Nepal is a country that will stun you on many levels with a variety of landscapes, cultures, and people which offers a wide variety of activities for travelers to get engaged in which is one of the most popular travel destinations in Asia because of its natural beauties, biodiversity, landlocked, eye-catching Himalayan views including the highest mountain Chomolungma (Mt. Everest), multi-cultural lavishness and different dialects, lake situated at the highest altitude, world’s deepest gorge, amicable people and their warm hospitality which make Nepal a unique country. Nepal was and is a peaceful and mindful place for the meditating sages. Due to its uniqueness, Nepal is often included on the top ten list of the world’s best places to visit issued by various travel websites.
Nepal is on the lap of the Himalayas that stretches from east to west in the north border of Nepal. This does not include the tallest peak of the world but also eight other tallest peaks of the world. Nepal is, therefore, a perfect destination for those who love trekking, mountain climbing and enjoying the breath-taking beauty of the Himalayas. In addition, including the Hilly and Terai regions, the Himalayan region also offers several golden opportunities for the researchers who love to pursue their study on indigenous knowledge, people, biodiversity, and nature in general.
Trekking remains one of the most ideal ways to spend time in Nepal where you can take one of the various trekking routes that are widely popular such as the Annapurna Circuit, Everest Base camp trek, Mustang trek, Langtang trek, Annapurna base camp trek or try the routes recently discovered for the tourists like Machhapuchhare Model Trek. It is not only limited to trekking, but it also provides you with opportunities to meet indigenous people’s living across the region, and see closely their lifestyle and native skills.
Apart from natural beauty, Nepal is rich in art and architecture. Nepal has historically been the cradle of eastern knowledge and philosophy. We have evidence of ancient arts in the form of Durbar square located in three prime cities Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur. Visiting the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square which represent the arts and architecture of the Kathmandu valley during the reign of the Malla kings from the 16th to the 18th century were the capitals of the fragmented Kathmandu valley at that time. Other than Pashupatinath, there are several other Hindu temples in the Valley. Similarly, many Buddhist stupas including Swayambhunath and Boudhanath have made it a place of religious syncretism for years of its history.
Outside Kathmandu valley, beautiful heritage sites like the Janaki Temple in Janakpur and Gorkha Durbar in Gorkha are enough to mesmerize travelers from the world. Make sure to view spectacular sunrises and sunsets from hill stations such as Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Sarangkot (Pokhara), Daman and flat plains like Sauraha (Chitwan National Park) and Siraichuli, Chitwan.
Adventurous Activities in Nepal
Rafting and Kayaking: Nepal is one of the best places in the world for river rafting where numerous rivers offer excellent opportunities for rafting, canoeing and simply immersing oneself in the magnificent landscape. Rafting and kayaking in Bhote Koshi, Sunkoshi, Trisuli, Karnali, Marshyangdi, Seti and lot of more rivers are breath-taking which is highly recommended where you don’t have to be a swimmer to try it. Experienced rafting guides will guide you all along. Hire a boat or kayak from the shores of Lake Fewa and Begnas in Pokhara and enjoy the paddling amidst the serenity of nature.
Bungy Jumping: The Bhote Koshi, one of Nepal’s wildest rivers, rages below the steel suspension bridge that was specially designed for bungee jumping. If you want to experience the Bungee jumping on a 160 meters deep gorge made by Bhote Koshi near the border with China then contact The Last Resort, only place where Bungy is available.
Paragliding: You can also enjoy the stunning views of Phewa Tal and the Himalayan peaks while paragliding and parahawking from Sarangkot where You can enjoy the interesting views of the southern part of Kathmandu valley by paragliding in Kathmandu.
Skydiving: Skydiving is also offered for professional divers from Pokhara and as well from Mt. Everest. Yes, Nepal has the highest skydiving from Mt. Everest. Tandem skydiving starts at 29,500 feet and features the best ever view of Mount Everest. Your jump is taken care of by some of the most experienced skydivers out there so you can enjoy the ride and get the most from this spectacular skydive. Pokhara also offers skydiving free fall from about 14000 feet.
Mountain Biking: Mountain biking is also a means of enjoying your stay here. There are several routes in and around Kathmandu, Pokhara and other destinations as well. Nepal provides a challenging and pleasant scenic ride from the tropical region of Terai, Mid-hills, Mountainous region and its lush valleys to the arctic climate of the high alpine region. The one and only one way to realize these hidden treasures and its warm ever-smiling people are on mountain bikes where bikes are available for rent by the day or longer in many of the bicycle rental stores in Nepal and around the city.
Hot Air Ballooning: Hot air ballooning is very popular with tourists for it gives the most spectacular bird’s-eye view of the Kathmandu valley and the Himalayan ranges towering in the background. On a clear day, it’s a superb way to view the Himalayan (over 6000m up), and the view of the breath-taking valley.
Jungle Safari: Go on a jungle safari (great Asian elephant) and view the One-Horned Rhinoceros up close, and river crocodiles and occasionally even the Royal Bengal Tiger with rhinos, wild boars, samburs, spotted deer, sloth bear, four-horned antelope are usually seen. Chitwan National Park is famous for its Elephant Breeding Centre, Gharial Breeding Centre and doesn’t forget to enjoy the elephant bathing in the Rapti River.
Zip Fly: Nepal has the world’s longest Zip Flyer in Pokhara which not only provides thrill but shows the captivation beauty of our country Nepal. Zip-flyer has been constructed to link Sarankot and Hemja (VDC).
Cultural Activities in Nepal
Nepal is a diversified country despite the small size; it covers about 103 ethnic groups, 115 languages, 5 world religions, and many regional ethnic religions. The multi-dimensional cultural heritage embraces various ethnic tribes and social groups in the sort of music and dance, art and craft, languages and literature, festivals and celebrations including foods and drinks. Nepal is a country of festivals and holidays where at least one of the many festivals that take place around the year. We have observed travelers enjoying the festival of colors “Holi”, flying kites during Dashain, enjoying different jatras such as Indrajatra, Ghodejatra, Gaijatra and many more. Several rites of passage, ritual practices, and cultural dances that indigenous peoples like Tamang, Sherpa, Gurung, Rai, Tharu perform have always been an interesting show-case for especially foreign travelers.
Temples: Nepal, the land where Gautam Buddha was born in, is one of the biggest destinations for religious tourists throughout the year for both Hindus and Buddhists. Travelers come all the way just to worship Pashupatinath, Budhanilkantha, and stupas like Swayambhunath and Boudhanath. Some of them also visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. Buddhists mainly visit the stupas and Lumbini. The sites are a major hub for people during festivals like Shivaratri and Buddha Purnima. Nepal has several ancient pilgrimage sites. Every temple is attached to a legend or belief that glorifies the miraculous powers of its deity. Nepal is even the Gateway to Kailash Mansarovar, the mythical abode of Lord Shiva where devotees from various parts of Nepal and India throng during special festivals.
Casinos: Gambling in casinos is popular with tourists, mainly from Bharat. Those who get thrilled just to visit casinos then Nepal is the perfect destination as there are plenty of casinos, in almost all major 5-star hotels in the Kathmandu valley and Pokhara.
Shopping: Nepal is an exotic shopping paradise where one can choose from a great number of souvenirs. Most of them are handicrafts which are not found in other parts of the world. Buy gems, pashminas, Buddhist paintings, handicrafts, and other handcrafted sculptures and souvenirs. Most popular items include the traditional Thangka paintings (Buddhist paintings), Buddhist prayer wheels, Buddhist singing bowls and traditional silver jewelry of the people from the mountains. A great variety of silver jewelry and semiprecious stones are available in Kathmandu at good prices. Cashmere or Pashmina shawls (high-quality handmade shawls made of the Himalayan goats’ wool) and famous Khukuri knives of the Gurkha soldiers are other popular souvenirs. You can buy the great collection of Rudrakshya Malas and Shaligrams in Kathmandu.
Handmade, traditional rice paper items are another choice. Kathmandu is a great place to buy both Tibetan and Kashmiri carpets. For tea lovers, we produce a great variety of Himalayan teas to enjoy back at the home. Spices (for cooking) and Nepalese and Tibetan incense could be other stuff you may love.
Nepal’s Food: Nepal’s food is another reason to visit at least once which have a rich South-Asian taste making it attractive for food lovers are lentils, pickles, organic meat, tomato sauces and many more. Another dish that has become the identification of Nepal is Dhal Bhat which is not only healthy food but also less costly. Don’t ever go back from Nepal without tasting its excellent delicacies. Notably, the Nepali dishes, Newari (chatamari), Tharu foods and the Nepali- Tibetan dishes (momo, thukpa) which are extremely popular with locals and travelers alike in Nepal. Most notable is the variety of food types that you may enjoy traveling through Nepal, east to west and north to south. You can enjoy delicious indigenous food items that Nepalese ethnic people and other communities have been enjoying for generations.
Ultra-light Aircraft and Mountain Flight: Ultralight aircraft take off from Pokhara and offer spectacular views of the lakes, mountains, and villages which is an ideal way to see life from a new perspective. The Selection of Pokhara Valley for ultra-light aircraft is appropriate chiefly because of the proximity of the mountains, and the attractive scenic lakes. Flights are taken from Pokhara airport. Only awe-stricken silence can come handy to matching the magnificent experience of going on a mountain flight to encounter the tallest mountains on this earth. Mountain flights offer the closest panoramic views of Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, and the Tibetan Plateau without the legwork by taking a scenic flight. Mountain flights askes to all category of travelers and have become a popular tourist attraction of Nepal.
Bird Watching: Nepal is a paradise for bird lovers with over 646 species of birds, and among them, almost 500 species are found in Kathmandu Valley only. The most popular bird watching places in Kathmandu are Phulchoki, Godavari, Nagarjun, Bagmati river, Taudaha and many more. You can go for bird watching in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Rara Lake in Rara National Park, Mugu which are the resting places for the migratory birds during the winter season in the northern hemisphere.
Yoga and Meditation: Yoga and Meditation in Nepal is a unique opportunity for those interested in the escalation of both the body and brain. Yoga and meditation help in strengthening and opening the mind for best relaxation and awareness all within the beautiful natural environment provided by the Nepalese Himalayas. The Himalayas have played a big role in self-realization so Nepal is the best destination for Yoga and Meditation. There are many yoga centers such as Kopan monastery, Vipassana Yoga center, Osho Tapoban, Himalaya International Yoga Academy, Pokhara, Lumbini, Namobudhha and many others.
Homestay: Homestay in Nepal is an excellent activity to share the lifestyle, culture, and tradition, arts and entertainment. Homestay is one of the foremost popular kinds of bed and breakfast with a typical Nepali family. Along with an opportunity to be a part of Nepalese family’s pristine life, you can get a chance to observe many of the cultural activities of the region as well as a fun and adventurous way to experience the joys of outdoor life. Nepal is the best travel destination for people of all ages, all types and people with different interests because Nepal has everything to offer. Traveling to Nepal is not more expensive. Hence, an ordinary foreigner can easily travel to Nepal and enjoy from all possible ways even in a short period of interval.