Nepal is a country blessed with natural attractions along with remarkable cultural and historical significances. With exotic snow-capped mountains to lush green hills to colorful places, Nepal has a lot of touristic areas.
Upon the choice and interests, one can opt for diverse ranges of activities including adrenaline adventures to culturally vivid destinations to spiritual and sacred regions.
In this post, we are discussing the best tourist spots in Nepal that you need to visit during your stay here.
List of Tourist Spots in Nepal:
Pokhara is the second most popular city after Kathmandu, also second major touristic destination of Nepal. Pokhara is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Nepal, which is also called the city of Lakes. A trekking passage to the Annapurna region, Pokhara presents wider choices to its travelers. Pokhara city is blessed with captivating lakes, which is why it is also known as a city of Lake and the scenic close-up views of Mountain Range is to die for. One can choose to fly in the sky through paragliding, paddle through boats in mighty Fewa and Begnas lakes, bungee jump or zip fly, hike up to serene World Peace Pagoda, cycle around the city or just stroll around the lakeside, walk to the caves or witness the majestic views of Mt. Fishtail, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri among others or enjoy the fun-filling parties organized every day in the bars; Pokhara has diverse options. Undoubtedly, a traveler will be amazed at the alluring beauty of Pokhara. Amazingly, Pokhara presents itself to be dynamic as per the need of travelers. These days, huge numbers of people are choosing Pokhara as the best Honeymoon destination in whole Nepal as well.
ALERT: Pokhara is hypnotic and you wouldn’t want to leave this place. 😉
2. Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu Durbar Square (located in the heart of Kathmandu) is enlisted as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This Durbar Square is also called as Hanuman Dhoka Square and also Basantapur Durbar Square. Kathmandu Durbar Square is a pure reflection of the cultural and historical significance of both the Hindus and Buddhists of the town. The history of Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square takes back to 18th Century. The temples found in the Durbar Square are built in Pagoda Style with exquisitely carved exteriors.
One of the major attractions of Kathmandu Durbar Square is Kumari Ghar. Kumari is considered to be the living Goddess. Other attractions of the Durbar Square include Kal Bhairav Temple, Jagannath Temple, Old Palace, museum, Taleju Temple, Big bell, Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk, etc. Even though the devastating earthquake of 2015 destroyed some of the major temples like Kasthamandap, you’ll enjoy the existing temples there. And if you’re lucky enough, you will be able to witness centuries-old cultural customs performed in a certain time of the year, which majorly includes a celebration of important festivals such as Indrajatra, Gaijatra, Machhindranath Jatra, Dashain, etc.
3. Bouddhanath Stupa
Bouddhanath Stupa (a religious hub for Buddhists) lies in the eastern part of Kathmandu Valley and is the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal. Boudhanath Stupa is also enlisted in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site since 1979 AD. Encircled by the houses and monasteries, it is believed that Rinpoches inhabit inside Boudhanath Stupa. There are more than 45 smaller stupas located at the base of Boudhanath Stupa. Boudhanath Stupa attracts a huge number of people especially during the festivals such as Buddha Jayanti, the birthday of Lord Buddha and during every other full moon days. The Buddhists and any other people going there are mostly seen walking in a clockwise direction around the stupa. There are many handicraft stores located all around the stupa and is an ideal place to buy prayer flags, singing bowl, statues, Tibetan incenses etc.
And the destructive earthquake of 2015 severely damaged the stupa. The structure above the dome had to be removed and later it was reconstructed. A year later, the reconstruction was completed and it is perfectly okay to spend time there now.
4. Pashupatinath Temple
Pashupatinath temple is considered to be the god of gods (the guardian deity). The literal translation of Pashupatinath is God of animals. Among the four major temples in Hindu religion, Pashupatinath is the most important one; the holiest and the most sacred as well. Also, Pashupatinath temple is the biggest temple of Lord Shiva in the world. It is situated by the banks of a sacred river called Bagmati in the eastern part of Kathmandu valley.
Pashupatinath temple is constructed in pagoda style with the golden roof and four major doors made up of silver. Sadhus, sages especially from India visit Pashupatinath and pay tribute to Lord Shiva. Hundreds and thousands of them are seen during Shivaratri, one of the most important festivals of Hindus. People are cremated in Ghats on the banks of river Bagmati. It is commonly believed that after cremation in Pashupatinath and ashes scattered in the river, one will get salvation and released from the cycle of birth and rebirth.
Even though not everyone except for Hindu people are allowed to enter inside the temple, one can still get ample opportunity to witness wooden erotic carvings on the struts reflecting the ancient art of sexual intercourse and religion as a whole. Those are regarded as sacredness.
5. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
“Bhaktapur Durbar Square” is another major as well as the significant destination of Nepal, which one must visit during his/her stay in Nepal. Bhaktapur, a small city located to the east of Kathmandu is also known as a museum of medieval art and architecture with many examples of sculpture, woodcarving and colossal pagoda temples consecrated to different gods and goddesses. The city in itself is a piece of living heritage with Newari culture dominating the place. This city is a gem for the tourism sector in Nepal and attracts hundreds of tourists every day. Blessed with vibrant and vivid culturally important destinations, colorful and lively market, the visit to Bhaktapur Durbar Square turns out to be nothing but a joyful and memorable trip.
The major attractions of Bhaktapur Durbar Square are 55-windowed palace (built in 15th century with 55 windows), National Art Gallery, Nyatapole (5 storied temple which is also the tallest temple of Nepal), Golden Gate (artistically masterpiece and is located in front of 55-windowed palace), lion’s gate, Pashupati temple (don’t get confused with the other one above, it’s just a mini-version), Pottery Square (you’ll be able to witness traditional art of pot making with clay), Bhairav Nath Temple (dedicated to God Bhairav who is the god of terror and death).
6. Patan Durbar Square
Patan is the oldest city in all three cities i.e. Bhaktapur, Kathmandu and Lalitpur (another name for Patan). And Patan Durbar Square does carry the similar old history. Patan Durbar Square is gifted with artistic heritages full of temples and monuments with bronze gateways, alluring carvings and guardian deities. In Patan Durbar Square, there are three key chowks (Nepali translation for courtyards); Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk, and Keshab Narayan Chowk.
After the earthquake, many of the temples were demolished and are undergoing construction as well. Nevertheless, there are many attractions, which will mesmerize your travel to Patan Durbar Square. Some of the important attractions include Patan Museum (includes bronze statues and culturally rich artifacts), Krishna Mandir (built in 17th century, the only temple in Nepal completely made up of stone and has 21 shrines), Hiranya Varna Mahavihar (also known as golden temple is a three storied golden Pagoda of Lord Buddha built in 12th century), Golden Window, Mahabouddha Temple (built in the Hindu Shikhara style- has five golden pinnacles.; symbolic of five basic elements), Bhimsen Temple, Vishwanath Temple, Jagat Narayan Temple, a statue of Yog Narendra Malla, Mahabaudhha, Kumbheshor Mahadev, the temple of Rato Machhindranath, etc.
7. Swayambhunath Stupa
Swayambhunath Stupa is another significant destination to travel while you are here in Nepal. This temple is also enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979 AD. Another name for Swayambhunath stupa is monkey temple because of numerous monkeys there. Monkey temple resides atop a hill in the western part of Kathmandu Valley. This stupa is regarded as the second most sacred Buddhist sites in Nepal after Boudhanath Stupa. It is commonly believed that this temple evolved spontaneously when Kathmandu Valley was created some 2000 years ago. The literal translation of Swayambhunath itself suggests so i.e. “Self-created”.
Stupa’s surroundings consist of chaityas, temples, painted images of deities and numerous other religious objects. This temple appears as the image of spiritual tolerance as there is the temple of Hindu goddess Saraswati. The beauty of the temple lies within painted eyes of Buddha in the center of the huge white dome. After watching those mesmerizing eyes, you’ll be rejuvenated and reenergized. This place turns out to be an ideal destination for those who are looking to watch panoramic view of Kathmandu Valley along with peaceful moments during early morning and evening.
Chitwan is the most popular destination of Nepal in the southern part. Chitwan is perfect for the tourists with a deep thirst for being in the wildlife and nature. Also, Chitwan is considered to be a paradise for wildlife and nature photographers. With the availability of near-to-extinction animals such as Royal Bengal Tiger, One-horned Rhino, Marsh Mugger Crocodiles, Chitwan has a lot to offer for the nature lovers. Left with ample of options, you can choose to do depending on your mood. You can chill out sunbathing in the warm sun, choose to jungle safari by elephant or jeep, jungle walk, canoe ride, sing and dance along the Tharu folk music with stick dance. Chitwan is also a popular place for bird watching as well.
Lumbini is one of the most important spiritual destinations of Nepal, which is also the birthplace of Lord Buddha. It is also declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site for Lumbini has been a holy and sacred platform for Buddhists practitioners all over the world. Lumbini is situated in Rupandehi district where the ruins of the old city can be witnessed.
The most significant temple that presents the traditional location of birth of Lord Buddha is Maya Devi Temple. There is an exact spot inside the temple where Lord Buddha was born, which is also marked by a signal on a stone. Also, there is a stone image of Maya Devi giving birth to Lord Buddha as she holds a branch. The nearby pond is believed that it was the spot where Buddha first took his bath there. A large stone pillar also known as the Ashoka Pillar, which Indian Emperor Ashoka erected in 250 BC has an inscription about the birth of the Buddha.
Besides these, Lumbini has many monasteries recently constructed by different nations. Some of the major attractions include Lumbini Museum, World Peace Pagoda, Myanmar Golden Temple (which is the oldest one among all others, with a golden pinnacle), China Temple (which is a very beautiful pagoda styled temple with many prayer and meditation cells), Korean Temple (a beautifully set temple having many remarkable images of Buddha) and more.
The above-mentioned places are some of the most popular tourist destinations of Nepal.
Aren’t you excited about traveling to Nepal?
And among these breathtaking destinations, which one would you like to visit first when you are here in Nepal?