Wedged between the high Himalaya and the steamy Indian plains, Nepal is a land of snow peaks and Sherpas, yaks and yetis, monasteries and mantras.
The Nepal Himalaya is the ultimate goal for most mountain lovers. Some of the Himalaya’s most iconic and accessible hiking is on offer here, with rugged trails to Everest, the Annapurnas and beyond, and most trekking areas escaped with only minor damage in the 2015 earthquake. Nowhere else can you trek for days in incredible mountain scenery, secure in the knowledge that a hot meal, cosy lodge and warm slice of apple pie await you at the end of the day.
Then there's the adrenaline kick of rafting a roaring Nepali river or bungee jumping into a bottomless Himalayan gorge. Canyoning, climbing, kayaking, paragliding and mountain biking all offer a rush against the backdrop of some of the world’s most dramatic landscapes.
Temples & Tigers
Other travellers prefer to see Nepal at a more refined pace, admiring the peaks over a gin and tonic from a Himalayan viewpoint, strolling through the medieval city squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, and joining Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims on a spiritual stroll around centuries-old stupas and monasteries. Even after the 2015 earthquake, Nepal remains the cultural powerhouse of the Himalaya; the Kathmandu Valley offers an unrivalled collection of world-class palaces, hidden backstreet shrines and sublime temple art.
Kathmandu is known as Kantipur, the kingdom of Nepal. Here you will visit the temple of the living Goddess, who acknowledges the greetings of her devotees from balcony of her temple residence, Kathmandap-the source of the name Kathmandu. It was allegedly made from the timber of a single tree. Next, on to the Durbar Square area with its array of temples overlooked by the Hanuman Dhoka Palace, the ancient palace of the Nepalese Royalty.
Lying 6 Km from central Kathmandu, Pashupatinath temple is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of the sacred Bagmati river, the temple, which was built in pagoda style, has a gilded roof and beautifully carved silver doors. Visitors will be permitted to view the temple from the east bank of the Bagmati river, as entrance into the temple is strictly forbidden to all non-Hindus. Pashupatinath is the centre of an annual pilgrimage on the day Shivaratri, which falls in February or March. Behind the temples are the cremation grounds.
Literally meaning the Kali of the south, this temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kali, the Hindu goddess of power. Goats, chickens, ducks etc. are sacrificed on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The temple itself is located in a forested canyon and lies 19 Km. from Kathmandu.
This stupa, situated 11 Km. from the center of Kathmandu, is one of the biggest in the world of its kind. It stands with four pairs of eyes in the four cardinal directions, keeping a lookout for righteous behavior and human prosperity. This Buddhist stupa was built by King Man Deva at the advice of the Goddess Mani Jogini. It is built on an octagonal base and is contains inset prayer wheels. The shrine is surrounded by the homes of Lamas, or Buddhist priests.
Located approximately 3km from the center of Kathmandu, this Buddist stupa is said to be 2000 years old. The stupa which forms the main structure is composed of a solid hemisphere of brick and earth which supports a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of gilt copper.
Painted on the four sided base below the spire are the all seeing eyes of lord Buddha. The whole area around the Stupa contains an array of small stupas and temples. This is one of the best places from which to view the Kathmandu valley, as it is situated an a small hillock.
Also known as BHADGAON meaning the city of devotes, this place is the home of medieval art and architecture. Lying 14Km east of kathmandu city. This place was founded in the 9th century and is shaped like a conch shell. The city is at the height of 4600 ft. Above sea level. In Bhaktapur you will visit the Durbar Square with its array of temples overlooked by the palace of 55 Windows built by King Bupatindra Malla, the Nytapola Teple. This temple, which was also built by king Bhupatindra Malla, is the best example of the Pagoda style and stands on five terraces, on each of which stands a pair of figures, famous strong men, elephants, lions, griffins and goddesses. Time permitting, a visit to the museum of Thanka painting can also be considered. A 30 minute walk brings you to the Dattatraya temple and Pujari Math which can also be done provided there is plenty of time at the clients' disposal.
It is situated about 35Km. east of Kathmandu city and from here one can see Mt. Everet and other peaks of the Himalayas. Nagarkot is located between Kathmandu valley in the west and Indravati in the east.
The top of Nagarkot commmands accelerating views in all direction. The altitude of Nagarkot is 2229Mt. Above from sea level. It is also very popular for the viewing sunrise and sunset.
5 Km. away from Kathmandu city. Patan, also known as Lalitpur, is a city of fine arts, enclosed within 4 stupas, which are said to have been built in the 3rd century A.D. by Emperor Ashoka.
You will see Durbar square, the Patan durbar (palace), which houses a bronze collection, the Krishna temple built by King Siddi Narsinh Malla, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, and Mahaboudha Temple.
Ever since Nepal first opened its borders to outsiders in the 1950s, this tiny mountain nation has had an irresistible mystical allure for travelers. Today, legions of trekkers are drawn to the Himalaya’s most iconic and accessible hiking, some of the world’s best, with rugged trails to Everest, the Annapurna’s and beyond. Nowhere else can you trek for days or even weeks in incredible mountain scenery, secure in the knowledge that a hot meal, cozy lodge and warm slice of apple pie await you at the end of the day. Nepal is nirvana for mountain lovers.
Temples & Tigers
Other travelers prefer to see Nepal at a more gentle pace, admiring the peaks over a gin and tonic from a Himalayan viewpoint, strolling through the temple-lined medieval city squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, and joining Buddhist pilgrims on a spiritual stroll around the centuries-old stupas and temples that lie scattered across the Kathmandu Valley. Further south lie Nepal’s wild and woolly national parks, where nature buffs scan the treetops for exotic bird species and comb the jungles for rhinos and tigers from the backs of lumbering Indian elephants. Whether you cross the country by mountain bike, motorbike, raft or tourist bus, Nepal offers an astonishingly diverse array of attractions and landscapes.
There are few countries in the world that are as well set up for independent travel as Nepal. Wandering the trekking shops, bakeries and pizzerias of Thamel and Pokhara, it’s easy to feel that you have somehow landed in a kind of backpacker Disneyland. Out in the countryside lies a quite different Nepal, where traditional mountain life continues stoically and at a slower pace, and a million potential adventures glimmer on the mountain horizons. The biggest problem faced by visitors to Nepal is how to fit everything in. Many people have spent a lifetime exploring the mountain trails of the Himalaya and the atmospheric temple towns of the Middle Hills, and they still keep coming back for more. Our advice is to pick a handful of essential experiences for your first visit and save the rest for trips two, three and four…