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Nepal is a treasure house for travelers in search of cultural and natural richness. The country has numerous attractions, including ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites, seven of which are located in the magical Kathmandu Valley. If you plan to visit Nepal, don’t miss out on its rich heritage with a 1 or 2-day Heritage tour. It is a great way to explore the cultural heritage of this country!
Among the total of 1,154 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, Nepal proudly holds ten sites under cultural, natural, and mixed categories. These sites represent the rich heritage of this country through magnificent paintings, masterful sculptures, elaborate wood carvings and marvelous architecture. For lovers of art and culture, Nepal offers an amazing chance to learn about the nuances of fine arts through different modes. The UNESCO sites provide an interesting insight into the country’s cultural fabric, which makes it a must-see destination.
Recently, Kathmandu has been rated as the No.1 Natural Destination for Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Award in 2024.
In Nepal, Pashupatinath Temple is a place to go for travelers located in Kathmandu near the Bagmati River. It is famous for its beautiful Hindu architecture, and it lies just 1 kilometer from Kathmandu Airport, while the Thamel area, which is very popular among tourists, can be reached in about 4 kilometers. Visitors flock to the temple, which is a source of spiritual power.
Pashupatinath, adorned with golden paintings, is considered to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingams representing Lord Shiva. People believe that by visiting this sanctified place, their souls can be purged of sins accumulated during their lifetime, and they would get salvation. Seeking religious satisfaction, many seekers and elders prefer to spend the remaining days of their lives here.
For liveliness, visit during local festivals such as Teej Maha Shiv Ratri Bala Chaturthi, etc. The ideal time to discover is from October till December, providing pleasant dry weather with clear skies. In particular, Pashupatinath Temple has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, which implies its cultural and historical importance in concise words.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square is an ancient square in the city of Kathmandu, Nepal. It is also known as Basantapur Durbar, Hanuman Dhoka, and “the Museum of Temples” because it has more than 50 temples. This is the classic center of the old town with beautiful traditional architecture.
If you plan to visit, the square is open for tours from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Tuesday to Saturday, and until 2:30 PM on Sundays. The entrance fee is NPR 150 for SAARC country nationals (excluding Nepalese, who enter for free) and NPR 1000 for Chinese nationals and other foreigners. Children under 10 can enter for free.
Famous Sights/ Places to See Around Kathmandu Durbar Square
- The Status of Hanuman
- The Golden Door
- Nasal Chowk
- Basantapur Chowk
- Taleju Temple
- Kumari Chowk and Kumari Ghar
- Trailokya Mohan Temple
- The Kal Bhairav Statue and many more
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
The middle of Bhaktapur, the third largest city in Kathmandu Valley, is a place called ‘Bhaktapur Durbar Square’. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site attracting people from all over the world. This square was constructed in the 12th century during Malla’s rule (12th – 18th centuries). It was the royal palace of the Malla kings, which symbolized their power.
The square is unique because of its incredible architecture. The buildings in there are red brick and have wood carvings. A combination of Hindu and Buddhist motifs will be seen, reflecting the religious landscape in Nepal.
And it’s not only the history and architecture that makes this square a cultural center. All year long, it is home to a number of festivals and cultural activities. The Bisket Jatra festival is one of the major celebrations that takes place during the Nepali New Year. Everyone revels in excitement, dragging chariots and dancing while feasting on good food.
The other major festival is the Gai Jatra, which celebrates those who have died. The square also features Newari restaurants, which offer genuine Nepalese cuisine. When you come, do not forget to enjoy some momos, chow mein, and dal bhat, along with other local dishes. It is not only a square but an active part of Nepalese culture!
Patan Durbar Square
Patan is also known as the “City of Fine Arts” due to its gorgeous traditional crafts and artistic legacy. Patan Durbar Square stands out because of its numerous temples and buildings that have been beautifully designed in a small area. The square is a living museum of Newar architecture, displaying its strong Hindu-Buddhist synthesis.
Many visitors choose to explore the Durbar Square as a day trip before heading off to different trekking areas. Walking around this ancient city is a great way to learn more about the diverse cultures in Nepali society. It’s like taking a little journey through history and art, all in one place.
Famous Sights/ Places to See Around Patan Durbar Square
- Patan Museum
- Hiranya Varna Mahavihar
- Mahaboudha Temple
- Krishna Temple
- Golden Window
Swayambhu, which means ‘self-existent one’ or ‘swayam utpati’, is home to the famous Stupa of Swayambhunath Temple, also known as Monkey Temple, and lies on top of a hill in Northwest Kathmandu Valley. The Stupa was built by King Mandev in the 13th century, according to a stone engraving from AD 460.
The Stupa is located in the middle of a cluster of chaityas, statues, and shrines to both Buddhist and Hindu gods. Devotees can be observed walking around the Stupa all day long, which gives a peaceful feeling. Apart from its religious connotation, the site provides an unparalleled bird’s-eye view of Kathmandu city.
The temple complex is a lively center of activity in which daily rituals and ceremonies are held. Swayambhunath is an embodiment of the lasting spiritual traditions that have defined Nepal’s cultural heritage. Do not forget to visit the intricate details such as Bajra (thunderbolt), Harati temple, and Buddha statues distributed around the hill. An encounter with Swayambhunath plunges one into the vibrant cultural and spiritual fabric of Nepal.
The largest Stupa in Nepal and a major Buddhist site is the Boudhanath. It is located in Kathmandu, which is about 7 km away from the city center. The Stupa is massive, measuring 36 meters in height, and a significant landmark of the skyline. It is impossible to miss when you land at Tribhuvan International Airport.
This site is very special to Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. This is not merely a holy place; it’s also a vibrant cultural hub. Many monasteries, shops, and spinning prayer wheels are everywhere.
When you come here, you will find shops selling cool Tibetan souvenirs, breathtaking thangka paintings, and delicious food from both Tibet and Nepal. Boudhanath is not only popular among religious people, but also those who travel. There are many Buddhist monasteries and places to meditate, where you can learn about Buddhist teachings. This spot has been capturing the hearts of pilgrims and explorers for a long time.
Changu Narayan is an old Hindu temple located on the top of a hill known as Dolagiri in Bhaktapur District, Nepal. It is located in a forest of Champak trees and near the small village of Changu. Under the hill lies a river named Mahara.
This temple is particularly unique as it was built to honor Lord Vishnu and represents the oldest Hindu holy site in Nepal. It is said that a Kashmiri king’s daughter got married to the prince of Bhaktapur and the temple was named after her.
The temple is not the typical Pagoda or Shikhara style; it looks more like a traditional Nepali-style one. As you enter, there are numerous statues and art of Lord Vishnu. The right side has various monuments such as the historical pillar, Garuda, Chanda Naryan statue of Bhupalendra Malla Sridhar Vishnu Vishworup Narasimha Kileshwar.
On the outskirts of Changu Narayan is a Newar community, and as more tourists visit, there are now restaurants, hotels, and shops with souvenirs. The region is now a fun place to visit for tourists.
In southern Nepal, Lumbini is the birthplace of Buddha. It is a sacred site where Mayadevi gave birth to Gautama Buddha in 623 BC, who went on to gain enlightenment and became Lord Buddha. Lumbini is a place that many people visit as part of their journey to places significant in the life story of Buddha.
Lumbini is 260 kilometers away from Kathmandu, and it takes about eight to nine hours to drive by road. It can also fly to Bhairahawa airport and drive a short way for Lumbini’s arrival.
The best times to visit Lumbini and explore its landmarks and architecture are during the autumn and spring seasons. These periods offer pleasant weather and are ideal for a meaningful visit. Additionally, the grand Buddha Purnima festival takes place in April or May. During this celebration, believers and visitors come from all around the world to honor Buddha’s birth in his homeland. Lumbini turns into a meeting place for people looking to connect spiritually and culturally.
Famous Sights/ Places to See Around Lumbini
- Dharma Swami Maharaja Buddha Vihar
- Lumbini Museum
- Eternal peace flam
- Maya Devi Temple, Ashoka Pillar, Bodhi Tree, and Holy Pond
- Kapilbastu Tilaurakot – Childhood home of Gautama Buddha
Chitwan National Park
For nature lovers, Chitwan National Park in Nepal is a place not to be missed. It is famous for wildlife safaris, bird watching, and tiger tracking. It attracts thousands of tourists annually due to its natural beauty. This park was founded in 1973 and has a lot to offer.
However, the affordability of Chitwan National Park compared to safaris globally makes it even more appealing. You have a great variety of wild animals at your fingertips without having to spend too much money. The park is a sanctuary for wildlife that includes the One Horn Rhino, Royal Bengal Tiger, Sloth Bear, and Leopard, along with numerous reptiles as well as an impressive number of bird species.
Enjoy a thrilling elephant back safari, which will lead you through the grasslands and riverine forests in quest of amazing wildlife. For any wildlife enthusiast, Chitwan National Park offers an unforgettable experience.
Sagarmatha National Park
This park covered an area of 1,148 square kilometers and was created in 1976. It received UNESCO’s designation of a Natural World Heritage site in 1979. To visit this marvelous region, you’ll have to obtain an entry permit, which costs NPR 3000 plus VAT – in total, about NPR 3390.
In the park, four of fourteen mountains above eight thousand meters are conserved. Among the most noteworthy peaks is Sagarmatha at 8,848. Some major glaciers, including Khumbu, Imja, Ngozumpa, and Nangpa, among others, make the landscape breathtaking. Mount Everest(Nepali name Sagarmatha) is the tallest peak in the world at 8,848.
The best time to visit is between October and November or March through May. It is not easy to get into Sagarmatha National Park as it does not have any roads in the Khumbu region. The primary way to reach the park is by flying into Lukla from Kathmandu (a 25-minute flight) and then trekking for two days. Alternatively, you can opt for a 35-minute flight to Tumlingtar from Kathmandu and then embark on a 10-day trek. Whichever route you choose, the journey to Sagarmatha National Park promises a once-in-a-lifetime adventure amidst awe-inspiring natural beauty.
Our heritage tour will help you discover the beauty of Nepal. Our itinerary visits all the amazing World Heritage Sites, giving you a chance to appreciate natural wonders and cultural treasures intermingled with various types of terrain. Feel free to contact us or plan an unforgettable journey with our agency if you want to know more about the charm of Nepal’s heritage sites.