Kathmandu is the capital and largest city of Nepal, with a population of around 1 million. Also known as the city of temples, the city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 feet) above sea level in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley in central Nepal.The valley was historically called the “Nepal Mandala” and has been the home of the Newar people, a cosmopolitan urban civilization in the Himalayan foothills.The city was the royal capital of the Kingdom of Nepal and hosts palaces, mansions and gardens of the Nepalese aristocracy. It has been home to the headquarters of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) since 1985.
Kathmandu set in a valley surrounded by the Himalayan mountains. At the heart of the old city’s mazelike alleys is Durbar Square, which becomes frenetic during IndraJatra, a religious festival featuring masked dances. The city is home to several World Heritage Sites: the Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and Pashupatinath.Many of the city’s historic sites were damaged or destroyed by a 2015 earthquake. Durbar Square’s palace, Hanuman Dhoka, and Kasthamandap, a wooden Hindu temple, are being rebuilt.