Cultural Heritage Sites in Nepal
Nepal is a small, mountainous, landlocked country in the world with an area of 147,181 square kilometers. Despite its size, Nepal has been recognized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization) with 10 places as ‘World Heritage Sites’. The World Heritage List comprises 830 properties of cultural and natural heritage that have exceptional universal value, including 644 cultural heritage sites, 162 natural heritage sites, and 24 mixed properties. Nepal is proud to have 10 of these sites.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
The Kathmandu Durbar Square is a stunning heritage site abundant with cultural and ancient crafts, drawings, and handicrafts. One of its most unique features is the Maru Shattal, which is made entirely from a single tree and is known as the Kasthamandap. The city of Kathmandu derives its name from this impressive structure. Other notable attractions in the Kathmandu Durbar Square include the beautiful arts of Hanuman Dhoka, the Taleju Bhawani temple, the Panchmukhi Hanuman temple, the Kumari temple (home to the Living Goddess), the Shiva-Parbati Temple, Sri Ganesh Sthan, and the Gaddi Baithak (a place for coronation).
Bhaktapur Durbar square
The Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a showcase of ancient cultural crafts, drawings, and handicrafts. The city boasts the fifty-five window durbar, Sundhokha (Golden gate), and the statue of Bhupteendra Malla, as well as the five-story Panch Talle Mandir temple built by the king Bhupteendra Malla. Other remarkable artistic works include the Dattatrey Temple, Sunchara Pokhari, and beautiful ponds that make the city truly unique and worth visiting. The Golden gate serves as the main entrance to the courtyard of the palace with 55 windows, built by King Pratap Malla and considered one of the most exquisitely and richly carved specimens of its kind around the world.
Patan Durbar Square
Patan 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 dynasty 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 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 Ganga river of India.
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 Boudhanath 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 Epic. 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.
According to Puran (mythological beliefs), God Swayambhunath was originated from the flower Lotus. The Chaitya of God Swayambhunath is also a very popular religious site. This Chaitya is situated about 4 km away in the west of Kathmandu. God Swayambhunath is also regarded as Jyoti Swaroop (light). The God Swayambhunath is also considered as the creator and destroyer, too. People from different religions such as Hindus, Buddhist, Shakyas, etc. come to worship God Swayambhunath. 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 Swayambhunath 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.