Kirtipur is an ancient city of Nepal. Once-proud KIRTIPUR (“City of Glory”) occupies a long, low battleship of a ridge 5km southwest of Kathmandu. Commanding a panoramic – not to mention strategic – view of the valley, the well-preserved old town is vehicle-free and great for a morning or afternoon’s wandering. It also conceals, deep within its miniature maze of brick and stone streets, one of the best Newari restaurants in the valley.
It is one of the most famous and religious places to visit. Anyone who admires a location with rich history, good food and interesting structures will love for sure.
Established as a western outpost of Patan in the twelfth century, Kirtipur had gained nominal independence by the time Prithvi Narayan Shah began his final conquest of the Kathmandu Valley in 1767. The Gorkha king considered the town to be the military linchpin of the valley and made its capture his first priority.
After two separate attacks and a six-month siege, with no help forthcoming from Patan, Kirtipur surrendered on the understanding it would receive a total amnesty. Instead, in an atrocity intended to demoralize the remaining opposition in the valley, Prithvi Shah ordered his troops to cut off the noses and lips of every man and boy in Kirtipur.
Supposedly, only men skilled in the playing of wind instruments were spared. The rest of the valley fell within a year.
Places to visit in Kirtipur
- Bagh Bhairab Temple
A history attached with the temple. Hundreds of years old temple with good views of Kathmandu valley. One of the oldest temple of Kathmandu Valley, made in early 12th century is the master piece of the city in the Hill Top. So, this temple, one of the hidden jewel of Kathmandu valley.
- The Uma Maheshwar Temple.
The Uma Maheshwar Temple is a three-storied pagoda style temple built in 1655 A.D. Lord Shiva and Parvati are the main deity in this temple with the images of other like Saraswati and Mahismardini. The doors, pillars and the beams demonstrate the art work of different gods and goddess. The locals call the temple Kwacho Dege and are one of the most important sites in Kirtipur. The temple lies on the top of the hill thus offers a beautiful view of the Kathmandu valley, several mountains like Langtang, Dorge Lakkpa, Chobhu Bhamure, and Gaurisankar.
- Champa Devi Hill
The Champa Devi Hill is a magnificent hill at an elevation of 2,285 meters. The Hill is a famous hiking destination in Kirtipur especially during the New Year. At the top of the hill, there are Buddhist and Hindu shrines. It is one of the best, easy, short and enjoyable hiking destination which will take about 4 hours to reach the top. It will be a wonderful experience to walk between the pine forest in a well developed trial with the superb view of the Langtang, Gaurisankar, Jugal, Dorge Lakpa and many other mountains.
- Shri Kirti Bihar
The Shri Kirti Bihar is situated at the bottom of Kirtipur was built in 1975. The main temple at the bottom is dedicated to the Lord Buddha and to its right. There is a small building which consists of several Buddhist paintings.
- Chilancho Bahal, Kirtipur
Chilancho Bahal is an old Buddhist Stupa located in Kirtipur town around 8 kms from Kathmandu city. This is one of the stupas in Nepal where the brickwork is not covered with plaster. The atmosphere around the stupa is serene. It was supposedly built during the time of Ashoka, the emperor who converted to Buddhism.
Taste Authentic Newari Food
Restaurants in the area have not developed much yet, so you really should not expect anything to be open in the off-peak season. However, Newa Lahana serves some genuine Newari food, and visitors claim that one must try their authentic local cuisine when in Kirtipur.
How To Reach Kirtipur
Getting to Kirtipur is fairly easy. Buses leave for the area from Ratna Bus Park in Kathmandu after every 30 minutes. The bus fare is NRS 25, and you should reach your destination in 25 minutes. Alternatively, you can hire a car from Thamel to Naya Bazaar and back to Thamel for NRS 2000. The journey by taxi would take around 15 minutes in all. Cycling to and back from the town is also a feasible option for the adventure lovers and fitness enthusiasts.
Kirtipur Day Tours and Sightseeing
Kirtipur Tour with Newari food tasting Trip
Kirtipur is one of several ancient kingdoms in the Kathmandu Valley that were once independent, but now make up part of greater Kathmandu. It’s a prime destination to learn about the Newar people, who are one of Nepal’s many distinct ethnic groups and the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley. Come to Kirtipur for exquisite architecture, hilltop temples, and sweeping city views. Book half day sightseeing tours in Nepal.