Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is often referred to as the gateway to heaven. It lies in the lap of the majestic Himalayas and is home to some of the world’s highest mountains. Winter is the best time to visit Kathmandu, when the city witnesses clear sunny mornings, hence providing excellent visibility for trekkers and mountain lovers. Kathmandu in January is a somewhat dry season in terms of tourism. There are fewer number of tourists during this time of the year, as the nip in the air is chilling with foggy mornings. But in spite of this, there are people who dream to visit Kathmandu at its chilly best, during this month. Although the peaks usually remain mostly hidden, there is still so much to see and do around Kathmandu in January.
Kathmandu In January: 10 Best Places To Visit
Here’s a list of the 10 best places in Kathmandu that you can visit in January to have a heart-warming experience that you will remember for your whole life!
1. Boudhanath Temple
This temple or Stupa is the tomb of the remains of Kassapa Buddha, and hence has a lot of legends and folklore associated with it. A UNESCO world heritage site, this sprawling white mausoleum is the largest Buddhist stupa in the world and is a very significant place to visit if you are in Kathmandu, and wondering about the things to do in Kathmandu in January.
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This is the most auspicious place for somebody who believes in Buddhism, and the principles of Lord Buddha. Considered to be the birthplace of Lord Buddha, this temple is also known as the Mayadevi Temple and is a pilgrimage site in all senses. Awaken your spiritual senses while in Kathmandu and experience the gentle serenity of the land by visiting Lumbini.
3. Pashupatinath Temple
Another UNESCO world heritage site, the Pashupatinath Temple is the most widely visited Hindu Temple all over the World. It has a few remarkable features in terms of architecture and history, which makes it one of the most sacred places in all of Kathmandu.
The temple has inscriptions, images and a lot of preserved history, besides being home to several ashrams and temples of Lord Shiva. Do not miss the most important of the 12 Jyotirlingas of the lord, of which the head lies here!
4. Kopan Monastery
Kathmandu witnesses a remarkable intermingling of the Buddhist and Hindu cultures, as these two religions are widely acclaimed here. There are quite a number of temples and also a handful of monasteries, to begin with. The Kopan monastery is worth mentioning among this list, because of its sheer location. Nestled in lush green against the backdrop of a dazzling view of the Himalayas, the Kopan monastery redefines the meaning of tranquility, which the Kathmandu Nepal weather in January accentuates perfectly.
5. Durbar Square
A beautiful courtyard to the age-old Kathmandu Palace kingdom, the Durbar square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its stunning architectural brilliance, and unrivaled craftsmanship of the museums situated here.
A quick stroll through the place gives you the opportunity to soak in the Nepalese culture and also be a witness of the surreal Kumari Chowk, where a Kumari, or young girl is showcased as the reincarnated Hindu goddess Durga, which is a very curious attraction for tourists.
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6. Royal Botanical Gardens
The botanical garden is the perfect place that showcases the rare and wild flora of Nepal. The weather in Kathmandu grows a good number of colorful orchids and tropical species of flowers. The best place to visit if you want to avoid the popular tourist places and spend a few refreshing hours amidst nature is this. The garden is extremely well maintained and is ideal for a small picnic, although you might need to do a little paperwork to do so!
The Newar dynasty has ruled Nepal for a good part of its history, and has a great influence on the Buddhist culture of today; had its roots here in Bhaktapur. Another world UNESCO heritage site, Bhaktapur is a rich confluence of well-preserved palace courtyards, temples, monasteries, traditional art, architecture, and craft.
Bhaktapur served as the capital city of Nepal, until late into the 15th century.
8. Langtang National Park
Being the fourth national park and first Himalayan Park, the Langtang National park is one of its kind. Nestled in the lap of the Himalayan terrain, this National park is an amazing day trip, camping or trekking trip in the Kathmandu weather in January. A few hours within nature, amidst the forests of pine and bamboo trees and incredible flora and fauna, this park also provides its visitors with some mind blowing views.
9. Indra Chowk
This is a marketplace hidden among the alleyways of the great Akash Bhairab Temple, and is a must visit place if you want to shop for gifts and taste the local cuisine here. The courtyard is always filled with people and craftsmen lining the streets with colorful beads and bangles and other articles that tourists would want to possess as memoirs. Apart from this market, the four metal and two brass lions guarding the doors of the Sky temple are also a marvel in themselves.
The panoramic view of nature is what the people come to Nagarkot for. This place has some breathtakingly beautiful views of Nature and a few good hotels too. Since the temperature in Kathmandu in January may drop down to chilly levels, you would want to pack some really warm clothes along, in case you are wondering what to wear in Kathmandu in January. It is said to showcase 8 out of the famous 13 ranges of the Himalayan Mountains, which you might luckily spot if the weather and of course your luck permits!
Even if you miss out on a few great experiences, visiting Kathmandu in January will definitely keep you coming back for more. But if you are longing for a snowfall in Kathmandu in January, do not count on it much. And without further ado, simply plan a trip to Nepal , pack your bags and leave, to experience a totally different, but breathtakingly beautiful avatar of Kathmandu in January.