Nepal

OVERVIEW:

Nepal - Where Nature Meets Nirvana

Located at the crossroads of major civilizations, Nepal is a fascinating blend of cultures with an abundance of spiritual monuments, heritage sites and natural splendour. 

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ATTRACTIONS:

Nepal occupies a remarkable place in South Asia. It is set in the midst of the mountainous Himalayan range and surrounded by China on the north and various parts of India around the rest of its borders. The Kathmandu Valley is the cultural and commercial cradle of Nepal and the capital and leading metropolitan area is Kathmandu.
 
Several of the world’s highest peaks are located here but there is more to Nepal than mountain climbing. There are a number of Unesco world heritage sites, which is the focus for visitors keen to discover the country’s fascinating past. Sitting at the cultural intersection of Asia, it is no surprise that Nepal has a mix of both Hindu and Buddhist influences.
 
One of several Unesco world heritage sites in Kathmandu Valley, The Boudhanath is considered among the most sacred of Buddhist holy places in Nepal. It consists of a colossal stupa that overlooks the surrounding area. Join the faithful in prayer by circling the enormous structure but remember to move in a clockwise direction.
 
Also worth a visit is the Pashupatinath temple, which is devoted to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva. It is the largest of its kind and situated beside the Bagmati River in the eastern part of Kathmandu, about half an hour away from the city centre.
 
One of the most revered Buddhist sites in Nepal is the Swayambhunath, or Monkey Temple. From the city centre, it is 20 minutes away by car. The compound is teeming with shrines and places of worship. On a clear day, enjoy the splendid view of the Langtang mountain range. At dusk revel in the divine sunset as it casts a glowing light on the entire Kathmandu valley.
 
It is possible to enjoy glorious views of the mountain ranges without having to work up a sweat on a trekking expedition. A picturesque two hour drive from Kathmandu will take you past paddy fields and charming old world houses towards Nagarkot. The lovely hill resorts here offer a stunning panorama of the Himalaya’s eastern range, which includes the iconic Mount Everest.  
 
For a taste of genuine local food, don’t leave without sampling the cuisine of the Newari who are the indigenous people of Nepal. The food is spicy and dishes include baraonda, similar to pizza with meat and egg toppings, sekuwa (grilled buffalo meat or chicken) and baji, which is made of rice that is hand milled before cooking.
 
Visitors looking for unusual knick-knacks will find a wealth of shopping treasures. An excellent place to start is Thamel, located in the centre of Kathmandu. Explore the wide range of shops that offer an interesting hotchpotch of locally made products such as antiques, pottery, jewellery, handmade clothes and Nepalese arts and crafts. A popular souvenir item is the woollen shawl known as pashmina made with fine cashmere wool.
 
Nepal is also renowned for its authentic native woven carpets. A good place to buy traditional carpets is Jawlakhel in nearby Patan city located about 45 minutes by car from Kathmandu. Carpet weaving is considered a traditional art form and there are many striking examples of carpet weaving artistry on display here.
 
An adventure trip to the Chitwan National Park is a must for an authentic back to nature experience. The park is a designated Unesco World Heritage site located in the Terai region at the foot of the Himalayan range.  
 
The wildlife sanctuary is home to numerous types of mammals, amphibians and birds including several rare and endangered species. Take a memorable elephant safari ride through the jungle and you might be able to spot some of the wildlife in their natural habitat.

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WEATHER:

The spring months from March to June and autumn from October to December are the most favourable times to visit Nepal as temperatures are cooler.  

 


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