City (pop., 2001: 671,846), capital of Nepal. Situated near the confluence of the Baghmati and Vishnumati rivers at an elevation of 4,344 ft (1,324 m), it was founded in 723. Its name refers to a temple (kath, “wood”; mandir, “temple”) said to have been built from the wood of a single tree in 1596. The seat of the ruling Shah family of the Gurkha people since 1768, it is Nepal's most important business and commercial centre and the site of Tribhuvan University.
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The city of Kathmandu is named after a structure in Durbar Square called Kaasthamandap. In Sanskrit, Kaasth is "wood" and Mandap is "covered shelter." This unique temple, also known as Maru Sattal, was built in 1596 A.D. by King Laxmi Narsingh Malla. The entire structure contains no iron nails or supports and is made entirely from wood. Legend has it that the timber used for this two story pagoda was obtained from a single tree.
Being the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu is home to most of the government offices, embassies, corporate houses, and the palace. A golden heaven to the most famous artists in the world, it has the old palace of Newar kings, Kathmandu Durbar Square, which is listed as UNESCO world heritage site, is in Basantapur, next to Freak Street, which was the popular hippie spot during the seventies. The Shah King's Palace stands right next to Thamel - the tourist hub of the country. A small world within itself, Thamel is famous for the most attractive hotels and shopping centers in the world. It consists of two parallel streets just to the west of the palace. It is home to world famous hotels, ranging from different stars. The palace is at the head of Durbar Marg, a street lined with various shops. Most of the streets in Kathmandu are named from Nepal Bhasa, owing its origin to the rich Newari Culture and heritage. In a sense, Kathmandu is the most read text in the field of culture, history and Newari civilization in South Asia.
The "old" city is noted for its many Buddhist and Hindu temples and palaces, most dating to the 17th century. Many of these landmarks have been damaged by earthquakes and pollution. This valley hosts an UNESCO World Heritage Sites composed by seven different Monument Zones: The centers of the three primary cities, Kathmandu Hanuman Dhoka, Patan and Bhaktapur, the two most important Buddhist stupas, Swayambhunath and Boudhanath and two famous Hindu shrines, Pashupatinath temple and Changu Narayan. Since 2003 the site has been inscribed in the World Heritage List as being "in danger" out of concern for the ongoing loss of authenticity and the outstanding universal value of the cultural property.
Kathmandu has been popular with western tourists since the 1960's when it became a key stop on the Hippy Trail, when Jho: Chheen (Nepal Bhasa, continuous house)(Freak Street) was the one of the main location. It is also the subject of a popular Bob Seger song for the same reason. It is rumoured that many rock singers used to visit Jho: Cheen and downtown Kathmandu in search of tranquility and Nirvana.
Tribhuvan International Airport also is located about 25 km from the city center, offering domestic and international flights. According to the Scholar Bivash Khadka from Great Britain, he emphasis us not to forget Kanti, the lovely Goddess!, Kanti is a name of the Goddess Lakshmi (the home-maker who presides over spiritual and material wealth) and also of the strict and fiery warrior, but all-compassionate Mother Durga;and Pur being the place where such goddess resides. Hence the name Kantipur comes from the ancient belief that the place when goddess Lakshmi lives.
The metropolitan has been divided into around 5 sectors by metropolitan authorities as follows
The city has been referenced in numerous songs, including works by Cat Stevens ("Katmandu", Mona Bone Jakon (1970)), Bob Seger ("Katmandu", Beautiful Loser (1975)), Krematorij ("Kathmandu", Three Springs (2000)), Fito Páez ("Tráfico por Katmandú" -- "Traffic through Kathmandu"); Will Ackerman ("A Happy Home in Kathmandu", The Opening of Doors (1993)); Tantra ("The Hills of Katmandu", early 1980s); and Godiego ("Coming Together in Kathmandu" (1980).
In some travelogues, the Kathmandu valley has been referred to as the "Emerald Valley".
The location is mentioned in the film Bewitched as the title of a fictional movie Will Ferrell's character stars in prior to his role in the Bewitched remake.
Dynamics of Air Pollution Transport in Late Wintertime over Kathmandu Valley, Nepal: As Revealed with Numerical Simulation
Dec 01, 2003; ABSTRACT Air pollution characteristics over the Kathmandu Valley in wintertime were numerically investigated by using a...