Located between the great Himalayas and the Indian plains, a journey into Nepal seems almost cathartic. Deeply spiritual, resilient in spirit and awe-inspiringly beautiful, Nepal should be on the list for those who want to unplug from the city and get immersed in the localness of the place. More so, this is home to the great Mount Everest trail, its base camp being a popular trekking highlight. Nepal’s soothing vistas and simple culture makes it one of the most memorable places in South Asia.
Imagine the plains of India, slowly rising into hillocks and then merging with the great Himalayas. The climate of Nepal ranges from steaming hot plains to cool summers and very cold winters. The top reaches of the country are almost always swathed in snow, making it an ideal destination for both summers and winters. The rains come in with vigour between May and July, infusing life into everything arid.
Major Cities / Tourist Places
The unique thing about the cities of Nepal is that each of them has such a distinct character and topography. A trip to the country is enriching in ways that one cannot imagine. Despite being rooted in history, the capital, Kathmandu also has a modern side to it. Juxtaposed with it are the ancient towns of Bhaktapur and Patan. Further away, the lake city of Pokhara embodies the soothing vibe of nature’s best with its shimmering waters reflecting the mountains around. No matter which city you step into, Nepal offers a diverse set of experiences.
Wedged between deep valleys, foothills of the Himalayas or in the middle of tourist-clad swathes of commercial buzz, each town and city of Nepal is intriguing. Innumerable palaces, temples and monuments fill you with awe. There are a number of heritage trails, lesser-known villages and trekking circuits to explore. The towns of Bhaktpur, Patan, Pokhara and Dhulikhel are names that will occur often and are worth your while to get a taste of the different things that Nepal has to offer.
Chitwan National Park
Sagarmatha National Park
Muktinath Valley of Mustang
Medieval Settlement of Kirtipur
Lo Manthang: Ancient Earthen Walled City
Rishikesh Complex of Ruru Kshetra
Ram Janaki Temple
The Medieval Town of Tansen
Bardia National Park
Bhurti Temple Complex of Dailekh
Apart from trekking on its adventurous trails, Nepal has plenty of other experiences to offer. Amongst these, jungle safaris in the Chitwan National Park, visiting monasteries and getting immersed in the spiritual surroundings of Pashupathinath and other temples are prime. For most travellers, the largest draw lies in the trekking routes, of which the Annapurna circuit and the Everest Base Camp are the most popular. Nepal has also recently acquired the moniker of the ‘adventure capital of the subcontinent’ with rafting and bungee jumping added to the many things you can do to push adrenalin through your veins.
Mount Everest Flight
Ultra Light Aircraft
Traditional Dinner & Cultural Show
Rafting in Trishuli River
With Hindus making the largest part of the population composition of Nepal, Dashain (Dushera) is the biggest festival of the nation. Dashain is celebrated to commemorate Goddess Durga’s victory over demon Mahishasur. Tihar is a celebration of lights and colour dedicated to Goddess Laxmi. Apart from these, Buddha Jayanti, Maha Shivratri, Janai Purnima, Gai Jatra and Teej are the other major festivals. Different clans amongst the religious spheres may have slight tweaks.
Rato Machhindranath Jatra
Festival Calendar 2021-2022
11thMaha Shivratri, All Nepal (11 March 2021)
26thBuddha Jayanti, All Nepal (26 May 2021)
22ndRaksha Bandhan, All Nepal (22 August 2021)
11thGai Jatra, Kathmandu (23 August 2021)
02ndMah Puja/Newari New Year, All Nepal (02 November 2021)
06thBhai Tika, Kathmandu (06 November 2021)
02ndChhath Puja, Janakpur (02 November 2021)
25thChristmas Day, All Nepal (25 December 2021)
30thTamu Losar, Kathmandu (30 December 2021)
Nepal has been getting so many visitors for the last few decades that the infrastructure has evolved to include a variety of stays; you can find luxury resorts, simple lodges and tea rooms along trekking trails and easy on the pocket hotels in towns. Home stays are another way to see Nepal closely. No matter where you stay, it is the Nepalese hospitality that trumps all other experiences.