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in Kathmandu

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Ensconced in a wide and fertile valley at an elevation of 4,593 feet, Nepal’s capital is surrounded by steep hills. From many parts of the city, the 24,000-foot peaks of the Ganesh Himal are clearly visible. Alas, many of its ancient structures were badly damaged or destroyed by the calamitous April 2015 earthquake that killed more than 9,000 people. Massive restoration efforts are now under way. The city itself is a network of narrow, crowded streets choked with rickshaws, cows, fruit stands and tiger-balm peddlers. While culturally compelling, it is overcrowded and polluted. As well as a major Hindu temple complex at Pashupatinath, Kathmandu also has important Buddhist stupas at Boudhanath and Swayambhunath. The Kathmandu Valley’s three Durbar Squares are all UNESCO World Heritage sites.