Nepal – A Hidden Country in Snow-capped Mountains Where Shiva and Buddha Are Still Alive! Written by Milan Patel
Nepal, a neighbor of ancient and today’s India or else known as Bharatvarsh, has been famous for its beauty and supernatural scenery!
The stunning temples, the magnificent view of the Himalayas (they look amazing from the window of the airplane), and the beautiful nature of the country make you include this destination in your travel bucket list.
Even though the plan was to visit pre-arranged places, this had changed as soon as I got there. Let me show you why!
What to Do
#1 Visit Kathmandu City – The capital of Nepal and the largest city in the country. Kathmandu is also known as the “City of Temples” therefore, I recommend you see:
- Pashupatinath Temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site) – One of the four main holy sites in Asia, on the banks of the river Bagmati, at an altitude of 1400 meters above sea level. Pashupatinath is a religious, cultural as well as a spiritual center. The temple area includes the forests Deupatan, JayaBageshori, Gaurighat, Gaushala, Pingalsthan, Slashmantak. You will also find 492 temples, 15 Shivalayas, and 12 Jyotirlingas, and many other small and big temples. It is an attraction for millions of people from all over India & Asia, who come to this place for the Mahashivaratri festival in spring. You will also see the temple Guhyeshwori Devi, which is considered to be one of the 51 Shakti Peethas of India
- Swayambhunath Stupa and Boudhanath Stupa Temples – Two important pilgrimages for Buddhism, and two of the most preferred places for tourists! You will be fascinated by the numerous colorful flags, and of course, from the fantastic city view. What is also impressive is that the entire complex is full of Hindu as well as Buddhist temples, Chaitya houses, Sleeping Buddha, Monasteries, Bronze Buddha statues, and Tibetan paintings.
#2 Visit the three Squares in the Kathmandu Valley:
- The Kathmandu Durbar Square, another UNESCO World Heritage site, is located in the heart of the city, and is famous for the Nepali-style temples and architecture. This square is also used for unique festivals such as Indra Jatra
- The Bhaktapur Durbar Square, famous for its 55-barred palace, the statue of Bhupatindra Malla, the art gallery, the temple stones, the works made of wood and the Golden Gate built by the Malla kings
- The Patan Durbar Square, another beautiful square consisting of temples
#3 Take a walk at Phulchowki – It is the highest hill in the Kathmandu Valley, at the height of 2791 meters, and has beautiful gardens adorned with lovely wild roses, yellow jasmine, iris, and other flowers.
#4 Visit Nagarkot Village – A small village far from the crowded and noisy city of Kathmandu, with an elevation of about 2175 meters above sea level. You can see Himalayan wherever you choose to stay, and with a closer look, you can also admire the peak of Mount Everest.
Tip: Enjoy the beautiful sunset with a cup of tea
#5 Visit Pokhara city – It is located 7-8hrs away from Kathmandu. It’s ideal to:
- See the Temple Manakamana Devi – a world-famous wish-fulfillment temple. I suggest you take the cable car as you will be impressed by the river, the valleys and the long mountains. Here, you will also see the Manaslu-Himachali and Annapurna ranges of the Himalayas
- Take a boat ride to see the temple of Bindhyabasini Devi which is located in a small island
- Admire the beautiful waterfall known as Devi’s Falls or Patale Chhango, and Gupteswar Cave (you will be amazed by the natural limestone structures)
What to Eat
I recommend you try dal-rice and momos, which is the main food in Kathmandu. However, you will be fascinated by the various cuisines you will find in Kathmandu – Nepali, Newari, and Thakali should also be on your list.
Where to Shop
Thamel Market in Kathmandu – It is a tourist attraction, and you will find various items, ideal for souvenirs. Here, you have the chance to watch a Bollywood movie too.
Other Useful Info / Tips
- The best time to visit Nepal is October & November, after the monsoon. Nature and open sky after the rain are considered suitable for trekking. Also, another excellent choice is from March to June
- Direct flights are available from Delhi to Kathmandu as well as one-stop flights from cities like Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Kathmandu is connected to all Nepal’s cities, by air and land
- Vegetarian food is easily available in Kathmandu; staying in hotels with vegetarian restaurants is beneficial
- 1 Rupee of India = 1.60 Nepalese Rupee in Nepal. Indian currency notes (100 & 500) are in circulation in Nepal, but Nepalese banknotes can be purchased from a currency exchange point at the airport as well as SIM cards
- I advise you to bring sports shoes due to the hilly terrain but also for the trekking. Do not forget the warm clothes and the necessary medicines after consultation with your doctor.
- The mysterious Himalayan animal is called Yeti, and many people find it during their hike on the isolated Himalayan trail.
- Nepal is protected by the world’s bravest fighters Gurkha (Nepal does not celebrate an independent day, as any of the world’s superpowers has never won it). And it is the only country in the world whose flag is not rectangular.
- Nepal has 8 out of 10 highest mountains in the world, including the world’s highest peak Mount Everest (8848 meters).
- Indians do not need a visa to travel to Nepal, but it is mandatory to have a passport for immigration department. As far as tourists are concerned, I recommend you check with your local travel agency before travelling to Nepal
- Nepal’s Tourism websites are welcomenepal.com and www.visitnepal2020.com
I returned to India with a heavy heart carrying many memories. As a traveler, a devotee, a philosopher, and a common man, I believed that everyone should go to this holy land once and spend some time with Shiva, Buddha, and himself.
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