The Ancient Sites of Kathmandu Valley

The Kathmandu Valley, located in the Nepal, lies at the crossroads of ancient civilizations of Asia, and has at least 130 important monuments, including several places of pilgrimage for the Hindus and the Buddhists. The valley is a cultural and political hub of Nepal. Mixed with all the other cultures, many of whom have recently arrived from different parts of Nepal, Newar culture still exist very vibrantly. Kathmandu valley was accorded the status of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1979.

This valley hosts an UNESCO World Heritage Sites composed by seven different Monument Zones: The centers of the three primary cities, Kathmandu Hanuman Dhoka, Patan and Bhaktapur, the two most important Buddhist stupas, Swayambhunath and Boudhanath and two famous Hindu shrines, Pashupatinath temple and Changu Narayan. Since 2003 the site has been inscribed in the World Heritage List as being in danger out of concern for the ongoing loss of authenticity and the outstanding universal value of the cultural property.

According to Swayambhu Puran, Kathmandu Valley was once a lake. The hill where the Swambhu stupa rests, had lotus plants with beautiful lotus flowers abloom.

The Kathmandu Valley may have been inhabited as early as 300 BCE, since the oldest known objects in the valley date to a few hundred years BCE. The earliest known inscription is dated 185 CE. The oldest firmly dated building in the earthquake-prone valley is almost 1,992 years old. Four stupas around the city of Patan are said to have been erected by a certain Charumati, a purported daughter of Ashoka the Great, a Mauryan king, in the 3rd century BCE attest to the ancient history present within the valley. As with the tales of the Buddha’s visit, there is no evidence supporting Ashoka’s visit, but the stupas probably do date to that century.

Leave a Comment