Nepal is one of the oldest countries of Asia. There are many oldest Architectures in Nepal and most of the architectures lie Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu Valley is the city with the highest number of world heritage sites. It means that Kathmandu has the highest density of World Heritage sites than any other cities in the world. These architectures were constructed centuries before from today during the practice of Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal. UNESCO declared seven architectures of Kathmandu valley as a “World heritage site”. Four architecture in Kathmandu- Basantpur Durbar Square (Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square), Hindu temples of Pashupatinath, The Buddha stupas of Boudhanath and Swayambhunath; and three architectures outside Kathmandu City- Patan Durbar Square in Patan Lalitpur and two are Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Changu Narayan in Bhaktapur.
The Pashupatinath Temple ( पशुपतिनाथ मन्दिर) is a very famous Hindu Holy temple in all over Asia. It is located on the banks of the Bagmati River in Gausala Area of Kathmandu and is about 5 km from the old bus park Kathmandu. Pashupatinath Temple is the temple of Lord Shiva. The temple serves as the seat of Nepal’s national god, Lord Pashupatinath. It is believed that the 12 Jyotirlinga (in India) are the body and the Jyotirlinga at Pashupatinath (Nepal) is head of that body. It is one of the oldest architecture of Nepal which was built by Supuspa Deva, a Lichchhavi King in 753 AD and was declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in the year 1979.
Swayambhunath- A Monkey Temple
The great Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the most prehistoric and mysterious of all the holy stupas in Kathmandu valley. This stupa is also known as monkey temple because There are 100s of monkeys living in the forest of the hill who scamper about the stupa at night after the priests and pilgrims have departed. This temple was originated in the 15th century. It is located beside the ring road of Kathmandu in Swayambhu Area between Kalanki and Newbus park.
The sumptuous Stupa of the great Boudhanath Stupa is 100 ft. in diameter, 141.16 ft. in height and one hector in width. The area of the great Boudhanath stupa is about 6,756 sq. meters. It is one of the best places to visit in Kathmandu valley. It is strongly believed that the great Boudhanath stupa was built during the end period of Kashyapa Buddha and at the beginning period of Shakyamuni Buddha. Buddhists believe that the relics of Kashyapa Buddha, the third Buddha of Bhadrakalpa, was enclosed in the dome of the Boudhanath stupa. This stupa is also known as the mind nature of the Buddhas, which is three times the past, present, and future. It is one of the largest and most important Buddhist monument in the world which is also known as Jhyarung Khashyor. It is cultural, religious and archeologically very important for Hindus and Buddhists. UNESCO enlisted this great Boudhanath Stupa on world heritage in 1979. After that, this stupa has become one of the common monument for the people all over the globe. Nowadays it is the main destination for pilgrims from Tibet, South-East Asia, Eastern Asia, and the Himalayas. It is the main center to worship and to studies in Kathmandu.
Changu Narayan is an ancient Hindu Temple of Lord Vishnu located on the top of a hill that is known as Changu or Dolagiri. Changu Narayan temple is bounded by a small village called Changu and by Champak trees forest. The Temple is about 12 km or 7 miles from the Old Bus Park of Kathmandu. It is also one of the oldest temples in the history of Nepal. You will get the following monuments located on the right site when you enter the temple from the main entrance.
- Historical pillar: Erected by Mandeva in 464 AD.
- Garuda: It is a bird and flying vehicle of Lord Vishnu.
- Statue of Bhupalendra Malla
- Shridhar Vishnu: Ninth century stone statue of Laxmi, Vishnu, and Garuda which stands on the pedestals of various motifs.
- Vaikuntha Vishnu: It is a statue of Lord Vishnu seating on the Lalitasan position on the six armed Garuda and Goddess seated on the lap of Vishnu.
- Vishnu Vikrat
Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar is situated at the center of Lalitpur District and is a wonder of Newar architecture. There are many temples and idols in Patan Durbar Square. It is one of the oldest city of Lalitpur and is the center for both Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims. The main attractions of Patan Durbar Square are Krishna Mandir (temple), Bhimsen Temple, Vishwanath Temple, Taleju Bhawani Temple, Keshav Narayan Chowk, Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk, Tusha Hiti and Bhandarkhal Garden. Patan Durbar Square is also enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage site.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Bhaktapur Durbar square is a palace area of Old Bhaktapur Kingdom. It is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Nepal. It is currently located in Bhaktapur town. This area contains 4 squares- Durbar Square, Dattatreya Square, Taumadi Square, and Pottery Square. These four squares altogether are known as Bhaktapur Durbar Square and it is a greatly visited site in the Kathmandu. The major attraction of Bhaktapur Durbar Square is 55 window palace, Vatsala Temple, Statue of Bhupatindra Malla, Nyatapola Temple, Bhairava Nath Temple, Golden Gate, Lion’s Gate and Mini Pashupatinath temple.
Basantpur Durbar Square
The Kathmandu Durbar Square (Basantpur Durbar Square) was a palace during Malla and Shah kingdom. It consists of quadrangles, revealing courtyards and temple. It is also known as Hanuman Dhoka Square. The name Hanuman Dhoka was taken from a statue of Hanuman which is in front of the entrance of the palace. It is also one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage site in Nepal. It is located in the center of Kathmandu near Ratna Park. It has Kastamandap, Hanuman Dhoka and Kumari Ghar as a major attraction.
Instantly recognizable, the Kasthamandap was part of the fabric and identity of Kathmandu and wider Nepal, lending its name and profile to a newspaper, airline, television channel, bank and shop logos. Located on an ancient trading route through the Kathmandu Valley, the Kasthamandap was a rest house or Sattal and later housed a Shaivite shrine venerating the Yogi Gorakhnath. With multiple functions, it was believed that the Kasthamandap may originally have performed the role of council hall and coronation pavilion for the city’s royal family but, in the last century, had become the focus of shops and markets within and around the monument. Considered to be one of the oldest standing monuments in the Kathmandu Valley, textual sources placed its construction in the twelfth century CE, and local traditions record that it was constructed from a single tree. Earlier research at the monument was focused on its architectural and textual history and nothing was known of its physical development or whether earlier phases of construction lay below the current ground surface. Along with other monuments in the Durbar Square, Kasthamandap was collapsed by the earthquake held on 25th April 2015.
Hanuman Dhoka is a Royal Palace during the Malla and Shah Kings. It is about five acres. It gets its name from a stone sculpture of Hanuman placed in the front of the Durbar. In Nepal ‘Dhoka’ means gate. The building was damaged in the earthquake of 2015.
Kumari Ghar was built in 1757 at Kathmandu Durbar Square. It is a religious landmark among Buddhists and Hindus as well as a tourist destination. It is a three-story monument which was damaged due to the earthquake held in 2015. It was closed since then but now it is opened for tourists.