Mount Kailash and the calm waters of The Lake Manasarovar(4,590 metres (15,060 ft) above mean sea level).
KATHMANDU
MUKTINATH

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal.
There are total of ten world heritage sites listed by Unesco in Nepal under the category of Cultural Heritage and Natural Heritage. Among ten of World Heritage sites , Katmandu has seven of them which all are cultural Heritage sites. In total there are eight cultural world heritage sites and 2 Natural Heritage sites in Nepal. The following are the World Heritage Sites in Nepal listed by UNESCO.

Kathmandu Durbar Square: Katmandu Durbar Square comprises of an ancient temple and palace complexes which is located near New Road , the heart of the valley and is visited by the thousand of tourists all over the world annually. Katmandu Durbar Square dates back to 12th to 18th century which boast ancient courtyard and streets and once the palace during the reign of Malla Dynasty. It is listed as one of the eight Cultural World Heritage site by UNESCO. The Palace Complex was the royal Nepalese residence until the 19th century and is the site of important ceremonies, such as the coronation of the Nepalese monarch and other local festivals like Indra Jatra etc.

Patan Durbar Square: Patan Durbar Square is just like the carbon copy of her sister city of Katmandu which also comprises of ancient temples, palace ,courtyards and streets.It is situated in the city of Patan and is also known as Lalitpur which is founded in 3rd century by King Veera Deva.Patan is ancient city as old as Katmandu. Like Katmandu, It also houses the residence of the former Patan royal family and its surroundings are good specimen of ancient Newari architecture. There are three main courtyards in the palace comprises of Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Keshav Narayan Chowk. Mul Chowk, the oldest one, is at the centre of Patan square. The four stupas, located in the four cardinal directions, were errected by Indian Emperor Ashoka the Great.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square: One of the Unique city in the valley Bhaktapur also known as Bhadgaon was founded by King Ananda Dev in 889 A.D which is also famous for its Newari architecture. The word “Bhaktapur” means “the city of devotees”. Like her sister cities of Katmandu and Patan, Bhaktapur at one time an independent city, was ruled by the Malla Kings. They were very religious and gave importance to their artistic heritage which is evident throughout the city. Bhaktapur  houses finest restaurants and hotel to cater to the needs and requirements of tourists.

Swayambhunath: Swayambhunath is the sacred place for both hindu and Buddhist religion which is situated on the top of a hill, west of Katmandu. The temple is known as the 'monkey temple' because of the large tribe of roving monkeys who guard the temple and is famous amongst the tourists who visit Katmandu. Ancient tale has it that thousands of years ago Swayambhunath was an island. Later a stupa was built. King Manadeva contributed in the making of the stupa in 460 A.D. It had to undergo renovation during 14th century after the Mughal invasion, further in 17th century King Pratap Malla enhanced the architecture and also added 360 steps of stairwat which today lead us up to the Stupa. Swayambhunath also offers a majestic view of the entire Kathmandu valley.

Pashupatinath: The existence of Pashupatinath dates back to 400 A.D., and is the sacred place for the hindu devotee who pay homage to Lord Shiva every year from around the world. It is also known as “Temple of Living Being”, houses the sacred linga or phallic symbol of Lord Shiva and regarded as the most sacred temple of Hindu Lord Shiva in the world. The main entrance is on the western side which is only for Hindus. But the Tourists may peak inside, or go on the other side of the river to have a glimpse of the temple complex from above. Thousands of devotees and pligrims (many from India) visit this temple and make ceremonial fires during the festival of Shivaratri during (February – March) .

Boudhanath: Boudhanath, a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site, is included in World Heritage Cultural site list by UNESCO  was built by Licchavis King Man Dev in the 5th century A. D.. With diameter of about 100m and 40m height, Buddhanath holds its place among the largest stupas in the world. After Chinese invasion in 1959, Tibetans in thousands came to this famous Buddhist Chaitya and energized the stupa. It is one of the holy pilgrims site for Buddhists and one of the most visited heritage site in the country. There are lots of Hotels, lodges, restaurant and eateries around the stupas which are the best place to see the stupa and it’s surrounding.

Changu Narayan: Changu Narayan is one of the oldest temple in Katmandu Valley which came to existence in 4th century is situated on a small hillock overlooking the Kathmandu Valley and is 12km. east of Kathmandu. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and also bore the ten incarnation of lord Vishnu also known as “vishwaroop”. An inscription opposite the temple tells about a historic event which is the first epigraphic evidence of Nepali history. The temple provides an awesome view of Manohara River cascading through lush vegetation.

Lumbini: Lumbini is the birth place of Lord Buddha which lies in the southern terai parts of Nepal in Rupendehi district. Since it is the birth place of Siddhartha Gautam, Lord Buddha ,it is the most sacred place for Buddhists all around the world and visited throughout the year. In 250 BC, Emperor Ashoka himself came to Lumbini and built a large stone pillar containing an inscription about the birth of the Buddha. Apart from being religious and cultural importance Lumbini also boars the major attractions. They are-

  • Lumbini Garden
  • Maya Devi Temple
  • Tara Foundation
  • World Peace Pagoda
  • China Temple
  • Thai Monastery
  • Burmese (Myanmar) Temple
  • Nepal Buddha Temple
  • Dharmaswami Buddhist monastery

The Nepalese Government have declared 2012 as VISIT LUMBINI YEAR, to make our National – Cultural Heritage known to the World.


Sagarmatha National Park:  Sagarmāthā National Park is a protected area in the Himalayas of eastern Nepal containing the southern half of Mount Everest. The park was created on July 19, 1976 and was inscribed as a Natural World Heritage Site in 1979. The park encompasses an area of 1,148 km2 (443 sq mi) in the Solukhumbu District and ranges in elevation from 2,845 m (9,334 ft) at Jorsalle to 8,848 m (29,029 ft) at the summit of Mount Everest. Sagarmāthā is a Sanskrit word, from sagar = "sky" (not to be confused with "sea/ocean") and māthā = "forehead" or "head", and is the modern Nepali name for Mount Everest. Most of the park area is very rugged and steep, with its terrain cut by deep rivers and glaciers.
The park's visitor centre is located at the top of a hill in Namche Bazaar, also where a company of the Nepal Army is stationed for protecting the park. The park's southern entrance is a few hundred metres north of Monzo at 2,835 m (9,301 ft), a one day hike from Lukla.

Chitwan National Park: Chitwan National Park is the first national park in Nepal. Formerly called Royal Chitwan National Park was established in 1973 and granted the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984. Chitwan also known as “the heart of the jungle”is located in the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal in the Chitwan District and covers an area of 932 km2 (360 sq mi) and. In altitude it ranges from about 100 metres (330 ft) in the river valleys to 815 metres (2,674 ft) in the Churia Hills. There are many jungle resort in chitwan where lots of tourists experience the beauty of jungle through jeep and elephant safari.

Religious sites:

Gosaikunda: GosainKunda is an alpine freshwater oligotrophic lake in Nepal's Langtang National Park, located at an altitude of 4,380 m (14,370 ft) above sea level in the Rasuwa District with a surface of 13.8 ha (34 acres). Gosaikunda, Kunda literally means pond or lake ,is one of the most famous religious places of pilgrimage and the shrine for many regular Hindu deities in Nepal. Many Pilgrims from Nepal and India visit Gosainkunda  throughout the year.
Gosaikunda is also on the way of a popular trekking route of Dhunche-Gosainkunda-Helambu trail. Gosainkunda trek adjoins the famous Langtang trek in the same district. There are plenty of hotels along the route to Helambu trek.

Pathibara: Pathibhara Devi is visited by the worshippers from different part of Nepal and India during special occasions, as it is believed that a pilgrimage to the temple ensures fulfillment of all that the pilgrim desires. The devotee of the Pathibhara also included the ex Royal family of Nepal. The pilgrims sacrifice animals and bring gold and silver as offerings to the Pathibhara Devi. Apart from the temple,the pilgrims can also visit monasteries situated in Olangchung Gola and Lungchung. During autumn and spring the waterfall at Sawa and the pond of Timbung are worth visiting. The forest ecosystem along the trial offers diversity of wildlife, birds, flowers and butterflies.
Apart from the pilgrimage visit, the tourist can experience  the Limbu culture of the Nepalese Himalayas through Limbu Cultural Trek. The whole of Kanchenjunga range can be seen during the trek.

Baraha Chhetra: Baraha Chhetra is located at the confluence of the Saptakoshi and Koka rivers and is situated about 30 km from Dharan, eastern town in Nepal. The temple is dedicated to the Baraha(boar),one of the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, thus it is called Baraha Chhetra.
The best time to visit this place is during the the first Magh(November) every year, as many pilgrim tourists flock here for the religious Fare.

Bhimeshwor Temple: The famous temple of “Bhimeshwor Temple” is dedicated to god Bhim and is situated in Dolakha Bazar of Dolakha district. It is one of the most popular religious sites in Nepal as thousands of devotees visit this site.

Palanchok Bhagwati:  Constructed during the reign of King Mandev, Palanchowk Bhagwati is temple dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati. It is situated over the hill overlooking the valley of Panchkhal and 40 km north-east of the Kathmandu city. The temple housese a three feet long beautiful artistic stone image of Goddess Bhagwati. One can see the view of a  great valley views with panorama mountain range on the way to Palanchok Bhagwati.

Manakamana Temple: The temple of Manakamana is one of the most visted pilgrimage sites in Nepal which is situated at the 1302 metre hills that lies just north-east of the town of Mugling. It is around three and half hour bus ride from Katmandu. Thousands of  hindu pilgrim visit Manakamana  throughout the year from Nepal and it’s neighbouring country especially India. After the introduction of cable car, the temple of Manakamana popularity increased as the service of cable car operated throughout the week. The hindus believed that visiting this temple brings good luck and also fulfill one’s wishes and many animal are also sacrificed in the entrance of the temple. The term “mana” means the ‘heart’ or ‘soul’ and ‘kamana’ means the ‘wish’.

Janakpur: Janakpur is one of the historical and religious place in Nepal, also known as Janakpurdham and is also home to the only operational railway in Nepal. Historically called “Mithilanchal” , Janakpur is the centre of the ancient Maithali culture, which has its own language and script. Home to Goddess Sita and significance in Hindu religion, it is visited throughout the year by pilgrims within the country and from India. Janaki mandir is the main attraction in Janakpur .

Maratika Cave: Maratika cave and Maratika Monastery (Maratika is also known as Haleshi or Halase in local dialet) are located in Khotang District in East of Nepal approximately 185 km south west of Mt. Everest. It is a venerated site of pilgrimage associated with Mandarava, Padmasambhava and longevity.
It is located at the hilly region between the holy rivers Dudh Koshi to the right and Sun Koshi to the left.It Posses natural beauty, and due to cultural inheritance, it is popular among the hindu as it is associated with Lord Shiva, as well as Buddhists all over the world. It is famous pilgrimage centre in east Nepal for both Hindus and Buddhist and is also nicknamed as 'the Pashupatinath of the east'. Huge religious fairs are observed here on Shivaratri and Bala Chaturdashi.

Khaptad: It is located in the mid mountain region of Far – Western Nepal and is known as a holy site and Khaptad swami who lived here for many years and died in 1996 at the grand old age of 110. Khaptad Swami who lived in the cave on the eastern side of the park was a good,learned and widely read man, and had good command of English. Many travels to this region to see him and receive his counsels and blessings.

Natural Attractions in Nepal( National parks ,wildlife reserves and others)

Annapurna conservation area project: The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)was launched in 1986, is also the first Conservation Area and largest protected area in Nepal. It covers an area of 7,629 sq. km. and is home to over 100,000 residents of different cultural and linguistic groups. The region contains world’s largest rhododendron forest in Ghorepani. Tilicho lake, located in Manang – north of Annapurna massif, is the world’s highest altitude fresh water lake. The best gateway to the region is Pokhara and beshishar in the central Nepal. Pokhara is easily accessible by air and by land from Kathmandu. All tourist facilities like food and accommodation are international standard available in Pokhara. Many trekkers around the world trek around these regions.

Bardia National Park: Bardiya National Park is a protected area in Nepal that was established in 1988 as Royal Bardia National Park. It is the largest and most undisturbed wilderness area in Nepal's Terai, adjoining the eastern bank of the Karnali River in the Bardiya District. In 1815, Nepal lost this region to the East India Company through the Sugauli Treaty. For 45 years it was a part of British India and returned to Nepal in 1860 in recognition for supporting the suppression of the Indian Independence movement in 1857. Today, this annexed area is still called Naya Muluk meaning new country. One can take a bus from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj or take the daily flight. Bus service is available to the park HQ at Thakurdwara from Nepalgunj.

Chitwan National Park: Chitwan National Park is the first national park in Nepal. Formerly called Royal Chitwan National Park it was established in 1973 and granted the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984. During the end of 19th century “Chitwan” , “the heart of the jungle”, used to be the hunting paradise for the ruling class. Chitwan National Park is one of Nepal’s most popular tourist destinations after Katmandu and Pokhara. It generates lots of tourists throughout the year  and there are several lodges inside the national park offering full board and accommodation in combination with elephant and jeep safaris, rafting tours and guided jungle walks.

Langtang National Park: It is the fourth National park in Nepal and was established in 1976 as the first Himalayan national park. The langtang Valley is easily approached from Dhunche town and park office, which is a day's drive from Kathmandu. Alternatively, trekkers can hike to Gosainkunda from Sundarijal in the Kathmandu Valley via the picturesque villages of Helambu. Like other  Himalayan parks one had to visit this region with their foot with the trekking equipments.

Koshi Tappu: Koshi Tappu was established in 1976 to protect the rare wild water buffaloes. This Wildlife Reserve has the area of the reserve extends 175 sq. km to the north of one kilometer long barrage that spans the Koshi River. It can be accessed through Mahendra Highway.

Makalu – Barun National Park and Conservation Area: Makalu Barun National Park is the eighth national park in the Himalayas of Nepal and was established in 1992 as eastern extension of the Sagarmatha National Park. Covering an area of 1,500 km2 (580 sq mi) in the districts of Solukhumbu and Sankhuwasabha it is the world's only protected area with an elevation gain of more than 8,000 m (26,000 ft) enclosing tropical forest as well as snow-capped peaks.One can fly from Kathmandu to either Lukla, Phaplu, Lamidanda, Bhojpur and Tumlingtar airstrips, and then trek to reach the park.

Parsa Wildlife Reserve: Parsa Wildlife Reserve was established in 1984 as an extension of Chitwan National Park. It occupies part of Chitwan, Makwanpur, Parsa and Bara Districts in Central Nepal. The reserve headquarter is situated at Adhabar on the Hetauda-Birgunj highway. The Parsa Wildlife reserve is accessible by bus via the Kathmandu Birgunj highway or the Mahendra Rajmarg highway. One can fly from Katmandu to Simara airport which is 7 km away from the reserve headquarters and takes only 15 minutes to reach Simara.

Rara National Park: Rara National Park is situated in Lake Rara which is the biggest lake in Nepal. It is ideal habitat for Himalyan black bear, leopard, ghoral, Himalyan tahr and wild boar. Snow trout is the only fish found in Rara.The main tourist attraction of this area is lake Rara. The maximum depth of the lake Rara is 167 m. The park was established in 1967 to conserve the unique beauty of Lake Rara and to protect flora and fauna of the Humla-Jumla region. This National Park can be visited from Jumla or from Surkhet which takes 3 and 10 days respectively from each point of origin.

Shey Phoksundo National Park: It is situated in the mountain region of Western Nepal, covering parts of Dolpa and Mugu Districts established in 1984.It is the largest national park in the country with an area of 3555 sq. km. The main objectives of the park are to preserve the unique trans-Himalayan ecosystem with its typical Tibetan type of flora and fauna and to protect endangered species such as the snow leopard and musk deer. The main attraction in these region is Shey and phoksundo lake and there are also monatries in these regions. The easy route to this region is to fly to Dolpa or fly to Jumla and trek for 10 days.

Sukhlaphanta Wildlife Reserve:  Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve is a protected area in the Terai of the Far-Western Region of Kanchanpur district, Nepal. Once it was royal hunting domain dominate by different types of sal tree associated with asna, semal, karma, khair etc. It was established as the Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserves in 1973 as previously it was happy hunting ground for royal class till 1969. The main attraction of this region is the open grassland of Sukhlaphanta. One can reach here both by land and air as this region is easily accessible. The reserve can be reached by East-West Highway through Nepalgunj-Dhangadhi-Mahendranagar.

Antu Danda: Antu Danda is the place where the first view point of sunrise and sunset in Nepal. It is situated in the eastern part of Nepal where the lots of domestic and international tourist visit. Situated 2328m above sea level Antu Danda is 3 hours drive from Iilam Bazzar and is also known for green forest and tea plantation. One can get here by flight to Bhadrapur or Biratnagar then catch the bus to Iilam, from Iilam Bazzar it’s four hour track walk.

Nagarkot: Nagarkot is the hill station of Katmandu valley located in Bhaktapur district and scenic spot and attracts both domestic and international tourists throughout the year. Boasted by the restaurant, lodges and hotels, it is one of the top destination in Katmandu valley. It is located 32 km east of Katmandu and provide spectacular view of Mt. Everest and other peaks, it is also famous for watching sunrise and sunset if the weather is clear.

Dhulikhel: Once the ancient trade route between Nepal and Tibet, Dhulikhel today is one of the popular tourist destination in Nepal for it’s cultural significance and natural beauties. It has become ideal station for one night stay before travelling to Tibet  and coming back to Katmandu. Dhulikhel is known for it’s old town which boast newari architecture and also provide the panaromic view of the spectacular mountains.