World Heritage Sites in Nepal

Updated on April 23, 2024

Indeed, a place of historical origin, the beauty of Nepal cannot be undermined in terms of the artistic remnants of its ancestral civilizations. Nepal’s unique culture and heritage can be reflected by its myriad of heritage sites recognized by UNESCO as ‘World Heritage Sites. Cultural areas include the architectural archives in Kathmandu valley comprising the Durbar Squares, Swayambhu Stupa, Boudha Stupa, Changu Narayan temple, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati, and the holy site of Lumbini, the birthplace and lineage of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha). Besides this, Chitwan National Park and Sagarmatha National Park have been listed as natural sites. A tentative list (comprising possible areas for nomination) has also been submitted, making traveling in Nepal an extravaganza from an archaeological standpoint.

The Cultural Heritage Sites are Listed Below:

  1. Kathmandu Durbar Square
  2. Patan Durbar Square
  3. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
  4. Changu Narayan Temple
  5. Swayambhunath StupaPashupatinath Temple
  6. Lumbini
  7. Bouddhanath Stupa

The Natural Sites listed by UNESCO are:

  1. Chitwan National Park
  2. Sagarmatha National Park

Other sites submitted for nomination are as follows:

  1. The early medieval architectural complex of Panauti
  2. Tilaurakot, the archaeological remains of the ancient Shakya Kingdom
  3. Cave architecture of Muktinath Valley of Mustang
  4. The medieval palace complex of Gorkha
  5. Ramagrama, the relic stupa of Lord Buddha
  6. Khokana, the vernacular village, and its mustard-oil seed industrial heritage
  7. Medieval Earthern Walled City of Lo Manthang
  8. Vajrayogini and the early settlement of Sankhu
  9. Medieval Settlement of Kirtipur
  10. Rishikesh Complex of Ruru Kshetra
  11. Nuwakot Palace Complex
  12. Ram Janaki Temple
  13. The Medieval Town of Tansen
  14. Sinja valley
  15. Bhurti Temple Complex of Dailekh

Architectural Variances:

Nepalese architecture can be primarily categorized into the Pagoda, Stupa Chaitya, and Shikhara styles. In some places, the European style of architecture is also present.

The Pagoda style

Architecture has multi-roofed structures stabilized with a broad base that narrows as you move higher. This style saw its advent in Nepal in the thirteenth century and was spread to China by Araniko and his artists. The Pashupati temple, Changu Narayan, and Nyatapola of Bhaktapur all bear this style.

The Stupa or Chaitya Style

Architecture is mainly used in Buddhist shrines, examples of which can be seen in Swayambhunath and Boudha structures. This style is attributed to having a broad base that tapers as the system moves higher. It is believed that Emperor Ashoka introduced this structure to Nepal.

The Shikhara Style

Another popular style is Nepali architecture. This is characterized by tall artistic pyramidal buildings with a Gajur at the top, primarily connected with Hindu temples. The Krishna Mandir and Mahaboudha in Patan Durbar Square are fine examples of this architecture.

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