Culture Tour in Nepal
The unified diversity of cultural heritages of Nepal could be tied to a garden with varieties of blooming flowers. Specially, the Kathmandu valley is a treasure trove of Nepalese culture protected and developed since a long, offering the unique attractions. The important side of the culture is its architectural heritage which is represented in the numerous monuments included and preserved within the seven monument zones in the Kathmandu Valley Heritage Site all within a radius of 20km. The valley is full of wonderful creations in various shapes and forms of art and architecture, extending to small stone or a bronze statue. The wood carvings of temples and houses are famous throughout the world. The beautiful temples, monasteries, stupas or Chaityas, shrines, palaces, monuments and every other architectural wonder of the valley are glorious cultural treasures of Nepal as well as a heritage of he whole of mankind. Nepalese architectural heritage is represented in the unique design of built structures like the pagoda, Shikhara-style temples and every other structure.
Swoyambhunath Stupa is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal and world’s greatest Buddhist Stupas, also known as Monkey Temple to the foreigner. It lies on the top of a hillock, 3 km west to the main city of Kathmandu and 77m above the level of valley. Painted on the four-sides of the spire bases, are the never sleeping eyes of Lord Buddha. The main structure of stupa is composed of a solid hemisphere of brick and earth supporting a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gild. This hill is a montage of small Chaityas and Pagodas temples.. It is regarded as the holiest Buddhist site in Nepal and equally respected by both Hindu and Buddhist. Its establishment is linked to the creation of the Kathmandu valley out of primordial Lake. Every year millions of monks come to visit it. UNESCO lists it in world heritage site.
Pashupatinath Temple is regarded as one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world, situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of sacred Bagmati river, 5km east of central city of Kathmandu.. the temple, built in pagoda style has gilded roof and richly carved silver doors, is dedicated to Lord Shiva, god of death. The pashupatinath area is covered with ornamented pagoda houses highlighting the sacred linga, or phallic symbol, of Lord Shiva. The holy river, Bagmati flows through the east of Pashupati Nath temple. Every day, devotees are seen taking ritual dips in the holy Bagmati River. Entrance in the temple is strictly forbidden to all non-Hindus. Foreign and non-hindu visitors will be permitted to view the temple from the east bank of Rivers Bagmati.You will see the cremation grounds behind the temple at the bank of river. Chronicles indicate the temple’s existence prior to 400 AD. UNESCO publishes it as a world heritage site.
Boudhanath is one of the holiest stupa in Buddhist power places in Nepal, constructed in first century and one of the biggest stupas in South Asia. It appears 36 meters high and presents one of the most mesmerizing specimens of Stupa design. The mandala design in Boudhanath is a copy of the one in Gyangtse in Tibet.. Thus it has been a center of Tibetan culture in Nepal. It is believed that its four pair of eyes in four cardinal directions, keeps watch for righteous behavior and human property. There are more than 45 Buddhist monasteries in the area. All day long, the devotees walk around the Stupa, moving and unforgettable scenes. A great influence from Tibet can be experienced here. Boudhanath is protected as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Kathmandu Durbar (Palace) Square:
The ancient Malla and Shah kings of Kathmandu built the palaces, courtyards, Kumari Ghar and Taleju temple between 12th and 18th centuries. This large square is the historic seat of Kingship in Nepal. An inscription of 17th century set into the wall of palace is written in 15 different languages. UNESCO protects it as a world heritage site which is the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. All the major state and social ceremonies, including the solemnization of coronations are performed in one of the courtyards even today. After paying an entrance fee of Rs. 250 to durbar square, you are permitted to visit the whole museum, managed within the palace.
Patan Durbar Square:
Patan is another historic city of Kathmandu valley and second largest town in the valley and about 5 kms far from central city of Kathmandu, believed to have been built during the reign of Vira Deva in 299 AD. The city is full of Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments with bronze gateways, guardian deities and wonderful carvings. The city is known as city of fine art as it is full or art. A two-story building with gilded roofs encloses the stone-paved courtyard of the palace square. The woodcarvings on the roof struts are especially attractive. The palace is prepared with sacred images and other small shrines. The museum in the courtyard is a collection of masterpiece of ancient arts and history to express the religious and cultural lives then in Nepal. This area is also protected as UNESCO world heritage site.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square:
Among the three Durbar Square, the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is by far the most elegant with its large open space facing south. It is known for famous sculpture, woodcarving and colossal pagoda temples consecrated to different gods and goddesses. The city was established by King Ananda Deva in A.D. 889. The world famous five-tiered Nyatpola, of five-storeyed temple built in 1702 at Taumadhi Square is the land mark of Bhaktapur. It is located to east to the Durbar Square. The stairway leading up to the temple is flanked by stone figures of deities and mythical beasts, each considered ten times more powerful than the one immediately below. Bhaktapur is now a model town for the country for its calm, cleanness and preservation of cultural heritages. The palace of 55 carved windows was built in 15th century is a model construction to admire. The golden gate is a masterpiece in art and the National Art Gallery is also housed inside. Pottery and weaving are its major traditional industries.
Changunarayan, the temple of Vishnu, is situated in the village of changu in Bhaktapur. The temple is believed to be 1600 years old. It is embellished with the exquisite art of stone, wood and metal crafts. It is listed in UNESCO Heritage Sites.
Outside the Kathamandu Valley, Lumbini, the birth place of Herald of Peace, Gautham, the Buddha, has been enlisted in the World Cultural Heritage site. Siddhartha gautama, who later attained enlightenment as the Budha, was born in Lumbini in the spring (on the day of full moon) of 623 B.C. An inscription on stone pillar erectd by Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 249 B.C authenticates that the Buddha was born at this spot. Recent archaelogical exdcavations have discovered the ‘marker stone at ehe basement of the Maya Devi Temple, believed to have been laid there by EmperorAshoka to denote the exact sacred spot where the Buddha first put his foot on earth. This has further enhanced the importance and sanctity of the site. The stupas built during different periods dating from 3rd century B.C to 15th century A.D. the Maya Dev Temple and Pushkarni Pond where the baby Siddhartha was given his first bath after birth are some ancient edifices of Lumbini.