The “little Buddha statue” at Lumbini, Nepal.
Lumbini in Nepal’s Rupandehi District is regarded as the birthplace
of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. It is said that it is here
that Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Gautama in 563 BCE. Today, Lumbini
attracts a large number of tourists including Buddhist pilgrims and
hosts many temples, monasteries, and museums as tourist or pilgrim
attractions. The Puskarini or Holy Pond of Lumbini is claimed to be the
place where Queen Mayadevi took a dip before Gautama was born and it was
also the place where Gautama had his first bath. Recognizing the
cultural and historical importance of Lumbini, UNESCO inscribed it as a
World Heritage Site in 1997.
9. Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s first national park, established in
1973, hosts a rich diversity of wildlife including charismatic megafauna
like the Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, one-horned rhinoceros, the
Indian leopard, and a number of other species of flora and fauna.
Recognizing the importance of the national park in wildlife
conservation, UNESCO recognized it as a World Heritage Site in 1984.
Tourists visiting the Chitwan National Park enjoy the wildlife safaris
and birdwatching tours offered here. It is thus one of the best places
to visit in Nepal.
8. Pashupatinath Temple
visit to Nepal is never complete without a visit to the sacred Hindu
temple of Lord Pashupatinath, the national deity of Nepal. The temple
complex is centuries old and features a collection of temples,
sculptures, inscriptions, ashrams, and other aspects related to a Hindu
holy site. The temple is located on the banks of the Bagmati River. The
entire temple complex offers tourists an insight into the religious life
of the Hindus, their rituals, and culture. Hindu pilgrims from Nepal
and neighboring India flock to the temple throughout the year.
7. Boudhanath Stupa
Boudhanath Stupa is a sacred Buddhist site located about 11 km away
from the Kathmandu city. It is claimed that the remains of Kassapa
Buddha are entombed within the stupa. The stupa dominates the skyline of
the region and is surrounded by several monasteries hosting Buddhist
monks of Nepal and Tibet. Boudhanath is located on the ancient trade
route that connected Tibet to Nepal and for centuries it was visited by
Tibetan merchants who stopped here to offer prayers and relax after
their long and tiring journey through the mountains. Today, a tour of
the Boudhanath Stupa offers tourists a spiritual, historical, and
cultural experience. The site has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site
is a picturesque city, the largest by area in Nepal. It is at a
distance of about 200 km to the west of Kathmandu. Since three of the
world’s ten highest mountains (the Manaslu, Annapurna I, and Dhaulagiri)
are located near this city, Pokhara serves as the base of many
mountaineers and adventurers who begin their journeys to these mountains
from Pokhara. The city also houses several medieval era temples,
museums, and viewpoints from where spectacular scenery of the
surrounding mountains, valleys, rivers, and lakes can be photographed.
The Phewa Lake is also another tourist attraction near the city.
5. Changu Narayan Temple
Changu Narayan Temple, the oldest of its kind in Nepal.
The Changu Narayan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located atop a
hill in the Bhaktapur District of Nepal. A forest of champak trees
surrounds the temple which is considered to be the country’s oldest
temple. The Changu Narayan Temple, dedicated to the Hindu God Lord
Vishnu, is famous for its beautiful architecture. It is built in the
traditional Nepali style and is rich in sculptures and arts. The walls,
pillars, entrance gates, and other parts of the temple bear elaborate
carvings. The entrances feature life-size sculptures of animal pairs
like lions, elephants, etc. Stone pillars bear Sanskrit inscriptions
that are ages old. The Changu Narayan Temple is one of the UNESCO World
Heritage Sites in Nepal.
4. The Durbar Squares Of Nepal
Nepal hosts three durbar squares, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Bhaktapur Durbar Square is located in the Bhaktapur town of Nepal
that is located about 13 km to the east of Kathmandu. The major
attractions here include the 55 Window Palace, the Batsala Temple,
Bhupatindra Malla’s Statue, Nyatapola Temple, the Lion’s Gate, the
Golden Gate, and the Mini Pashupati Temple.
Many buildings of the Kathmandu Durbar Square suffered damage caused
by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. The square was famous for hosting a
number of buildings of historical importance, many of which collapsed
during the earthquake. Several temples, courtyards, palaces, and other
architecture built over the centuries are present in this Durbar Square.
The Patan Durbar Square in Lalitpur is an excellent representation of
Newar architecture. The ancient royal palace of the Durbar Square is a
special attraction here. The palace served as the residence of the
region’s Malla Kings. Other historical and architectural attractions
here include old Newari houses, temples, and idols.
The Swayambhunath is one of Nepal’s oldest religious sites. According
to ancient texts, the site was established in about the 5th century CE
by the ruler of the region. Over the years, the religious site grew in
size and importance and attracted not only ordinary pilgrims but also
monarchs of the ancient kingdoms. The Swayambhunath is revered by both
Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims. The main feature of the site is the
Swayambhunath stupa. It is a large white dome topped with a cubical
structure with pentagonal torans at each side beyond which are thirteen
tiers arranged in a conical structure with the Gajur at the top. The
eyes and eyebrows of the Buddha are painted on the cubical structure in
all directions. The torans feature engraved statues. The entire
structure symbolizes the journey of a person from the worldly life to
enlightenment. Several shrines, monasteries, shops, restaurants, and
hotels surround the Swayambhunath stupa.
Sadhus in Kathmandu
Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, has lots to offer to all types
of tourists. Several natural, cultural, and historical attractions are
located in and around Kathmandu. The city hosts a number of hotels
restaurants, and shopping centers. Seven casinos are also present here.
Kathmandu was ranked as one of the top seven upcoming travel
destinations in the world by Tripadvisor.
1. Trek To The Everest Base Camp
Mount Everest as seen from Nepal.
The world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest, is located in Nepal.
Although only a very few can make the arduous and difficult trek to the
top of the Mount Everest, many more can make the less challenging but
adventurous trek to the Everest Base Camp. There are two base camps
located at the opposite sides of the Mount Everest. The South Base Camp
is located in Nepal while the North Base Camp is in Tibet. The base
camps allow Everest climbers to acclimatize themselves to the high