Located 5 km to the southwest of Kathmandu, is a small town on a hill named Kirtipur. Initially there were twelve gates to the town. Most parts of the old city are still intact. The people in the surrounding locality are subsist on cottage industries and farming; the Kirtipur Cottage Industry Centre produces and preserves such local handicrafts with the help of local resident weavers. One can get spectacular views of Kathmandu and the mountains from here. Kirtipur is situated on two hills and also the saddle between these two hills. In 1768 when King Prithvi Narayan Shah attacked the valley, Kirtipur with its strategic location, put with fierce resistance to the siege before it could be taken. In his anger due to the resistance, the king ordered that the lips and nose of the male residents be cut off; only those who could play woodwind instruments were spared. This news spread like wildfire throughout the valley and helped to weaken the remaining resistance.
One of the most reputed universities of Nepal, Tribhuvan University, is loavted in Kirtipur. It also houses Nepal's best library with a large selection of books for those who choose to do research and studies.
Temples in Kirtipur
Situated at the base of the two hills is the Bhairab temple dedicated to Lord Bhairab who is deity found in the form of a tiger. This temple is revered by both Hindus and Buddhists alike. Other deities like Vishnu can be found riding a Garud; idols of Ganesh and Kumar can also be seen here. The temple is also decorated with other paraphernalia like swords and shields that belonged to the troops of Kirtipur who were defeated by King Prithvi Narayan Shah. One can witness animal sacrifices on Tuesday and Saturday mornings; such sacrifices are made to appease the deities.
One can make their way up the stone steps by the saddle to reach the Uma Maheshwar Temple which is a triple-roofed structure. The staircase welcomes you a stone elephant on either side. The temples main deities are Shiva and Parbati. Originally built in 1673 and having four roofs, the temple had to be rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1934. Also found here on the top of the southern hill is the Chilanchu Vihara with a central stupa and four other stupas surrounding it.
One can get splendid views from the temple area.
Kirtipur - Accessibility
One can either choose to take a bus or a taxi to Kirtipur ( or even a private rental ) and reach Kirtipur in approximately 45 minutes. However, to really explore the place biking would be an advisable option for those who seek more adventure and accessibility. One can return via Chobar village and then to the Chobar Gorge finally making your way to Patan. Sites like the Thai Temple, Chobar Gorge, Adinath Lokeshwar Temple and Jal Binayak Temple would be an added bonus.