Sight Seen in

Nasal Chowk, Kathmandu, Nepal

Nasal Chowk

Nasal Chowk, Kathmandu, Nepal

Overview

Nasal Chowk is a significant and historical courtyard located within the Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of Kathmandu, Nepal. Known for its stunning traditional architecture and cultural importance, Nasal Chowk has been a central site for royal ceremonies, including coronations of Nepalese kings. The courtyard is surrounded by ancient buildings, temples, and statues, making it a fascinating spot for history enthusiasts and cultural explorers.

Attractions and Activities

  • Hanuman Dhoka Palace: Explore the Hanuman Dhoka Palace complex, which includes the Nasal Chowk. The palace was once the royal residence and administrative center of the Malla kings and later the Shah dynasty.
  • Nasal Chowk Courtyard: Admire the intricate wood carvings, traditional Newari architecture, and historical artifacts in the courtyard. The name "Nasal Chowk" derives from the statue of the dancing Shiva (Nasal) in the courtyard.
  • Museum: Visit the Hanuman Dhoka Museum, located within the palace complex, to learn more about the history and culture of Kathmandu. The museum houses royal artifacts, photographs, and historical documents.
  • Kumari Ghar: Just a short walk from Nasal Chowk, visit the Kumari Ghar, the residence of the living goddess Kumari. If you're lucky, you might get a glimpse of the Kumari during specific times of the day.
  • Temples and Shrines: Explore the various temples and shrines around Nasal Chowk and Kathmandu Durbar Square, such as Taleju Temple, Jagannath Temple, and the Kala Bhairav statue.
  • Photography: Capture the stunning architecture and vibrant activities within the square. The historical and cultural ambiance makes for excellent photo opportunities.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Nasal Chowk and Kathmandu, in general, is during the cooler and drier months, from September to November and from March to May.

  • September to November: These months offer clear skies, mild temperatures, and the post-monsoon greenery. It is an ideal time for sightseeing and enjoying outdoor activities. The weather ranges from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F).
  • March to May: The pre-monsoon season also offers pleasant weather with temperatures ranging from 16°C to 28°C (61°F to 82°F). The blooming flowers during this time add to the beauty of the city.

Off-Peak Times

  • December to February: The winter months can be cold, with temperatures ranging from 2°C to 18°C (36°F to 64°F). However, this period sees fewer tourists, allowing for a quieter experience.
  • June to August: The monsoon season brings heavy rainfall, which can make sightseeing less enjoyable. However, the area is less crowded during this time.

Tips for Visiting

  • Comfortable Clothing: Wear comfortable clothing suitable for walking and exploring the area. Layering is recommended, especially during the colder months.
  • Footwear: Wear comfortable and sturdy footwear, as you will be walking on uneven surfaces and navigating crowded areas.
  • Local Currency: Have some local currency (Nepalese Rupees) on hand for entrance fees, museum tickets, and purchases.
  • Entrance Fee: Be prepared to pay an entrance fee to access Kathmandu Durbar Square, which includes Nasal Chowk and other attractions.
  • Guided Tours: Consider hiring a local guide to gain deeper insights into the history and significance of Nasal Chowk and the surrounding area.
  • Respect Local Customs: Dress modestly and respect local customs, especially when visiting temples and shrines.
  • Photography: Be respectful when taking photos, especially of people and religious sites. Always ask for permission if you're unsure.
  • Hydration: Carry water to stay hydrated, especially if you plan to spend a significant amount of time walking around the square.

Nasal Chowk offers a rich cultural and historical experience, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Kathmandu. Whether you're exploring the ancient palace complex, visiting nearby temples, or simply soaking in the vibrant atmosphere, Nasal Chowk provides a memorable and enriching experience.

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Have you trekked to Nasal Chowk? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below!

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