Nepal, a country bestowed with rich culture, kaleidoscopic beauty and vivid people with full of life. It would be wrong to call it the land for hikers and mountaineers only, because this South-Asian country has much more to offer. A country where love, peace and harmony are not words of efficacy but a way of living (there has never been a religious or ethnic riot). A home to more than 80 ethnic groups, Nepal —the birthplace of Lord Buddha; come visit the land of enlightenment for a life-transforming experience, for adrenaline adventurous sports, learn history by viewing archaeological monuments and say ‘ Namastey‘ to the hospitality provided by the local people who are no different by heart than your own country’s men. So before you get over-excited for the trip; check out these 10 beautiful places to visit in Nepal.
Nagarkot is a village on the hill which lies at a height of 2175 meters and situated about 32 km east of Kathmandu. It’s a place where quietness can be defined in a lot more ways. For those who are fed up of the bustling streets and air pollution, Nagarkot is your ultimate solace. Here, you can adore the mighty Himalaya or go for a Nature trail, it will all together give you more depth in your thinking. Or if you wish you can do pony-riding, enjoy sunrise-sunset, meditation, yoga or bird-watching. The best season to visit the village is Spring, when flowers bloom to its pinnacle.
If Nepal is the country, you are planning to visit, make sure that you have Pokhara in your itinerary. The second largest city in the country, has become a major tourist hub for it’s halcyon natural beauty and tranquil lakes. Everyear, a large number of adventurers flocks to the city for trekking and hiking in the Annapurna region. Surrounded by the majestic Himalayan ranges, the Pokhara city has much more to offer, apart from the adventurous sports. There are many souvenir, handicraft and cashmere collection shops, where with a little bit of bargaining, you can get things at good prices. Other site seeing locations are Phewa Lake, Barahi Temple, Devi’s Fall and Mahendra Gupha(cave).
Kathmandu (also known as Kantipur), the capital of the country is an ancient city surrounding by four major hills Shivapuri , Phulchoki, Nagarjun, and Chandragiri. A 7.9 magnitude earthquake had hit the city in 2015, causing massive destruction to life and property. But now, with hope and efforts, life is getting stabilized and the place is safe to visit. The National Museum, Martyr’s Memorial (Sahid) Gate, Machchhendranath Temple and Kathmandu Durbar Square are some popular tourist spots to visit.
Lumbini— a Buddhist pilgrimage, is located in the Rupandehi District of Nepal. The birthplace of Lord Buddha is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A temple known by the name of Maya Devi (mother of Buddha), has been build on the exact place where Buddha was born. The Sacred Garden which covers an area of 8 square kilometers is the main attraction at Lumbini. One of the oldest monument, Ashokan pillar is situated here, which commemorates the pilgrim of King Ashoka. There are monasteries and meditation centres, where travellers can seek peace and enlightenment.
For centuries, Dhulikel has been an important trade centre between Nepal and Tibet. At an altitude of 1600 metres above sea level, it is considered, one of the best places to get an exotic view of sunrise and sunset. The be-snow mountains, floating clouds and lush green terrace farming will definitely draw your intention. The city consist of numerous temples such as Bhagwati Temple, Kali Temple and Shiva Temple. Dhulikhel View Tower, an uphill provides an excellent panorama of the city and mountains.
On the banks of Bagmati river, Pashupatinath Temple, the oldest Hindu temple exist for worshipping Lord Shiva. It has been there since 400 A.D and is important tourist destination and pilgrimage in Nepal. The main temple can only be entered by people following Hinduism. Other than that, anyone can enjoy the ambiance and watch funeral rites. The four faced Lingam (East-Tatpurusha, West-Sadhyojata, North-Vamadeva, South-Aghora) is the major attraction. The sculptures and paintings in different parts of the temple are artistic and quintessential.
7. Swayambhunath Stupa
Swayambhunath Stupa or the Monkey Temple is one of the oldest religious building in Nepal. The name of the stupa originates from word ‘swayambhu‘ which means self-created. It is believed, that once the valley was filled with waters of Lake, on which grew a lotus. On its place, a stupa was built and later, founded by King Vṛsadeva in the early 5th century. According to the Seventh Dalai Lama, “this very stupa is the source of all the happiness in the world.” During the full moon, in early evening hours, mantras are enchanted and traditional performance with instruments are delivered by the local people.
Bhaktapur is called by multiple names like City of Culture , Living Heritage, Nepal’s Cultural Gem , An open museum and a City of Devotees. The city can be explored only on foots as no tuk-tuks, taxis or rickshaws allowed inside. The serenity of place makes it a good alternative for lodging. Juju-dhau —”King of all yogurt” is a delcacy, you wouldn’t like to miss. Pottery, jewellery-making and metalworks are skills, which has been passed down from generations to the people of Bhaktapur.
9. Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park is the first national park in Nepal established in 1973 and acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. The park covers an area of approximately 932 square kilometers consisting of flora and fauna like Royal Bengal tiger, Asiatic elephants, gharial crocodiles, monkey and various other species. The daytime weather from October to November is the best time to visit the place, as July to September, the land experiences a heavy downpour and other seasons are quite hot and humid. You can indulge in various activities like Jungle walk, Elephant bath, Elephant, motorcycle and Jeep Safari and swimming in the Rapti river. Along with transports, fees and permits, be sure to hire a guide because you are entering the abode of wild and free animals.
10. Boudhanath Stupa
One of the largest stupa in the world, Boudhanath Stupa is situated 11 kilometers from Kathmandu. The stupa was built just after the demise of Lord Buddha. At the top of boudhanath, the gigantic buddha eyes seem to look, right into your soul. The five Dhyani Buddhas represent the basic elements of life — air, water, fire, earth and sphere. Everyday, the arena is clustered with multitude of followers, who come here to find peace and purpose in their life. Losar, the Tibetan New Year, is observed during February-March, which is the peak time to visit the stupa.