Filming in Kathmandu

Kathmandu Valley, the place of living God is a popular and unique destination for film shooting by its culture and architecture. The Valley is divided into three ancient cities Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. It has various combination of culture and heritage site from 5th century. The valley is hosting by Seven UNESCO world Heritage sites. It has more than 130 important monuments. It has several holy pilgrimage spot for Himdu and Buddhist. The city also called "The City of Temple". The wooden craft by the Newar craftsman is really remarkable, every temple, palaces even houses are full of craft.

Every year many film and documentary companies form Europe, Canada, America and others come to Kathmandu for feature film, commercial, Tv serial, survival documentaries based on these cultural and Heritage site of Kathmandu valey. Little Buddha a 1993 feature film By acclaimed Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci was largely shot in Kathmandu Valley and it made the director's return to the East after the Emperor.

Locations in Kathmandu

We have introduce here some famous and worthable locations here.

Filming in Nepal

It is a historic seat of royalty. The durbar square, with its old temples and palaces, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of the people. It is here that kings of Nepal are crowned and their coronations solemnized. The skillfully-built temples and palaces, delicately-engraved stone and metal images, carved wooden columns and pillars, and the history laden shrines and chaityas stand testimony of the Nepali artistic achievements. Interesting things to see here are: Hanuman Dhoka (Old Royal Palace), Taleju Temple built by King Mahendra Malla in 1549 AD, the temple of Kal Bhairav (the God of destruction), Nautalle Durbar (9 Storey palace), Coronation Nasal Chowk, The Gaddi Baithak, the statue of King Pratap Malla, Temple of Kumari, Kastamandap Temple (House of wood, is the building which gave Kathmandu its name), Image of Kal Bhairav, the Jagannath Temple and many others.

Patan Durbar square
Situated in the heart of the Patan city, Patan Durbar Square constitutes the focus of visitor’s attraction. The square is full of ancient Palaces, temples and shrines, noted for exquisite carving. The Patan Durbar Square consists of three main chowks or courtyards, the Central Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Keshar Narayan Chowk. The central chowk holds in its center a masterpiece of stone architecture, the Royal Bath called Tushahity. Interesting things to see here are: Patan Museum, Krishna Mandir, Rato Machhindranath Temple, Mahaboudha Temple, The Asokan Stupas , Hirana Varna Mahavihar, Kumbheshwor, Jagatnarayan Temple, Rudra Varna Mahavihar, Accheswor Mahavihar and many more.

Filming in Nepal
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the plaza in front of the royal palace of the old Bhaktapur Kingdom. The golden gate is the entrance to the main courtyard of the the Palace of 55 Windows. Built by King Ranjit Malla, the gate is one of the most beautiful and richly carved specimens of its kind in the entire world. The gate is embellished with deities and monsters with marvelous intricacy. The Palace of 55 Windows was built in 1700 AD. Among the brick walls in their gracious setting and sculptural design, is a balcony of 55 windows. This balcony is a masterpiece of wood carving. The stone temple of Batsala Devi which is also located in the Durbar Square is full of intricate carvings. This temple also sets a beautiful example of Shikhara style architecture in Nepal. There is a bronze bell on the terrace of the temple which is also known as the “Bell of Barking Dogs”. This colossal bell, placed in 1737 AD, was rung to signal curfew during those days. The main square of the city contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces like the Lion Gate, the statue of king Bhupatindra Malla, the Picture Gallery, the Bastala temple, etc.

Nepal Filming Tour
Swyambunath Stupa is a hilltop temple complex situated on the northwestern boundary of Kathmandu, with panoramic views of the valley and city. Its main feature is a Buddhist stupa, the Maha Chaitya, reputed to be more than 2,000 years old. Located in a lovely little hill rock Swoyambhu Nath Stupa is one of the most fascinating architectural jewels of the world. This great Stoup is said to have been built around 250 B.C. It is indeed listed a World Heritage for Site to prove that it serves as the nerve center of faithful worship for all the devout philosophy of Bajrayan in particular and honors Lord Adi Buddha. Generally a holy memorial site Stupa represents a typical Buddhist architecture. Its main feature the white dome is identified with a spotless pure jewel of Nirvana and a thirteen tiered golden spire in conical shape surmounted on the dome. Underneath this towering structure are a pair of all seeing eyes of Buddha painted on all four sides of the Stupa. The Stupa of Swoyambhunath stands on a typically stylized lotus mandala base-a long time ago believed to have originated from a legendary lake of Kathmandu Valley. As the ancient legend goes Kathmandu Valley was a lake a long time ago.

Kathmandu Filming Tour
Pasupatinath is considered one of the holiest shrines of all the Hindu temples. It is pagoda style Hindu temple with gilt roofing and richly carved silver doors dedicated to Lord Shiva The temple has remained the presiding deity of ruling Nepalese Royalty. Located on the banks of the Bagmati river, this two tiered magnificent golden temple with four triple silver doorways is unique example of the Nepalese temple architecture. It is one of the largest Hindu temple complex in South Asia with hundreds of Shiva lingams, shrines icons of various Hindu god and goddess insides. This temple site occupies an area of 281 hectares in total. The main entrance of this temple is in the western side facing a small street of Deopatan market. As non Hindus are not allowed to enter this temple courtyard. They are advised to go on the other side of the river in the East to have a glimpse of the temple complex. In the middle of the spring (Feb.-March) every year there occurs a festival called Shivaratri. The world Shivaratri means the holy night of Lord Shiva. On this day many devotees visit the Pashupati Nath temple and make the ceremonial fire. Most of the devotees spend the night offering prayers to Shiva. This festival attracts tens of thousand of pilgrims from India besides the locals. Historically pre-Christian era this temple seems to have its origin away back to the early Kirat period.

Nepal Filming
Boudhanath is a colossal stupa north east of Pashupatinath and lies a further 2 km by road. One of the oldest and the biggest Buddhist monuments ever built in Nepal, Boudhanath is an imposing structure standing some 36 meters. This is declared to stand as the largest Buddhist shrine of South Asia. The Stupa stands on the massive three level mandala style Platforms surrounded by colourful private family houses. The basic feature of this great stupa is very much like that of Swoyambhunath stupa except its finial displaying. It is much bigger than Swoyambhu stupa and lies on the valley floor whereas the former one stands on the hill top. This stupa is said to have been built in 5th century A. D. The site is considered very much like Mecca for the Tibetan Buddhists and every year tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the Himalayan region visit the stupa. Some of the gompas surrounding Boudha are Sakyapa Gompa, Chinya-Lama Gompa, Nyingmapa Gompa, Kargyupa Gompa, Gelugpa Gompa etc. According to a very popular legend long time ago the kingdom of Kathmandu was under terrifying draught. King Dharma Deva was very worried. An astrologer advised him that only the sacrifice of an ideal man with 32 virtues in front of the dry royal water spout could make the rain fall in the country. And in the following night he commanded his son to go to the dry water spout inside the royal palace compound at mid night and behead the person shrouded in white robe without looking at him. The Prince obeyed his father but to his great horror only to find it was none other than his own father. In order to atone the big sin and in removal the prince said to have built this great stupa. As an entry point of ancient Nepal-Tibet trade rout, the site is popularly frequented by Tibetan visitors. During Lhosar festival the pilgrims worship the Buddhist deities, light the increase and butter lamp day and night. Every twelve year a special ceremony is observed with great gusto and fervor . During that time they dance, play musical instruments, chant and hymns.

Changu Narayan, with an ancient Hindu temple complex inside an enclosed courtyard, located approximately 13 kms east-north-east from Kathmandu, the temple is also on a hilltop, at an altitude of 1550 metres above sea level. Narayan, or Vishnu, is the preserver of creation to Hindus. Situated on the beautiful hil, the square two storeyed temple stands in the centre of a brickpaved courtyard, with the main structure raised on a three tier diminishing plinth, with doors on all four sides. The doors have pairs of carvings of animals such as lions, horses, griffins, and elephants with the main western door richly carved in brass, with a brass tympanum above the door. The roof is supported by 24 struts or brackets, which serve as decoration and to support the temple roof. His temple is often described as the most ancient temple in Kathmandu, based on a fifth century inscription on a stone pillar discovered inside the temple grounds. The Changu Narayan complex and associated statues, carvings and artifacts cover sixteen hundred years of Newari art and in effect chart the cultural development of the indigenous Newari people. The courtyard has many other temples such as that of Kileshwar Shiva, Chinnamasta Devi, and other figures like that of Garuda. The temple and surrounding buildings exhibit some of the finest stone, wood, and metal craft in the Valley. It is therefore sacred to adherents of both religions and attracts.

Kali is a bloodthirsty Hindu Goddess. This particular temple lies in the southernmost suburbs of the Valley, beyond Furping downward in a solitary ravine. So she is termed ‘Dachhinkali’ meaning South Kali. The important days for religious pilgrimage include Tuesdays and Saturdays. A ritual worship attached by animal sacrifice would not be an uncommon scene here the practice of which is totally against Buddhism in the birth land of Lord Buddha. The poor victims include the fowls, birds and sheep in general.

Situated in the northern suburbs of the Valley just at the foot of Mt. Shibapur, this is an enchanting Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Bishnu Narayan. So the locality is also known as Narayanthan. He lies in a bed of serpents amidst the pious pool and seems to float on water. The surrounding pond actually represents the sea. The reclining statue was built in the 5th century A.D.The season of religious celebration here takes place right after the festival of Tihar. Although it is a renowned spot of worship, the reigning king of Nepal (may it be contemporary or any Hindu monarch) may not visit this place for reasons particularly unknown. Thus to please the king a replica of it has been built elsewhere if he wishes to visit it much.

As the tourist district of Kathmandu, Thamel bustles with activity late into the night. It is a mere10-minute walk from the center of Kathmandu, yet completely different from the rest of the city. Thamel caters entirely to tourists with its scores of hotels, rows of restaurants and bars, book shops, inviting souvenir shops, cyber cafes and travel agencies. All that a tourist needs can be found here, even friends and traveling companions.

Once the center of old Kathmandu, the Asan market square is located about midway on the only diagonal thoroughfare in Kathmandu that links Durbar Square with Durbar Marg. At Asan, there are six roads radiating in all directions. The three-storied pagoda style Annapurna Temple of Annapurna, the Goddess of Grains, presides over the ever-lively bazaar. Asan is still an important shopping center and one of the busiest market places with shops selling anything from imported spices to kitchenware, fresh vegetables, Chinese goods, hardware and clothes.

The soaring landmark of Kathmandu, the Dharahara tower is 50.5 m high and was built by then Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa in 1832. It is open to anyone who can go up after paying the entrance fee. The 360 degree astounding view of the Kathmandu Valley is well worth the long climb up the spiraling staircase.

Literally meaning Lion Palace, it is a grand imposing palace built on the neo-classical style surrounded by a colossal compound. It was built by His Excellency Maharaja Chandra Shamsher S.J.B. Rana- the 5th Rana Prime Minister. It once stood as the private residence of the Rana Premiers till 1950 but now remains the Secretariat Building of His majesty’s Government. The Parliament (including the Upper House and the Lower House), the Radio Station, the Television Station, etc. are all located in the very premises.

This is located on the way to Singha Durbar, between Bhimsen Stambha and Bhadrakali temple.The memorial arch contains the effigies of four political leaders who were mercilessly martyred in 1940. Two were hung and two were shot. They include Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Shukra Raj Joshy, Dashrath Chand and Ganga Lal Shrestha. The fatherly statue of late King Tribhuwan Bir Bikram Shah Deb appears high in the middle. Late King Tribhuwan is solely held responsible to lead the Historical revolution of 1950- 51 for laying the foundation of today’s democratic system, virtually replacing the cruel family autocracy of the Ranas.

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