With her stunning religious and cultural diversity and many historical and monumental sites, Nepal has a lot of places of cultural importance to visit. During their journey, visitors will have the opportunity to be familiar with the fascinating Nepali art and architecture, culture and traditions, customs, festivals and lifestyles of the people. They can also experience the beautiful festivals such as Dashain, Tihar, Lhosar and various others and New Years of the diverse ethnic communities across the country.
The main attractions of cultural tours include the visit of Kathmandu – the city of long history and civilization, UNESCO’s World Heritage Site (cultural) - the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath and Boudhanath- and innumerable temples, stupas, shrines and palaces.
Swayambhunath - Monkey Temple
This place is located in the small hillock and close to the city centre of the Kathmandu. Widely known as the Monkey Temple, this is the major tourist destination inside Kathmandu valley. Just a few minutes’ drives to the top and then 5 minutes’ walk to the temple. Swayambhunath is founded about 2,000 years ago when the Kathmandu valley was a great lake.
The straight uphill climb is strenuous however there is a motorway up to the top. Visitors are mostly Hindu and Buddhist thorough out the day. The largest number of visitors are mainly seen on the birthday of Lord Buddha which falls in May. To see the panoramic view of the Kathmandu this is the ideal place to do so. Swayambhunath is one of the holiest Buddhist Stupas in Nepal.
Among the Hindu pilgrims, Harati Devi Temple is popular and there are many other sacred temples and sanctuaries around the Swayambhunath Temple. One of the most interesting facts about Shantipur temple that is near to the Sayambhunath Temple is that there is a holy man who has been meditating for about 1500 years.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur is another ancient cultural city. Bhaktapur boasts the best-preserved courtyards and old city centre in Nepal and is a UNESCO’S World Heritage Site. The city is famous for its rich culture, temples and wooden, metal and stone artwork. It is one of the most preferred destinations for travellers from across the world.
The major attraction of Bhaktapur Durbar Square
55 window Palace
The magnificent monument was built in the 15th century AD. This is the unique architectural structure dominating the entire Durbar Square. In a seating position praying to God is King Bhupitendra Malla.
This is the main entrance to the palace. The most spectacular and perfect craft of the main gate is the outstanding talent of the craftsman.
Either side of the gate is installed with beautiful stone statues of Hindu Deities. It is believed that the hands of the artisans who designed this were cut off right after he gave a final touch.
Mini Pashupati Temple
Once the king of Bhadgaon dreamt in which Lord Shiva told the king to build a temple for Pashupati right in front of this palace.
The temple is known for its dog-barking bell and the temple is dedicated to a mother goddess and the temple is full of intricate works on stone.
This is the most popular pagoda of Nepal. Nyatpola means fie tires, - the symbolic of five basic elements. This is the tallest pagoda of Nepal ever built. The outstanding craftsmanship is remarkable. The beautiful architecture is dedicated to the Sidhilaxmi, the tantric goddess of supreme power and success.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Bhairava who is the incarnation of Lord Shiva and known as the God of Terror and Death.
Pashupatinath is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for the Devotee of Shiva. The main pagoda style temple has a gilded roof four sides covered in silver and exquisite wood carvings. Built-in the 5th century and later further renovated by Malla King. It is believed that the Shiva Lingam has existed from the beginning of the millennium. The area has covered either side of the holy river Bagmati. The area is also popular for the Hindus rituals, the Ghats are the cremation sites, a ritual observed by Hindus after the death of the human body. River Bagmati follows along the temple site is considered as the holy river.
Patan Durbar Square
Patan also called the city of festivals and feasts have exemplary ancient art, metallic and stone craved statuses. The Patan Durbar Square is historically and culturally very important. Lies just south of the Bagmati River in Kathmandu. The city of art is UNESCO World Heritage Site and an incredible jewel of the nation. Patan Durbar is all about its fine architecture, ancient temples and the famed Patan museum.
Patan is the oldest of all three cities in Kathmandu valley. There are more than 1200 Buddhists monuments. In second century BC, Ashoka, the great emperor of India, visited the city and built Stupas in the four corners of the city.
Patan is the most famous historical town that produces the largest number of finest craftsmen in Nepal.
Lord Krishna Temple is famous among Hindu pilgrims. Golden temple, Museum are the few popular places to visit in the Patan area.
Pokhara - City of Lakes
Pokhara is known as the “City of Lakes” with several lakes including Phewa Lake, Begnas Lake and Rupa Lake. The city is the most popular tourist destination. Mt Dhaulagiri, Mt. Annapurna I and Mt. Manaslu are within 30 miles (linear distance) of the city. Thus, the northern skyline of the city offers a very close view of the Himalayas. This is one of the main getaways for trekking to the Annapurna Region.
Pokhara is the most beautiful city of Nepal. This is a very popular vacation destination from across the world. Pokhara not only offers natural beauty but also offers an adventurous activity like paragliding, zip flyer, bungee jumping, canyoning.
Lumbini - Lord Buddha's Birthplace
Lumbini, an important Buddhist pilgrimage site located in the southwest of Nepal. This is the place where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautum. Lumbini is one of the four magnets for pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the Buddha. Others are Kushinagar, Bodhgaya and Sarnath. In Lumbini, there are many beautiful Buddhist temples from different countries. The Puskarini or Holy Pond, Maya Devi Temple, Ashoka Pillar are the centres of the Buddhist faith.
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park is situated in the southern part of Nepal and this is an important destination from cultural as well as wildlife point of view. Established in 1973 AD, the Chitwan National Park is the first national park of the country. The park was inscribed as UNESCO”s World Heritage Site (Natural) in 1984 AD. The park is home to numerous wildlife species and birds and a variety of plants. The endangered species- One-horned rhinoceros and Royal Bengal Tiger inhabit in this park. Wilderness lover can enjoy the jungle jeep safari in the depths of the forest or ride a silent canoe and catch the wildlife and also watch the birds. One can also go on the jungle walk accompanied by the guide.
Gharial and Marsh Mugger Crocodiles can be seen basking in the sun. These reptiles give you an ample of time to observe them lying on the bank of the river. You can enjoy the quality of time in the Elephant and Gharial breeding centre.
In the evening traveller can enjoy the Tharu Tribal cultural dance and listen to their folk songs and take some photographs.
Nagarkot is located just 32 kilometres east of Kathmandu. Nagarkot one of the most scenic places near the Kathmandu Valley. Lying at a height of 2,195 meters above sea level, the village is famous for the spectacular views of the Himalayas including Mount Everest and many other snow-capped peaks. It is a world-famous hill station with mesmerizing views of the Himalayas, the Kathmandu Valley and the Shivapuri-Nagarjuna National Park.
Bouddhanath It is one of the major pilgrimage sites for Buddhists from around the world. It is shaped in Mandala Designed to replicate the Gyangtse of Tibet,
The stupa was renovated by Licchhavi rulers in the 8th century. The location of the stupa is interesting as it once lay on the ancient trade route to Tibet and it was here that Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers for many centuries.
This place is surrounded by a great cafeteria where the traveller can enjoy the view of stupa whilst sitting at the rooftop of the café.
This is a Newari town and is the perfect place for groups and family trip to explore the authentic Newari culture and heritage area. A traveller can literally enjoy walking through the village and can wander around.
Another popular attraction of Dhulikhel is the mountain bike trip from Dhulikhel to Namobuddha, this is the most preferred and loved activities to do in this place.
Zip flyer is recently opened and becoming more popular as an adventurous sport. A short day hike can be done in this area that passes through the villages of Kavre and Faskot to the Tibetan monastery on the hilltop and ended at Namobuddha.