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.