Explore Bhaktapur and Nagarkot in Kathmandu Valley Nepal — in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Bhaktapur Nepal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inside the walls of this fortified city are 4 squares and architecturally stunning buildings and temples with intricately cared wood pillars, doors and windows. The main square, Durbar Square (Layaku), has temples surrounding the Palace of Fifty-Five Windows. The Pashupati Temple in Durbar Square graphically depicts the Kama Sutra. Our guide said that the Hindu adopted the Kama Sutra to lure people from Buddhism where monks are celibate.
Bhaktapur is filled with Hindu and Buddhist religious temples, monuments, shrines and art. Some of the temples are still used for sacrifices. In one temples, they used to sacrifice 108 animals, but they now only kill a couple each year. One small temple still had blood stains on it.
Much of the city was leveled in the 1934 earthquake and stayed in ruins until the 1970s when Germany and UNESCO helped restore it. There is a plaque in Durbar Square thanking former German Chancellor Kohl.
Bhaktapur is about 20 km from Kathmandu in the Kathmandu Valley. No cars are allowed in the city limits making it a very pedestrian-friendly city.
From Bhaktapur, Nagarkot is about a 30 minute drive (20 kms on a winding road) along the ancient trade route to Tibet.
It cost $15 US per person to enter the walled city of Bhaktapur.
- Palace of Fifty-Five Windows
- Pashupati Temple with Kama Sutra
- Golden Gate — and through the Golden Gate, the Royal Bath with its Golden Faucet.
- Durbar Square with the Big Bell, Barking Bell, temples and palace
- Dattatreya Square where potters work and display their handicrafts
- Taumadhi Square: see Nepal’s tallest pagoda temple, the Nyatpol Temple
- The Peacock Window
The drive from Kathmandu to Nagarkot is 32 kms and is advertised as a 1 hour drive — it took us 1.5 hours. You pass Bhaktapur and travel through a picturesque valley lined with stepped terraces that flow down the hills. Thick clumps of bushy green bamboo line the road.
From the Club Himalaya Nagarkot Resort, you get stunning and sweeping views of the Himalayas and enjoy clean crisp mountain air. The hotel is perched at the top of the hill, at 2175 mtrs (7200 feet), in Nagarkot. It offers views of Lalitpur, Mt. Annapurna in the North West, and Mt. Everest in the North-East (on a very clear day).
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Getting to Bhaktapur and Nagarkot in Kathmandu Valley Nepal
We looked into a couple day tours from Kathmandu, then asked a taxi driver how much it would cost to stay with us for the day and take us to Bhaktapur and Nagarkot. The taxi driver’s price was half the cost of a tour. He was able to point out some highlights and answer some questions. In Bhaktapur we hired a local guide to give us a walking tour.
The road to Nagarkot is very narrow, full of pot holes and windy. But, the scenery is interesting and the views in Nagarkot and the spectacular town of Bhaktapur make the trip worthwhile.
Bhaktapur, Nagarkot and Kathmandu Valley Nepal Map
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