Introducing Nepal- A Heaven on Earth Nepal is the world’s a most beautiful Himalayan country endowed with half of the world’s 8000m peaks including Mount Everest, variety of eco-system, thick tropical forests teeming with various flora and fauna, roaring rivers, ice-blue lakes, hills, arid deserts , frozen valleys and humid lowland. It is bordered between China to the north and India to the east, west and south.
With an area of 147,181 square kilometers and a population of approximately 28 million, Nepal is the world’s youngest federal democratic republic located in South Asia. With an area of 147,181 square kilometers and approximately 28 million populations, Kathmandu is the nation’s capital. Nepal is very popular as one of the best destinations for adventure and cultural tourism. On adventure tourism aspect, trekking, peak climbing, mountaineering, white water rafting, jungle safari, canoying , bungy jump, ultralight flight, paragliding, mountain biking and many other adventure sports are highly focused.
From time immemorial, Nepal has also been well known in the world as the land of ancient history, heritage, and culture. It is often said by most of the visitors that there were as many temples as there were houses and many idols as there were people. Each and every corner of the country there are many Hindu temples where many deities are housed. Hinduism is practiced by about 81.3% of the population. Pashupatinath is Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple and one of the four most important holy places in the world for Shiva devotees.. Hinduism is followed by Buddhism practiced by 9% of the people. Kathmandu valley is rich in different places of pilgrimage for both Hindus and Buddhists. Lumbini is a most popular sacred place in Nepal where Lord Buddha was born in 623 B.C. Around 400,000 Buddhist pilgrims and non Buddhists visit Lumbini every year. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Culture) and holds immense archeological and religious significance.
There are many magnificent historical monuments and old palaces worth visiting in the valley. The temples and historical palaces constructed with architectural values highlight the craftsmanship and artistic ingenuity of the Nepalese people then and now. Adventure tourism especially in mountaineering has begun in Nepal with the first ascent of world’s highest peak- Mt. Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1950. Then, trekking is getting popular along with mountaineering activity in Everest region, Annapurna region, Langtang region, Manaslu region, Dolpo region, Makalu and Kanchanjunga region. Trekking to different regions in Nepal provides an opportunity to enjoy the Himalayan mountain views and explore ethnic culture and traditional lifestyle. In the Everest region most popular treks are Everest base camp trek, Everest Gokyo trek, Everest View trek , in the Annapurna region there are Annapurna Circuit trek, Annapurna base camp, Ghorepani Poonhill trek, Jomsom Muktinath and in the Langtang region the most popular treks are Langtang valley trek , Langtang Gosainkunda trek and others.
By Air: Kathmandu is the one and only international airport in Nepal. There are many International Airlines having direct flights to Kathmandu. Nepal Airlines is the national flag carrier of Nepal with flights to/ from Delhi, Bombay, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Osaka, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Other international airlines operating to/ from/ Kathmandu are- Air Arabia (Sharjah), Bahrain Air(Bahrain) Air China (Lhasa, Chengdu), Arkefly (Amsterdam), Biman Bangladesh (Dhaka), China Southern Airlines (Guanzhau), China Eastern (Kumming), Dragon Air (Hong Kong), Druk Air(Delhi, Paro), Ethiad Airways (Abu Dhabi), Biman Bangladesh (Dhaka), Gulf Air (Bahrain, Muscat), Indian Airlines (Delhi, Kolkatta, Varanasi), Jet Airways (Delhi), Jet lite (Delhi), Korean Air(Seoul), Pakistan International Airlines (Karachi), Qatar Airways (Doha), Silk Air(Singapore) and Thai Airways (Bangkok). Please contact us at [email protected] for specific information on price and latest flight schedule.
By Land: All visitors coming to Nepal by land must enter only through one of these entry points (1) Kakarbhitta (2) Birgunj (3) Belhiya (4) Nepalgunj (5) Dhangadi (6) Mahendranagar (7) Kodari in the Nepal-China border. The overland tourists entering the country with their vehicles must possess an international carnet or complete custom formalities.
Indian nationals do not require a visa to enter Nepal, but must possess proof of identity. All other nationals require a visa, obtainable in advance from Nepalese Embassies or consulates, or upon arrival at the border or at Tribhuvan International Airport. Do not forget to bring two passport size photographs.
Entry Procedures A Tourist Visa
|Multiple Entry||15 Days||US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency|
|Multiple Entry||30 Days||US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currenc|
|Multiple Entry||90 Days||US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency|
B Gratis (Free) Visa Gratis visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. However, Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal. (For further information –Department of Immigration, Maithighar, Impact Building, Kathmandu. Tel: 00977-1-4221996/ 4223590/ 4222453), Web: www.immi.gov.np) Photo: For obtaining visa or for renewing visa 1 passport size photo is required.
C For Indian Nationals Indian Nationals traveling to Nepal must possess any one of the following documents- 1. Passport 2. Driving license 3. Photo identity card issued by 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.
Nepal’s climate is influenced by many factors such as latitude, prevailing winds, oceanic distance, and position of mountains. It ranges from tropical to alpine depending upon the altitude. The terai region which lies in the tropical southern part of the country, for instance, has a hot & humid climate. The mid-land regions are pleasant almost all year around although winter nights are cool. The northern mountain region, around an altitude above 3353 m has an alpine climate with a considerably lower temperature in winter as can be expected.
Nepal has 4 major seasons On the basis of seasonal change in climatic conditions, the climate of Nepal can be divided into four major seasons – Winter (December-February), Spring (March-May), Summer/Rainy (June-August), Autumn (September-November). The main feature of each season is described below.
Winter Season( December-February) It includes the month of December, January and February. During winter season, the sun shines over the southern hemisphere and the temperature becomes very low all over the country. It is about 10 o C temperature in the Terai. The Himalayan zone above 3000m, records the temperature below freezing point. The higher mountain areas are quite cold. On the whole, winter is generally a dry season. The monsoons blow from land to the sea during this season. However, westerly wind cause light rain in the western Nepal. Clear sky, foggy or frosty and cold morning are the general features of this season. The average temperature in Kathmandu in winter season ranges between 9-12 Degree Celsius (48-54 Degree Fahrenheit).
Spring Season (March – May) The temperature is mildly warm in low lands while moderate in higher altitudes with plenty of opportunities to have tryst with the mountain views. It is also the time for flowers to blossom particularly- the national flower of Nepal ‘ rhododendron’ sweeps the ascending altitudes with its magnanimous color and beauty. The average temperature in Kathmandu in spring season ranges between 16-23 Degree Celsius (61-73 Degree Fahrenheit).
Summer/Rainy Season (June-August) The hot weather season begins in June and continues till the end of August.During this season, temperature exceeds 35 o C in the Terai. Towards North, altitude increases and it remains warm in midland hills and valleys. It is cool in the Himalayan region. Days become sunny, windy and dusty and it gets hazy in some areas. Most parts of Nepal are dry in this season. However, because of great heat, precipitation in the form of rain and sleet occasionally occurs from local convective storms in April and May. In the north of Nepal ( Dolpo & Upper Mustang ) there exists a larger rain shadow area beyond the great Himalayan Ranges in the central and western parts of Nepal . It receives poor rainfall less than 50cm. During rainy season, it gets sultry and humid. Temperature slightly drops down in rainy season due to frequent rainfall. The average temperature in Kathmandu in summer season ranges between 23-25 Degree Celsius (73-77 Degree Fahrenheit) During the rainy monsoon season between June to August, it rains to an average between 200-375 millimeters in Kathmandu. There is occasional rainfall during the other seasons, too. In an average, 1300 millimeters of rain falls in Kathmandu every year.
Autumn Season (September – November) This is the best tourist season in Nepal with the summer gone by and the winter to set in. The weather is highly pleasant so are the mountain views. This is the peak season for trekking as mountain views are guaranteed so better book your flight in advance. This is also the season of festivities as Nepal celebrates the biggest Hindu festivals Dashain followed by Tihar. The average temperature in Kathmandu in autumn season ranges between 15-24 Degree Celsius (59-75 Degree Fahrenheit)
Pashupatinath (World Heritage Site): One of the holiest Hindu shrines in the world, the temple of Pashupatinath is the focus of pilgrims from all over Nepal and India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is built in the familiar Pagoda style. Chronicles indicate the temple’s existence prior to 400 A.D. It lies 5 kms east of the city center. This holy place is picturesque collection of temples and shrines. All the dying persons are brought to Pashupatinath for cremation. Only the Hindus are allowed to go inside.
Bouddhanath (World Heritage Site): It is the world’s biggest stupa located about 2 kilometers to the north of Pashupatinath temple. This colossal Stupa is known by the name of Bouddhanath, the god of wisdom. It is difficult to assign a period to it, as some believe that it was built during the reign of either Shiva Dev or Anshu Verma in the 7th century A.D. The design is much like the Swayambhu Stupa, except that the final consists of receding squares instead of circles. Bouddhanath attracts the Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world.
Swayambhunath/Monkey temple (World Heritage Site): The Swayambhu Stupa crowns a hillock to the west of Kathmandu .A massive white dome surrounded by a 13 stage spire, the stupa is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Nepal. It is said to be 2000 years old. Its origins are linked to the founding of the Kathmandu valley, draining the water out of the lake by Bodhisattva Manjushree. Swayambhu manifested in the lake as a brilliant light emanating from a lotus and Manjushree let the water out by slashing a passage through the surrounding hills to facilitate paying homage to Swayambhu, thus making the valley inhabitable. Some monuments within the Stupa premises are damaged by the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on by April 25, 2015.
Kathmandu Durbar Square (World Heritage Site): Durbar Square is an overwhelming frenzy of art and architecture. The medieval palace complex is erected in different styles at the right hand side of the Kumari temple. This palace complex is locally known as the Basantapur Durbar or Nautale Durbar and the street is called Basantapur after it. This monument was constructed in 1770 A.D. in the initiation of King Prithivi Narayan Shah after capturing the Kathmandu Valley in 1768 A.D. The massive pagoda structure houses the tutelary deity of the Malla Kings. The palace building is labyrinth of stone paved quadrangles. The coronations ceremony is still performed in the main courtyard, the Nyasal Chowk. The palace façade is tapestry of intricately carved windows, shaded by gently sloping roofs of shimmering brown tiles.
Patan Durbar Square (World Heritage Site): It is an enchanting melange of Palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. This square was the former Royal Palace complex which was the center of Patan’s religious and social life, and houses a museum containing an array of bronze status and religious monuments. One remarkable monument here is 17th century temple dedicated to the Hindu god Krishna, built entirely of stone.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square (World Heritage Site): The city of Bhaktapur lies 14 km to the east of Kathmandu. Bhaktapur is the ancient capital of Mallas. Historically, the city was built in the 9th century (889 A.D.) during the reign of King Ananda Deva. The city was originally built in the shape of a sacred conch shell, which is associated with Lord Vishnu, the lord protector. Its Durbar Square is a symphony of art and architecture. The centerpiece is the 55-window palace overlooking the square which is paved over with brick. The history of the palace dates back to the 12th century. Some temples within the Bhaktapur Durbar Square are damaged by the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on by April 25, 2015.
Changunarayan (World Heritage Site): The temple of Changunarayan is situated on a peninsular ridge to the north of Bhaktapur. It was built in the 3rd century and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is one of the most ancient specimens of Pagoda-roofed shrines in the valley. It is decorated with some of the finest stones, metal and woodcrafts.The temple is thought to have been built by Bishnu Gupta, and was latter added to it by Hari Dutta Verma in 323 A.D. The surrounding views are splendid and the temple is the living museum. On April 25, 2015 the devastating earthquake damaged the temple and currently re-construction work is going on.
Bhaktapur: Bhaktapur or Bhadgaun as the city is also called, is a museum of medieval art and architecture with many fine examples of sculpture, woodcarving and colossal pagoda temples consecrated to different gods and goddesses. The city is shaped like a conch shell, one of the emblems of the god Vishnu and was founded by King Ananda Deva in A.D 889. The city is 1,402 m above sea level. Pottery and weaving are its major traditional industries. The city lies fifteen kilometers to the east of Kathmandu. The places worth visiting in and around Bhaktapur are – The National Art Gallery, Golden Gate, Fifty –five windowed Palace, Siddha Pokhari, Dattratraya Temple, Nyatapole Temple, Potter’s Square.
Patan: Patan is the second biggest medieval town in the valley after Kathmandu. The city is enriched with Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments with bronze gateways, guardian deities and wonderful carvings. The city is also known as the city of art. The city is believed to have been built during the region of Vira Deva in 299 A.D. The places worth visiting in and around Patan are- Durbar Square, Krishna Mandir, Royal Palace, Teleju Temple, Ashoka Stupa, Mahabouddha temple etc.
Kirtipur: Kirtipur is a small town located eight kilometers south-west of Kathmandu on the top of a ridge. Tribhuwan University is located on the way to Kirtipur at the foot of the hill. This historic town has many things to offer that includes ancient shrines, temples, old styled houses and villagers dressed in traditional costumes and are seen weaving on hand looms. Popular sites to be worth visiting are – Bagh Bhairab Temple, Uma-Maheshwar Temple, Chilandeo Stupa, Thai-style Teravada Temple, Tribhuwan University.
Dhulikhel: Dhulikhel is a well-preserved scenic town situated 30 km east of Kathmandu just off the Arniko highway at the relatively low elevation of 1550m. From here one can have a complete panoramic view of the snowy ranges from east to west. A short visit to Namobuddha, a popular pilgrimage site with the Stupa and Buddhist Monastery is highly recommended. One can also visit the old Dhulikhel market area where remarkable Newari architecture and elegance are still found almost that of Victorian era.
Namo Buddha: It is situated on a hill above Panauti. It requires an early drive or good walk to get there. There is an amazing story concerned with the life of Buddha which is commemorated by ancient stone slab and a stupa with all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. It is a good place for meditation.
Pokhara: Pokhara is an enchanting town nestled in a tranquil valley known as a hub of adventure. Its natural ambience which allows enjoying lakeside tranquility and breathtaking views of magnificent Machhapuchhre (Fish tail) Peak (6993m) has transformed Pokhara into a paradise of the planet. This valley which is 200km away from Kathmandu has been the base camp for many Nepal’s most popular trekking and rafting destinations.
Manakamana: This is also the famous pilgrimage site of Maa Bhagwati, one of Nepal’s five great wish fulfilling goddess. It is very near from Gorkha and connected with Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan by road. Every newly -wed Nepali and other worshippers pay a visit to this temple almost every day and sacrifice goats, chickens to praise the goddess and take blessings. Now-a- days a cable car service is available to make visit this sacred place and it takes 8 min to reach the top of the hill from Kurintar.
Lumbini: The birth place of Lord Buddha is situated on the western Terai in Rupandehi district of Lumbini zone in Nepal. Gautan Buddha was born in Lumbini Park in 623 B.C under Sal grova (Sorea robusta) on the full moon day of the sixth month of lunar calendar. As Lord Buddha was born on the full moon day of Baisakh Purnima this day is considered the most important and special day for the Buddhists. His birth, enlightenment and emancipation (nirvana) were all occurred on Baisakh Purnima and this special day is celebrated by the Buddhists all over Nepal, India and other countries.
Muktinath: Muktinath temple that holds a great religious significance for both Hindu and Buddhism lies on a high mountain range above 18 km north east of Jomsom at an altitude of 3800m Jomsom can either reach by trekking or flight from Pokhara and upon arrival at Jomsom a traveler can visit Muktinath by local jeep or motor bike. It makes the journey much shorter than what it was before.