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WORLD HERITAGE SITE

KATHMANDU DURBAR SQUARE
Lies in the heart of the capital and is popularly known as the Hanuman Dhoka Palace "The Gateway of Hanuman " an ancient seat of Nepalese Royalty. This falls to be the historic seat of the past royalty, particularly belongings to the Malla dynasty. The Durbar Square, which is itself the Royal Palace Complex dedicated to the Malla monarchs, is today classified as a World Heritage Site of Culture. The age-old temples and palaces epitomize the religious and cultural life-style of the people. The interesting things to view include Taleju Temple build by late King Mahendra Malla in 1549 A. D., a gigantic stone figure exposing the fearful manifestation of Destruction, the tall stone pillar on the plinth top on which sits late King Pratap Malla with his two queens on either sides and infant son in the middle, the colossal image of the White Bhairav the lattice of which is removed for a week during the Kumari Yatra festival, the nine-storied Basantapur Palace (literally meaning the spring season palace), the Gigantic Bell and the Great Drums. The main golden-gate is guarded by the Monkey-God called Hanuman. He is the king of the Monkeys and a faithful servant to Lord RAM CHANDRA – the hero of the epic "RAMAYANA". Being guarded by a sole protector, the gate itself has come to be known as Hanuman Gate. With a commercial umbrella suspended above his head and wrapped in a scarlet cloak, he squats on a stone plinth to be respected by hundreds of Nepalese Hindus plus Indian Hindus. (He is actually blind - folded, as he was chaste bachelor and wishes not to come in vision of any female figures.)

Temple of Kumari
The temple and the holy quadrangle width Buddhist Stupa at the centre from the residential quarters of the chaste Virgin Living Goddess called KUMARI. The traditional building has profuesly carved wooden balconies and window screens. The non-Buddhists and non-Hindu visitors may enter the courtyard called the 'Bahal' but may not proceed beyond upstairs. The Kumari acknowledges their greeting from the central window of the balcony particularly saved for her alone and snapshot is strictly prohibited.

Kastha Mandap
Located nearby the temple also known as Maru Satal. It was built in 1596 A. D. by King Laxmi Narasingha Malla. They say the tmber used for its relevent construction was sawed out of a single tree. It is also belived that the capital of Kathmandu derived its new name from this very 'Kastha Mandap.' Today it houses the Hindu God namely 'Gorakh Nath'

Note : Monumental Area Entrance fees at present Rs. 200 p.p.

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SWOYAMBHUNATH STUPA
A Buddhist stupa on a western hills of Kathmandu. The 2,500 year old monument is a holy site replete with symbols. The mound represents the four elements of earth, fire, wind and water. The 13 gilded rings of the spire symbolize the 13 steps of the ladder leading to Nirvana, the final salvation. The shrine is bedecked in colorful prayer flags. Pilgrims and tourists pass to Swoyambhumath’s holy premises through a path of 365 steps.

Below are some important dates when pilgrims visit this holy site to take part in religious activities.

  • Buddha Purnima, the birth of Lord Buddha – full moon day of Baisakh (April-May)
  • Gunla, the holy Buddhist month, (August – September)
  • Kojagrath Purnima (September – October)
  • Samyak (January – February) every 12 years!

This is believed to be 25 centuries old and stands as one of the world’s oldest Buddhist Chaityas (Stupa). The great Stupa of Swayambhu is the wonder that was Nepal, the glory that was Nepal. It is indeed listed a world Heritage site of Culture to prove that it serves as the nerve centre of faithful worship for all the devout Buddhists of the universe. Swayambhu embraces the authentic philosophy of Bajrayan in Particular and honour Lord Adi Buddha. It is dedicated to self-originating flame god. The Stupa, which forms the salient structure, is well composed of a solid hemisphere of terra-cotta bricks and soil supporting a cornice of copper and gilt. Painted in the four-sided base of the spare are the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha, keeping an eternal watch on the valley distinguishing between vice and virtue. It is some 2miles west of Kathmandu City, proper across the holy Bishnumati River. Situated on the top of a hillock, it is about 77m above the level of the valley. The whole hill is a mosaic of small Chaityas and Pagoda Temples possessing great dignity plus beauty. There also exist six big Buddhist monasteries in all – 5 Mahayan (Lamaist) and one Hinyan (Therbadist). On the hind hill is located another important Buddhist shrine; it is called Manjushree. This compassionate Chinese Buddha is the god of Knowledge.

Note : Monumental Area Entrance fees at present Rs. 50 p.p.

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BOUDHANATH STUPA
One of the oldest and the biggest Buddhist monument ever built in the Himalayan Kingdom it is 36m high. The stupa is unique with its three level, Mandela style, platforms. The structural features of the stupa is somewhat similar to the Swayambhunath stupa. It was built around the 5th century A.D.

What Mecca is to the Muslims, this Boudhanath Stupa is for Tibetan Buddhists. Every year thousands of pilgrims flock here from all over the Himalayan region.

During the Buddhist festivals, listed with Swayambhunath above, pilgrims gather to celebrate with great reverence to all Buddhist deities.

This is declared to stand as the largest Buddhist Shrine of South Asia. King Man Dev belonging to the Lichhabi dynasty built the ancient colossal Chhorten in the 6th century AD. It rests on a series of three terraces and from the bird's eye view it takes the relevant shape of a lotus flower, which indeed remains a very holy object for the devout Buddhists of the entire world. The Chhorten is surrounded by a circular market, which forms a part of Tibet Town. In this case also the four directions, meaning to keep a diligent watch over the people and their commitments all day all night. The Chhorten embraces the authentic philosophy of Mahayan the faith of which is known as Lamaism in Sikkim, Ladakh, Bhutan and Tibet. It also proves a world Heritage Site.

Note : Monumental Area Entrance fees at present Rs. 50 p.p.

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PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE
Pashupatinath is considered one of the holiest shrines of all the Hindu temples. It is 6km. east of downtown Kathmandu. The temple has remained the presiding deity of ruling Nepalese Royalty.

The two tier magnificent golden temple, with four triple silver doorways, is a unique example of the Nepalese temple architecture. It is one of the largest Hindu temple complexes in South-Asia with hundreds of Shiva Lingam shrines and icons Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The temple is spread out over a large area.

The main entrance, for Hindu people only, is on the western side. Tourists may peak inside, or go on the other side of the river to have a glimpse of the temple complex from above. During the festival of Shivaratri (February – March) 10,000's of devotees and pligrims (many from India) visit this temple and make ceremonial fires.

The Temple of Pashupatinath, dedicated to Shiva in his incarnation, as lord of all animals- including man is Nepal’s holiest and most important Temple. What the Vatican is to the Christians, Mecca to the Muslims, Pashupatinath is to the Hindus of the world. The Temple and the complex around it are revered by believers from Nepal and India as the holiest shrine of Hinduism. Shiva the most scared of Hindu gods is commonly worshiped in the form of a Shiva-lingam, a phallic symbol that is usually displayed atop a base called a yoni, symbol of female genitals. Located about 5km Northeast of Kathmandu situated at the bank of the holy Bagmati River, amidst many other lesser Temples, Pashupatinath, is always bustling with the activities of devotees and pilgrims, congregations attending funeral services (if you are lucky you can observe Hindu system of cremation). The Temple of Lord Pashupatinath stands in the middle of an open courtyard. It is a square shaped Pagoda Temple built on a single platform measuring 23.6m from the ground. There are gilt doors on all four sides of the Temple. Inside the Temple there is a narrow walk engulfing the sanctum from where one can have a closer view of the Shivalinga. Only Hindus are permitted to enter the main courtyard of the temple. Tourists other than Hindu can view the temple from the eastern side of the Bagmati River. By the way, Bagmati River is not wide at all, either with brave waters.

Note : Monumental Area Entrance fees at present Rs. 250 p.p.

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