Nepal is a Himalayan country with diverse nature and culture. Despite being a small country there are many wonderful places to visit in Nepal. From the high Himalayas to the flat land of Terai, there are many heavenly places. Apart from the beauty of the country, the culture, and lifestyle of people all around the country are also interesting and worth exploring. There are many temples, stupas, monasteries, etc which give you close exposure to the cultural aspect of the country. Here are some of the best places you can visit to explore Nepal better.
- Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu is the gateway to the amazing places of Nepal. However, it has no less to offer. The city is full of cultural and religious heritage sites that represent our country, traditions, and history. Kathmandu looks chaotic at first glance but all these amazing sites make this city beautiful and worth visiting. 7 of the UNESCO world heritage sites are situated in the valley. Pashupatinath temple and Changunarayan Temple are the biggest pilgrimage sites of Hindu. Swyambhunath Stupa and Bouddhanath Stupa are Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur Durbar squares are the ancient palaces that showcase the unique and brilliant architectures. Kathmandu is famously known as the city of temples where you can find the temples every next step.
Apart from that, there are amazing viewpoints around the city. You can behold the snow-capped mountains and the landscapes and spend the time in a serene environment up in the hills. The forests surrounding the valley are great to explore flora and fauna. Kathmandu gives you the perfect combination of nature, culture, and traditions all in one place. So, it is a popular destination for national and international tourists.
Pokhara is one of the most beautiful cities in Nepal which offers many of the wonderful things. Surrounded by the mountains of Dhawalagiri and Annapurna regions, Pokhara is the city settled on the lap of wonderful landscapes. There are numerous beautiful lakes within the city. This lake city is the best place to look for adventures. You can do things such as bungee jumping, sky diving, boating, rafting, etc while you are in the city. Apart from that, it is the home of many religious places like temples and stupas, etc. The caves in the Pokhara area also the attractions. Devi’s Falls, Mahendra Cave, Bat Cave, Phewa, and Begnas Lakes, etc are some of the best places to visit in Pokhara.
Apart from that, Pokhara is the gateway of the Annapurna region which is one of the most famous trekking destinations. Sarangkot viewpoint, which is near the city is a wonderful viewpoint to behold the mountains and mesmerizing sunset. Because of the beauty of the city, it is getting popular among tourists.
Lumbini is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha and a must-visit place in Nepal if you wanna explore Buddhism. It is also one of the UNESCO world heritage sites of Nepal. There is Mayadevi temple, Ashoka Pillar which holds and preserves the history of the birth and rise of Buddha. There are monasteries built by different countries that showcase the brilliant and unique architectures of their own country. There is a school where Buddhism is taught as well. By visiting the monks and monasteries there, you will get to know about the history of the place and traditions. Apart from the religious and cultural values, Lumbini is a beautiful place to spend time in. The monasteries and temples surrounded by jungle make the environment calm and peaceful. There is a lake where you can do boating as well.
Chitwan National Park of Chitwan is most famous for jungle safari tours. It is the reserved area that is home to many exotic animals and birds. If you are a Nature lover, Chitwan National Park is an amazing place to look for. There is a total of 544 species of birds, more than 68 species of animals in this park. Which makes it a wonderful place for birdwatching. You might even spot some endangered species such as One-Horned Rhinos, Royal Bengal Tiger, Gharial, etc. Apart from wildlife exploration, there are many fun activities you can enjoy such as Elephant riding, Canoeing, etc.
Visit to Chitwan National Park is a wonderful chance to explore the indigenous Tharu community who have their unique tradition and culture. Enjoy the landscapes of the foothill of the Himalayas You can get new experiences such as riding in ox-carts, enjoy Tharu dance, etc.
- Khumbu region
Khumbu region is the most popular trekking destination in Nepal. It is the Himalayan region which is mainly covered by snow-capped mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers, and alpine forests in the lower region. Mountains such as Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu, Amadablam, Lobuche, etc lies in this region including the highest mountain Everest. There are sherpa settlements in the lower region of the park. Sherpas are the Himalayan tribes who are famous for their mountaineering skills and loyalty. Their culture is inspired by Tibetan Buddhism. Sagarmatha National Park is the reserved UNESCO world heritage site of the Khumbu region. It is an amazing place for wildlife exploration as well. Some of the famous places such as Gokyo lake, Everest Base Camp trek, Mountain passes (Cho-La, Kongma-La, and Renjo-La) are in this region.
As there is no road access available in this area. Trekking is the only way to get there after the flight to Lukla. However, trekking to the Khumbu region is an amazing experience in itself. There are numerous trekking routes to explore the region. Lately, a Helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp is also available.
- Annapurna Region
Annapurna region is another famous destination for trekking. The geography of this area is diverse. Starting from Pokhara, there are many beautiful hills, river valleys, gorges all the way to the snow-capped mountains of Dhawalagiri and Annapurna range in the northern region. The vegetation is subtropical to the alpine and there is rocky barren land in the upper region. Most of the forest in the lower region is dominated by rhododendron and oak trees. Most of the area is preserved as the Annapurna Conservation area. Mardi Base Camp, Poon Hill, Khorpa Hill are the most popular trekking destination of the region. These stations provide some spectacular views of the landscapes. The trails that lead there are no leas beautiful. There are rivers and waterfalls, hot springs, etc which add the beauty of the Annapurna region. Gurung and Magar people reside in most of the areas. Their culture, tradition, and lifestyle is also worth exploring.
- Langtang Region
Langtang is a pristine valley near Kathmandu valley. Which is also another beautiful destination for trekking. The landscapes and the eastern mountains that can be seen from the valley are mesmerizing. Most of the lower region is covered with subtropical and alpine forests and there are mountains in the upper region. Langtang region is famous for Gosainkunda which is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites of the area. The Gosainkunda lake is beautifully surrounded by giant mountains. It stays frozen half a year. You will have to do trekking to explore the region. However, a Helicopter tour is available to go to Gosainkunda. The people in this area are Gurungs, Tamangs, and Sherpas who follow Buddhism. They have their unique festivals and traditions which are fascinating to explore.
- Upper Mustang
Upper mustang is the hidden treasure of Nepal where you will get to explore the ancient walled city of Lo-Manthang. Upper mustang is where the mountain tribes live who are isolated from the world. The people who live here have their own culture and traditions which is fascinating to observe and explore. It was the kingdom until 1950 with Lo-Manthang as the capital city. The geography of the area quite similar to Tibet. The landscapes full of rocky barren mountains is amazing and unique in Nepal. Sky caves are other great attractions of Upper Mustangs.
However, it becomes unbearably cold during the winter months. So summer months and some days of spring and autumn only are appropriate for the Upper Mustang Trip. You will need a special trekking permit as well.