Kathmandu Valley consist of three popular district: Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur covering an area of 570 km2. 7 UNESCO world heritage sites are located at the Kathmandu valley within the radius of 15 km. Some famous places not to be missed in Kathmandu valley includes:
Kathmandu Durbar Square:
Kathmandu Durbar Square serves as the center of attraction for tourist as it reveals the history of art and culture of Nepal. Kathmandus Durbar Square is the site of the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex, which was the royal Nepalese residence until the 19th century and where important ceremonies, such as the coronation of the Nepalese monarch, took place. The palace is decorated with elaborately-carved wooden windows and panels and houses the King Tribhuwan Memorial Museum and the Mahendra Museum. Durbar Square houses famous sites like:
Basantapur Tower (Nine storey Palace)
Basantapur tower provides the spectacular view of the western part of the Kathmandu valley. The tower was built by King Prithvi Narayan Shah in the mid 18th century. The Nine Storey Palace was destroyed by massive earthquake of 2015, and is under renovation work these days.
The Gaddi Baithak was constructed with the British influence during Rana regime in 1908 to serve as a reception hall to foreign dignitaries. The word Gaddhi means throne and the word Baithak means meeting room. This huge white attractive building southern part was destroyed during the earthquake of 2015 and is undergoing the renovation work these days.
Kumari Ghar is located at the southern part of Durbar Square where the living goddess of Nepal Kumari resides. They are the young girls chosen by meticulous screening for being the incarnation of the goddess Taleju. The Kumari lives on the Kumari Ghar away from her family under the care of loyal attendants until her first menstruation. No other people are allowed on this three storey building other than the Kumaris assistants and designated guests. One can witness the extremely beautiful wooden window on the inner courtyard of the Kumari Ghar.
Swet Bhairab (Seto Bhairab)
Swet Bhairab is one of the eight Bhairab located at Kathmandu Durbar Square covered with a large lattice window. You can catch the glimpse of Swet Bhairab through the window which is only taken out for 8 days a year during the festival of Indra Jatra. Traditional Nepali liquor and rice beer is distributed from a pipe coming out of the mouth of Bhairav during Indra Jatra.
Kal Bhairab is the colorful statue which is the fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva associated with annihilation. One can witness the Bhairab here wearing a necklace of skulls and trampling a corpse all the while using severed heads as weapons with his six hands while smiling. Kal Bhairab is often a crowded place as people come here to bless both Bhairab and themselves.
Taleju is the goddess of the Malla kings and later the Shah Kings of the Kathmandu Valley and the temple was built in 1564. It is located at Trishul Chowk, which is attached to Hanuman Dhoka Palace. The temple was built on 12 plinths. The 8th plinth forms a wall that surrounds the temple. In front of this are 12 smaller temples while 4 similar temples stand on the other side. The Tajelu temple is not opened for everyone.
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu Temple located on the banks of the Bagmati River 5 kilometers north-east of Kathmandu Valley in the eastern part of Kathmandu. UNESCO listed this sacred place as World Heritage Site in 1979. Pashupatinath Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu. The area of Pashupatinath encompasses 264 hectares of land including 518 temples and monuments. The World Heritage site includes:
Sadly Non-Hindus are not allowed on the temple but you dont have to worry as you can view the spectacular view of temple across the Bagmati River. One should take off all the electronics to enter the temple as no photograph is allowed inside the temple. One can witness the rear large Nandi (bull) in Nepal residing at the courtyard which was built by King Amsuvarma in 605 AD. Inside the temple one can see a three and a half foot high phallic shaped lingam. Engraved into four sides of the lingam are four deity heads. The courtyard is surrounded with various small shrines and multistory rest houses for pilgrims.
In the backwards of the Pashupatinath Temple there are ghats located on the both side of the Bagmati River where ritual cremations take place. You are free to walk around the ghat but are advised not to take photograph as there are people in deep sorrow and mourning here. Here you can learn about the cremation rituals of Hindus people.
Guhyeshwari Temple is the sacred place for Hindus and it is also regarded as shakti peetha. It is believed that deity Dati meditated for 12 years at the ghats before her marriage to Shiva. After this the two were married and soon after Satis father arranged a feast but neglected to invite Shiva. Sati was so devastated that she literally exploded into flame. Shiva flew around the earth with her body and as he did so parts of her body feel from the sky and the Guhyeshwari Temple is where her yoni fell. The temple is strictly prohibited for non-Hindus and no photographs are allowed even of the entrance way.
The Boudhanath Stupa is the largest stupa of Nepal situated 11 km from the center and north eastern outskirts of Kathmandu. UNESCO enlisted the Boudhanath Stupa as world heritage site in 1979 and is one of the most popular tourist sites in Kathmandu. The Asias largest stupa, Boudhanath serves as a quiet place and provides the feeling of serenity and composure. Thousands of pilgrims visits the Boudhanath daily and make a kora (circumambulation) chanting the prayers.
Circling The Stupa
Everyday many pilgrims visit the Boudhanath and ritually walk clockwise around the Stupa. The best time to visit the Stupa would be in the morning time as monks circle the stupa ritually chanting the prayers and spinning the brass prayers wheel. You can also join them but just remember to walk clockwise around the stupa and likewise spin the prayer wheels clockwise.
Ajima Shrine is located at the northern side of the Boudhanath Stupa. Ajima is known as the protector of Children goddess or the goddess of smallpox. It is believed that Ajima was a demon who had hundreds of children who she loved very much, however to feed her children she gave local children smallpox, abducted them and then ate them when Buddha came to know this all then he abducted one of Ajima child which made her realize the pain of losing a child, then vowed never to eat another child again. Buddha then taught her enlightenment and made her the protector of Children. Today many people pray to her for protection over their child.
The Tamang Gompa is located just opposite to main Stupa and is one of the most visited monasteries of the area. It is three storied structure, on the ground floor to the left by the entrance is a huge prayer wheel where you can take photograph and spin it. Then there lies the central prayer hall, you may take photograph here but photographing monks at prayer or using flash is not permitted. On the first floor there is a small prayer hall with a large traditional Taiko. The second floor offers the picturesque photo of the stupa, which serves as the biggest attraction for tourists.
Swayambhunath Temple (Monkey Temple):
Swayambhunath Temple sits at a hill top in the west of Kathmandu city from where one can view the spectacular sight of the Kathmandu valley. Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple as there are holy monkeys living in the north-west parts of the temple. There are two entrance for the Swayambhunath Temple, Eastern entrance and Southern entrance. Southern entrance has less steps to climb up whereas, eastern entrance entail climbing 365 steps.
The stupa consists of a dome at the base, above which is a cubical structure painted with eyes of Buddha looking in all four directions. There are pentagonal Toran present above each of the four sides with statues engraved in them. Behind and above the Torana there are thirteen tiers. Above all the tiers there is a small space above which the Gajur is present. The stupa has many artifacts inside it.
Valley View Point:
The Stupa also offers the panoramic view of the Kathmandu valley. On a clear day the views stretch across and beyond the city providing the spectacular views of mountain ranges too. While circling the stupa you can encounter the various views that make your trip worthy.
Swayambhu Buddhist Museum:
Swayambhu Buddhist Museum is located at the south west corner of the Stupa. It is a small red brick building that houses dimly lit museum. It houses the statues of Buddha in various stages of deterioration.
The Western Stupa:
This white stupa has been renovated several times and is surrounded by the Chayita. The large vajra held in by metal poles lies on the eastern side of the stupa. The original stone vajra is sometimes laid out behind it where you can examine the weather-beaten stone. On the opposite side to the vajra is a large Taleju bell.
World Peace Pond:
World Peace Pond houses the gilded Buddha statue in the center of the pond surrounded by water and coins thrown in for the luck. Monkeys come here to drink water so people also named it as monkey pond. Many people gather here to throw the coin and check their luck so the pond is always filled with the coins.
Buddha Park is located at the southern entrance and is bordered by some shrines. The park is also called as Buddha Amideva Park, Buddha Environmental Park and Three Buddha Park. The park is quite clean and pleasant and also has a children playground. It was built in 2003 and is famous for three huge golden Buddha Statues (64-67 ft). At the center with blue is the Buddha himself, to his right is four-armed Avalokitesvara and to his left is Padmasambhava or Rinpoche.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square:
The Bhaktapur Durbar Square is located in the current town of Bhaktapur, also known as Bhadgaon, which lies 13 km east of Kathmandu. While the complex consists of at least four distinct squares (Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square and Pottery Square), the whole area is informally known as the Bhaktapur Durbar Square and is a highly visited site in the Kathmandu Valley. The Durbar square is surrounded by spectacular architecture and vividly showcases the skills of the Newari artists and craftsmen over several countries. The major attraction of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bhaktapur Durbar Square includes:
The Palace of 55 windows:
The palace of 55 Windows was built in 1696 by King Bhupatindra Malla and serves as the major attraction of Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Among the brick walls, with their gracious setting and sculptural design, is a balcony of fifty-five windows, considered to be a unique masterpiece of woodcarving. It is also known as one of the oldest monument present in Nepal.
The Golden Gate (Sun Dhoka)
The Golden Gate is the entrance for the Royal Palace and is regarded as the greatest piece of artwork in Nepal. The Golden gate was made in the regime of Ranjit Malla in 1753. At the very top of the Toran is the garuda that is seen dispatching some serpents. The main feature of the gate is that of the four headed and 10 armed goddess Tajelu Bhawani, the lineage goddess of the Malla kings.
Nyatapola is the largest temple in Nepal. This 5 storied 30m high temple was built by King Bhupatindra Malla in 1702. Anyone is free to climb the stairway leading up the temple. This beautifully sculptured building is considered one of the tallest pagodas in the country and is a lovely example of the immense workmanship that went into buildings of this type. The Nyatapola temple was built and dedicated to the goddess Siddhi Lakshmi, like other temples the goddess inside the temple is given access only the priests.
Pottery Square is lovely place to observe the process of making handicrafts using the clay. The pottery square is filled with sun drying clay ware. You can also try your hand at spinning a clay pot, also no price are set here for making your own clay pot. There are lots od souvenir stalls here where you can buy souvenir for your family and friends.
Patan Durbar Square:
Patan is one of the oldest known Buddhist cities. It is a center of both Hinduism and Buddhism with 136 bahals or courtyards and 55 major temples. Most of these structures are in the vicinity of the Durbar Square. Patan Durbar Square, a site enlisted in UNESCO world heritage site is situated at the centre of Patan city which symbolizes the ancient Newari Culture and Architecture. The major attraction of Patan Durbar Square includes:
Krishna Mandir is made up of three stone tiers which have intricate carvings of great scenes representing Krishna and is one of the most remarkable stone buildings in Kathmandu Valley which was constructed taking a long period of time of about six and half year. The first floor houses the statue of lord Krishna, the second floor houses the statue of Lord Shiva, and the third floor houses the statue of Lord Lokeshwor and is worshiped by Hindus as non-Hindus are not allowed on the temple. One can witness the beautiful pillar with Vishnus mount in front of the temple.
The Golden Temple (Hiranyavarna Mahavihara)
The Golden Temple is located at the Northern side of Durbar Square. The entrance fee of Golden Temple is 50 rupee. The temple was built in 1409 and is a Newari Buddhist monastery. The main courtyard of the temple surprises you with its ornate statues, gilded figures and a plethora of artifacts. You also encounter the lavish shrine with a silver and gold chaitya and at the entrance there are two large brass guardian elephants and riders. The shrine also houses the large bronze Bodhisattvas among which three are Padmapani Lokeshwar and fourth is Manjushree. The second floor consists of a small prayer hall.
Patan Museum is housed in a courtyard within the Northernmost building complex of the Durbar area. The most picturesque setting of the palace that has been created in so small a place by piety and pride is known now to the people as Keshav Narayan Chowk after a temple standing at the center of the courtyard dedicated to Keshavnarayan- a form of Lord Vishnu. This part is recorded in the history as Chaukot Durbar or four-cornered-fort-palace. The architecture gallery of the museum provides you detailed explanations on the construction of many temples in Patan.
Mul chowk was built in 1666 and is the heart of Durbar Square. It is the central courtyard and is the most popular and spacious among the three courtyards. The Vidya Temple is located at the center of the courtyard while Taleju temple stands around the Mul chowk. The gilded figures on the main eastern wall remain a highlight. They are of Ganga and Jamuna goddesses of the river system that runs from the Himalaya.
Nagarkot is located at the Bhaktapur district and is 32 km east of Kathmandu and is popularly known as the hill station near Kathmandu. Nagarkot is known for a sunrise view of the Himalayas including Mount Everest as well as other peaks of the Himalayan range of eastern Nepal. Nagarkot also offers a panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley. The scenic beauty of the place makes it a very popular hiking route for tourists. October to March is the best time to visit Nagarkot for the spectacular views. Nagarkot is a very short trip from the historic city of Bhaktapur and only two hours from Kathmandu. While many like to simply sit back and relax in the clean air there are various activities to keep you busy while not being over strenuous. The 4 km trek through a forest path leads you to a high viewing platform from where you can have the views of Ganesh Himal, Langtang Lirung, Shisha Pangma, Dorje Lakpa and Gauri Shankar. The panorama stretches from Dhaulagiri to the west, the barely dot of Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga to the east. Nagarkot also offers the loop trek for the people who is interest on doing a longer trek which takes about 5 hours and the trekking trails passes through the rice terraces and mustard fields which are quite scenic.
Kopan Monastery is situated at the outskirt of Kathmandu, near Boudhanath Stupa. Kopan has become especially famous for teaching Buddhism to visiting Western foreigners. The first of what would become annual month-long (NovemberDecember) meditation courses was held in 1971. These courses generally combine traditional Lam Rim teachings with informal discussion, several periods of guided meditation, and a vegetarian diet. Kopan Monastery has also recently become a popular recreational destination for Kathmandu residents and tourists. On Saturdays it regularly receives hundreds of visitors. The monastery is not open to the public on other days of the week.
White Gumba is located at the northern part of Kathmandu Valley on north wet hill of Sayambhunath Temple and is the religious monastery for the Buddhist. White Gumba is filled with a rich Tibetan Culture and Architecture, its murals, statues and paintings reflect the teaching and much more of Buddhism. Surrounded by the terrains and lush green valley the White Gumba offers the spectacular view of the Kathmandu valley. It can be visited by visitors and tourist only on Saturday, rest of the days no one is allowed.
The Changunarayan Temple is located at the hill top, 12 km east of Kathmandu and few miles north of Bhaktapur. Changunarayan is considered to be the oldest temple of Nepal. Crossing over to the front of main temple we can see a plethora of statues, sculptures, pillars and artifacts which date back to the 5th and even 4th centuries. The two-storey roofed temple stands on a high plinth of stone. This shrine is dedicated to Lord Visnu and held in special reverence by the Hindu people. The roof struts display some beautiful tantric carvings. The pagoda style temple is surrounded on all sides by elephants, lions, sarabhas and to the rear griffins. A private museum is also located on in the Changunarayan on the way to temple, it is the first private museum of Nepal and it has the collection of ancient coins, tools, arts, and architectures.
Pokhara Valley lies in the western part of Nepal and is the second largest valley in the hilly region of Nepal. It is located at the Gandaki Zone, 203 kilometer west of Kathmandu Valley. Pokhara is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal. Many tourists visit Pokhara Valley to see the Himalayan range and lakes. Pokhara is also famous for boating, trekking, rafting and extreme sports like rafting, canoeing and bungee jumping. Some of the place not to be missed in Pokhara includes:
Phewa Tal (Phewa Lake):
Phewa Lake is the second largest lake in Nepal and the largest lake of Gandaki Zone. The lake is stream-fed but a dam regulates the water reserve, therefore, the lake is classified as semi-natural freshwater lake. Phewa Lake is located at an altitude of 742 m (2,434 ft) and covers an area of about 5.23 km2 (2.0 sq mi). It has an average depth of about 8.6 m (28 ft) and a maximum depth of 24 m (79 ft). It is the most popular and most visited lake of Nepal which has a temple at the center part of lake known as Tal Barahi. The lake is also famous for the reflection of mount Machhapuchhre and other mountain peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges on its surface. One can also enjoy the peaceful boating in Phewa lake witnessing the spectacular mountain ranges.
Sarangkot Hill lies west to Pokhara city and is situated at an altitude of 1600m. Sarangkot is the most visited tourist destination which is also popular for mesmerizing sunset and sunrise view. It offers the panoramic view of Himalayan peaks, from Dhaulagiri (8167m) in the west to the perfect pyramid of Machhapuchhare (6997m), the tent-like peak of Annapurna II (7937m) to Lamjung (6983m) in the east. Sarangkot also serves as the perfect destination for the short hike from Pokhara City. One can have the spectacular sight of Pokhara Valley and the beautiful Fewa Lake from the height of Sarangkot. The horse riding tour can also be done in Sarangkot starting from the Fewa Lake and lately it has become hotspot for paragliding.
Peace Pagoda stands on the top of Ananda Hill adding beauty to the Pokhara Valley. Peace Pagoda in Pokhara is the first World Peace Pagoda in Nepal which is 115 feet tall and 344 feet in diameter. The pagoda is 7 kilometers from Mahendrapool, the major business spot in Pokhara. There are several ways to reach the peace pagoda. There are hiking trails, cycling tracks and the blacked topped road to the Stupa. It is a perfect holiday place providing a clear view of the Himalayan range including Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Annapurna, Fewa Lake and Pokhara city.
Bindhyabasini Temple is also one of the most popular and well known temples in Pokhara which lies in the north of Pokhara and is located at 3000 ft above sea level. It is situated in the laps of Machhapuchhare and Annapurna ranges. Bindabasini Temple is of great religious importance to Hindus living in the Pokhara region.It is a vital hub of religious fervor. The temple itself is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga, who is Pokharas chosen guardian deity. Durga, also known as Shakti or Kali has numerous manifestations and at the Bindabasini temple she is seen as Bhagwati, a blood-thirsty aspect of the goddess.
Begnas Lake is the third largest lake of Nepal and second largest lake of Pokhara Valley. Begnas Lake is the fresh water lake which is located in south-east of Pokhara Valley. Begnas Lake area with a number of resorts is a popular destination for tourists visiting Pokhara. The water from the lake is used for irrigation and some parts of the lake are used as caged fisheries. The Begnas lake area has a number of swampy areas around it, many of which have been converted to paddy fields day by day
The Gupteshwar Cave is a sacred tourist destination which is around two kilometers away from the Pokhara Airport. A symbolic Shivalinga is preserved in the cave. The cave has divided into two sections. One part of the cave is 40 meters in length with natural caves and the Shivalinga. The entrance is 2 meters high and 3 meters wide. The cave begins with few hall rooms which have many passages. Some of the passages are so small that one needs to crawl. To reach the shrine a thousand stairs have to be climbed. The Shivalinga inside the cave is said to be in the same condition since it was explored. This shrine is said to have certain healing powers. Hence many people visit it once in a year to be healed. The second part begins after this temple. It leads to the Davis Fall. Photography inside the cave is prohibited.
Devis Fall is one of the popular tourist destinations of Nepal. It is known as Patale Chango in Nepali. The Gupteshwar Cave is located near this fall. The waterfall gets its water from the Phewa Lake. The Davis Falls is a unique waterfall around 2 km from the centre of Pokhara city. This falls flows directly into a narrow and deep canal which has no ends. The name of the waterfall is related to different stories. Some say that the name was given to this waterfall because a tourist named David fell and died in this waterfall. On the other hand the local residents call it Devi in Nepali which means immortal God. This waterfall is also known as Davys fall, Davis fall or Davids fall. The scenic and natural beauty near the falls is extremely impressive. It is an exciting place to spend a day and enjoy nature.
Poon Hill (3210m) is a destination point of the Poon Hill Trek otherwise known as the Ghorepani / Ghandruk Loop. The views here are best at sunrise before the mountains are hidden by clouds. Poon Hill offers mesmerizing views of some of the highest and the most beautiful mountains in the world that includes Annapurna South, Machhapuchchhre, Himalchuli among others. Its typically an easy 45 minutes walking from Ghorepani to reach the view point. The view is fantastic and is different but probably as good as the views even within the Annapurna Sanctuary. Travelers can observe the entire mountains ranges covered in golden colors as a due cause of light reflection by the early suns ray.
Chitwan National Park:
Chitwan National Park is one of the finest wildlife reserves in Asia, located in the plains of Nepal Terai. The park with a total area of 932km is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its the home to many animals, birds and plant species that includes one horn rhino, different kinds of deer, sloth bears, leopards, tigers, crocodiles, monkeys as well as many different species of butterflies, insects over 450 sorts of colorful endangered birds , and an incredible variety of other fauna and flora. A visit to Chitwan is must for any wildlife affectionate and even for the leisurely travelers who wish to relax in the tranquility of sub-tropical jungle and observe wildlife or the local culture, tradition and way of life in Terai. Elephant Riding/Safari, Jungle Walk/Safari, Birds Watching, Jeep Drive/Safari, Canoeing are its main attractions. Chitwan offers the wildlife experience as it hosts 56 species of animals, 49 species of amphibians and reptiles and 525 species of birds making it a paradise for the nature lovers and biodiversity enthusiasts. During the Jungle Safari the most interesting encounters include one-horned rhinos and royal Bengal tigers just a few meters away. Apart from these activities Chitwan also provides opportunity to visit the nearby Tharu and Chepang village which helps to experience life in the Terai region.
The sacred land of Lumbini where Lord Buddha is believed to have born lies in Kapilvastu district in western Terai region of Nepal. Lord Buddha is highly regarded as apostle of peace, nonviolence and compassion. The sacred region is also a meditation hub for numerous monks and nuns from around the globe. Lumbini offers not only religious pilgrimage but also it carries with it the majestic beauty of nature. Lumbini is listed in UNESCO world heritage site. Thousands of tourists pay homage to this sacred land of Buddha every year. Blessed with the various sites, instruments and shrines of various stages of Buddhas life, Lumbini offers a variety of attractions related to the different occurrences in Buddhas life. The prime attraction of Lumbini includes: Mayadevi Temple, Ashokan pillar, Myanmar Golden Temple, World Peace Pagoda, Dharma swami Maharaja Buddha Vihar, China Temple and Lumbini Museum.
Mayadevi Temple is traditionally considered as the birth place of Lord Buddha and is the main temple of Lumbini. The temple is situated behind the sacred pool also known as Puskarni and is an ancient Buddhist temple. Mayadevi Temple is considered as the important place to the Hindu and Buddhist religious community as well as the history and culture of the entire world. The main attraction of the temple is a sandstone carving of the birth of Buddha, which was left by Malla King, Ripu Malla, in the 14th century. Just beneath this is a marker stone encased within bulletproof glass, which points the spot where the birth of Buddha took place.
Ashokan Pillar stands next to the Mayadevi Temple which marks the spot where Lord Buddha was born. The Ashokan Pillar was erected there to commemorate Ashokas visit in Lumbini. After being lost for several years, the pillar was rediscovered in 1896 by Khadga Shumsher Rana, the Governor of Palpa. The 6 meter tall pillar is made from pink sandstone.
Myanmar Golden Temple:
Myanmar Golden Temple is one of the oldest structures on the Lumbini premises consisting of three prayer halls. The most impressive prayer hall is topped by a corncob-shaped shikhara (tower), styled after the temples of Bagan. Also within the temple grounds is the Lokamani Pula Pagoda, a huge gilded stupa in the southern Burmese style, inspired by the Shwedagon Paya in Yangon.
World Peace Pagoda:
World Peace Pagoda is located outside the main compound is impressive pagoda which was constructed by Japanese Buddhist at a cost of US$1 million. The world greatest stupa houses the shining golden statue which shows the posture of Buddha during his birth.
Lumbini Museum is located at the northern end of compound which displays the artifacts from Mauryan and Kushana periods. The museums houses religious manuscripts, stamps and metal sculptures from all over the world representing Lumbini.
Sagarmatha National Park:
Sagarmatha National Park is a protected area in the Himalayas of eastern Nepal containing the southern half of Mount Everest. The park was created on July 19, 1976 and was inscribed as a Natural World Heritage Site in 1979. The park encompasses an area of 1,148 km2 (443 sq mi) in the Solukhumbu District and ranges in elevation from 2,845 m (9,334 ft) at Jorsalle to 8,848 m (29,029 ft) at the summit of Mount Everest. Barren land above 5,000 m (16,000 ft) comprises 69% of the park while 28% is grazing land and the remaining 3% is forested. Sagarmatha National Park is also home to a number of rare mammal species, including musk deer, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear and red panda. Himalayan thars, langur monkeys, martens and Himalayan wolves are also found in the park. . The forests provide habitat to at least 118 species of birds, including Himalayan monal, blood pheasant, red-billed chough, and yellow-billed chough. The park contains the areas of the Dudh Kosi River, Bhotekoshi River basin and the Gokyo Lakes. It is largely composed of roughed terrain and gorges of the high Himalayas, ranging from 2,845 m (9,334 ft) at Monjo to the top of the worlds highest peak Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) at 8,848 m (29,029 ft) above sea level.
Everest Base Camp:
Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most favorite trekking destinations in the Everest region for its wide ranges of scenic views all along the ways. Trekking in the Everest region is a lifetime dream of passionate travelers as the quest goes to the Everest base camp situated at an elevation of 5,380m above the sea level. The trials to the enthralling place are comprised of climbs and descend that traverse lush lowland, alpine forests, glaciers, rivers, Buddhist monasteries, temples, and authentic Sherpa Villages.
Kalapathar with an elevation of 5,644m is the famous landmark located on the south ridge of Pumori in the Nepali himalayes above the Gorakshep. The word kala means black and pathar means rock so Kalapathar means Black Rock. Kalapathar is very famous among the trekkers in the region of Everest as it provides the most spectacular close up view of Mount Everest. It offers the picturesque view of Everest, Nuptse and Changtse and also the glimpses of the northern flank and summit of Lhotse. It also encompasses the worlds highest webcam, Mount Everest Webcam.
Tengboche located at the elevation of 3,867 meters (12,687ft) is a village in Khumbu region of Nepal. Tengboche offers the panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountain including Everest, Taeache, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Thamserku. Tengboche houses the beautiful Tengboche Monastery which is the important Buddhist Monastery and is the largest gompa on the Khumbu Region. Tengboche Monastery is located on a hill at the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Imja Khola rivers. The most important festival of Sherpa people Mani Rimdu is celebrated at Tengboche Monastery.
Located at an elevation of 3,440 meters (11,286 ft) in Khumbu area Namche is the main trading center and hub for the Khumbu region. Namche is the residential area of Sherpa People who are involved in tourism business. Namche has cool, wet summers and chilly, dry winters mainly affected by its altitude and the summer monsoon season. As Namche is the gateway to the high Himalaya it is popular among trekkers especially for altitude acclimatization.
Gokyo Lakes are oligotrophic lakes in Nepals Sagarmatha National Park, located at an altitude of 4,7005,000 m (15,40016,000 ft) above sea level. These lakes are the Worlds highest freshwater lake system comprising six main lakes, of which Thonak Lake is the largest. In September 2007, Gokyo and associated wetlands of 7,770 ha (30.0 sq mi) have been designated a Ramsar site.The Gokyo lake system of 19 lakes is spread over an area of 196.2 ha (485 acres) lying between 4,600 and 5,100 m (15,100 and 16,700 ft). The wetland lies on the head of the Dudh Kosi, which descends from Cho Oyu. The Gokyo Lakes are considered sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists. About 500 Hindus take a holy bath in the lakes during the Janai Purnima festival, which usually occurs in the month of August. On an average 7,000 tourists annually visit the Gokyo Lakes.
Lukla situated at an elevation of 2,860 meters (9,380 ft) is a town in the Khumbu area. Lukla is a popular spot among the trekkers to the Himalayas near Mount Everest to arrive. Lukla houses the Tenzing-Hillary Airport popularly known as Lukla Airport which is also called as the most dangerous airport in the world due to a sudden drop in weight and fuel. There are daily flights between Lukla and Kathmandu during daylight hours in good weather.
Kali Gandaki Gorge:
The Kali Gandaki Gorge or Andha Galchi is the gorge of the Kali Gandaki (or Gandaki River) in the Himalayas in Nepal. By some measures the Kali Gandaki gorge is the deepest canyon in the world. Gorge depth is difficult to define due to disagreement over rim height so this claim is disputed. The upper part of the gorge is also called Thak Khola. Geologically, the gorge is within a structural Graben. The gorge separates the major peaks of Dhaulagiri (8,167 m or 26,795 ft) on the west and Annapurna (8,091 m or 26,545 ft) on the east. If one measures the depth of a canyon by the difference between the river height and the heights of the highest peaks on either side, the gorge is the worlds deepest. The Kali Gandaki gorge has been used as a trade route between India and Tibet for centuries. Today, it is part of a popular trekking route from Pokhara to Muktinath, part of the Annapurna Circuit. The gorge is within the Annapurna Conservation Area.
Tilicho Lake is considered the worlds highest lake located in the trans-Himalayan zone and is formed by the glacial melt of the entire northern slopes of Annapurna and the Thorung Peak. Tilicho Lake is a lake located in the Manang district of Nepal, at 55 km areal distance from Pokhara. It is situated at an altitude of 4,919 metres (16,138 ft) in the Annapurna range of the Himalayas and is known as the highest lake for its size in the world. Tilicho Lake is the destination of one of the most popular side hikes of the Annapurna Circuit trek. The hike takes additional 34 days. No camping is required, as new lodges have been built between Manang and the lake. The final approach to the lake is done in a day hike from the lodge at Tilicho Base Camp. The alternate route, skirting Tilicho Lake from the north, has been gaining popularity. This route is more demanding and requires at least one night of camping. There are no teahouses or lodges past the Tilicho Base Camp lodge some kilometers east of the lake and the next village of Thini Gaon in the Kali Gandaki valley.
Rara Lake falls in the Rara National Park and is the biggest and deepest fresh water lake in Nepal Himalayas. The entire lake is spread over an area of 16 sq kms. It is at a height of 2990 metres above sea level. The scenic beauty of Rara Lake is awesome. It is one of the apt destinations for trekking in Nepal. A wide variety of fish like snow trout is found in the lake. The lake offers a wonderful glimpse of nature and the culture of Nepal. Various activities like fishing, boating and trekking are attractions of this lake all year round. Summer is quite pleasant but winter is cold at this region. The best visiting time to the lake is September/October and April to May. From December to March, the temperatures go low below the freezing point, and heavy snowfall occurs up to one meter, blocking the way to the lake. April to June is warm in this region. Rara Lake is the main feature of the Rara National Park, surrounded by the national park Rara lake has unique floral and faunal importance with rare and vulnerable species consisting 1074 species of flora of which 16 are endemic to Nepal, and 51 species of mammals and 214 species of birds.
Before two decades, Mustang was completely closed to tourists as the government zealously kept this slice of Shangri-la closed to all foreigners. At the time, the region was also called with names like, The Forbidden City or Little Tibet. Mustang formerly Kingdom of Lo, is a remote and isolated region situated at the Himalayas of Nepal. The Upper Mustang comprises the northern two-thirds of Mustang District of Dhawalagiri Zone, Nepal. The main hydrographic feature of Mustang is the Gandaki River. The river runs southward towards Nepal Terai, bisecting Mustang. Routes paralleling the river once served as a major trade route between Tibet and India, especially for salt. Part of the river valley in the southern Mustang District forms the Kali Gandaki Gorge, by some measures the deepest gorge in the world. Lo Manthang, the last big settlement in the Mustang North, is the capital of Upper Mustang. It is generally called as the City of Clay and City of wall. In the past, to save the Kingdom of Lo, a big wall was built around the village, and everyone was needed to construct their homes within this wall. Upper Mustang is often addressed as little Tibet. There are many monasteries here as they are a vital part of daily life in this place. Each town on this area has their own cultural diversity. Lo Manthang alone houses 3 old monasteries, with the oldest one, known as The God House, being seven hundred years old.
Manang is a town in the Manang District of Nepal. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 391 people living in 120 individual households. It is situated on the broad valley of the Marshyangdi River to the north of the Annapurna mountain range. The river flows to the east. To the west there is the 5,416 meters (17,769 ft) high mountain pass of Thorong La. To the north there is the Chulu East peak of 6,584 meters. Most groups trekking around the Annapurna will take resting days in Manang to acclimatize to the high altitude, before taking the Thorong La pass. The village is situated on the northern slope, which gets the most sunlight and the least snow cover in the winter. The cultivation fields are on the northern slope with terraces. The Manang Valley, which lies close to the Nepal-Tibet border, offers tremendous opportunities due to its rich natural flora and fauna. As Manang lies to the north of the Himalayas which blocks monsoon air, Manang gets least amount of rainfall among districts of Nepal.
Was traveling with a friend through India and Nepal, my one "must do" in Nepal was to see Mount Everest. Didn't have enough time to do the trek and the flight around the Himalayas seemed lame. We found the option to have a freaking helicopter take us up into…Read More