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Kathmandu (Hindi:काठमांडू, Nepali: काठमाडौं) is the capital city and largest city of Nepal. Kathmandu is also the largest metropolis in the Himalayan hill region.



The city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 feet) above sea level in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal. The valley is historically termed as "Nepal Mandala" and has been the home of Newar culture, a cosmopolitan urban civilisation in the Himalayan foothills.


Indigenous Kathmandu Newar people of the valley. Yei is the classical Nepalese name for it. The Pahari name Kathmandu comes from Kasthamandap, temple, that stood in Durbar Square. The three-story structure was made entirely of wood and used no iron nails nor supports. According to legend, all the timber used to build the pagoda was obtained from a single tree.[1] The structure collapsed during a major earthquake on 25 April 2015.

The colophons of ancient manuscripts, dated as late as the 20th century, refer to Kathmandu as Kāṣṭhamaṇḍap Mahānagar in Nepal Mandala. Mahānagar means "great city". The city is called "Kāṣṭhamaṇḍap" in a vow that Buddhist priests still recite to this day. Thus, Kathmandu is also known as Kāṣṭhamaṇḍap. During medieval times, the city was sometimes called Kantipur (कान्तिपुर). This name is derived from two Sanskrit words – Kānti and pur. "Kānti" is a word that stands for "beauty" and is mostly associated with light and "pur" means place. Thus, giving it a meaning as "City of light".

Among the indigenous Newar people, Kathmandu is known as Yeṃ Deśa (यें देश), and Patan and Bhaktapur are known as Yala Deśa (यल देश) and Khwopa Deśa (ख्वप देश).[2] "Yen" is the shorter form of Yambu (यम्बु), which originally referred to the northern half of Kathmandu.[3]


Archaeological excavations in parts of Kathmandu have found evidence of ancient civilisations. The oldest of these findings is a statue, found in Maligaon, that was dated at 185 AD.[4] The excavation of Dhando Chaitya uncovered a brick with an inscription in Brahmi script. Archaeologists believe it is two thousand years old.[5] Stone inscriptions are a ubiquitous element at heritage sites and are key sources for the history of Nepal.

The earliest Western reference to Kathmandu appears in an account of Jesuit Fathers Johann Grueber and Albert d'Orville. In 1661, they passed through Nepal on their way from Tibet to India, and reported that they reached "Cadmendu", the capital of Nepal kingdom.[6]

Ancient history: The ancient history of Kathmandu is described in its traditional myths and legends. According to Swayambhu Purana, present-day Kathmandu was once a huge and deep lake named "Nagadaha", as it was full of snakes. The lake was cut drained by Bodhisatwa Manjusri with his sword, and the water was evacuated out from there. He then established a city called Manjupattan, and made Dharmakara the ruler of the valley land. After some time, a demon named Banasura closed the outlet, and the valley again turned into a lake. Then lord Krishna came to Nepal, killed Banasura, and again drained out the water. He brought some Gopals along with him and made Bhuktaman the king of Nepal.[7][8][9]

Kotirudra Samhita of Shiva Purana, Chapter 11, shloka 18 refers to the place as Nayapala city, which was famous for its Pashupati Shivalinga. The name Nepal probably originates from this city Nayapala.

Very few historical record exists of the period before medieval Licchavis rulers. According to Gopalraj Vansawali, a genealogy of Nepali monarchy, the rulers of Kathmandu Valley before the Licchavis were Gopalas, Mahispalas, Aabhirs, Kirants, and Somavanshi.[10] The Kirata dynasty was established by Yalamber. During the Kirata era, a settlement called Yambu existed in the northern half of old Kathmandu. In some of the Sino-Tibetan languages, Kathmandu is still called Yambu. Another smaller settlement called Yengal was present in the southern half of old Kathmandu, near Manjupattan. During the reign of the seventh Kirata ruler, Jitedasti, Buddhist monks entered Kathmandu valley and established a forest monastery at Sankhu.

Licchavi era: The Licchavis from the Indo-Gangetic plain migrated north and defeated the Kiratas, establishing the Licchavi dynasty, circa 400 AD. During this era, following the genocide of Shakyas in Lumbini by Virudhaka, the survivors migrated north and entered the forest monastery lora masquerading as Koliyas. From Sankhu, they migrated to Yambu and Yengal (Lanjagwal and Manjupattan) and established the first permanent Buddhist monasteries of Kathmandu. This created the basis of Newar Buddhism, which is the only surviving Sanskrit-based Buddhist tradition in the world.[11] With their migration, Yambu was called Koligram and Yengal was called Dakshin Koligram[12] during most of theLicchavi era.

Eventually, the Licchavi ruler Gunakamadeva merged Koligram and Dakshin Koligram, founding the city of Kathmandu.[13] The city was designed in the shape of Chandrahrasa, the sword of Manjushri. The city was surrounded by eight barracks guarded by Ajimas. One of these barracks is still in use at Bhadrakali (in front of Singha Durbar). The city served as an important transit point in the trade between India and Tibet, leading to tremendous growth in architecture. Descriptions of buildings such as Managriha, Kailaskut Bhawan, and Bhadradiwas Bhawan have been found in the surviving journals of travellers and monks who lived during this era. For example, the famous 7th-century Chinese traveller Xuanzang described Kailaskut Bhawan, the palace of the Licchavi king Amshuverma.[14] The trade route also led to cultural exchange as well. The artistry of the Newar people—the indigenous inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley—became highly sought after during this era, both within the Valley and throughout the greater Himalayas. Newar artists travelled extensively throughout Asia, creating religious art for their neighbours. For example, Araniko led a group of his compatriot artists through Tibet and China. Bhrikuti, the princess of Nepal who married Tibetan monarch Songtsän Gampo, was instrumental in introducing Buddhism to Tibet.

Malla era: The Licchavi era was followed by the Malla era. Rulers from Tirhut, upon being attacked by Muslims, fled north to the Kathmandu valley. They intermarried with Nepali royalty, and this led to the Malla era. The early years of the Malla era were turbulent, with raids and attacks from Khas and Turk Muslims. There was also a devastating earthquake which claimed the lives of a third of Kathmandu's population, including the king Abhaya Malla. These disasters led to the destruction of most of the architecture of the Licchavi era (such as Mangriha and Kailashkut Bhawan), and the loss of literature collected in various monasteries within the city. Despite the initial hardships, Kathmandu rose to prominence again and, during most of the Malla era, dominated the trade between India and Tibet. Nepali currency became the standard currency in trans-Himalayan trade.

During the later part of the Malla era, Kathmandu Valley comprised four fortified cities: Kantipur, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, and Kirtipur. These served as the capitals of the Malla confederation of Nepal. These states competed with each other in the arts, architecture, aesthetics, and trade, resulting in tremendous development. The kings of this period directly influenced or involved themselves in the construction of public buildings, squares, and temples, as well as the development of waterspouts, the institutionalisation of trusts (called guthis), the codification of laws, the writing of dramas, and the performance of plays in city squares. Evidence of an influx of ideas from India, Tibet, China, Persia, and Europe among other places can be found in a stone inscription from the time of king Pratap Malla. Books have been found from this era that describe their tantric tradition (e.g. Tantrakhyan), medicine (e.g. Haramekhala), religion (e.g. Mooldevshashidev), law, morals, and history. Amarkosh, a Sanskrit-Nepal Bhasa dictionary from 1381 AD, was also found. Architecturally notable buildings from this era include Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the former durbar of Kirtipur, Nyatapola, Kumbheshwar, the Krishna temple, and others.

The city was the royal capital of the Kingdom of Nepal and hosts palaces, mansions and gardens of the Nepalese aristocracy. Kathmandu is and has been for many years the centre of Nepal's history, art, culture and economy. It has a multiethnic population within a Hindu and Buddhist majority. It is also the home of the Newars.

Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu.

Tourism is an important part of the economy; in 2013, Kathmandu was ranked third among the top ten upcoming travel destinations in the world by TripAdvisor, and ranked first in Asia. The city is the gateway to the Nepalese Himalayas, and home to seven world heritage sites: the Durbar Squares of Hanuman Dhoka, Patan and Bhaktapur; the Stupas of Swayambhunath and Baudhanath; and the temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan. There are also seven casinos in the city.

Historic areas of Kathmandu were severley damaged by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015. Some of the buildings have been restored and some are in the process of reconstruction.

मंजूपाटन, नेपाल

मंजूपाटन, नेपाल, (AS, p.684):मौर्य सम्राट अशोक की नेपाल यात्रा (लगभग 250 ई. पूर्व से) पूर्व वर्तमान काठमांडू के निकट बसा हुआ एक नगर जहाँ नेपाल की तत्कालीन राजधानी थी. अशोक ने इस नगर के स्थान पर देव पाटन या ललित पाटन नामक एक नगर बसाया था. यह काठमांडू से अढाई मील दक्षिण की ओर है (देखें ललितपाटन, देवपाटन).[15]


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[16] ने लेख किया है ...काठमांडू (AS, p.162) नेपाल की राजधानी. यहां के अधिकांश पुराने मंदिर तथा भवन काष्ठ द्वारा निर्मित होने के कारण ही यह काठमंडू कहलाया. इस का प्राचीन नाम मंजूपाटन था. काठमांडू के पशुपतिनाथ के मंदिर की दूर दूर तक ख्याति है. (देखें नेपाल)

काठमांडू परिचय

काठमांडू नेपाल की राजनीतिक राजधानी है। नेपाल का सबसे बड़ा महानगर, प्राचीन मंदिरों के शहर काठमांडू कला और संस्कृति का केंद्र है। यह शहर समुद्रतल से 1300 मीटर की ऊंचाई पर स्थित है। यह 50 वर्ग किमी में फैला हुआ है। काठमांडू नेपाल का सबसे बड़ा अन्तर्राष्ट्रीय नगर है। यहां पर्यटकों का सबसे अधिक आगमन होता है। पहाड़ियों से घिरा हुआ काठमांडू नगर यूनेस्को की विश्‍व धरोहरों में शामिल है। यहां संस्कृति और परंपराओं के अतिरिक्त विशिष्ट शैली में बने घर पर्यटकों को अपनी ओर आकर्षित करते हैं। यहां के मंदिरों की विश्व में अपनी अलग पहचान है। यहां के प्राचीन बाज़ारों की शोभा देखते ही बनती है।

नगर की अर्थव्यवस्था में पर्यटन का विशेष योगदान है। काठमांडू में पर्यटकों के घूमने, एवं वस्तु ख़रीदने के लिए पर्यटन उद्योग द्वारा विभिन्न सुविधाएँ उपलब्ध हैं। नेपाल का त्रिभुवन हवाई अड्डा नेपाल का एकमात्र अंतर्राष्ट्रीय विमानपत्तनम है। यहां दिल्ली और बैंकॉक के रास्ते आसानी से पहुंचा जा सकता है। यहां मई-सितंबर के बीच जाना अच्छा रहता है।

काठमांडू में स्वयंभू, बौद्ध स्तूप, नारायणहिती पैलेस म्यूज़ियम, पशुपतिनाथ मंदिर, गार्डन ऑफ ड्रीम्स, नासल चौक, थेमल चौक पर्यटन के मुख्य आकर्षण हैं। 'काठमांडू दरबार स्क्वेयर' यूनेस्को की वर्ल्ड हेरिटेज लिस्ट में शामिल है और यहां का म्यूजियम भी दर्शनीय है।

संदर्भ: भारतकोश-काठमांडू

External links


  1. "Introduction". Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Government of Nepal.
  2. Kirkpatrick, Colonel (1811). An Account of the Kingdom of Nepaul. London: William Miller. p. 159.
  3. "Contributions to Nepalese Studies". CNAS, Tribhuvan University. December 1983
  4. "सुस्त उत्खनन » पुरातत्व » सम्पदा :: नेपाल". Ekantipur.com. 9 June 2010. Archived from the original on 11 September 2010.
  5. "सुस्त उत्खनन » पुरातत्व » सम्पदा :: नेपाल". Ekantipur.com. 9 June 2010. Archived from the original on 11 September 2010.
  6. Levi, Sylvain. Nepal. p. 50
  7. "History". Government of Nepal.
  8. "History:Ancient Nepal". Newa Travels and Tours. New Travels and Tours Ltd. Archived from the original on 21 July 2009.
  9. http://www.nepalmandal.com/content/7752.html
  10. Apr, Wed (21 April 2010). "Article:झीसं पत्याः यानाच्वनागु अन्धविश्वास – Author:विपेन्द्र महर्जन Nepalmandal". Nepalmandal.com. Retrieved 15 January 2012. Article:गोपालराज वंशावली Language: Nepalbhasa, Journal:नेपालभाषा केन्द्रीय विभागया जर्नल, Edition:1, Date: 1998, pp. 18–25, 44
  11. "A Short History of Sanskrit Buddhist Manuscripts". Dsbcproject.org. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013.
  12. "Kathmandu Metropolitan City". Kathmandu.gov.np. Archived from the original on 22 June 2012.
  13. "काष्ठमण्डप कि होममण्डप". Gorkhapatra.org.np. Archived from the original on 6 July 2012.
  14. "राष्ट्रपति अचानक ग्यालरीमा | कला र शैली | :: कान्तिपुर". Ekantipur.com. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012.
  15. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.684
  16. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.162