Mahendra Park

Around the Kathmandu Valley

You will have to use your imagination to envision the former glory of the 18th-century gardens at Balaju, now known as Mahendra Park, just beyond the Ring Rd. Although the gardens are faded and untidy, many local Hindus swing by to pay their respects at the cluster of shrines in the park's northeast corner. During the Baishak Asnan festival in April, pilgrims parade from Swayambhunath to wash in the waters emerging from the Baise Dhara (22 Waterspouts) inside the park.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Around the Kathmandu Valley attractions

1. Shobabaghwati Temple

1.28 MILES

This somewhat gaudy temple on the banks of the Vishnumati River can be visited on the walk between Kathmandu and Swayambhunath.

2. Bijeshwari Temple

1.34 MILES

This minor courtyard temple can be visited on the walk from Kathmandu to Swayambhunath but it's not worth a specific visit.

3. Indrani Temple

1.35 MILES

This pagoda-style temple on the banks of the Vishnumati River is surrounded by ghats used for occasional cremations.

4. Eastern Stairway

1.42 MILES

There are two ways to approach Swayambhunath Temple, but by far the most atmospheric is the stone pilgrim stairway that climbs the eastern end of the hill…

5. Western Stupa

1.42 MILES

If you follow either path leading west from the main stupa, you will reach a smaller stupa near the tourist parking. Just behind is a gompa surrounded by…

6. Swayambhunath Stupa

1.43 MILES

The Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the crowning glories of Kathmandu Valley architecture. This perfectly proportioned monument rises through a whitewashed…

7. Great Thunderbolt

1.43 MILES

At the top of the eastern stairway is an enormous, brass-plated dorje (thunderbolt), one of the core symbols of Tibetan Buddhism. Known as a vajra in…

8. Stupa Platform

1.44 MILES

The great stupa is surrounded on all sides by a veritable sculpture garden of religious monuments. Several buildings were destroyed by the earthquake and…