Swoyambhunath situated on a small hillock in Kathmandu, is one of the holiest religious sites of Buddhists. It is believed that swoyambhu came into existence from a lotus flower after a Bodhisattva, Manjushree, cut a George at Chovar. Therefore, Swoyambhu means “self-created”. The site has two access points, a long stairway with 365 steps, and a car road around the hill. The dome shaped Buddhist chaitya signifies the world and the eyes on each of the four sides represent wisdom and compassion. This religious site symbolizes peace, love and unity among the people.
Mount Everest, known as Sagarmatha in Nepali or Chomolongma in Sherpa and Tibetan, is a sacred mountain to the Sherpa people who inhabit the regions around the mountain. Their name for it means ‘Goddess Mother’. While there are no prohibitions on climbing it, as there are some other sacred mountains, many would-be climbers would do well to remember its sacred status before littering it with garbage.
The distinctive white dome and golden peak of Boudhanath Stupa is the holiest site for Tibetan Buddhists outside of Tibet itself. It was built in the 14th century, and is one of the biggest stupas in the world. Many Buddhist sites in Tibet are actually modelled on this amazing place. The Boudhanath area is a hub of Tibetan life in Kathmandu, and the lanes around the stupa are full of Tibetan trinket shops catering to locals as well as tourists. It is auspicious to go around the stupa clockwise (called a kora), and to spin the brass prayer wheels along the way.
Janakpur is famous for religious and cultural tourism due to Ram-Janaki temple, a hindu temple of Goddess Sita. This temple is also known as “Nau lakh mandir” as the cost to build this temple in 1898 was 9 lakh. It is three-storied sixty rooms structured with the height of 50m and covers an area of 4,806 sq. feet. Every year, thousands of pilgrims from India, Sri Lanka and other countries visit to worship lord Ram and Goddesses Sita.
Lumbini the sacred birth place of Gautama Buddha is the pride of our nation. Lumbini was designated as UNESCO world heritage site in 1997 after a German archeologist rediscovered the Ashoka’s pillar which had been lost for thousand years. It is the most sacred place for Buddhist pilgrims across the world but visitors from any religious background can visit this place. It takes 10 hours to drive from Kathmandu and 30 min flight from TIA to Bhairahawa airport to reach Lumbini.
Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu is the most sacred Hindu place in Nepal. It is located on the banks of the Bagmati River which, despite being sacred itself, is in a deplorably poor condition as it makes its way through the city, being little more than an open sewer. Nevertheless, Pashupati is an amazing place to visit. It is where many cremations take place, and lots of devout Nepalis come here to die. Be respectful of grieving families if hanging around or photographing the burning ghats.