Nepal holds a magnetic appeal due to its proximity with the mighty Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. Nestled between India and China, this country has long remained overlooked by the travelers, but once you step into this land, it will leave you spellbound with its immense natural beauty and cultural diversity. With countless trekking routes dotting the Himalayan range, this country is a delightful destination for adventure lovers. A majority of the population in Nepal comprises of Hindus, still the place is hailed as a prominent destination for Buddhist pilgrims as it also happens to be the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
HOW TO REACH
Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu is well connected with all the major locations in the world namely India, Bangkok, Dubai, Hongkong and Kuala Lumpur through a network of regular flights. To reach Kathmandu from India you can take direct flights from New Delhi and Mumbai. There are numerous other flights running between Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai with a stop in between the journey. From Delhi, it takes an hour and half to reach Kathmandu.
Being a border country, direct buses operate from several locations in India including Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi and Kolkata through many different routes. Whichever route you take, it takes around a day to reach Kathmandu.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
October, November, December, January and February.
This scenic village lying on the northern part of Nepal is a great place for hikers. The village is located on a trail leading to Annapurna base camp. Ghorepani is about 8 to 10 hours walking distance from Tatopani. There are many options to rest and stay overnight in between the trek. To get the best views of the sunrise and sunset, trek up to the Poon hill is highly recommended.
Thamel is an ideal destination to enjoy the city life of Nepal. Lying in the northern region of Kathmandu, the place is abuzz with posh hotels, supermarkets, cafes and traditional craft shops which make it a perfect place to start your tour to Nepal. Strolling in the streets of Thamel offers an insight into the vibrant culture of Nepal. With so many eateries serving the local Nepali dishes, Thamel is a good place to taste the local delicacies.
3. Garden of Dreams
This is the ultimate place to escape the gruelling urban atmosphere in Kathmandu and relax in the serenity of natural environment away from the disturbing noise of traffic in the capital city. Also referred to as ‘The garden of six seasons’, this place was earlier a private garden if a Field Marshal but was later opened by the government authorities for regular visitors following its renovations undertaken by the Austrian government. Visitors are charged 200 INR as entry fee to enter the mansion.
A picturesque village settlement in Nepal, Bandipur carries a European feel which comes from the ancient buildings built during the eighteenth century. Some of the buildings built in traditional Newar architecture have been converted into cafes and lodges for tourists. Surrounded by a thick forest cover and hills, the village offers lots of opportunities for hikers. Watching the local farmers work in the vast paddy fields lets you experience the old world charm of Nepal.
Panauti is an ancient village located in the outskirts of Kathmandu on the confluence of Roshi Khola and Pangumati Khola. The village houses innumerable temples which give this place a holy feel. Walking on the streets of Panauti takes you back into its heyday when it used to be a center of trade and religion in Nepal. Indreshwar Mahadev temple in Panauti is a famous tourist attraction in Nepal you should not give a miss. Panauti is also famous for the Makar Mela which is held after every twelve years on the Triveni Ghat in the month of Magh.
Another temple city in Nepal, Bhaktapur gives a peek into the religious life of local people who have beautifully preserved the ancient culture and art which sets this place apart from the rest of Nepal. Bhaktapur Darbar square is a famous spot housing several Hindu temples built in pagora and shikara designs. The building has around fifty-five windows reserved for Gods goddesses and other deities.
The views of mountains and lakes you get in Sarankot are the most beguilling in every way. Located in the Northern region of Pokhran valley, Sarankot is a fascinating destination for nature lovers. Being a hilltop village, the place is a famous take-off point for paragliders. Visiting this place would be the best way to soak in the beauty of Nepal which is at its best in Sarankot.
8. Upper Mustang
Upper Mustang in Nepal is one of the most isolated regions in the world dominated by a rocky landscape. The remote location of this place makes it an excellent spot to undertake short treks amidst the serene surroundings. One has to obtain the permit from the government of Nepal before going on a trekking expedition around Upper Mustang. The trek usually lasts for ten days with Kagbeni as its starting point. You will encounter some of the most spectacular views of the mountains which form a beautiful contrast against the dry arid land of Upper Mustang.
Be prepared to be enthralled by the ravishing greenery of tea gardens, the moment you enter this beautiful hill station lying on the eastern part of Nepal. Illam is home to four rivers which add to the beauty of this hill station surrounded by pine forests and other cash crops. On a clear day, you can enjoy the enchanting sights of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Mirik from Ilam. Best time to visit Ilam is from October to November.
Serving as a gateway to Upper Mustang, Jomsom offers stunning views of Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri Mountains. It’s an ideal location for trekkers. The steep slope of Jomsom and the surrounding mountains make it a perfect destination for rock climbing and other adventure activities. The people of Jomsom have preserved the traditional ways of living and depend on agriculture and tourism for subsistence. Spending time with people living in their traditional huts made of wood and stone would make your Nepal tour a memorable one.
A semi- urban region, Nagarkot is the nearest destination from Kathmandu to escape the city hustle. Best known for its serene environment, the place offers a vista of beguilling sights of the eight Himalayan ranges including Annapurna, Jugal, Manaslu, Langtang, Rolwaling and Everest. Since the mountain ranges often get eclipsed by clouds, you should visit Nagarkot between October and Decembe or in March for the best views.
Sagarmatha is home to Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. The region boasts of a dense wildlife and is famous for Sagarmatha national park, a renowned world heritage site. The park has around 118 species of different birds and houses many endangered wild animals including snow leopards, red panfa and pheasants. The place offers lots of options for trekkers as it is blessed with unending terrains which serve as a perfect location to gather the splendid views of mountains and rocks spread around the park. This place is best enjoyed during autumn and spring seasons.
Shadowed by Dhaulagiri mountain range, Dhorpatan village is known for its lush landscape overlooking the Himalayas. The place prides itself with the only hunting reserve in Nepal. Here, you can spot some rare species of animals and birds including the Daphne, the national bird of Nepal during your treks along the various routes from the village. Owing to a booming wildlife, hunting of some animals is allowed in the Dhorpatan hunting reserve. The place is not very crowded as only a fraction of tourists visit the reserve which makes it a great place for those who want to escape the fast paced city life.
Chitwan has a profound significance in the ancient period as many sages used to visit this valley for meditation. The place is also famous as a wildlife retreat as it houses the first animal sanctuary in Nepal, Chitwan National Park. The park garners attention from various corners due to its abundant greenery and wildlife. One of the best ways to explore the region is by taking elephant safaris.
15. Khumbu Valley
Khumbu valley is one of the most charming locations in Nepal which takes pride in the beguiling views of the Everest and the cascading rivers flowing through the region. The place is one of the most revered tourist destinations in Nepal due to its infinite trekking routes. Apart from the Everest Mountain, one can also relush the views of other eminent mountains like Ama Dablam and Lhotse.
Lumbini is a prominent pilgrimage destination for Buddhists which attracts many tourists from different parts of the world. The importance of this place comes from the fact that it was the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Mayadevi temple and Asoka pillar are must visit sites in Lumbini where one can learn about the life of Lord Buddha. Strolling in the garden outside the temple is a great way to absorb the serenity of this holy site.
17. Annapurna Valley
The Annapurna region is bestowed with the most striking mountain views which are sure to rejuvenate your senses. Trekking on this isolated region is filled with adventure and excitement you won’t get anywhere else around the world. Blessed with a variety of landscapes, the region is famous for its diverse range of treks meant for every kind of traveler. The place is acclaimed for Kali Gandaki Gorge, which is one of the deepest gorges in the world. Spring and fall season are the best times to visit the valley to encounter ravishing sights of different mountain ranges under clear sky.
Pokhara is a gorgeous city lying near Phewa lake plush with upmarket cafes and restaurants. Being the second most populated city in Nepal, Pokhara offers you a chance to socialize with the locals who will let you gain an insight into the life of local people. The city is a perfect blend of nature and modernity. It’s a great place to relax and introspect in the middle of your Nepal tour.
Manang is a perfect place to acclimatize yourself before undertaking treks to the higher reaches. Lying at the base of the Annapurna circuit, Manang is blessed with rich flora and fauna which will fill your senses with wonder. The amazing view of the Annapurna Mountain is something you will cherish all your life. The Tilicho lake in Manang is the most sought after sites in Nepal with endless options for hiking.
20. Everest Base Camp
The most revered destination in Nepal that forms the crux of Nepal Tour package is the base camp at Mount Everest, the highest mountain peak in the world. The South base camp in Nepal is a great place to wallow in the spectacular beauty of the Himalayas. Here, you will also get a chance to meet the mountain climbers who spend a couple of days to acclimatize themselves before climbing the Everest. The verdant hills, meadows and Rocky Mountains around the base camp offer a delightful experience to the travelers.