Nepal is world-renowned for its jaw-dropping Himalayan scenery and is a landlocked country between India and China. Though it is a small country, Nepal is home to several historical treasures and natural wonders. Picturesque cities and villages, alluring mountain vistas, rich Hindu culture and traditions and some of the world’s best hiking and trekking routes make this tiny country a must-visit location in South Asia.
Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu is located in mountain-ringed Kathmandu Valley along with Patan (also known as Lalitpur) and Bhaktapur. Kathmandu is a melting pot of culture, history and religious monuments. Though the city’s Durbar Square was severely damaged by the 2015 earthquake, the UNESCO world heritage site still remains as Kathmandu’s most recognized landmark. The 16th-century Hindu Pashupatinath Temple complex with 492 temples, the UNESCO listed 36m tall Boudha Stupa and the Garden of Dreams are the main highlights of the capital. The Chandragiri hills in Kathmandu are the perfect viewpoint for Mt Everest, the planet’s highest peak measuring a staggering 8,848 metres. From Kathmandu, you can explore Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site where you can witness one-horned rhinos, deer, monkeys and numerous bird species.
Nepal’s second-largest city Pokhara is about 200 km away from the capital and renowned as the gateway to the famed Annapurna region. Pokhara, on the banks of Lake Phewa, offers a laid-back vibe and is the adventure capital of Nepal. Mostly known for excellent paragliding opportunities, you can also try your hands at white-water rafting, ziplining, mountain biking, kayaking and paddle-boarding. The Annapurna region offers a wide range of hiking trails and trekking routes and the most famous route is the Annapurna Circuit. The full circuit takes around 20 days to complete and passes through scenic river valleys, waterfalls, towering peaks and traditional villages. After visiting Pokhara, you can head to Lumbini, believed to be the birthplace of Gautama Buddha himself. This is one of the most sacred sites in Buddhism and you can visit the numerous temples and monasteries located here including the Maya Devi Temple and World Peace Pagoda.
Nepal is a lovely country, blessed with abundant natural wealth and its stunning Himalayan landscape is simply unbeatable. Its rich blend of Hindu and Buddhist heritage, breathtaking (literally!) trekking routes and charming traditional villages will leave you in awe of this tiny nation forever.
Nepal is world-renowned for its jaw-dropping Himalayan scenery.