Trip Search

Heritage Sites In Nepal

Of the many historical sites in Nepal, ten are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Among the eight Cultural Heritage Sites in the world heritage list, seven are in Kathmandu Valley, whereas the birthplace of Lord Buddha, Lumbini, is the only Cultural Heritage Site outside the Valley. Sagarmatha National Park and Chitwan National Park have been listed as Natural Heritage Sites.

Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park The Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s first ever national park lies at the foot of the Himalaya in the Inner Terai lowlands of Chitwan. Covering an area of 932 sq. kilometers the park extends over deciduous forest foothills and river floodplains. The park is rich in its variety of vegetation and wildlife. The park provides one of the last habitats for endangered species like the Asiatic one-horned rhinoceros and the Royal Bengal tiger. Royal Chitwan National Park was officially established in 1973 and included as Natural Heritage Site in 1984.

Sagarmatha National Park

sagarmatha national parkThe Sagarmatha National Park with its rugged mountains, glaciers, valleys and crowned by the highest peak on earth Mt. Everest at 8,848 meters lies in Northeast Nepal. The 1,148 sq. kilometers of Sagarmatha National Park extends across the region’s river areas and the famous Sherpas’ home front Khumbu. Forests of rhododendron, birch, blue pine, juniper and silver fir are found up to an altitude of 4,000 meters. Rare species of animals like the snow leopard, pandas, and lynx are seen in the region. Rare bird varieties like snow cock, snow pigeon and different species of pheasant are also to be seen here. The park was declared a Natural Heritage Site in 1979.

Kathmandu Valley

kathmandu valleyNestled in the lap of Snow Mountains, the verdant Kathmandu Valley abounds in archaic temples, shrines and palaces that reflect its glory of the bygone era. Colorful Kathmandu with its old Asian legacy houses seven Cultural Heritage Sites four of which are its art-excelling temples while three are residential palaces of ancient Royals. The Valley is situated at 1,336 meters above sea level and comprises three cities within its parameters. Kathmandu is connected by air and by road to most parts of Nepal. It is also connected by air to major cities in India and some parts of the world. With its many facades, Kathmandu is a true little city of wonder for its visitors. Kathmandu Durbar Square is in the heart of old city Kathmandu in Basantapur. The Royal complex was residence to Nepal’s Royal family before the construction of the Narayanhiti Royal Palace. The founding of the Royal Palace dates back to Licchavi times. With considerable renovations by Malla rulers and later the Ranas, construction was accomplished progressively over many centuries. There are around 50 temples in the vicinity including the temple of Royal titular deity, Taleju Bhawani. The Durbar is divided into two courtyards, the outer comprising Kasthamandap, Kumari Ghar, and Shiva-Parvati Temple, and the inner consisting of Hanuman Dhoka and the main palace. It also houses two museums. Important ceremonies, including the coronation of the Nepali monarch, are held in the Kathmandu Durbar Square. Most parts of the palace premise are open for tourists throughout the week during office hours.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

bhaktapur durbar squareBhaktapur Durbar Square is located in the center of Bhaktapur. The Square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the Valley as it highlights some of the finest medieval arts of Nepal. The main items of interest in Bhaktapur Durbar Square are the Lion Gate, the Golden Gate and the statues of kings on stone monoliths. The Golden Gate was erected by King Ranjit Malla as the entrance to the main courtyard of the Fifty-five Windowed Palace. The Palace of Fifty-five Windows was built during the reign of King Yakshya Malla in A.D. 1427 and was remodeled by King Bhupatindra Malla in the seventeenth century. The art gallery of Bhaktapur Durbar Square contains ancient paintings belonging to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of various periods. This gallery is open everyday except Tuesday.

Patan Durbar Square

patan durbar squarePatan Durbar Square complex, situated in the center of Patan city, houses the residence of the former Royal family of Patan. The Square and its surroundings provide very good example of ancient Newari architecture. The palace has three main courtyards the central and the oldest is Mul Chowk. To the west of the complex are a dozen free standing temples of various sizes and styles? Krishna Temple, Bhimsen Temple, the Golden Temple of Hiranya Varna Mahavira and Sundari Chowk mark the architectural excellence of its era. The Sundari Chowk with the sunken Royal bath of Tusha Hiti contains exquisite woodcarvings, stone, and metal sculpture. Patan Durbar Square also houses a temple of Taleju Bhawani.

Swayambhunath

SoyambunathSwayambhu literally means ‘Self-Existent One.’ Swayambhunath is believed to have been established more than 2,500 years ago. An inscription dated 460 A.D. states that the construction was carried out by King Manadeva. By the thirteenth century Swayambhunath had developed into an important Buddhist learning site. The history of Kathmandu Valley is said to have started with the beginning of Swayambhu. The largest image of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Nepal is in a monastery next to the stupa. Behind the hilltop is a temple dedicated to Manjusri of Saraswati – the goddess of learning. Statues and shrines of Buddhist and Hindu deities dot the stupa complex. Large numbers of Buddhists and Hindus alike visit Swayambhunath. Swayambhu is perhaps the best place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. The stupa is atop a hill, and requires considerable walk. There is also a road that leads almost to the base of the statue.

Changunarayan

changunarayanChangu Narayan is the temple of Vishnu the Preserver, in the village of Changu in Bhaktapur. The origin of Changu Narayan goes back to the fourth century. A fifth century stone inscription in the temple proclaims it as one of the oldest shrines of the Kathmandu Valley. The temple is believed to be sixteen hundred years old. It is embellished by the best examples of stone, wood, and metal craft. On the struts of the two-tiered Changu Narayan Temple, are the ten incarnations of Narayan. A sixth-century stone statue shows the cosmic form of Vishnu. Garuda, half man and half bird, is the steed of Vishnu, and his life-sized statue kneels before the temple.

Pashupatinath

PashupatiNathPashupatinath is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for Shiva devotees. Pashupatinath, dedicated to Shiva the Destroyer, is the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destination in Nepal. Although the Pashupati Temple was only built in the fifth century and later renovated by Malla kings, the holy site is said to have existed from the beginning of the millennium. A gold-plated roof, four silver doors, and wood carvings of the finest quality decorate the pagoda temple of Pashupati. Temples dedicated to several other Hindu and Buddhist deities surround the temple of Pashupati. Nearby is the temple of Guheshwori dedicated to Shiva’s consort Sati Devi? Behind the temple is the River Bagmati. On the banks of Bagmati are raised platforms used as cremation sites for Hindus. Only Hindus are allowed inside the Pashupatinath courtyard.

Bouddhanath

BouddhaNathBouddhanath is the center of Tibetan culture in Nepal. The 36-meter-high stupa of Bouddhanath is one of the largest stupas in South Asia. Bouddhanath Stupa was renovated by Licchavi rulers in the eighth century. The mandala design in Bouddhanath is a copy of the one in Gyangtse in Tibet. The stupa is located in the area of ancient trade route to Tibet where Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to live around Bouddhanath. Hence, a complete township has developed around Bouddhanath. The stupa is said to entomb the remains of a Kasyap sage venerable both to Buddhists and Hindus. Smaller stupas are located at the base. Gompa monasteries, curio shops, and restaurants surround Bouddhanath.

Lumbini

lumbiniLumbini associated with the birth of Lord Buddha is of extreme archeological importance and also a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. It is said that Prince Siddhartha Gautam, who later became Buddha the Enlightened One, was born in the gardens of Nepal’s Lumbini in 623 B.C. The main shrines of Lumbini are the newly restored Mayadevi Temple, the Ashokan Pillar behind the temple and the Lake Shakya Puskarini where Mayadevi is said to have bathed before delivering the little Buddha into the world. Several other places near Lumbini are linked with stories connected to Buddha and Buddhism. Lumbini is about 300 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu. Bus and flights to Bhairawa which is about 22 kilometers from Lumbini, are available from major cities. From Bhairawa transport services to Lumbini are easily available. Food and accommodation facilities are available in Lumbini and Bhairawa.