About Nepal

Nepal, a landlocked country between India and China, is every adventure seeker’s paradise. Officially the highest country on earth, Nepal is often referred to as ‘the roof of the world’. There is no dearth of scenic beauty in Nepal. From soaring, snow-capped mountains that disappear in the clouds to medieval cities and town, jungles, rivers, wildlife, spiritual places, and the friendliest people in the world, Nepal has something for everyone. Nestled in the majestic Himalayan Mountains and breath-taking Indian jungles, in Nepal things like yetis, mountain peaks, yaks, and hidden monasteries are common.

One of the best things about Nepal, which also attracts people from all over the world, is trekking. The soaring Himalayan Mountains are the best destinations for hiking and mountaineering in the world. Along with this, the steamy plains have some of Asia’s best wildlife to watch. Mount Everest is undoubtedly the center of attraction and tourists from across the globe visit here to trek or climb the highest peak, which is recognized widely as 8,848m tall.

Besides this, the country is blessed with natural beauty, huge cultural heritage and several historical attractions which offer a rich mix of ancient and modern lifestyle. Right from the minute you step a foot on Nepali soil, you will get a feel of the deep-rooted spiritual values here. Nepal is also the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, which makes it an important pilgrimage for millions of Buddhists. Lumbini is a temple complex where Buddha once lived. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is visited by many people from different parts of the world. Hinduism is equally strong in the country with many Hindu temples visited by several people. It is almost difficult to pick one thing that makes Nepal truly amazing! One has to experience it to understand the magic of this country! We have listed down top experiences in Nepal to plan your next trip:

We have listed down top experiences in Nepal to plan your next trip:

Nepal at a glance:

Best time to Visit Nepal:

It is very important to choose the right time to visit Nepal. There are mainly four seasons. It is quiet during the low season which is during monsoon, however; it gets difficult to find an accommodation during the high season as tourists, especially trekkers, from all over the world visit Nepal to trek Everest and Annapurna. April to May is an ideal time for those who are interested in summiting Everest.

Post-monsoon is the best time to visit Nepal as the weather is clearer and the mountains are most visible during this time. Tourists can make the most of their trip around this time wherever they chose to visit in Nepal. After this period, the spring season which is from February to April is also good to visit this beautiful country.

Best places to visit in Nepal

Medieval cities and towns:

Kathmandu - You will find several places of historical, religious, and cultural heritage in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Many of the temples, monasteries, and monuments here were built between the 14th to 18th centuries. However, some are also more than 2,000 years old. The main tourist attraction here is the Kathmandu Durbar Square, which is the medieval royal palace plaza.
Pokhara - Pokhara is one of the best leisure destinations in Nepal. Sitting beside the picturesque Lake Phewa, this town is also a ‘gateway to Annapurna Circuit’. The serene and tranquil metropolitan city is an ideal place to experience paragliding and whitewater river rafting in the River Seti. Pokhara is also Nepal’s second largest city in terms of population after Kathmandu.
Patan - No other city or town in Nepal has a bigger number of Hindu and Buddhist temples than Patan. Indian Emperor Ashoka built four stupas in 249 BCE, which are in the four corners of the city. Some of the main attractions here are the Golden Temple, Durbar Square Patan, the Red Machhendranath Temple, and the Kumbeshwar Temple.
Bhaktapur - In an attempt to keep the city’s medieval state intact, the government has prohibited automobiles and modern constructions in the town center of Bhaktapur. The place is popular for its Durbar Square, Royal Palace Plaza, traditional farming, and ancient settlements. The name of the city literally translates to the city of devotees and it is one of the three royal cities in KathmanduValley.

Outdoor activities destinations

  • Annapurna Circuit Trek -

    The Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the best trekking routes in the world. Your trekking journey here will lead you to remarkable mountains, clear streams, fresh and clean air, and picturesque mountain villages. This trek revolves around the entire Annapurna Range and the highest elevation along the trek is 5,416 metres at the Thorung La pass. Pokhara is the starting point of Annapurna Circuit trek.

  • Everest Base Camp –

    The Everest Base Camp trek starts with a 30-minute flight from Kathmandu to one of the world’s most dangerous airports the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla. It takes 8 days trek to reach the Everest Base Camp. Alternative trekking routes to the Everest Base Camp starts from Jiri.

  • Gokyo Lakes –

    The Everest Base Camp trek starts with a 30-minute flight from Kathmandu to one of the world’s most dangerous airports the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla. It takes 8 days trek to reach the Everest Base Camp. Alternative trekking routes to the Everest Base Camp starts from Jiri.

  • Mountain Flight –

    The amazing mountain flights offer a panoramic view of the Himalayas for those who wish to see these beautiful mountains but cannot trek or don’t feel like trekking.

  • Peak Climbing –

    Adventure seekers can choose from around 18 peaks open for alpine climbing in Nepal. Charges for these climbing will differ as per the peak and you will have to get permission from the Nepal Mountaineering Association. Also, the minor peaks which are also known as the Trekking Peaks require snow climbing experience. And some sections have challenging snow and ice climbing.

  • Mountain Biking –

    With hills, mountains as well as flatlands, Nepal offers an amazing experience for mountain biking. There are several routes to explore on either a bicycle or a motorcycle. Those looking for an adrenaline rush can also go for motorbiking on the Himalayan plateau.

  • Rock Climbing –

    Besides natural hills, you can also climb artificial walls in Nepal. There is an artificial rock climbing wall in Chabahil, Kathmandu and Mountaineering Museum, Pokhara. Nagarjuna Forest and Shivapuri Forest are also popular rock climbing destinations.

  • Hiking –

    The famous hiking routes near Kathmandu are White Monastery Hike (4 hrs), Nagarjuna Hike (5 hrs), Nagarkot Hike (5 hrs), Sundarijal-Chisapani Hike (3 hrs), Namobuddha Hike (4 hrs), and Changunarayan Hike (4 hrs). The hiking routes near Pokhara are World Peace Pagoda Hiking (4-5 hrs), Sarangkot Hiking (6-7 hrs), and Naudanda-Sarankot Hiking (6-7 hrs).

  • Kayaking or White water Rafting –

    You will find many long and shot river routes in this mountainous country for white water rafting and kayaking.

  • Paragliding –

    Paragliding is one of the unmissable experiences for extreme adventure lovers. Pokhara and Bandipur are the two most popular destinations for the best paragliding experience in Nepal. Sarangkot is also an option which will give you a wonderful view of the Pokhara Valley or Annapurna mountain range. You can either take a free-flying foot-launched aircraft or a non-motorized foot-launched inflatable wind glider. A trained pilot will be there to assist you. Also, you can opt for a 10-day course to do paragliding alone.

  • Take part in the Nepali Festivals –

    Nepal celebrates more than 50 festivals in a year. If you happen to be in Nepal during one of the festivals, join the celebration and experience the rich heritage and tradition of Nepal. Dashain is the biggest festival in Nepal and it is observed for 15 days. Along with this, the major festivals are - New Year's Day (April 14), Buddha Jayanti: The Birthday of Lord Buddha (May 24), Machchendranath Rath Jatra (May–June), Gaijatra (August), Krishnashtami (August–September), Father's Day (August–September), Indra Jatra (September), Tihar (Diwali) (October–November), Maha Shivaratri: The Birth Night of Lord Shiva) (February–March), Holi: Festival of Colors (March), and Mother’s Day (March)

Historical and Spiritual places

Durbar Square at Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur

These Durbar Squares were the capital of three Newar kingdoms and are now declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Each Durbar Square is uniquely built with idols, statues, temples, fountains, and open courts.

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa is located 8kms to the east of downtown Kathmandu. The 36-meter-high stupa of Boudhanath is one of the must-visit places to experience the spiritual side of Nepal.

Pashupatinath Temple

This popular and sacred Hindu temple complex has existed since 400 A.D. The main temple is a masterpiece of Hindu architecture. Only Hindu devotees are allowed to enter the inner sanctum, which has the Shiva lingam.

Swayambhunath Stupa

Also known as the Monkey Temple of Nepal, Swayambhunath is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, perched atop a hill west of Kathmandu city. It is believed that the great-grandfather of King Manadeva ordered its construction in the 5th century. You will get a breath-taking panoramic view of Kathmandu city.

Lumbini

Another must visit place in Nepal is Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. The Lord Buddha was born in the famous gardens of Lumbini in 623 B. C. and it is a Buddhist pilgrimage. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and consists of stupas and monasteries.

Meditation and Yoga at the Nepal Vipassana Center

Nepal has a strong connection with the Buddhist and Hindu traditions. This has made it a perfect destination for yoga and meditation retreats. At the Nepal Vipassana Center, which is located in Kathmandu, you can attend a free meditation course. There is also a 10-day free residential Vipassana meditation course at the center. Besides, there are many other meditation retreats across the country to select from.

Wildlife adventure in Nepal

Chitwan National Park

Before it was turned into a National Park in 1973, Chitwan National Park was a royal hunting reserve. In 1911, George V and his son hunted down 18 rhinoceros in Chitwan Jungle. As per the 2011 census, there are 501 rhinos and 125 tigers at this national park, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At Chitwan National Park, you can watch crocodiles in the Rapti River, go boating in the Narayani River, take a jungle safari, visit the elephant breeding center or watch a Tharu cultural show. Some of the wild animals to watch here are one-horned rhinos, Asian elephant, Royal Bengal Tigers, gharial, and sloth bear. Birdwatchers can find 544 different species of bird and 67 species of butterflies in the park.

Bardia National Park

This is the best place to spot the Royal Bengal Tigers and is visited by several tourists every year. Besides the tigers, the national park is home to 250 species of birds, rhinos, wild elephants, black bucks, and swamp deer. You can enjoy a jungle safari in Bardia National Park and if you are fortunate, you may spot a herd of wild elephants here.

What to eat in Nepal

Although Nepali cuisine is quite similar to Indian and Tibetan cuisines, it has its own unique dishes. The distinctive lentil soups, lean non-creamy curries, and popular Tibetan-style dumplings called momos are a must try. Here are some of the famous foods to try on your trip to Nepal.

Where to Stay in Nepal

There are many guesthouses, hotels, homestays, teahouses as well as hostels in Nepal to stay during your time in Nepal. However, given to the increase in the number of tourists each year, it is advisable to book your accommodations well in advance so that you do not miss out.

Visa

Mostly, one can get a visa on arrival as per the duration of his/her stay in Nepal. Along with the visa fee, you will need a valid passport and a passport-sized photograph. Also, ensure to have valid currency to pay for the fee as they do not accept credit cards. Citizens of certain selected countries are required to apply for a visa beforehand so make sure that you check all requirements while planning a trip.

Safety

Nepal is very safe to travel in groups as well as on your own, however; there can be certain unforeseen natural disasters. Both male and female guides are available to help travellers get the best trekking experience in Nepal. You must register with your local embassy and have a photocopy of all important documents. Travel Insurance is also necessary that also includes adventurous activities such as trekking.