World Heritage Sites

UNESCO has enlisted ten different places in Nepal that holds the natural and historical importance as world heritages. These world heritages sites in Nepal are the pride and glory of the nation and the Nepalese people.

Kathmandu Durbar square

Kathmandu durbar square holds the significance of historical, cultural and traditional aspects of the Nepalese people with a concentration of monuments unique and unparalleled in the world. The Kathmandu Valley has been the politically and culturally dominating part of Nepal. The Monumental Zones represent the highly developed architectural expression of religious, political and cultural life of Kathmandu Valley. The Kathmandu Durbar square is surrounded with spectacular architecture and vividly showcases the skills of the Newar artists and craftsmen over several centuries.

Kathmandu Durbar Square has Hanuman Dhoka, Degutale Temple, Taleju Mandir, Nasal Chowk, Nine storied Basantapur Palace, Panch Mukhi Hanuman Temple, Mul Chowk, Mohan Chowk, Sundari Chowk, Tribhuvan Museum, King Mahendra Memorial Museum and Kal Bhairab temple in its vicinity. The Kathmandu Durbar Square holds the palaces of the Malla and Shah Kings who ruled over the city. There oldest temples here are of Jagannath, Kotilingeswara Mahadev, Mahendreswara, and the Taleju Temple. The three-roofed Taleju Temple was established in 1564, in a typical Newari architectural style and is elevated on platforms that form a pyramid-like structure.

The temple or the residence of Living Goddess, Kumari, is situated in the vicinity of Hanuman Dhoka Palace. Located near the Temple of Kumari, Kasthamandap stands which is said to have been built by King Laxmi Narsingha Malla in the beginning of the 16th century mythologically constructed from the wood of a single tree. There are also Numismatic Museum and Tribhuvan museum inside the Hanuman Dhoka Palace building. The palace bears the historical reminisce of Royal family, culture and religion of Nepal. Museums inside the palace lets one explore the culture, religion, custom, tradition, architecture, history of Royal palaces etc. All woodcarvings, statues, and architecture in this area are exceptionally fine, and Kathmandu Durbar Square is among the most important sights for travelers to see.

Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most significant Hindu temples of Lord Shiva in the world, located on the banks of the Bagmati River in eastern Kathmandu. Built in the 17th century the temple glitters in gold and silver. The two storied, pagoda styled temple features roofs made of gold plates and four entrances at four directions of silver, portraying artistic works of highly skilled craftsmen. A gold plated roof, silver doors, and woodcarvings of the finest quality decorate the pagoda construction. There are Linga images of Shiva along with statues, shrines, and temples dedicated to other deities in the complex. All the features of pagoda style are founded here like cubic constructions, beautifully carved wooden rafters on which they rest (tudals).

A circuit of the Pashupatinath area takes visitors past a sixth-century statue of the Buddha, an eighth century statue of Brahma the creator and numerous other temples. Some other places to visit are Rajrajeswari Temple, built in 1407, Kailash with Lingas more than 1,400 years old, Gorakhnath temple, and the courtyard of Biswarup. There are rows of Shiva shrines and Hindu pilgrims from all over South Asia offering puja worship to Shiva, tile Lord of Destruction.

Pashaputi Temple’s extensive grounds include many other old and important temples, shrines and statues. South of the temple, for instance, is Chadeshvar, an inscribed Licchavi linga from the 7th century, and north of the temple is a 9th-century temple of Brahma. On the south side of Pashupatinath temple is the Dharmashila, a stone where sacred oaths are taken, and pillars with statues of various Shah Kings. In the northeast corner of the temple courtyard is the small pagoda temple of Vasuki, the King of the Nagas.

There are many legends describing as to how the temple of Lord Pashupatinath came to existence here. Thousands of devotees from within and outside the country come to pay homage to Pashupatinath every day. Thousands of devotees take ritual baths in the Bagmati River on the day of the festival and observe a fast for the whole day. Hundreds of sadhus (sages) from different parts of Nepal and India come here on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri.

Swyambhunath

Swyambhunath is, perhaps the best place to observe the religious harmony of Buddhist and Hindu in Nepal. The Swyambhunath Stupa is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal and its establishment is linked to the creation of the Kathmandu Valley out of a primordial lake. The four sides of the Stupa are painted with the eyes of Lord Buddha and the temple is also known as the watchful eyes of Buddha.

As the legend says, Swoyambhu means “the self-existent” and this is where this place becomes highly significant from spiritual point of view. The 365 ancient steps supposed to be self created, lead up the steep forested hillside. Having hundreds of votive shrines and other historical monuments in and around the Stupa, it was built in 250 B.C. This white dome is regarded as a spotless and pure jewel of Nirvana. The temple is colloquially known as the ‘monkey temple’ because of the large tribe of roving monkeys who guard the temple.

The surroundings of Swoyambhu Narayan Stupa consist of chaityas, temples, painted images of deities and numerous other religious objects. Notable among these is the Harati Devi Temple, dedicated to the Hindu goddess of smallpox and other epidemics, as well as protectors of children. Northwest of the main Stupa, Shantipur is a small, plain, box-shaped temple said to contain a great treasure – a living holy man who has been meditating in there for 1500 years.

Swoyambhu is a major landmark of the Kathmandu Valley and looks like a beacon below the Nagarjun hill. It provides an excellent view of the Kathmandu Valley.

Bouddhanath

Boudhanath is the holiest Buddhist site lying 11 km East of Kathmandu and was built by Licchavis King Man Dev in the 5th century A. D. It stands on a massive Mandala style platform and has features similar to the Swyambhunath, though it’s final to be bigger. The Buddhist Stupa of Boudhanath dominates the skyline. The name ‘Boudhanath’ is composed of two different words Boudha and Nath. ‘Boudha’ means wisdom and the suffix ‘Nath’ stands for Lord. Thus Boudhanath means the Lord of wisdom. The influx of large populations of refugees from Tibet has seen the construction of over 50 Tibetan Gompas (Monasteries) around Boudhanath.

The Boudhanath Temple has further gained influence after being declared as a World heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. The atmosphere of the whole place is lit up with excitement as the fragrance of incense drifts in the air. Monks walk about in maroon robes. Tibetans walk with prayer wheels in their hands, and the rituals of prostration are presented to the Buddha as worshippers circumambulate the Stupa on their hands and knees, bowing down to their lord. It is especially spectacular at night when adorned with butter lamps.

The Tibetan New Year and the Losar festival are all colorfully celebrated at Boudhanath Temple in some of the largest festivals ever seen in Nepal. The Boudha area is a visual feast. Colorful Thangkas, Tibetan jewellery, hand woven carpets, masks, and khukuri knives are sold in the surrounding stalls. This may be the best place in Nepal for Buddhist & Tibetan related items – statues, prayer flags, Tibetan incense, etc.

Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square is a concentrated mass of temples, the most stunning display of Newari architecture to be seen in Nepal. Listed in World Heritage Site, the former Royal Palace complex is the center of Patan’s religious and social life and houses a museum containing an array of bronze statues and religious objects. It is best known for its rich cultural heritage, particularly its tradition of arts and crafts. It is called city of festival and feast, fine ancient art, making of metallic and stone carving statue.

Most of the monuments in this square date back to the medieval Malla period 15th to 17th century as the golden period of Nepalese art and architecture. Patan sightseeing tour also offers many other famous Buddhist temple like Hiranya Verna Maha Vihar (the Golden temple) and Maha Bouddha with ten thousands Buddha’s images. Most of the people of Patan city are Buddhists. The best place, however, to see metal sculpture is the Hiranya Varna Mahabihar, the “Golden Temple”. It is a Newar monastery which contains wall painting, fourteenth century statues, and scriptures.

Other sites including the Mahabouddha Temple and Uku Bahal are only a few minutes walk away from the square. Many more temples dedicated to Ganesh, the elephant headed god, Shiva, Narsingha, Taleju, and others are situated in the Patan Durbar Square .The streets in this area are home to inetal sculptors of the present day. Central Zoo in Jawalakhel is a pleasant diversion after a tour of the cultural sights. It contains about 106 species of birds and over 665 different animals.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square, locally known as Khwopa or Bhadgaon is world-renowned for its elegant art, fabulous culture and indigenous life-style. The Bhaktipur city is protected as a UNESCO world Heritage site. The Bhaktipur is on of the most charming architecture showpieces of the valley as it highlights the ancient. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a conglomeration of pagoda and shikhara style temples grouped around a fifty-five window palace of brick and wood.

The Durbar square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the Valley as it highlights the ancient arts of Nepal. The Art Gallery contains ancient paintings belonging to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of various periods and descriptions. Some of the most popular monuments golden gate, peacock window, 55 windows Palace, Nyatapola temple, Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, two stone images of Bhairav (the dreadful aspect of Shiva) and Ugrachandi are main attractions.

Sometimes it’s best to take a break from temples and sit back and watch the unchanging rituals of daily life: the laying out of grain to dry in the sun, families collecting water or washing under communal taps, children playing simple games, dyed yarns flapping in the breeze or potters at work throwing clay. Though a massive earthquake of 1934 destroyed many temples, Bahals (monastery courtyards), and residences, the city is still a living proof of the highest craft standards in this part of the world. As the visitor wanders through narrow brick paved streets, many alleys will show hidden shrines and statues.

Changu Narayan

Changu Narayan is a pagoda-style Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu in his incarnation as Narayan. The ancient temple of Changu Narayana is located on a high hilltop that is also known as Changu or Dolagiri. The temple is surrounded by forest with champak tree and a small village, known as Changu Village. This shrine is dedicated to Lord Visnu and held in especial reverence by the Hindu people. The temple is full of magnificent art works in metal and wood. In fact, it is one of the finest examples of Nepalese architecture.

The decorations in stone, wood, and bronze are more profuse and perhaps older than those of almost any other temple in the valley. To the right of the temple entrance, there are several smaller shrines and a platform with only a carved stone atop it. Many stone sculptures of great antiquity and excellent style are placed in niches or on stone bases around the court, all of them being of complex composition except the great Garuda before the temple entrance, dating to the 5th century A.D.

Statues of King Bhupalendra Malla of Kathmandu and his mother can also be seen in a shrine. The Vishnu image here is built of two parts, one of the head and the other of the body so that the beheading rite of Vishnu can be remembered during the puja. In Buddhism, Changu Narayan is revered as Boddhisattva Avalokiteswara.

Lumbini

Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. It is situated 230 km away from Kathmandu in Rupendehi District of Southern Terai (lowland), at an altitude of 600 ft. above sea level. It’s no great surprise then to learn that the world heritage listed Lumbini is huge religious significance and efforts Buddhist pilgrims around the world. Shakyamuni Buddha was born in Lumbini, in southern Nepal, twenty five hundred years ago. Lumbini has since been a holy ground for Buddhists all over the world.

A quiet garden, shaded by the leafy Bo tree (the type of tree under which Buddha received enlightenment), and a newly planted forest nearby lend an air of tranquility which bespeaks Buddha’s teachings. There are many Stupas in Lumbini made by many Buddhist countries of the world— Thailand, China, Sri Lanka, Japan and Myanmar. Maya Devi temple, Asoka pillar, Puskarni Pool and the nearby places as Tilaurakot, Niglihawa and Piplihawa are major of the Buddhist pilgrimage tour in Nepal. The temple present in Lumbini is remarkable in the way Maya Devi is shown giving birth to Lord Buddha Puskarni Pool. The birthing centre of Lord Buddha is other ancient attractions of Lumbini.

Visit the World peace lamp, that is ever burning and the Ashok Pillar which is also the sign of Peace and brotherhood. Visit the peace garden which is much more fabulous. There are number of Stupas, monasteries and temples surround the garden. Lumbini is now being developed under the Master Plan of the Lumbini Development Trust, a non governmental organization dedicated to the restoration of Lumbini and its development as a pilgrimage site.

Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park is one of the best Parks in Nepal, established in 1973 AD, where we can have a look of various species of birds, plants and animals including wildlife, floras and faunas. Owing to its rich adornment of nature the park was declared UNESCO Natural Heritage Site in 1984. The park includes in its area a part of the Churiya Hills is covered with deciduous forests overlooking the floodplains of Narayani, Rapti and Reu rivers. The park covers 932 km sq of subtropical lowland, wedged between two east-west river valleys at the base of the Siwalik range of the outer Himalayas.
There are around 600 plants species, 50 mammals, 526 birds and 49 amphibians, reptiles found in the Chitwan national park. Chitwan is home to many wild mammals including One-Horned Rhino, Royal Bengal Tiger, wild Elephant, Deer, wild boar, sloth bear, leopard, bison, jackal and many more, many reptiles including Gharial Crocodile and many species of the birds including Hombill, Lesser florican and Paradise Flycastcher, so chitwan is the best destination for Jungle safari and wild life adventure lover. Besides grasslands, there are also riverine forests.
The Chitwan sanctuary is also renowned for an impeccable 450 species of birds, both resident and migratory, and many of them rare. Chitwan National Park is also amazing with jungle walk, elephant safari, bird watching, canoeing, elephant bathing, culture visit and traditional shows and many more activities. Chitwan is the best destination for Jungle safari and wild life adventure lover.

Sagarmatha National Park

Sagarmatha national park is the home of the world mightiest mountain the Mt. Everest. Sagarmatha is an exceptional area with dramatic mountains, glaciers and deep valleys. Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) covers an area of 124,400 hectares in the Solu-Khumbu district of Nepal. The carefully preserved natural heritage and the dramatic beauty of the high, geologically young mountains and glaciers were recognized by UNESCO with the inscription of the park as a world heritage site in 1979. The protective designation of the park has been further increased with the establishment of the Makalu Barun National Park (1998) in the eastern region of the property and Gauri Shankar Conservation Area (2010) in the west.

The Sagarmatha National park area represents a major stage of the Earth’s evolutionary history and is one of the most geologically interesting regions in the world with high, geologically young mountains and glaciers creating awe inspiring landscapes and scenery dominated by the high peaks and corresponding deeply-incised valleys. Other well known peaks such as Lhotse, Thamerku, Pumori, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, Kwangde, Kangtaiga and Gyachyung Kang are also located nearby. The Sherpas are of great cultural interest here, having originated from Salmo Gang in the eastern Tibetan province of Kham, some 2,000 km from their present homeland.

Most of the park (69%) comprises barren land above 5,000 m, 28% is grazing land and nearly 3% is forested. Everest region or Everest base camp trekking is pass through the hills of mixed deciduous forests and scattered rice terraces give way to pine forests, then blooming rhododendrons, scrub junipers, before finally the only vegetation is low alpine shrubs and grasses. The region is abundantly rich in wildlife as we are in Sagarmatha National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for Himalayan Tahr, musk deer pikka, mouse hare and also do not forget to scan skies and the undergrowth for golden eagle, spectacular Himalayan monal (Daphe, national bird of Nepal). The Everest Khumbu region is home to both leopards and snow leopards, and allegedly, fearsome Yeti.

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