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Sightseeing in Nepal

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Often termed as the ‘epitome of nature’ and the “divine artist’s key-sketch”, Nepal is a country lavishly and sumptuously blessed by the Mother Nature. She boasts the white majestic mountains, including the world’s highest mountain Mount Everest, variegated hills clad in colorful attires of pines and rhododendrons, crystal clear lakes, whistling rivers, deep gorges, verdant plains and hinterlands. Moreover, she is a sanctuary of umpteen species of flora and fauna, a melting pot of diverse ethnic groups and their unique cultures, and, above all, a country of gods and temples etc. Owing to its natural beauty and cultural diversity, Nepal has been regarded as one of the very best holiday destination around the globe.

Enchantment is everywhere in Nepal; be it in the cool and invigorating shade of the high mountains, or on terraced farmlands carved like stairways out of hill ridges, or still across waterfalls, creeks, rushing mountain rivers amidst gorges, valleys and forests teeming with a cornucopia of flora and fauna. There are lakes amidst breathtaking settings, strong-current rivers for rafting, Wildlife Safaris, the tallest mountains to climb, trekking across vales and dales, and, above all, warm, friendly, welcoming people. In this respect, Nepal becomes a perfect holiday destination for tourists, trekkers, mountaineers, writers, honeymooners, lovers, retired people and people interested in research.

Kathmandu
The Kathmandu valley is named after Kasthamandap, an imposing pagoda near Hanumandhoka. From the history, the city was built in 723 A.D. It is surrounded by green mountains, above which tower mighty snow capped peaks. It consists of three main cities of great historic and cultural interest, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. The Kathmandu valley covers 218sq. miles. It is situated at 1340 meters above sea level. Some tourist pronounces Kathmandu as Katmandu or Katmando or catmando.

The Kathmandu valley is named after Kasthamandap, an imposing pagoda near Hanumandhoka. From the history, the city was built in 723 A.D. It is surrounded by green mountains, above which tower mighty snow capped peaks. It consists of three main cities of great historic and cultural interest, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. The Kathmandu valley covers 218sq. miles. It is situated at 1340 meters above sea level. Some tourist pronounces Kathmandu as Katmandu or Katmando or catmando. For most visitors to Nepal, the Kathmandu valley is their arrival point and the focus of their visit. This small valley sheltered by mountains is the historical centre of Nepal. Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur are the places where temples, shrines and palaces were made and re-made. From Kathmandu valley, Nepalese art and culture were also developed and refined in many stages. Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur each have their own artistic, architectural and historical background. Beyond the cities there are hundreds of temples and shrines, traditional villages, agricultural scenes and many more beauties are present in Nepal.

Bhaktapur
Bhaktapur is an ancient Newari town in the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. It is located in Bhaktapur District and has approx. 78.000 inhabitants. This city has a special type of cap and is called Bhaad-gaaule topi and a local variety of yoghurt or curd ju-ju Dhauking of curd. We can see the use of this cap in the following video – a Newari song – as well as in the images below.

From time immemorial it lay on the trade route between Tibet/China and India This position on the main caravan route made the town rich and prosperous: each autumn the traders from Tibet came with sheep (“changra”), fitting nicely with the main Nepali holidays, ‘Dasain’ (Hindi: Dussehra), when nearly everyone in Nepal sacrificed male animals to the goddess Durga. On the return trek the traders brought back to Tibet grains, sugar or Buddhist scriptures. This prosperity fueled the cultural life: ie. The temple builders developed a Pagoda-style, spreading it through Tibet all the way to Japan. Finest of all is the five-tiered, heaven piercing Nyatapole. Bhaktapur is a popular day-trip destination for tourists visiting Kathmandu. Lately, with the horrendous air-pollution of Kathmandu, more and more tourists are staying in Bhaktapur for a few days, before arrangements for trekking are finished.

Places to visit in the Bhaktapur city
Durbar Square, Nyatapole Temple, Bhairabnath Temple, Pujarinath Temple, Surya Vinayak, Changu Narayan Temple.

Patan
Patan is known as the city of fine arts, full of Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments. It has its own unique feel and personality, though only 6km from the heart of Kathmandu. This imposing sight fascinates the visitors at the first glimpse. The most impressive focal point is Patan Durbar Square full of ancient places, temples and shrines. The Square consists of three courtyards, the central Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Keshar Narayan Chowk and was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monuments List in 1979. The most famous sights of Patan are as follows. Durbar Square, Krishna Mandir, MahaBoudha, Hiranya Verna Mahavihar, Kumbheshwor, JagatNarayan Temple, Rudra Verna Mahavihar, Machendranath and Minnath Temple, Tibetain center Jawalakhel, Godavari, and Fulchoki Hill.

Kathmandu
Machendranath Temple, Akash Bhairab Temple, Hanumandhoka, Temple of Kumari, Kasthamandap, Ashok Vinayak, Jaisidewal, Mahakalsthan, Bhadrakali Temple, Baluju Water Garden, Swayambhunath, National History Museum, Pashupatinath Temple, Guheswari Temple, Chabahil Stupa, Chandra Vinayak, Bouddanath, Kirtipur (historical town) Dakshinkali temple.

Pokhara
Millions of people travel thousands of miles in the search of Heaven or Paradise on Earth ,fully unaware of the existence of a corner of real paradise. Pokhara valley is situated at an altitude of 827 meters from sea level. This is one of the picturesque spots of Nepal. Its lovely lakes and mountains enhance the beauty of the valley. Pokhara is situated 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu. It is linked by Air and by road from Kathmandu and the Indian border Sunauli. Pokhara offers magnificent views of Dhaulagiri, Fishtail, Manaslu, five peaks of Annapurna and others.This is one of the few places in the world to provide such a dramatic view in a sub-tropical setting. The nearest snow-capped mountain, Fishtail, is less than 30 kilometers from Pokhara. Pokhara’s numerous lakes offer fishing, boating and swimming.

Climate of Pokhara
Pokhara has a pleasent climate and can be visited any time of the year. Even during summer, the temperature does not riseabove 30-32 degree celcius. And as a rain begin, the temperature goes down considerably, coolong the valley.

Access to Pokhara
Pokhara is situated 200 kilometers west from Kathmandu and is well connected by road and also by air. Pokhara can be reached in 6 hours bus ride and just 30 minutes by Airplane from Kathmandu. And it is also connected with Indo-Nepal border. There is daily bus services from Pokhara to Indian border of kakarvitta in the east, Birjung, Biratnagar and Sunauli in the middle part, Nepaljung and Mahendra Nagar in the west.

Caves and Water Falls in Pokhara
Pokhara is famous for limestone caves such as Mahendra Cave, Gupteshwar Mahadev and others. Davis Fall is the most famous water fall in Pokhara, which comes to its gushing best just before disappearing underground.

Mountains and Hills in Pokhara
Like the artifical painting from east to west, the breathtaking views of the world famous Himalayan ranges of Annapurna. Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre and other appear so close as to make you feel that you can almost touch them. Sarankot, Kaskikot, Kalikasthan, Bharat Pokhari and the Pumdi Bhumdi Hills commands beautiful views of the valley and the mountains. The places are also ventage points to view sunrise and sunsets over the majestic Himalayan peaks.

Lakes and Rivers in Pokhara
Pokhara is also known as lake city. There are seven famous lakes – Phewa or Fewa, Begnas and Rupa being the most well known ones. the glacial river Seti, flows right through the heart of the Pokhara valley and goes completely underground at certain places.Which is also called seti or white Gandaki because of the limestones sediments that give the water a milky tint. This river cuts the deepest gorge in Nepal.

Temples and Monasteries in Pokhara
The Bindabasini temple is the centre of religious activity in the old bazaar area. Located right in the middle of the fewa lake,barahi Temple attracts many tourist and Hindu pilgrims from Nepal and abroad. Another Hindu shrine is the Bhadrakali temple, which is situated on a small but beautiful hill with pleasent surroundinds. Some other temples in Pokhara are Narayan Than, Ram Mandir, Krishna Mandir, Kedareswor Mahadav Mindir Lamakhor Lakeside. World Peace Pagoda , a massive Buddhist stupa, is situated on the top of a hill on the southern shores of Fewa Lake. Besides being an impressive sight, this shrine, built by Japanese, is a great vantage point offering spectacular views of the Lake as well as Pokhara city.

Museums and Heritage sites in Pokhara
The Annapurna museum displays a large variety of butterflies, moths and insects and also cement models depicting Nepal’s wildlife. The Annapurna museum is located inside the Prithivi Narayan Campus. The Pokhara regional museum exhibits a variety of items that captures the culture and customes of different tribes and races of Nepal.The regional museum is located at Naya Sadak. The Mountaineering Museum provides detailed information on mountaineering expeditions in Nepal. The Mountaineering Museum is very new and it is located in Ghari Patan which is close to Pokhara Eye Hospital.

Boating and Fishing in Pokhara
Boating and fishing are the most popular attractions of the Phewa lake. hiring a boat for a couple of hours and heading out to the other side of the lake bordering the forested hill and taking a swim can be the highlight of a warm day.

Adventure and trekking in Pokhara
Paragliding, Golfing, Boating, Swimming, Fishing, Micro-light aircraft , Bicycleing and hikeing in the hills are the most adventure activities in Pokhara. The valley is the starting point of some of the most popular treks in the country.

Lumbini
Lumbini is situated 300 kilometers from Kathmandu and 190 kilometers south of Pokhara. This is a holy place because it is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. This is also known as the pilgrimage destination of the world’s millions of Buddhists as well as other researchers and visitors. This is one of the World Heritage site listed by UNESCO.

Nagarkot
Nagarkot is also a popular tourist destination of Nepal. It is situated 32 kilometers east of Kathmandu at an altitude of 2,175 meters. The panoramic view of the major peaks including Mt. Everest can be seen from here. This place is also famous for viewing sunrise and sunset.

Chitwan
Royal Chitwan National Park covers about 932 Sq. kilometers, as a successful research center of wildlife and nature conservation. The Park is situated in the tropical and sub-tropical lowland of the mid-southern part of Nepal. The Park has a large area of low, heavy-forested hills bordering with India on the south, which is also known as a haven of wildlife. The Park has been covered by different vegetation. The shorea rebusta that is known as a Sal tree in Nepali covers around 70%, grassland 20% and others 10% . Commonly seen animals in the park are the Royal Bengal tiger, one horned rhinoceros, wild boar, gaur, neelgai, wild elephant, striped hyena, pangolin, chital, wild dog, langur etc.

The Park also contains more then 450 species of birds. Some birds are listed as rare birds. The rare birds found in the Park are the bangle, horizon, giant hornbill, and lesser floricon, black and white stock. The other birds like peacock, fowl kingfisher, woodpecker, flycatcher and toucan are also found in the Park.

In Royal Chitwan National Park, accommodation ranges from a simple hut, to rest houses with attached bathrooms, to well equipped luxury resorts, with the difference in services and prices they offer.

The main activities in the jungle are:
Elephant ride (safari), Bird watching tour, Canoe rides, Nature walk/ Jungle walk, Jungle drive, Tharu stick dances, Wild life slide show.

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