An ancient city of Nepal, from the landscapes to local cuisine, come with me and I will explain why you need to add Kirtipur Kathmandu on your ‘’to go’’ list!
While volunteering with Worldpackers at Hostel Firanté Inn – Kathmandu, I got the chance to visit one of the most beautiful places in Kathmandu Valley, the town of Kirtipur. Guided by Bibek Shrestha, the hotel’s Operations Manager, I had such a memorable experience and I think you must have it too, I’ll tell you why.
Why visit Kirtipur
Kirtipur is one of the most important cities in Nepal regarding the unification process of Nepal. Back in 1767, the King Prithvi Narayan Shah managed to take Kirtipur after his third attempt.
The battle was known for its cruelty, once after taking the city, the King commanded to cut off the noses and lips of the inhabitants of the city, except the ones whom could play any nose instruments so he could be entertained.
The history also says that the King took that much to conquer the place because of the resilience and strength of the Newari people to fight for their city. Besides history, Kirtipur has more to offer. Check it out!
Kirtipur Kathmandu is located in the mountains so you can breath fresh air, feeling the huge difference from the air quality of Kathmandu. You easily forget that the city is nearby.
Huge hills, green trees, silence, and peace can be witnessed in town. People always have a beautiful smile on their face, even for me who was a complete stranger.
Walking around the narrow slopes, the whole way is filled with temples of different sizes, ancient paintings hanging on the walls, dogs lazily sleeping around the corners, toddlers playing graciously throughout the sacred areas.
Every deep breath used to climb towards the top is worth it. From the top, you can watch the rice fields, the mountains and even the small houses of the city.
The landscape will take your breath away, the temples will set your heart calm, you really need to visit Kirtipur Kathmandu!
What to do in Kirtipur
From temples to restaurants, check it out what to do in Kirtipur:
Bagh Bhairab Temple
This temple is definitely a must go in Kirtipur because Lord Bagh Bhairab is known as one of the most terrifying incarnations of Lord Shiva, in the form of a tiger.
Sunday is considered the day to worship Bagh Bhairab, so during the evening and morning, you will find the temple crowded.
On the 17th of August is celebrated the Bagh Bhairab Jatra, when devotees walk around the temple 108 times because is believed that is the most auspicious days to be blessed by the Lord.
The view from the temple is mesmerizing. You have a panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley, the mountains, the trees, and clouds feel so close from you. Also, the fresh air is revigorating. It’s a peaceful place to stay and you can easily spend a lot of time only contemplating the view and feeling the peace that the temple carries within.
The entrance is free and inside the temple, only Nepali are allowed.
Uma Maheshwor Temple
Uma Msheswor Temple is also known as Bhavani Shankar and Newari local calls it as Kwa:cho Dega. It’s located in one of the highest points of Kirtirpur, around 1.414 meters, so provides one of the best panoramic views of the valley.
The temple is dedicated to Shiva & Parvati so it’s believed that if a couple desires to have kids, they can worship Parvati so will be blessed with a child.
The temple was damaged by a heavy storm in 1947 and by the 1993 earthquake, besides, a few items such as the bell and statues were stolen so the place was restored many times.
The entrance is free and it’s a good place to sit and relax admiring the beautiful landscape, besides you can take beautiful shots!
Walk around the streets
Kirtipur Kathmandu has beautiful details whenever you go. Take a bottle of water with you and allow yourself to walk around the narrow streets.
Don’t be afraid to get lost, you will find tiny little surprises whenever you go. Paintings and ancient objects hanging on the grassy stone walls telling the history of Kirtipur, small temples, poojas, cute dogs, cocks and chickens will make your walk joyful.
More than the history or nature, you will face beautiful smiles which will make you feel like home.
Where to eat in Kirtipur
After visiting temples and exploring the streets of Kirtipur, it’s time for you to experience the Newari food, and Newa Lahana is the place for it.
Sitting on a cushion over a hay mat staring the beauty of the valley from an open balcony is a great experience itself but to do it while eating delicious and homemade food takes your experience to another level.
Newa Lahana is a traditional restaurant which serves traditional Newari food. Their mission is to preserve the Newari culture through their meals and drinks and is definitely an experience you must have, otherwise you can’t say that you actually went to Kirtipur.
They cook several dishes, such as Samayabaje, Chaatamari, Yomari, Mo:Mo, and others such as buffalo on its diverse forms.
Besides the food, they also offer artisanal alcoholic drinks Chaang and Ayla and are served from Karuwa by a smiley lady which adds fun to the drinking experience.
The food is cooked using traditional techniques and ingredients, so you can feel how the Newari food really tastes like. I was lucky to have Bibek to share the meal with me, because as a Newari himself, I could understand how special those dishes were.
The food is served on taparis and also on brass ones. Simply every detail is lovely.
I can say I had a lifetime experience, I tasted different flavors while enjoying the amazing landscape while the sun was slowly setting.
In Newa Lahana you will see young couples, groups of friends, families, and people who just went from work. Different backgrounds but all reunited to appreciate the same thing: the traditional Newari food.
The price is very affordable. One plate of veggie Samayabaje is NRP 220, Plain Chaatamari is NRP 60, one goblet of Chaang is NRP 50. They dont charge any type of taxes. So you definitely must go!
I can say I had one of the best Newari food in Kathmandu!
How to go to Kirtipur
If you have a car or a bike, from the center of Kathmandu and without traffic jam, you will take 30 minutes maximum to reach Kirtipur. Only 10 km to escape from the city and immerse into the beauties of Kirtipur.
By public transportation, you can take a microbus departing from Ratna Park bust station and it’s only NRP 20 each way.
Be aware of the traffic jam! We went around 1 PM and went back around 5 PM and we didn’t take any, so make sure you will go outside the rush time. Also, on Saturdays, every touristic point in Kathmandu is crowded, so if you have the chance, visit Kirtipur during the week, so you will have even more peace to explore and Newa Lahana will be less crowded too.
My special thanks to Firanté Inn Hostel
I had a memorable time in Kirtipur Kathmandu, and I believe that you will have too if you open your eyes and heart to that tiny little town.
Let yourself fall in love with the streets, temples, and flavors. Let your mind relax and allow yourself to breath fresh air. Those feelings are priceless!
I can say that my experience was better than I expected because Bibek Shreshta, Firanté Inn Hostel‘s operations manager went along with me and was like a guide, so I highly recommend that you go with someone who can explain to you about the local Newari culture.
This hostel can help you with this experience, so I highly recommend that you stay at Firanté Inn Hostel In Thamel, Kathmandu. It’s a newly open hostel, with affordable prices, they have an incredible service, such as in a hotel! The food they serve is fresh and delicious and they will take care of you as their most valuable gem.
I feel very honored for volunteering with them and I know if I can call that place home, you will definitely call too!