A paradise for any adventure enthusiast, Nepal is a rugged terrain full of beautiful hikes and treks. The views of the Himalayas are breathtaking! There is a kind of peace and tranquility in the air and lush green environment of Nepal. But it’s more than just an adventurer’s paradise. This is the land of monasteries and temples. In fact, it is Nepal’s national parks and heritage sites that make it a top destination for travelers. Brahming an abundance of top places to visit, it has something to look forward to for all its travelers.
Top heritage sites in Nepal
There are ten World Heritage Sites here in Nepal. These are the national parks and historical places of Nepal declared as UNESCO heritage sites in Nepal:
1. Kathmandu Durbar Square
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A center of attraction and site of architectural heritage, it is also known as Hanuman Dhoka Square. Sometimes kings were crowned and ruled from here. Today a World Heritage Site, Durbar Square is one of Kathmandu’s major attractions. Durbar Square contained magnificent buildings such as temples and palaces, whose architecture reflected the skill of Newar artisans. Many buildings were destroyed in the 2015 earthquake. But even today this place is one of the most visited places by tourists in Nepal.
2. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Enjoy the fascinating architectural views of the monuments representing the customs and traditions of Nepal at this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site, located opposite the palace of the old Bhaktapur Kingdom. At a distance of 13 kilometers from Kathmandu, Bhaktapur Durbar Square is located in Bhadgaon. Some of the places to visit in this plaza are Pachapanna Jhayale Darbar which is a palace with 55 windows, Vatsala Temple, Nyatapola Temple and the Golden Gate.
3. Patan Durbar Square
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The third of the Durbar Squares, Patan Durbar Square is located in the center of Lalitpur city. The beauty of Newar architecture that can be seen on the square leaves the visitors in complete awe. The main attraction of the plaza is the royal palace of the Malla kings. This square has beautiful temples, statues and some ancient Newari style residences, making it one of the most attractive heritage places of Nepal. Some of the top tourist places worth visiting here are Krishna Temple, Bhimsen Temple and Vishwanath Temple.
4. Swayambhunath Stupa
Swayambhunath is situated atop a hill overlooking the magnificent Kathmandu Valley. It is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites and its stupa is one of the oldest stupas in Nepal. There are various temples and monasteries in this complex. The beauty of this place lies in the eyes and eyebrows of Buddha depicted on this stupa. Today the complex houses a Tibetan monastery and a museum, which have been added to the complex over time. Get an introduction to Nepal’s national heritage here at the museum.
5. Pashupatinath Temple
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Added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1979, the Pashupatinath Temple is a sacred Hindu temple complex. It is the oldest Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Kathmandu and was originally established in the 15th century. Today the complex consists of a collection of various temples that have been added to over time. This temple is very sacred among Hindus and more than one million devotees come here on the day of Maha Shivratri.
6. Boudhanath Stupa
This Kathmandu Stupa is one of the largest circular stupas in Nepal and one of the largest stupas in the world. This Buddhist place of worship is a popular tourist destination in Nepal. In Nepali the stupa is called “Chorten Chenpo” which means “Great Tower”. Tibetan Buddhists can often be seen meditating here as it is one of their most sacred places!
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This ancient Hindu temple of Changu Narayan is situated on the high hill top of Dhaulagiri and in the surroundings of Champak forest. The temple here is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is constructed in traditional Nepali style and has sculptures and art reliefs related to Lord Vishnu. The temple is a famous tourist destination and on its way is the private Changu Museum which houses ancient, archaeological, cultural, historical and artistic objects.
Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, is one of the most famous historical places in Nepal.
It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997. It is a top pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Lumbini is a place of cultural heritage of Nepal. It also has religious and historical importance. The site has some temples including the famous Mayadevi temple, monasteries, Lumbini International Research Institute and a museum. One can enjoy bird watching here as this place has some exotic and rare bird species.
9. Chitwan National Park
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Established in 1973, Chitwan National Park is the first national park of Nepal. The park became a World Heritage Site in 1984. Due to the variety of flora and fauna present in it, it attracts travelers from far and wide. Here one can enjoy elephant safari and also see the beautiful sal trees, balsam and rosewood. Canoe and jeep safaris are also available for park visitors.
10. Sagarmatha National Park
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Sagarmatha National Park is a protected bird area that was created in 1976 and became a World Heritage Site in 1979. The park is famous for having the world’s highest peak, Sagarmatha (Mount Everest), at 8,848 meters above sea level. The rugged terrain of the park makes it a great hiking destination for adventure lovers. It has a variety of flora and fauna. The park is covered with birch, blue pines and cedars and if lucky, one can catch a glimpse of the snow leopard here!
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read ahead: 11 Festivals of Nepal to Experience the Country’s Heritage
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