Nepal's acronym of Never Ending Peace And Love, does well to characterize this nation of good natured and accommodating people; a land of majestic Himalayan scenery. Nepal is filled with as many different ethnic groups, customs and traditions as it is diverse in geography. From the hot Indian plains and steamy southern Tarai lowlands, the terrain crosses the Kathmandu Valley and rises to the frozen heights of the Himalayan peaks towards the Tibetan plateau known as the 'roof of the world'. Life here revolves around an intricate intermingling of ancient Hindu and Buddhist religious rituals. Numerous festivals are celebrated throughout the year colored by a diversity of religious and tribal traditions. The capital of Kathmandu brings an assortment of these different societies together into a vibrant collection of brilliant sights and exotic smells.
Nepal has many attractions, but the essence of the country is its smiling, friendly people with their heartfelt palm-pressed greetings, and together with its inspiring scenery, this beguiling country is a place where one visit is usually not enough to satisfy the captivated traveller. In Nepal humour hangs in the air. If you like to learn a wonderful tale about change, growth, maturity and life ask it with Nepalese, they will describe you in a fascinating way. They'll also tell you how the travel industry, tour operators and tourists are changing Nepal forever, but no one is complaining! Those who travel to Nepal discover a land of God made for tourists! Mountains and massifs, racing rivers, quaint temples and palaces, tough trekking trails and wildlife safaris lure the tourist.
Adventurous Sites/ Hiking Treks
Mount Everest Trekking Route: Visitors dream of trekking to the foot of the world's highest peak Mt. Everest, called Sagarmatha in Nepali language, located in the Khumbu region of east Nepal. The region includes upper catchments area of the Dudha Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers. The area is largely composed of the rugged terrain and gorges of the high Himalayas ranging from 5,800m to the top of the world Mt. Everest (8,848m).
Annapurna Range: Starting point to the most astonishing treks to Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Range is rightly called the 'Range of the Gods'. A blissful site, the Range is a natural amphitheater ringed by giant, heavenly treks like Annapurna 1, Glacier Dome, Annapurna, Fang and the fishtail peak of Machhapuchhare. With several peaks ranging above 7000 meters, the experience is indeed thrilling.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Pashupatinath Temple: The magnificent temple of Lord Pashupatinath, about 5 kms north-east of Kathmandu, is situated amidst many other temples on the right bank of the river Bagmati. Pashupatinath Temple is considered to be the holiest Hindu Pilgrimage site in Nepal. Dedicated to Hindu Lord Shiva, the shrines and temples of Pashupatinath attract thousands of visitors from within and outside the country every year. This wooded ravine near the golf course and airport is considered to be one of the abodes of Lord Shiva.
Royal Chitwan National Park: Royal Chitwan National Park (RCNP) has long been one of the country's treasures of natural wonders. The park is situated in south central Nepal, covering 932 sq. km. in the subtropical lowlands of the inner Terai. The area comprising the Tikauli forest - from Rapti River to the foothills of the Mahabharat (place) extends over an area of 175 sq. km. The area was gazetted as the country's first national park in 1973. Recognizing its unique ecosystems of international significance, UNESCO declared RCNP a World Heritage Site in 1984.
Changunarayan Temple: This impressive double roofed Changu Narayan Temple is said to be the most ancient Vishnu temple in the Kathmandu Valley. The original temple was built around the 4th century. The present pagoda-style temple was rebuilt in 1702 after it was destroyed by fire. It is located in a beautiful peaceful location, 4km north of Bhaktapur, on a hill top in the east side of the Valley. The temple is UNESCO listed World Heritage site.
Bhaktapur Durbar square: Kathmandu's Durbar Square was built primarily in the 16th and 17th centuries. It contains a royal palace (a 'durbar') and many temples built in the traditional Newar, pagoda style. The golden gate, entrance to the Durbar Square is a delight to the eyes, for an architectural beauty like this is hard to discover. But what lies inside will change your definition of beauty... the beauty of this UNESCO listed World heritage site surpasses words!
Kathmandu Durbar Square: Listed as one of the eight Cultural World Heritage site by UNESCO, Kathmandu Durbar Square is a cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets that date back to the 12th and 18th centuries. The square is known to be the social, religious and urban focal point of the Capital City.
Golden Gate: The strikingly beautiful Golden Gate is Nepal's pride. The gate is embellished with precious stones and is of great religious and historical importance. The door is royal in built and structure and surmounted by the figure of Kali and Garuda. It is believed that the golden gate is two heavenly nymphs. The architecture and unsurpassable beauty of the gate enamors the tourists.
Buddhist/Hindu/Jain Site/ Architectural Site
Bodhnath Stupa: Bodhnath Stupa is a bastion of Tibetan culture in the heart of the Kathmandu valley. Energized by the arrival of thousands of Tibetans after the 1959 Chinese invasion, the temple has become one of the most important centers of Tibetan Buddhism. Bodhnath is the largest stupa in Nepal and was probably built in the 14th century after the Mughal invasions. From the air it looks like a giant Mandala, or diagram of the Buddhist cosmos.
Syambunath: Known as the monkey temple, Syambhunath has remained substantially unchanged since the 14th century. An appreciation of the stupa is best gained by proceeding around it in a clockwise direction. As people walk round while praying, wheels fixed to the balustrade are set in motion.
Hanuman Dhoka: Hanuman Dhoka is the former Royal Palace of the Malla kings and sequentially of the Shah dynasty. Several complexes, taking up about five acres, are connected together. Outside the palace is a stone inscription stationed by the late King Pratap Malla. The inscription has matter written on it in 15 different languages. It is said that if someone reads the inscription, then milk would gush out from the middle of it. Hanuman's statue, dressed in a red cloak, placed outside the darbar, is an object of devotion.