Nowadays people want to spend peaceful time after slogging and hectic life. So where would one like to go when in Kathmandu ? When it comes to visiting beautiful sites around Kathmandu valley, no doubt Kavrepalanchok or Kavre is the first choice. It is simply because of the close distance from the capital. It is merely 32 km east of Kathmandu valley. One could even try the local buses plying to the place. So the travel companies will definitely suggest visitors different places in Kavre district. They could just travel around some of the key places and come back to Kathmandu to night. Otherwise, they could also have a stay there. They could even enjoy some trekking around. The most visited place in Kavre district is Dhulikhel. Many organizations choose it to hold training, workshop, seminar or meeting. It’s pleasant and cool environment makes it one of the favourite destinations for many.
There are numerous reasons why Dhulikhel has been gaining popularity since ages. To begin with the name, Dhulikhel has at least two possible origins. Both in Newari; the first suggests ‘place where tigers play’ and it’s another ancient name ‘Dhalikhyel’ which literally means ‘Dahi(curd) selling place’. Thus, it’s obvious the origin of the place was cow herding and agriculture. Even today some people still call it Dhaukya-‘the place for curd’.
Dhulikhel offers finest panoramic views of snowcapped mountains and scenic landscapes. The mountains seem to be floating in the air, when the blue haze covers the lower portion of the mountains. Thus, Dhulikhel is considered a paradise by the tourists and nature lovers. The scenic view of beautiful mountains, hills filled with green vegetation, open landscapes etc make it a most admirable tourist destination. Dhulikhel also offers breathtaking view of Himalayas including Mt. Annapurna (8091 m), Mt. Ganesh Himal (7429 m), Mt. Langtang (7234 m), Mt. Phuribichyachu (6637 m), Mt. Gaurishanker (7134 m), Mt. Lhotse (8516 m) and many others.
Dhulikhel is said to be founded by King Ananda Malla in the 13th century AD. The one who is said to have donated the most part of his treasure to Pashupatinath. The ancient urban planning is a master piece with special demarcations between main roads, temples and settlements. Besides the relaxing and peaceful beauty of nature; Dhulikhel houses numerous cultural and natural heritages. Some of the attractions are the Kali Temple, located at the top of the hill.There are magnificent views on the way. One can even see the locals enjoying around the areas. Another Bhagwati Temple, (close to old town’s main square), could be also visited. The Gosainthan hill, (half an hour walk from Dhulikhel) is also a good trail. Another attraction is the Dhulikhel view tower at 1650m above sea level, offering excellent views. Also the ‘1000 steps’ are famous part of Dhulikhel. The famous Dhulikhel hospital is located here.
Namo Buddha Stupa
The most famous in the region is the Namo Buddha Stupa in Kavre. This stupa is said to house the bones of Mahasattva (Semchen Chenpo), who gave up his body to a tigress who was starving while trying to feed her cubs. It was later determined that he was an earlier incarnation of the Gautam Buddha. So many buddhist pilgrims visit Kavre to offer their prayers in the stupa. A Jatra or fair is held each year there, on the birth date of Lord Buddha (Buddha Purnima).
Panauti is also called the ‘city of temples’. It is also a historical city in Nepal, originally it was a small state given by King Bhupatindra Malla as a dowry to his sister. The Indreswor temple and Panauti (Layaku)Durbar square found in the town center are famous. The temples here are said to be dating back to 15th century. It was an important part of the Salt tarde route. It also houses many Buddhist sites. Panauti, situated at the confluence of the two rivers Rosi and Punyamati, has been regarded as an important religious site since very early times. The Indreshwar temple is kept in a very well maintained, walled in, compound which is managed by the Panauti Museum.
Other than this temple, there is also the king’s palace in Panauti’s Durbar Square, which has yet to be excavated to a larger extent in order to reveal more about Panauti. Nevertheless, there are many artifacts and remnants such as stone taps, bricks, water wells and coins found among some of the excavated sections of the palace. Even the 2015 earthquake didn’t affect the temples. Panauti holds a number of festivals reflecting the ancient tradition and ancient mythology. One of the most important is the three-day-long Panauti Jatra. Panauti Jatra is known as the chariot festival which takes place every year in Panauti, at the end of the monsoon. The Jatra festival usually begins on the tenth day of the bright fortnight during the month of Jestha (May–June). During this festival, images of the gods (from the town’s temples) are placed in a chariot and displayed around the city. The pulling of the chariot begins from the town’s old Durbar Square. A team consisting of a priest, a woman, and a porter crosses the bridge over the Punyamati River to worship the Gods. This crossing over the Punyamati River is a yearly event and signifies the tradition from many years before. Every 12 years, a month-long fair is held known as the Makar Mela. It is also regarded as the ‘Kumbh mela’ of Nepal. During this celebration, hundred and thousands of devotees visit Panauti to cleanse themselves in this sacred water.
Also, an Information Technology Park, is located in Panauti. Recently, the Nepal Urban and Environmental Improvement Project has been set up by the government in order to attend to this decentralization situation.
Some part of Nagarkot falls in Kavre district too. It’s an ancient settlement. Many Tamang kings ruled the region in the ancient times. It is 30 kilometers from Kathmandu in Bhaktapur district. Like Dhulikhel, Nagarkot is a famous view point to view the stunning views of some of the world’s highest peaks such as Annapurna range, Manaslu range, Ganesh himal range, Langtang range, Jugal range, Rolwaling range, Everest range and Numbur range. Nagarkot is also famous for the mesmerizing view of the snowcapped mountains. The Timal region is also important for the treeking routes across. Also, a ‘Tamang museum’ is all set to be established in the area, in order to preserve and house the rich tradition and culture of the indigenous community which make a big population of the district. One crore rupees budget has been already alocated for the same.
Banepa falls between Dhulikhel and Bhaktapur. It’s plains were most valued since the ancient ages.The main attraction of Banepa is the temple of Chandreshwori, located approximately 1 km northeast of the town along the Rudramati river. The Dhaneshwor temple is 1 km south of the town. Banepa is also known for its eight different temples of Lord Ganesh, Narayanthan (the temple of Lord Narayan), Bhimshenthan (the temple of Lord Bhimshen) and eight different ponds.
Some of the ancient names of Banepa were Banepur, Baniyapur, Banipur. As it had trade relationship with Tibet from ancient period, Banepa is also known as “Bhont”, “Bhonta”, “Bhon dey”. Banepa is the combination of two words i.e. “Bane” means ‘Business” and “Pa” means ‘Place’. Therefore, “Banepa” means ‘Place of Business’. It is also believed that when entire Kathmandu Valley was covered with lake, there was a settlement in Banepa.The Ganesh temples around are said to be the boundaries of old Banepa.There were eight Ganesh Temples around the city. Also another important destination for Hindu devotees is the Palanchok Bhagawati Devi temple of Palanchok.
Thus Kavre is a beautiful district close to Kathmandu, which treasures beautiful scenic sites, blue mountains, ancient heritages, Buddhist monasteries, temples and much more. Thus, local people could benefit more economically from tourism in Kavre, maintaining the ecological balance simultaneously. Preservation and proper management of traditional heritages do bring good earnings at the door steps.