Located between China and India, Kathmandu is a metropolis in the heart of the kingdom of Nepal, a land of snow-white mountains and home of the gods.
It was only a few decades ago that ancient Nepal opened its borders. Until then, due to the command of the ruling Gurkha Dynasty, the 'Home of the Divine', was totally isolated.
In the heart of the city is Durbar Square, in which the country’s royalty resided until 1908 and also where the region’s most important festivals take place.
The Shiva-Parvati Temple dates back to the early years of the Shah Dynasty and its five sectioned, portal-like frame contains inscriptions that are thought to be the oldest in the Nepalese language.
The large Jagannath Temple is dedicated to the god, Krishna, and to fend off the prudish Goddess of Lightning, sexual images adorn the edge of the roof.
Built above an impressive array of steps, the mighty Taleju Temple overshadows each of the other temples. The architecture of this 'mountain temple' emphasises the unique importance of the goddess Shiva.
Kumari Ghar is the residence of the living goddess Kumari. For this role, a young girl is duly selected and is disallowed from leaving the palace until puberty, her task being to affirm the king his power.
The customs of the people in this 'Kingdom on the Roof of the World' may seem strange to those from beyond its borders but this land of both jungle and everlasting snow, has developed according to its own rich traditions and beliefs.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one ofthese protected monuments.