best Time: April to May
A lot of people visit Nepal for the attraction of the wilderness, namely Chitwan National Park. Bharatpur is the city in Nepal that falls right in the gateway of the forested area. Located in central-south of Nepal, Bharatpur is the headquarters of the Chitwan district as well as a separate metropolitan administration - one of the four metro cities of Nepal. In essence, the main Bharatpur is mostly about urbanisation. All the government offices, colleges, hospitals are here, while most of the shopping and dining places are in its neighbouring town Narayangarh.
Known For : Patan Durbar Square Patan Museum Uku Bahal
Patan is the third-largest city in Nepal right after Kathmandu and Pokhara. It is now known as Lalitpur. Both names are derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Lalitapattan’. The city is located just across the river Bagmati from Kathmandu. Patan has a Durbar Square that is full of statues, temples, and palaces. In addition, Durbar Square also has the ‘Patan museum’ which is a must-see attraction. It is a traditional centre for handicrafts and is also a place to purchase traditional jewellery, Buddha statues and masks.
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Known For : 55 Windows Palace Bhaktapur Durbar Square Nyatapola Temple
Bhaktapur is one of three medieval cities in the Kathmandu Valley, the other two being Kathmandu and Patan. It is often referred to as Bhadgaon and Khwopa and has a mix of Hindu and Buddhist population. This city is located around 12 kilometres from the capital city of Kathmandu and is divided into three squares, each of them filled with temples and other religious structures. Entry to this town, however, is not free and visitors need to pay a town entry fee of NPR 1500. This goes into the maintenance of the temples in Bhaktapur.
A sub-metropolitan city in Nepal with seven municipalities in the Sunsari district, Itahari has recently evolved into a bustling transportation junction in the eastern side of Nepal. The two main branches of the Nepal highway circulation - Mahendra Highway running from east to west and Koshi Highway running from north to south cross with each other at Itahari. And, thus, it has become a traffic nerve centre of Nepalese transportation. If you really delve deep into Itahari, you will find it is more than just a city to pass-by and enjoy from the windows of your vehicle, or to stop merely to have meals. The small metro city has some things to offer as well.
Narayangarh is a major transportation and commercial hub in Nepal. This moderately crowded city falls under the bigger umbrella of Bharatpur City and under the administrative jurisdiction of Chitwan district in southern Nepal. Narayangarh, also referred to as Narayanghat, sits with all its buzzing noises and busy crowds and ferrying traffic, right at the bank of Narayani River. The reason why Narayangarh is such a popular part of Bharatpur is its strategic position in term of cross-country traffic. The Narayangarh-Mugling Highway, which is the main driving route via the hills up to Pokhara and the capital Kathmandu, meets the east to west road called Mahendra Highway.
Biratnagar is a metropolitan city located near the Indian border and is the capital city of Province No.1 in Nepal. Biratnagar is popular for its Jute Mills - the first large scale industry of Nepal and the famous Kali Mandir that holds high religious importance in Hinduism in the country. Named after King Virat, the city serves as the entrance point to multiple destinations of Eastern Nepal such as Baraha Chhetra and Ilam.
Birgunj is a Nepali city which is based near the border of the Indian state of Bihar. It is a major point of entry for Indian goods trade. Birgunj also receives the goods coming in from the port of Kolkata. Located in the Terai region, Birgunj is the second-largest city after Biratnagar and the sixth most populated metropolis in Nepal.
Known For : Budha Subba Temple Namaste Falls Pindeshwor Temple
Dharan is a city located near the Southeastern border of India and is a replica of Indian culture and tradition. Dharan is the gateway to the Mahabharat hills and is one of the biggest pilgrimage locations in Nepal. This low-lying hilly region is extremely clean, colourful and culturally diverse as well as a centre for football in Nepal, hence it being called 'mini-Brazil'.
Now that we've listed the cities in Nepal, where will you be heading to on your trip to the city?
This post was published by Joysurjya Hagjer