The Valley is situated at an altitude of 1,336 m above sea level and covers an area of 218 sq. miles. The rich tapestry of the cultural heritage of Nepal is synthesized in the Kathmandu Valley, the home of the ancient and sophisticated Newari culture. The Newars are the indigenous inhabitants of the Valley and the creators of the splendid civilization of its three cities – Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. The skillfully-built temples and palaces, delicately-engraved stone and metal images, carved wooden columns and pillars, and the history laden shrines and chaityas of these three historical cities stand testimony to the Newar’s artistic achievements.