Saturday, August 1, 2009

Top ten tourist attractions in Nepal

Nepal may be a small country in the Himalayan region, but it is a famous tourist destination. Out of the ten highest mountains in the world, seven are situated in Nepal. Tourism is the main foreign currency earner of Nepal but it suffered a major setback for the country’s political instability. Finally, with the establishment of democratic government in 2006 the political instability ended. Due to the economic recession, number of tourists declined, but the trekkers are always coming to Nepal in search of adventures. Here is a list of top ten tourist attractions in Nepal:


Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. It is also the biggest and most happening city of the country. Kathmandu is actually the hometown of the Newars. The name “Kathmandu” comes from two Sanskrit words “Kaastha Mandap.” Kaastha means wood and Mandap means shade or cover. Existence of human habitation in the Kathmandu valley can be traced back to 900 B.C. The oldest building in this area is one thousand years old. Lord Buddha came to this valley in 6th century B.C. Kathmandu mainly consists of two three cities: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Many old Hindu and Buddhist temples and buildings can be found in Kathmandu. Some of the popular tourist sites are: Swayambunath temple, King's Palace Thamel chowk, Nasal chowk, Pashupatinath temple.


Bhaktapur or popularly known Bhadgaon is situated at an altitude of 1401m and covers an area of four square miles. The city still retained its medieval charm which is very much enjoyable to any visitors.


Pokhara is a beautiful city situate in a tranquil valley. It is also the starting point for trekking and rafting destinations. If you want to take pictures of the Himalayas then you should go to the township of Tansen. The town is situated near the Srinagar Danda hill from where visitors can get the beautiful panoramic view of the Terai plains and the Himalayas. Gorkha is a hill-town which offers some beautiful scenery. It is situated on a small hillock at an attitude of about 1000 m from where you can see the snow covered mountains.

Lumbini and Janakpur:

Situated in the South-Western Terai of Nepal it is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Every year, thousands Buddhists come to visit this place. The area is also very rich in natural beauty. Janakpur is another holy city which is named after the famous King Janak. Janakpur was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Mithila and the birthplace of Sita, the heroine of Ramayana. Today Janakpur is one of the cleanest towns of Terai.

Chitwan national park:

Established in 1973, Chitwan National Park is the oldest national park in Nepal situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of South-Central Nepal. In 1984, the park was designated as a world Heritage site. About 70% of the vegetation of the park is sal forest. The park contains Churiya hills, ox-bow lakes and flood plains of Rapti, Reu and Narayani rivers. The remaining vegetation types are grassland (20%), riverine forest (7%), and sal with chirpine (3%). The Saccharun species aka elephant grass can be found in this area which can reach a height of 8 meter. The shorter grasses are used for thatch roofs. There are 43 mammal species including the famous one-horned rhinoceros, the tiger, the gharial crocodile, wild elephant, four-horned antelope, striped hyena, pangolin, Gangetic dolphin, monitor lizard and python. Other animals found in the park include the sambar, chital, hog deer, barking deer, sloth bear, palm civet, langur and rhesus monkey. Ther are over 450 species of birds in the park.

Sagarmatha national park:

Sagarmatha National Park is located to the north-east of Kathmandu in the Khumbu region of Nepal. The highest peak of the world, Mount Everest is also situated in this park. There are several other well known peaks such as Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu, Pumori, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kwangde, Kangtaiga and Gyachung Kang. In 1979, the park was added to the list of World Heritage Sites. Vegetation of the park includes pine and hemlock forests at lower altitudes, fir, juniper, birch and rhododendron woods, scrub and various alpine plants. The Sagarmatha national park is home to tahr, goral, serow and musk deer. The snow leopard and Himalayan black bear can also be seen in this region. Other rarely seen mammals include the weasel, marten, Himalayan mouse hare (pika), jackal and langur monkey.

Langtang National Park:

The Langtang National Park occupies an area of 1,710 sq. kms extending from the North of Kathmandu to the Nepal-China (Tibet) border. Situated in the central Himalayan region, the Langtang National Park is the nearest park from Kathmandu. The park contains two major river systems- one goes to the west into the Trisuli River and the goes to the east to the Sun Koshi river. The topography and geography and the varied climatic patterns contributed to the diversity of flora in this region. At 1000 meter height there is small subtropical forest, at mid-elevation, there are temperate oak and pine forests with alpine scrub and grasses. Oaks, chir pine, maple, fir, blue pine, hemlock, spruce and various species of rhododendron make up the main forest species. Animals include wild dogs, red panda, pika, muntjack, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan tahr, ghoral, seraw, rhesus monkey and common langur.


Any writing on Nepal tourism will be incomplete without trekking. Probably, trekking is the best way to enjoy the true beauty Nepal has to offer. Nepal is home to seven of the top ten highest mountains in the world. Every year, hundreds of trekkers from around the world come to Nepal to climb mountains. The beautiful pictures of the snow covered mountains, turbulent rivers, rhododendron forests are unforgettable. Trekking is done from October to May but the best months are October and November.

Mount Everest:

The Khumbu region is home to the highest peak in the world; Mount Everest. This area is also home of Sherpas. Trekkers walk through the rolling hills of the Solu region and the roadhead at Jiri. Many trekkers also fly into the village of Lukla. From Lukla, trekkers go to the town of Namche Bazaar where they acclimatize to the high altitude. The region is also home to the Sagarmatha National Park. Beyond Namche Bazaar, there is the Sherpa village named Khumjung. The famous monastery of Thyangboche is situated in this area. From Namche Bazaar, trekkers can go to the village of Thame or to the two main Khumbu routes. One goes to the Gokyo lake while the other towards the Everest base camp.

Helambu Langtong:

The Helambu valley offers some scenic grandeur and pleasant climate. Situated to the north of Kathmandu the region is filled with temperate forest, alpine pastures, glaciers, lakes and snowy peaks. One can also see the Tamanag and sherpa life. Trekkers can stay in highland monastery villages and small settlements. There is a mountain pass above Helambu through the lakes of Gosaikunda reaching the valley of Langtang. The Gosaikunda lake is situated at 4,380 meters. The lake is known to be sacred to Lord Shiva and every summer thousands of religious Hindus come to take a holy dip into the waters of the holy lake. The trek passes through a varied landscape. Trekkers can see sub-alpin gransslands and stark, beautiful mountainsides and turbulent streams.


Annapurna is the most popular trek of Nepal. It begins at the lakeside town of Pokhara. It takes six or seven days to go around the Annapurna Massif. On their way, dramatic changes will be visible in the landscape, climate and culture. There is a village named Jomsom, near the isolated land of Mustang. From there, trekkers go to the sacred shrine of Muktinath which is situated at 5,145 meter at the Thorang-La pass. There is the valley of Manang and the route through Manang will take you to the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway.


Mountain Kanchenjunga lies at the far eastern border of Nepal. It is 8586 meter long and the third highest peak in the world. The valley near the mountain is opened for organized treks. Tourists would be able to see some of the richest and most pristine forests of Nepal while going through the treks of Kanchenjunga. Since there are no human habitations in this region, trekkers are required to bring along foods and camping equipments. Most of the time trekkers fly in and out of Taplejung.

Related articles:

Nepal Travel


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