A paved road leads 8km north from Kathmandu to Narayanthan, a roadside village centred on BUDHANILKANTHA, the site of a monolithic and hugely impressive sleeping Vishnu statue. A visit can be combined with a hike or mountain bike ride up to the thickly forested peak of Shivapuri, from where there are some of the finest Himalayan views anywhere in the valley. The road from Kathmandu to Budhanilkantha is busy at first, but a quieter route heads north to Tokha then cuts across east.

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Painting the town red, pink, green and yellow: Holi Festival 2016 in pictures

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