The country is also rich in terms of culture, lifestyle and cuisines. We suggest you some of the festivals, tourism products, destinations and food that you should not miss while in Nepal.
Nepal is a mystical country in South Asia. The country boasts of diverse tourism attractions; it is a natural and cultural heritage, a living museum and abode of gods. The small country represents Africa for wildlife, America and Europe for wilderness and pristine nature, and Asia for culture and civilization. Nepal is a paradise for nature lovers and a mecca for adventure enthusiasts as the country is home to numerous Himalayan peaks, fast flowing rivers and deep valleys. The country is also rich in terms of culture, lifestyle and cuisines. We suggest you some of the festivals, tourism products, destinations and food that you should not miss while in Nepal:
Trekking in the Himalayas
Nepal is a tourist destination rich in adventure, natural sceneries and cultural attractions. This is the country of unmatched beauty and cultural diversity. The country is home to most of the world’s highest peaks. Adventure enthusiasts from around the world are increasingly fascinated with the country, especially by the limitless opportunities provided by the country’s natural settings. This varied landscape and topographic configuration has created some of the world’s best settings for trekking. Everest, Annapurna, Rolwaling, Manaslu, Langtang, Mustang and Manang are some of the popular trekking destination of Nepal.
Paragliding in the lake city of Pokhara
Paragliding is mainly operated in Pokhara – the city famous for its beautiful lakes. Paragliding is operated from Sarangkot, a small hillock famous for mountain view. Gliders take off from Sarangkot and land along the shores of Fewa Lake. Flying with vultures, hawks, griffin etc. in the background of blue skies above human settlements, dense forest, deep lakes and raging rivers, paragliding is Nepal is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience. Similarly, ultra light flights are also operated in Pokhara. The flight takes off from Pokhara airport and goes as far as Machhapuchhre base camp. Passengers in the ultra light aircraft can have the bird–eye view of Fewa lake, dense forests, picturesque human settlements as well as the mountains of the Annapurna range.
Jungle Safari in the wild
Enjoy jungle safari on elephant jungle in dense forests of Tarai, catching wildlife by surprise. Jungle safari provides you an enduring experience in Nepal. The forests in the southern and south-western parts of Nepal are only a half hour to an hour’s flight away. The Chitwan National Park and the Bardia National Park are home to an incredible variety of mammals, reptiles and birds. The former is recognized as the best preserved conservation area in all Asia with a fascinating range of wildlife roaming free. With their natural habitat well preserved the animals are thriving. Among these are the endangered species: the one-horned rhinoceros and the most sought after Royal Bengal tiger. Many safari lodges in Chitwan and Bardia provide excellent accommodation and facilities for guests to enjoy wildlife activities. See wildlife up-close on an elephant safari or a jeep drive, a boat ride or nature walk under the guidance of expert naturalists with years of experience.
White Water Rafting down the mighty rivers
White water rafting in the rivers of Nepal is a memorable experience. The government has opened up 10 rivers for rafting. Among them, Sunkoshi and Karnali are ranked among the best rivers for white water rafting in the world. In these rivers, adventure seekers can arrange their own itineraries lasting for one day to twelve days. Rafting through varying rapids in fast flowing rivers amidst picturesque settings are some of the highlights of rafting in Nepal. Trishuli, Kali Gandaki, Bhotekoshi etc are some of the rivers popular among adventure seekers. Rafting in the rivers in Nepal is one of the best ways to explore the typical cross section of natural as well cultural heritage of the country. One can glide on waters with magnificent scenery all around or rush through roaring white rapids.
Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Bouddhanath Stupa
Bouddhanath is one of the largest stupas in the entire South Asia. Situated in Bouddha, a short drive from city center, the white mound with a tall steeple is about 36 meters tall. Believed to have been constructed in the 5th century, there are many monasteries around the stupa as the area has been inhabited by people having faith in Buddhism. Buddhist monks wearing maroon robes can be seen circumbulating the stupa with prayer wheels on their hands. Numerous small stupas can be seen in the premises of Bouddhanath Stupa. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Nepal.
Visit the famous architectural town of Bhaktapur
Bhaktapur, literally the city of devotees, is the smallest district in Nepal. However, the district is rich in terms of medieval culture, well-preserved ancient monuments and living cultural heritage. The district is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites – Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Changu Narayan temple. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is rich in its medieval art and architecture. Major landmarks in the palace complex are: Golden Gate, Pachpanne Jhyale Durbar (55-window palace), Nyatapola, Dattatreya temple, metal and woodcraft museum. Nagarkot and Changunarayan are the popular getaways in Bhaktapur.
Visit the Ancient Capital of Nepal, Gorkha
Gorkha is the ancient seat of the Shah dynasty which used to rule the country until few years ago. Gorkha is the birthplace of late Prithvi Narayan Shah who unified small territories into a strong nation. It is because of Gorkha that Nepali soldier inherited the name Gorkhali. Situated on the top of a hill around 1,000 feet above the Gorkha bazaar, the Gorkha Palace is the major attraction in Gorkha. The palace complex offers attractive views of mountains like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Himchuli, Lamjung Himal and other peaks in the north and lush green valley in the south. The temple of Gorakhnath is another attraction in Gorkha.
Explore the Birth Place of Lord Buddha, Lumbini
Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, is the fountain of world peace. Situated in Kapilbastu district, Lumbini is a pilgrimage of lifetime for Buddhists throughout the world. Mayadevi temple, renovated recently as per the Lumbini Master Plan, is the biggest attraction in Lumbini. The temple has a stone image of Maya Devi giving birth to Lord Buddha as she holds unto a branch. The Ashok Pillar, which signifies Lumbini as the birthplace of Lord Buddha, is another attraction in Lumbini. Remnants of stupas and monasteries, believed to have been constructed centuries ago, can be found all over this sacred area. International Monastic Zone is another attraction in Lumbini which houses monasteries constructed by Germany, Korea, China, Myanmar, Thailand and others.
Experience the biggest festival of Nepal, Dashain
Dashain, which usually falls in the month of September-October, is the greatest Hindu festival of Nepal. The festival continues is celebrated for 15 days. It is also called Durga Pooja as the festival is celebrated to commemorate the slaying of demon Mahisasur by goddess Durga. The first day of the festival is called Ghatasthapana when a sacred jar with holy water is installed in each Nepali house and barley seeds are sowed in the sand. The seventh day is called Fulpati, when a bunch of ginger stalks, banana leaf, sugarcane and seasonal flowers is introduced in the Dashain Ghar. The eighth day of the festival is called Mahaastami and it is the day of great sacrifice. The 10th day of the festival, Vijaya Dashami, is the major day of the festival when people take Tika and Jamara from their elders and relatives. The festival ends on the day of Kojagrat Poornima.
Maha Shivaratri is the festival devoted to Lord Shiva. The festival usually falls in the month of February. On this day, people throng the temples dedicated to Lord Shiva throughout the country. They fast for the whole day and worship Lord Shiva wishing for the well-being and prosperity of themselves and their family members. The Pashupatinath Temple, lying on the banks of the holy Bagmati River, wears festive look on this day. Hundreds of thousands of devotees from around the country and different parts of India come to the temple premises to offer worship to Lord Shiva. Sadhus from India and Nepal add extra charm to this festival.
Fagu Purnima or Holi is one of Nepal’s most colorful festivals. It is the festival of colors and people smear different colors to their friends and family members to celebrate this day. The day signifies the demolition of demoness Holika by Lord Bishnu. The eighth-day festival formally begins with the erection of a ceremonial pole at the Kathmandu Durbar Square. People also throw water-filled balloons to their friends and strangers as a part of celebrating this festival. The people in the Tarai cerebrate the festival the following day. The festival usually falls in the month of March.
Indulge with the popular food, Momo
Momo is a popular Tibetan dish available almost throughout the country. The dumplings with vegetables, sweet or meat stuffed inside have become a popular fast food items in the country. The momo is served either steamed, deep fried or pan fried with a dipping sauce locally called achar, normally made with tomato as the base ingredient. White dough of flour and water serves as the outer covering of the momo while minced meat, cheese, paneers, milk solids and nicely chopped vegetables can be used as filling.
Get boozed with the home-brewed Raksi
The home-brewed liquor made from rice or millet is commonly referred to by the Tibetan or hill word — chhyang. Raksi, which is ubiquitous in the hilly areas, is a distilled version of chhyang and bears a heady resemblance to tequila or grappa. It is made in a series of pani, or distillations: ek pani, or the first distillation of the liquor, is the strongest. Harder to find, but perhaps the most pleasant drink of all, is a highland home-brew liquor called tongba. The ingredients are a jug of fermented millet, a straw and a flask of hot water: you pour the water in, let it steep, and suck the mildly alcoholic brew through the straw until you reach the bottom.
Indulge in Yoga and Meditation in the Himalayas
There is a close inter-relationship between yoga and meditation. Ancient Yogis maintained that in order for a person to be in harmony with oneself and one’s environment, there is a need to balance the body, mind and spirit — that is Yoga and Dhyan (meditation). Yoga is a spiritual science that has been practiced and developed by the rishis and sages in the Indian sub-continent over thousands of years. Yoga implies harmoniously integrating the body, mind and soul to attain a balanced life and spiritually uniting the individual with the supreme. Yoga is the symphony of life. Nepal offers a number of places in the capital city, Kathmandu, and elsewhere to practice yoga and meditation.