Nepal remains for most of us a mysterious country. Indeed, this destination is very little popular with Westerners. And yet, Nepal offers magnificent landscapes and an amazing culture. Here are different reasons that could well encourage you to visit this extraordinary country.
- A surprising culture
- The Himalayas and Mount Everest
- Chitwan National Park
A surprising culture
Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha. It is in the 2nd century BC. J.-C that Buddhism was greatly favored and that the famous stupas were built in Patan thanks to the emperor Ashoka. A few centuries later, in the 4th AD, Hinduism made its appearance in Nepal. Today, the dominant religion is Hinduism. According to a census carried out in the 2000s, 80.6% of the population is Hindu, then in second place comes Buddhism (10.7%).
Have you ever heard of living goddesses ? Well ! imagine that it is in Nepal that they live. This surprising and at the same time questionable tradition consists in choosing a little girl of about 3 years old among thousands of candidates so that this one is venerated by the Buddhists and the Hindus until she is 12 years old. What is called a Kumari must meet very specific criteria such as having beautiful teeth, ideal eyes or even having perfect skin without scars or bruises. The little girl will then not touch the soil considered impure for about 10 years, will have to dress mainly in red and ensure the prosperity of the country.
The culture of Nepal is very much reflected in the country’s landscapes and cities. By traveling there, you will be instantly disoriented.
Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. Nestled in the middle of the mountains, it is an exceptional city loaded with an impressive heritage. Indeed, there is no place for idleness in Kathmandu with all that there is to discover. Between the various temples, the stupas, the snake charmers, the festivals or simply the noisy atmosphere of the city, you should not get bored there.
In the center of the country, more than 200 kilometers from Kathmandu, is Pokhara. This city is located at 1400 meters above sea level on the edge of Lake Phewa . This destination is famous because it is very peaceful. Indeed, it is the second most touristic city in the country. Many yoga centers have also settled there to meet the demand of locals and tourists. Also, the Tal Barahi temple is a must-see place in Pokhara. This authentic two-storey pagoda sits on an island in the lake. Many people also stay in this city before or after setting off to complete the famous Annapurna tour in the Himalayas .
Formerly, Patan was the capital of the country, but also a city of art. It is located just six kilometers from the center of Kathmandu. So if you are in the area, do not miss this marvel! You will discover sumptuous palaces, temples and other monuments classified as World Heritage by UNESCO. Unfortunately, some of these buildings were damaged during the earthquake in 2015, but the spectacle is still impressive!
The Himalayas and Mount Everest
It is in the Himalayan range that is the largest mountain in the world with a summit at 8848 meters above sea level. How many athletes dream of climbing the famous Mount Everest? And for the luckiest (and the sportiest), it is in Nepal, on the border with China, that their dream comes true. Its first ascent dates back to 1953, three years after Nepal opened its borders to foreign visitors. As for a large part of ordinary mortals, the ascent of this mountain will not be within your reach. On the other hand, you can enjoy magnificent landscapes at the foot of the mountains.
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan is the most famous natural park in the country. It is home to many animal species , some of which are rare such as the Indian rhinoceros or the Bengal tiger which are in danger of extinction. In the middle of the jungle and at the foot of the Himalayan range, you can enjoy walks accompanied by a guide or a jeep safari. Unfortunately, many tourists visit this site on elephant back, but we advise against it for ethical reasons. In addition, you can marvel at the daily life of wild animals and, for example, watch the elephants bathe daily. To make the most of this place where nature is very powerful, stay there at least three nights.
Located just thirteen kilometers from the capital, this city is a must in the region. Admission is charged, but Bhaktapur is definitely worth a visit. This town dates back to the 14th century and not much has changed since then. There, you can visit many temples, palaces and pagodas , as well as observe the traditional daily life of the inhabitants of this city. Bhaktapur is also famous for its pottery .
Lumbini saw the birth of Buddha in 623 BC. J.-C. _ The many monuments located within this famous village prove its authenticity as a historic place in the Buddhist religion. It is also a real place of pilgrimage for the practitioners of this religion. You will certainly feel a great emotion while visiting Lumbini and its monuments, in particular the original Maya Devi temple . Since 1997, this place has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.