Kathmandu

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Hamro Ramro Kathmandu Metropolitan City
other_name = ñē̆ dēy (ञेँ देय्)
Kantipur
native_name = येँ महानगरपालिका
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imagesize = 240px
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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Nepal
subdivision_type1 = Development Region
subdivision_name1 = Central
subdivision_type2 = Zone
subdivision_name2 = Bagmati
subdivision_type3 = District
subdivision_name3 = Kathmandu
subdivision_type4 = Kasthamandap
subdivision_name4 =
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government_type =
leader_title = CEO
leader_name = Ankur Jung Ranacite web | accessdate = July 13 |accessyear=2007 | url = http://www.kathmandu.gov.np/mayorsmessage/index.html|title=Census Nepal 2001]
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established_title = Established
established_date = 723 cite web | accessdate = July 13 |accessyear=2007 | url = http://www.kathmandu.gov.np/cityatglance/index.html|title=Census Nepal 2001]
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area_total_km2 = 50.67
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population_as_of = 2001
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population_total = 701,962
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timezone = GMT +5:45
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latd= 27|latm= 42|lats= |latNS=N
longd= 85|longm= 20|longs= |longEW=E
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website = http://www.kathmandu.gov.np/
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Kathmandu ( _ne. काठमांडौ, _ne. येँ) is the capital and the largest city of Nepal. The city is situated in Kathmandu Valley that also contains two other cities - Patan and Bhaktapur. Nepali is the lingua franca of the valley and is the most widely spoken language. Nepal Bhasa/Newari is the language spoken by native people, the Newars. The city stands at an elevation of approximately convert|4500|ft|m|abbr=on and is inhabited by about 700,000 people. Kathmandu is the most developed city in Nepal.

History

Kathmandu is situated in the heart of the Himalaya mountains, and has a long history. Considered by some to be among the most beautiful cities in the world, the "earliest" known inscription in the Kathmandu Valley is dated 185 AD. The oldest firmly dated building in the earthquake-prone valley is almost 1,992 years old. Four stupas around the city of Patan said to have been erected by Charumati, attest to the ancient history present within the valley. The Kirats are the first documented rulers of Kathmandu Valley, the remains of their palace are in Patan near kendra Hiranyavarna Mahavihara (called "Patukodon"). The Licchavi Dynasty whose earliest inscriptions date back to 464 AD were the next rulers of the valley. The Malla Dynasty consisted of Newar rulers, who ruled Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding area from the 12th century till the 17th century when the Shah Dynasty founder Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered the valley as he created present-day Nepal. Most of ancient Nepali Architecture present in Nepal today is from the Malla/Newar era.

The city of Kathmandu is named after a structure in Durbar Square called Kaasthamandap. In Sanskrit, "Kaasth" ( _sa. काष्ठ) is "wood" and "Mandap" ( _sa. मंडप/मण्डप) 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.

Kathmandu is also sometimes called "Kantipur". Newars, the native people of the Kathmandu valley use the original term from Nepal Bhasa, Yne.

Present

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.

Geography

The city is located in the northwestern part of Kathmandu Valley. The Kathmandu Valley covers an area of 218 sq. miles. It is situated at 1336 m above the sea level. "Bagmati", "Bishnumati", "Dhobikhola", and "Tukucha" rivers wind through the city.

Administrative divisions

The metropolitan has been divided into around 5 sectors by metropolitan authorities as follows [ Ward Profiles, Kathmandu Metropolitan City ]

Central sector

The central sector consists of wards 1, 5, 11, 31, 32 and 33.

East sector

The east sector consists of wards 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 34 and 35.

North sector

The north sector consists of wards 2, 3, 4, 16, 29.

City core

. This is the most densely populated part of the city. This part consists of most of the historical and cultural monuments of the city.

West sector

The west sector consists of wards 13, 14 and 15.

Demographics

According to 2001 census, there are 235,387 households in the metropolitan citycite web | accessdate = July 13 |accessyear=2007 | url = http://www.cbs.gov.np/Population/National%20Report%202001/VDC.pdf |title=Census Nepal 2001] . Kathmandu metropolitan authorities estimate the number of people living in the city to be around 1,081,845 people [ [http://www.cbs.gov.np/Population/National%20Report%202001/default.htm National Report 2001 ] ] The largest ethnic groups are Newars, Brahmins and Kshetris. The major languages are Nepali and Nepal Bhasa. The major religions are Hinduism and Buddhism.

Government

The city is looked after by Kathmandu metropolitan office located at Bagdarbar. The city hosts Singhadarbar, the government seat of Nepal (with office of Prime Minister, Supreme Court and Senate). Most of the ministries are present in the Singha Darbar premises. The Royal Palace is located in central part of city in ward number 1.

Economy

Kathmandu houses most of the banks, business houses, offices, organizations and share market of Nepal. The busiest economic centers are New Road of Kathmandu, Ason, Putalisadak and Darbar Marg. New Road is regarded as financial hub with presence of most of the banks in this street.

Freak Street and Thamel are main tourist areas important for tourism.

Cultural impact

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).

Numerous works of literature have been set in Kathmandu, including Kim Stanley Robinson's 1989 work, "Escape from Kathmandu".

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.

Gallery



Kathmandu in Popular Music

Kathmandu, mostly due to its popularity among Hippies, has been represented in various albums and songs including:

*"Katmandu", a song by Bob Seger.
*"Dum Maro Dum", a song in the movie, Hare Rama Hare Krishna by Asha Bhosle.
*"Our Shangrila", a song by Mark Knopfler.
*"Shangrila", a song by The Kinks.
*"Kathmandu", a song by Cat Stevens.
*"Tráfico por Katmandú" by Fito Páez.
*"Katmandu", an American heavy metal band featuring Dave King and Mandy Meyer.
*"Nobody Told Me", a 1984 song by John Lennon with the line "There's a little yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu". This is a quotation from the 1911 poem "The Green Eye of the Yellow God" by John Milton Hayes.
*"A Passage to Bangkok", a song by Rush from the album 2112. "...Pulling into Katmandu, smoke rings fill the air. Perfumed by a Nepal night, the Express gets you there..."

Sister cities

*flagicon|USA Eugene, Oregon, USA
*flagicon|Japan Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
*flagicon|China Xi'an, People's Republic of China
*flagicon|Myanmar Yangon, Burma
*flagicon|Belarus Minsk, Belarus
*flagicon|North Korea P'yŏngyang, North Korea

See also

*Tribhuvan International Airport
*Kathmandu Valley

Footnotes

External links

*
* [http://www.mapmandu.com Explore and discover Kathmandu on a digital Map]
* [http://www.colorfulnepal.com/world-heritage-sites.html Information on Cultural Heritage in Kathmandu With Pictures]
* [http://indigoarchitects.net/Live/Nepal-Kathmandu-Hyatt_Regency_Kathmandu-2064986-3.html Images of Hyatt Regency, Kathmandu]
* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/ghintang Flickr.com - Sights & Scenes from Kathmandu]
* [http://www.explorenepal.com Weather in Kathmandu and more]


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