Kirtipur literally means the “city of glory”. Visit Kirtipur for an authentic experience of Newari culture, the indigenous culture of the Kathmandu Valley. Walk along its narrow lanes to observe the life of its residents who have maintained their age-old traditions and beliefs to this day. This town is also ideal for trying out some traditional Newari food that hasn’t been changed by outside influences.
Kirtipur is situated on a ridge 8 km southwest of Kathmandu, overlooking the valley. The ancient Newar township with its brick-paved streets lined with typical red brick houses and tiled roofs, and temple squares, is a natural fortress. The Chilamchu Stupa and the temple of Bagh Bhairav are major attractions here. Tribhuvan University, Nepal’s premier university is located at the foot of the hill. Another attraction directly below the town is the interesting Thai Buddhist temple.
Kirtipur can also be the starting point for a lovely day hike to nearby hilltops like Champa Devi from where you can enjoy superb views of the Himalayas and Kathmandu valley on a clear day. Similarly, you can combine this trip with a visit to the Ganesh temple known as Jal Vinayak by the Bagmati River as it flows out of Chobar Gorge. Cycling up to Kirtipur and back is also an option if you are a biking enthusiast.
The history of Kirtipur goes back to 1099 AD. It was earlier a part of Lalitpur until it was annexed into Kathmandu by Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1767. The Kirtipur residents are said to have put up a fierce resistance against the invaders, resulting in the death of the Shah King’s favorite general, Kalu Pande.
Also, read: Top 5 Viewpoints Near Kathmandu
Some Attractions of Kritipur are:
1. Chilancho Stupa
This monastery is situated on the eastern side of Kirtipur. In Newar language, the word Chilan means immortal and the word Cho means Hill. Therefore, its literal meaning is the immortal god situated on the hill. The stupa is about 9.0-10.5 high on a quadrangular base. On all four sides, there are small chaityas. The dome is plastered white.
Read More About Chilancho Vihar- Kritipur
2. Tri Ratna Temple
This old stone Krishna temple is worshiped by both Hindus and Buddhists. It encompasses Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. The temple took some mild damage in the 2015 earthquake and was used by many aid organizations as a landmark. To the right down a street are two large golden Buddha statues.
3. Dev Pukku
This old royal area is one of the most charming in Kathmandu. The pond here is where Kirtipur’s main water source is fed by underground water. To the tank’s left is the very well-preserved former Royal Palace. It’s all local accommodation now and it’s great on a summer day to see people sitting at the old Newari style windows looking out.
4. Bagh Bhairav temple
Bagh Bhairav temple, one of the oldest shrines in Kirtipur is known for the guardian deity, Bhairav in the form of a tiger. The main statue and icon are composed of clay with a large silver mask with a depiction of Bhairav. As corroborated by historical facts, the mask was offered by a Kirtipur resident named Chaturman Dware during Chandra Shumsher’s reign.
5. Uma Maheshwar Temple
This tall temple is guarded by two elephants wearing saddles made of metal spikes (to keep people off). Originally built in 1663 with four roofs one was destroyed in the 1934 earthquake. It survived 2015 without much of scratch. There’s also a British Bell here from Croyden!
There are More Places To visit in Kritipur. This is the best place in Kathmandu Valley. One can visit Kritipur in a low budget.