Kathmandu Valley is the cultural, religious and administrative melting point of Nepal since ancient times. It consists of rich art and architecture from ancient, medieval and modern era well reflected in palaces and courtyards, temples and Stupas and colorful culture and festivals.
Kathmandu Valley has been the epicenter of art, culture, rituals and politics for thousands of years. The medieval cities of Bhaktapur, Patan and Kathmandu within Kathmandu Valley have been inducted into World Heritage Site list. These cities display some of the world’s distinctive masterpieces of art and architecture, clearly visible in temples and chortens, courtyards, palaces, life-size sculptures and museums.
Kathmandu Valley alone hosts seven world cultural monuments which include Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Squares, Changu Narayan Temple, Pasupatinath Temple, Swoyambhunath and Boudhanath. Changu Narayan Temple, located in the rim of the Kathmandu Valley is a site dedicated to Lord Vishnu and contains the oldest stone inscription. Swoyambhunath and Boudhanath are world’s largest Buddhist stupas that stand tall as a testimony to the significance of Tibetan Buddhism. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Pashupatinath Temple is the most sacred temple among all Hindu devotees.
The Buddhist temples have unique white washed hemisphere structures with gilded brass ornamentation while Hindu temples have tiered structure made of terracotta, brick and timber. The three Durbar Squares, namely Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, represent the three medieval cities of Nepal. The cities host palaces, courtyards, temples, alleyways and museums which were built between 12th to 18th centuries and are richly carved and artistically embellished.
Kathmandu Valley represents a unique amalgamation and coexistence of Hinduism and Buddhism. These monuments are a testimony to the outstanding craftsmanship and cultural and artistic traditions of Newars, the indigenous inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley.