Kathmandu (काठमाडौं, य़े: Yei, Nepali pronunciation: ) is the capital city and largest city of Nepal with a population of 1.5 million in the city proper, and 5 million in its wider urban agglomeration across the Kathmandu Valley, which includes the towns of Lalitpur, Kirtipur, Madhyapur Thimi, Bhaktapur making the total population roughly 2.5 million people and the municipalities across Kathmandu valley. Kathmandu is also the largest metropolis in the Himalayan hill region. Nepali is the most spoken language in the city, while English is widely understood.
The city stands at an elevation of approximately 1400 m above sea level in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal. The valley is historically termed as "Nepal Mandala" and has been the home of Newar culture, a cosmopolitan urban civilisation in the Himalayan foothills. The city was the royal capital of the Kingdom of Nepal and hosts palaces, mansions and gardens of the Nepalese aristocracy. It has been home to the headquarters of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) since 1985. Today, it is the seat of government of the Nepalese republic established in 2008; and is part of the Province No. 3 in Nepalese administrative geography.
Kathmandu is and has been for many years the centre of Nepal's history, art, culture and economy. It has a multiethnic population within a Hindu and Buddhist majority. It is also the home of the Newars. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu.
Tourism is an important part of the economy; in 2013, Kathmandu was ranked third among the top ten upcoming travel destinations in the world by TripAdvisor, and ranked first in Asia. The city is the gateway to the Nepalese Himalayas, and home to seven world heritage sites: the Durbar Squares of Hanuman Dhoka, Patan and Bhaktapur; the Stupas of Swayambhunath and Baudhanath; and the temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan. There are also seven casinos in the city.
Historic areas of Kathmandu were devastated by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015 and are in the process of reconstruction.
NCP’s Bidya Sundar Shakya is the Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan city and Hari Prabha Khadgi of Nepali Congress is the deputy mayor.