Located on the foothills of the Himalayas several monuments in the Kathmandu Valley are enlisted by UNESCO in World Heritage sites. There are seven different monuments spread around the valley.
These zones are called Durbar or royal palaces of the ancient kings. Following places are the urban centers of the three cities in Kathmandu (Hanuman Dhoka), Patan or Lalitpur Durbar Square and Bhaktapur which are very popular with their palaces, temples and public spaces, as well as religious groups. The other three temples and Stupas are Swayambhunath, Bauddhanath Stupas, Changu Narayan and Pashupatinath temple. Swayambhunath is a religious monument of Buddhist (a stupa) the oldest of the valley and Bouddhanath includes the largest Stupa of Nepal.
Pashupatinath includes a large Hindu temple and Changu Narayan consisted of traditional Hindu temple complex where we find one of the oldest inscriptions of the Valley, dating from the fifth century AD.
These temples, which are characterized by single to multiple floors are built mostly by baked bricks and mud mortar, with a wooden structure. The roofs are covered with tiles that overlap. Windows, door pillars and roof frame are richly carved. Stupas have simple but powerful forms with massive whitewashed domes surmounted by golden cubes with the eyes of the eternal Buddha who see everything.
The development and cross-influences of Buddhism and Hinduism in South Asia over the centuries allowed the two religions to flourish in Nepal. A powerful artistic and architectural syncretism resulting from 5th century AD reached its full growth and developed stage from 1500 to 1800 AD. These monuments illustrate the remarkable cultural and Newari traditions, expressed in houses, unique buildings and structures of their kind, with a complex decoration demonstrating a mastery of brick, stone, and wood, and bronze work in the most advanced form.
Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the oldest worshipping places of Nepal. It is considered that this monument was founded during the 5th century. It is also known as the Monkey Temple. The Swayambhunath complex consists of several temples and shrine, a museum, a library and a Tibetan monastery. From this site, one has a panoramic view of Kathmandu.
With a diameter of over 100 meters Boudnath is among the largest Stupa in the world-and certainly the largest in Nepal. This monument stands on 36 meters above the ground level. The shape and the alternating squares and circles are a three dimensional mandala, which is composed of abstract religious concepts. Each section has a symbolic meaning: the base, the dome, harmika square, arrow, and the top which represent the five elements in the nature. The pilgrims fervently take a tour around the stupa, gives this place a magical atmosphere.
Dubar Square de Patan
Patan, is probably one of the most ancient Buddhist city in the world. Another name of Patan is Lalitpur. The city is renowned for its artistic heritage. It is surrounded by four Stupas in four cardinal corners of the city. This is one of the most elegant architectural treasures in Patan that people are very proud of it. Its famous Durbar Square is to visit: The place is full of ancient places, temples which are remarkable for their exquisite carvings. Among these some of the famous monuments are Krishna Temple, Bhimsen Temple and the Golden Temple of Hiranya Varna. The former royal palace complex is in the center of city attached with religious and social life of Patan. The royal palace now is a public museum containing numerous bronze statues and religious objects.
The Pashupatinath temple is the most sacred place for Hindus in Nepal It is a great site dedicated to Shiva. The Pashupatinath
Bhaktapur is a popular city with pagodas and Shikhara style temple grouped around a large palace and a unique palace with fifty five wooden windows. Bhaktapur is one of the most beautiful architectural jewels of the valley. Wood carvings lintels, spandrels, doors and windows, seem to form a well-organized architectural city. Pottery, vegetable cultivation,weaving are its main traditional activities.