Nepal is blessed with immense natural beauty, attracts and welcomes a large number of diverse people on an annual basis. Here, travellers naturally gravitate towards the recreational and adventurous activities the country has in store for them such as bungee jumping, mountaineering, rafting and so forth. But Nepal is more than just an adventurous country filled with sheer beauty! Where the alleys and monuments unveil archaeological stories and where the locals portray the rich culture they have inherited from their ancestors from centuries ago, the sovereign country certainly has much deep-rooted history engraved in golden pages yet to be shared throughout the world.
Nepal’s ancient history is bound to astound visitors and if you are fascinated to unfold some of Nepal’s best cultural destinations, here are some places you must not forget to enlist in your itinerary:
Lumbini A mass population follows Buddhism and the teachings of Buddha to live a healthy and happy life. Lumbini, being the birthplace and primary pivotal place of the life of Lord Buddha, indeed should not be overlooked once you are in Nepal. Here, you will discover various monasteries and museums that exhibit the roots and beliefs of Buddhism. The Mayadevi temple is one of the oldest temples, whereas the Ashoka Pillars are among the earliest sculptural remains. Due to its weighty significance, Lumbini had also been enlisted under the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1997. Considered as an Oasis of Peace, Lumbini is a great place to meditate and reflect on life.
The Janaki Temple here stands as a symbol of love where couples visit to tie knots as they are guided by the belief that couples receiving blessings from the temple are to remain eternally happy. The palace was built seven hundred years ago, and its unique Mughal styled architecture makes it stand out amongst the rest. The very place is the birthplace of Hindu Goddess Sita and the home where she married Hindu Lord Ram. Nevertheless, Janakpur is a great place to visit traditional Mithila villages and indulge with the Mithila culture. A multitude of languages are spoken and proves to be a living example of religious harmony amongst the Nepalese.
Kathmandu indeed makes it to the list as it contains a dense concentration of some of UNESCO’S World’s Heritage Sites. Also, being the capital city, a lot of Nepalese are found to migrate and settle there. Thus, visiting Kathmandu would be a great shot to observe the diverse culture and traditions of the people. The Hindu shrine Pashupatinath, built by the Malla Kings, attracts devotees from all over. In contrast, the exquisite Durbar Squares (former palaces) have been revered as they portray the rich history of Nepal. If you have a hectic schedule, a visit to Swayambhunath Stupa can act as a glimpse to what Lumbini has to depict regarding the teachings of Buddha. The Stupa located at a hilltop is undoubtedly a bonus as you will get to witness the entire valley from up above.
Renowned as one of the world’s highest temples, Muktinath is undoubtedly a great place to observe a blend in between nature and culture. The exotic landscapes of Muktinath are home to Lord Vishnu, which is sacred to both Buddhists and Hindus. Though the temperature is freezing, people taking baths from the 108 waterspouts around the temple is going to be a common sight as it is believed that it brings devotees salvation. The Muktinath Temple is also considered to be the place where the essential elements of life, namely fire, water, air, space and earth exist in pure harmony and perfect balance.
Besides these four, Nepal has a handful more of religious destinations to visit. However, these four handpicked ones that stretch from the north in the mountains to the south in the plains carry great value within themselves and are also a great place to wander upon visit.