Three cities of Kathmandu Valley

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The three cities of the Kathmandu Valley are

  • Kathmandu
  • Bhaktapur, or Bhadgaon
  • Patan, or Lalitpur

They are the three historical capitals of the three main kingdoms of valley, that have been fighting each other in and out until the conquest of the three cities by the Gorka king Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1768, who is at the origin of Nepal as we know it now, and the rule of the Shah dynasty which lasted until May 28, 2008.

The Valley is of particular interest for Buddhist pilgrims, since it has not been the victim of systematic destruction from Muslim invaders like India was. Even though it is generally thought that Muslim invaders never reached the valley, there is an inscription on the hill of the Swayambhunath stupa, which was laid down to commemorate the restoration of the stupa in 1349, after Nepal was invaded by the army of the sultan Shamshud-din Illiyas, of Bengal. Besides seriously damaging Swayambhunath, and breaking the Pashupatinath lingam into four pieces, the army burnt the town of Patan, the principal town of the Valley, and its monasteries.