Lalitpur, historically known as Patan and alternatively referred to as Manigal, is the third largest city in Nepal with a population of 226,728 people. The city is located in the Lalitpur District, which is in the Bagmati Zone, which in turn is located in the Central Development Region of the country. The city of Lalitpur is the headquarters of the Lalitpur District. The city is located in the south central part of Kathmandu Valley and sits near the south side of the Bagmati River, with the Nakkhu Khola stream to the south of the city. The city is believe to have been founded in 299 AD at the very end of the Kirat Dynasty (~900 BC-300 AD), although historians and scholars agree that the city was a developed town before this, since it is mentioned in other historical records and various legends. The city was then expanded under the rule of the Licchavi Kingdom (~400 AD-750 AD) and then later it was grew even more under the rule of the Malla Dynasty (1201-1769). In 1768 the city was annexed by the Principality of Gorkha under the rule of Prithvi Narayan Shah (1723-1775), the man who would unify what became the Kingdom of Nepal, also known as the Kingdom of Gorkha (1768-2008).
Today, the city's population mostly works in small scale trade industries, such as making traditional handicrafts and people working out of their own homes engaged in sewing, lacing, and other household level manufacturing. Some residents also work in agriculture in the city's outlying areas. The city has tried to keep its culture of craft-work do to its great history of renowned artists and craftsman and with rapid urbanization approaching. Some of the historical monuments that the city has to offer are the four Ashoka Stupas that sit on the corners of the cities cardinal points and are believed to have been built at some point in the 4th Century AD. There is also the Patan Durbar Square, which is an ancient site that is filled with Hindu and Buddhist bahals and temples, and has also been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Pokhara is the second largest city in Nepal with a population of 353,841 people. The city is located in the Kaski District, which is in the Gandaki Zone, which in turn is located in the Western Development Region of the country. The city of Pokara serves as the headquarters of the Kaski District and the Western Development Region. The city is in the northwest corner of the Pokara Valley and because of this the elevation of the city rapidly changes from 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) to over 7,500 meters (24,606 feet) in only a 30 kilometer (18.64 mile) stretch. The city has the Seti Gandaki River flowing through it and this river and its tributaries have resulted in the city having gorges and canyons in the city and the surrounding areas. The southern part of the city sits on the Phewa Lake, while the northern part is close to the bottom of the Annapurna mountain range. In the 17th Century the city was part of the Kingdom of Kaski until 1786 when the the Kingdom of Nepal annexed it. The city was an important trading center before and after annexation and since the late 1950's has been a major transit city for Tibetan exiles coming into Nepal. Since the first road to the town was completed in 1968 the city has grown rapidly and become the tourist capital of Nepal. Much of the town's economy and people either work in the hospitality or tourists industries in the city. That town is home to many medieval era temples, as well as more modern day Buddhist temples and Hindu bahals. Some notable buildings to see are the two story tall Tal Barahi Temple and the Pokhara Shanti Stupa World Peace Pagoda that was constructed in 1999.
Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and by far the largest city in the country with a population of 1,003,285 people. The city is located in the Kathmandu District, which is in the Bagmati Zone, which in turn is located in the Central Development region. Besides being the capital, Kathmandu is also the headquarters of the Kathmandu District and the Central Development region. The city is located in the northwest area of Kathmandu Valley and sits to the north of the Bagmati River. The city is divided by by the Bagmati River and its seven tributaries that flow through the city and it surrounded by the cities of Lalitpur to the south, Kirtipur to the southeast and Madhyapur Thimi to the east. Kathmandu is one of the oldest cities on Earth whose earliest history is clouded behind traditional legends and myths, however the oldest object ever found in the city is from 185 AD, although the city is alleged to have been founded around 900 BC. Brahmi stone scripts have been found that date to the 3rd Century BC, but very few historical records regarding the city exist from before the Licchavi Kingdom. The modern day version of the city was founded in 723 AD by the Licchavi ruler Gunakamadeva. In 1768 following the Battle of Kathmandu the city became part of the Empire of Nepal and subsequently the capital. Kathmandu is the most important and central hub for commerce and industry in Nepal, with the stock exchange, national bank and head offices of companies located here. The major industries are trading paper, handicrafts and arts, as well as manufacturing, agriculture and education. The Dubar Square is a complex of two quadrangles that houses many ancient heritage buildings that represent that four kingdoms of the country, as well as various ancient temples and houses the old Hanuman Dhoka Palace whose oldest parts date to the middle of the 1500s.
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