Steeped in history, Nepal’s capital city, Kathmandu dates back over 2 000 years. The Kathmandu Valley boasts the three ancient cities of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, which were once independent states ruled by the Malla kings from the 12th to the 18th centuries. The three cities house seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The valley is also home to a plethora of other exquisite monuments, sculptures, artistic temples and magnificent artworks. Marvel at the Pashupatinath Temple, one of the world’s most significant Hindu temples of Lord Shiva. Explore Kathmandu’s Durbar Square (the historic seat of royalty), home to the Hanuman Dhoka, named after the monkey god, Hanuman. Also, be sure to make a stop at the Patan Durbar Square, which is located in the heart of Patan City and consists of three main chowks (squares). On the outskirts of Durbar Square is the Kumari Bahal, the residence of the living goddess, a red brick building with beautifully carved wooden balconies and window screens.