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Exploring lesser-known places and attractions of Kathmandu

April 28, 2024

Dwelling in the core of Nepal, Kathmandu throbs with vibrancy and cultural richness, where old meets new in a harmonious blend. This city is bursting at the seams with lively markets, exciting festivals, and traditions that have stood the test of time. It is a colorful mosaic of cultures, giving you a sight into Nepal’s diverse way of life. Explore this city and you’ll find a place that openly shares its heart, inviting you to join the festivities for a hands-on special charm experience.

While Kathmandu boasts iconic sites like Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Thamel, Narayanhiti Palace, Boudhanath, and Swayambhunath Stupa, numerous hidden gems await being discovered. Join us on this blog as we discover the secret lanes,local hangouts and lesser known places of Kathmandu that reveal the authentic essence of this beautiful city. 

Uncovering lesser-known places of Kathmandu

Beyond the usual tourist spots, Kathmandu has many hidden gems worth exploring.These lesser-known places of Kathmandu is a treasure full of peaceful courtyards with beautiful wood carvings, and quiet shrines made in localities. 

Exploring these places isn’t just about discovering hidden beauty; it’s about connecting with Kathmandu’s emotions. Every quiet courtyard, ancient temple, or narrow lane holds a story of the past and tradition. 

These hidden places of Kathmandu offer you authentic cultural experiences, serene retreats, photography opportunities, local interactions, off-the-wall adventures, local cuisine indulgence, educational experiences, personal growth, and so on. 

Besides that, one can find heaps of natural beauty within the city, offering a revitalizing contrast to urban life. By visiting lesser-known places, you are also contributing directly to local businesses and communities. The journey of discovering lesser-known places helps us escape the tourist trail by crafting a more authentic experience of Kathmandu, which is not harmed by mass tourism. 

In this guide, we’ll sail across the maze-like streets and reveal the hidden charms that often go overlooked. Whether you’re a seeking explorer looking for new experiences or a culture fan eager to learn more, this guide will introduce you to an appealing side of Kathmandu that will leave you enchanted.

Some Lesser Known nearby villages and towns in Kathmandu


Panauti, a historic town situated approximately 32 kilometers southeast of Kathmandu, Nepal, holds massive importance as one of the most artistic towns in the country, boasting a wealth of cultural heritage. Positioned at the meeting point of two rivers, Roshi and Punyamati, it enjoys a scenic location that adds to its charm. Panauti is a canvas of classic Newari architecture, with its maze of narrow passages, old brick homes, and fabulously carved temples. The town is mainly home to Newars, known for their unique customs, art, and food. Agriculture, especially rice farming in the surrounding fields, is the spine of the local economy, supporting the community’s way of life.


In Panauti, a must-see landmark is the Indreshwar Temple. This ancient temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is a jewel in the crown of Newari artistry, showcasing superb wood carvings and sophisticated designs. The temple area, with its smaller shrines and quiet ponds, creates a peaceful vibe perfect for religious and cultural activities. Indreshwar Temple is an important Hindu pilgrimage site and pulls in visitors keen on discovering Nepal’s architectural and religious heritage.


Pharping is a full-of-life town around 23 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu, Nepal that is well-known for its religious significance and rich culture. It is specifically famous for its Buddhist and Hindu pilgrimage sites, attracting both spiritual chasers and tourists keen to explore these sacred places.


Pharping is a treasure of sacred wonders, with attractions like the Asura Cave, where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) once found inner peace, and the nearby Yangleshö Cave Monastery, a serene spot for meditation. The star of the show is the Dakshinkali Temple, dedicated to the powerful goddess Kali, where devotees come with belief. Pharping is a diverse community where people from different backgrounds, like Newars, Tibetans, and Tamangs, add to local culture.

Visitors can explore old monasteries, see traditional rituals, and hike picturesque trails with mountain sights. You can also relish local food, join religious ceremonies, and experience Pharping’s divine atmosphere, making it a special place to visit near Kathmandu.

Balthali Village

Balthali Village, located about 40 kilometers southeast of Kathmandu, Nepal, is a peaceful hilltop haven with magnificent views of the Himalayas and lush green scenery. Major key attractions include peaceful strolls through terraced fields, engaging with the friendly Tamang community people, and exploring nearby temples such as Namo Buddha and Khopasi.

In Balthali, travelers can get on adventures like hiking through pine forests, spotting birds, and engaging in genuine Nepali village life. You can also hold the ropes of the local culture with homestay experiences, tasty Nepali meals, and a peek into rural farming. This soothing village is like a calming oasis away from the busy Kathmandu, perfect for nature lovers and anyone craving an authentic taste of Nepal.

Hidden sights and markets inside Kathmandu

Jamchen Vjaya Stupa

Deep in the heart of Nepal, between lush green valleys and towering peaks, an ancient treasure awaits discovery: the Jamchen Vijaya Stupa. This hidden jewel, with its rich history and spiritual importance, invites travelers to go on a trip beyond time.

You can either go for a drive or hike all the way to reach the stupa. Hiking to Jamchen Vijaya Stupa is one of the most preferred activities by travelers as the hiking trail is short and offers scenic natural beauty.

This stupa represents the typical Newari architectural style, with elaborate carvings and precise craftsmanship. Standing towering and magnificent, the Jamchen Vijaya Stupa has endured the test of time, safeguarding its historical importance for future generations.Visitors to this spectacular location may appreciate the delicate elements of the stupa’s architecture while also learning more about its historical and cultural significance.

Ason Market

Ason Market in Kathmandu is a symphony of old traditions and new businesses. To get there, you can walk, bike, or take a local taxi through the narrow streets of Kathmandu. The best time to visit is in the morning, when the market wakes up with vibrant and colorful stalls and busy hawkers, like a beautiful sunrise coming to life.

Ason Market is a bustling hub where you’ll find many goods like Nepali spices, textiles, and handicrafts, creating a perfect blend of vibrancy and traditions. It’s also a hotspot for delicious Nepali street food, including irresistible momos, bara, and local snacks that are a burst of flavors.

Phulbari Street at Boudha

Located close to the famous Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, the hidden gem, Phulbari Street provides a special shopping experience filled with local charm. To get there, take a short walk from the Boudhanath Stupa. The beautiful narrow lanes are a treat to the eyes and heaven for shopping fanatics. 

In this market, visitors can explore a range of genuine Nepali handicrafts, such as detailed thangka paintings, handmade jewellery, Tibetan singing bowls, prayer flags, and traditional clothing like Dhaka fabrics. It’s a place where you can shop till you drop and even find Buddhist artefacts, incense, and spiritual items to feed your soul. 

In addition to shopping, visitors can soak in the peaceful vibe of Boudha, where watching pilgrims circling the stupa feels like witnessing a timeless ritual. Enjoy delicious Tibetan and Nepali cuisine like Laphing, and T-Momo, at nearby eateries, each dish reflecting upon a flavorful journey. Relax in the serene surroundings, observing local craft workers keeping the tradition alive. Enjoy the rich cultural experience that defines this beautiful market near Boudhanath Stupa, reflecting the vibe of Kathmandu in every flash.

Kumari Ghar

One such gem is the Kumari Ghar. The palace where the Kumari lives as the chosen Devi is like a stunning old castle. The little girl known as the Kumari is said to represent the Hindu goddess Durga in human form. Kumari is selected from the girls aged three to five within the Buddhist Shakya clan of Kathmandu. Only those with 32 fortunate indicators of divinity—mostly related to natural perfection and symbolically important features—are approved by the group of priests after meeting with hundreds of girls. The girls’ horoscopes are checked as well to ensure they match those of  the king.

Kumari Ghar

The Kumari Ghar is a three-story building made of wood and red bricks, with beautifully carved windows, doors, and balconies that faces the courtyard which is inside the Kumari Ghar. As you approach towards the Kumari Ghar, you are greeted by two white lions made up of stone.

The wooden Toran at the doorway showcases the traditional craftsmanship.The central open courtyard of the Kumari Ghar is called the bahal, and it is where guests are welcomed. Its central feature is a stone chaitya that is often seen in Nepal Mandal and is decorated with Pancha Buddhas, or Five Buddhas.

The Toothache Tree

Vaisha Dev, also known as the Toothache Tree, is a well-regarded stump located near Thahiti Tole in Kathmandu, Nepal. Covered in coins nailed by locals in quest of relief from dental issues, this knotted piece of wood is said to originate from the renowned Bangemudha tree.

Located in Kathmandu’s dental district, the site serves as a wishing well for those with toothaches, with offerings made to Vaishya Dev, the god associated with dental conditions. Despite being concealed by coins, the site attracts both worshippers and nearby orthodontists, who purposefully advertise their services to visitors seeking dental care.

Chandragiri Hills Resort: Final Retreat after a day tour in Kathmandu

Walk around the lively Ason Market and discover unique finds near Boudhanath Stupa. Visit the quiet town of Pharping with its blessed sites, including the attention-grabbing Toothache Tree. After a day of exploring Kathmandu’s wonders, retreat to Chandragiri Hills Resort—a scenic hill station where the splendid Himalayas embrace you. Rest and revitalize in this beauty, letting the magnificence of Kathmandu relax your mind and soul.

Chandragiri Hills Resort offers a calm escape with striking mountain views. Enjoy modern facilities, mouth-watering cuisine, and quiet surroundings. Treat yourself to an unforgettable stay, carry back home the beautiful mountain views, and make memories that are worth a lifetime.