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The capital and greatest city of Nepal, Kathmandu, is unlike any other place on earth. The vibrant energy that permeates the streets contrasts sharply with the deteriorating buildings in the center of the city. Incense-scented air drifts from shops as shoppers and street vendors go about their daily business against a background of ancient temples and sculpted statues.

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Along with Bhaktapur and Patan, Kathmandu was one of three rival royal cities for a number of centuries. These three are currently located close to one another and almost overlap.

Durbar Square, the largest of the palace squares in the three royal capitals and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has long been the focal point of Kathmandu. Here, one can find temples and monuments of various sizes, styles, and religious beliefs.

Kathmandu’s Durbar Square was extensively devastated in the 2015 earthquake, with many buildings demolished beyond repair, but it still remains a great site to visit.

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