The small quiet town of Dhulikhel, known for traditional Newari crafts, lies 30 km east of Kathmandu at an altitude of 1,470 m. You could climb a little to see the mountains, from Cho Oyu in the east to Himalchuli in the west. This town is popular for its great mountain views and typical Newari culture.
Namobuddha (meaning “Hail the Buddha”)
A sacred site steeped in legend, Namobuddha has drawn devout pilgrims from far and wide. Drive one hour to Dhulikhel which is 30 km east of Kathmandu on an ancient trade route to Tibet. The trek to Namobuddha starts from the Tudhikhel (1,600 m) from where a rough trail climbs steeply to Kavre, a substantial village which lends its name to this district. A dirt road leads up to Namobuddha but is not always in good condition. The trail avoids this road, and passes through forested areas and scattered villages inhabited by Brahmins, Chhetris, Tamangs and Newars. In clear weather there are good views to the north and peaks such as Gang Chenpo (6,390 m) Dorje Lhakpa (6,990 m) Phurbi Chyachu (6,658 m) and Gauri Shanker (7,145 m) are visible. After a further two-hour gradual uphill walk, the ancient Buddhist pilgrimage site of Namobuddha is reached. There is a small village around the stupa and the top of the hill is adorned with prayer flags, chortens (chaityas) and a monastery. Legend has it that a Boddhisatva sacrificed himself to a starving tigress to feed her and her cubs.
One of the finest, purely Newar settlements outside Kathmandu valley is the village of Panauti. Built at the confluence of two rivers within a small valley, this settlement has fine examples of early temple architecture. The Indreshwar Mahadev Temple is of fine proportions and has exquisite carvings that represent early Newari architecture. The roof struts, showing incarnations of Shiva are matchless in their serenity.
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