Where is Kathmandu located?

where-is-kathmandu

Situated in South Asia between India and China, Nepal is home to its vibrant capital city, Kathmandu. This city is very rich in culture and history, making it a central gem in the beautiful landscape of Nepal.

According to 2024 population data of Kathmandu, it is home to over 1.6 million locals, but more than 4 million are now living here from different regions.

Similarly, the beautiful valley lies at an elevation of approximately 1,400 meters (4,493 feet) above sea level and is surrounded by many hills.

To learn more about Kathmandu city, we will delve deeper into the geographical location, and rich history of Nepal and Kathmandu, highlight famous places, and the rulers who shaped this ancient city in the blog.

lists-of-Kathmandu-famous-place

Geographical Location of Kathmandu

Kathmandu city sits at the confluence of the Bagmati and Bishnumati Rivers, serving as the cultural and economic heart of Nepal. Situated in the Bagmati Province, Kathmandu city sits at an approximate latitude of 27°43’01.9” N and a longitude of 85°19’26.4” E. This prime location makes Kathmandu the cultural and economic heart of Nepal, strategically positioned between the vast plains of the Terai and the majestic peaks of the Himalayas.

where-is-kathmandu

Weather and Climate in Kathmandu:

Surrounded by many green mountains, Kathmandu has a unique climate that can surprise visitors expecting extreme temperatures due to its altitude. Instead, Kathmandu enjoys a “warm temperature” climate, characterized by moderate temperatures and distinct seasonal variations.

Summer (June to September):

Summers are warm and pleasant, ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

Average Temperatures: 28 to 30 degrees Celsius.Rainfall: This season coincides with the monsoon, bringing heavy rainfall and high humidity.

Autumn (October to November):

Autumn is one of the most pleasant times to visit Kathmandu. The weather is mild, the skies are clear, and the rainfall decreases significantly. This season is also called peak/trekking season in Nepal.

Average Temperatures: 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.

Winter (December to February):

Winters are mild but can be chilly, especially at night. Days are generally clear and sunny, making it a little favorable season for trekking and other outdoor activities.

Average Temperatures: Average around 10 degrees Celsius, with nighttime temperatures occasionally dipping below zero.

Spring (March to May):

Spring is another pleasant season, with blooming flowers and moderate weather. Rainfall is relatively low, making it an excellent time for travel and exploration.

Average Temperatures: 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.

History of Nepal and Kathmandu

The history of Nepal dates back to ancient times, with the earliest inhabitants believed to be the Kirat people. Over centuries, Nepal saw the rise and fall of various dynasties, each contributing to the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

Similarly, Kathmandu was officially established in 723 AD by King Gunakamadeva. The city’s formation is attributed to its strategic location in the Kathmandu Valley, a fertile and defensible area shielded by the Himalayas. The valley’s unique geographical features made it an ideal location for settlement and trade.

Formation of Kathmandu

The Licchavi Period (400-750 AD)

The Licchavi period marks one of the earliest notable eras in Kathmandu’s history. This era saw the establishment of the first settlements in the valley and significant cultural and architectural development. The Licchavi kings were instrumental in promoting Buddhism and Hinduism, which laid the foundation for Kathmandu’s rich religious heritage.

The Malla Dynasty (1201-1769 AD)

Following the Licchavi period, the Malla Dynasty emerged as a significant force in Kathmandu’s history. The Mallas were known for their patronage of the arts and architecture. During their reign, Kathmandu saw the construction of many of its iconic temples and palaces, including the famous Durbar Squares in Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur.

The Shah Dynasty and Unification (1768-2008 AD)

In 1768, King Prithvi Narayan Shah of the Gorkha Kingdom conquered Kathmandu and established the Shah Dynasty, leading to the unification of Nepal. Kathmandu became the capital of the unified nation, cementing its political and cultural significance.

Famous Places in Kathmandu

Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its stunning array of temples, palaces, and courtyards. Despite suffering damage during the 2015 earthquake, the square remains a focal point of Kathmandu’s historical and cultural identity.

Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple)

Perched atop a hill, Swayambhunath Stupa offers panoramic views of the Kathmandu Valley. This ancient religious site is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus and is known for its iconic white dome and golden spire.

Pashupatinath Temple

One of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, Pashupatinath Temple attracts pilgrims from around the world. The temple complex, situated on the banks of the Bagmati River, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a center of spiritual activity.

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world and a significant pilgrimage site for Buddhists. The stupa’s massive mandala and serene atmosphere make it a must-visit destination in Kathmandu.

Thamel

Thamel is Kathmandu’s bustling tourist district, known for its vibrant streets lined with shops, restaurants, and hotels. It serves as the hub for travelers seeking adventure and cultural experiences in Nepal.

The Changes After the 2015 Earthquake in Kathmandu

On April 25, 2015, Nepal was struck by a devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8, commonly known as the Gorkha earthquake. The epicenter was near the village of Barpak, Gorkha District, about 76 km northwest of Kathmandu. The earthquake and its aftershocks caused widespread destruction, affecting millions of people and causing significant damage to the country’s cultural heritage.

Impact

The 2015 earthquake resulted in the loss of nearly 9,000 lives and injured over 22,000 people. It caused extensive damage to buildings, infrastructure, and landmarks, profoundly impacting Kathmandu and the surrounding regions. The earthquake’s tremors were felt across Nepal, as well as parts of India, China, and Bangladesh.

Impact on Cultural and Historical Sites

Kathmandu, known for its rich cultural heritage, saw many of its iconic structures and UNESCO World Heritage Sites severely damaged or destroyed.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, suffered extensive damage. Many of its historic buildings, temples, and palaces were reduced to rubble, including the iconic Taleju Temple and the 17th-century Vatsala Durga Temple. The Hanuman Dhoka Palace complex also sustained significant damage, with several parts collapsing.

Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple)

Swayambhunath Stupa, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, experienced severe damage. Several shrines and smaller stupas around the main stupa were destroyed or heavily damaged. The site’s historical artifacts and structures were significantly impacted, altering its ancient landscape.

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa, one of the largest stupas in Nepal, also suffered damage, particularly to its spire and dome. Restoration efforts were quickly initiated to preserve this important Buddhist pilgrimage site, and it has since been restored to its former glory.

Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square, renowned for its stunning architecture and historic palaces, faced considerable destruction. Several temples, including the Char Narayan Temple and the Hari Shankar Temple, were heavily damaged. The ancient royal palace and surrounding buildings also sustained significant structural damage.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, was among the hardest hit. Many temples and traditional Newari buildings, including the Vatsala Temple and the 55-Window Palace, were either damaged or destroyed. The destruction of these structures was a significant cultural loss, given their historical and artistic importance.

About Author

As the head of Pristine Nepal Treks and Expedition, he is the inspiration for all the young generation who wants to work in the trekking field. As he is working in the tourism/trekking field from a young age he is always interested to learn and exploring more about the Himalayas, Culture, History, and politics too.

With a very friendly nature, smart personality, and kindness he is an expert in the tourism sector and has already organized countless trekking trips and going on.

(1) Comment

  1. ปั้มไลค์

    Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.

Leave a Reply