Perched on a rock saddle, 5 km south-west of Kathmandu is the picturesque town of Kirtipur also known as the “City of Glory”. Established in the 12th century, it later became an independent kingdom and was the last stronghold of the Malla Dynasty that fell to the invading army from Gorkha. Remains of the original fortification can still be seen here. The Bagh Bhairav Temple still has weapons used during the last battle nailed to its sides.
A majority of the inhabitants are farmers, and most others are merchants. Besides farming, traditional occupations are spinning and weaving. Kirtipur gives the visitor a feeling of walking back into Nepal’s past. Some of the multi- storied houses still have exquisite carved windows
Legend has it that Kathmandu valley was once a massive lake, until the deity Manjushri cut a path through the rock at Chobar with his sword, thus releasing the waters. This natural wonder is located south-west of the city and the waters of the Bagmati River can be seen flowing through Chobar gorge and out of the valley.
The famous Buddhist temple known as Adinath Lokeshwar is located here. The most remarkable features of this triple roofed structure – built in the 15th century are the numerous water vessels, pots and pans nailed to boards all along the building. Facing the shrine, a stone shikhara is believed to be the entrance to a stone cave that cuts through the hill, emerging at the Chobar Cave.
The temple at Dakshinakali is dedicated to the ferocious Kali who is one of the most powerful mother goddesses in the Hindu pantheon. She gives will power and energy to those who come to her and she loves sacrifices. The six armed goddess, trampling a male human, stands in the company of Ganesh, seven Ashta Matrikas and a stone image of Bhairav. The shrine is decorated with brass tridents and a canopy adorned with snakes. In the inner sanctum, is a black stone idol of Kali. The temple is tantric in nature and twice a week, a large number of animals are sacrificed here. Saturdays are good days to visit as there is always a massive crowd of worshippers who come from all corners of Nepal to pray and offer sacrifices. Fittingly, this is a shrine to the Dakshin or ‘southern’ Kali.
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