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NAGARKOT — Located 30 km to the east of Kathmandu on the valley rim, Nagarkot is for those on the lookout for Himalayan scenery and rural serenity. Nagarkot, situated at an elevation of 2,175 m, provides a panorama of five of the world’s 10 tallest peaks – Everest (8,848 m), Lhotse (8,516 m), Cho Oyu (8,201 m), Makalu (8,463 m) and Manaslu (8,163 m) – and many other lesser summits. Visitors also go to Nagarkot to watch the stunning sunrise and sunset.It is a favorite weekend getaway for Kathmanduites to beat the heat during summers and to enjoy, if there is, the snowfall during winters. The accessibility, only 30 to 45 minutes’ drive from Kathmandu, and tourist facilities, play a part.Surrounded by terraced hillsides and picturesque houses, the hilltop resort is an idyllic escape – far from the noise and din of Kathmandu’s city life. Bird watching is a joy in the forests here. Short hiking options abound. You can take a walk down from Nagarkot along a ridge to the temple of Changu Narayan – with views of Sankhu village to the right and Bhaktapur to the left. Another trail leads south from Nagarkot to Nala and Banepa on the Arniko Highway to the Tibetan border.
Changu Nayayan –The Changu Narayan Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is perched atop a small hill to the east of Kathmandu in Bhaktapur district. It is one of the best known Vishnu – Narayan is another name of Vishnu – temples in Nepal and is visited by a large number of devotees especially during Harishayani Ekadashi in the month of Ashadh and Haribodhini Ekadashi in Kartik, over the four month period when Lord Vishnu is supposed to retire to sleep.
At the front of the temple is a beautiful statue of Garuda dating back to 5th century Lichchhavi period. This Garuda is unique in that it resembles a human being except that it has wings unlike other Garuda statues found elsewhere. The Garuda is the baahan (carrier) of Lord Vishnu, and it is interesting to note that all Vishnu temples have the celestial bird seated on its knee with folded palms in front of the temple.
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