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World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites

Nepal has ten natural sites and cultural monuments inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS). They are Swoyambhunath, Boudhanath, Pashpatinath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Sagarmatha National Park, Chitwan National Park and Lumbini. These heritage sites remain the major attractions for tourists visiting Nepal. 
The government of Nepal has given utmost priority to preserve and conserve all these precious world heritage landmarks for many generations to come. To visit these sites, tourists are required to pay designated entrance fees which are then utilized for carrying out conservation activities around the sites. 

There are all together 10 World Heritate Sites in Nepal including 8 Cultural and 2 Natural Sites.


  1. Kathmandu Durbar Square
  2. Patan Durbar Square
  3. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
  4. Changu Narayan Temple
  5. Swoyambhu Stupa
  6. Pashupatinath
  7. Boudha Stupa
  8. Lumbini
  9. Chitwan National Park
  10. Sagarmatha National Park

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World Heritage Sites - Cultural:

1. Kathmandu Durbar Square:

Kathmandu Durbar Square was once a seat of Malla Kings followed by Shah Kings of Nepal. The durbar square which is a rich tapestry of temples, stautes, sculptures, courtyards, and alleys, was inscribed in world heritage site in 1979. Nowhere can you appreciate the excellence and beauty of Newar craftsmanship as in Kathmandu Durbar Square. 
  Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kasthamandap, Hanuman Dhoka, Taleju Bhawani Temple,Jagannath Temple, Indrapur Temple, are exquisite examples of the richness of Newari arts and architecture that has stood the test of time. These uniquely tiered temples are distinct in the design and material used. The elaborate carvings on brick, wood, stone, and bronze and using fired brick with mud mortar and timber structures has given a outstanding recognition to what we call now Nepali architecture. 
Kumari Ghar or Kumair Chowk within the square is the home of Kumari, the living Goddess of Nepal, chosen as incarnation of Durga. Likewise Kasthmandap, which was sadly reduced to smithereens by the devastating earthquake of 2015, was believed to have been made from a single tree. Round the year the square hosts many cultural and religious festivals such as Indra Jatra, Kumari Jatra, Durga Puja etc.


2. Patan Durbar Square:

Divided by the Bagamati River from Kathmandu is the city of Patan which is home to Patan Durbar Square. Yet another proof of outstanding Newari art and architecture embossed in temples, bahals, statues and hitis spread around the square. The square hosts around 136 courtards among which Mul Chowk remains the largest of all. 

  Patan Durbar Square
Located in Keshav Narayan Chowk, newly opened Patan Museum feature some of the finest collection of Newari arts and artifacts includes photos, statues, repousse, wood carvings and murals. There are altogether 55 major temples within the precinct, the chief being Krishna Mandir, Taleju Bhawani temple, Bhimsen Temple and Vishwanath temple. 


3. Bhaktapur Durbar Square:

Lying about 12 Km east of Kathmandu is the city of Bhaktapur, one of the three medieval kingdoms of Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur literally translates into the ‘city of devotees’. Bhaktapur Durbar Square has a rich collection of temples, statutes, sculptures and courtyards each standing as a highlight of exquisite Newari art and architecture. 
  Bhaktapur Durbar Square
At the center of the square drawing all the attention of visitors is the 55-window palace which almost took over 50 years to complete. This 18th century palace of Malla King Bhupatindra Malla features 55 windows, richly carved interiors, mural paintings on the inside walls along with Golden Gate, Taleju Chowk and Naga Pokhari. Another eye catching monument in the square is Nyatapola, a five storied pagoda style temple dedicated to Goddess Siddhalaxmi. Other attractions here include Dattatraya Square, Taumadhi Square and the famous Pottery Square where Newari artists remain engaged in creating various clay designs. 


4. Changu Narayan Temple:

Changu Narayan Temple is located 12 Km east of Kathmandu in Dolagiri Hill of Bhaktapur district. Surrounded by Champak forests and a traditional settlement of Newari ethnic community, Changu Naryan is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The oldest stone inscription ever discovered in Kathmandu Valley, dating back to 464 AD, is preserved in the temple. 

  Changunarayan Temple
The site features various sculptures of Vishnu, statue of King Bhupalendra Malla, Chinnamasta Devi Temple, Kileshwor Shiva Temple etc. Lately a museum has been opened within the temple precinct showcasing ancient coins, tools, arts, and architectures.


5. Swoyambu Stupa:

Swoyambu Stupa is part of the cultural heritage of ancient Kathmandu Valley and is regarded as the oldest Buddhist stupa in Nepal. Swaymbu Stupa stands out for its distinctive whitewashed hemispheres that are adorned by all seeing eyes of Buddha in all four cardinal directions. The name Swoyambhu means ‘self created’ hence the belief that the stupa arose of itself on a hill.
  Swoyambhunath Stupa
This 2000 year old stupa complex consists of a maze of shrines, monasteries, ponds, forests along with gift shops and restaurants. The biggest image of Shakyamuni Buddha in Nepal, gold plated Vajra, AjimaTemple, a pair of Shikhara Temples, Dewa Dharma Monastery and Sleeping Buddha are some of the chief monuments within. The stupa is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites among both Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims and is popular as ‘monkey temple’ due to a large number of monkeys living off by the forest.


6. Pashupatinath:

Pashupatinath is a Hindu Temple lying on the bank of Bagmati River. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the god of all gods, Hindus consider Pashupatinath among the four most important pilgrimage centers in the world. The temple is believed to have been erected as far as back as 400 BC however the present day main two storied temple was erected in 5th century AD. 
  Pashupatinath Temple
The main temple styled in Pagoda architecture houses sacred Linga or phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. The temple precincts features around 184 Shiva Lingam and 518 temples and monuments including Ram Temple, Guheswori Temple, Virat Swaroop Temple and Vasukinath Temple. Other attractions of Pashupatinath are cremation sites along the bank of Bagmatir River, deer forests and eastern classical music center. During the festival of Shiva Ratri, the temple is visited by thousands of visitors, sadhus, sanyasis and tourists.


7. Boudha Stupa:

Boudha Stupa, located northeast of Kathmandu Valley, is the largest Buddhist monument in Nepal. Inscribed in 1979 as a world heritage site, Boudha Stupa has been a sacred Buddhist shrine for thousands of years, especially for Tamang and Tibetans. 
  Bouddhanath Stupa
The stupa is believed to enshrine the tomb of Kassapa Buddha, one of the five Buddhas to have walked on earth, and the one who preceded Shakyamuni Buddha. Boudha Sutpa was originally called Khaasti Stupa while the Tibetans revere it as Jya Lung Khashor Chorten Chenpo. It is unique in its design in that it resembles a dome in shape with 13 levels of spire and prayer wheels at the base holding deep meaning and purpose. There are many as 50 gompas constructed in the last 50 years or so around the main stupa.


8. Lumbini:

Lumbini is located in Rupandehi district directly southwest of Kathmandu. It is known world over as the birthplace of Siddartha Gautama or Buddha since it was here that Buddha was born in 563BC. Today it is the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Buddhists all around the world. 
Lumbini primarily features all the important sites and monuments related to Buddha’s life. Among them the most important ones are Mayadevi Temple (the spot where Buddha was born), Puskarni Pond (where Buddha’s mother bathed before giving birth to Buddha) and Ashoka Pillar (erected by Emperor Ashoka to mark Buddha’s birthplace).
Today Lumbini is becoming world peace center whereby visitors from all over the globe visit to seek peace, meditate and learn Buddha’s philosophy. Other attractions for visitors are Crane Sanctuary, Lumbini Garden, Buddhist Library and Lumbini International Research Institute, World Peace Stupa and international monasteries.


World Heritage Sites - Natural:

9. Chitwan National Park:

Instituted in 1973, Chitwan National Park is the oldest national park in Nepal and the most popular among visitors. The park lies in the southern plains of the country on the bank of Rapti and Narayani rivers.  It is one of the last sanctuaries for endangered species like Bengal Tigers, Asian Elephants, one horned Rhinos, and Gharia Crocodile in the Indian Subcontinent. 

  Chitwan National Park
The park is home to 56 species of herpetofauna, 68 mammal species, 544 bird species and 126 species of fish. It further features well managed and successful Gharial, Turtle and Vulture conservation breeding centers. For centuries, Chitwan and its dense jungles have been guarded and protected by Tharu community who possess their own unique culture and indigenous knowledge. Home stay facility, Tharu museum and Tharu cultural dances are special attractions to travelers visiting the park. One can indulge in plenty of nature based activities such as Elephant safari, canoe ride, nature walk, bird watching etc. 


10. Sagarmatha National Park:

Situated on the laps of Mt. Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, Sagarmatha National Park was designated a world heritage site in 1979. The national park encompasses not only Mt. Everest and other tallest Himalayan peaks such as Cho Oyu, Ama Dablma, Thamserku, Lhotse, Pumori, Nuptse etc. but also glaciers and lakes like Khumbu Glacier and Gokyo Lake. The altitude here ranges from 2000m to 8848m. 

  Sagarmatha National Park
The region is one of the most visited tourist sites by trekkers and mountaineers in Nepal. Its alpine climatic condition and vegetation means the area is suitable habitat for wildlife species in the likes of Snow Leopard, Himalayan Monal, Red Panda, Blood Pheasant etc. Sagarmatha region is also known for the hospitality of Sherpa people and their unique Buddhist culture and mountain lifestyles as well as their impressive ability to climb mountains. Thyangboche Monastery located at a height of 3867m is the highest and biggest monastery in Nepal. 


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