Altogether, there are 10 World Heritage Sites in Nepal. To be included in the list of world heritage sites in Nepal, they have to have some kind of significance. The UNESCO World Heritage sites in Nepal are important from two aspects, cultural and natural. The UNESCO World Heritage sites in Nepal tell stories about the history of Nepal and its people. When you go around visiting these 10 world heritage sites of nepal listed in UNESCO, especially the ones that are situated in Kathmandu, you get to dive deep down into the religious aspect as well. The following is the list of World Heritage sites in Nepal.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the most visited world heritage sites in Nepal. As it is in the city of Kathmandu, it is conveniently located for any tourist to visit. No matter the purpose of visit, any tourist who lands in Kathmandu makes sure to take a tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square. It is actually a complex that consists of palace squares, temples and a palace. Centuries ago, it served as a place of residence for the royal family. Currently, it exists only in the form of cultural heritage. Since Nepal was always ruled by Hindu kings, their devotion towards Hinduism can be clearly noticed in these palace squares. The temples located around the squares consist of Taleju Temple, Bhagwati Temple, Mahadev temple and so on. The complex is also the home to Kumari Temple, which is the residence of Kumari, the only living goddess in the world.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is yet another palace square which is located in Bhaktapur, the neighboring city to Kathmandu. It also has palace squares, temples and a palace. As a matter of fact, there are four palace squares in Bhaktapur Durbar Square. They are named Durbar, Pottery, Dattatreya and Taumadhi. The major temples that are a part of the square are Vatsala Temple, Pashupati Temple, Bhairavnath Temple, and so on. Among them, Nyatapola Temple has a special significance. It is a five storied temple, and it is considered as one of the finest examples of Nepal art and architecture. Another crucial attraction of the palace square is 55 windows palace, and this palace literally has 55 windows. In comparison to Kathmandu and Patan Durbar Squares, this one looks a bit spacious, as a result of the two earthquakes that occurred in the year 1934 and 2015.
Patan Durbar Square
Quite like Bhaktapur and Kathmandu Durbar Squares, Patan Durbar Square is also a complex with a palace, temples, and palace squares. It is situated in Patan, which is a neighboring city to Kathmandu. Patan Durbar Square is also quite accessible to the tourists, so they also tend to visit this place during their sightseeing tour in Kathmandu. Some of the major temples in the area includes Bhimsen Temple, Taleju Bhawani Temple, Vishwanath Temple, and so on. Krishna Mandir, also situated within the complex, has a special significance. Every year a huge crowd gathers here to celebrate the birthday of Lord Krishna, the Hindu deity that the palace is dedicated to. One of the significant things to see during your visit to the durbar square is Patan Museum. Provided that you’re interested in history, art and architecture, you’re going to love this place, as it tells you a lot about the past of this wonderful city.
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most significant Hindu pilgrimage sites in the world. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Every year, during the occasion of Shivaratri, a festival dedicated to Lord Shiva, thousands of devotees gather here to pay homage to the deity. It is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu, and if the legends were to be considered, the temple dates back to around 400 BC. The temple has been reconstructed numerous times in history, but the most significant one happened during the time of Shivadeva, a Lichchhavi ruler, in around the 11th century. Pashupatinath temple is actually a complex that houses numerous other smaller temples and shrines. Some of them are Guheshwari Temple, Surya Narayan Temple, Vasukinath Temple, and so on.The holy river Bagmati flows through it, The complex also houses a crematorium at the bank of the river, and an old age home.
Changu Narayan Temple
Changu Narayan Temple is yet another significant Hindu pilgrimage site. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is one of the prominent gods in Hindu mythology, one-third of the holy trinity. Changu Narayan Temple consists of numerous smaller temples and sculptures. The temples consist of Chinnamasta Temple, Kileshwor Temple, and so on, and the sculptures consist of Narsimha, Garuda, and so on. Both the sculptures were forms of Lord Vishnu in various legends. The temple is situated on top of a hill, which is surrounded by Champak forest. Legend says that the forest was named after the princess of Kashmir, who married the then king of Bhaktapur. The temple is situated in the municipality of Changu Narayan, which happens to be in the district of Bhaktapur. There is an information center and a museum in the municipality that offers information about the history of the temple and the surrounding area.
Swayambhunath is a significant Buddhist pilgrimage site. Among the Newari Buddhists, this temple has the highest level of significance. The temple is actually a complex situated on top of a hill. It consists of numerous shrines, sculptures, chortens, manis and various other Buddhist structures. It is also known as the monkey temple because of a huge population of monkeys that move around the temple complex and the hill area. If you’re particularly interested in Buddhism, this is a great place to visit. The people walk all the way to the top of the hill, not just to perform religious functions. Their intention is also to enjoy the magnificent views of Kathmandu Valley that the complex offers. Everything looks beautiful especially during the night. The temple complex was founded by King Vrsadeva in the early 5th century. He was the grandfather of King Manadeva, one of the most prominent kings among the Lichchhavis.
Boudhanath Temple is yet another significant Budhhist pilgrimage site. It is significant mainly to the Tibetan Buddhists. The temple complex consists of a huge stupa at the center, and it is surrounded by numerous monasteries, manis and other Buddhist relics and heritages. The stupa is located atop a huge mandala. Boudhanath happens to fall on the ancient trade route to Tibet. It is by walking on this route that the Tibetan and Nepali merchants went from one country to another for trading activities. Whenever the Tibetans visited Nepal, they would conduct their religious rituals at Boudhanath. Long time ago, when the Tibetan refugees fled Tibet, they came and settled around the temple of Boudhanath. The complex was established by the Lichchhavi king Sivadeva in the 6th century. It is said that the stupa was built on the spot where the tomb of Kassapa Buddha is buried.
Lumbini is a place that is home to Lumbini Maya Devi temple. Lumbini Maya Devi Temple was built on the spot where Gautam Buddha was born. The temple is actually a complex that houses numerous monasteries built by Buddhist organizations and countries from all over the world. Two of the most prominent ones among them are World Peace Pagoda and Myanmar Golden Temple. Also, it houses the great Ashokan pillar that was established by King Ashoka of India during his visit to Nepal in the 3rd century. Right in front of the temple is this holy pond called Pushkarni. It is believed that right after the birth of Gautam Buddha, his mother, Queen Mayadevi took her first dip. Lumbini is a place that holds great importance to not just Buddhists, but also the Nepalese, or anyone else who believes in the principles of Buddhism. It is a great place to visit even for general tourists.
Sagarmatha National Park
Sagarmatha National Park is one of the most significant protected areas of Nepal. It is known for its huge population of rare and endangered animal species. The park is home to 118 species of birds, which includes Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant, Red-Billed Chough, and so on, and numerous mammal species like Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, and so on. The park is also the home to numerous species of plants like Rhododendron, Birch, Pine, and so on. One of the best ways to explore the park is to go on a trek. Numerous treks routes like Everest Base Camp trek route, Everest High Passes trek route, Gokyo Lake trek route, and so on allows you to explore these flora and fauna. The park also consists of numerous natural spectacles like mountain lakes, glaciers, icefalls, waterfalls, rivers, forests, and so on. You will come across all of them during your journey.
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park is one of the most visited national parks of Nepal. It is popular for numerous activities related to jungle safari, for instance, elephant ride, jeep safari, canoe ride, and so on. Elephant Ride and Jeep Safari allows you to explore the land ecosystem, where as Canoe Ride allows you to explore the ecosystem around water bodies. If you have some free time, you could also explore the elephant breeding farm, where you can notice this marvellous creature in various points of their lives. During your time at Chitwan National Park, you could also get an insight into the lives of the locals. Watching the local Tharus perform their dances and songs is a great pleasure overall. Among all the species of animals found in the national park, two of the most prominent ones are One-Horned Rhinoceros and Bengal Tiger. You will definitely get to spot a couple of them during the tour.
Reconstruction after Earthquake in Nepal
The earthquake in Nepal April 2015 destroyed most of the world heritage sites. Some were completely destroyed, and the others were partially devastated. No sooner had the devastation occurred the works of reconstruction after earthquake in Nepal started. One of the temples that was largely impacted by the earthquake was Changu Narayan Temple. The reconstruction work at the Changu Narayan Temple after earthquake started in the same year, and currently, it has been renovated completely, quite like the other world heritage sites in Nepal. If you’re looking to visit the world heritage sites in Nepal, and are quite concerned about their state, well, you can be rest assured about the fact that you’re going to have an amazing time exploring them. It’s completely safe to visit them, as they are in a great condition overall.
These 10 World Heritage sites of Nepal listed in UNESCO are attractions that you should definitely cover during your visit to Nepal. Whether your purpose for coming to Nepal is trekking, expedition or some form of luxury tour, you’re bound to come across one or the other World Heritage Sites in Nepal, especially the ones in Kathmandu. And when you do that, make sure to look into the details. Whether you’re a nature lover, or a fan of arts, you’re definitely going to love exploring these world heritage sites in Nepal.
Earthbound Expedition is one of the most reliable, affordable and experienced travel and tour operators in Nepal. They specialize in trekking and expedition. However, if you’re not quite into activities as such, you can also go for holiday packages featuring luxury tours, jungle safari, helicopter ride, and so on. One of the best features of Earthbound Expedition is that it allows its clients to make changes to the itinerary so that the journey can be as personal and close to the heart as it can get. Their itineraries feature the most exciting tourist destinations in countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. If you’re willing to visit any of these countries, make sure to choose Earthbound Expedition as your travel partner. Your journey with them by your side is sure to be amazing overall.