Gorkha in Nepal
|Map of gorkha|
Gorkha holds a special place in Nepal's heart as the birthplace of its modern history. It is etched in lore as the place where the legendary King Prithvi Narayan Shah rallied his troops in the 18th century and led them valiantly to conquer the entire Kathmandu Valley, thereby unifying the country into one kingdom. The land has been kept largely undisturbed, and it still functions as an important pilgrimage destination especially for the Newari who believe that the Shah and his descendants are in fact the god Vishnu's reincarnations.
Of course, there is no doubt that the highlight of any visit to Gorkha is the palace where Prithvi Narayan Shah was born - the Gorkha Durbar. Only an hour's hike from the downtown Gorkha, over a fortified hillock, it sits at a height of 1670m, offering a bird's eye view of the former kingdom and the famed Himalayan Mountains. Visitors will find the palace almost exactly as it was when first built, largely due to excellent preservation and restoration. It features a distinct Newari-style architecture, with latticed windows, exquisite woodwork and detailed carvings.
The only downside to visiting Gorkha Durbar is that visitors are usually not allowed to enter the palace proper, particularly the second floor. However, one could pretty much see everything inside by peering through the windows. In fact, one can make out the throne upon which Prithvi Narayan Shah once sat, and even the so-called "eternal flame" lit by the king himself after unifying Nepal, which has actually been burning continuously for decades. There are lots of things to see outside, too, such as a temple dedicated to the goddess Gorakhkali, and a nearby cave which houses a statue of the Tantric sage Gorakhnath.
One can also decide to visit Gorkha's other attraction, the Manakamana Temple. A prime pilgrimage spot for many Hindu devotees, it is a monument made in honor of the goddess of aspirations who, they believe, will fulfill all their wishes. Nestled on a scenic ridge reached only by cable car from the capital Kathmandu, it attracts thousands of visitors daily, especially during festivals. Tourists in Gorkha can also head to Mount Manaslu, reputed to be the eighth highest peak on the planet.
Places to visit Gorkha
Visit the Gorkha palace here to begin your sightseeing of the region.Climb the palace steps from the bottom of the hill, all the way to the top, climbing about one thousand seven hundred steps (1700), in about two hours. That's some hiking to do! If you get tired sit down on a step or think how much easier the trip down will be! You will be glad you got to the top. On a clear sky day, you can view Himalayan range including spectacular view of Manaslu and Himalchuli Mountains, and panoramic views of the valleys.
Also view the palace building, one of Nepal's historical landmark, some buildings have interesting wood carvings portraying various romantic scenes. Also viwe the temple of Goddess Gorakhkali residing on the west side of the palace. To view sunrise from the palace, climb very early in the morning.
Gorkha Bazaar is primarily a cobbled street market place where by people from neighboring hill dwellings come to trade. There are a few temples near about, but not much. Yet, it is worth a visit as it provides a very good vista of the quiet charm that soaks a typical hill village of Nepal.
Gorakhnath Cave :
Ten meters below the palace's southern side, is the sacred cave temple of Gorkhanath. The cave is is carved out of the solid rock and is among the most important religious sites for mainstream Brahmins and Chhetris of Nepal. Gorkha is also an alternate starting point for a few trekking routes in the region. Gorkha-Trisuli is an easy three day walk along unspoiled Nepali country side. One can also walk a long day's walk to Besishahar, which is the usual starting point for Annapurna and Manang area treks. One can also walk through Besishahar area to Pokhara in a four days.
It is situated at a 20 minutes walking distance from Gorkha palace.There is a viewing platform at an altitude of 1520 meters in Upallokot from where the spectacular view of Gorkha palace and the sliver shining snow-fed peaks can be enjoyed.
On a beautiful ridge south-east of the township of Gorkha lies the holy temple of Manakamana, the holy goddess of aspirations. It is a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus. Manakamana is 4 hour's walk uphill from Anbu Khaireni on Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway.
The new democratic constitution of the kingdom was promulgated on November 9, 1990. Nepal is one of the founder members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation SAARC of which the third summit was held in Kathmandu in November 1987. Visiting the Manakamana Temple by cable car is one of the major attractions of the region.