Top 9 Best Locations for Filming in Kathmandu, Nepal
Filming in Nepal: Kathmandu’s Beautiful Landscape, Endless Creative Possibilities!
- Kathmandu Durbar Square (Basantapur Durbar Square)
Kathmandu Durbar Square, popularly referred to as Basantapur Durbar Square falls under the UNESCO World Heritage Site and is famous for its ancient Newari culture and Craftsmanship. Kathmandu Durbar Square amplifies one’s experience of Filming in Nepal since a major attraction for filming happens to be the Living Goddess Kumari who lives in the palace area situated in Kathmandu Durbar Square. Indra Jatra, one of the major festivals of the indigenous Newar tribe of Kathmandu also takes place in this area. For filmmakers and media personnels, Kathmandu Durbar Square is definitely a cultural hub that needs to be visited at least once while filming in Nepal.
It was also, once, a very popular hangout spot for the hippies during the Hippie Trail since the famous Freak Street runs right by the Durbar Square area.
- Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square sits right in the center of the second largest city of the Kathmandu Valley. Its famous Krishna Mandir and other awe inspiring architectural buildings are a testament to the creativity of the indigenous communities of Nepal and lend itself to one of the major attractions when it comes to Filming in Nepal.
The colorful street market is a treat to the eye and the soul since it is packed with traditional handcrafted statues, medicinal herbs and is a display of utmost harmony between the two major religions of Nepal; Hinduism and Buddhism.
- Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is divided into four different areas namely; Durbar Square, Pottery Square, Taumadi Square and Dattatreya Square. The square is famous for its “Royal” Yogurt called Juju Dhau which translates to King’s Yogurt and is traditionally made in clay pots by the indigenous Newar tribe of the Bhaktapur area.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is also famous for pottery, a traditional practice that has been going on for a hundred years or more. The clay used during pottery is called deicha which translates to God’s Clay and is one of the rarest clays found in Nepal. Such traditional practices makes Bhaktapur Durbar Square one of the best places while filming in Nepal.
Thamel, a 20 minutes drive from Tribhuvan International Airport, is a tourist hub situated in Kathmandu. A typical morning in Thamel begins with the sound of the sarangi played by musicians busking in the streets and the smell of local tea being sold in every nook and corner. With its vibrant nightlife and restaurants serving international cuisines, it is the most sought after place in terms of commercial Filming in Nepal. The streets are packed with baggy statement pieces of clothing, colorful hemp bags, statues, jewelleries, creative tattoo artists running tattoo parlors, original pashmina shawl stalls and a number of trekking gear shops. The neon street signs running right through the streets of Thamel make it any filmmaker/photographer’s dream.
- Swayambunath Stupa (Monkey Temple)
Swayambunath Stupa is an exemplary combination of the harmony shared between Hinduism and Buddhism. It is famous for the monkeys residing here, which is also why it is popularly known as the Monkey Temple. While filming in Nepal, filmmakers must visit this temple in order to film Kathmandu valley’s cityscapes, mid hills and the mountain ranges of the North, all visible in one beautiful layered frame.
The golden temple and stupa surrounded by layers and layers of prayer flags that dance with the slightest touch of the wind lend itself to highly aesthetic shots. The rotating prayer wheels and the pilgrims praying adds to the serene ambience of the place.
- Pashupatinath Temple Area
One of the major pilgrimages for Hindus all over the world, Pashupatinath Temple, falls under the UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a 5 minute drive from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. It is the ultimate destination for saints and sages looking for salvation and peace. Despite the actual temple being restricted for filming, the area around the temple is warm and welcoming to filmmakers and any and all media personnels filming in Nepal.
- Khokana and Kirtipur
Khokana and Kirtipur are one of the most ancient settlements of the indigenous Newar tribe of the Kathmandu valley. Both these places are situated in the then two different Kingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley, Kirtipur in Kathmandu and Khokana in Lalitpur. Both these places are extremely popular for their ancient Newar architecture, cuisine, festivals and traditions and exhibit the historical essence of authentic, primal Kathmandu.
For travel shows planning to film in Nepal, Khokana and Kirtipur are the best spots for finding authenticity whether it be in terms of the culture of the indigenous tribe, cuisine or architecture.
Right at the edge of the Kathmandu valley, at an altitude of 2,175 meters, resides the picturesque Nagarkot hills offering hotels and resorts with an untampered panoramic view of the mountain ranges from northeast to the northwest. Filming in Nepal is incomplete without capturing the sky and mountains draped in the brilliant shades of orange and red during sunrise and sunset at Nagarkot.
Pharping, situated in the South edge of the Kathmandu valley is famous for its Buddhist monasteries, retreats and unexplored caves. These caves do not just hold geographical value but also hold religious and spiritual importance to the Buddhist community since, legend has it that, these caves were used by monks in the ancient times for meditation and enlightenment.
The place is also famous for its unique and untampered hills and forests.
Pharping happens to be one of the more challenging locations for filming in Nepal but, speaking from past experience, is definitely worth the effort!