UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in Nepal

UNESCO World Heritage Sites are adored and visited by tourists from all over the world. Nepal itself is home to 10 well-known UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are a must-visited sites for travelers visiting Nepal.

These heritage sites are amazing man-made wonders throughout the world. Some of those listed in Nepal are over 2500 years old. However, since the earthquake shook Nepal in year 2015, many monuments and palaces has been damaged. The renovation of those monuments are going on, and you can still learn the rich heritage and culture of those places.

Here is the list of 10 UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in Nepal.

1. Pashupatinath Temple


Built in the 5th century, and dedicated to Lord Shiva, Pashupatinath temple is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia. The temple is built in pagoda style and has wood carvings of the finest quality. The main inner sanctum has a Shiva Lingam and there are hundreds of other Shiva lingam within the compound. It is also a cremation site where Hindus perform their last rites and only Hindus are allowed to enter in the temple.

2. Kathmandu Durbar Square


Centered in Kathmandu, the durbar square has Taleju Mandir, Hanuman Dhoka, Nine Storey Basantpur Tower, Panch Mukhi Hanuman temple, Degutale Temple, King Mahendra Memorial Museum and Kal Bhairab temple in its vicinity. The palace bears the historical reminisce of the Royal family, religion and culture of Nepal.

3. Lumbini


Located in the southern Terai plains of Nepal, it is the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam Buddha and is regarded as a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Lumbini along with historical and religious significance also bears cultural significance. It is also a must-visit place for bird lovers as it houses a variety of rare bird species.

4. Bhaktapur Durbar Square


Regarded as the abode of ancient Nepali culture, custom and alluring art pieces, Bhaktapur lies on the eastern part of the Kathmandu Valley. This place is largely dominated by the Newari populace and it is the only place which is untouched by the western culture. Each historical monument you see represents medieval culture, custom, and religion of Nepal.

5. Changunarayan Temple


Since it is the temple of Lord Vishnu, the temple bores the sculptures of Vishnu’s ten incarnations and the architectural masterpiece featured in the roofs of the temple showcase the ancient history of Nepal. Along with incarnation of Lord Vishnu, temples of other gods and goddesses are also present in the compound of the temple.

6. Swayambhunath


Also famous as “monkey temple”, the stupa is believed to be around 2500 years old. The structure of the stupa represents four elements such as earth, fire, wind, and water. The 13 rings of the spire symbolize the 13 steps of the ladder leading to the stage of Nirvana. Only after climbing up 365 steps, you will reach the holy site of Swayambhunath Stupa.

7. Chitwan National Park


Established in the year 1973, the park was formerly known as the Royal Chitwan National Park, and is the first national park in Nepal. The park is home to different species of wildlife, including some rare species such as One-Horned Rhino and the Royal Bengal tiger. Along with these, you can also enjoy some other exciting activities such as elephant riding, canoeing and many more.

8. Patan Durbar Square


Also known as Lalitpur, the Patan durbar square has the finest traditional crafts and rich artistic heritage. There are various temples such as Mahaboudha temple, Krishna temple, Jagat Narayan temple, Vishwanath temple, Rato Machhendranath temple and many more which are the major attractions of Patan.  

9. Boudhanath


Built-in the 5th century on a stepped octagonal base, the stupa is regarded as one of the world’s biggest stupa. The inset of the stupa with alcoves represent Buddha and his teachings and is surrounded by various other temples. The fragrance of incense drifts through the air, chanting of monks and creaking of prayer wheels can be heard while strolling around the stupa.

10. Sagarmatha National Park


Situated at the foothills of Himalayas, the national park offers the most magnificent views of the glaciers, rugged mountains, valleys, and river. The park is home to different species of plant, birdlife and exotic animals. While strolling in the park, you may encounter rare species like snow leopard, pandas and lynx. You can also have the best sightseeing experience while viewing rare bird species in the park.

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Written by Rashmi Lohia

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