This full day excursion takes you to some of the little visited towns and villages of the Kathmandu valley, which are great places to experience life in the valley the way it has been for the last few hundred years.

Departure: Kathmandu
Duration: 1 day
Best Season: October to March (possible all year round)

Khokana and Bungamati are typical farming villages, and Kirtipur is much more of an old town. All three have a range of stunning temples which your knowledgeable local guide will help you explore!

Kirtipur is an old village situated on a small hill, 5km southwest of Patan. The village boasts many ancient monuments including the famed temple of tiger-faced Bhairva. In the past there were 12 gates of the town and parts of the old city wall still remain. It was the first place raided by Prithvi Naryan Shah when conquering the Kathmandu Valley and their resistance was so fierce (and retribution so dire) that a tower was erected in the Kathmandu Durbar Square in honour of their valour. The main industry in town is the Kirtipur Cottage Industry Centre and most of the residents are either weavers or farmers, so it is a great place to see traditional crafts practiced in traditional surroundings.

The twin villages of Bungamati and Khokana date from 16th century and are typical ancient Newar Villages. They are located south of Kathmandu down a rutty road dotted with "chaityas", or shrines, very appropriate for an ancient procession route. Bungamati is famous as the winter home of the Red Machhendra god of Patan who resides every winter in a powerful, Shikhara-style temple. Its spacious courtyard is often used for spreading grain to dry in the sun at harvest time.

Khokana lies next to Bungamati and in between the two villages is the temple of Karya Binayak . Like Bungamati, Khokana is a compact village, with a wide main street running through it. In the middle of the street is the temple of Sikali Mai , Khokana's guardian mother goddess. Khokana has long been famous as an oil-pressing centre where mustard seeds are pressed using traditional methods and if you are lucky you will see traditional weaving done by elderly ladies in the sun on the street and courtyards.

 

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