Things to do Kathmandu : World Heritage Sites
Sometimes getting to know the tale of kings and commoners can be very intriguing. If you are into history and want a cultural tour then we host 10 of the World Heritage Sites, 7 of which can be found within 20 km of Kathmandu Valley. UNESCO has listed them for a purpose and is for sure a cultural monuments that is rare and unique.
Spare 2- 3 days out of your busy schedule and take a cultural tour of Kathmandu.A guided tour is recommended as you’ll have all the information regarding the sites, such as their origin, the cultural and historical significances otherwise it’ll be like looking at walls and strange shaped houses.
In no particular order here are the 7 sites inside Kathmandu Valley listed as World Heritage Sites.
The Kathmandu Durbar Square: Centered in Kathmandu, it is also popularly known as Hanuman Dhoka Palace- the gateway of Hanuman (a Hindu god) and an ancient palace belonging to Nepalese Royal family.
Here, you can see Taleju Temple, Jagannath Temple, KalBhairav; statue of King Pratap Malla in praying gesture, a 17th Century Kumari Temple (house of the living goddess, Kumari) and Kasthamandap from which the city got its name.
Inside the palace, there’s a museum, where you get to explore the culture, religion, custom, tradition, and the historical reminisce of Royal families of Nepal.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square:Bhaktapur, the city of Devotees, is another ancient city, east of Kathmandu. Also regarded as the abode of ancient Nepali culture and custom, it allures visitors with art pieces and monumental structures, result of excellent craftsmanship.
Each historical monument represents the medieval era of Nepal. Dominated mostly by Newars (an indigenous tribe),Bhaktapur Durbar Square offers sites such as Lion gate, Golden Gate, Art Gallery, Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, Nyatapola Temple and Malla (a dynasty that ruled over Nepal) palace with 55 windows , all living prides of Bhaktapur.
With excellent restaurants and hotels this area is a must visit place, indeed.
Patan Durbar Square: Holding the record of being the oldest among the three popular cities of the valley, Patanpossesses some of the finest traditional crafts and rich artistic heritages.
Patan Durbar Square, Krishna Temple, Golden Temple or Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, Mulchowk, Jagat Narayan Temple, Big Bell, Hari Shankar temple, Vishwanath temple, Bhimsen temple, MargaHiti, Mani Mandap, RatoMachhendra Temple, Minnath, and museums reflecting the history of the place are the major attractions of Patan.
As I live nearby, I often visit and stare at the miraculously beautiful crafts in this place. Another gem to explore!
Swayambhunath: As a symbol of peace and humanity, Swayambhunathstands on top of a hill west of Kathmandu.You’ll have to climb 365 stone steps to reach the Stupa (Buddhist temple).
Holding a great significance to Buddhists, this holy place offers a 360 degree view of the Kathmandu valley.A sight for sore eyes!
Pashupatinath: The most sacred Hindu pilgrim site in the world, this place is located 6 kilometers east of Kathmandu. Though non- Hindus are not allowed inside the main temple only a visit to the surroundings is enough if you ask me.
With the view of the bustling religious markets to the band of monkeys, this place offers not only a good photo for you to take home but takes you one step closer to understanding Nepal.
You can have a rare sight of cremation of dead bodies and bizarre Sadhus (wandering saints) in their unique attire.It’s certainly, something to look at, especially for first timers!
Boudhanath:As the oldest and the biggest Buddhist monument ever built in this nation, Boudhanath stupa is unique with its three levels, Mandala styled platforms.
This place is filled with monks from all around the world and regarded as the most sacred site for Buddhists.
The chants of prayers and ever sailing prayer flags make this place nothing less than a paradise, not only to the Buddhists but for all mankind.
Changunarayan Temple: On a small hill, watching over the Kathmandu valley, this temple is probably the oldest among all the temples in Kathmandu.
With artifacts and engravings dating back all the way to the 3rd century, this majestic place has plenty to offer. With sculptures of Vishnu’s (major Hindu god) ten incarnations; Vishwaroop, Vishnu Vikranta, Vishnu riding Garuda, Nar-Singha Vishnu and others, the sight of Kathmandu valley and Manohara river along the lush green forest, it is an ‘awwwww!’ moment, at this monument.
So charge your cameras well and bring extra SD- cards as one is not going to be enough!