The Astounding Nepal
A multihued slice of Asia, with its lofty snow-peak mountains, gleaming with variegated prayer flags, Nepal is enchanting. From the tender-green patches of Chitwan National Park, the divine abode of Lord Pashupati, to the assorted cafés and hippie culture of lake-side Pokhara, it is a spectacular and convivial destination for all.
What to See?
The name Kathmandu derives from Kasthmandap or “House of Wood”, a pagoda-style temple. This is the capital city of Nepal. Besides, the magnificent natural beauty and historical glories, Kathmandu is also commercially affluent.
Popularly known as Lalitpur or the “city of fine arts”, Patan is the center of traditional arts, crafts and architecture representing enormous Buddhist temples and Hindu shrines.
At a distance of 30Kms east of Kathmandu, Dhulikhel is well known for its wonderful sunrises over the splendid Himalayan peaks.
Phulchowki or the “Flower-covered Hill” is highest on the valley border at 2,762m. Lying 20Kms south east of Kathmandu, the ride to the trail through lovely rhododendron and oak forests to the top, is really breath-taking. On the hilltop there is a small shrine of Phulchowki Mai.
At a distance of 6hr drive from Kathmandu, Pokhra is famous for its scenic beauty and lakes like Phewa and Begnas which offer peaceful seclusion in the unspoiled forestland.
Where to Pray?
Holy abode, Swayambhunath is 2,500 years old; here the white semi-circular mound with an umbrella on the top, represents the steps to nirvana. The Stupa is hung with multi-colored prayer flags.
The renowned shrine of lord Pashupati or Shiva, situated on banks of the sacred Bagmati River is distinguished for its marvelous structural design with a golden roof and silver doors.
Dakshinkali Temple, Lumbini, Shivapuri, Nagarkot, Bungmati & Khokana Villages, Namo Buddha, Sankhu, Budhanilkantha, are few other sacred spots.
Where to chase?
What could be exhilarating than spotting the animals on elephant’s back or watching water life on canoe rides? Besides visiting Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Royal Chitwan National Park; don’t forget to enjoy the Tharu tribal folk dances at Royal Chitwan National Park.
What to do?
Due to the freezing temperature during winter, one should trek on a lower altitude. Mustang, Upper Manang and Dolpo, are the most recommended trek spots during monsoon. Recommended seasons are February to May and September to November.
Hire a bike and paddle around the unexplored corners of the Kathmandu Valley.
Fly Over Everest
Get an Ariel view of snowy Everest’s peak through aircraft voyages, ballooning, hang-gliding and paragliding.
From the whirlpools of the Marsyangdi River, to the picturesque Trisuli River, Nepal’s array of crashing waterways offer outstanding rafting conditions. Float across the Barahi temple and witness the mesmerizing reflections of the Annapurna range on the water.
The nightlife at Nepal is really promising with numerous bars and clubs and live music spots, especially in Kathmandu. Basantapur Square is a must visit. Try out your luck at the local casinos, but only for fun sake. At Pokhra, the folk lover should head to enjoy the traditional Newari dance shows organized by hotel authorities.
What to shop?
Locally manufactured clothes, textiles or handicraft like woven mittens and socks, Tibetan dresses, multicolored jackets, knitted shawls, Tibetan tea bowls, papiermâché dance masks, Buddhist figurines and filigree ornaments, flutes made of bamboo are the popular bargains in Nepal.
Names to remember
• Pashmina (fine goat’s-wool blankets).
• Kukri (the national knife)
• Saranghi (a small, four-stringed viola played with a horse-hair bow)
A trip to Nepal, will be among your most memorable trips, which will allure you to visit it again!
Author: Aasif_Khan (Author is an associate editor for Comparetofly.)
Photo Credits: everlook Photography
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