Lumbini, is the eighth World Heritage site in Nepal declared by UNESCO. Lord Sakyamuni Budha was born here in 557 BC. Recognized as 'Garden of peace' it is a major pilgrimage site. The inscription on the Ashoka pillar erected by Emperor Ashoka, the budhist convert ruler proves that Lord Budha was born here as Prince Sidhartha Gautam. In the course of life the Prince became Budha, the enlightenened one who showed humanity the way of liberation from the misery of existence. The philosophy of Budhism propagated from the time of Lord Budha is now one of the major religions of the country and is practiced in many other countries throughout the world.
In Lumbini culture tours of Mayadevi temple, various monasteries and remnants of Kapilvastu, the ruling seat of Sakya dynasty at Tilaurakot are highly recommended.
250 km southwest of Kathmandu Lumbini can be reached by either 40 minutes flight or 7 hrs drive from Kathmandu.
Bungmati and Khokhana The medieval towns of Bungmati and Khokhana lie about 9 km south of Kathmandu. The towns were founded by the Malla king of Patan in 16th century. The shrine of Red Machhindranath, the deity of rains is the highlight of Bungmati. The impressive shrine, built in shikhara style stands in a fitting courtyard in the town.
Nearby, the town of Khokhana is marked by three storied, pagoda styled temple of goddess Rudrayani. The town is well for manufacturing high quality mustard oil.
Inhabited by the newars, Bungmati and Khokhana still retain traditional architecture. The streets are paved with stones and the rows of houses by the sides are lowly built with tiled pagoda styled roofs and wooden windows and doors.
Located approximately 36 km southeast of Kathmandu, the newari town of Panauti portrays exemplary works of art and architecture. Along with many shrines the beauty of the town is enhanced by 15th century pagoda styled temple of Indreswor Mahadev and 17th century Brahmayani temples.
Surrounding hills, cultivated fields and rivers Roshi and Pungamati endow the town with captivating nature. The drive from Kathmandu to Panauti is one of the most scenic drives in and around Kathmandu valley.
About 32 kms east of Kathmandu lies the town of Dhulikhel. It is one of the closest locations to Kathmandu popular for viewing grand himalayas. The resorts in the area provide accommodation facilities. To add the charm the town is yet another newari settlement with fascinating temples. Among them the temples of Bhagbati and Narayan are quite famous.