The greenest, most pristine part of the valley lies at its southeastern edge, around GODAVARI (pronounced Go-dao-ri). Nestling at the foot of forested Phulchoki, the highest peak of the valley rim, are the pleasant National Botanical Garden, the temple at Naudhara and the shrine of Bishanku Narayan, hidden in a gorgeously rural side-valley.
Four kilometres south of Patan, the Godavari road passes through HARISIDDHI, a traditional Newari town with a sinister legend. Its pagoda-style Bal Kumari Mandir – reached by walking straight up a stepped path where the main road jinks left – was once said to have been the centre of a child-sacrifice cult. Beyond Harisiddhi, the road quietens as it climbs, ending at Godavari, beautifully situated up against the heavily wooded valley slopes.Read More
The sheltered, southwest-facing side-valley of Bishanku is one of the Kathmandu Valley’s most idyllic and unspoilt corners. In a notch in the partly forested ridge on the far northwest side, the shrine of Bishanku Narayan overlooks the paddy and mustard fields that line the valley floor. One of the valley’s four main Narayan (Vishnu) sites, Bishanku is not a temple – rather, it’s a small cave reached by a set of precarious steps. A chain-mail curtain protects the god’s image inside the cave. If you’re thin enough, you can descend through another narrow fissure; according to popular belief, those who manage to squeeze through it will be absolved of past sins.