Cultural Heritage Of Nepal

Cultural Heritage Of Nepal

Nepal is a country of cultural heritage. There are just so many places in Nepal that have earned the love and attention of several people, not just in but out of Nepal. The cultural heritage of Nepal is widespread throughout three different regions of Nepal, namely, the Himalayan region, the Terai region, and the Hilly region. The cultural heritage in Nepal is much influenced by the multilingual and different ethnicities present in the country. Likewise, the natural beauty of the country, to an extent, contributes to adding to the beauty of these cultural heritages. Around ten of the cultural heritages in Nepal are listed in the World Heritage Sites (cultural and Natural Sites of Nepal by UNESCO. Every year, thousands of visitors come to Nepal to get an experience of at least one, a few, or even all of these cultural heritage sites.

There is so much to know about Nepal and its cultural heritage. If you are interested in knowing more, make sure to read till the end!

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All you need to know about Nepal:

Nepal is one of the smallest countries in the world. However, the diversity of different cultures as well as ecology, is simply out of this world. Nepal has several aspects that are not quite common in other parts of the world. There is a domination of castes like Chhetri, Brahmin, Newar, Kirat, and Tamang in the hilly region, while Madhesi and Tharu people dominate the Terai region. On the other hand, the Sherpa community and Kiratis dominate the Himalayan region. The economy of Nepal is still in its growing stage. Hence, it is known as a developing country.

There are some fascinating musical instruments like bansuri, madal, and sarangi that are used during important occasions as well as to sing songs expressing the true nature of Nepali society, whether it is related to romanticism, religion, or even tragedy. The national costume of the country is Daura-suruwal and Gunyo-choli, which is rarely worn in the urban areas except on special festivities and occasions. However, when you visit rural parts of the country, you will find many who still wear these costumes on a day-to-day basis. Nepal is vanquished by art, culture, religion, architecture, and natural beauty, promoting tourism in the country. Tourism is the greatest part of Nepali economy.

Cultural Heritage Sites of Nepal

For anyone interested in exploring the cultural heritage sites of Nepal they should first get a context of the architectural styles of these heritages. Most of these heritages are inspired by stupas, shikhara, and pagodas styles of architecture. Likewise, these heritages are either based on Hinduism or Buddhism. The following are some of the most popular cultural heritage sites of Nepal:

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa, situated in Boudha, Kathmandu, is one of the most popular cultural heritage sites in Nepal. There are several monks and priests who perform rituals every day in Boudha around the stupa and the temple that is just opposite the Boudhanath stupa. This is also one of the largest stupas in Nepal. And, every day, you will come through several Hindu and Buddhist devotees who are here to offer their prayers. Lamps, candles, and traditional incests are burnt here, so whenever you are here, you will also experience the true essence of not just devotion but also the authenticity and strength of Buddhism among people in Nepal.

For anyone looking to buy souvenirs to take back home, Boudha has just so many tiny shops to buy stuff from. Bouddhanath stupa restricts any visitors from climbing it as just a few years ago due to some serious restrictive activities of people up in the stupa. However, you can still take rounds of the majestic religious site without any restrictions. There are just as many traditional as well as modern eateries around the stupa.

Swoyambhunath

Swoyambhunath

Swoyambhunath is situated on the western side of Kathmandu in Swoyambhu. This is a famous place for prayers among Hindu and Buddhist devotees throughout Nepal. Likewise, it is one of the most popular tourist sites in the country. The stupa in Swoyambhunath indicates a white gemstone related to Nirvana in Buddhism. Its establishment, on the other hand, dates back to 250 B.C. Most of the devotees that are frequenting the stupa include Newari Hindus and Tibetan Buddhists. There are several ceremonies that take place among people from these communities almost every day.

When you are in Swoyambhunath, you will experience the true essence of Nepali culture with thousands of lamp lighting, mandala artworks, magnificent architectural marvels, as well as the beauty of statues and scriptures. Finding nice souvenirs is just as simple as there are many shops in the stupa area itself, which increases the beauty and aesthetic of the place if anything. Many tourists and even Nepali people know the heritage as a “monkey temple” as there are lots of monkeys living here. They come face to face with the visitors, and many people even consider giving these animals food as a way of expressing gratitude to Lord Swoyambhunath.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

kathmandu Durbar square

Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the three Durbar squares in Nepal. The architectural style of the Kathmandu Durbar Square is truly an architectural marvel of the country. The Durbar square was made by the ancient Newari craftsmen who held the finest degree of skills and hands. The Durbar Square still has not lost its authentic essence despite the passage of several years due to the conversation and frequent construction. Kathmandu Durbar Square is situated in the heart of Kathmandu, Basantapur. The cultural gem will give you a cluster of knowledge on where the ancient palace, temples, courtyard, and streets were. Most of the elements of the durbar square are still where they used to be in the old times. Finding food around the area is not close to even being a problem. The crowd is excessive throughout the week, and festivals like Indra Jatra and Holi will leave almost no place to step in. Additionally, there are plenty of souvenir shops in the area where you can buy almost anything you like, as Kathmandu Durbar Square also falls among the largest marketplaces in Kathmandu Valley.

The museum here is much inspired by European architecture and showcases the old cultures of different lifestyles, ornaments, etc., of the several eras bygone. The Shah and Malla dynasties were the ones ruling the Kathmandu Durbar Square in the past, and their influence can be seen in both the architecture, festivities, and the overall culture here. Kumari Chowk is best known as the residence of living child goddess Kumari, who is also said to be a reincarnation of Goddess Durga.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

BHaktapur durbar square

Listed among the World Heritage Sites. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is another one of the three Durbar Squares. This place has much influence from the Buddhist and Hindu cultures of the Nepalese people living here. The Newari community shows dominance in Bhaktapur. The Malla and Shah kings were the ones who set the traditions and culture and had an impact on the architectural style of the Bhaktapur Durbar square back in the day. Likewise, the influence that they had on the culture of the people living in Bhaktapur still remains to this day.

One of the most popular aspects of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is its four squares, namely, Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatraya Square, and Pottery Square. Unfortunately, Bhaktapur Durbar Square is also the most spacious one among the three Durbar Squares, as it lost a good amount of monuments during the massive earthquake of 1934 in Nepal. Besides the main palace, other attractions of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square include the Nyatapola Temple, the Bhairavnath Temple, the 55-windowed palace, the Lion’s Gate, and the Golden Gate. People visit here every day, and there is almost always a crowd due to its religious and well as tourist significance. Bhaktapur Durbar Square also offers one great place to eat and explore the essence of both ancient royal culture and typical Newari culture.

Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square is one of the three durbar squares in Nepal. The Durbar square has several visitors throughout the week. Festivities are just as prevalent in Patan as are in the other two durbar squares. Patan Durbar Square has several people from the Newari community promoting the ancient and traditional festivals even today. Some of the major attractions as soon as you enter the Durbar Square area are the large bell, statues, and monuments from the Malla dynasty era, courtyard floors, traditional Newari houses, and carefully intricated scriptures. Though there is an influence of modernity in Patan Durbar Square, you will also get to experience a touch of ancient times here.

However, Krishna Mandir, a three-story temple with exquisite stone carvings, the twenty-one golden idols, a Bhimsen temple with its three connected golden windows, the Taleju Bhawani temple with its five-story and triple roofs take the cake as the most attractive elements in Patan durbar square. You will see devotees rushing in and out of the temples here. Patan Museum is just as famous among visitors, especially tourists who want to see the beauty of the bygone eras. The museum is full of statues, scriptures, ornaments, and even beds and seats of the late Malla kings. Finding food is just as simple here as is in any other Durbar Square, as there are eateries everywhere in the Durbar Square area.

Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath temple

Pashupatinath temple is the largest temple as well as ghat in Nepal. Hindu devotees from all around the world come to this temple to offer their prayers and get blessings from the almighty. The temple serves as a holy crematorium for Hindus as it lies on the banks of the Bagmati River. The main god prayed inside the Pashupatinath Temple is the national and the most powerful god in Hinduism, Lord Shiva. About 700,000 devotees come for a visit on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri every year. On other days as well, there are just as many devotees in the temple.

There is a total of 235 small temples and shrines inside the cultural site. The main temple inside the Pashupatinath temple includes a sacred Shiva Linga inside a Pagoda-style architectural masterpiece. The roof is made of hold, while there are several religious and beautiful carvings and scriptures all around the temple.

Changunarayan Temple

CHangunarayan temple

The Changunarayan temple was made during the Lichchavi era. This temple has been dedicated to Lord Vishnu and includes shrines of Lord Shiva, Chhinamasta, Kileshwor, and Krishna. It is the oldest temple in Nepal. The beautiful carvings, scriptures, and pagoda style of the main temple make up for the attraction of the Changunarayan temple. The temple also has a courtyard from the ancient times.

The museum in Changunarayan temple dates back to the 6th century BC. Overall, the temple and the architecture around it are made of stone, metal, and wood.

Lumbini

lumbini

Lumbini is considered the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha. There are many pillars, temples, etc., that signify the presence of the devotee’s aura in Lumbini. The water pond near the temple of Lumbini is said to be the pond where Buddha’s mother, Maya Devi, took a bath. The Ashoka Pillar here signifies the devotion of Indian king Ashoka towards Lord Buddha and Buddhism.

Several tourists visit Lumbini every year as a way to rejoice in the history related to it as well as to explore the ancient cultural heritage. Lumbini also is a sign of peace for people all around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cultural heritage of Nepal?

The cultural heritages of Nepal are Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Boudhanath, Changu Narayan Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Patan Durbar Square, and Swayambhunath.

What is the importance of the cultural heritage of Nepal?

The cultural heritage in Nepal is a great part of the identity of Nepalese history, culture, and religion.

Who built Pashupatinath Temple?

Licchavi king Prachanda Deva built Pashupatinath Temple.

Is Lumbini a national heritage?

Lumbini is a national heritage and was named one of the World Heritage Sites in 1997.

Which is the oldest temple in Nepal?

Changunarayan is the oldest temple in Nepal.

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