Why should Nepal be your next holiday destination?
Most people do not know that Nepal is home to the world's highest mountain (Mt. Everest) as well as the world's deepest gorge (Kaligandaki Gorge).
Nepal is a South Asian nation known for its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and remarkable natural wonders. Sandwiched between the Tibetan Plateau and the lush plains of the Indian subcontinent, Nepal offers an extraordinary diversity of geographical features that make it truly unique.
Nepal’s population includes 125 distinct ethnic groups, each with its own traditions, languages, and vibrant culture. The Nepalese people, with their warm hospitality and diverse lifestyle, contribute to the richness and unique identity of the country.
In addition to its natural and cultural diversity, Nepal is also known for its religious significance. The country is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the founder of modern Buddhism, and is home to numerous ancient temples, monasteries, and pilgrimage sites. The capital city of Kathmandu, in particular, is renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the historic Durbar Squares, sacred Hindu temples, and intricate Buddhist stupas.
In this article, we will highlight the following reasons that make Nepal an attractive trek destination.
Nepal is a premier trekking destination, and it's breathtaking landscapes and majestic Himalayan peaks have captivated the hearts of adventurers around the globe. One of the most iconic treks in the world is the Everest Base Camp trek, which offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the towering Mount Everest up close amidst other glorious humongous mountains.
Additionally, Nepal presents opportunities for white water rafting, paragliding, mountain biking, rock climbing, canyoning, and jungle safaris in its lush national parks. Whether soaring through the skies, conquering rugged trails, or exploring the wildlife-rich jungles, Nepal offers an array of adventures to suit every passion.
Nepal is rich in water resources. The tall snow-capped mountains form the source of numerous rivers in Nepal. In fact, you can participate in white water rafting in Trishuli, Seti, and Bhote Koshi rivers that pass through breathtaking scenery and thrilling rapids. In addition, for adventurers seeking an adrenaline-fueled leap, Nepal provides the most thrilling bungee jumping sites, chief among them is the Bhote Koshi Bridge Bungee.
Nepal is not just renowned for its towering peaks, but also for its rich and diverse flora and fauna. Due to the vast elevation range, Nepal contains almost all types of climates and, therefore, a wide range of flora and fauna.
The country has twelve national parks set up to protect the diverse flora and fauna, and chief among them are Sagarmatha and Chitwan National Parks. Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is home to a significant population of rare one-horned rhinoceros.
You will also find the Bengal tiger in the jungles of Nepal. These elusive predators also reside in Bardia National Park and Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve.
If you love wildlife, jungle safaris in Chitwan National Park are a must. Chitwan National Park offers an opportunity to explore dense subtropical forests, marshlands, and grasslands. You can also enjoy elephant-back rides, jeep safaris, and canoeing.
For avid bird watchers, the wetlands of Chitwan National Park attract a remarkable variety of birds, including several endangered species such as the Bengal florican and the great hornbill. The vibrant colors and melodious songs of Nepal's avifauna create a mesmerizing experience for bird watchers.
Nepal holds immense religious and spiritual significance, drawing pilgrims and seekers from all corners of the world. The country's rich cultural tapestry is interwoven with ancient traditions and vibrant spirituality, making it a remarkable destination for religious and spiritual tourism.
One of the most revered religious sites in Nepal is the Pashupatinath Temple, located in the capital city of Kathmandu. This sacred Hindu temple is not only a place of worship but also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Another iconic religious site is the Boudhanath Stupa, also located in Kathmandu. This magnificent Buddhist structure is one of the largest stupas in the world and a pilgrimage site for Buddhists. The serene atmosphere, the rhythm of prayer wheels, and the sight of devotees engaging in worship create a deeply spiritual ambiance that leaves a lasting impression on all the visitors.
In addition to these renowned landmarks, Nepal offers numerous other religious sites, including Swayambhunath Stupa in Kathmandu, the sacred lakes of Gosainkunda, the temple of Muktinath, and the birthplace of Lord Buddha in Lumbini. Each site has a unique charm and spiritual essence, attracting devotees and curious souls alike.
Nepal also provides ample opportunities for spiritual experiences beyond religious sites. The tranquil Himalayan landscapes offer a perfect backdrop for meditation and yoga retreats. From secluded monasteries and peaceful ashrams to serene mountain retreat centers, there are various options for individuals seeking inner peace and self-discovery throughout the country.
Moreover, Nepal is a melting pot of diverse spiritual practices and teachings. Spiritual seekers can find guidance and wisdom from renowned spiritual masters and gurus in the country. The ancient practices of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness find fertile ground in Nepal, offering visitors a chance to delve into their spiritual journey.
Nepal is a land of vibrant festivals and rich cultural traditions. The most important festivals celebrated in Nepal are as follows.
Dashain: Dashain is the biggest and most widely celebrated Hindu festival during autumn. It spans over 15 days and commemorates the victory of good over evil. The festival involves family gatherings, feasts, the worship of goddess Durga, and the flying of kites. Visitors can experience the festive atmosphere, witness the intricate rituals, and partake in delicious traditional meals.
Tihar: Tihar, also called the festival of lights, is a joyous celebration honoring various elements of nature, including crows, dogs, and cows. It involves lighting oil lamps and candles, creating beautiful designs with colored powders, and exchanging gifts. During Tihar, visitors can witness the stunning display of lights and enjoy traditional music and celebrations while savoring festive delicacies. Most importantly, Tihar celebrates the relationship between the siblings.
Holi: Holi, the festival of colors, is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Nepal. It marks the arrival of spring and involves throwing vibrant colored powders and water at each other. The festive spirit is infectious, and visitors can join in the playful revelry, dance to lively music, and enjoy delicious sweets and snacks.
Lhosar: Lhosar is the Tibetan New Year celebrated by various ethnicities, mostly living in mountainous Nepal. It involves vibrant processions, traditional dances, and the chanting of prayers. Visitors can witness the mesmerizing masked dances, admire the colorful traditional costumes, and indulge in Tibetan delicacies.
Indra Jatra: Indra Jatra is a fascinating festival dedicated to Lord Indra, the god of rain and harvest. The highlight of the festival is the Kumari (living goddess) procession and the pulling of a towering chariot through the streets of Kathmandu. Visitors can witness cultural dances, mask performances, and traditional music during this vibrant festival.
This isn't the end of the list, there are other important festivals in Nepal like Maha Shivaratri, Ghode Jatra, Janai Purnima, Gai Jatra, Krishna Janmaastami, Teej, and many more. During these festivals, visitors can delve into Nepal's rich culture by exploring local markets, trying traditional attire, indulging in mouthwatering food, and participating in various cultural activities.
They can witness traditional dances like the Kumari dance, enjoy folk music performances, and learn about the intricate rituals and beliefs that underpin these festive celebrations.
Nepalese cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors influenced by its diverse geography and cultural heritage. From mouth-watering street food to hearty traditional dishes, Nepal's culinary offerings are a treat for the taste buds. Here are some popular Nepali dishes.
Momos: Momos delectable dumplings are usually filled with minced meat (such as chicken, pork, or buffalo) or vegetables, seasoned with herbs and spices, and steamed or fried to perfection.
Dal Bhat Tarkari: Dal Bhat is the quintessential Nepali meal consisting of lentil soup (dal), steamed rice (bhat), and a variety of side dishes (curry). It often includes vegetable curry, pickles, yogurt, and sometimes meat or fish. Dal Bhat reflects the simplicity of Nepali cuisine and is a staple in most households.
Chow mein: Nepal's version of chow mein is a delicious stir-fried noodle dish. It typically features noodles, vegetables, and a choice of meat cooked with soy sauce and spices. Chowmein is a favorite street food.
Exploring the vibrant street food scene is a must-do in Nepal. We suggest you try Newari food such as Alu Tama (potato curry), Haku Choila (meat variety), Senla mu (liver, steamed and sautéed), Swanpuka (fried lungs), Bhuttan (fried intestine), Mainh, and Juju dhau ( a type of card) while you are in the Kathmandu Valley.
The Nepali people are renowned for their warm hospitality and genuine friendliness towards visitors. From the bustling cities to the remote mountain villages, the welcoming nature of the Nepali people leaves a lasting impression on anyone visiting this beautiful country.
The concept of "Atithi Devo Bhava" (Guest is God) is deeply ingrained in Nepali culture. Nepalis welcome guests with warm smiles and a cup of tea and make them feel like a part of the community.
Whether it's a small tea stall owner in a remote village or a hotel staff member in the city, Nepali people are always eager to assist, share their culture, and ensure that visitors have a memorable experience. Nepalis take pride in showcasing their culture, traditions, and heritage, often inviting visitors to participate in festivals, rituals, and family celebrations.
Nepal is a land of breathtaking landscapes, where nature's grandeur unfolds in its most awe-inspiring form. From the majestic Himalayan mountain range to tranquil lakes and cascading waterfalls, the country's natural beauty is a source of pride and reverence for the Nepali people.
The crown jewel of Nepal's landscapes is the Himalayas, home to the world's highest peaks, including Mount Everest. The towering snow-capped mountains, pristine glaciers, and rugged trails attract adventurers and mountaineers from across the globe. The Himalayas are not only a source of physical wonder but also hold immense cultural and religious significance. They are revered as sacred abodes of gods and goddesses, and pilgrims undertake arduous journeys to seek blessings and enlightenment.
Apart from the mountains, Nepal boasts an abundance of lakes that reflect the tranquil beauty of its surroundings. The serene waters of Phewa Lake in Pokhara, Rara Lake in Mugu, and Tilicho Lake in Manang offer respite and tranquility amidst the vibrant landscapes. These lakes serve as natural havens for various species of flora and fauna, and their picturesque charm attracts nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. Mountains, lakes, and waterfalls are seen as sources of life, purity, and divine energy.
The significance of Nepal's natural beauty extends beyond cultural and religious aspects. It also plays a vital role in the country's tourism industry, attracting travelers who seek solace in nature, adventure in the mountains, and moments of serenity by the lakeside.
In ancient times, due to the country's geographical position between India and Tibet, Nepal facilitated the exchange of goods, ideas, and cultural influences that made Nepal into a vibrant melting pot of civilizations.
The historic city of Kathmandu, along with its Durbar Square, stands as a testament to Nepal's illustrious past. The Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was once the royal palace complex of the Malla and Shah dynasties. It showcases exquisite architecture, intricately carved temples, palaces, and courtyards, reflecting the artistic and architectural prowess of ancient Nepali artisans.
Similarly, the Patan Durbar Square in Lalitpur is another architectural gem that offers a glimpse into Nepal's rich history. The square is adorned with ancient palaces, temples, and statues, showcasing the Newari craftsmanship and the fusion of Hindu and Buddhist art.
The Bhaktapur Durbar Square is another iconic historical site that transports visitors back in time. It features well-preserved palaces, temples, and intricately carved wooden structures. The Nyatapola Temple, the Bhairavnath Temple, and the 55 Window Palace are notable highlights, exemplifying the architectural brilliance of the Malla period.
Outside the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal is also home to significant historical sites like Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Lumbini is a revered pilgrimage site for Buddhists from around the world, with its sacred garden and monastic complexes reflecting the spiritual legacy of the region.
Beyond the Durbar Squares, Nepal's heritage can be found in its ancient temples, monasteries, and traditional villages scattered across the country. From the Swyambhunath Stupa (also known as the Monkey Temple) to the sacred site of Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal's religious and spiritual heritage is interwoven into its cultural fabric.
Nepal is a haven for budget-conscious travelers. Travel, food, and accommodation in Nepal are very affordable for those seeking an enriching experience without breaking the bank.
Nepal offers a wide range of budget options that cater to different preferences and budgets. You can find guesthouses and lodges scattered throughout the country, especially in popular trekking regions like the Annapurna and Everest. The guest houses provide comfortable rooms and basic amenities at affordable prices.
For those looking for even more budget-friendly options, Nepal has a thriving network of teahouses along popular trekking routes. These teahouses offer dormitory-style accommodation and communal dining areas, providing an authentic and economical experience.
Furthermore, sampling Nepali cuisine is not only a delicious experience but also a budget-friendly one. Street food stalls and local eateries offer a variety of mouthwatering dishes at affordable prices. From momos and dal bhat to steaming cups of chai, travelers can indulge in authentic flavors without denting their budget.
To further stretch their budget, travelers can consider using local transportation options such as buses and shared jeeps, which are cost-effective and also provide an opportunity to interact with locals and experience the country's vibrant everyday life.
Nepal's affordability as a travel destination does not compromise the quality of experiences or the warmth of hospitality. The country's welcoming nature and rich cultural heritage ensure that even budget-conscious travelers can have a memorable and immersive journey.
In a nutshell, Nepal, a mountainous country, consists of deep gorges alongside the world’s highest mountains. It is home to almost all climate types, and as a result, it is home to large numbers of flora and fauna.
As an ancient nation that has never been colonized, Nepal has a rich religious and spiritual history. The Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, and Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, attract a large number of religious tourists to Nepal. There are around 125 ethnic groups living in Nepal, and this explains the richness of Nepal in terms of culture and celebrations.
As a nation sandwiched between India in the south and Tibet in the North, Nepali cuisine reflects this geographical position. However, you can also find traditional local foods. Most Nepalis eat dal (lentil), bhat (rice), and tarkari (curry) often daily. Besides, momo (a type of dumpling), and chow mein (a type of noodle) are also popular.
Nepal is a very affordable nation. One USD is equal to 130 Nepali Rupees (approximately), so you do not need to break the bank to enjoy your time in Nepal.
For these reasons, we believe that Nepal should be your next holiday destination. We are sure your visit to Nepal will be a life-changing experience as you unravel Nepali geography, its beauty, culture, and tradition.
Trekking is a perfect way to understand Nepal, and we encourage you to book a trek with us. Visit Discovery World Trekking and choose the trek you want, or if you need help, call/Viber/WhatsApp us at +977-9840055491.