WEDGED BETWEEN THE HIGH WALL OF THE HIMALAYA AND THE STEAMY JUNGLES OF THE INDIAN PLAINS, NEPAL IS A LAND OF SNOW PEAKS AND SHERPAS, YAKS, AND YETIS, MONASTERIES, AND MANTRAS – LONELY PLANET 2017
Ever since Nepal first opened its borders to outside world in the 1950s this tiny mountain nation has had a tempting mystical allure for travelers. Today battalions of trekkers are drawn to the Himalaya’s most iconic and accessible hiking, some of the world’s best, with rugged trails to Everest, the Annapurna Region, Far-west Rara beauty and beyond. Nowhere else, you can trek for days or even couple of weeks in incredible mountain scenery, secure in the knowledge that a hot meal, cosy lodge and warm slice of Apple pie await you at the end of the day.
Nepal is nirvana for the mountain lovers. Other travelers are drawn here by the adrenaline rush of rafting down a roaring fast flowing Himalayan river or bungee jumping into the bottomless Himalayan George. Canyoning, Rock Climbing, Kayaking, Whitewater Rafting, Paragliding, ZipFlyer, Mountain Biking and many other adventurous activities all offer a rush against the backdrop of some of the world’s most dramatic landscape. Nepal itself has 10 world heritage sites listed under UNESCO from different parts of the country where you can see the civilization of this part of the world back from many centuries.
Nepal is also known as the land of Himalayas all over the world. There are 1,310 peaks above 6000 meters in Nepal of which 238 are already opened for climbing. Likewise, out of fourteen 8000 meters above peaks in world 8 of them, including the highest peak in the world called Mount Everest(Sagarmatha) lies in Nepal. Other 7 are namely Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Annapurna. This country has one of the diverse protected areas covers mainly deep forests and are located at various altitudes in the plain of Terai, to the foothills of the Himalayas, thus protecting and preserving a vast biodiversity in the Palearctic and Indomalaya ecozones. Nepal covers 147,181 km2 (56,827 sq mi) in South Asia, altitudes range from 67 m (220 ft) in the south-eastern Terai to 8,848 m (29,029 ft) at Sagarmatha within a short horizontal span. Botanists had recorded 1,120 species of non-flowering plants and 5,160 species of flowering plants. Nepal ranks 10th in terms of richest flowering plant diversity in Asia. Zoologists recorded 181 Mammal Species, 844 Bird Species, 100 Reptile Species, 43 Amphibian Species, 185 Freshwater Fish Species, And 635 Butterfly Species.
In recognition of the magnitude of biodiversity, the Government of Nepal has established a network of 20 protected areas since 1973, consisting of 12 National parks, 1 Wildlife Reserves, 6 Conservation Areas and 1 Hunting Reserve.
It is often said that while you first come to Nepal for the Mountains, you return here for the people. From quietly protective Sherpas guides to welcoming Tibetan hotel owners and Newari shopkeepers to diverse cultural people all Nepalis receive guests with respect and ‘Namaste’ greetings. They’re quick to smile in the most trying circumstances, and you will rarely hear a raised voice or an angry word anywhere you go. It’s one of the great joys of traveling this Himalayan nation with most friendly people on the planet.
MEDIEVAL CITIES & SACRED SITES
Other travelers prefer to see Nepal at a more refined pace, admiring the peaks over a sunset gin and tonic from a Himalayan viewpoint, strolling through the medieval city squares of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur, and joining Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims on a spiritual stroll around centuries-old stupas and monasteries. Even after the 2015 earthquake, Nepal remains the cultural powerhouse of the Himalaya; the Kathmandu Valley, in particular, offers an unrivaled collection of world-class palaces, hidden backstreet shrines, and sublime temple art. Nepal is also a great place to learn about everything from Tibetan Buddhism to how to make the best MO MO’s (dumplings)and most of the villages from the Himalayas to the plain land of Terai they offer you unique homestay culture of different tribes.
There are few countries in the world that are as well set up for independent travel as Nepal. Wandering the trekking shops, bakeries and pizzerias of Thamel and Pokhara, it’s easy to feel that you have somehow landed in a kind of backpacker Disneyland. Out in the countryside lies a quite different Nepal, where traditional mountain life continues at a slower pace, and a million potential adventures glimmer on the mountain horizons. The biggest problem you might face in Nepal is just how to fit everything in, one reason why many people return here over and over again.
South of Nepal’s mountains lies something completely different; a chain of wild and woolly National parks, where nature buffs scan the subtropical treetops for exotic bird species and comb the jungles for rhinos, tigers, and crocodiles. Choose from a luxury safari lodge in central Chitwan or go exploring on a wilder trip to remote Bardia or Koshi Tappu, stopping en-route to visit the birthplace of Buddha on the steamy plains near Lumbini. Whether you cross the country by mountain bike, motorbike, raft or tourist bus, Nepal offers an astonishingly diverse array of attractions and landscapes.