Durbar Square :
Durbar Square is the gem not only of Bhaktapur, but also
of the entire nation. The most fascinating structure here
is the world-renowned 55-Window Palace. The elaborately
carved windows and doors are something that visitors simply
cannot help admiring. The seat of royalty before 1769 AD,
the building now houses the National Art Gallery—the museum
better known for its rich collection of paubha scroll paintings
and breathtaking artworks in stone.
The world famous Golden Gate rubs shoulders with the 55-Window
Palace. An unparalleled specimen of repousse art dating
back to 1756 , it is the entrance to the marvelous Taleju
Temple Complex. Getting into it leads to a number of artistica-lly
designed chowks (courtyards) including the Royal Bath, which
is adorned with the well-admired Golden Faucet among others.
Another artwork that unfailing-ly bewitches visitors in
is the Big Bell. Big enough to match its name, the bell
was erected by Ranajit Malla (r. 1722-1769), Bhaktapur’s
last Malla king. It wasused in those days for paying homage
to Goddess Taleju, the lineage deity of Malla
as well as to call assemblies of the citizens to discuss
on given subjects concerning the state. Today, it is rung
twice a day as a mark of tribute to the goddess. Right next
to it is a smaller Barking Bell. To one’s surprise, all
dogs around it start whining the moment it is rung by its
The Yaksheswor Mahadev Temple equally adds to the Square’s
unparallaled beauty. Named after its builder king, Yaksha
Malla (r. 1428-82), the two-storied pagoda was constructed
after Kathmandu’s world famous Pashupatinath temple. It
is noted for its wooden struts full of erotic carvings.
Other notable monuments in and around the historic Durbar
Square are: the octagonal Chyasin Mandap, Siddhi Laxmi Temple,
Shiva Temple (Fasi-dega), Vatsala Temple, Bhandarkhal Complex,
Chatu Brahma Mahavihar, Indrayani Temple, Balakhu Ganesh
Temple, Tripura-sundari Temple and the Char Dham symbolizing
the four greatest Hindu pilgrimage sites.
The Nyataponla Temple presides over the Taumadhi Square.
Dating back to 1702 AD, the colossal five-storied edifice
is the country’s tallest pagoda temple. The struts, doors,
windows and tympanums—each embellished with attractively
carved divine figures—perfectly portray the creative tradition
of Newar craftsmen. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Siddhi
Laxmi, the manifestation of female force and creativity.
The latest major renovation of this monument was carried
out in 1997 AD by Bhaktapur Municipality using the revenue
it collected from tourists.
Next to the Nyataponla Temple is the rectangular shaped
Bhairavnath Temple. It houses a gilded bust of Bhairav,
the ferocious manifestation of Lord Shiva. The three-storied
pagoda was razed to the grounds by the 1934-earthquake,
and its latest renovation was undertaken by Bhaktapur Municipality
in 1995 AD.
The enclosed complex facing the Nyataponla Temple is dedicated
to Tilmadhav Narayan, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu, who
is one of the Supreme
Triumvirate of Hindu pantheon. A few steps ahead it, to
the southwest, lies the famous Pottery Square, where visitors
can see the city’s well-known potters making variously shaped
and sized earthenware. The major monumental highlight of
this square is a temple of Jeth Ganesh, which dates back
to the 14th century.Temples in Taumadi Square:
Nyatapola Temple, Bhairav Temple, Teel Mahadeve Narayan
Temple and many more.
The Dattatreya Square is
Bhaktapur's third dazzling gem. The seat of royalty till
the 15th century, the area still houses a great number of
historic monuments including many wondrous Maths (residential
mansions) and temples.The Dattatreya Temple is the main
attraction of the Square. Constructed by King Yaksha Malla,
the giant three-storied temple is believed to have been
built with the stem of a single tree. Having defied series
of calamities, it still bears testimony to the incredible
achievement made in those regal days of the Nepalese history.
The Wane Layaku complex, which lies to the south-western
corner of the Dattatreya temple, is noted for Bhaktapur's
second Taleju shrine. Enclosed with old houses, the courtyard
sees throngs of people, especially during the Mohani ( Dashain
) festival, when a rare Ghau-batacha (Water Clock) is put
on public display. During the Malla Era, the water-clock
was used by the then rulers and astrologers for fixing "propitious
moments" for commencing and concluding various state and
The Peacock Window , which is also called the " Mona Lisa
of Nepal ", is a rare masterpiece in wood. Dating back to
the early 15th century, the unique latticed window has an
intricately carved peacock in its center. The window adorns
the Pujari Math which, with rows of exquisitely carved windows
and doors, is equally appealing. The building presently
houses the Woodcarving Museum . The museum has a rich collection
of unique pieces in wood.The Brass & Bronze Museum ,
housed in the historic Chikanpha Math , is the next highlight
of the Square. It has a wide collection of bronze and brasswares
including the ritual jars, utensils, water vessels, pots,
spittoons and similar other household items.Near the Dattatreya
Square is the Wakupati Narayan Temple . Dedicated to Lord
Vishnu, the two-storied structure is a unique specimen of
pagoda architecture. Next to it is bhaktapur's second Pottery
Square .Besides Bhaktapur's three well-acclaimed Squares,
there are many other spots within the expanse where visitors
can experience a lot more. The recently-restored Ta-Pukhu
(Siddha Pokhari) , Ancha-Pukhu , Khancha-Pukhu , Barahi
Temple , Lokeswor Mahavihar , Nava Durga Temple , the Terra-cotta
Windows at Tuchhimala and Nepal's largest Shiva Lingum at
Hanumanghat are some of Bhaktapur's monumental glories which
tourists visiting this ancient city simply do not like to
Temples in Dattatraya Square:
Dattatraya Temple, Bhimsen Temple, Pottery Square:
Bhaktapur has two famous pottery squares. One is ocated
at Talac towards the southern part of he Durbar Square and
another one located ate Suryamadhi, to the east of the Dattatraya
square. Many potters can be seen working ont their traditional
wheels and thousands of finished and semi-finished clay
produts lie about in beautiful rows under the sun.Potters
and their families can be observed busy in preparing the
lumps fo black clay for the final shaping, mending some
fo the row clay products or adding finer craftsmanship onto
the half sone ones. If one is luck , one can even see how
they burn these clay products in teh open traditional kilns
for days before the final products are ready. Winthin the
Talaco pottery square, two important temples of Vishnu and
Ganesh can be seen in a very traditional way. Where as in
the other portery square, the shrine of Wakupati Narayan
with its beautiful wood carved windows, stone sculptures
and a sample piece of the pagoda tempel can be obseved.Top
The National Art Gallery :
Contains ancient and medieval paintings belonging to
Hindu and Buddhist schools depicting Tantrism of various
periods and descriptions.Nyatapola Temple :
This five-storey pagoda was built in 1702 A.D. by King
Bhupatindra Malla. It stands on a five-terraced platform.
On each of the terraces squat a pair of figures. This is
one of the tallest pagodas and is famous for its massive
structure and subtle workmanship.
Bhairavnath Temple :
This temple was first built as a one-storey pagoda but
was later changed into a three storey temple in 1718 A.D.
by King Bhupatindra Malla. The temple is noted for its artistic
grandeur. It is dedicated to Lord Bhairav, the god of terror.Dattatraya
Built in 1427 A.D., this temple is said to have been
built from the trunk of a single tree. Near this temple
is a monastery with exquisitely carved peacock window.
It is religious site
for Hindus and Buddhists alike. River banks often used by
the local people to burn dead bodies called 'Ghat'. People
have the practise of visiting such ghats areas in teh early
mornings to wash themselves purifying their body and then
to go about visiting temples and images of gods and goddesses,
a process of purifying one;s mind and soul. Ghats usually
have one or more crematories where the dead bodies are burned
to ashes and the ashes in turn are thrown into the rive
as a part of Hindu/Buddhist culture. There are several such
Ghats in around Bhaktapur. Hunuman Ghat is very popular
Ghat in Bhaktapur, it spreads to a larger area with many
religious images, objects and structures scattered around
in such array that even a non religious perosn would start
feeling differently once visiting there. For tourists it
is like alking about in an alien land. The largest Shiva
Lingam in nepal, temple of Ram , numerous store sculptures,
small stupas, shiva lingams, more can be observed in this
Ghat area. Visiting this place in the early morning is recomanded.
One can observe how a day begins for a religious traditional
Newar in Bhaktapur.
Nava Durga Temple:
Ffrom a religous point of view, the shrine of Nava Durga
the nine manifestations fo Goddess Durga has a high place
in Bhaktapur. Nava Durga is also the combination of nine
protective mother Goddess of the city. The three storied
shrine which lies in Kwathando-4, Bhaktapur also popular
for the its elaborately carved windows and doors. It seems
huge crowd of devotees during Dashain (October), the greatest
festival of Hindu in nepal. A wood carved window and the
nothern facade displays the Chariot of Bhairav which has
its own importance and significance.Kancha-Pukha:
Kanchu-Pukha located to the south of the Dattatrya square
is one of hte most amazing architectural pond. The unique
improtance of the pond lies in the fact that it perfectly
displays the image of the Nayatapolea Temple. Despite being
situated at the distance of over 500m from the temple and
densely packed tall houses standing between them, the beautiful
reflection can still be viewed and enjoyed.
Wakupati Narayan temple:
At a little distance on teh eastern side of the Dattatraya
Square, a loverly specimen in the metalwork, the Wokupati
Narayan Temple is enclosed within a stone paved coutyard.
This two sotried pagoda style temple is dedicated to Lord
Vishnu dates back to 1667 AD. No where else other than here
would one see four Garudas, the bird vehicle of Lord Vishnu,
at a single place in a row.
The temple of Changunarayan is said to be the oldest
in the Kathmandu Valley. Listed in the World Cultural Heritage,
it is also a scenic spot situated at the altitude fo about
1700m and 4 KM to the north of Bhaktapur and 22 KM east
of Kathmandu. The most authentic iscription located in the
precinct of Changu Narayan is dated 464 AD and is accredited
to the Lichhavi King Mandeva. Changu Narayan Temple , located
high in the hill just to the north of Bhaktapur, is the
oldest existing pagoda temple in Nepal . The temple was
dedicated to lord Vishnu by the Lichhavi King in the Fifth
Century. It is said to be the oldest temple in the Valley.
It was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Monument List
Situated at the walking distance fo about 2 KM to the
south of the city is the holy shrine of god Ganesh ( God
of well beginning and successful completion of work) . The
temple of Ganesh is placed in a sylvan setting to catch
the first rays of the rising sun. It is a good picnic spot
flanked by many attractive landscapes.
The town of Thimi is well known for its pottery work.
In addition to pottery, Thimi has made a name for itself
in the age-old art of making colorful masks of various deities,
demons and animals. Thimi also produces much of the fresh
vegetables for the Kathmandu valley.
Nagarkot, located 32 kilometers east of capital city
Kathmandu and about 18 Kilometers from historic city Bhaktapur.Nagarkot
is located high on the hill (approximately 7500 ft. above
sea level) to the north east corner of Bhaktapur, is famous
for its panoramic view of mountains, sun rise and sun set.
Nagarkot has availability of different types of accommodations
of Five star hotels to small cottage lodges.
Its one of the most scenic spots in Bhaktapur district and
is renowned for its spectacular sunrise view of the Himalaya
when the weather is clear. Visitors often travel to Nagarkot
from Kathmandu to spend the night so that they can be there
for the breathtaking sunrise. Nagarkot has become famous
as one of the best spots to view Mount Everest as well as
other snow-topped peaks of the Himalayan range of eastern
Nepal. It also offers an excellent view of the Indrawati
river valley to the east. With an elevation of 2,195 meters,
Nagarkot also offers a panoramic view of the Valley and
is described by visitors as a place whose beauty endures
year round. MORE
PLACES TO VISIT IN NEPAL>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The twin villages of Bungmati & Khokana date from the 16th
century and are located south of Kathmandu, down a rutty road dotted with Chaityas.
Bungmati is the winter home of lord Rato Machhendranath, the protector God of
Patan. The shrine of Karya Binayak is located between the two villages. At Khokana
ancient oil presses can be seen at work in village houses.
9 km north of Kathmandu in a small pond at the foot of the Shivapuri Hills
lies the half-submerged massive black stone statue of the reclining Vishnu resting
on a bed of snakes. Worshippers strew the sleeping Vishnu with offerings of flowers
& rice. It is a monumental sculpture from the Lichhavi period.
to the top of Champa Devi (2,278m), the highest peak on the Chandragiri Ridge
south west of Kirtipur, affords a panoramic view of the west Kathmandu valley,
back dropped by the snow covered Himalayas. Either starting from Chovar or from
Pharping the trail climbs steeply to join at a saddle close to the top. A Hindu
shrine and a white stupa mark the Champa Devi summit. Several return routes are
possible. Staying close to the ridge continuing west, a trail descends from the
second saddle north to Kirtipur. Another descends from the third saddle and reaches
Chandeshwari shrine is located north of the
sprawling trading town of Banepa near Dhulikhel. A track leads northeast past
the town hospital to the temple on the bank of a forested gorge. The temple is
dedicated to Parvati, whom they called upon to slay Chand, the most
fearsome of the demons. It thus became known as Chandeshwari, "the slayer
of Chand". The main attraction is a remarkable fresco of Bhairav, painted
on the western wall of the main structure. The torana and struts of the three-tiered
temple are richly carved with the eight Astha Marikas, or "Mother goddesses"
and eight Bhairavs.
A rough track to the south of the Kathmandu
Valley winds steeply downhill, through intricately terraced fields of reddish
brown soil to the ancient Lichhavi village of Lele, on through terraced mustard
fields and bamboo groves to Chapagaon. An important tantric temple of Vajra Varahi
is located here in a sacred grove of trees, built in 1665 however, the
site is much older. Various naturally sculpted stones strewn about are regarded
as images of Ganesh, Bhairav and the Ashta Matrika.
out of a hillside, the Chovar gorge is the only outlet for all the waters of the
valley. Legend has it that Manjushree, an ancient saint cut the mountain with
his magical sword, to drain out the water from the Kathmandu Valley which was
then just a lake. There is a small but picturesque temple of Adinath on the top
of the hill with a magnificent view of the snow capped peaks. Just beyond the
gorge is a temple of lord Ganesh. The main image of the shrine is a massive rock,
Dakshinkali is 45-minute drive south
from Kathmandu. Located in a dark valley at the confluence of two streams, the
shrine of Dakshinkali is the most spectacular of all Kali temples. Animal sacrifices
are offered to this deity signifying fertility and the procreative powers of the
Female, every Tuesday & Saturday. The animals are presented to the priest
who will ritually decapitate them with a khukuri knife & bathe the black stone
image of Kali in blood.
30 kms east of Kathmandu lies the
small resort town of Dhulikhel set on a hill top, enveloped in copper soiled terraces
with magnificent views of the central Himalayan peaks. Dhulikhel is well known
for its sunrise views and a number of day trails lead along the north ridge of
the town. A good way to get a glimpse of Nepalese village life.
18 kms south
of Kathmandu lies the Royal Botanical Gardens at Godavari. With its rushing streams
and shady meadows it is a popular picnic spot. It also has a notable collection
of orchids, cactii & ferns. A quiet path leads to the Godavari Kunda, a spring
where the sacred water of the Godavari river pours from the mountains.
The village of Kakani lies 29 kms north west of Kathmandu City. Famous for
magnificent views of the sun setting over the north western Himalayan range; the
Ganesh Himal massif, Gaurishankar (7,134 m), Choba Bhamare (6,016 m), Himalchuli
(7,893 m), Annapurna (8,091 m). The drive to Kakani & back along the Trishuli
Road is scenically rewarding with green forest & mountain grandeur on one
side and fertile river flats and terraced hillside cultivation on the other.
Perched on twin hillocks and clinging to a saddle about 5 km south west of
Kathmandu lies the village of Kirtipur. A long flight of steps leads up to Kirtipur
from the valley floor & a motorable road goes part way up the hill. Steep
paths link brick houses built on terraces. The villagers dressed in traditional
costume work on ancient looms. The people are well known for their strength and
valour. Many historical battles were fought and won by the inhabitants of Kirtipur.
A center of Mahayana Buddhism was established in 1969
by two Lamas; Lama Thupten Zopa Rinpoche & Lama Thupten Yeshe. Since its inception
the center has been responsible for introducing thousands to Buddha's teaching
through meditation courses, lectures & retreats.
a prominent forested hill, west of Kathmandu topped with a Buddhist stupa with
superb views of Ganesh Himal, Langtang and the Kathmandu valley. A dirt road winds
to the top (2,096m) though a trek would take two hours. A return trail descends
the southwest side of Nagarjun to Ichangu Narayan and reaches Kathmandu via a
dirt road that eventually comes out behind Swayambhunath.
Namo Buddha meaning "hail to the Buddha" a sacred site, where according
to legend Buddha sacrificed his body to feed a starving tigress & her cubs.
A carved stone slab at the main stupa depicts the moving story. A dirt road (suitable
for 4 wheel drive vehicles) leads up to Namo Buddha from Dhulikhel. A different
trail returns descending south through a forest heading west up a long vale for
a round trip walk of six to seven hours, or 2 to 3 hours to Panauti.
the confluence of the Punyamati & Roshi Khola rivers, Panauti was once an
important staging post on the Tibet trade route with pre-Lichhavi origins. The
banks of the river are now crowded with temples, shrines and cremation ghats.
Across the river lies the recently restored Brahmayani temple. The Indreshwar
Mahadev temple is a 15th century Newari structure with exquisite woodcarvings
especially on the roof struts.
The triple peaked hill of
Phulchowki the "flower-covered hill", is highest on the valley rim at
2,762m. Lying 20 kms south east of Kathmandu, a road winds its way to the top
where a small shrine is built to the mother of the forest, Phulchowki Mai. The
trail up to the top takes about 4 hours through lovely rhododendron & oak
forests crossing the motorable road a couple of times. Enjoy a breathtaking view
of the white peaks from Himalchuli to the Everest. There is a trail connecting
Phulchowki to Pharping on one side and Panauti on the other.
Hills surround the sleepy village of Sankhu, once on the trade route east to Helambu.
Forests above the village hide an important temple to the tantric goddess, Bajra
Jogini. Follow the wide stone path north of the village and walk up the steps
to the temple, flanked with smaller shrines, stupas and statues. The main structure
is 17th century and has a fine golden torana above the door. Behind the temple
there are other shrines & sculptures.
a height of 2,732m, allows one a 360 degree view of the Himalaya in the north
& the Kathmandu valley in the south. The trail up to Shivapuri hill leads
through small farming villages & a protected forest of Rhododendrons &
orchids with little mountain streams running through it. This can be made into
a most enjoyable full day's programme.
A Shiva shrine of an altogether difference register is located at Tika Bhairav
near Lele, where Shiva is portrayed in his terrible form as Bhairav. To reach
this unusual shrine, the client must travel outside the Kathmandu Valley to the
adjoining Lele Valley to the south. This monumental, multi colored fresco is an
abstract close-up of Bhirav's face painted on a huge brick wall, barely sheltered
by a tin roof.
The Four Ganesh Temples
Ganesh, the elephant-headed
god, is one of the most favored divinities in Hinduism and is certainly the most
favored in the Kathmandu Valley. The god of good luck, who casts aside obstacles
is believed to be the son of Shiva & Parvati. The shrew is his vehicle and
he especially likes offerings of food. Ganesh has numerous shrines throughout
the Valley but four are particularly sacred. The Chandra Binayak is in the middle
of the village of Chabahil, 200m behind the Chabahil stupa. This small Ganesh
is enshrined amidst rich brasswork & is believed to cure diseases and external
bodily injuries. The simple stone Ganesh at the Surya Binayak is halfway up the
foothills south of Bhaktapur. The path heads uphill to the little shrine, considered
able to give the power of speech to young children who are slow to talk. In a
forest preserve between the villages of Bungmati & Khokana lies the Karya
Binayak. From the road linking the hamlets, a path leads up to a beautiful clearing
and the walled compound of the shrine. Here Ganesh is an elephant-shaped stone
and is believed to help complete difficult tasks. Those seeking strength of character
go to worship the Ganesh at Jal Binayak, just beyond the Chovar Gorge. A beautiful
brass shrew faces the massive rock that represents Ganesh in this triple roofed
temple constructed in 1602 AD.
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (175 sq. kms)
Just 1 hour flight towards east from Kathmandu to Biratnagar and 2 hrs drive,
the Kosi Tappu is one of the best places in Nepal to view migratory and native
water fowls; waders and shore birds during the winter months. Many species not
recorded elsewhere in the region have been found here. Thousands of birds congregate
here in January, February and March before they migrate north when the warm weather
begins. Well-qualified nature guides take clients out on walks, jeep drives and
boat rides to look for birds and the Arna, wild buffalo found only here in Nepal.
We recommend to combine this tour with treks in the eastern hills or with a tour
to Bhutan & Sikkim or with a Sunkosi rafting trip.
Royal Bardia National
Park (968 sq. kms)
Royal Bardia National Park situated in western Terai of
Nepal is one of largest undisturbed parks in the region. The park is the home
of many endangered animals, reptiles and birds - including the elusive Royal Bengal
Tiger. A few years ago, under a successful wildlife project several young one-horned
rhinos where translocated here from Royal Chitwan National Park. Over the years,
Bardia has also been a good place for tiger viewing - a rare event anywhere. Recently
sightings of a group of wild elephants have further enhanced the wildlife experience
possible in this beautiful and unspoiled sanctuary. A stay in this park is recommended
with the combination of a short raft trip down the Karnali and Bheri rivers or
with a trek to Dolpo and the Rara lake area in far western Nepal.
colourful hill town is situated at an altitude of 1,450m. It is the most popular
summer resort in western Nepal on account of its location and climate. It has
the most extensive views of the countrys chief attraction the Himalaya;
from Dhaulagiri in the west to Gaurishankar in the north east. Walking around
Tansen town is interesting or short day hike to Ridi can be a rewarding experience.
It takes just five hours by car from Pokhara to reach Tansen or just a couple
of hours drive from Lumbini.
For those seeking the ultimate
pan Himalayan view, Daman is the place to visit. Located 80kms southwest of the
Kathmandu valley, Daman (2,400m) offers the only unimpeded view of the entire
Himalayan range. Daman is located on the Tribhuvan Highway between Kathmandu and
the town of Birgunj. There is a view tower fitted with long range telescopes.
The name of Namche Bazaar is generally associated with
that of Sagarmatha or Mt. Everest, the highest point on earth. It is the entrance
to the Everest region and is 241 kms from Kathmandu and located at an altitude
3,440m. Trekkers cover this distance in 9 days from Jiri town. As the largest
settlement in the Everest region Namche Bazaar now boasts of its own electricity
generated from the Dudhkoshi river. One can also reach Namche Bazaar by flight
to Lukla and then a 2 days trek through Phakding.
The word "Himalaya"
is Sanskrit for "abode of snow". This region has an altitude ranging
between 4,877 m to 8,848m. It includes eight of the 14 highest summits in the
world that exceed an altitude of 8000 m, including the highest of them all, Mt.
Everest (8,848 m). Only 8% of Nepal's population live in this region.
region's culture and religion are closely linked to Tibet, and the traditional
economy was (and sometimes still is) based on trans-border trade with its northern
One can enjoy the magnificent Himalayas of this region in three
different ways: take a mountain flight and enjoy the splendid view of snow capped
Himalayas from the safety of the presurrized aeroplane cabins, or gaze at the
panorama from popular mountain viewpoints such as Nagarkot and Dhulikhel around
the Kathmandu Valley and Sarangkot in Pokhara or take the direct approach and
trek to the mountain base from where you can actually touch them and feel the
best way to experience Nepal's unbeatable combination of natural beauty and culture
riches is to trek through them. One should know that trekking means walking and
is a process rather than a destination. As one gets into shape, it's easy to fall
into walking-machine mode. Though trekking demands a physical challenge, a trekker
should remind himself/ herself to stop at teashops, admire the views, splash in
a stream and play with local kids. Walking and nothing, but day after day, provides
illuminating insights of Nepal's diversity in terms of geography, people, religion
and culture. The main precaution to be taken while trekking is not to go up too
high too fast. The body should be given plenty of time to acclimatize. Acute Mountain
Sickness (AMS) refers to the effects of the thin air at high altitudes which can
be very dangerous and may even result in death. If you get initial symptoms like
nausea, dizziness, swelling of the face and breathlessness, descend to the lower
elevation immediately and seek medical help. Check out Travel FAQ for more details
on trekking in Nepal.
Trekking is possible at any time of the year depending
on where one is going. The most popular seasons are spring (February - May) and
autumn (September-November). Winter is very cold above 4,000m and high mountain
passes may be snowbound but it is good for trekking at lower altitudes. During
the monsoon season (June-August) you can trek in rain-shadow areas of the northern
areas of regions like Mustang, Upper Manang and Dolpo. These places are out of
reach of the rain clouds because they lie beyond the high mountains whcih block
off the monsoon clouds.
Some of the interesting trekking places to visit
in this region:
The Annapurna Circuit
Circuit attracts a relatively high number of trekkers in Nepal. As the name itself
suggests, this trail goes on a circuitous route around the entire Annapurna massif,
visiting the Tibet-like country on the northern slopes of the Himalaya and the
dramatic Kali Gandaki gorge. Much of the trek is through lowland country, but
there is one high pass, "Thorung La" (5,380m). The trail over the pass
is steep but in good shape and not hard to follow. This is the one point of the
entire circuit where you really feel you are amidst the mountains. However you
should be aware of altitude sickness and be prepared for weather extremes as the
Thorung La is notorious for changing its moods. The pass is usually snowbound
and un-crossable form mid-December to mid-April.
The Kali Gandaki gorge
is another spell binding part of this trip. Known to be the worlds deepest river
gorge the trail upto the Jomsom (and Upper Mustang) actually goes side by side
with the river giving the lonely trekker company and groups something to talk
about. Thus the Annapurna circuit is an extraordinary trek, truly one of the world's
best. It requires at least three weeks. But due to the popularity of this route
it can sometimes tend to be crowded.
The Annapurna SanctuaryTop
This is probably
the most ideal trek: lovely, short and intense, a direct route into the heart
of the Himalaya. Spectacular mountain vistas and easy access make it among the
most popular treks, with over 10,000 visitors per year. The sanctuary is a hidden
pocket of meadow, moraine and glacier, ringed by magnificent sheer-walled 6,000
- 8,000 meter peaks: the Annapurnas, Gangapurna, Machhapuchhare, Himchuli.
trek requires ten to fourteens days and begins from Pokhara, passing through lowland
villages and rice terraces to mountain glaciers. The trail rises nearly 2000 m
in the last 8 km and one needs to plan for acclimatization. The trail is frequently
slippery and there's danger of avalanches in few places, so early spring and winter
trekking is unlikely. Accommodation in the lower portion (at least in Chhomrong)
are deluxe; the upper stretch is understandably simple - no body lives up there
for long time.
Easily accessible via a 20-minute flight from
Pokhara, Jomsom lies nestled beneath the splendor of Mount , Nilgiri. For those
of you not inclined to make it to the mountains the hard way, i.e. slogging it
on foot step by step in a gradual process, taking the US$ 50 flight to Jomsom
from Pokhara is the ideal alternative. Jomsom, at an altitude of 2,700 meters
lies tucked in between two giant mountain ranges, the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri-
both reach out to the sky beyond 8,000 meters at their highest points, and although
these ranges are around 35 kilometers apart, consider yourself to be technically
positioned at the bottom of the world's deepest gorge, the Kali Gandaki Valley
with a spectacular view of Mt. Nilgiri looming ahead like a huge snowy pyramid.
From Jomsom, one may venture on to leisurely treks for a day or two northwards
to Kagbeni or southwards to Marpha, Tukuche, and Lete-Kalopani all of these places
can be reached with effortless walking on an almost leveled surface. On the other
hand, should the rarefied mountain air hinder your walking ability; you may choose
to explore the area on a pony that can be made available by your hotel at a reasonable
price. Food and board around Jomsom could probably be described as being the best
among all the trekking regions of the country. All the better hotels provide cosy
rooms that come with attached bath with running hot water. With three to four
flights coming in from Pokhara every day, the larders of most restaurants are
well stocked with fresh meat and vegetables.
Himalayan highway follows the gorge of the Kali Gandaki River, crossing from subtropical
jungle to high-altitude desert in less than one week. Mixed in the stream of international
trekkers are Hindu saddhus (ascetic) walking to Muktinath and jingling mule trains
heading down from Tibet loaded with bales of wool. Both are reminders of the trail's
status as a major trade and pilgrimage route, an important cultural corridor across
The end point is the ancient shrine of Muktinath (3,170 meters),
one of Nepal's holiest pilgrimage sites. There's no real village, but lodges around
the lower portion (Ranipauwa) put up pilgrims and trekkers. The ancient holy site
is a typically confusing blend of natural, Buddhists and Hindu beliefs. The little
Newari-style pagoda to Lord Vishnu is a relatively recent addition. Muktinath
has been sacred for over 2000 years; the Hindu holy book Mahabharata mentions
it as Shaligrama, "Place of the Shaligram,"the black fossil stones sacred
to Vishnu and found in abundance in the Kali Gandaki valley. Its holiness stems
from flickering blue flames of natural methane gas burning on water, stone and
earth, and now enclosed in the shrine of Jwala Mai below the Vishnu temple. Near
the pagoda, there is 108 spouts, shaped like bulls' heads, where devout pilgrims
bathe in the freezing water to purify their sins and earn mukti or spiritual liberation.
The place has ancient association for Buddhists as well; Guru Rinpoche
is said to have passed through here en route to Tibet, leaving his footprints
in a rock. There are many old Buddhist temples around here. Top
trek to Muktinath remains below 3000 meters. One should figure at least two weeks
to walk in and out, allow a few extra days for exploration- the upper region in
particular is lined with fascinating villages. Flying into Jomsom and walking
back down is possible, but one should remember to acclimatize before climbing
to Muktinath. One can fly from Jomsom to either Kathmandu or Pokhara.
The classic walk through the Sherpa homeland of Solu-Khumbu
is a tough trek with a clearcut goal - to see Mt. Everest, the highest peak of
the world. There are many ways to trek in this area. One can either walk all the
way up and back, or walk one way and fly out on the way back, or fly in and out
depending on the time at hand and inclination. The first requires a month, the
second just about three weeks and the third at least two weeks.
trekkers avoid the hardest walking by flying in and out of Lukla airstrip. If
you have got time and energy, the walk in from Jiri through the Sherpa's traditional
homeland is worth the extra effort. It passes through the lovely region called
Solu and the narrow gorge of the Dudh
Kosi (Pharak) to reach the high mountain
region of Khumbu in a little over a week. Khumbu is exceptionally at high altitude
with trekking routes going up to 5,400 meters. Solu can be trekked year around
while Khumbu's trekking season is limited. October-November and March-May are
the busiest trekking season of Khumbu. Besides good weather, this period offers
the five-day Dumje festival (usually April) and the masked Mani Rimdu dances held
at major monasteries in spring and fall. Khumbu is a good region for a monsoon
trek. High pastures are full of wildflowers and grazing yaks, and the people are
relaxed, taking a well-deserved break from trekking and expedition work.
Bazaar (3,446 m), the modern Sherpa capital, is the nerve center of upper Khumbu:
from here the trails branch out to explore at least four separate high valleys.
It's a cosmopolitan little village, a good place to pick up tips on trails and
conditions from descending trekkers. Food prices skyrocket above here, since all
supplies must be carried in from a distance; budget extra for this trip.It is
the entrance to the Everest region Situated in the lap of the Khumbu Himal range,Namche
Bazaar is about 24 km from Kathmandu and the distance is generally covered within
15 days by trekking. This place is the home of the legendary Sherpas, who have
won international reknown as the world's most sturdy climbers with an indomitable
will to scale peaks. One can fly from Kathmandu to Lukla and Syangboche in the
Everest region. At Lukla accommodations are available in Sherpa huts and lodges
Lukla is the most popular base for trekking in the Khumbu region. Days could be
spent hiking and visiting the Sherpa villages, Thyangboche Monastery, Khunde Hospital,
Khumjung Hilary School and trekking towards the Everest Base Camp. Accommodations
are available at Thyangboche, Debuche, Pheriche, Pangboche, Lobuche and Gorakhshep.
Phaplu Another scenic place that is also easily accessed via air is Phaplu
which has direct flights from Kathmandu. Phaphlu is in the eastern district of
Solu-Khumbu, famous for its Sherpas. From here, you can hike into little known
corners of Sherpa territory, and bask in the mountains' glow, yet return at night
to the warmth of the Sherpa Lodge in Phaplu bazaar.
LANGTANG REGION Top
up the Langtang valley is another of those finest mountain treks. Situated directly
north of Kathmandu, this region has three relatively short yet interesting treks:
Langtang, Helambu and Gosainkund. The regions are usually visited separately but
can be combined in as 16-day trip. Lower regions like Helambu are perfect for
winter treks and in springtime this region's rhododendrons are especially beautiful.The
people are a mixture of Tamang, Sherpa and Bhotia. Food and lodging are easily
available along the main routes.
Fascinating Places of Langtang Valley
Langtang, at 3,307m above sea level, extends from north of Helambu to all the
way up to the Tibetan Border. It is the largest village of the region despite
its small size. Its upper valley is a grazing paradise, rich in flowers and grass
and dotted with stone huts used in the summer time for butter making. Sewn in
skins and exported to Tibet to flavor tea and fuel monastery lamps, butter was
once the region's major industry.
It is generally a thirteen day trip, counting
transportantion time and a day above Kyangjin and Gosaikund, the sacred lake devoted
to Lord Shiva.
The trek to Helambu is one that remains open
for twelve months of the year. It is the most easily accessible of all trekking
regions. Helambu is below 3000 meters and creates few altitude problems. The trek
provides a sudden, dramatic contrast between higher and lower areas of Helambu.
The higher region consists of pleasant forests, interesting Sherpa villages and
offers stunning mountain views. The lower valley is comparatively dull and depressing
hot much of the year.
Beyond the aforementioned "Big
Three" trekking regions of Nepal, Nepal is basically a virgin territory for
trekkers. Trekking off the main paths is not only possible, but can be immensely
rewarding, though you need a sense of adventure and an increased ability to deal
with the unexpected. The treks range from teahouses to wilderness hikes. Frequently
they combine both aspects by crossing over one or two uninhabited passes.
need extra time to get beyond the standard routes, however, as said rewards are
great - not just mountain views, but increased contact with a wide range of Nepalis,
and the chance to glimpse a completely different way of life.
The best known of the many isolated high Himalayan valleys
across the northern Nepal, Dolpo preserves one of the last
remnants of traditional Tibetan culture. Legend says it's
a bayul, one of the "hidden valleys" created by
Guru Rinpoche as a refuge for devout Buddhists in troubled
times. Surrounded by high mountains including the Dhaulagiri
massif to the southeast rand cut off by high passes closed
by snow half the year, Dolpo's easiest access is from Tibet,
where its' people emigrated from perhaps thousand of years
shelters about 6,000 people, whose lives revolve around Buddhism, barley, and
yaks; their villages (over 4,260 meters) are among the highest settlements on
earth. A large portion of Dolpo has been set aside as Shey-Phoksumdo National
Park, at 3,555 sq.km. The park shelters blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, leopards,
wolves and the elusive snow leopard.
Largely thanks to "The Snow Leopard"
book and Oscar nominated movie, "Caravan," Dolpo is the best known of
Nepal's remote northern border regions. One needs to get trekking permit from
Department of Immigration in Kathmandu or Pokhara to visit this fascinating region.
Check out travel faq for more information on this.
Phoksumdo lake at 3,627m
is the most fascinating part of the whole trek in Dolpo. The lake is a basin of
unearthly turquoise blue ringed by rocky crags and forest, framed by snowcapped
the largest lake of the country, is a major destination among the treks in western
Nepal. The lake, located within the Rara National Park, is perched on a high shelf,
encircled by gray ridges and pine forested hills inhabitated by beers, jungle
cats and deer. The trail leading to the lake was built as a horse trail for His
Majesty King Mahendra's 1964 visit to Rara.
Access to Rara Lake is from
Jumla, which can be reached by flight or by walking for around ten days from Surkhet
in western Nepal. A trip to the lake and back to Jumla takes just about ten days.
Kanchanjunga, referred as "Five Great Treasures of the Snows", is the
third highest mountain of the world that lies at the eastern border of Nepal at
an altitude of 8,586m. It takes at least two weeks' walk to reach the destination,
Khangchenjunga base camp. There are two
Kanchanjunga base camps - north
and south, and the usual trek involves reaching either of them. It is possible
to visit these both camps, but it takes a much longer time and moreover both are
very difficult to cross.
This region requires a trekking permit from Department
of Immigration from either Kathmandu or Pokhara. The trekking fee for one person
per week for the first four weeks is US$10 and US$ 20 per week thereafter.
Mustang - Kingdom of Lo
Upper Mustang, an arid barren land with pockets of
fertile oases, is very different from any other parts of Nepal. In fact, the kingdom
of Lo share similar culture and geography of Tibet. The lifestyle of Lo, people
of Lo, is also unique and to date remains untouched by modernity.
to Upper Mustang requires a trekking permit from Department of Immigration of
Kathmandu or Pokhara. The trekking fee is around US$ 700 per person for the first
ten days and US$ 70 per person per day thereafter. You should remember to get
trekking permit only through the registered trekking agencies. The trip to the
capital of Mustang and back takes around two weeks and can be done by partly retracing
the way in or by taking a circuitous trail through the outposts of this ancient
And many more tourist spots ..........
further information regarding reservatin of hotels in Pokhara, Lumbini, Chitwan,
Kathmandu, Bhaktapur & Nagarkot and Trekking all over NEPAL call or write
us at our email address. firstname.lastname@example.org