Did you know that Nepal has the highest concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the entire world? The Kathmandu Valley alone houses seven of these historic heritages within the radius of 15 kilometers. Be it transporting to the Old Word at ancient palace courtyards, seeking a spiritual experience at Buddha’s birthplace, or exploring biodiversity at a national park in Everest’s foothills, Nepal has it all covered. There are altogether ten of these sites in Nepal that feature both cultural and natural gems. Here we have listed five of the best World Heritage Sites to visit.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is hailed as the finest one amongst three durbar squares of Kathmandu Valley. Built between period of 14th to 18th century, the palace plaza reflects the true heights reached by the native inhabitants of the valley, Newars. Exclusiveonly to Nepal, the architectural grandeur that can be witnessed in the palaces, courtyards, and temples of the Durbar Square will leave you in awe. Moreover, most part of Bhaktapur city has retained its old charm in cobbled streets, narrow alleyways, and ornately crafted windows, which qualify the city itself as a living museum.
Changu Narayan Temple
One of the oldest Hindu temples in Nepal, Changu Narayan is located on a high hilltop known as Changu. Believed to have been built in the 4th century during the reign of Licchavi Dynasty, it is a double-roofed temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Narayan. Not only the oldest, but it is also one of the most intricately and beautifully built temple in Nepal. The wood crafted tundals and pillars, the golden roofs and ornate windows qualify Changu Narayan qualify as an architectural masterpiece.
Light of Asia, Lord Buddha was born in the kingdom of Lumbini in 623BC. Today, the birth site is one the holiest religious and spiritual sites for Buddhists all over the world. The site houses several important testimonials of Buddha’s birth such as commemorative pillars by Indian emperor Ashoka and the excavation sites that house several historic proofs of the prosperous Lumbini kingdom. The beauty of the site is even more accentuated by dozens of stupas and temples built by several countries of the world to commemorate Budhha’s birthplace.
Sagarmatha National Park
Declared as a world heritage site in 1979, Sagarmatha National Park is home to the highest peak in the world. With most of the park lying above 3,000 meters, the NP is full of rugged terrain with gigantic rocks, glaciers, and gorges. Here you can experience the marvels of nature in its finest form. You will be able to savor the incredible views of mountains like Everest, Makalu, Cho Oyu, and Lhotse among others. Similarly, you can also witness biodiverse wonders like musk deer, snow leopard, ghoral and 118 bird species.
Swayambhu Nath, which literally means “self-existent one” was built in the 460 A.D by King Manadeva. One of the largest Buddhist Chaityas in the whole world, it has been an important center of Buddhism since time immemorial. The stupa plaza also houses other several big and small chaityas, temples, artifacts, and a museum which has elevated the beauty and significance of the site. Moreover, the view of the Kathmandu Valley beneath from the hilltop is a cherry on the cake.