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Top 5 Temples in the Kathmandu Valley

Top 5 Temples in the Kathmandu Valley

The sheer number of temples located in Kathmandu and the surrounding valley has earned it the nickname City of Temples. You could easily spend your entire Kathmandu trip hopping from one temple to the next. To help narrow it down, here are five you definitely shouldn’t miss.

Pashupatinath Temple

Located just east of Kathmandu on the banks of the Bagmati River, the Pashupatinath temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and is best known for its magnificent architecture. The two-story pagoda structure houses a sacredlinga, or phallic symbol, of Shiva, making it one of the most important Hindu temples in Nepal and the most important Shaivite temple in the subcontinent. Pashupatinath is also the site of the most-used cremation spot in the Kathmandu Valley.

Bodhnath Stupa

Bodhnath Stupa, one of the largest stupas in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ranks among the most important and holiest Tibetan Buddhist sites outside of Tibet. The white 14th-century structure is said to house a bone from the Buddha’s body. Worshippers come here to circumambulate the stupa while spinning prayer wheels and praying to the 108 small images of the Buddha that surround the structure.

Swayambhunath Temple

Swayambhunath Temple, situated southwest of Kathmandu, is instantly recognizable by its golden spires with ominous-looking eyes painted on them. This Buddhist temple, nicknamed the Monkey Temple for its large population of resident monkeys, affords spectacular views of the city lying in the valley below.

Budhanilkantha Temple

Off the main tourist circuit, Budhanilkantha Temple centers around a 16-foot (5-meter) statue of the reclining Hindu god Vishnu in the middle of a pool of water. You’ll likely find more local devotees than tourists at this holiest of Hindu temples in Nepal, and at a busy period, visitors are treated to a glimpse of day-to-day worship at this traditional temple.

Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple

If you happen to be in Nepal during a full moon, plan to visit Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple, situated just outside the city center. On every full moon night, this temple on the western shore of the Bagmati River hosts a free classical music concert using traditional instruments like tabla, flute, and sitar.

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9 Tours and Activities | All Kathmandu Tours

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Private Kathmandu Temples and Palace Day Tour

Private Kathmandu Temples and Palace Day Tour

star-5
See the temples of Kathmandu on a private tour of Nepal's bustling capital. Immerse in the rich architecture of Patan Durbar Square and Swayambhunath stupa (aka Monkey Temple), both UNESCO World Heritage sites. View the old royal palace and hear about the former Kathmandu Kingdom from your personal guide. Visit highlights such as Boudhanath stupa and Pashupatinath Temple. Lunch and round-trip transport by private vehicle are included.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$90.00
Price varies by group size
From
$90.00
Price varies by group size

Pashupatinath Temple and Bodhnath Stupa Tour from Kathmandu

Pashupatinath Temple and Bodhnath Stupa Tour from Kathmandu

star-5
Explore the religious traditions of Kathmandu during this half-day visit to two UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Pashupatinath, a renowned Hindu temple, and the Tibetan Buddhist site at Boudhanath Stupa. Join your knowledgeable guide at these two iconic spiritual centers, witnessing the hum of daily activity and learning about Buddhism and Hinduism along the way. Want to earn some extra karma? Visit a local palm-reader for an optional reading. This small group visit, limited to just 12 guests, also includes site entrance fees.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$59.94
From
$59.94
Taking safety measures

Private Half-Day Tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath Temple

Private Half-Day Tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath Temple

star-5
Combine two of Kathmandu's most famous attractions—the UNESCO-listed Durbar Square and the Swayambhunath Temple—on this half-day private tour. Benefit from personalized attention and the ability to travel at your own pace as you climb to the top of the temple's hill, which offers photo-worthy views of the Kathmandu Valley. Learn about the architectural style of Newar artists at Durbar and the multi-religion harmony at the temple through your guide's insightful commentary.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$47.00
Price varies by group size
From
$47.00
Price varies by group size

Temples and Stupas Tour in Kathmandu Valley

Temples and Stupas Tour in Kathmandu Valley

star-4.5
Spare yourself the hassle of haggling with cab drivers on this time-saving small-group tour. Experience three of Kathmandu’s signature sights: the royal palaces and temples of Durbar Square, the Hindu structures and cremation places at Pashupatinath Temple, and the Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath. The day includes transport and guiding but excludes entrance fees.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$34.00
From
$34.00
Taking safety measures

Lonely Planet Experiences: Kathmandu Cultural Walking Tour with Cooking Lesson

Lonely Planet Experiences: Kathmandu Cultural Walking Tour with Cooking Lesson

star-4.5
Immerse yourself in the daily rhythms of life in Kathmandu during this small-group guided walking tour, ending with a cooking lesson and lunch at a local family home. Explore Kathmandu on foot, checking out landmarks including the country’s oldest Buddhist stupa, Swayambhunath, and historic Durbar Square, wandering through the area’s bazaars and passing ancient temples and courtyards. Then buy vegetables with your guide (at your own expense) and bring them to the residence of a local family, where you’ll learn to cook a typical Nepalese lunch. Enjoy your tasty meal while chatting with the family about life in the city.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$68.20
From
$68.20
Taking safety measures

Private Half-Day Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa Tour from Kathmandu

Private Half-Day Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa Tour from Kathmandu

Visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites—Pashupatinth Temple and Boudhanath Stupa—on a private half-day tour from Kathmandu. Explore sacred Pashupatinth temple, located on the Bagmati River, and observe Hindu funeral rituals at cremation ghats on the riverbank. Then go to Boudhanath Stupa, considered the center of Tibetan Buddhism outside of Tibet. Learn from your guide about the spiritual traditions at each place as you experience two holy sites near Kathmandu. Includes private guide and air-conditioned vehicle, entrance fees, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$63.00
From
$63.00
Taking safety measures

Private Full-Day Tour of Buddhist Temples in Kathmandu

Private Full-Day Tour of Buddhist Temples in Kathmandu

star-3.5
Visit three of the most important religious sites in Nepal with your own private guide on a full-day tour from Kathmandu. Learn about the Buddhist study by resident monks at Kopan Monastery, then continue to Boudhanath Stupa and Swayambhunath Temple—both UNESCO World Heritage sites. Learn about these sacred Buddhist and Hindu sites from your guide, and have time to purchase lunch at the cafe in Kopan Monastery. Your tour includes private guide and vehicle, entrance fees, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
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  • 6 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$75.00
Price varies by group size
From
$75.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Half-Day Tour of Boudhanath and Pashupatinath Temples in Kathmandu

Private Half-Day Tour of Boudhanath and Pashupatinath Temples in Kathmandu

star-4.5
Visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kathmandu on a half-day tour with your own private guide. Head first to Pashupatinath Temple, the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destination in Nepal, and observe temple activities from the banks of the Bagmati River. Next, view the historic Guhyeshwari Temple on your way to Boudhanath Stupa, a sacred place of Buddhist worship for both Nepalis and Tibetans. Your guide shares the history of each site and Nepal's spiritual traditions on a tour includes private vehicle, entrance fees, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$47.00
Price varies by group size
From
$47.00
Price varies by group size

Visit Budhanilkantha Temple - The House of the Sleeping Lord Vishnu

Visit Budhanilkantha Temple - The House of the Sleeping Lord Vishnu

Hindu beliefs and rituals aren’t easy for non-believers to comprehend. Let your personal guide unpick the colorful whirl of worshippers and offerings on this door-to-door private tour of Budhanilkantha, one of Nepal’s most sacred temples. Hear the tale of how the god Vishnu gained his blue throat, learn how the 16-foot (5-meter) statue was sculpted, and enjoy a typical Nepalese lunch.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$50.00
Price varies by group size
From
$50.00
Price varies by group size