Kathmandu is built in the northwestern region of Kathmandu Valley, an ancient lake basin with flat terrain and fertile soils. It occupies 19.6 square meters of area. The city lies north of the Bagmati River which is the main river of the Kathmandu Valley. Besides being the capital city and the administrative headquarters of Nepal, Kathmandu is also the headquarters of the Kathmandu District. The city was founded in 900 BCE, and it became the capital of the unified Kingdom of Nepal during the reign of King Prithvi Narayan Shah. The Shah dynasty ruled Nepal from 1768 until the monarch rule was abolished in 2008. When Nepal became a republic in 2008, Kathmandu was designated as the seat of government.

About 2 million people live within the limits of the city, and a total of around 6 million reside in its urban agglomeration. The agglomeration comprises towns like Kirtipur, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, and Madhyapur Thimi all of which are located in the Kathmandu Valley. The residents mostly speak Nepali and Nepal Bhasa, and many of them, especially those who work in the service sector also understand English. The dominant religion in Kathmandu is Hinduism, constituting 70% of the population. Buddhism comprises 20% percent while other religions take up 10%. Kathmandu has a relatively high literacy rate of 78%.

Kathmandu was named Asia’s fastest upcoming travel destination by TripAdvisor in 2013, and third in the world. It is center of Nepal’s art, culture, and history. Several hundred thousand visitors tour the city annually. As the gateway of the Nepalese Himalayas, Kathmandu is visited by thousands of tourists and explorers who come to Nepal to experience the natural grandeur of the mountain ranges. The neighborhoods of Thamel, Jhamel, and Jhochhen Tol are packed with amenities for tourists. Kathmandu also receives Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims from across the globe. Tourists also visit Kathmandu to experience the rich cultural heritage of Nepal. Kathmandu Valley is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites comprising three Durbar Squares, two Buddhist stupas, and two Hindu temples.

Kathmandu Valley, where the city is located, lies in a Warm Temperate Zone. Parts of Kathmandu found within the lower altitudes experience a humid subtropical climate while those within the higher elevations have a subtropical highland climate. Days are warm in the city while nights and mornings are relatively cooler. Rainfall in Kathmandu is influenced by Monsoon winds with 65% of it falling between June and August. The city receives more than 1000 millimeters of rain annually with July and August being the wettest months. The annual average humidity of Kathmandu is 75%.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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