Articles worth reading
Long Weekend: Celebrate Janmashtmi In Mathura & Vrindavan!

Long Weekend: Celebrate Janmashtmi In Mathura & Vrindavan!

access_time May 25, 2017

Janmashtami or Gokulasthami is the day when Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu was born. This year, it...

9 Ways To Avoid Being THAT Tourist On A Wildlife Safari

9 Ways To Avoid Being THAT Tourist On A Wildlife Safari

access_time May 24, 2016

I once heard of a horror story of two well heeled women from Pune who actually lit up cigarettes in...

Cruise Through China: From The Great Wall To The Three Gorges

Cruise Through China: From The Great Wall To The Three Gorges

access_time August 29, 2016

“Can you gesture and count up to 10 on one hand? No? Well, the Chinese do exactly that. If a...

Nepal: India’s Little Sister

Nepal: India’s Little Sister

access_time July 6, 2017 chat_bubble_outline 0 comments 297 views

The country of Nepal is most readily associated with the Himalayas and Mount Everest. Nestled along the sacred mountain range, this tiny country has a history and tradition harking back to thousands of years. The origin of Nepali culture is heavily linked with ancient Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions. Over the years, it has evolved as a unique mix of Indian, Tibetan and Mongolian cultures.

Nestled along the sacred mountain range, Nepal is full of history and tradition

Nestled along the sacred mountain range, Nepal is full of history and tradition

Though Nepal is aptly called the “roof of the world”, there is much more to this tiny country than just mountains and mountaineering. Granted, a majority of the tourists who visit the country come to climb the Himalayan peaks. But Nepal also has plenty to offer for people interested in culture, religion, spirituality, nature and wildlife.

Places to See around Kathmandu Valley

Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple, an important pilgrimage centre in Nepal

Pashupatinath Temple, an important pilgrimage centre in Nepal

An ancient temple dedicated to a manifestation of Lord Shiva, one of the three gods in the Hindu Trinity, this temple is built in a two-tiered pagoda style and stands on the banks of the sacred river Bagmati. The temple is at the centre of a town called Deopatan, which lies just a few kilometres outside Kathmandu. It is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre with numerous smaller temples and shrines.

Bhoudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa, holiest site for Tibetan Buddhists in Nepal

Boudhanath Stupa, holiest site for Tibetan Buddhists in Nepal

This is the largest stupa in Nepal, and the holiest site for Tibetan Buddhists in the country. Located in the town of Boudha, it lies on the outskirts of Kathmandu. It was built sometime in the 14th century. The temple hosts the largest celebration in Nepal during the Tibetan New Year in February-March, called the festival of Losar.

Swayambhunath Stupa

Swayambhunath Stupa is a 2000 year old Busshist Temple in Nepal

Swayambhunath Stupa is a 2000 year old Buddhist Temple in Nepal

This 2000-year-old Buddhist temple is one of the most important holy sites in Nepal. The “all seeing eye of Buddha” atop this temple’s roof is readily associated with Nepali culture. The site is situated atop a hill in Kathmandu, accessible by 365 steps cut into a steep hillside. The temple hosts several festivals throughout the year, including Losar, Buddha Jayanti and Gunla.

Kumari Ghar

Kumarighar in kathmandu is a unique cultural and traditional landmark

Kumari Ghar in Kathmandu is a unique cultural and traditional landmark

The “House of the Living Goddess” is a unique cultural and traditional landmark in Kathmandu. It houses the living embodiment of the Hindu Goddess Durga, who is the patron deity of the city. The goddess is chosen from young Buddhist girls, much like the way lamas are chosen. Indra Jaatra is the important festival which is celebrated at this site.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of architectural wonder in Nepal

Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of architectural wonder in Nepal

Along with the royal palaces of the old dynasties that ruled the kingdom, there are also numerous temples and courtyards which showcase the unique local architecture and culture here. There is a famous statue of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey deity and devotee of Lord Ram at the entrance of this site.

What to See at Lumbini

Lumbini is one of the holiest places for Buddhists from across the world

Lumbini is one of the holiest places for Buddhists from across the world

This is one of the holiest places for Buddhists from across the world. As the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, it is one of the four holy sites directly related to the Buddha’s life, and the only one outside India. There is a sacred Bodhi Tree and a holy pond at the site. One of the 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal, there are several ruins of ancient Buddhist temples in the area. Several modern Buddhists temples have also been built, by countries like China, Japan and Burma, who have major Buddhist populations. There are also an ancient stupas and a stone pillar installed by the legendary Emperor Asoka at the site of Buddha’s birth.

A young monk outside a German Buddhist Temple

A young monk outside a German Buddhist Temple

The entire area has a lot of peaceful gardens and monasteries following the various major schools of Buddhism. Lumbini is a place ideal for relaxed sightseeing and meditation. It is situated near the Indian border and is not that easily accessible. The nearest town is Sunauli in Nepal. It is also accessible from Bhairwaha on the Indian side.

Important Wild Life Sanctuaries and National Parks to See

Chitwan National Park

The majestic elephants at Chitwan National Park

The majestic elephants at Chitwan National Park

The royal Bengal tigers of Chitwan National Park

The royal Bengal tigers of Chitwan National Park

Located in the Terai Lowlands of Nepal This World Heritage Site, this place has a sub-tropical climate, with monsoons throughout the year and dense jungles. Bengal Tigers, Mugger Crocodiles, King Cobras, Rock Pythons and Rhinos all call this area home. This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal and offers jungle lodges as well as elephant safaris.

Sagarmatha National Park

Snow Leopard at Sagarmatha National Park

Snow Leopard at Sagarmatha National Park

This reserve lies in the midst of the mighty Himalayas, with the Everest dominating the horizons. It is home to traditional Sherpa villages as well as a rich diversity of birds. Rare animals like the musk deer, snow leopard, Himalayan Black Bear and the Red Panda also survive in the harsh and stark landscape.

Shey Phoksundo National Park

Prayer Flags And The Machermo Range From Gokyo Ri, Nepal

Prayer Flags And The Machermo Range From Gokyo Ri, Nepal

Situated in the trans-Himalayas, this is one of the most scenic sites in the entire world. There are incredibly beautiful lakes, a waterfall and pristine glaciers in this high altitude park near the Tibetan border. The Phoksundo Lake is the star attraction here. It is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, including Snow Leopards, Himalayan Tahrs, Tibetan Sheep, Musk Deer and Grey Wolves.

Fact File

Location: Central Himalayas, in South Asia; bordered by China in the north, and India in the south, east and west
Connectivity: Air travel is best, owing to 41 domestic airports, and one international one, Thribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu; accessible from Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand by road and rail; major crossing points are Kakarbhitta, Birgunj, Bairahawa, Nepalgunj and Dhangadhi.
Official Language: Nepali
Currency: Nepali Rupee (NPR)
Time Zone: Nepal Standard Time, UTC + 5:45
Climate: Five different climate zones, depending on the altitude; Tropical and Sub-tropical (below 1,200 meters), Temperate (between 1200-2400), Cold Zone (2400-3600), Sub-Arctic (3600-4400), and Arctic Zone (above 4400m); temperature ranges between -15 to 40 degrees, depending on altitude and seasons.
Food and Drink: Vegetarian and non-vegetarian are available, subject to restrictions at certain religious sites. Beef (cow) is prohibited according to Hindu beliefs, though cara-beef from water-buffaloes is available.  It is advisable not to consume anything other than bottled water and cooked food. Foreign Liquors and loca spirits are also easily available.

 

Interested in touring Nepal?

Book Now
folder_openAssigned tags

About author

Cox & Kings

Cox & Kings is the longest established tours and travels company in the world. Established in 1758, we are headquartered in Mumbai with a presence in over 13 countries worldwide. Our services include destination management, domestic and international holiday packages, luxury travel, business and MICE, NRI and foreign exchange solutions, as well as insurance.

View more articles

No Comments

comment No comments yet

You can be first to leave a comment

Leave a comment

info_outline

Your data is safe with us!

We promise not to share your email address with anyone.