Kathmandu is the capital and largest city of the mountainous nation of Nepal. The city is nestled about 1400 meters above the sea level and is surrounded by four major mountains that include; Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun, and Chandragiri. Below are a few facts that will help you understand the city more if you are planning on visiting it.
1. People in Kathmandu, and indeed the whole of the country do not greet each other with a handshake. They touch their palms and bow saying 'Namaste' which is translated to mean 'I salute the God in you'.
2. Kathmandu was once known as 'Kantipur'. This is translated as the 'City of Glory'. The name was perhaps informed by the many monasteries and temples in the city.
3. Kathmandu is one of the capitals around the world with the slowest internet speed at 256 kbps. Many ISPs have been trying to improve the speeds but the geography of the city is a major hindrance.
4. Kathmandu has the densest UNESCO listed World Heritage Sites among the capitals of the world. Within a radius of 15 kilometers you will be able to visit Pashupatinath, the Swayambhunath, Boudha Stupa, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar square.
5. The slogan ‘Unity in Diversity’ is in a class of its own in Kathmandu. Do not be surprised to get big numbers for an event you thought is 'backwater'. The people of Kathmandu stick together.
6. What is the shape of your national flag? I bet it is Quadrilateral. Well, not the National flag of Nepal. It is said to be the most mathematical flag...Frankly, I can't tell what the shape is - just Google it.
7. The Flag has two triangles. One triangle has the sun embedded on it and the other has the moon embedded. The two triangles represent the Himalayan Mountains and two major of the major religions followed here - Hinduism and Buddhism.
8. I am most inspired by this...China and India were ruled by foreigners, but the Kathmandu Ghukas were never conquered. The People of Nepal have never been ruled by foreigners...how about that?
9. The most famous street in Kathmandu is called the Freak Street where the 60s and 70s hippies used to live.
10. Beware! Touching anything with your feet in Nepal and Kathmandu in particular is considered offensive. They say 'When in Rome, do like Romans'. In Nepal, do like the Nepalese.
Nepal is a country of records. It has the highest mountain in the world, the highest lake in the world, the highest concentration of world heritage sites in the world and many more. Make Kathmandu your launching pad and the rest of the country should be easy to explore.