Kathmandu, Nepal’s fascinating capital, is located at 1,337m (4,390ft) in a valley beneath the towering peaks of the Himalaya. Walk through the atmospheric medieval centre of this ancient city, visiting Durbar Square (below left) with its many temples and monuments, including the old Royal Palace, home to the famous Kumari or ‘Living Goddess’ (below right). The chosen girl, selected from a particular caste of Newari goldsmiths, must meet 32 strict physical requirements, as well as having an appropriate horoscope; once selected she lives in the Kumari Bahal Place with her family until the age of puberty, only emerging about 6 times a year for important festivals. You may, however, catch a glimpse of the goddess at the palace window. Continue to the dramatic Buddhist stupa of Swayambhunath, located on a hilltop overlooking the city. This famous temple with its all-seeing Buddha eyes has become one of the most recognisable symols of Nepal.