Natural and Cultural Sites
Nepal is a small mountain landlocked county in the world. Even it has the area of 147,181 sq. km., Nepal holds 10 places as UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization) as ‘World Heritage Sites’. There are 830 properties of world in World Heritage List as cultural and natural heritage having outstanding universal value. And among them there are 644 cultural heritage sites, 162 natural heritage sites and 24 mixed properties. Out of these 10 sites are from Nepal.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square is a beautiful heritage site full of cultural and ancient crafts, drawing and handicrafts, etc. There is a Marushattal made of only one single tree. This is known as the Kasthamandap. Kathmandu has got its name after that Kahthmandap. The pleasant arts of Hanuman Dhoka, the temple of Taleju Bhawani, Panchmukhi Hanuman temple, the temple of Kumari (Living Goddess), the Shiva-Parbati Temple, Sri Ganeshsthan, Gaddi Baithak (Place for coronation) etc., have decorated the Kathmandu Durbar square.
Bhaktapur Durbar square
The Bhaktapur Durbar Square is an example of cultural and ancient crafts, drawings and handicrafts. The fifty -five windows durbar and Sundhokha (Golden gate) built during the regime of Malla king and the statue of Bhupteendra Malla and the five stories temple (Panch Talle Mandir) built by the king Bhupteendra Malla is found in this city. Besides these, the Dattatrey Temple, Sunchara Pokhari, and amazing ponds etc., are the artistic works which have not only made the city incomparable but also worth seeing. The Golden gate is the main entrance to the courtyard of the place with 55 windows. It was built by King Pratap Malla and is one of the most beautifully and richly carved specimen of its kind in the entire world.
Lalitpur (Patan) Durbar Square
Lalitpur Durbar Square is remarkable for cultural and ancient crafts, drawings and handicrafts in Nepal. The stupas, Rato Machchhindra Nath and other various temples build from the period of Ashoka to the period of Malla dysnasty are still adding the aesthetical beauty to this city. The twenty one spires (Gajurs) of Krishna Mandir are completely made of stone. Besides it, the windows of elephant bones (hides), the statue of Yog Narendra Malla, Taleju temple, stone tape and ponds, etc. are the artistic works of Lalitpur Durbar Square.
The Pashupatinath temple
The Pashupatinath temple is regarded as a very special and popular temple among the religious sites of Nepal. This temple is situated at a distance of 4 km away in the north east of Kathmandu. The Lichchhavi kings have laid Shivaling of this temple. Thereafter, the Malla kings made it more beautiful and attractive by converting it into two storied. People of different castes and religions comet o this temple to worship with great respect. Likewise, devotees from abroad come to worship the lord Shiva. The forest, Kailash and Ghat around Pashupatinath temple have made the surrounding environment attractive, beautiful and worth seeing it. This temple is very important from the religious point of view. It is one of the holiest spots for Hindus. The main temple is situated on the bank of the Bagmati River which is a tributary of the holy Gangajee river of India.
The Changu Narayan temple
This temple is supposed to be the oldest temples of Nepal. The Lichchhavi kings observed Sri Champak or Changu Narayan with great devotion and respect. Similarly, the Malla kings also protected this temple with great devotion. It is situated in the north from Bhaktapur Durbar. The Hindus, Bouddha and Shakyas come to observe and worship in the temple of Sri Changu Narayan. The Changu Narayan festival is observed in the mouth of Magh every year. The statue of Sri Changunarayan is given bath in the Shali River of Shankhu. It is the tradition of bring this statue of Hanuman Dhoka after worship. This temple is of Lord Vishnu and it is an old temple built by King Vishnu Hari Datta Verma in 325 AD. This temple is rich in its structural design and architecture.
The Boudha Nath Stupa of Lord Buddha has been given great importance among the temple of Gods and Chaityas of Nepal. It is situated in the north-east about 7 km away from Kathmandu. The Jyotiswarup Chaitya according to the Buddhist Grantha. The devotees of different religions come to visit and worship this Chaitya. This Colossal Buddhist Stupa is one of the biggest Lamaist temple in the world. It is built in the Pagoda style. At present, there are five Gompas (Tibetan monasteries) where Tibetan Buddhist monks pray to the Buddhist deities.
Lord Swayambhu Nath
According to Puran (mythological beliefs), God Swayambhu Nath was originated from the flower Lotus. The Chaitya of God Swayambhu Nath is also a very popular religious site. This Chaitya is situated about 4 km away in the west of Kathmandu. God Swayambhu Nath is also regarded as Jyoti Swaroop (light). The God Swayambhu Nath is also considered as the creator and destroyer, too. People from different religions such as Hindus, Buddhist, Shakyas, etc. come to worship God Swayambhu Nath. There are many temples in the Swayambhu site, but the main Chaitya is one of the world’s most glorious Buddhist Chaityas. It is said to be about 2000 years old. The Swayambhu Nath site is situated on a hillock about 77 meters high from the ground level.
Lumbini is situated in the south west of Terai belt. This place is the center of religious pilgrimage for millions of Buddhists. This place is known in the world as the birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha. The Buddhist come to visit and worship to this place. Devotees come to worship form abroad. Various kinds of natural heritage are found here. Lumbini is the most sacred place for Buddhist as well as glorious for the country because Sakaymuni or Siddharth Gautam Buddha was born here in 623 AD. This place lies 1 km west of Siddarthnagar (Bhairahawa) in the Rupandehi district of Lumbini zone. It is said that in those days, Lumbini was a beautiful garden full of green shady Sal trees. Both Nepal government and the United Nations organization have taken a keen interest in its development.
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park is the oldest and first park in Nepal. It was established in 1973AD following approval by the late King Mahendra in December 1970. This park lies in the plain area of mid-south region of Inner Terai. It is in the heart of the jungle of Terai. Its total area is 932 square kilometers. It is one of the most important sub-tropical lowland parks in Nepal. It has been included under the list of World Heritage Site in 1984 AD.
Sagarmatha National Park
The Sagarmatha national park is the world’s highest national park located above 3000 meter (9700 ft.). This park was established in 1975 AD. The highest peak of the world Mount Everest (Sagarmatha) and other important peaks lie in this region. This park was included in the list of World Heritage Site in the year 19th July, 1976 as ‘contains superlative natural beauty and is of great aesthetic importance’. This park was created on 19th July, 1976 and was inscribed as a Natural World Heritage Site in 1979.