Have you been dreaming of a holiday in lap of Himalayas, enjoying the sunrise and sunset with a cup of tea and cozy cold breeze? Walks in lush green hills, treks into snow in foothills of tallest mountains in the world? Yes, you are at the right place because I am going to give you some idea about best places to visit in Nepal along with some good idea on things to do in Nepal. Nepal is home to 8 out of 10 highest peaks in the world and several UNESCO world heritage sights. So, here we go with my tiny effort of providing you the most valuable information about Nepal tourist places.
About Nepal Country
Nepal is well known tourism heaven from a long while but this country has had a eventful history. Nepal is a land locked country sharing its border with Tibet, China and India. So, if you are thinking to go for a vacation abroad without digging a big hole in your pocket, you should be looking forward to Nepal tourist places this time. A brief about the country below to start with:
|Capital and largest city||Kathmandu|
|Religion||Hinduism (81%), Buddhism (9%)|
As we will be focusing more on places to visit in Nepal (Nepal tourist places), please do visit Nepal Wikipedia to know more about this paradise.
Cities in Nepal
In this section we will mention biggest and important cities in Nepal.
Kathmandu is the biggest city in Nepal. This city is considered as a holy city by Hindu and Buddhist devotees. This is a historical city with a perfect mix of amazing modern and exquisite historic architecture.
Nepal has an international airport which is connected from all major cities in India. Once you reach Kathmandu you can easily plan visiting any exotic location of Nepal using local taxis, buses or even flights. However, there are plenty of tourist attractions present in this city itself, including famous Pashupatinath Temple.
Pokhara is country’s largest metropolitan city in terms of area and second largest in terms of population and is located around 200 kms from Kathmandu. Pokhara is considered as the tourist capital of Nepal as it offers us spectacular sceneries and adventure activities. The Annapurna mountain ranges of Himalayas are located 40-50 kms away from this city, which contains 3 out of 10 highest peaks in the world.
If you are visiting Nepal, your actual trip in the Himalaya’s foothills is always incomplete without a visit to this city. For the same reason more than 80% of tourists visiting Nepal do visit Pokhara.
Lalitpur is third biggest city in Nepal. This city is known for its rich cultural heritage and fine arts traditions. If you are interested in ancient history, you can find makings of stone and iron age in this city. This city had to face a huge damage in an earthquake in 2015.
This city lies in Eastern Nepal and share its border with Bihar, India. Biratnagar has a busy domestic airport as well. Everest, the highest peak in the world is just 174 kms from this city. The city is also known for its jute mills.
If you are the one who want to spend your vacation into the forests, this is the place you have been looking for. The city marks the start of Chitwan Forest (Chitwan National Park) and offers you to do a lot of activities like jungle safari, Elephant rides etc. Most importantly, this will be the peaceful, cut-off from the world location for you in your vacation.
Best places to visit in Nepal
Nepal has been a top attraction for a lot tourists from all around the world. Two major reasons for attracting so many tourists are presence of the great Himalayas and the spiritual journey of inner self. We will now try to mention the best places to visit in Nepal:
Pashupatinath temple – Spiritual and historical
Pashupatinath Temple is located in outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal since 400 B.C. This temple is considered as the epitome of Hindu religious architecture in Nepal, with roofs made of copper and gold. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and hundreds of elderly people do come here to find shelter for last few weeks of their lives to meet death being cremated on banks of river Bagmati. It is a common belief that the people who die here will reborn as human despite of all the blots of misconducts, on their karma from this life.
You can reach to Pashupatinath temple hiring a cab from Kathmandu city, which are available in abundance.
Boudhanath stupa – Meditation
Boudhanath Stupa is located in outskirts of Nepal and is one the largest stupas in the world. This is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. This stupa is said to have been build by efforts of many immigrants from Tibet, by their efforts of years.
If you are looking to get away from crowd and go into meditation to find your inner self, no place can be better than sitting in serene valleys of Himalayas, along with piousness of preaching of lord Buddha.
Its very easy to reach Boudhanath Stupa as one can hire a taxi or local transportation once you reach Kathmandu airport.
Nagarkot – Sunrise and sunset
Nagarkot is located at around 32 kms north east of Kathmandu downtown and is very famous in tourists for serene views of Himalayan peaks. You would preserve the beauty of dawns and dusks of this place forever in your heart. On a bright sunny day, you can even get a view of Everest – World’s highest peak, from the view point tower in here (highest point in Nagarkot). Since, travelling in Nepal is not the easiest thing to do because high altitude Himalayan mountains, this place is a perfect get away from hustle bustle of Kathmandu main town.
Nagarkot offers a large variety of stays ranging from budget hotels to high class resorts with all possible luxurious amenities. Nagarkot is often compared with Pokhara which is another famous destination in Nepal, but considering the proximity if Nagarkot from Kathmandu, this is more accessible location. You can even visit Nagarkot in a one-day trip from Kathmandu. My preference would be to stay here for a couple of days to enjoy the serenity of the place.
Pokhara Valley – A mystic view of Himalayan ranges
Pokhara valley is often termed as ‘Switzerland of Nepal’ for the beautiful views of Himalayan peaks to offer to tourists. Second thing that makes Pokhara famous are the beautiful lakes in the valley. Pokhara has around 7 big and small lakes, out of which Phewa lake is most popular. Phewa lake is not only famous for boating and fishing, it also has a famous two-storied Barahi Bhagwati temple in middle of the lake on an small island.
Pokhara is also famous in tourists for extreme sports like trekking, paragliding, bungee jumping and zip-lining. Recently, world’s longest and fastest zip-lining was built in Pokhara with top speed of 140 kmph and is 1850 m long. Annapurna base camp trekking, often knowns as ABC trekking is on of the most famous short trekking in world.
Pokhara is around 203 kms from Kathmandu city and can reached by public transport buses. The journey takes around 5-6 hours because of travel through hills of Himalayas.
In my opinion, if adventure is what attracts you, there is no good reason that you should not visit this heavenly paradise.
Mahendra Cave – Limestone caves
Mahendra caves are famous lime stone caves located in Pokhara valley. You would find statues of Lord Shiva inside the caves. The caves are huge and dark inside with only artificial lighting. It is suggested to bring a head-lamp so that you can keep both your hands free while inside the cave to save yourself from slipping inside. If you are visiting the Pokhara Valley, a visit to the caves should be given in my opinion.
Chitwan National Park- for Wildlife lovers
Nothing could be a better dive into wildlife of Nepal than a visit to Chitwan National Park. This national park has been granted the status of World Heritage Site in 1984. This national park is most famous because it is the home of the last populations of the single-horned Asiatic Rhinos and also the last refuges to Bengal tigers.
You can take a jeep safari or a Elephant ride to enjoy the wilderness of Nepal.
From Kathmandu a 5-hour journey by bus has to be taken to reach this national park. From Pokhara Valley it is just 80 kms and can be reached via a local taxi or public transport.
Lumbini – Land of Lord Buddha
Lumbini is worth visiting for being the birthplace of Lord Buddha and one of the pillars erected by emperor Ashoka. For the pilgrimages, Lumbini has a special importance for Buddhist devotees. Lumbini also has a number of famous Hindu temples as well. Lumbini was made the World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. Despite the fact that Lumbini does not have a lot adventure spots available, it still is famous for its pilgrimages.
Things to do in Nepal
Now that we have taken a look on some of the most breath taking, adventurous destinations of Nepal, we can just talk a bit about some adventurous things to do in Nepal. Nepal is one of the best locations for Hiking, Trekking and Paragliding along with the religious destinations that it offers. Some of the famous treks of Nepal are Annapurna Base camp trekking and Everest base camp trekking. These treks are significantly hard to complete but are experiences to cherish for life time for an adventure enthusiast. You can also enjoy paragliding and bungee jumping in Pokhara valley.
So, now we have a fair idea about what are some famous cities in Nepal, places to visit in Nepal and things to do in Nepal, we will try to jot down some common information in form of frequently asked questions about Nepal.
Best time would be between October and December as the skies are clear in this time, which doesn’t hurt your spectacular views of Himalayan mountain peaks.
Comfortable hiking shoes, universal adapter (in some hotels Indian chargers won’t work), sun screen, rain coat, passport photographs and passport photocopy and camping gear if you are planning.
Nepal offers on arrival visa at Kathmandu International airport and can also be applied online.
I hope this gives you enough information if you are planning a trip to Nepal. Please leave your suggestions or things I missed in comments.