Kathmandu History, Nepal
Kathmandu sits right in the middle of the Himalaya Mountains. Known as one of the most gorgeous cities worldwide, tourists flock to this destination to appreciate its beauty and rich history. Kathmandu happens to be not just the capital, but also the biggest metropolitan city in Nepal. Kathmandu history is quite an interesting array of events.
Kathmandu History – The Licchavi Dynasty
Kathmandu got its name from a temple called Kaasthamandap, which was built in 1596 AD and can be found in Durbar Square. Its name roughly translates to “wooden shelter”. The whole temple was made solely from wood without the help of any supports or iron nails. Legend states that all of the wood used for this temple all came from one single tree.
The most ancient inscription found of Kathmandu history dates way back to 185 AD, while the oldest building that exists is almost two thousand years old. Ancient history abides all over this valley, as can be seen through the four stupas that Charumati built around Patna. The first rulers of Kathmandu were the Kirats, whose palace also resides in Patna. These rulers were overruled by the Licchavi Dynasty in 464 AD.
Kathmandu History – The Malla Dynasty
The dynasty that followed was known as the Malla Dynasty and was ruled by the Newars, which started in the 12th century and lasted until the 17th century. What was once the palace of these Newar kings located at Durbar Square is now known as a UNESCO world heritage site, where a hippie spot from the 1970’s still stands under the name of Freak Street.
The majority of the architecture that you can find in Nepal today was created during this era. Kathmandu happens to be known as the place in Nepal to have extremely advanced infrastructure. Most of the Hindu and Buddhist palaces and temples of this ancient city, similar to those in Varanasi, can be dated back to the Malla Dynasty. Although many of these structures have been ruined by pollution and earthquakes, a well-known Hindu shrine and two essential Buddhist stupas still exist in the vicinity. In fact, these sites are so important that they have been added onto the World Heritage List as endangered buildings since there is now a fear of losing the pure authenticity and universal worth of its culture.
Kathmandu History – The Shah Dynasty
The founder of the Shah Dynasty was Prithvi Shah, who ruled the valley and is known to be the creator of what we know today as Nepal. Shah King’s palace can still be found near Thamel, which is today the main attraction for tourists in the country. There are two streets made especially for tourists, with hotels, restaurants and shops that cater to their every need. The palace of the Shah King can be found to the North of Durbar Marg, which is the main street lined with bigger hotels and various shops.
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