There are 10 UNESCO listed world heritage sites in Nepal. Seven of them are in the Kathmandu Valley. UNESCO has ten criteria for the world heritage list, six applying for cultures living and dead and four for natural sites. For inclusion, nominated sites must have “outstanding universal value” and meet at least one of the ten criteria. There are currently 878 World Heritage Sites, and about three-quarters of the countries in the world have at least one site listed. World heritage sites in Nepal are the major attraction for the tourist. These world heritage sites also a symbol of Nepalese arts, culture, heritage and history.
UNESCO listed world heritage sites in Nepal
Lumbini is the peerless landmark of the Buddhist world. It is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. It is recognized as a pilgrimage of all the people of the who follow Buddhism. UNESCO enlisted Lumbini as a world heritage site in 1997 AD. The Ashok pillar which was made by emperor Ashoka in 245 BC is located here. Some other attractions of Lumbini are Puskarini pond, Maya Devi temple, monasteries, stupas, libraries, museums and research center.
It is the holy place of the Hindus. The Pashupati area includes the temple of Pashupati, Deupatan, Jaya Bageshori, Gaurighat, Kutumbahal, Gaushala, Pingannath and Slashmantak forest. There are about 492 temples, Chaityas, Satals, etc. Temples are constructed in various styles. There are about one thousand Shivalingas in the Pashupati area.
Sagarmatha National Park
Sagarmatha National Park located in Solukhumbu district of Sagarmatha zone. It was enlisted in the world heritage site in 1979 AD. The Sagarmatha national park covers 1148 sq. Km in area. The highest peak of the world Sagarmatha is located here. Besides Lhotse, Choyu, Nuptse, Pumori, Amadablam etc. are other major peaks located in the national park. The major vegetation found in this park is rhododendron (Laliguras), Bhojpatra, pine (Dhupi) etc. The birds and animals like wild yak, musk deer, red panda, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Lophophorous (Danfe), polar cheetah etc. are found here.
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park is one of the most important tourist destinations of Nepal. It is located in Chitwan district and 120 km south-west of Kathmandu. It covers an area of 932 sq. Km. It is especially famous for one horned rhino, which is rarely found in the world. The Royal Bengal tiger is another important wildlife found in this national park. Besides this, elephants, crocodiles, tigers,peacocks, etc. are the important wildlife and varieties of birds found here.
Hanumandhoka Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square is the heart of Kathmandu city. The Malla kings ruled over Kathmandu from this palace. The Malla king Pratap Malla erected the statue of Hanuman (the Hindu god of power) in this place and it was named Hanumandhoka. Besides Hanumandhoka, Basantapur,palace, Taleju temple, museum, house of Kumari, Kasthamandap, a Kettledrum, etc. the ancient heritage located here.
Bouddhanath Stupa, the biggest Stupa in Nepal, lies about 7 kms east of the capital. It is one of the oldest Sutpa in the country. It is believed that this Stupa was constructed in around 5th Century. There are over 45 Buddhist monasteries in this area. UNESCO enlisted it in the world heritage site in 1979 AD.
Patan Durbar Square
It was the palace of mall kings during medieval Nepal. It is located in Lalitpur district. Krishna temple with 21 golden pinnacles (Gajurs) is the masterpiece of Malla art and architecture. Besides this, there are Bhimsen temple, Bishwanath temple, Jagat Narayan temple, statue of Yog Narendra Malla, Mahabouddha, Kumbheshor Mahadev, temple of Rato Machhindranath etc. and typical Newari culture is another attraction of this place.
Bhaktapur Durbar square
It was the place from where the Malla kings of Bhaktapur ruled over their kingdom. The world heritage sites like fifty-five window-palace, statue of Bhupatindra Malla, national art gallery, golden gate, Nyatapola etc. are located here. It was enlisted in the world heritage site in 1979 AD. Typical Newari culture and vintage house styles are attractions of this Durbar square.
Changunarayan temple, the oldest temple in Kathmandu valley came into existence in the 5th Century. The temple is adorned by some of the best specimens of stone, wood, and metal craft in the valley. The temple stands as the epitome of culture, religion, history and faith of Kathmandu valley. It is located in Bhaktapur district and 22 km east of Kathmandu. There is a lord Vishnus’ idol with ten heads and ten arms. This is a fine example of stone carving from the 5th Century. The temple is made in pagoda style. There are also an inscription carved in stone, wood and metal craft made in the 5th Century.
The Buddhist temple of Swayambhunath is situated on the top of a hill in Kathmandu. It is one of the most popular holy places and instantly recognizable symbol of Nepal. The temple is colloquially known as “ monkey temple” because of a large tribe of roaming monkeys found there. This temple is regarded as the symbol of religious tolerance as there is the temple of Hindu goddess Saraswoti. There are other Stupas and idols also. Recently, the biggest statue of Buddha has been constructed near the Swayambhunath temple.
Beside these world heritage sites in Nepal, country has a lots of attraction, adventure activities, heritage sites, cultural attraction and many more other attraction which could attracts the tourists.