History of Kathmandu Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, has a rich and ancient history dating back to over 2,000 years. The city is located in the Kathmandu Valley, which is believed to have been once a lake. According to Hindu mythology, the god Manjushri cut a gorge in the valley to drain the water and create habitable land. The earliest known inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley were the Licchavi people, who ruled the region from the 4th to 9th centuries AD. During this time, Kathmandu became a major center of trade and culture. The Licchavis built many temples and monasteries, some of which still stand today. In the 13th century, the Malla dynasty came to power in Kathmandu. The Mallas were great patrons of the arts and architecture, and they built many of the city's most iconic landmarks, including Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa, and Boudhanath Stupa. The Malla period is considered to be the golden age of Kathmandu's history. In the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom conquered Kathmandu and unified Nepal. Kathmandu remained the capital of Nepal under the Gorkhas and the subsequent Shah dynasty. During the 19th century, Kathmandu was largely closed off to the outside world. However, in the 20th century, the city began to modernize and open up to tourism. Today, Kathmandu is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. It is home to a diverse population of Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims. The city is also a popular tourist destination, known for its ancient temples, stunning scenery, and friendly people. Here is a brief timeline of some of the key events in Kathmandu's history:
- 300 BCE: The Kathmandu Valley is believed to have been inhabited by the Licchavi people.
- 4th century AD: The Licchavi dynasty comes to power in Kathmandu.
- 723 AD: Raja Gunakamadeva founds the city of Kantipur (Kathmandu).
- 13th century: The Malla dynasty comes to power in Kathmandu.
- 1484: The Malla kingdom divides into three kingdoms: Kathmandu, Bhadgaon, and Patan.
- 1768: The Gorkha Kingdom conquers Kathmandu and unifies Nepal.
- 19th century: Kathmandu is largely closed off to the outside world.
- 20th century: Kathmandu begins to modernize and open up to tourism.
- 2008: Nepal becomes a federal democratic republic.