Historical & Cultural tours in Nepal: Sightseeing into a vibrant history that repeats itself in everyday life…walk down Katmandu’s ancient cobbled stone alleys amidst the clanging of temple bells with ‘Trek Nepal Now’ into medieval history that lives every day…
Apparently incredible for its size, Nepal contains four World Heritage sites—two cultural and two natural heritage sites. Of them, the Kathmandu Valley and Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, are known cultural heritage sites. They are highly admired for their centuries-old traditions of art, culture and craftsmanship, as well as for numerous monuments of archeological and historical importance. As for the natural heritage sites, both Sagarmatha National Park and Royal Chitwan National Park are home to many endangered beast and bird varieties. While Sagarmatha National Park boasts of accommodating Mt. Everest (8,850 m)—the highest point on earth, Royal Chitwan National Park gives shelter to such rare species as the Royal Bengal tiger, the Great One-horned rhino and gharial crocodiles. The Kathmandu Valley has been divided into seven monumental zones, all compacted within a radius of 20 km. Actually nowhere else can one find such a collection of heritage sites as in the bowl-shaped Valley. Given below is the list of Nepal’s exclusive heritage sites:
The Kathmandu Valley is situated at an altitude of 4,423ft above sea level. Founded in the 8th Century A.D. the valley of Kathmandu is composed of three royal Cities, Kathmandu, and Patan & Bhadgaon covering an area of 218 sq. miles. The valley is surrounded by green mountains, above which tower mighty snowcapped peaks. Kathmandu has always been a renowned center for Buddhism and its art where you will find the stupa of Swoyambhunath, Boudhanath and hundreds of temples depicting Buddhist and Hindu theology which is a complex blending of Hinduism & Buddhism where by legend and reality live side by side amicably.
The Major monument zones in the Kathmandu Valley are Swoyambhunath, Boudhanath, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changunarayan, Pashupatinath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, & the Patan Durbar Square. Trek Nepal Now designs wonderful tour programs that take guests down memory lane into Nepal’s vibrant history where the echoes of conspiracies, intrigue & tragedy are still heard till this day in the historical corridors of Nepal’s murky & feudal history…as history continues to live as it was thousands of years ago.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
It is the historic seat of Royal family. Sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square, with its old temples and palaces, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of the people. Here, the kings of Nepal are crowned and solemnized. Interesting things for visitors to see are Taleju temple, gigantic figure of Kal Bhairav (the god of destruction), Basantapur Durbar, and Temple of Kumari (living goddess).
Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square complex, situated in the center of Patan city, houses the residence of the former Royal family of Patan. The Square and its surroundings provide very good example of ancient Newari architecture. The palace has three main courtyards the central and the oldest is Mul Chowk. To the west of the complex are a dozen free standing temples of various sizes and styles. Krishna Temple, Bhimsen Temple, the Golden Temple of Hiranya Varna Mahavira and Sundari Chowk mark the architectural excellence of its era. The Sundari Chowk with the sunken Royal bath of Tusha Hiti, contains exquisite woodcarvings, stone, and metal sculpture. Patan Durbar Square also houses a temple of Taleju Bhawani.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur, literally the city of Devotees', is renowned for its elegant art, fabulous culture, colorful festivals, traditional dances and the typical Newar life style. Tourists visiting Nepal feel their visit incomplete unless they get a mesmerizing glimpse of this ancient city of culture. Old dances and festival are still observed by the locals with the same fervor and enthusiasm as their ancestors did in the past. King Yarsh Mall (15th century) heavily fortified this city. The Hindus and the Buddhists have coexisted in harmony and drawn inspirations from each other through the ages. Bhaktapur is predominantly comprised of the peasantry, painting, carving, masonry, bronze casting, jewelry; pottery, etc are other traditional enterprises still existing. Monuments and artistic carvings on wood, stone and metals are strewn all over the historical core of the city. Alleys and narrow and zigzagged lanes lead you to see the Environment of Newar medieval settlements.
This is one of the world most glorious Buddhist Stupa, it said to be 2000 years old. Visitor often calls it monkey Temple. The main structure of Stupa is brick and clay which supports a lofty conical soiree capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt. There are all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha on the four side of spire. Being situated 177m above the level of valley the hill of shyambhu nath is a mosaic of small stupas and pagoda Temples. This temple of the goddess believes to be famous in the way of tantric. Other Temples and Tibetan monasteries surround the main stupa of lord Buddha and temples of goddess. From this stupa one can view entire valley of kathmandu. This stupa listed in world heritage site by UNESCO.
Pashupatinath, or Pashupati, is a Hindu temple on the banks of the Bagmati River in Deopatan, a village 3 km northwest of Kathmandu. It is dedicated to a manifestation of Shiva called Pashupati (Lord of Animals). It attracts thousands of pilgrims each year and has become well known far beyond the Kathmandu Valley. The temple is barred to non-Hindus, but a good view of the temple can be had from the opposite bank of the river.
Changu Narayan is a pagoda-style Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu in his incarnation as Narayan. It is one of the oldest temples in Nepal, but because it is a bit off the beaten track, it is seldom visited by tourists. Originally built in the early 4th century during the Licchavi dynasty, Changu Narayan was rebuilt around 1700 after the temple was destroyed by a fire.
All of the stone carvings in the temple courtyard were done between the 5th and 13th century, which makes this one of the single-greatest concentrations of ancient art in Nepal.
Bouddhanath is the center of Tibetan culture in Nepal. The 36-meter-high stupa of Bouddhanath is one of the largest stupas in South Asia. Bouddhanath Stupa was renovated by Licchavi rulers in the eighth century. The mandala design in Bouddhanath is a copy of the one in Gyangtse in Tibet. The stupa is located in the area of ancient trade route to Tibet where Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to live around Bouddhanath. Hence, a complete township has developed around Bouddhanath. The stupa is said to entomb the remains of a Kasyap sage venerable both to Buddhists and Hindus. Smaller stupas are located at the base. Gompa monasteries, curio shops, and restaurants surround Bouddhanath.
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