There are four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal. Two are in cultural category and two are in natural category. Be a part of an amazing experience; visit architecturally and culturally rich heritage sites in Kathmandu Valley and Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha; or get a glimpse of the exotic flora and fauna of Nepal’s Himalayas in Sagarmatha or the Tarai in Chitwan . Whether you are a nature lover or a culture enthusiast, there’s something for everybody here.
UNESCO has listed 4 World Heritage Sites in Nepal; Chitwan National Park and Sagarmatha National Park are listed as UNESCO Natural World Heritage Sites; 7 sites in Kathmandu Valley counted together as one and Lumbini – the birthplace of Lord Buddha are listed as UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Sites.
World Cultural Heritage Sites of Nepal are:
- Lumbini: the birthplace of Lord Buddha
One of the world’s most important spiritual sites is home to the historic birthplace of the Buddha. Today you can visit over 25 international Buddhist monasteries, study Buddhism, meditation and visit Buddha’s birthplace itself within the sacred Mayadevi Gardens!
- Seven monuments of Kathmandu Valley within a radius of 20km (together counted as one Heritage site):
Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site compromises of:
Three historical palaces:
- Kathmandu Durbar Square
Enter the historical grounds at the Kathmandu Durbar Square, which is in the heart of the capital city, and experience the origins of how Nepal was unified. Or visit the equally enthralling Patan or Bhaktapur. The April earthquake might have made a rubble of a few old palaces. However, renovations are ongoing and you can still learn about the rich history of the Malla dynasty, the foremost pioneers of art and culture in the valley, or be a part of vibrant festivals which are still carried out among much joy by the local Newars.
- Patan Durbar Square
Or take a tour around Patan Durbar Square where can walk through the old gallis (streets), where timeless wood and stone carvings of hundreds of Hindu and Tibetan deities greet you from every wall of temples. Or admire the flawless Newari architecture of the beautiful temples and resident homes which are hundreds of years old.
- Bhaktapur Dubar Square
Another place to put on the trip is the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, where highlight is the 55 Window Palace and other numerous temples like the Nyatapola Temple or Dattatraya Temple, the Golden Gate, which all date back to the 14th century, built during the reign of Malla kings.
Two Buddhist Stupas:
- Swayambhunath Stupa
If you want to experience Buddhism, then visit the Swayambhunath also popularly known as the Monkey Temple, or Boudhanath, and let the bliss seep in, away from the noise and chaos of the city. Spin the hundreds of prayer wheels that surround the main domes and be a part of spiritual enchanting prayers that take place in the evenings. Light oil lamps and send prayers to a loved one.
- Boudhanath Stupa
Situated 8 km to the east of downtown Kathmandu, Boudhanath, is one of the most imposing landmarks in Kathmandu, visible as soon as you land at the Tribhuvan International Airport. It is the largest stupa in the Kathmandu Valley. The 36-meter-high stupa of Boudhanath is one of the largest stupas in South Asia.
- Pashupatinath Temple
The largest temple complex in Nepal, it stretches on both sides of the Bagmati River which is considered holy by Hindus. The main pagoda style temple has a gilded roof, four sides covered in silver, and wood carvings of the finest quality. Temples dedicated to several other Hindu and Buddhist deities surround the temple of Pashupatinath.
- Changu Narayan Temple
One of the other major attractions is the Changu Narayan Temple situated 8 miles east of the Kathmandu Valley. This place is a must visit, for it is known to be one of the oldest temples of Nepal, which according to legends is said to have existed since 325 AD. Make a day’s trip where you can enjoy the rich archaeological relics and stone carvings, which are the oldest epigraphs to Nepal’s history.
The World Natural Heritage Sites in Nepal are:
- Chitwan National Park
In the southern region of Nepal, the jungles of Chitwan National Park await you with wildlife experiences like no other. Track wild royal Bengal tigers and watch one-horned rhinos bathe in rivers alongside great Asiatic elephants. If you want to quench your thirst for nature, Chitwan National Park is where you should be.
- Sagarmatha National Park
Sagarmatha National Park is home of the highest peak in the world – Mt. Everest (8,848 m). The area was declared national park in 1976. The park which also has several other peaks all above 6,000 m, was established as a World Heritage Site in 1979.
Nepal offers incomparable scope to connoisseurs of art and culture to see and study different aspects of fine arts in its paintings, sculpture, wood carvings and architecture.