List of World Heritage Sites in Nepal

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designates World Heritage Sites of outstanding universal value to cultural or natural heritage which have been nominated by countries which are signatories to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.[1] Cultural heritage consists of monuments (such as architectural works, monumental sculptures, or inscriptions), groups of buildings, and sites (including archaeological sites). Natural features (consisting of physical and biological formations), geological and physiographical formations (including habitats of threatened species of animals and plants), and natural sites which are important from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty, are defined as natural heritage.[2] Nepal ratified the convention on 20 June 1978, making its historical sites eligible for inclusion on the list.[3]

as of 2021, there are four sites in Nepal on the list and a further fifteen on the tentative list (the official list of sites that may be considered for future submission).[4] The first sites in Nepal to be added to the list were the Sagarmatha National Park and the Kathmandu Valley; both were added in 1979. However, due to the partial or substantial loss of the traditional elements of six out of seven monument zones and resulting general loss of authenticity and integrity of the whole property, Kathmandu Valley was put to the List of World Heritage in Danger between 2003 and 2007. Chitwan National Park was listed in 1984 and the most recent site listed was the Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha added in 1997. There are two natural and two are cultural sites in Nepal.

World Heritage Sites[edit]

UNESCO lists sites under ten criteria; each entry must meet at least one of the criteria. Criteria i through vi are cultural, whereas vii through x are natural.[5]

  * Trans-border site
Site Image Location Year listed UNESCO data Description
Sagarmatha National Park A village in a large mountain valley. In the distance very high snow-covered mountains are visible. Solukhumbu District 1979 120; vii (natural) Sagarmatha National Park encompasses the mountains of the Great Himalayan Range which includes the Earth's highest mountain above sea level, Mount Everest (known in Nepal as Sagarmatha), and the Sacred Himalayan Landscape, the transboundary landscape in the eastern Himalayas.[6] The park covers an area of 124,400 hectares (307,000 acres) of land and 20 villages with 6000 Sherpas who have lived in the area for the last four centuries.[6]
Kathmandu Valley Swayambhunath temple - an ancient religious architecture of Nepal.jpg Kathmandu Valley 1979 121; iii, iv, vi (cultural) The World Heritage Site comprises seven properties: Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Boudhanath, Changu Narayan Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Patan Durbar Square, and Swayambhunath (pictured).[7] Three royal Durbar Squares were used by the Mallas, after the unification of Nepal they were used by the Shahs, and the Ranas.[8] Two stupas: Swayambhunath is the oldest and Boudhanath is the largest in Nepal.[7] Changu Narayan Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Nepal dating back to the fifth century AD, and Pashupatinath Temple is the largest temple complex in Nepal.[7][9] Kathmandu Valley was listed as endangered from 2003 to 2007 due to the partial or substantial loss of the traditional elements of six out of seven monument zones and resulting in a general loss of authenticity and integrity of the whole property.[7]
Chitwan National Park A lake with tree trunks in the water. Chitwan District, Nawalpur District, Parasi District, Parsa District,

and Makwanpur District

1984 284; vii, ix, x (natural) Chitwan National Park, part of the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal, is home to one of the last populations of Indian rhinoceros and the Bengal tiger.[10] Historically used by the feudal big game hunters and their entourage, where they stayed for a couple of months shooting hundreds of tigers, rhinoceroses, elephants, leopards, and sloth bears.[11][12] The park is now one of the last remaining ecosystems of the Tarai region and it is home to over 68 mammal species.[10][13]
Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha A large tree next to a water filled pool. Rupandehi District 1997 666; iii, vi (cultural) Lumbini, where the founder of the world religion of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, was born in 623 BC.[14] Lumbini is regarded as one of the holiest places in Buddhism and it features pilgrimage sites dating back to the 3rd century BC.[14] The complex includes the Lumbini pillar inscription, Maya Devi Temple, and Shakya Tank where Maya bathed before giving birth to Buddha.[14][15]

Tentative list[edit]

In addition to the sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, member states can maintain a list of tentative sites that they may consider for nomination. Nominations for the World Heritage List are only accepted if the site was previously listed on the tentative list.[16] As of 2019, Nepal recorded 15 sites on its tentative list.[3]

Tentative sites
Site Image Location Year listed UNESCO criteria Description
The early medieval architectural complex of Panauti Panauti 3.JPG Kavrepalanchok District 1996 Cultural Panauti, located at the confluence of two sacred rivers Roshi River and Punyamati River, is home to numerous heritage structures.[17] Both Hindus and Buddhists consider Panauti to be a sacred town, and it contains numerous architectural complexes including the Indresvar Mahadev Temple and the Brahmayani Temple.[17][18] Yomari, a popular delicacy in Nepal, originated from Panauti.[18]
Tilaurakot, the archaeological remains of ancient Shakya Kingdom Suddhodana Palace-east gate.JPG Kapilvastu District 1996 Cultural Tilaurakot is believed to be the cardinal point of the ancient Shakya city of Kapilavastu, where Gautama Buddha spent 29 years of his life.[19][20] He left his palace at Kapilavastu to live a life as an ascetic to reach enlightenment.[20] Tilaurakot is also a holy site for Hindus and there are numerous temples on the site.[20]
Cave architecture of Muktinath Valley of Mustang Chyosyor cave at Lomangthang, Upper Mustang.jpg Mustang District 1996 Cultural Sky Caves of Mustang were originally used as burial chambers, the caves eventually became meditation chambers, military lookouts, or storage units as part of the Kingdom of Lo.[21][22] There are roughly around 10,000 man-made caves dug into the sides of valleys, some of which are estimated to be thousands of years old.[22]
The medieval palace complex of Gorkha Image of Goddess & Gorkha Palace.JPG Gorkha District 1996 Cultural Gorkha Palace complex is a 16th-century palace built by the King of Gorkha, Ram Shah.[23] Built in traditional Nepalese architecture, It served as a fort, a palace, and a temple.[23][24] Prithvi Narayan Shah was crowned as the King of Gorkha in the palace, who would later be crowned the first King of a unified Nepal.[23] Gorkha Palace was severely damaged by the April 2015 Nepal earthquake.[23]
Ramagrama, the relic stupa of Lord Buddha Ramgram Stupa 2.jpg Parasi District 1996 Cultural The site includes the only undisturbed original stupa containing relics of Buddha.[25] According to the legends, Mauryan emperor, Ashoka, visited the Ramagrama in 249 BC, however, when he tried to open the stupa, a snake god appeared and told him not to open it, subsequently, he left it alone.[26] Currently, there are no plans to open the stupa, and the site only features a grassy mound.[26]
Khokana, the vernacular village and its mustard-oil seed industrial heritage Khokana, Lalitpur.jpg Lalitpur District 1996 Cultural Khokana is described being a "living museum" as includes a system of drainage and chowks, traditional houses, chaityas, a mother deity temple, and its mustard fields and processing sites.[27][28] Home to the indigenous Newar people, governed as part of the Lalitpur metropolitan city, and Khokana has some surviving works from the Kirata-era.[28] Today, it is known for producing mustard oil.[29][30]
Medieval Earthen Walled City of Lo Manthang Lo Manthang.jpg Mustang District 2008 Cultural Lo Manthang was established as the capital of the Kingdom of Lo in the 14th century.[31] Situated 3800 meters above sea level, it was once the hub of the ancient Tibet–Nepal salt trade route.[32][33] Even though Nepal was opened to the outside world in the 1950s, Upper Mustang was restricted to foreigners until 1992 and currently, there is a limit on how many tourists are allowed to visit.[32][34] Due to its isolation, the city has preserved its way of life.[35]
Vajrayogini and early settlement of Sankhu Saankhu.JPG Kathmandu District 2008 Cultural The site includes the Lichchhavi period (2nd to 9th century AD) settlement of Sankhu and the Vajrayogini temple complex constructed in the mid 17th century.[36]
Medieval Settlement of Kirtipur Kirtipur, 1950 - 1955.jpg Kathmandu District 2008 Cultural The site includes the Newar monuments of Chilancho Vihar, Jagat Pal Vihar, Buddha Dharma Sangha Shikhara, Baghbhairab Temple, Vath (Layaku), Umamaheshvar Temple, Indrayani Pith, Chitu Bahail, Lokeshwar Shikhara, Buddha Temple, Chve Bahal and Kwe Bahal.[37]
Rishikesh Complex of Ruru Kshetra Rishikesh Mandir, Palpa, Nepal 10.jpg Palpa District 2008 Cultural The site includes an ancient route and cremation site between Muktinath and Damodar Kunda, the settlement of Ridi, and the entire complex.[38]
Nuwakot Palace Complex Nuwakot Palace.jpg Nuwakot District 2008 Cultural The site includes Nuwakot Palace and various temples and shrines, such as Bhairab Temple.[39]
Ram Janaki Temple Janki Mandir.JPG Dhanusa District 2008 Cultural The site is composed of classical and neo-classical designs with elements of fortification.[40]
The Medieval Town of Tansen Shreenagar with Tansen.jpg Palpa District 2008 Cultural The site includes Bhairab Temple, the Purankot Durbar, the Srinagar Durbar (Fort), the Bansha Gopal, the Mukundeshwar Mahadev, the Amar Narayan Temple, the Ran-Ujjeshwari Bhagawati Temple and the Tansen Durbar.[41]
Sinja Valley Narakot Sinja Valley.JPG Jumla District 2008 Cultural The site includes the capital of the Khasas kingdom from the 12th to 14th centuries.[42]
Bhurti Temple Complex of Dailekh Panchdewal, Dailekh.jpg Dailekh District 2008 Cultural The site includes 22 monuments constructed through the Western Malla architectural style.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The World Heritage Convention". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  2. ^ "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
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  4. ^ Tentative List from UNESCO Archived 20 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 1 March 2020
  5. ^ "UNESCO World Heritage Centre – The Criteria for Selection". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 12 June 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Sagarmatha National Park". UNESCO. World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on 18 February 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d "Kathmandu Valley". UNESCO. Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
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  11. ^ Royal Chitwan National Park After Twenty Years: An Assessment of Values, Threats, and Opportunities. King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation. 1996. p. 17. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  12. ^ Riley, Laura; Riley, William; Riley, Bill (2005). Nature's Strongholds: The World's Great Wildlife Reserves. Princeton University Press. p. 241. ISBN 978-0-691-12219-9. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
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  17. ^ a b "The early medieval architectural complex of Panauti". Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
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  25. ^ "Ramagrama, the relic stupa of Lord Buddha". Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Ramagrama Stupa". World Heritage Journeys. Retrieved 19 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
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  37. ^ "Medieval Settlement of Kirtipur". Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  38. ^ "Rishikesh Complex of Ruru Kshetra". Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  39. ^ "Nuwakot Palace Complex". Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  40. ^ "Ram Janaki Temple". Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  41. ^ "The Medieval Town of Tansen". Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  42. ^ "Sinja valley". Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
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