UNESCO World Heritage in Nepal


Get here the name list of UNESCO World Heritage site in Nepal with perfect reasons. UNESCO has enlisted about 900 natural, historical, religious and cultural sites in the list of world heritage. United Nations Educational, scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO) was attracted to some heritages of Nepal and enlisted 10 heritage in the world heritage site: There 10 UNESCO World Heritage site in Nepal. These are the places to see in Nepal.

 UNESCO World Heritage in Nepal

UNESCO i.e United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization has enlisted some of the sites lying in the different countries of the world in the world heritage list. The world heritage lists are the sites or the properties that belongs to all the people of the world. Similarly, some of the sites of the country Nepal have also been enlisted in the world heritage list. The properties or the sites of Nepal inscribed in the world heritage site can be listed as below:

World heritage cultural sites: under world heritage cultural sites listed by UNESCO, seven sites lies within the Kathmandu valley.Pashupatinath temple, swayambhunath temple, Boudhanath stupa, Kathmandu durbar square, Patan Durbar square, Bhaktapur Durbar square and changunarayan temple are the cultural heritages of Nepal and are enlisted in the world heritage list of Nepal in the cultural category.

Similarly Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha is the next cultural heritage of Nepal listed in the world heritage list. Let’s have the brief information of these heritages below:

1) The famous Pashupatinath temple:

Kathmandu is the city of temples as there are so many temples situated in the Kathmandu valley. Kathmandu valley has the religious importance as several mythological stories have been attached to the temples and monuments. The temples, monuments built in the Kathmandu valley shows the harmony existing in the place between the two different religions i.e. Hinduism and Buddhism. So in this Kathmandu valley, there are numerous culturally interesting places as well as the numerous beautiful temples to visit.

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The most famous Hindu temple attached with the religious importance is situated within the valley at the bank of holy Bagmati River. This sacred Hindu pilgrimage is located at 5 km north east of the Kathmandu valley in the eastern part of the Kathmandu. People who follow Hindu culture and tradition specially visit this temple from all across the world. Pashupatinath temple has its own importance regarding the Hindu culture. Since the temple and the monuments within the temple premise is built in unique structure and is the sacred pilgrimage for Hindu deities, the temple has been enlisted in the world heritage list of UNESCO since 1979.

Pashupatinath is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu and there is no any certainty about the period when this famous temple was built. But as per some of the Hindu epic like Nepal Mahatmayapashupatinath temple existed about 400 B.C ago.

Besides this, as per the manuscript within the temple premises, the temple was built in the two- story form and during the period of Lichhavi king Supushpathe temple was renovated and several other temples and monuments were built within the temple premises. Hindu cultured people find this temple as a sacred pilgrimage and have a belief to visit this temple once in their life time. Pashupatinath, the lord of all pashus, which includes both livings as well as non-living things, is the aradhyadev of all Hindu people.

There are many legends that describe the existence of the temple of Lord Pashupatinath. One story is that Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati came here in this Kathmandu valley and they were so amazed and astonished by the beauty of the place, they decided to stay for some period of time. Therefore, they changed themselves into the form of deer to roam around the forest and enjoy with each other.

Besides, there is also legend attached with the shiv linga of the Pashupatinath temple. Kamdhenu cow (that fulfills the wish) took shelter on the cave of the mountain named chandravan. Everyday kamdhenu cow used to go at the particular spot and pour milk on that spot. The spot has engraved shiv lingam and after many years, people noticed the activities of kamdhenu cow and decided to explore that particular spot. When the people dig the soil, they found the beautiful and shiny shiva lingam. After this, people started worshipping the shivalingam, which is at present in the Pashupatinath temple.

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At present bhatta, vedicbrahman perform the puja of shiv linga. On several occasion, especially at shiv ratri, many people from different countries along with Nepal visit Pashupatinath temple. Therefore, Pashupatinath temple is the sacred Hindu pilgrimage and listed in world cultural heritage site.

2) Buddhist monument Swayambunathtemple:

The next cultural heritage listed in the world heritage list by UNESCO, which is equally important as Pashupatinath temple from the religious and cultural point of view is swayambhunath temple. The temple with the peace preacher buddha’s eye is located at the top of the hill to the western side of Kathmandu valley. As Pashupatinath temple is a sacred pilgrimage for Hindu religion followers, this is the sacred pilgrimage for the Buddhist religion followers. But for the Tibetan pilgrimage, it is the second sacred pilgrimage after boudha.

The Tibetan people have given the name for this site as “sublime trees” as the different varieties of trees are found on the top of the hill. Beside the main temple, several other small monuments, as well as a temple, is situated within the temple premises.

The mythology and the legend attached to the origin of this monument provide several theories regarding its origination. According to the swayambhupuran, the valley was filled up with the water in the form of a lake and out of this valley, the lotus grew. The self-created valley was named as swayambhu. The name swayambhu comes from the self-existent flame i.e. svyambhu upon which the stupa was built. Explaining about the stupa, buddha’s eyes are painted along with the eyebrows through which Buddha is looking towards all the four directions and between the two eyes, number one is painted in Devanagari script that looks like the nose.

The temple can be reached through two ways; the first one is through the long staircase 365 in total numbers through which the main platform of the temple can be reached which is towards the eastern side and the next way can be through the car from the south around the hill which will lead towards the south-west entrance. Swayambunath temple is also known with the name “Monkey temple” and it is because many holy monks live there in the north-west part.

History of Nepal leads back to the period of king Mandev’s grandfather, king Vrsadev, who was the founder of this oldest religious site in Nepal. Though this is the Buddhist monuments, people from both the Hindu as well as Buddhist religion followers visit this religious and cultural site. There are some artifacts shop, hotels, and restaurants within the temple premises. Thus being the oldest cultural and religious heritage with some mythological stories attached to it, swayambhunath temple made the place in the world cultural heritage list.

3) Boudhanath stupa:

The stupas related to Buddhism reflect the historical and religious tales that enhances their significance from both aspects. Boudhanath is also one of the largest Buddhist monasteries among all the monasteries situated all over the world. It is located about 11 km from the center and northern side of Kathmandu. Since the stupa has the huge round of mandala, it makes one of the largest spherical stupas of Nepal.

Not only in Nepal, it is also one of the largest stupas in the world too. Boudhanath stupa which is also popularly known as the boudha is one of the sacred pilgrimage and religious sites that have been able to occupy a special place in the heart of people regardless of their religion. Bouddhanathstupais on the route through which Tibetans used to enter Kathmandu valley through the village of sankhu that lies in the north east corner.

Besides, many Tibetan merchants who used to travel to Nepal for trade used to rest and offer prayers in this heritage site. Even some refugees from Tibet during the 1950 period, entered Nepal and resided around Boudhanath Stupa. This stupa is also said to have etomb the remainings of Kassapa Buddha.

The myth associated with this holy stupas about a rude and ill-mannered shopkeeper. The shopkeeper also had very rude behavior with the customers so they used to never visit their shop. When he died, he was sent to the hell and just the time he was going to sentence for the sins, Lord Buddha came and nullified the sentence. When Lord Buddha was asked about the act, then he replied though he had committed lots of sins but once while chasing the dog, he had made round of the holy Boudhanath stupa. Therefore, he was given a chance to revive.

After this incident, the belief was set among the people that if a person has committed great sins, then they can encircle the holy stupa so that they get the chance to reconcile with their sins. As per the history, Bouddhanath was founded by Lichhavi king sivadeva but also some of the chronicles relate to the period of King Mandev.

From 1979, the holy Boudhanath stupa is enlisted in the world heritage list of UNESCO in the cultural category. Along with swayambhunath, it is also one of the Buddhist pilgrimage and is visited by many tourists. Many people from abroad visits these stupas and to grab the information regarding the Buddhism and the history related to Lord Buddha.

4) Kathmandu Durbar square:

Kathmandu Durbar square also known as basantapur durbar kshetra is enlisted in the world heritage cultural site by UNESCO. It is one of the three durbar squares of the Kathmandu valley.The palaces within the durbar square represents the reign of different historical kings. Malla and Shah Kings ruled the kingdom of Kathmandu city from the palaces of Kathmandu durbar square.

The Durbar square is also popularly known as “Hanuman dhoka durbar square”, and it is so because of the statue of Hanuman (monkey god), the devotee of Lord Ram in the main entrance of the palace. It is also said that royal palace was originally at the Dattatreya square and it was later shifted to the Durbar square area. The palace reflects the culture, tradition, and rituals of the legendary kings as well as the architectural framework of that period.

From the period of those legendary kings, within the durbar square premises, several monarch activities is performed which includes the coronation of the monarchial kings too. Similarly, the durbar or the palace is decorated with beautifully carved doors and windows that reflect the architectural talent of the people of those historical times. Besides, king Tribhuvan memorial museum and king Mahendra memorial museum is also built within the palace. Several temples and statues of different gods and goddesses can be observed within the palace.

Similar is the taleju temple within the durbar premise, which is opened only during the period of Dashain for the visitors and also some other parts of the palace for the visitors. There are almost 10 quadrangles (chowk) within the durbar square premise. At the southern part, there lies the kumara chowk, which is opened for the visitors to have a look of the only living goddess of Nepal, Kumari. Therefore, this is the place where different religious festivals are celebrated and are the representation of the history of Nepal.

5) Patan Durbar square:

The next durbar square to be enlisted on the UNESCO’S world heritage site is Patan Durbar square, which lies at the central part of the beautiful city, Lalitpur. The main attraction of this durbar square is the palace of Malla kings. As Kathmandu durbar square, Patan Durbar square is also rich in its own architectural framework that mainly represents the Newari architecture.

Besides, Newari culture, Patan is also the old cities of Buddhist, therefore Buddhist culture is also represented by the Durbar square. The history regarding the durbar square is not clear. Some give the credit of establishing the durbar square to the Malla kings, but some chronicles relate the history with the thakuri dynasty. But the evidence of thakuri dynasty establishing the royal palace and making some of the reforms in the society is not supported with the sufficient evidence.

Therefore, the history is not clear lacking sufficient evidence though the pradhanascommunity relates the history with the malla reign as they resided around the durbar square area even before the malla reign. But scholars have made it clear with certainty that Patan was the prosperous city from ancient times only.

There are several temples and idols within the durbar square area and the main temples are built facing the western face of the palace. Similarly, the entrance of the temples faces towards the east i.e. towards the palace. There is a huge bell beside the main temple and besides, several temples and monuments built by the Newari people, the square also holds a number of Newari houses of the people residing within the durbar square.

The main attraction of the Patan Durbar square is Krishna Mandir, where a number of Hindu pilgrims visit during the Krishna Janmashtami. The temple was built by King Siddhi Narasimha Malla in 1637. It is said that once king saw Krishna and Radha standing at the spot and ordered to build the temple on the same spot. The stone carvings on the first floor of the temple narrate the story of the Mahabharata and that of the second floor narrates the story about Ramayana.

Similarly, other temples of the durbar square area are bhimsen temple, Vishwanath temple and talejubhawani temple, which reflects their own significance. There are three main courtyards in the durbar square area known as chowk and they are mulchowk, sundarichowk and Keshav Narayan Chowk. Every temple, monuments, and structure within the durbar square area reflects their own significance and history related to them.

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Written by

Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a Writer of 12 Nepali Books, Director of Maithili films, Founder of Radio Stations, Designer of Websites and Editor of Some Nepali Blogs.

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