The valley’s northwestern fringe is its most congested. Kathmandu sprawls right to the very edge of the basin, while the main road to Trisuli heaves itself smokily out of the valley. The wooded hillside of Nagarjun Ban provides a pleasant swathe of green, however, and just outside its boundaries – it is part of the Shivapuri–Nagarjun National Park – lie the curious Sleeping Vishnu at Balaju and the rustic temple of Ichangu Narayan. It’s true that Nagarjun’s forest is no match for Shivapuri, the Vishnu plays second fiddle to the one at Budhanilkantha, and the temple is distinctly ordinary compared to the similarly named Changu Narayan, but they’re all handily close to the city centre.

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