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Old Heritage Centre

Old Heritage Centre

Thanks to Nepal's extensive and effective parks and reserves system, the country has managed to preserve more endangered species of flora and fauna than any other are an Asia. Nepal has a network of 9 National parks, 3 Wildlife Reserves, 3 Conservation Areas, 1 Hunting Reserve including 9 Buffer zones around national parks, covering a total of 28,585.67 sq. km, or 19.42% of the country's total land.

Nepal offers an incomparable scope to connoisseurs of art and culture to see and study the different aspects of fine arts in its painting, sculpture, woodcarving and architecture. The three main historic cities of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur with numerous historical monuments, old palace and palace squares, shrines and temples. Ageless traditions and legends make it a veritable living museum. The Kathmandu Valley boasts seven UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites all within a radius of 20 km. Among them some are placed in cultural world heritage sites while 2 are placed in natural world heritage sites:

Kathmandu Durbar Square is in the heart of old city Kathmandu in Basantapur. The complex was residence to Nepal's royal family before the construction of the Narayanhiti Palace. The king no longer lives in the Hanuman Dhoka (old Royal palace) in Kathmandu – the palace was moved north to Narayanhiti about a century ago. The founding of the Palace dates back to Licchavi times. With considerable renovations by Malla rulers and later the Ranas, construction was accomplished progressively over many centuries.

There are around 50 temples in the vicinity including The Taleju Temple (The tallest of all structures, built by King Mahendra Malla in 1549 AD), The Jagannath Temple (Built in 16th century is known for the fascinating erotic figures carved in the wooden struts), The Kala Bhairav (one of the largest 17th century stone statue in Kathmandu, represents terrifying aspect of Lord Shiva), Swet-Bhairav Temple (the temple opens once in a year during Indra Jatra Festival), Kumari Temple (The 17th century temple of living goddess is an example of highly developed Nepali craftsmanship), Kasthamandap (from which Kathmandu derives its name, is said to be built from the timber of a single tree), Nautalle Durbar, Pancha-mukhi Hanuman Temple and Chasin Dega. Although many of the building around the square are very old, a great deal of damage was caused by the great earth quake of 1934 and many were rebuilt, not always in their original from.

The Durbar is divided into two courtyards, the outer comprising Kasthamandap, Kumari Ghar, and Shiva-Parvati Temple, and the inner consisting of Hanuman Dhoka and the main palace. It also houses two museums. Important ceremonies, including the coronation of the Nepali monarch, are held in the Kathmandu Durbar Square. Most parts of the palace premise are open for tourists throughout the week during office hours.

Some important monuments to see in this area are:


The Taleju Temple is the tallest of all structures, built by King Mahendra Malla in 1549 AD.


The Jagannath Temple, built in 16th century is known for the fascinating erotic figures carved in the wooden struts.





The Kala Bhairav, one of the largest 17th century stone statue in Kathmandu, represents terrifying aspect of Lord Shiva.


Swet-Bhairav - the temple opens once in a year during Indra Jatra Festival.





The 17th century Kumari Temple (the temple of living goddess) is an example of highly developed Nepali craftmanship.


Kasthamandap, from which Kathmandu derives its name, is said to be built from the timber of a single tree.




Nautalle Durbar ..........

Pancha-mukhi Hanuman Temple ..........

Chasin Dega ...........

Bhaktapur or also known as Bhadgaon, is a museum of medieval art and architecture with many fine examples of sculpture, woodcarving and colossal pagoda temples consecrated to different gods and goddesses. The city is shaped like a conch shell-one of the emblems of the god Vishnu and was founded by King Ananda Deva in A.D.889. The city is 1,402 meters above sea level. Pottery and weaving are its major traditional industries. The city lies fifteen Kilometers to the east of Kathmandu.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is located in the center of Bhaktapur. The Square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the Valley as it highlights some of the finest medieval arts of Nepal. The main items of interest in Bhaktapur Durbar Square are the Lion Gate, the Golden Gate and the statues of kings on stone monoliths. The Golden Gate was erected by King Ranjit Malla as the entrance to the main courtyard of the Fifty-five Windowed Palace.

The Palace of Fifty-five Windows was built during the reign of King Yakshya Malla in A.D. 1427 and was remodelled by King Bhupatindra Malla in the seventeeth century. The art gallery of Bhaktapur Durbar Square contains ancient paintings belonging to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of various periods. This gallery is open everyday except Tuesday.

Some important monuments to see in this area are:


Golden Gate: This is the main entrance to the famous 55-window palace, built by Ranjit Malla in 7th century A.D.


55 window palace: This is the main structure of the entire Durbar Square, which is a magnificient edifice built by Yakshya Malla and renovated by Bhupatendra Malla.





Nyatapola: This is the most famous pagoda of Nepal, which was built in 1702A.D. by Bhupatendra Malla. This temple was dedicated to Siddhi-Laxmi, the tantric mother goddess of supreme power. Nyatapola in Newari means a five tiered symbolizing five basic elements - water, earth, fire, wind and sky.


Pashupati Temple: According to a folklore, a Bhaktapur King who was a great devotee of Lord Pashupati, had a dream in which Lord Shiva told him to build a temple for him so that he could move into it. He obeyed this command and thus the temple came into existence.




Patan The ancient name of Patan is Lalitpur meaning, city of beauty. It is indeed a city of beauty and grace and is planned on a circular format with Buddhist stupas at each of the four points of the compass. The Square and its surroundings provide very good example of ancient Newari architecture. The city is three Kilometers south-east of Kathmandu across the river Bagmati. Like Kathmandu, its center of attraction is its Durbar Square complex, situated right in the middle of the market place. The city is full of Buddhist monuments and Hindu temples with fine bronze gateways, guardian deities and wonderful carvings. Krishna Temple, Bhimsen Temple, the Golden Temple of Hiranya Varna Mahavira and Sundari Chowk mark the architectural excellence of its era. Noted for its craftsmen and metal workers, it is also know as the city of artists. The Sundari Chowk with the sunken bath of Tusha Hiti, contains exquisite woodcarvings, stone, and metal sculpture. Patan Durbar Square also houses a temple of Taleju Bhawani. The city is believed to have been built during the reign of Vira Dev in A.D. 299.

Some important monuments to see in this area are:



The golden gate and golden windows of the old palace


The famous Krishna Temple with 21 golden pinnacles.





The bath with many carving on the stone.


The Taleju Temple.





The temple of Bhimsen with a magnificient golden balcony over looking the square.


Char-narayan temple, which is among finest examples of unique craftmanship oo wood.




Chyasi Dega

Manga Hiti



Pashupatinath is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for Shiva devotees. Pashupatinath, dedicated to Shiva the Destroyer, is the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destination in Nepal. Although the Pashupatinath Temple was only built in the fifth century and later renovated by Malla kings, the holy site is said to have existed from the beginning of the millennium. It holds a very strong religious belief. If a Hindu takes his/her last breath at Pashupatinath and her/his body is cremated here and ashes are sprinkled in the holy water of Bagmati it is believed that her/his soul is released from the cycle of rebirth and finds the ultimate nirvana or salvation.

A gold-plated roof, four silver doors, and wood carvings of the finest quality decorate the pagoda temple of Pashupatinath. Temples dedicated to several other Hindu and Buddhist deities surround the temple of Pashupatinath. Nearby is the temple of Guheshwori dedicated to Shiva's consort Sati Devi. Behind the temple is the River Bagmati. On the banks of Bagmati are raised platforms used as cremation sites for Hindus. Only Hindus are allowed inside the Pashupatinath courtyard. UNESCO designated Pashupatinath temple as World Heritage Site in 1979.

Some important monuments to see in this area are:











The largest Stupa in South Asia situated 6km east of the city center Bouddhanath is one of the most auspicious pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. The huge Stupa stands 36m high on the ancient trade route to Tibet. It is believed that Bouddhanath Stupa was built in the 5th century and entombs the remains of a Kasyap sage who is respected by both Hindus and Buddhists. The Tibetan refugees, who migrated in 1950s to Nepal, settled around Bouddhanath and today it has become the center of Tibetan Buddhism in the world where one can still observe the Tibetan lifestyle in Bouddhanath. Tibetans and monks in maroon robes with prayer wheels in their hands still practice the rituals. Devotees still hold big functions during celebratory in particular occasions, Buddha Jayanti – Buddha’s Birthday. UNESCO listed Bouddhanath in World Heritage List in 1979.

Because of its location and size, it seems much larger than the Swayambunath Stupa, with the same hemi-spherical dome symbolizing the emptiness from which everything emanates. On top is the harmika painted on each side with the eyes of the Buddha symbolizing awareness, and above the spire with its 13 stages to the canopy. At ground level there is a brick wall with 147 niches and 108 images of the meditation Buddha inset behind copper prayer wheels. Early morning and evening are the times to visit Bouddha to join the local residents in kora (walking the pilgrim's circuit, sometimes with Tibetan pilgrims on their hands and knees).

Some important monuments to see in this area are:



Boudhanath Stupa


Buddha statue





Pray wheels


Boudhanath Stupa from top view




Swayambhunath Stupa is the most ancient and mysterious of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu Valley. Swoyambhu literally means 'Self-Existent One.' Swoyambhunath is believed to have been established more than 2,500 years ago. An inscription dated 460 A.D. states that the construction was carried out by King Manadeva. By the thirteenth century Swoyambhunath had developed into an important Buddhist learning site.

The history of Kathmandu Valley is said to have started with the beginning of Swoyambhu. Its origin is related to the visit of Manjushree – a Bodhisatva sage who created the Kathmandu Valley from a primordial lake. According to a legend of 15th century Swayambhu Puran, it is believed that past Buddha planted a lotus that miraculously blossomed from the lake. Manjushree, while meditating at the sacred mountain, had a vision of the brilliant but mysterious light radiated by the lotus and flew across China and Tibet to worship it. In order to make it accessible to the pilgrims, Manjushree drained out water from the lake and thus, the lotus was transformed into a hilltop and the light into Swayambhunath Stupa. Hence, the derivation of the title Swayambhu, which means self-creation. This superior white mound and glittering golden spire is visible from all sides of the valley. Both Hindus and Buddhists equally worship Swayambhunath eve though it is a Buddhist Stupa. Everyday people ascend the 365 steps to pay a visit to the deity. Every part of the Stupa holds a religious belief; according to Buddhism the thirteen gilded circles of the spire symbolize the thirteen steps that lead to nirvana or ultimate salvation – Moksha; the eyes on each of Stupa’s four sides symbolize the God’s all-seeing perspective that the God is looking everywhere to distinguish justice from injustice. The third eye on each face of the Stupa symbolizes wisdom. It is also believed that the only way to salvation is through Buddhism. The largest image of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Nepal is in a monastery next to the stupa. Behind the hilltop is a temple dedicated to Manjusri of Saraswati - the goddess of learning. Statues and shrines of Buddhist and Hindu deities dot the stupa complex.

Large numbers of Buddhists and Hindus alike visit Swoyambhunath. Swoyambhu is perhaps the best place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. The stupa is atop a hill, and requires considerable walk. There is also a road that leads almost to the base of the statue.

Some important monuments to see in this area are:





Swoyambhunath seen on hill-top from east





The huge gold plated Vajra set in the east side of the stupa.


Buddha statue at the backside of Swoyambhu





The temple dedicated to Harati, the goddess of all children. It is said that she was an ogress before Lord Buddha converted her to be the caretaker of all children, who is now worshipped.


The Dewa Dharma Monastery, noted for a bronze icon of Buddha and traditional Tibetan paintings.


Changu Narayan temple is situated on of a peaceful hilltop about 6km north of Bhaktapur near Changu village, which offers a beautiful view of the surrounding hills, valley and mountains. This astounding artifact is believed to be an ancient temple built in the Kathmandu Valley some 1600 years ago. It is dedicated to Narayan, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and is also worshipped by Hindus as the auspicious shrine of Vishwarupa. The two-tiered pagoda-styled temple, the struts with the carvings of ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, the beautiful metal doors and the artifacts found inside the premises of the temple all signify the flawless talent of ancient craftsmen. This grand sanctuary reveals the secret of ancient Nepal. It was listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Some important sculptures of Vishnu seen here are:



Vishwaroop: The sculpture represents Vishnu in his most universal form. It dates back to 8th century A.D.


Vishnu Vikranta - This stone image, dating back to the 8th century A.D., is one of the most poerful form of Vishnu. This is when he measured space with his feet.




Vishnu riding Garuda (the mythical bird) - this figure of Vishnu mounting Garuda dates back to the 10th century A.D.


Nar-Singha Vishnu - this form of Vishnu is seen in his half man and half lion form.


Lumbini associated with the birth place of Lord Buddha. The Shakya prince and the ultimate Buddha, the enlightened one, was born in the gardens of Nepal's Lumbini in 623 B.C which became the most beautiful pilgrimage destination of the world’s millions of people faithful to all schools of Buddhism. UNESCO lists this nativity site, identified by Indain Emperor Ashoka’s commemorative pillar as a World Heritage Site. The main attraction of Lumbini remains the Sacred Garden which spread over 8sq km , possessing all the treasures of the historic area. The Mayadevi temple is the main attraction for pilgrims and archaeologists alike. Here we find a bas relief of Mayadevi, Lord Buddha’s mother giving birth to him. Standing west to the Mayadevi shrine is the oldest monument of Nepal, the Ashoka Pillar. Emperor Ashoka erected the pillar in 249 BC to commemorate his pilgrimage to the sacred site. To the south of the pillar, we find the sacred pond, {Puskarni} where Queen Mayadevi had taken a bath just before giving birth to Lord Buddha. Places of various interest surrounds the area There are other places of interest too nearby. It is accessible by air from Kathmandu to Bhairawa then about 22 kilometers drive to Lumbini or about 300 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu takes about eight hours by bus or car.

Some important monuments to see in this area are:



The Lumbini Garden - This is the site marked by a certain stone pillar erected by the Indian Emperpr Ashoka at about 245B.C. The most important discovery in this place is a stone marked to suggest the exact birthplace of Buddha.


Mayadevi Temple - This temple dedicated to the mother of lord Buddha, Maya Devi, was excavated a few years ago. Many sculptures and carving in which the figures and designs are only slightly projecting from their background are seen here.





Tara Foundation


World Peace Pagoda


China Temple

Thai Monastery

Burmese (Myanmar) Temple


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