UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Culture

  • Sanjay Lamsal
  • Last Updated on Jul 24, 2023

Join us on a memorable cultural journey to historically, culturally, and religiously rich sites of Nepal. These places are even listed to UNESCO World Heritages. All these places exhibit ancient culture and unique Nepalese art of architecture and sculpture.

Top UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nepal

Kathmandu Durbar Square (World Heritage Site)

Kathmandu Durbar Square is a medieval palace  built in different styles at the right side of the Kumari temple. Locally, this Durbar is also called as Basantapur Durbar Square or Nautale Durbar or Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square. Built in 1770 A.D. in the initiation of King Prithivi Narayan Shah after capturing the Kathmandu Valley in 1768 A.D.

This durbar square possesses the buildings, temples, statues, and artifacts from Malla and Shah Dynasty periods. The Durbar Square surrounds the temples and courtyards, which was destroyed during a massive earthquake in 2015. Only a few of the courtyards are left.

Inside the Kathmandu Durbar Square, there are museums of King Tribhuvan and Mahendra. These museums play a vital role in preserving and displaying artifacts, statues, manuscripts from the Malla and Shah Dynasty. To the south of Durbar Square, there is a Kumari building that is home to the Living Goddess of Nepal, the Kumari. During the festival of Indra Jatra, the young Kumari is marched through the streets of Durbar Square to major places of Kathmandu.

What to see around Kathmandu Durbar Square
• Kumari House.
• Kasthamandap
• Taleju Temple.
• Bansantapur Tower.
• Maju Deval (temple dedicated to lord shiva)
• Museums.

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Pashupatinath (World Heritage Site)

The Pashupatinath Temple is one of the holiest Hindu shrines in the world. Dedicated to the Hindu’s supreme god Lord Shiva this temple is a sacred site for Hindu’s from Nepal and India. The temple incorporates centuries-old temples, monuments, ashrams, artifacts, statues and manuscripts that all reside near the bank of the Bagmati river. Chronicles indicate the temple’s existence before 400 A.D. It lies 5 km east from the main city.

During the month of Shrawn and Maha Shivaratri, the entire area of Pashupatinath temple fills with thousands of devotees each day with a record of over 1 million during Maha Shivaratri. It is only Hindu temple in Nepal where you can observe life and death lifecycle of human. People bring their newborn babies to have a blessing from Lord Pashupati at the same time, you can see dead people burnt near the river with Hindu customs and rituals.

The holy temple is home to hundreds of Sadhus, Rishis, elderly and orphans people.
Only the Hindus can enter inside the temple.

Swayambhunath/Monkey Temple (World Heritage Site)

The Swayambhu Stupa resides at a hilltop to the west of Kathmandu. A massive white dome surrounded by a 13-stage spire, the stupa is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Nepal. It is the oldest stupa in Nepal that dates back to 2000 years old. Its origin links to the founding of the Kathmandu valley, draining the water out of the lake by Bodhisattva Manjushree.

The hillock is covered with forest, which provides shelter to a large number of monkeys from which it gets the name of “the monkey temple”.

Places to visit near Swayambhunath Stupa
• Harati Devi Temple.
• Shantipur.
• Pratapur and Anantapur.
• Shree karma Raj Mahavihar.

Bouddhanath (World Heritage Site)

It is the world’s biggest unique structure stupa located about 2 kilometers to the north of Pashupatinath temple. The name Bouddhanath means the god of wisdom. It is a central hub for many Tibetan and Buddhist people all around the world for meditation and pilgrimage. The story behind the Boudhanath is that a poultry woman asks the King for land for Buddha shrine. Accepting that woman request, the King built this grand Stupa. The design is similar to Swayambhunath Stupa, except receding squares instead of circles. Bouddhanath attracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world. Everyday Buddhist pilgrims visit this holy site and circulate the stupa along with circulating the prayer wheels. The main stupa is surrounded by a monastery, local shops, buildings, and rooftop café and restaurants.

Places to visit near Boudhanath Stupa
• Main Stupa.
• The Taragaon Museum.
• Bodhisattva Gallery.
• Shechen Monastery.
• Khawalung Monastery.
• Kopan Monastery.
• Thrangu Monastery.
• Dilyak Monastery

Patan Durbar Square (World Heritage Site)

It is an enchanting mix of Palace buildings, artistic courtyards, and graceful pagoda temples. This square was the former Royal Palace complex which was the center of Patan’s daily social lifestyle. The Durbar Square showcase unique Newari Architecture. The durbar dates back to the period of the Malla dynasty. It is central to traditional handicraft where you can buy antique items, statues, artifacts, etc.

Places to see around Patan Durbar Square
• Krishna temple.
• Golden temple.
• Bhimsen temple.
• Vishwanath temple.
• Taleju Bhawani temple.
• Patan Museums.
• Maha Boudha temple.
• Ashok Stupa.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the valley as it highlights the ancient arts and culture of Nepal. This beautiful durbar resides in the beautiful ancient city of Bhaktapur. Along the way to Durbar Square, you can find medieval period houses, temples, monuments also large settlements of Newari people. The Square contains innumerable temples and other architectural showpieces that reflect the unique Newari style of architecture and arts.
Places to see around Bhaktapur Durbar Square
• 55 Window Palace
• Nyatapola Temple
• Bhairavanath Temple
• Golden gate
• Vatsala Temple
• Lion’s Gate
• Mini Pashupati Temple
• Museums
• Local villages and market


Situated at a hillock of Changu, this temple of Changunarayan is embellished with sculptures and carvings. Moreover, it is the oldest temple in Nepal history. Built around the 3rd century, this temple showcases the best stone, wood and metal artwork of ancient Nepalese people. The temple of Changu Narayan is dedicated to Lord Vishnu of Hindu as well as Hari Hari Hari Vahana Lokeswar of Buddhist. The courtyard has many other temples such as that of Kiloswar Shiva, Chhinnmasta Devi and other figures like Garuda and different images of Lord Vishnu. Besides that, Changu Narayan is famous for festivals, religious rituals, and events. People visit this holy temple on the festive of birthday, marriage, death, etc.

The attraction of Changu Narayan temple
• Ancient pillar of Mandeva that dates back to 464 AD.
• Historical statues related to Lord Vishnu.
• Historical temple of lord shiva, other Hindu and Buddhist deities.
• Changu Museum and Ethnographic Museum.
• Local forest of Champak.
• Local villages and markets.

Lumbini (World Heritage Site)

It is the birthplace of Lord Buddha and has been the most popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Situated in the Rupandehi district of Nepal and well connected by air and land.

Within this holy site, you can find ancient temples, monuments, stupas, museums, and research centers. The holy site of Lumbini is funded by various Buddhists nations from all over the world.

The major attraction of this holy place is the Sacred Garden, where Lord Buddha was born and Lake Puskarini where Mayadevi took a holy dip before giving birth to the Buddha. The stone image of Mayadevi with the newly born Buddha standing upright on a lotus pedestal and two celestial figures pouring water from heaven are worth visiting. Close to the Mayadevi image there is the famous stone pillar of Asoka built in 249 B.C.

Places to visit at Lumbini
• Maya Devi Temple.
• World Peace Pagoda.
• Myanmar Golden Temple.
• Ashoka Pillar.
• Lumbini Crane Sanctuary.

If you love to visit these wonderful, culturally and historically rich UNESCO World Heritage sites of Nepal then please do visit us. We (Nepal Everest Base Camp) offers the best tour packages in Nepal, as we believe in the best quality services and client satisfaction

Sanjay Lamsal

Sanjay Lamsal

Hello, Namaste from Nepal. I am Sanjay Lamsal and I was born in Nilkantha-11, Dhading, Nepal. I have been in since I finished high schooling at age of 18, I have been working in travel and tourism, since 2015, in the beginning, worked as a trekking porter, trekking Guide, and City Tourist guide. I did all of the major trekking and tour trail all over the Nepal Himalayas. I often remember my past days and think about future. Whenever I remember past events of my life it gives me power to work a hard. I will be working on this in my future. I do challenging with if any problems in the mountains/Himalayas. After long years working with different guests from different countries, I have good experiences about traveling. I completed a Bachelor Degree in Business Studies.

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