The Kathmandu Valley is a region in Nepal , in the center of the capital Kathmandu is located.
It has an area of about 35 km east-west direction and 30 km from north to south and covers an area of about 950 km ² . Nestled in the middle mountains of Nepal, it is not a valley in the strict sense, but a (former lake) basin with a relatively broad and flat bottom that between 1300 m and 1400 m above sea level and surrounded by mountains, The heights of up to nearly 3000 m reach. No major water flows from outside into this basin, and the Bagmati collects the number of streams and small rivers that flow to the valley slopes and drains the area to the south through a narrow gorge.
Climatically the Kathmandu Valley is decidedly favored. On average, the daily maximum temperatures are in Kathmandu in June at 24 ° C, the average minimum temperatures in January are at 7 ° C. The temperature rarely drops below freezing (for 63 years first snow in winter 2006), on the other hand, is rarely measured more than 30 ° C. Because of the prevailing summer monsoon rainfall especially in the period from mid June to late September.
The surface morphology and climate permit intensive agricultural use and also the altitude close to the malaria -limit creates a favorable settlement by the people, as proven since at least 2000 years (see Swayambhunath ). The Kathmandu Valley has always been a cultural and political center of Nepal. At times, the area was divided into three principalities, the royal palaces of Kathmandu , Lalitpur and Bhaktapur are impressive evidence of the symbols of power and skill. Even today, these three cities are the most important settlements in the valley, which is Kathmandu with about 700,000 inhabitants, by far the largest city. It followed, and merged with Kathmandu just across the Bagmati river, the city of Lalitpur (Patan once) with approximately 200,000 inhabitants and a few kilometers east of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, the city with about 70,000 inhabitants. Some smaller places like Kirtipur and Madhyapur-Thimi have evolved in the meantime to cities with 50,000 or 60,000 inhabitants. The growth rates of cities in the Kathmandu Valley are exorbitant and are sometimes better than 7% per year. Greater Kathmandu is now due about 1.5 million inhabitants. There are approaches that unplanned development through planned urban extensions to get a grip. Nevertheless, the growth is continuing apace. Kathmandu and Lalitpur are already taking up a larger part of the valley floor, and the settlement area has become much larger than the remaining agricultural land and the total population of Kathmandutales in a few years is foreseen. Rural settlements, individual peasant farms, scattered settlements or villages are to be found only at the outer edge of the valley.