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With some of the world’s highest peaks within its fold Nepal is for adrenaline seeking adventure maniacs. It is also for those who want peace and meditation in the lap of the stunning company of the mighty Himalayas, as much as it is for those who want to lone travel and chalk a path of their own. It is for the wildlife wooers that flock to its natural reserves as well as for the culturally and historically inclined who like to explore the ancient and the past. Nepal is thus too many things packed into a country that merits visit again and again for its sheer capacity to never tire or run out of things to do and see.
- Your Interest
Kathmandu – The capital city lies at an elevation of 1400m and has been the capital of the Kingdom of Nepal for many years, meaning that it is stocked with palaces, mansions and gardens seeped in rich history and archeology. The wooden structure called the kastha mandap, around which travelers used to rest and from where the city is said to have grown and expanded, stands today in the popular Durbar Square. The Durbar Square, the center of social, cultural and political life comes to life during the Indra Jatra a festival with masked dances. The Hanuman Dhoka and Kasthamandap are part of the Durbar Square. Other attractions within the city include the Pasupatinath temple, the Swayambhunath Stupa the oldest stupa of the valley imaged with its fluttering flags and prayer wheel, the Boudhanath Stupa which is one of the largest in the world.
Kathmandu also happens to buzzing with trekker frenzy during the mountaineering season, since most treks and climbs begin from Kathmandu as its base.
Patan – Patan that lies in the Kathmandu valley across the Bagmati River is home to the many artisans who specialize in traditional arts, mask making and thangkas or scroll painting. The Malla era homes in the city are mesmerizingly ancient along the narrow alleys radiating out from its Durbar Square. The five tiered pagoda called Kumbheshwar Mahadev is the main tourist attraction.
Bhaktapur – Along with Patan, Bhaktapur lies in the valley region and the two together forms the historical and ancient heart of Nepal. Also known as the ‘City of Devotees’, Bhaktapur stands atop a hill and enthralls tourists with its temples, shrines, pagodas and palaces, as well as its homes too surprise onlookers with intricate wood work and carvings.
Pokhara - Lying in proximity to the gorgeous Annapurna Range, Pokhara is often referred to as the tourism capital of Nepal. Located along the pristine lake and reflecting the mighty snow clad Himalayas, the Fewa or Phewa Lake is the most splendidly beautiful feature in the city. Mount Fishtail at an altitude of 6993m is the holy peak and not open for climbing, however, merits for some of the best scenic views of the city’s skyline. Pokhara is also base for climbing the highest three ranges in the Annapurna Range, a feat secretly desired and aimed for by all mountaineering experts.
Lumbini – Lumbini is the sacred site of the birth of Buddha, and home to the spiritual Buddha Temple. Other tourist sites include, the Ashokan Pillar, a pillar erected by Ashoka marking the birth place of Buddha, the Lumbini Museum, the Japan Peace Stupa and the Golden Temple of Myanmar.
Besides, the popular cities and picturesque villages, Nepal is home to glorious natural landscapes, wildlife reserves and boasts of some of the rare Himalayan species preserved in their natural habitat. For wildlife enthusiasts, the Chitwan National Park is a must visit to see the tigers, rhinos and exotic birds. For those seeking remote destinations, Bardia or Koshi Tappu explore your wilder side.
Visit the tiny village of Daman to soak in some breathtaking views of the Himalayas, or Nagarkot an hour away from Kathmandu to enjoy the benefits of a mountain hill station. Drop by the site of the sacred caves Parping or the lesser known culturally rich Gurung village of Tangting.
Nepali cuisine is influenced by Chinese, Indo and Thai cuisines and whether tasting the hot momos in the cold wind or eating the simple yet delicious staple food dal-tarkari with the hundreds of different finger licking pickles, Nepal does not cease to surprise, enthrall and enchant.