7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Nepal in Kathmandu Valley


The most sacred temple of Hindu Lord Shiva in the world, Pashupatinath Temple’s existence dates back to 400 A.D. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga, symbol of Lord Shiva. It is Located just 5 km north-east of Kathmandu UNESCO listed World Cultural Heritage Site.


Appointed by the Pashupati Area Development Trust, only four priests can touch the idol of Lord Shiva and priests are always from south India. This custom is believed to be in practice by Sage Shankaracharaya from 6th century. The two level roofs of the temple are coated with gold and the four main doors are coated with silver.A Large Gold colored statue of Nandi the Bull is placed outside the western door.


Listed as UNESCO cultural heritage sites of Nepal. It is said to be around 2000 years old. The Stupa, which forms the main structure, is made of brick and clay supporting the lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt.


Painted on the four-sides of the spire base are the eyes of Lord Buddha. It is located about 3 kilometers west of the center of Kathmandu. It is situated on a hillock about 77m above the level of the Valley giving an admirable view of the Kathmandu Valley.


Also listed as UNESCO cultural heritage sites of Nepal the Stupa of Boudhanath lies 8 Kms East of Kathmandu. Built it in the 5th Century AD by Lichchhavi king Kana Dev is one of the biggest in the world that features all the eyes of Lord Buddha. It is built on an octagonal base, inset in the design of Mandala with prayer wheels.


Stupa is located on the ancient trade route from Tibet which enters the Kathmandu Valley by the village of Sankhu in the northeast corner. Tibetan merchants have rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to live around Bouddhanath. The Stupa is believed to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha.


The temple is a Unesco World Heritage site and this remarkable and historic temple of Changu Narayan dates from 1702, when it was rebuilt after a fire, however it is believed that the origins go back to the 4th century as most of the stone sculptures date from the Lichhavi period (4th to 9th centuries).


The double-roofed temple of Vishnu is situated on a hilltop at the eastern end of the valley, about 6km north of Bhaktapur and 22km from Kathmandu. Here we can find various forms Vishnu took, such as Narsingha man-lion incarnation, Vikrantha/Vamana, the six-armed dwarf. We can also find the figure of Garuda, the man – bird mount of Lord Vishnu, snake around his neck kneeling with hands in Namaste Position facing the temple and stone Lions guarding the wonderfully gilded door, which is flanked by equally detailed gilded windows. Two pillars at the front corners carry a conch and disc, the traditional symbols of Vishnu. In the northwestern corner there is a 7th-century image of Vishnu astride the Garuda, which is illustrated on the Rs 10 banknote.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Located in the heart of the city Kathmandu, it is also has another name called Hanuman Dhoka, which is named after the Hindu Lord Hanuman-Monkey God. Many of the buildings seen in the area are believed to date from 15th to 18th century.

Kathmandu Durbar Square
  • Basantapur- It is the main area for all the souvenir sellers and for the young ones to sit and chat.
  • House of the Kumari – The House was build in 1757 where Kumari, a little girl chosen at the age of 4-5 years is a living goddess and incarnation of Taleju lives. The girl must be from a specific caste and has to be fearless.
  • Kasthamandap Temple- Built from the timber of a single tree and is the oldest remaining houses of Kathmandu.
  • Golden carriage of the Kumari- Carriage Parked outside the white school-building during the year is taken out only in Dashain the Kumari is carried through the streets of Kathmandu.
  • Trailokya Mohan Temple-The Trailokya Mohan Temple was built in 1680. On the back you see a beautiful Garuda, the vehicle for Vishnu.
  • Taleju temple- Built by King Mahendra Malla in 1549 A.D.
  • Jagannath temple- built in the 16th century, known for fascinating erotic figures
  • Kal Bhairav- largest stone idol in Kathmandu representing the terrifying aspects of Shiva.
  • Nautale Durbar – Prithivi Narayan Shah built mansion to commemorate his victory in 1768 A.D. Basantapur
  • Shiva Parvati Temple-North of the place is the Shiva -Parvati Temple and seems like they are overlooking the Durbar Square.
  • Ganesh shrine Ashok Binayak – Durbar Square is the little Ganesh temple on the corner of the Kasthamandap.
  • Maju Deval Temple- This temple is dedicated to Shiva and inside is the famous Lingam.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Located 20 kms from Kathmandu lies the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is also known as Bhadgaon and Khwopa in the local language. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a conglomeration of pagoda and shikhara – style temples Bhaktapur is known as the ‘City of Devotees’, the ‘City of Culture’, the ‘Living Heritage’, and ‘Nepal’s Cultural Gem’. Bhaktapur is filled with monuments, most terra-cotta with carved wood columns, palaces and temples with elaborate carvings, gilded roofs, and open courtyards. The city is dotted with pagodas and religious shrines.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square
  • Golden Gate: Built by King Ranjit Malla Golden Gate is surmounted by a figure of the goddess Kali and Garuda
  • Lion Gate: Believed to date1696 AD Lion Gate is guarded on either side by huge statues of lions and alongside, there are two stone images of Bhairav (the dreadful aspect of Shiva) and Ugrachandi (the consort of the Shiva in her fearful manifestation
  • Pachpanna Jhyale: Built in 1427 AD during the reign of King Yakshay Malla and subsequently remodeled in 17th Century by King Bhupatindra Malla. 55-Window Palace, which served as the seat of royalty prior to 1769 has elaborately carved windows.
  • Art Gallery: The Art Gallery contains ancient paintings belonging to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of various periods and descriptions.
  • Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla: This statue shows king Bhupatindra Malla in the act of worship is set on a column facing the palace
  • Big Bell, built by the last Malla king of Bhaktapur, Ranajit Malla in the 18th century. It was rung to pay homage to the Goddess Taleju and to harken the public to town meetings. Today it is rung twice a day as a tribute to the Goddess Taleju. Next to this bell is the Barking Bell, so named because dogs bark to its ring.
  • Yaksheswor Mahadev Temple: Built by King Yaksha Malla in the 15th century. It was modeled after the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu and was designed with ornate wooden struts decorated with erotic carvings.
  • Phasi Dega Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva this temple provides great view of the entire city.
  • Nyatapola Temple: Built in 1702 this 5 stories temple is Nepal’s tallest pagoda temple. It is dedicated to the Goddess Lakshmi and it lies in the Taumadhi Square and is famous for its massive structure and subtle workmanship.
  • Bhairavnath Temple: Previously built as a single storied building it was later added with 2 stories by King Bhupitindra Malla in 1718 AD. Dedicated to Bhairav, a the god of terror is noted for its artistic grandeur.
  • Dattatreya Square: Built by King Yaksha Malla in 1428 the 3 storied pagoda style Dattatreya Temple is claimed to be constructed from a trunk of a single tree.

Patan Durbar Square

The Patan Durbar Square is situated in the heart of the Patan city. Patan is believed to be one of the oldest Buddhist Cities as it was found in the 3rd century A.D. The square consists of enchanting mélange of palace / buildings, artistic courtyards and elegant pagoda temples. The former royal palace complex is the center of Patan’s religious and social life and houses a museum containing an array of bronze statues and religious objects. This city is known for its finest traditional crafts and rich artistic heritage.

Patan Durbar Square
  • Krishna Temple: Built by Siddhi Narsingha Malla in 1637 this 3 storied temple is built in Shikhara style and scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics inside.
  • Kwa Bahal /Golden Temple: Built in the 12th Century by King Bhaskar Verma this Temple is very famous among the Buddhists of Patan. We can find the three roofs of the temple with copper golden facades, two lions guarding the main entrance and images of Buddha and Boddisattvas inside.
  • Mahabouddha : Built in 14th Century with clay bricks this temple is a good example of Terra-Cotta Art and has thousands of images of Lord Buddha engraved inside.
  • Kumbeshwor: Built in 1392 as a two storied shrine this temple dedicated to Lord Shiva later in the 17th century by Srinivasa Malla was added with the upper three tiers of the temple.
  • Banglamukhi Temple: The single storied temple of Goddess Baglamukhi with green painted woodwork is embodied in a tiny image beneath an elaborate silver torona and canopy of snakes.
  • Ashokan Stupas: Built in 250 BC by Emperor Ashoka of India on his visit to Nepal, Ashokan Stupas is four ancient stupas situated at the four corners of Patan, Pulchowk, Lagankhel, Ebahi and in Teta.
  • Achheswor Mahavihar: Founded in the 17th century Mahavihar  temple has recently been reconstructed and it gives a breathtaking scene of the Kathmandu Valley.
  • Temple of Machhendranath and Minnath Built in 1408 AD is the pagoda style temple Red Machhendranath.  It is said that the God spends six months a year in a temple in Bungamati his birthplace and the other six months in the Rato Machhendranath Temple in Patanand the day of shifting is celebrated as a biggest festival of the year.
  • Surya Binayak Temple: The temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh is located between Bungamati and Khokana.

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