Central (Madhyamanchal) Region
As one of the five development regions of Nepal, the Central (Madhyamanchal) Region incorporates the city of Kathmandu, which is the capital of both the region and the country. Kathmandu, and the beautiful Kathmandu Valley are among Nepal's most popular tourist destinations, with many tours and trekking routes into the surrounding area starting from the city. Kathmandu is also an important commercial center and a sacred place for pilgrims who travel from far and wide to attend various religious festivals and to worship at its many temples.
Located in the Chitwan Valley of the Central Region of Nepal, the vibrant city of Bharatpur has a number of attractions that are enjoyed by local and international visitors, including the renowned Chitwan National Park and Bish Hazar Lake. Historic and cultural attractions include the Diyalo Bangala Palace and Kasrra Palace, as well as the Bageshwori, Kalika and Ganeshthan Temples. Referred to as the 'City of Culture' and 'Nepal's Cultural Gem', the city of Bhaktapur incorporated the Durbar Square, an area incorporating palaces, monasteries and temples and offering a panoramic view of the Himalaya Mountains.
The city of Bhairawa (also known as Siddharthanagar) in the south of the Central Region is the gateway to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha and an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Lalitpur is an ancient city located south-east of Kathmandu, which abounds with Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments, as well as museums offering insight into Nepal's two most predominant religions – all well worth visiting.
Nagarkot offers visitors the most spectacular views of the Kathmandu Valley, Mount Everest and the Indrawati River Valley, and is a popular trekking destination. With all motorized traffic banned from the city center, Janakpur is a pleasure to explore, and has such a strong Indian influence that visitors may be forgiven for thinking they were in India and not Nepal.
Other towns and cities in the Central Region (Madhyamanchal) of Nepal include Khokana, Hetauda, Harisiddhi, Godavari, Daman, Panauti, Sankhu and Thankot. Each town, city and village in Nepal has a charm of its own, which is very evident in the Central Region (Madhyamanchal). They do however share a common thread in their appreciation for their historic, cultural and spiritual heritage as displayed through their many monuments, temples and museums.