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Nepal

 

Nepal has eight of the world's ten tallest mountains apart from Mount Everest. Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is one of the holiest places of one of the world's great religions, and its remains contain important evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centres from as early as the 3rd century BC.

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Travel To Nepal

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Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia, between China and India. It is one of the most fascinating countries in the world with its natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, towering pagodas, spectacular Himalayan ranges with world’s highest peaks. It contains eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks, including Mt. Everest the world’s tallest. Nepal surrounded by the lofty heights of the Himalayas, is a land of eternal beauty and attraction. It is a land of colorful cultures, ancient history and people, picturesque scenery and some of the best walking trails on earth.

Nepal has always kept pace with the world. It is said that nearly every movement that has influenced the west has influenced Nepal too. Tourists bring these waves with them. In fifties Nepal saw rock-n-roll. The sixties were known for punk. But it was seventies that put Nepal on the world map. Nepal became the abode of Hippie movement in the seventies; the decade it rocked the world. Scores of movies based on the theme were shot in Nepal. Kathmandu and Dharan are still often mentioned in hippie songs. It was also during that era that the casino industry bloomed.

Nepal continues to experiment; it continues to reinvent itself and it continues to attract travelers from all over the world.

 

  • HISTORY...

    Records mention the Gopalas and Mahishapalas believed to have been the earliest rulers with their capital at Matatirtha, the south-west corner of the Kathmandu Valley. From the 7th or 8th Century B.C. the Kirantis are said to have ruled the valley. Their famous King Yalumber is even mentioned in the epic, ‘Mahabharat’. Around 300 A.D. the Lichhavis arrived from northern India and overthrew the Kirantis. One of the legacies of the Lichhavis is the Changu Narayan Temple near Bhaktapur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Culture), which dates back to the 5th Century. In the early 7th Century, Amshuvarma, the first Thakuri king took over the throne from his father-in-law who was a Lichhavi. He married off his daughter Bhrikuti to the famous Tibetan King Tsong Tsen Gampo thus establishing good relations with Tibet. The Lichhavis brought art and architecture to the valley but the golden age of creativity arrived in 1200 A.D with the Mallas.

     

    During their 550 year rule, the Mallas built numerous temples and splendid palaces with picturesque squares. It was also during their rule that society and the cities became well organized; religious festivals were introduced and literature, music and art were encouraged. After the death of Yaksha Malla, the valley was divided into three kingdoms: Kathmandu (Kantipur), Bhaktapur (Bhadgaon) and Patan (Lalitpur). Around this time, the Nepal as we know it today was divided into about 46 independent principalities. One among these was the kingdom of Gorkha with a Shah ruler. Much of Kathmandu Valley’s history around this time was recorded by Capuchin friars who lived in the valley on their way in and out of Tibet.

     

    An ambitious Gorkha King named Prithvi Narayan Shah embarked on a conquering mission that led to the defeat of all the kingdoms in the valley (including Kirtipur which was an independent state) by 1769. Instead of annexing the newly acquired states to his kingdom of Gorkha, Prithvi Narayan decided to move his capital to Kathmandu establishing the Shah dynasty which ruled unified Nepal from 1769 to 2008.

     

    The history of the Gorkha state goes back to 1559 when Dravya Shah established a kingdom in an area chiefly inhabited by Magars. During the 17th and early 18th centuries, Gorkha continued a slow expansion, conquering various states while forging alliances with others. Prithvi Narayan dedicated himself at an early age to the conquest of the Kathmandu Valley. Recognizing the threat of the British Raj in India, he dismissed European missionaries from the country and for more than a century, Nepal remained in isolation.

     

    During the mid-19th Century Jung Bahadur Rana became Nepal’s first prime minister to wield absolute power relegating the Shah king to mere figureheads. He started a hereditary reign of the Rana Prime Ministers that lasted for 104 years. The Ranas were overthrown in a democracy movement of the early 1950s with support from the-then  monarch of Nepal, King Tribhuvan. Soon after the overthrow of the Ranas, King Tribhuvan was reinstated as the Head of the State. In early 1959, Tribhuvan’s son King Mahendra issued a new constitution, and the first democratic elections for a national assembly were held. The Nepali Congress Party was victorious and their leader, Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala formed a government and served as prime minister. But by 1960, King Mahendra had changed his mind and dissolved Parliament, dismissing the first democratic government.

     

    After many years of struggle when the political parties were banned, they finally mustered enough courage to start a People’s Movement in 1990. Paving way for democracy, the then-King Birendra accepted constitutional reforms and established a multiparty parliament with King as the Head of State and an executive Prime Minister. In May 1991, Nepal held its first parliamentary elections. In February 1996, the Maoist parties declared People’s War against monarchy and the elected government.

     

    Then on 1st June 2001, a horrific tragedy wiped out the entire royal family including King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya with many of their closest relatives. With only King Birendra’s brother, Gyanendra and his family surviving, he was crowned the king. King Gyanendra abided by the elected government for some time and then dismissed the elected Parliament to wield absolute power.In April 2006, another People’s Movement was launched jointly by the democratic parties focusing most energy in Kathmandu which led to a 19-day curfew. Eventually, King Gyanendra relinquished his power and reinstated the Parliament.On November 21, 2006, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist chairman Prachanda signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) 2006, committing to democracy and peace for the progress of the country and people. A Constituent Assembly election was held on April 10, 2008. On May 28,2008, the newly elected Constituent Assembly declared Nepal a Federal Democratic Republic, abolishing the 240 year-old monarchy. Nepal today has a President as Head of State and a Prime Minister heading the Government.

    - See more at: http://www.welcomenepal.com/plan-your-trip/history.html#sthash.7lqKo2g2.dpuf

  • GEOGRAPHY ...

    Location  The Country is a landlocked country located along the Himalayas and bordered to the north by China and to the south, east, and west by India. Nepal is separated from Bangladesh by the narrow Indian Siliguri Corridor and from Bhutan by the Indian state of Sikkim.

    Geographic Coordinates  Located in the Northern Hemisphere, the Country lies between latitudes 26° and 31°N, and longitudes 80° and 89°E.

    Indian Standard Time GMT + 05:45

    Area  3147,181 sq. km

    Telephone Country Code +977

    Border Countries India and  the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China.

    Coastline  7,517 km encompassing the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

    Climate The climate of India can broadly be classified as a tropical monsoon one. But, in spite of much of the northern part of India lying beyond the tropical zone, the entire country has a tropical climate marked by relatively high temperatures and dry winters. There are four seasons:

    •     winter ((Dec, Jan, Feb)
    •     summer (May, June, July)
    •     south-west monsoon season (June-September)
    •     post monsoon season (October-November)

    Terrain  The mainland comprises of four regions, namely the great mountain zone, plains of the Ganga and the Indus, the desert region, and the southern peninsula.

    Natural Resources Coal, iron ore, manganese ore, mica, bauxite, petroleum, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, magnesite, limestone, arable land, dolomite, barytes, kaolin, gypsum, apatite, phosphorite, steatite, fluorite, etc.

    Natural Hazards Monsoon floods, flash floods, earthquakes, droughts, and landslides.

    Environment - Current Issues Air pollution control, energy conservation, solid waste management, oil and gas conservation, forest conservation, etc.

    Environment - International Agreements  Rio Declaration on environment and development, Cartagena Protocol on biosafety, Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on climatic change, World Trade Agreement, Helsinki Protocol to LRTAP on the reduction of sulphur emissions of nitrogen oxides or their transboundary fluxes (Nox Protocol), and Geneva Protocol to LRTAP concerning the control of emissions of volatile organic compounds or their transboundary fluxes (VOCs Protocol).

    Geography - Note India occupies a major portion of the south Asian subcontinent.

    Download various maps of India Air Routes & Road, Outline, Physical, Political, Population, Rain fall, Railway & Sea Routes, Road, Soil,

    Helambu and Langtang Trek, etc.

  • PEOPLE ...

    • Population  India's population, as on 1 March 2011 stood at 1,210,193,422 (623.7 million males and 586.4 million females).
    • Population Growth Rate The average annual exponential growth rate stands at 1.64 per cent during 2001-2011.
    • Birth Rate The Crude Birth rate was 18.3 in 2009.
    • Death Rate The Crude Death rate was 7.3 in 2009.
    • Life Expectancy Rate 65.8 years (Males); 68.1 years (Females) in the period 2006-2011.
    • Sex Ratio 940 females per 1000 males according to 2011 census
    • Nationality Indian
    • Ethnic Groups All the five major racial types - Australoid, Mongoloid, Europoid, Caucasian, and Negroid find representation among the people of India.
    • Religions  According to the 2001 census, out of the total population of 1,028 million in the Country, Hindus constituted the majority with 80.5%, Muslims came second at 13.4%, followed by Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and others.
    • Languages  There are 22 different languages that have been recognised by the Constitution of India, of which Hindi is an Official Language. Article 343(3) empowered Parliament to provide by law for continued use of English for official purposes.
    • Literacy According to the provisional results of the 2011 census, the literacy rate in the Country stands at 74.04 per cent, 82.14% for males and 65.46% for females.

     

  • GOVERNMENT ...

    Country Name Republic of India; Bharat Ganrajya

    Government Type Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary system of Government.

    Capital New Delhi

    Administrative Divisions 29 States and 7 Union Territories.

    Independence  15th August 1947 (From the British Colonial Rule)

    Constitution  The Constitution of India came into force on 26th January 1950.

    Legal System The Constitution of India is the fountain source of the legal system in the Country.

    Executive Branch The President of India is the Head of the State, while the Prime Minister is the Head of the Government, and runs office with the support of the Council of Ministers who form the Cabinet Ministry.

    Legislative Branch The Indian Legislature comprises of the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) forming both the Houses of the Parliament.

    Judicial Branch The Supreme Court of India is the apex body of the Indian legal system, followed by other High Courts and subordinate Courts.

    Flag Description  The National Flag is a horizontal tricolour of deep saffron (kesaria) at the top, white in the middle, and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. At the centre of the white band is a navy blue wheel, which is a representation of the Ashoka Chakra at Sarnath.

    National Days 26th January (Republic Day)

    15th August (Independence Day)

    2nd October (Gandhi Jayanti; Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday)

  • Passport / Visa ...

     

    Visa can be obtained on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, at border entry points in Kakadvitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Gaddachowki on Nepal-India border and Kodari on Nepal-China border. Visa can also be obtained at the nearest Nepal Embassy or Diplomatic Mission. Visa can also be obtained (renewal purposes) at Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu. A valid passport and one passport size photo with a light background is required. Immigration Department has not specified the size of the passport size photo.

    Visa can be obtained only through payment of cash in the following currency:Euro, Swiss Franc, Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Japanese Yen. Credit card, Indian currency and Nepali currency are not accepted as payment of visa fee.

    A. Tourist Visa

    Visa Facility Duration Fee

    Multiple entry 15 days US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency

    Multiple entry 30 days US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency

    Multiple entry 90 days US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency

    B. Gratis (Free) Visa

    For first visit in one visa year (January to December) , gratis visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. However, visa can be extended from the Immigration Department on payment of visa fee as specified above.

    Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal.

    C. For Indian National

    Indian nationals do not require visa to enter Nepal.

    As per the Nepalese Immigration, Indian Nationals Traveling to Nepal must posses any One of the following documents.

    1. Passport

    2. Driving License with photo

    3. Photo Identity card issued by a Government Agency

    4. Ration Card with Photo

    5. Election Commission Card with Photo

    6. Identity Card issued by Embassy of India in Kathmandu

    7. Identity Card with Photo issued by Sub- Divisional Magistrate or any other officials above his rank

    Also, please check with your nearest travel agents for documents required by the Indian Immigration for Indians travelling to Nepal.

    D. Other Information

    Nationals from Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan will need to obtain visa from Nepal Embassies or Diplomatic Missions in their respective countries, as they do not get visa on arrival at the immigration entry points of Nepal.

    E. Visa Extension

    Tourists can stay for a maximum of 150 days in a visa year (Jan 1 to Dec 31).

    E. For Chinese Nationals

    As per official circular of the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing, China, Chinese nationals applying for tourist visa to Nepal are being provided “gratis tourist visa” from Jan. 5, 2016, from following Nepali missions in the People’s Republic of China.

  • Transportation ...

    Public Transportation:

    There are many buses, minibuses and micro buses available at Ratnapark (Old Bus Park) which depart to different destinations in the valley. Three wheelers run by battery are also available for Kathmandu commuters.

    Metered Taxi:

    Consult Kathmandu valley map to find out the direction of your destination. Hail a taxi, which is easily recognized by its taxi sign on top and black license plate. As a rough guide, a taxi will charge Rs. 30 per kilometer. No tip is expected. Private taxis may charge slightly higher. Night taxi service can also be arranged and operated by major hotels. Fare is slightly higher than metered taxi. One can rent a private car through a travel agent or a car rental company.

    Sajha Bus:

    The Sajha Yatayat has resumed bus services along two routes in the valley. It is currently operating along kalanki, kalimati, Tirpureshwor, Naya Banseshwor, Sinmangal and Airport and long Satdobato, Jawalakhel, Tripureshwor, Jamal, Teaching Hospital and Naya Bus Park. The buses are easily recognized by their green color an the name Sajha Yatayat on thems.

    Hired Mountain Bike/ Ordinary Bicycle:

    Mountain bikes and ordinary bicycles are cheap and the best form of transportation for economy tourists. One can hire them at Thamel, Rani Pokhari and Jhochhen, all in Kathmandu.

    Long Distance Bus Service:

    Long distance day or night bus services are available from Kathmandu to all cities of Nepal. New Bus Park at Gongabu at Ring Road near Balaju, Kathmandu, from where buses depart to different destinations. Six seater Sumo Tata van, 12 seater van and air-conditioned mini buses are also available for long distance travel.

    Domestic Air Service:

    Nepal Airlines has an extensive network of air services to major parts of the country. Besides Nepal Airlines, other domestic airlines (there are more than 18 in operation) provide regular and chartered services to popular domestic destinations.

  • CuisinE ...

    Nepal does not have a distinct cooking style. However, food habits differ depending on the region. Nepali food has been influenced by Indian and Tibetan styles of cooking. Authentic Nepali taste is found in Newari and Thakali cuisines. Most Nepalese do not use cutlery but eat with their right hand.The regular Nepali meal is dal (lentil soup), bhat (boiled rice) and tarkari (curried vegetables), often accompanied by achar (pickle). Curried meat is very popular, but is saved for special occasions, as it is relatively more expensive. Momos (steamed or fried dumplings) deserve a mention as one of the most popular snack among Nepalese. Rotis (flat bread) and dhedo (boiled flour) also make meals in some homes.

  • FESTIVALS ...

     Tiji Mustang 15ᵗʰ May

    Tiji is a fascinating annual three-day festival consisting of Tibetan rituals that celebrate the myth of a son who had to save the Mustang kingdom from destruction. The festival is  indigenous to Lo-Manthang, Upper Mustang.

    "Tiji" the name is an abbreviation of the word "Tempa Chirim" which means "Prayer for World Peace". This festival commemorates the victory of Lord Buddha's incarnation Dorjee Sonnu over a demon called Man Tam Ru a vicious creature feeding on human beings and causing storms and droughts.

    The Tiji festival usually takes place around mid May and lasts for 3 days. The monks of Lo Manthang's "Choedhe" monastery perform ritual dances during the celebration. The harassment of Ma Tam Ru Ta (in a dance called "Tsa Chham" on the first day), the birth of Dorjee Sonnu as the demon's son (on the second day called "Nga Chham") and the attempt to return the demon to Lord Buddha's realm (on the third and final day) are enacted during the performances.

    The Tiji festival dances are all organized by the Choedhe Monastery, which belongs to the Sakya sect of Buddhism. The monastery is headed by a Rimpoche. About 65 monks from Lo Manthang, Nhenyul and Chhosyer reside in this monastery.

     Rato Machchendranath Jatra 15ᵗʰ May to 15ᵗʰ July

    The Rato Machhindranath Rath Jatra is the only festival that lasts for months. Dedicated to the Rain God Machhindranath, this festival takes place in Patan and is supposed to bring rain to the valley.

    The farmers of Kathmandu Valley wait for the monsoon rain to plant their rice crop. A large chariot is made of wood and tied with vines and pulled through the streets of Patan coming to rest at various traditional spots where crowds of devotees arrive to pay homage and lay offerings.

     The chariot procession is accompanied by Newar musicians playing traditional folk instruments. This is a Newari festival and the chariot is pulled by Newar youth who follow instructions from a senior who rides on the chariot.

    The idol of the red painted deity first goes through a ritual bath and a make-over with fresh paint. When the initial rites are over, the idol is placed on the chariot. As Lord Machhindranath views his devotees from a high seat of his chariot, its four wheels that represent the powerful Bhairab, receive rice and vermilion powder.

    The chariot is several stories high and with no nuts and bolts to hold it together, it is normally tilting to one side. The collapsing of this chariot is seen as portentous.

    After several months of moving through major parts of Patan, it finally comes to rest in Jawalakhel, the more modern section of the city, where a huge crowd gathers to watch the display of an ancient bejeweled vest on Bhoto Jatra. This event is attended by the head of state as well as the Living Goddess Kumari of Patan.

     Nag Panchami 7ᵗʰ August

    Nepali people worship snake gods, also called the Nagas during this festival. In the ancient time Nagas halted rain from pouring over Nepal. The king of that time also happened to be a Tantric and so he used his power to make Nagas let go of rain. The king succeeded in doing so but he also honored the majestic power of Nagas by turning the day of victory into a festive occasion of Nag Panchami. On Nag Panchami, devotees put a picture of Naga high above their doorway and perform puja with necessary puja items. Offerings in the form of food are left in the yards and paddies for snakes.

    Krishna Ashtami 25ᵗʰ August

    The birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated as Krishn Ashtami. Krishna, the dark god revered as manifestation of Lord Vishnu, who taught warrior Arjuna the value of Karma in the Bhagwad Gita, was born at midnight on the eighth day of the dark moon of August.

    To celebrate the birthday of this popular Hindu god, devotees flock to Krishna temples all over Nepal; Kathmandu Valley's Krishna Mandir in Patan Durbar Square is also thronged by devotees on this day.

    There, men and women from far and wide gather around the 17th century stone temple singing praises of Lord Krishna waiting for the midnight hour. Euphoric prayers and incantations fill the air, and small oil lamps are lit as a mark of felicitation and devotion to the deity.

    Images of Lord Krishna are also carried around the city in processions accompanied by joyous crowds of followers and musical troupes. Along the lanes of old Kathmandu people display framed pictures of Krishna showing various episodes of his unique life.

     Haritalika Teej 3ʳᵈ to 5ᵗʰ September

    Occurring around the month of August, Teej is a festival celebrated by women all over Nepal for three days. Decked up in red sarees and red tika, bangles, women sing and dance to traditional folk songs for days. It is specially significant for married women, when they get a special invitation to visit their maternal home and feast.

    Following a long feast also known as Dar, the women, sit for a 24 hour long fasting , where most do not eat or even drink water. What is fascinating is to watch women of all age group, young and old, dance for hours in the heat , rain, without a drop of water or food for an entire day. It is a sight to behold at the Pashupatinath temple, where thousands of women draped in Red and green throng the premises of the temple. Observers can take photos of these women dancing merrily , where sometimes foreigners, especially women tourists are requested to participate in the merry-making.

    The significance of such a festival is for women to ask for special blessings by Lord Shiva, to have attain a good husband in life, and to pray for his longevity and prosperity. On the final day of this three day festival Women satisfy seven saints offering them food, money and various offerings, and also bathing with Red mud and brushing their teeth with Datiwan (branches of a bush tree) hoping this purifies their body and soul.

    Indra Jatra 15ᵗʰ September to 15ᵗʰ August

    The eight-day long Indra Jatra festival falls in September and is one of the most exciting and revered festivals of the Newari community of the Kathmandu Valley.

    This also marks the beginning of a month-long festival season of autumn. It begins with the erection of a wooden pole made of pine at Basantapur Sqaure in front of the old Hanuman Dhoka Palace.

    For the pole-raising ceremony, hundreds of spectators gather at the Palace Square and on the surrounding temples. The chariot of Kumari, the Living Goddess, is taken out in a procession through the main streets of Kathmandu.

    Masked dancers known as Lakhay take to the streets almost every evening accompanied by loud drums. The festival commemorates the time when Indra came down from heaven in human form to look for an herb.

    Each night of Indra Jatra the shrines and ancient palace buildings around Kathmandu Durbar Square are aglow with oil wicks. Each night on the platform in front of the temple of the Living Goddess, there is an enactment depicting the ten earthly incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

    In the afternoon of the day before full moon, ecstatic mobs gather near Hanuman Dhoka Palace for the long-awaited Living Goddess’ chariot procession to catch a glimpse of the revered little Newari girl who has been deified as Kumari.

    The chariot of the Kumari followed by two other smaller chariots carrying a representative of Ganesh and Bhairav is taken to different parts of the old Kathmandu. The festival of Indra Jatra ends with the lowering of the (lingam) pole bearing Indra's flag amidst religious ceremonies.

    Venue: Hanuman Dhoka & Lanes of old Kathmandu

    When: September

  • ACTIVITIES ...

    Trekking: That one in four visitors to Nepal go trekking should say something about the popularity of this activity in the Himalayan country. Most treks go through altitudes between 1,000 and 4,000 meters, while some popular parts reach over 5,000 meters. It's not only the stunning landscapes on the trail that captivate the trekkers but also the people from different ethnic groups with whom they meet on the way a rare opportunity to experience Nepal's rich cultural diversity. And what better way than walking to see and experience it.

    The most popular trekking routes have traditionally been the Everest, Annapurna and Langtang regions. But now the Kanchenjungha in the extreme east and Dolpo in northwest Nepal are gaining ground as new popular destinations. More recently, the government has developed a number of heritage trails in different parts of the country where you can combine a trek with a peek into the cultures of the local communities. And for those with the time and the stamina, there is The Great Himalayan Trail that stretches 1,700 km from Kanchenjungha in the east to Humla in the west a trek that will take months to accomplish.

    Mountains and Peaks: It was mountaineering that first opened up Nepal to the outside world. Of the world’s 14 highest peaks above 8,000 m, eight of them crown Nepal’s north, including the highest Mt. Everest. Not surprisingly, the fascination of scaling these physically demanding peaks draws crowds of visitors from abroad year after year without let up.

    The mountains are open for climbing in all the four climbing seasons:

        Spring (March-May),

        Summer (June-August),

        Autumn (September-November) and

        Winter (December-February).

    The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation issues permits for the bigger mountains while the Nepal Mountaineering Association issues permits for 33 smaller trekking peaks between 5,587 m and 6,654 m. Mountaineering royalty is paid at the Tourism Industry Division, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu, or at the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) at Naxal, Kathmandu, before starting on a mountaineering expedition.

    Wildlife Sanctuaries / National Parks: Thanks to Nepal's extensive and effective parks and reserve system, the country has managed to preserve more endangered species of flora and fauna than any other country in Asia. Now, the protected areas in Nepal include 10 national parks, 3 wildlife reserves, one hunting reserve, 6 conservation areas and 11 buffer zones covering an area of 34,186.62 sq. km, that is, 23.23 percent of the total area of the country

    World Heritage Sites: The small mountain kingdom of Nepal is blessed with such astonishing and unique sites that within the area of 140,800 sq km Nepal holds a considerably high number of places recognised by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation) as 'World Heritage Sites'. There are altogether ten World Heritage Sites in Nepal, seven of which are in Kathmandu itself. The list includes both natural as well as cultural sites.

    Cultural Sites

    The cultural heritage of the Kathmandu Valley is illustrated by seven groups of monuments and buildings which display the full range of historic and artistic achievements for which the Kathmandu Valley is world famous. The seven sites include the Durbar Squares of Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu), Patan and Bhaktapur, the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhu and Bauddhanath, and the Hindu temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan. Click on the following links to get detailed information about the individual sites.

    •     Kathmandu Durbar Square
    •     Patan Durbar Square
    •     Bhaktapur Durbar Square
    •     Changu Narayan Temple
    •     Swayambhunath Stupa
    •     Pashupatinath Temple
    •     Lumbini
    •     Bouddhanath Stupa

    Natural Sites

    Nepal's national parks included in the World Heritage Sites List are exceptional areas with dramatic mountains, glaciers, deep valleys and undisturbed vestiges of the 'Terai' region. Several rare species, such as the snow leopard, lesser panda, single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros and the Bengal tiger are found in these park.

    •     Chitwan National Park
    •     Sagarmatha National Park

    UNESCO World Heritage Sites

    The World Heritage List includes 830 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value.These include 644 cultural, 162 natural and 24 mixed properties. Out of these 10 sites are from Nepal itself. Seven out of these are cultural and two natural.

    Some Nepal Sites/Properties submitted on the Tentative List of UNESCO

    •     The early medieval architectural complex of Panauti (1996)
    •     Tilaurakot, the archaeological remains of ancient Shakya Kingdom (1996)
    •     Cave architecture of Muktinath Valley of Mustang (1996)
    •     The medieval palace complex of Gorkha (1996)
    •     Ramagrama, the relic stupa of Lord Buddha (1996)
    •     Khokana, the vernacular village and its mustard-oil seed industrial heritage (1996)

    Adventure Sports:

    Mountaineering

    It was mountaineering that first opened up Nepal to the outside world. Of the world 14 highest peaks above 8,000 m, eight of them crown Nepal's north, including the highest Mt. Everest. Not surprisingly, the fascination of scaling these physically demanding peaks draws crowds of visitors from abroad year after year without let up.

    Trekking

    That one in four visitors to Nepal go trekking should say something about the popularity of this activity in the Himalayan country. Most treks go through altitudes between 1,000 and 4,000 meters, while some popular parts reach over 5,000 meters. It's not only the stunning landscapes on the trail that captivate the trekkers but also the people from different ethnic groups with whom they meet on the way a rare opportunity to experience Nepal's rich cultural diversity. And what better way than walking to see and experience it.

    Rock Climbing

    Rock climbing is a challenging sport for outdoor lovers. Most of the areas for rock climbing are situated towards the north of Kathmandu in the Nagarjun forest and Shivapuri National Park. Hence a trip to these places can be combined with hiking, bird watching, nature tours and other activities. In Pokhara, an artificial climbing wall named after French alpinist Maurice Herzog, the first mountaineer ever to summit an 8,000 m peak an Annapurna in 1950, is open at the Mountaineering Museum.

    Bungee Jumping / Canyoning

    The ultimate thrill of a bungee jump can now be experienced in Nepal's 12 km from the Nepal-Tibet border, a three-hour bus ride from Kathmandu. The bungee jump was designed by one of New Zealand is leading bungee consultants, and is operated by some of the most experienced jump masters in the business. The jump takes place from a 166 m wide steel suspension bridge that joins two sides of a deep valley over the raging Bhoti Kosi River. The place has spectacular scenery with dense forests covering the top of the cliff. One can overnight here and go rafting and rock climbing, too.

    Rafting / Kayaking / Canoeing

    Nepal boasts some of the best whitewaters in the world, thanks to its mountainous steep terrain. What really makes a rafting trip worthwhile is the magnificent vistas of traditional houses on hillsides, terraced paddy fields, deep gorges, valleys and flat plains that you encounter on the way. While exploring the rivers, you can either go paddle rafting as a team or go kayaking and canoeing alone.

    Jungle Safari

    The tropical jungles of Nepal's Terai preserve some of the best wildlife habitats of South Asia. Some of the wildlife attractions of Nepal's jungles include the rare one-horned rhinoceros, the elusive Royal Bengal tiger, snow leopard, red panda and musk deer. Jungle safaris can be enjoyed on elephant back or in jeeps at Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park, Parsa Wildlife Reserve and Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, all located in the Terai. The national parks provide a wide range of tourist facilities in and around the areas.

    Paragliding / Ultralight / Cable Car

    Paragliding is a relatively new adventure sport in Nepal, and is the simplest, safest and least expensive way of discovering the joys of flying alone to experience the aerial views of the magnificent Himalayas. Sarangkot, at 1,592 m above Lakeside in Pokhara Valley, is the jumping off point for paragliders. From here, one can take in stunning views of three of the world's Eight Thousanders, namely, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu.

    Mountain Flights Offer

    Mountain flights offer the luxurious option of a Himalayan experience. The one-hour mountain flight from Kathmandu takes one close to the highest peaks, including Mt. Everest.During the flight, you get to see Gosaithan (also called Shisha Pangma), Dorje Lhakpa, Phurbi Chyachu, Choba Bhamare, Gaurishanker, Melungtse, Chugimago, Numbur, Karyolung, Cho-Oyu, Gyachungkang, Pumori, Nuptse and, of course, Everest. Mountain flights are offered by several airlines in the morning from the domestic airport in Kathmandu. Flights from Kathmandu reveal the Eastern Himalaya, while flights from Pokhara take you on a bird's eye view of the Western Himalaya.

    Mountain Biking

    Nepal’s diverse terrain makes it one of the best for mountain biking. Bike through the country and discover villages and small towns in the midst of rural serenity. Time permitting, it is even possible to explore the entire length and breadth of the country on a mountain bike. Bikes can be hired in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

  • General Packing Tips ...

    • When trekking in Nepal you will experience a wide range of climates, so take both light and warm clothing in casual and comfortable styles.
    • A good choice to wear against your skin is merino wool as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours - even after prolonged wear.
    • You will need a good windproof, waterproof jacket for trekking. It doesn't have to be warm; you can layer up underneath it.
    • Good walking boots with ankle support are a must, as is a comfortable change of shoes. You may need to wear these second shoes on trek if you get blisters, so choose carefully.
    • Our advice is to make sure you ‘wear in' your walking boots/shoes for a number of weeks before your trip - you'll be so much more comfortable if you do.
    • A pair of heavy sandals which can fit socks underneath can be a good option too.
    • We recommend Thorlos hiking socks - they're especially designed to keep your feet dry and comfortable when trekking in hotter climes.
    • Sandals with the rugged bottom are good for hiking around town and to wear in the showers.
    • Good sunglasses are a must. A warm hat, gloves and a sunhat are all very useful items too. Early on in the trek it will be sunny and hot, and a hat is also useful for warm sightseeing days in town.
    • Take something warm to sleep in because the rooms aren't heated and who knows if you'll get hot or even warm water.
    • Even if you bring smarter clothes for looking good in around the city, you don't have to take them trekking with you. Leave things in Kathmandu and Pokhara - they'll be quite safe.
    • If you visit in September/October you may be lucky enough to enjoy the religious celebration that is Dashain; it's the country's longest and biggest festival.
  • Clothing Tips for Women ...

    • A pashmina or sarong is a versatile must-pack item - useful for covering up in the sun, keeping off a chill or for covering your shoulders for modesty.
  • Clothing Tips for Men...

    • There are no specific things to bring to your attention, check out our packing list for our suggested capsule wardrobe.
  • Pack for the Weather ...

    • Indian summers are very hot. So, if you are planning to go in the period of March, April, May and June, pack light cotton clothes. Do not wear synthetics as you may develop some skin allergies or heat burns.
    • Winters (October, November, December, January and February) in India are quite cold, especially Northern India. So pack some warmer layers. Also pack some thermal underwear, especially if you are planning to roam around.
    •  We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Androi
  • Other Things To Pack ...

    • You will need your own microfiber travel towel and toiletries. And you'll also need your own little medical kit, sewing repair kit, and a good torch.
    • Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Consider taking a Water-to-Go Filtration Water Bottle.
    • A bag or soft-sided rucksack is a more practical option than hard cases when traveling around the country, and using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
    • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Cashmere blankets, scarves and shawls are popular buys, or how about a Nepalese Singing Bowl.?
    • Combine your bag with a fold away day sack that will carry your essentials on day trips.
    • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage. And consider taking a solar powered charger as a back-up for your battery.
    • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (230V).
    • This is a place to bring those good books you've been meaning to read. There is a fair bit of sitting around time and you won't be carrying them! Leave them behind as a gift.
  • Other Things To Pack ...2

 

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