UNESCO listed World Heritage sites in Kathmandu
Kanchan Shrestha | July 21, 2019
The historical and cultural richness of Nepal has awed the heart of many fellow travelers. Unique and authentic, there is so much to explore and relish. No wonder, there are ten heritage sites in Nepal that has made their place into the charts of the UNESCO listed world heritage sites. Amongst these ten, seven are already in the capital city of Kathmandu. So, if you are in the capital city of Nepal, you don’t have to go far to get some insights on Nepalese history, art, culture, religions, tradition and lifestyle. The UNESCO listed world heritage sites in general consists of the ancient but architecturally magnificent palaces, temples and stupas. They are enlisted on the basis of their natural and cultural importance.
So, which are the
UNESCO listed world heritage sites in Kathmandu?
The UNESCO listed world heritage sites in Kathmandu
consists of – Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath stupa, Pashupatinath
temple, Boudhanath stupa, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square and
Kathmandu Durbar Square is a magnificent ancient palace of Nepal built in the medieval period by the Malla kings. It lies in the heart of Kathmandu city and is one of the most cherished places in Kathmandu. It comprises of palaces, courtyard, and temples in this surrounding. Now, the palace has been turned into a museum that treasures all the reminisce of Royal families and other valuable things of that ancient area. The art, architecture, and craftwork manifested in the windows, pillars, doors and other parts of the palace are absolutely stunning. The fine work of art reflects the great taste of Malla kings for art and artworks. the major attractions in Kathmandu Durbar Square are the Hanuman Dhoka, Talejubhawani temple, nine-story Basantapur tower, Nasal Chowk, MulChowk, SundariChowk, Mohan Chowk, KalBhairab temple, PanchMukhe Hanuman Temple, etc. There are many stone inscriptions engraved on the walls of the palace that is written in 15 different languages. The ancient building, wooden eyed windows, pillars engraved with beautiful wooden carvings, metal crafts, wooden crafts and reminisce of the historical family are the magnificence of this place which makes it one of the must-visit places in Kathmandu valley.
Placed on the top of a hill, Swayambhunath is a beautiful Buddhist stupa that offers some fascinating views of the entire Kathmandu valley. As per Buddhist mythology, when the legend Manjushree cut the hill to allow water from the lake to flow out from the Kathmandu valley, there was a lotus in the lake. Now, the stupa is placed on the same place where the lotus settled. The stupa is a holy shrine with a white dome and a golden spire above it. The periphery of the stupa is surrounded by various temples, chaityas, prayer wheels, etc. The whole environment is filled with a peaceful and empowering vibe of Lord Buddha which makes Swayambhunath stupa one of the must-visit places in Kathmandu valley. Noting the religious value of this place, UNESCO listed it as one of its world heritage sites in Kathmandu.
Pashupatinath temple is one of the pious places for all the Hindu pilgrims. Many Hindus around the world visit Nepal just to pay their visit to this temple. Pashupatinath temple, the temple of Lord Shiva dates back to the 5th century and is said to have been renovated by the Malla kings. It is an ancient pagoda style temple with four silver doors on four different directions that are carved with some exquisite designs. It lies next to the bank of Bagmati river and has a Hindu cremation site just beside it. Every day, the priests perform some special pooja and aarti inside the temple. It is very astonishing to see those old temples and idols preserved intact till date. Sadhus, the people who leave a simple life without family can be seen around the premises of Pashupatinath temple. They are uniquely dressed by whitewashing their body with ashes. The temples depict the unique Hindu religion that is dominant in the country – Nepal. These all features and religious importance of this place makes Pashupatinath temple on the chart of UNESCO listed world heritage sites in Kathmandu.
Placed on the three-layered mandala, Boudhanath is one of the largest stupas in the world that holds high value amongst all the Buddhist pilgrims in and outside Nepal. It is located eight kilometers east from the Kathmandu valley. It was built in the medieval period during the reign of Licchhavi kings. King Mandev had built this beautiful design in the 5th century. The periphery of the stupa is enriched with other temples, chaityas, prayer wheels, and colorful prayer flags. In the night time, the stupa looks quite vibrant but then the peaceful environment that this place has is energizing. We can see monks circulating the periphery, lighting the lamps and chanting holy mantras. It is one of the most cherished tourist areas around the Kathmandu valley. These all features make Boudhanath stupa, one of the UNESCO listed world heritage sites in Kathmandu.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is another beautiful and magnificent palace of Malla kings that was built in the medieval period of Nepal. It is similar to that of the Kathmandu Durbar square. It consists of many temples in its periphery and various courtyards inside the main palace. The palace has now been turned into a museum that preserves various historical reminisce and memories. This durbar square is just13 kilometers away from Kathmandu. It is architecturally very rich. We can observe the fine piece of art and crafts in this place. The major attractions of Bhaktapur Durbar Square are 5 windows palace, Vatshala temples, Golden gate, a statue of King BhupetendraMallaand Nyatapole temple. Considering the historical value and architectural excellence of this place, it is placed in the charts of UNESCO listed world heritage sites in Kathmandu.
Patan Durbar Square is similar to that of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square. Going back to the history, Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur used to be three different independent states and durbar squares in each city were the grand palaces of Malla kings who rules those states back then. Now, the palace in Patan is named as Patan Durbar Square. Like other complexes, it is a beautiful complex that consists of temples, statues, monuments, and other craftworks. The wooden carvings, metal carvings, and stone carvings are fascinating. The main palace building is now a museum that treasures all those historical monuments. The major attractions of Patan Durbar Square are Taleju bell, Krishna temple, Harishankar temple, Jagan Nnarayan temple, Bishwanath temple, Keshav Narayan Chowk, etc. No wonder Patan Durbar Square is one of the UNESCO listed world heritage sites in Kathmandu.
Changunarayan temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Kathmandu valley. It is a pagoda-style temple whole main shrine is guarded by pair of mystical beasts like lions, elephants, winged lions, etc. it is architecturally rich with amazing carvings of Tantric deities in the walls of the temple. It is a temple of Lord Vishnu, the creator of all life and only Hindus are allowed to enter into this temple. Located on a top of a hill, the temple also offers beautiful sights of mother nature all around. It is also one of the UNESCO listed world heritage sites in Kathmandu.
So, all the above mentioned are the UNESCO listed World Heritage sites in Kathmandu. If you want to get some insights on unique art, culture ,and history of Nepal, do not forget to remember Himal Eco Treks for the sightseeing tour to the UNESCO listed heritage sites in Kathmandu.
Day tour packages to visit UNESCO listed World Heritage sites in Kathmandu. Click here