Aside from the Durbar Squares, Stupas and Temples that most people know about, Kathmandu offers a lot of places where one could go. Here is a list of lesser known jewels of Kathmandu .
1) First off there is Narayanhiti Palace Museum, It used to serve as the residence and principal workplace of the country’s monarch. After the 2006 revolution toppled the monarchy, the Palace was turned into a Public Museum.
2) Next there is Garden of Dreams. It was beautifully designed inspired by Edwardian Style. It is a place of peaceful oasis with full of unique architect and varieties of flowers and fauna brought from the different countries.
3) Central Zoo is the only zoo in Nepal .Despite the small area(6-hectares), It Is home to 870 animals in 109 species, including 15 of 38 endangered local species.
4) Nagarkot is a Hill Station Located in the outskirts of Kathmandu Valley. It is popular among the people because of the picturesque view it offers of various Himalayan Ranges as Annapurna range, Everest Range , Langtang Range and many more. There are also lots of hiking opportunities in and around Nagarkot. Read about it in my travelogue here
5) Sundarijal is located to the Northern side of Kathmandu. It is one of the many entry points to the Shivapuri National park. It is also the starting point for many trekking routes as Chisapani Trek(22km) and Gosainkunda Trek. One could also indulge in Swimming and Canyoning there.
Canyoning in Sundarijal
6) Kirtipur is an ancient city located southwest of Kathmandu. It consists of many temples, gumbas (Buddhist monastery) and churches too .Tribhuvan University, the country’s Major Educational Institute is located here. Bagh Bhairab, Chilancho Stupa , Uma Maheshwar and Shri Kirti Bihar are some place to visit while in Kirtipur.
7) Godawari is a popular hiking destination and famous for it’s botanical garden where over 500 species of plant can be found. It is located to the south-east corner of Kathmandu valley.
8) Bungamati and Khokana are two neighbouring,Traditional Newari Villages south of Kathmandu.They have their own culture and traditons.
Bungamati is famous for Machinndranath temple.They hold a Jatra(Chariot Festival)
every year.The another important part of historical importance in Bungamati is the living goddess, Kumari. Generally people only know three Kumaris (in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur), but there is also one in Bungamati.
Khokana is a living museum and recalls medieval times.Khokana has been nominated to be listed as a Uneco World heritage, representing a vernacular village and its mustard-oil seed industrial heritage.
9) Lakuri Bhanjyang is one of the most scenic spot in Lalitpur district and is renowned for its spectacular sunrise view and the Himalaya ranges when the weather is clear and panoromic view of Kathmandu , Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. It is also well known for Paragliding.
10) Pharping Hydropower Station is the first power station in Nepal and considered to be the second oldest hydropower station in Asia.
11) Pilot Baba Ashram is located in Ghyampe Danda,Bhaktapur .People often visit the place for meditation and short getaway from hustle and bustle of Kathmandu City.
12) Chandragiri Hills, seven kilometres from Thankot, lies on the South-West of Kathmandu Valley.People can experience soaring peaks and breath taking views of whole Kathmandu Valley from this hill.Cable car is shortet mode of transport for people to reach the top of the Hill.A Temple of Lord Shiva(Bhaleshore Mahadev) is situated at the top.
Narayanhiti Palace Museum, http://www.tourismkathmandu.com/things_to_do/places_of_interest/museum_and_galleries/details/narayanhiti-palace-museum
Garden of Dreams – http://www.gardenofdreams.org.np/
About Zoo : Central Zoo
Nagarkot – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagarkot
Sundarijal – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundarijal
Kirtipur – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirtipur
Khokana – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khokana
The above article on a trip to Kathmandu, Nepal is a guest post.