Nepal boasts 8 amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from breathtaking temples to grand palaces that showcase its unique culture and stunning architecture. From the Kathmandu Valley to Lumbini, take a journey through these architectural and cultural gems and discover why they are considered some of the most iconic sites in the world!
Lumbini is located in the Kapilvastu District of Nepal and is the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha. It is believed to have been established in the 6th century BC and features many ancient monasteries, chapels and temples. An archaeological excavation site at Lumbini has revealed some amazing stupas, which are said to be from 500 BC – 200 BC. The Maya Devi Temple is one of its main attractions as this is where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama – who later became the Lord Buddha.
Swayambhunath Stupa is a sacred Buddhist site in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. It has a rich history dates back over 2500 years, and it has been a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, Jains and Buddhists throughout the centuries. It features an ancient white dome atop a hill surrounded by prayer wheels and shrines. An iconic golden spire adorns the architecture of this stupa, and one can get 360° views of the Kathmandu valley from it!
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is an ancient royal palace complex in Bhaktapur, and it has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. It is one of the three royal durbar squares located in the valley and was originally built around the twelfth century by Nepalese royalty. It combines Hindu and Buddhist monuments, such as temples, statues, courtyards, and Hindu and Buddhist shrines. However, the most impressive structure here is a five-storey tower known as the Nyatapola Temple, standing tall on its five roofs since 1704 AD.
Kathmandu Durbar Square is situated in the old city of Kathmandu and consists of three separate palace courtyards – Hanuman Dhoka Durbar, Basantapur and Takendho. The site is one of the best examples of ancient Nepalese royal architecture, and along with its many temples, it holds an important religious significance for many Hindu devotees. It encompasses ancient monuments such as the Taleju Temple, Kasthamandaph Temple, Kumari Ghar, or Home of Living Goddess.
Patan Durbar Square is another famous site listed under the World Heritage Sites of Nepal and serves as the cultural centre of Kathmandu Valley. It is located in the old city of Patan, known for its rich heritage and exemplary Newari culture.
The complex contains fine bronze gateways, statues, carvings, other temples and a few palaces from the Malla Kings period. The palace grounds are also home to many old shrines, beautiful courtyards and garden pavilions adding to its grandeur.