Gorkha is an ancient kingdom and the capital of the last monarchs of Nepal, the Shah. It is located midway between Kathmandu and Pokhara. Gorkha can be reached from either city by taxi or public bus. The capital of the Nepal was shifted to Kathmandu after King Prithvi Narayan Shah unified the Kingdom of Nepal during the eighteenth century. But this beautiful township has always remained as the center of attraction for many Nepalese as well as foreign visitors. It is a picturesque hilltown that has a rich history of its own. Situated on a small mountain at a height of 3,500 feet, Gorkha offers a magnificent view of the Himalayan peaks. Among the sites to visit, Gorkha Durbar is the most important historical site. This historical palace is a one hour walk from the downtown Gorkha. The palace is strategically located over a fortified hillock. On the southwestern side of palace lies the temple of Goddess Gorakhkali. A cave which claims to shelter the statue of Gorakh Nath, a Tantric sage, adjoins it. The place is picture perfect with a view of Manaslu and Himalchuli peaks of Himalayas. Nevertheless, the best place to have a view of the palace and peaks is Upallokot, a viewpoint made on a pedestal over the hill at the height of some 5,000 feet.
Another important site is the Manakamana Temple. The place lays on a beautiful ridge southeast of the township of Gorkha. The temple, a famous pilgrimage for Hindus, is dedicated to Manakamana, the holy goddess of wish fulfillment. It is a four hour uphill walk from Anbu Khaireni on the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway.
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