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"Nepal is a land of sublime scenery, time-worn temples, and some of the best hiking trails on earth. It's the kind of country that lingers in your dreams long after you leave it. This is why so many travellers are drawn back to Nepal, armed the second time round with a greater appreciation of its natural and cultural complexity, a stout pair of walking boots and a desire for sculpted calf muscles." Lonely planet Travel Guide.
Kathmandu Durbar Square ( Kathmandu City )
Kathmandu Durbar SquareDurbar literally mean Palaces is in the heart of old city Kathmandu in Basantapur. . Kathmandu valley was divided into 03 kingdoms from 9th century onward till 1768 AD. The founding of the Palace dates back to Licchavi times. With considerable renovations by Malla rulers and later the Ranas, construction was accomplished progressively over many centuries.
There are around 50 temples in the vicinity including the temple Taleju Bhawani which was brought from Indian continent by Mallas with them in around 9th Century. The Durbar is divided into two courtyards, the outer comprising Kasthamandap, Kumari Ghar, and Shiva-Parvati Temple, and the inner consisting of Hanuman Dhoka and the main palace. Important ceremonies, including the coronation of the Nepali monarch, are held in the Kathmandu Durbar Square. Most parts of the palace premise are open for tourists throughout the week during office hours.
Kumari, Virgin lady recognized as Goddess in the valley by both Hindus and Buddhists families. Kumari is selected from one specific clan called Shakya residing near by the square at around the age of 3 / 4 and brought up here in the palace till her maturity.... She is highly worshipped by the peoples of Nepal and put strong belief on her. She lives in the palace during the period and very limited occasion she got chance to come out from the Palace....
Patan Durbar Square ( Patan City )
Patan Durbar SquarePatan Durbar Square another royal palace complex of the then Malla Kings during 17th century is situated in the center of Patan city. This was taken as the youngest Kingdom. The Square and its surroundings provide very good example of ancient Newari architecture. Patan City is taken as Buddhist city and can be seen many Buddhist shrines, stupas, monasteries etc.
The palace has three main courtyards the central and the oldest is Mul Chowk. To the west of the complex are a dozen free standing temples of various sizes and styles. Krishna Temple widely worshipped on Krishna's Birthday, Bhimsen Temple, the Golden Temple of Hiranya Varna Mahavira and Sundari Chowk ( the bathing complex of the then Malla King's ) mark the architectural excellence of its era. The Sundari Chowk with the sunken bath of Tusha Hiti, contains exquisite woodcarvings, stone, and metal sculpture. Patan Durbar Square also houses a temple of Taleju Bhawani. In this complex, there is amazing museum of art where the collection of Hinduism and Buddhism are displayed.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square ( Bhaktapur City )
Bhaktapur Durbar SquareBhaktapur Durbar Square another palace complex of the Malla King's during 9th - 18th Century is located in the center of Bhaktapur. The Square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the Valley as it highlights some of the finest medieval arts of Nepal. The main items of interest in Bhaktapur Durbar Square are the Lion Gate, the Golden Gate and the statues of kings on stone monoliths. The Golden Gate was erected by King Ranjit Malla as the entrance to the main courtyard of the Fifty-five Windowed Palace.
The Palace of Fifty-five Windows was built during the reign of King Yakshya Malla in A.D. 1427 and was remodelled by King Bhupatindra Malla in the 17th century. The art gallery of Bhaktapur Durbar Square contains ancient paintings belonging to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of various periods. This gallery is open everyday except Tuesday.
Beside this complex amazing 5 storied Nyatapola temple and Duttatreya temple complex is great to enjoy. The narrow lanes with puppets and handicrafts, wooden carvings on sale is worth walking around. Bhaktapur is popular for its woodcarving and pottery art.
Swoyambhunath Stupa ( Kathmandu City )
Swayambhunath StupaSwoyambhu literally means 'Self-Existent One.' Swoyambhunath is believed to have been established more than 2,500 years ago. An inscription dated 460 A.D. states that the construction was carried out by King Manadeva. By the thirteenth century Swoyambhunath had developed into an important Buddhist learning site.
The history of Kathmandu Valley is said to have started with the beginning of Swoyambhu. The largest image of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Nepal is in a monastery next to the Stupa. Behind the hilltop is a temple dedicated to Manjusri of Saraswati - the goddess of learning. Statues and shrines of Buddhist and Hindu deities dot the Stupa complex.
Large numbers of Buddhists and Hindus alike visit Swoyambhunath. Swoyambhu is perhaps the best place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. The Stupa is atop a hill, and requires considerable walk. There is also a road that leads almost to the base of the statue.
Boudhanath Stupa ( Kathmandu City )
Boudhanath StupaBouddhanath is the center of Tibetan culture in Nepal. The 36-meter-high Stupa of Bouddhanath is one of the largest stupas in South Asia. Bouddhanath Stupa was renovated by Licchavi rulers in the eighth century. The Mandala design in Bouddhanath is a copy of the one in Gyangtse in Tibet.
The Stupa is located in the area of ancient trade route to Tibet where Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to live around Bouddhanath. Hence, a complete township has developed around Bouddhanath. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of a Kasyap sage venerable both to Buddhists and Hindus. Smaller stupas are located at the base. Gompa monasteries, curio shops, and restaurants surround Bouddhanath.
Because of its location and size, it seems much larger than the Swoyambhunath Stupa, with the same hemi-spherical dome symbolizing the emptiness from which everything emanates. On top is the harmika painted on each side with the eyes of the Buddha symbolizing awareness, and above the spire with its 13 stages to the canopy. At ground level there is a brick wall with 147 niches and 108 images of the meditational Buddha inset behind copper prayer wheels. Early morning and evening are the times to visit Bouddha to join the local residents in kora (walking the pilgrim's circuit, sometimes with Tibetan pilgrims on their hands and knees).
Pashupatinath Temple ( Kathmandu City )
Pashupatinath TemplePashupatinath is one of the four most important religious sites in Asia for Shiva devotees. Pashupatinath, dedicated to Shiva the Destroyer, is the holiest Hindu pilgrimage destination in Nepal. Although the Pashupatinath Temple was only built in the fifth century and later renovated by Malla kings, the holy site is said to have existed from the beginning of the millennium.
A gold-plated roof, four silver doors, and wood carvings of the finest quality decorate the pagoda temple of Pashupatinath. Temples dedicated to several other Hindu and Buddhist deities surround the temple of Pashupatinath. Nearby is the temple of Guheshwori dedicated to Shiva's consort Sati Devi. Behind the temple is the River Bagmati. On the banks of Bagmati are raised platforms used as cremation sites for Hindus. Only Hindus are allowed inside the Pashupatinath courtyard.
Pashupatinath, in a limited sense, literally means the Lord of the Animals. But animal is also a term that denotes the animal like instincts in human beings. Capable of destroying instantly every evil force either with his trident or the third eye, when it comes to his devotees, the Lord Pashupatinath destroys their ignorance. Be it an issue of material gain or release from the cycle of mortal existence he is the height of compassion, generosity, as well as consciousness.
Shiva has been worshipped in Nepal from the beginning of the Neolithic civilization in the Kathmandu Valley, with scientific archaeological studies and findings around the temple proving that the god Pashupatinath was worshipped here from about the beginning of the Christian era. From about the 7th century onwards it became the first and foremost temple of Nepal, with kings, aristocrats and the rich offering a great deal of wealth and land in trust to the god, making it one of the richest temples in Nepal. Many temples and statues around the temple were added making it a big complex rather than just a temple. The main God or the Lingam of Pashupatinath is carved on a blackish stone, with four faces engraved on four sides of the Linga.
The temple starts swarming with devotees around 4am every morning. However the top of the hill to the east of the temple is the ideal place for the non Hindu visitor to view the temple, its rich surroundings, and below on the edge of the Bagmati river the ghats where the dead are brought to be cremated.
Changu Narayan Temple ( Bhaktapur)
Changu Narayan TempleChangu Narayan is the temple of Vishnu, the Preserver, in the village of Changu in Bhaktapur. The origins of Changu Narayan goes back to the fourth century. A fifth century stone inscription in the temple proclaims it as one of the oldest shrines of the Kathmandu Valley. The temple is believed to be sixteen hundred years old. It is embellished by the best examples of stone, wood, and metal craft.
On the struts of the two-tiered Changu Narayan Temple, are the ten incarnations of Narayan. A sixth-century stone statue shows the cosmic form of Vishnu. Garuda, half man and half bird, is the steed of Vishnu, and his life-sized statue kneels before the temple.
The stone inscription (dated 464 A.D.) placed in front of the Changu Narayan temple describes in detail the story of Dharma Eva a King of Nepal who died suddenly, with his young son succeeding him to the throne. The son later after a series of victories in war inscribed his victory on a stone pillar and placed it in front of the Changu Narayan temple. It is written in poetry and in an academic Sanskrit which is something like an encyclopedia of the then society, tradition and culture. It starts with an invocation to the Vishnu of Doladri proving that Changu Narayan or the Doladri Narayan is much older than the date on the in- scription of 464 A.D.
Situated on a beautiful hill the square two storied temple stands in the centre of a brick paved courtyard, with the main structure raised on a three tier diminishing plinth, with doors on all four sides, although the western door is the main en- trance to the sanctum. The doors have pairs of carvings of animals such as lions, horses, griffins and elephants, with the main western door richly carved in brass, with a brass tympanum above the door. (one of the most beautiful pieces of brass work of medieval Nepal).
Lumbini - Birth Place Of Buddha
Lumbini - Birth Place Of BuddhaLumbini associated with the birth of Lord Buddha is of extreme archeological importance and also a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. It is said that Prince Siddhartha Gautam, who later became Buddha the Enlightened One, was born in the gardens of Nepal's Lumbini in 623 B.C. The main shrines of Lumbini are the newly restored Mayadevi Temple, the Ashokan Pillar behind the temple and the Lake Shakya Puskarini where Mayadevi is said to have bathed before delivering the little Buddha into the world.
Several other places near Lumbini are linked with stories connected to Buddha and Buddhism. Lumbini is about 300 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu. Bus and flights to Bhairawa which is about 22 kilometers from Lumbini, are available from major cities. From Bhairawa transport services to Lumbini are easily available. Food and accommodation facilities are available in Lumbini and Bhairawa.
Besides these, there are others like the Nepal Buddha Temple and the Dharmaswami Buddhist monastery. Other countries like Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, etc are also contributing to build more temples and monasteries.
Lumbini also has a museum and a research center for Buddhism. At present the Lumbini Development Trust is implementing a master plan to develop Lumbini designed, by Prof. K. Tange of Japan.
PokharaKathmandu is the cultural hub of Nepal, Pokhara is its center of adventure. An enchanting city nestled in a tranquil valley; it is the starting point for many of Nepal's most popular trekking and rafting destinations. The atmosphere on the shore of Phewa Lake is one of excited vitality as hipster backpackers crowd the many bars and restaurants exchanging recommendations on guest houses and viewpoints, both by the lake and above the clouds.
Pokhara is a place of remarkable natural beauty. The serenity of Phewa Lake and the magnificence of the fishtailed summit of Machhapuchhare (6,977 m) rising behind it create an ambience of peace and magic. At an elevation lower than Kathmandu, it has a much more tropical feel to it, a fact well appreciated by the beautiful diversity of flowers which prosper in its environs. Indeed, the valley surrounding Pokhara is home to thick forests, gushing rivers, emerald lakes, and of course, the world famous views of the Himalaya.
Pokhara is a part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen camped on the outskirts of the town, bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalaya. This is the land of the Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned world-wide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship.
Nagarkot Hill Station
Nagarkot Hill StationNagarkot, located 32 kilometers east of Kathmandu, is one of the most scenic spots in Bhaktapur district and is renowned for its spectacular sunrise view of the Himalaya when the weather is clear. Visitors often travel to Nagarkot from Kathmandu to spend the night so that they can be there for the breathtaking sunrise.
Nagarkot has become famous as one of the best spots to view Mount Everest as well as other snow-topped peaks of the Himalayan range of eastern Nepal. It also offers an excellent view of the Indrawati river valley to the east. With an elevation of 2,195 meters, Nagarkot also offers a panoramic view of the Valley and is described by visitors as a place whose beauty endures year round. Many visitors prefer to visit Nagarkot in the spring when surrounding valleys break out in a rich kaleidoscope of different coloured flowers. The flowers are beautiful against the serene backdrop of the snow-covered mountains. Ever popular among the tourists are the short treks and picnics which Nagarkot offers. Treks from Nagarkot are unique and delightful. For anyone who wants to have an adventure without exerting much efforts, a hike to Nagarkot's surrounding areas would be a good option. One can traverse short distances on trekking trails and come close to nature's wonders such as the outer of verdant forests, flower-covered meadows and unusual rock formations.
Dhulikhel Hill Station
Dhulikhel is a scenic and ancient town situated 30 kilometers east of Kathmandu on the Arniko Rajmarg (Kathmandu Kodari Highway). From here one has a panoramic view of the Himalayan range. From the main town, a short visit to Namobuddha, with the Stupa and Buddhist Monastery, is highly recommended. Panauti, a village noted for its numerous temples with magnificent woodcarvings, is a short distance from Dhulikhel.
For a view of the breathtaking grandeur of the world's highest peaks from the far west of Dhaulagiri to the east of Mt. Everest, there is no better place than Daman. It lies eighty kilometers south-west of Kathmandu on the mountain highway known as Tribhuvan Rajpath and has a view tower fitted with a long range telescope.
The temple of Manokaman, a very popular pilgrimage in Nepal, is a temple of one of the manifestations of the Hindu goddess Bhagwati. Bhagwati is believed to have the power to fulfill wishes. It lies 125km to the west of Kathmandu. It is a steep three hour hike from Abu Khaireni Kathmandu-Gorkha Highway. Cable-cars also take travellers to Manokamana
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National ParkChitwan National Park (‘Chitwan’ means "in the heart of the jungle’) covers 932 sq. km. in the flat lowland region of southern Nepal which is listed in the World Heritage Site of UNESCO and regarded as on of the best managed park in Asia. This is the first National Park of Nepal established in 1973 to preserve a unique eco system significantly valuable to the whole world. It is one of the most important sub-tropical parks on the Indian subcontinent with populations of the endangered Royal Bengal tiger, Greater One-horned rhinoceros, Gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica), Wild Asian elephant, Gaur, Golden Monitor lizard, Gharial crocodile and many more.
The park is easily accessible (only 165km) by bus from Kathmandu and possible by flight as well. Bharatpur airport adjoins the park is a 25 minutes away (there are daily flights from Kathmandu). One can raft down in Trishuli River for one or two days to reach the park. The Resorts and hotels inside and outside park offer amazing 2 nights 3 days programme of high quality
Bardia National Park
Bardia National ParkBardia National Park is situated in the mid far western Terai, east of the Karnali River. The park is the largest covering 986 sq km. and most undisturbed wilderness area in the Terai. About 70% of the park is covered with forest with the balance a mixture of grassland, savannah and riverine forest. Bardia was a royal hunting reserve of Nepal's Rana rulers from 1846 to 1950. It became a National Park in 1988. The approximately 1500 people who used to live in this valley have been resettled elsewhere. Since farming has ceased in the Babai Valley, natural vegetation is regenerating, making it an area of prime habitat for wildlife.
The park provides excellent habitat for endangered animals like the rhinoceros wild elephant, Royal Bengal Tiger, swamp deer, black buck, Gharial crocodile, marsh mugger crocodile and Gangetic dolphin. Endangered birds include the Bengal florican, lesser florican, silver-eared mesia and Sarus crane. More than 30 different mammals, over 200 species of birds, and many snakes, lizards and fish have been recorded in the park's forest, grassland and river habitats. A good number of resident and migratory birds are found in the park. It is also the home of one of the last known herds of wild Elephants.
From Nepalgunj it is approximately 95 Km and takes 3 hrs Jeep/ Car drive crossing Babai River and from Ambassa it is 12 Km which is not concrete and takes rough 1 hour. You can fly to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu ( everyday afternoon flights available) or can drive to Nepalgunj. Ambassa lies in the East West Highway can be reached by the Bus services from Kathmandu. You can arrive this point from Nepal India West Boarder called Mahendranagar by Bus...
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
Koshi Tappu is known for its birds, with over 280 species including 20 species of duck, ibices, storks, swamp partridges, herons, egrets, bengal floricans and other many exotic and migratory waterfowl not found elsewhere
Annapurna Region for Trekking
Jomsom Muktinath TrekkingAnnapurna is the most important region of Nepal for the development of Tourism and Adventure Trekking. Since the first ascent of Annapurna I by French Adventure Climber Maurice Herzog in 1953, Adventure Trekking becomes very popular in Nepal.
There are three major trekking routes in Annapurna Region: to Jomsom Muktinath , to Annapurna Sanctuary ( Annapurna Base Camp), and a circuit of the Annapurna Himal itself. Pokhara is also a good starting place for short treks of one to four days, such as Ghorepani Trekking, Ghandruk Trekking and others. Mustang is also geographically a part of the Annapurna region, but because treks to Mustang are subject to special restrictions. About two-thirds of the trekkers in Nepal visit the Annapurna region. The area is easily accessible, hotels in the hills are plentiful, and treks here offer good scenery of both high mountains and lowland villages.
In this category we include our Trekking programme to Annapurna Base Camp of 10 days, Annapurna Round Trekking of 20 days, Ghorepani Trekking of 08 days, Muktinath Trekking of upto 10 days. This Trekking region is greatly developed in terms of Hotels, Lodges, Telephone facilities and so on.
Everest Region For Trekking
Everest Base Camphe Everest area is situated in eastern Nepal and is expanded in the Sagarmatha National Park, established in 1976 with an area of 1148 square kilometers. The park is largely composed of the rugged terrain and gorges of the high Himalayas. Mount Everest 8848 meters (29,028ft), the highest mountain in the world, which is known in Nepal as "Sagarmatha" the goddess mother of the world, has long been the greatest attraction for nature lovers and trekkers alike. Solukhumbu, the heartland of the Everest Region and an integral part of the Himalayan mystique, thus provides a welcome destination for these adventurers.
Throughout these trekking programmes trekkers are overwhelmed with the views of unbelievable peaks, Buddhist monasteries, and friendly Sherpa villages. The local people believe that the Pangboche Monastery actually has in its possession the real scalp of this Himalayan legend Yeti. As we proceed slowly , we will have plenty of opportunity to visit monasteries and Sherpa homes of this region. Incredible views of Everest and the surrounding peaks are the inescapable fare while we ascend Kala Patthar.
People who have fully acclimatized may trek to the Everest Base Camp but without doubt, for many people the main highlight will be the magnificent views which unfold from the summit of Kalapathar - the extraordinary ice sculptures of the Khumbu Glacier, Nuptse and the south-west face of Everest itself.
Perhaps in viewing Everest in this way, you will be fulfilling a long held desire.