Nepal’s Offbeat Destinations: Letting You in on the Best-Kept Secrets
Imagine this: instead of the usual touristy stuff, you’re up for some real-deal, unique experiences. Well, Nepal’s got your back with these off-the-beaten-path places begging to be explored.
When you dive into these lesser-known corners of Nepal, get ready for an adventure that’s unforgettable in every way. Think of cosy villages tucked away in the Himalayas, secret waterfalls, and ancient temples that’ll blow your mind. It’s not just about you having a fantastic time, though. By going off the grid, you’re giving a little boost to local communities and promoting sustainable travel. So grab your gear and get ready to unveil Nepal’s offbeat destinations that are every bit as stunning as the big names out there!
Rara Lake – Where Himalayan Magic Happens
The first in Nepal’s offbeat destination is Rara Lake. This gorgeous blue jewel is cradled right in the heart of the Himalayas. The water’s so clear; it’s like a mirror reflecting the snow-capped peaks around it. I’m telling you, the view’s going to leave you amazed. And guess what? This lake exudes an incredibly laid-back atmosphere. The whole place is surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills, making it the perfect escape from life’s usual hustle and bustle.
You can take this fantastic trek to Rara Lake if you’re up for it. But fair warning, it’s no walk in the park – you’ll need some good ol’ fitness and stamina. It’s a journey through these dense forests, open meadows, and high mountain passes that treat you to the most jaw-dropping scenery ever. But here’s the kicker: it’s not just about the landscapes. You’ll also get a crash course in local culture as you stroll through traditional villages and chat with the folks there. The whole area is a melting pot of different communities, each with extraordinary traditions and ways of doing things.
Ilam – Nature’s Hug in Tea Garden Form
Illam is a place that should not be missed when talking about Nepal’s offbeat destinations. If you’re all about soaking in nature’s beauty, you’re in for a treat. Ilam is like Disneyland for nature lovers. They have tea trails that give you a front-row seat to all the scenic views. Imagine you’re walking through these lush gardens, and trust me, you won’t be able to resist stopping at the viewpoints to take in the insane beauty. Oh, and guess what? You can hang with the local farmers on your way. It’s like you’re getting the VIP backstage pass to their lives.
And the backdrop? Oh man, it’s all about these majestic mountains that just steal the show. Ilam has peaks like Mount Kanchenjunga, a top-three contender for the highest mountains in the world. And these mountains are the secret sauce that makes Ilam’s weather and soil perfect for growing tea. So as you’re soaking in the breathtaking views, don’t forget to thank those mountains for your cuppa. And these mountains are the ultimate playground for hikers and adventurers if you’re into it.
Bandipur – Stepping into a Fairytale.
While talking about Nepal’s offbeat destinations, you’ve got to hear about Bandipur. This place is a dream come true, with nature’s beauty dialled up to eleven. These lush green hills and terraced fields surround the whole town. They took all the postcard-worthy scenes and mashed them together into one place. You will be in paradise if you’re a nature buff or love a good hike. And oh, the views of the Himalayas from this one spot? Mind-blowing.
Now, brace yourself for this: Bandipur’s streets are a blast from the past. Seriously, it’s like you’re stepping into this storybook world. The town is filled with extremely stylish traditional homes, and its packed streets give you the impression that you are strolling through history. And the locals? They’re the cherry on top. They’re warm and welcoming, treating you as an old friend. You can crash at their places, munch on traditional grub, and even catch local performances. The whole vibe just makes you want to stay forever.
Dolpo – Where Nature and Spirituality Collide
Okay, so listen up. You’ve got to gear up for Dolpo – it’s like entering a whole other dimension where reality and some quite magical realm meet. Among Nepal’s offbeat destinations, Dolpo’s the place that makes you question everything in a good way. And I mean, it’s like nature’s ultimate playground, seriously.
But hold up, Dolpo’s not just about sightseeing. It’s a deep, spiritual journey. The landscapes can be compared to the rugged pieces of art; the pristine lakes and the ancient monasteries add a vibe that makes you want to ponder life’s mysteries. It’s a trek that’s more than just trails – it connects with the universe while stepping on the earth. Dolpo? It’s not just a spot on the map; it’s a cosmic quest to find yourself.
Gosaikunda – Trekking to the Himalayas’ Heartbeat
Okay, we’re wrapping things up with a bang – Gosaikunda, the holy lake in the Himalayas. This place is a magnet for both folks on a spiritual quest and adventurers ready to rock. Imagine these crystal-clear lakes amidst these towering Himalayan giants. This Nepal’s offbeat destination is spirituality, meeting jaw-dropping nature.
So here’s the deal: going to Gosaikunda is about more than just getting your steps in. It’s a whole experience that connects you with something beyond yourself. The journey? It proves you can do anything, leading to this peaceful, sacred space. And let’s talk about those lakes – they’re so precise, they look like they’re holding all the universe’s wisdom. Whether you’re seeking zen vibes or just want to witness nature’s masterpiece, Gosaikunda is a magic portal to another incredible dimension.
FAQs: Your Burning Questions, Answered
Q1: Can I take the family, including the children, to these offbeat spots?
Of course! While some trails might need a bit more preparation in your step, many places are kid-friendly. Think strolls with stunning views, meeting friendly locals, and some seriously wide-eyed moments.
Q2: Should I hire a guide for these offbeat expeditions?
While you can explore these offbeat destinations of Nepal on your own, having a local guide is like having a backstage pass to the whole experience. They’ve got the scoop on the culture, keep you safe, and even unveil those secret spots you’d miss otherwise.
Q3: When’s the best time to dive into these hidden gems?
The best times to travel are typically in the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). So come and explore the offbeat destinations of Nepal; it’s cool outside, the colours are vibrant, and the vibe is fantastic.
Q4: Are there comfy spots to crash at in these offbeat corners?
Yes, but they’re more on the rustic side compared to the usual tourist destinations. You’ve got options – tea houses, lodges, and camping if you’re feelin’ adventurous. Just remember to book ahead during the popular times.
Conclusion: Nepal’s Secret Hotspots, Unleashed!
So there you have it! Nepal’s offbeat destinations that are ready to blow your mind. Rara Lake has the Himalayan magic, Ilam’s got nature’s hug in tea garden form, Bandipur is like a time-travelling fairytale, Dolpo is where nature meets your soul, and Gosaikunda? It’s the ultimate spiritual nature combo. These places will stick with you forever, from the highs of the mountains to the depths of your thoughts. So uncover the offbeat destinations of Nepal and make memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Nepali Festivals: A Journey into Culture’s Heartbeat
Do you often find yourself daydreaming about a land where celebrations are not just events but a way of life? Well, buckle up, because Nepal is the ultimate destination for festival enthusiasts! From the Himalayan peaks to the Terai plains, every corner of this picturesque country pulsates with the energy of various Nepali festivals that celebrate life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.
Nepal’s rich cultural tapestry is interwoven with festivals that span across religions, ethnicities, and regions, making it a true melting pot of celebrations. These festivals are like the seasoning that adds that extra zing to life’s pot of stew. So, let’s embark on a journey of colors, flavors, and traditions that paint the canvas of Nepal’s festive spirit.
The Dance of Colors: Holi: More Than Just a Splash!
Ah, Holi—the festival that turns the world into a vibrant canvas of colors and you into a Picasso of powdered pigments! If you thought this festival was all about gleeful water fights and hue-soaked clothing, well, you’re only scratching the surface of the Holi iceberg.
Legend has it that Holi commemorates the triumph of good over evil, as the mischievous Lord Krishna played pranks on the gopis (milkmaids) using water and colors. Fast forward to modern times, and Holi has transformed into a riotous celebration of unity, love, and, well, getting drenched in a rainbow of colors. From Rang (colored powder) battles to water balloon escapades, Holi is basically an unspoken agreement to emerge looking like a walking masterpiece.
Dashain: When Blessings Rain Down Like Confetti
Picture this: a festive season that combines the thrill of Thanksgiving, the anticipation of Christmas, and the fun of your birthday—all rolled into one grand celebration. That, my friend, is Dashain for you! This is the mother of all Nepali festivals, a time when families reunite, blessings rain down, and the entire country indulges in an unapologetic feast-o-rama.
Dashain is a time of receiving “tika” and “jamara”—blessings and barley shoots—from elders, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. It’s like a blessing buffet where you’re handed a plate of love, a scoop of prosperity, and a sprinkle of good fortune. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to enjoy the mouthwatering Dashain delicacies that are practically the edible embodiment of happiness.
Tihar: Illuminating Lives, One Diya at a Time
If Dashain is Nepal’s grand gala, then Tihar is its serene sister, a festival that lights up homes and hearts alike. Also known as Deepawali or Yamapanchak, Tihar is a unique celebration that pays homage to various animals, including crows, dogs, cows, and oxen. Yes, you read that right—Nepal takes “pet-friendly” to a whole new level!
During Tihar, each day is dedicated to a different animal companion, acknowledging their loyalty and contributions to human lives. And then there’s the mesmerizing spectacle of lights, where “diyas” (oil lamps) adorn homes, creating a twinkling sea of warmth and positivity. The radiance of love and gratitude drives even the deepest shadows of the night away, making it seem like a real-life fairytale.
Indra Jatra: A Dash of Deities and a Whole Lot of Dancing
Imagine a festival where historical relics meet modern-day merriment, where ancient traditions fuse seamlessly with contemporary celebrations—that’s Indra Jatra for you! This unique Kathmandu-based festival is a testament to Nepal’s vibrant cultural blend and its unbreakable bond with its roots.
Indra Jatra honors Lord Indra, the god of rain, and pays tribute to Kumari, the living goddess. But don’t let the deity talk fool you—this festival is also a high-energy street party that features the famous “Lakhe” dance, where performers dressed as demons prance about and the crowd joins in with infectious zeal. It’s like a cultural rave where past and present groove harmoniously.
Maghe Sankranti: Sun-Kissed Celebrations and Hearty Feasts
As the cold grip of winter starts to ease, Nepal welcomes the warmth of Maghe Sankranti with open arms and wide smiles. This festival marks the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn, and the people of Nepal celebrate it with gusto, starting their day with a dip in holy rivers and indulging in delicious traditional treats.
Maghe Sankranti is also about coming together with family and friends, feasting on sesame-based delicacies. It’s a time when the air is filled with laughter, the aroma of freshly prepared dishes, and the promise of a brighter, warmer tomorrow.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: Are these festivals only religious, or can tourists join in?
Absolutely!These festivals are for everyone! Nepal is known for its warm hospitality, and tourists are often welcomed to partake in the festivities. Just be respectful of the traditions and immerse yourself in the experience.
Q2: What’s the best time to witness these festivals?
Holi usually falls in March, Dashain in September or October, Tihar soon after, Indra Jatra around September, and Maghe Sankranti in January. Plan your visit around these dates to witness Nepal at its festive best!
Q3: Are there any specific customs one should be aware of?
Respecting elders, removing shoes before entering homes, being mindful of local customs, and dressing modestly are a few general etiquette tips to keep in mind.
Q4: Can you recommend any off-the-beaten-path places to celebrate these festivals?
For a unique experience, visit Durbar Square in Kathmandu for the Indra Jatra, or the countryside for an authentic Maghe Sankranti celebration.
Celebrate, Connect, and Create Memories Amidst Nepal’s Festive Symphony
Nepali festivals are more than mere dates on the calendar; they are the heartbeat of a nation that thrives on unity, tradition, and joy. These celebrations are not just about observing from the sidelines; they are an invitation to dive headfirst into a sea of colors, flavors, and emotions.
So, whether you’re dancing in a cloud of colors during Holi, feasting on blessings during Dashain, illuminating lives with diyos during Tihar, grooving in the streets during Indra Jatra, or indulging in sun-kissed celebrations during Maghe Sankranti, remember that you’re not just participating in an event; you’re becoming a part of Nepal’s cultural kaleidoscope. Embrace the traditions, savor the moments, and leave with a heart full of memories that’ll forever remind you of the beauty of celebration in Nepal.
Now, go pack your bags, because Nepal’s festivals are calling—and trust me, they’re not the type to take “no” for an answer!
Kumari Tradition – A unique and fascinating tradition
Are you planning a trip to the enchanting land of Nepal? Amidst the breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage, lies a captivating tradition that has mesmerized visitors for centuries – the Kumari, the living goddess of Nepal. In this article, we invite you to delve into the fascinating world of the Kumari and understand the significance of this living embodiment of divine grace and power.
Introduction: Discovering the Kumari Tradition
When exploring the mystical alleys of Nepal, one cannot miss the allure of the Kumari tradition. The term “Kumari” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Kaumarya,” which means princess. The Kumari is a young pre-pubescent girl who is selected to be worshipped as a living goddess by both Hindus and Buddhists, making it an integral part of Nepal’s cultural fabric.
The Selection Process: A Journey of Divine Quest
The process of choosing the Kumari is intricate and mystical. Girls from the Newar community, the indigenous inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley, are eligible for selection. Among them, those possessing specific auspicious attributes are shortlisted. The most critical factor is the 32 Newari virtues known as “Bahi Dyo.” Some of these virtues include beauty, fearlessness, and a sense of compassion.
Kumari: A Living Goddess Incarnate
Once selected, the young girl undergoes a series of ancient rituals to embody the spirit of the goddess Taleju, revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. These ceremonies include the donning of traditional Kumari attire, which consists of a red gown, rich jewelry, and a distinctive crown.
The Royal Residence: Kumari Ghar
The Kumari resides in the Kumari Ghar, a historic palace located in the heart of Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city. The Kumari Ghar is an architectural marvel showcasing exquisite woodwork and artistic craftsmanship. Tourists are allowed to witness the Kumari from a designated courtyard during specific hours, but photography is usually not allowed to respect the Kumari’s privacy and sanctity.
Kumari Puja: Seeking Blessings
Visiting the Kumari during the daily Kumari Puja is a moment of spiritual enlightenment. Devotees from all walks of life gather to seek blessings from this divine presence. As visitors bow in respect to the Kumari, they are filled with an overwhelming sense of peace and devotion.
Kumari Jatra: Celebrating the Living Goddess
The Kumari Jatra, also known as the Indra Jatra festival, is a grand celebration that takes place annually in Kathmandu. During this festival, the Kumari is paraded through the city streets in a chariot.
The festival extends for several days and includes vibrant processions, masked dances, and religious ceremonies. It is a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the colors and sounds of Nepal’s rich cultural heritage. The festival attracts both locals and tourists, making it an ideal time to witness the Kumari in all her divine glory.
Tips for Tourists: Etiquettes and Respect
If you’re planning to visit Nepal and witness the Kumari tradition, it’s essential to do so with the utmost respect and reverence. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Dress Modestly: It is essential to dress modestly, especially when visiting sacred places like the Kumari Ghar, Temples etc.
- Photography Restrictions: As mentioned earlier, photography is generally not allowed when visiting the Kumari. Always ask for permission before taking pictures elsewhere.
- Be Respectful: Remember that the Kumari is a living goddess, and any disrespect towards her or the tradition is highly frowned upon.
- Follow Customs: During festivals or rituals, follow the customs and instructions of the locals to ensure a positive and authentic experience.
While the Kumari in Kathmandu is the most famous, there are other Kumaris in Nepal’s smaller towns who hold immense significance in their respective communities. For example, Patan, another city in the Kathmandu Valley, also has a Kumari who resides in the Patan Durbar Square. Exploring these lesser-known Kumaris offers a chance to witness local traditions and cultural variations.
As you plan your journey to Nepal, make sure to include the Kumari tradition in your itinerary. Embrace the opportunity to witness the embodiment of divine grace and the cultural essence of Nepal. Tourists, scholars, and spiritual seekers from different corners of the globe travel to Nepal to witness this extraordinary living goddess. Its uniqueness and spiritual significance make it a must-see cultural experience for those exploring the diverse tapestry of Nepal.
The Kumari tradition is a testament to the country’s rich heritage, and your participation will undoubtedly create memories that last a lifetime.
If you are interested in learning more about the Kumari, or if you are planning a trip to Nepal, I encourage you to visit the following websites:
A Journey into Vibrant Traditions and Breathtaking Beauty
Nestled amidst the awe-inspiring Himalayas, Nepal boasts vibrant traditions, warm hospitality, and breathtaking natural beauty. Join us as we embark on an exhilarating journey to explore Nepali culture!
Nepali Culture: A Melting Pot of Diverse Traditions
Nepali culture is a fascinating blend of ancient rituals, diverse ethnicities, and religious practices. It represents harmony among many different ethnic groups, each with their own customs and traditions. With hundreds of distinct ethnic groups, Nepal showcases a rich cultural heritage. This diversity contributes to the kaleidoscope of Nepali traditions, making it a vibrant cultural melting pot.
One of the ethnic groups, the Sherpas, live in the high Himalayas. They have a special bond with mountaineering and are renowned for their bravery and skills in this field. The Newars, residing in the Kathmandu Valley, have a rich artistic and architectural heritage, which is reflected in their elaborate festivals and beautifully crafted temples. Similarly, the Tharu community, residing in the Terai region, has its distinct customs, music, and dance forms that showcase their rich cultural heritage.
Greetings and Etiquette: Namaste!
As you step foot into the warm embrace of Nepali culture, mastering the art of greeting becomes essential. The traditional greeting in Nepal is “Namaste,” accompanied by a slight bow and folded hands (known as “Namaskar“). This gesture signifies acknowledging the divine spark within everyone. A warm smile and a sincere “Namaste” can open doors and hearts in Nepal.
In addition to “Namaste,” there are other standard greetings in Nepal. “Dhanyabad” means “thank you” and is a polite expression of gratitude. “Sanchai hunuhunchha?” is a common way to ask, “How are you?” in Nepali. Learning and using these simple greetings will make your interactions with Nepali people more meaningful and pleasant.
Festivals: A Symphony of Colors and Devotion
Nepal is renowned for its vibrant festivals, which reflect the country’s spirituality and cultural diversity. One such celebration is Dashain, the grandest festival of all. Lasting around 15 days, Dashain is a time of family reunions, feasting, and religious ceremonies. People visit temples, offer prayers, and receive blessings from their elders. The festival culminates with celebrating Vijaya Dashami, symbolizing the victory of good over evil.
Another popular festival is Tihar, also known as the Festival of Lights. During this enchanting festival, houses are adorned with colorful lights, and the goddess of wealth, Laxmi, is worshipped. Each day of Tihar has its unique significance, such as worshipping crows, dogs, cows, and oxen. The festival is marked by the lighting of oil lamps, colorful decorations, and traditional music and dance performances.
Cuisine: A Gastronomic Adventure
No exploration of Nepali culture would be complete without savoring its delectable cuisine. Nepali food reflects the country’s agricultural abundance and diverse cultural influences.
Momo, a delicious dumpling filled with meat or vegetables, is a highly favored dish in Nepal. Momos are steamed or fried and often served with a spicy tomato-based sauce. They are a favorite snack or appetizer for Nepali people and visitors alike.
Dal bhat is a staple of Nepali cuisine. It’s a hearty meal comprising lentils (dal), rice (bhat), and a range of side dishes like vegetables, pickles, and curries. Dal bhat is considered the national dish of Nepal and is enjoyed by people from all walks of life.
Traditional Attire: Colorful Elegance
Nepali traditional attire is a visual delight, showcasing the country’s vibrant heritage. The traditional clothing of Nepal varies across ethnic groups and regions, each with its distinct style and design.
For men, a common traditional dress is called “daura suruwal.” It comprises a knee-length tunic (daura) worn over trousers (suruwal). The daura suruwal is often made of cotton or silk fabric and is adorned with intricate patterns and designs. Men also wear a “topi” cap to complete their traditional attire.
Women in Nepal wear a variety of traditional garments. The sari, a long piece of fabric draped around the body, is commonly worn in Nepal. Similarly, women also wear the “gunyo cholo,” which consists of a blouse (cholo) and a long, flowing skirt (gunyo). The vibrant colors, intricate embroidery, and graceful draping techniques make Nepali traditional attire a feast for the eyes.
Sacred Sites: A Spiritual Pilgrimage
Nepal is home to numerous sacred sites that hold deep religious significance for the people. These sites not only have religious importance but also serve as repositories of cultural and historical heritage. They provide a spiritual pilgrimage for believers and offer insights into Nepal’s religious fabric.
The Pashupatinath Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a significant pilgrimage destination for Hindus worldwide. Similarly, the Boudhanath Stupa, with its mesmerizing presence, is a spiritual hub for Buddhists. These sites offer a glimpse into Nepal’s religious fabric and provide solace for the soul.
Adventure and Nature: An Unforgettable Experience
Nepal is renowned for its cultural legacy and also offers breathtaking natural wonders. The country’s diverse geography includes the towering peaks of the Himalayas, lush valleys, and cascading rivers. That is why Nepal is known as a paradise for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers.
The grand peaks of the Himalayas attract adventurers from all corners of the globe. The Annapurna region is a popular trek destination, offering breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, serene lakes, and picturesque villages. The Everest Base Camp trek is a bucket-list adventure for many, allowing trekkers to witness the majestic Mount Everest up close.
Apart from trekking, Nepal offers a range of thrilling outdoor activities. Rafting in the Trishuli River is an exhilarating experience as you navigate through the rapids and witness the stunning landscapes along the riverbanks. Paragliding in Pokhara provides a bird’s-eye view of the wonderful city and the surrounding mountains. Jungle safaris in Chitwan National Park offer opportunities to spot rare wildlife, including the endangered one-horned rhinoceros and elusive Bengal tigers.
Nepali culture is a tapestry woven with vibrant traditions, diverse ethnicities, and heartfelt affection, creating a rich and captivating heritage.
Nepali culture encapsulates the jubilation of variety, harmony, and heartfelt affection. As you delve into the fabric of Nepal’s customs, etiquette, and traditions, an extraordinary tapestry unfolds, revealing a nation brimming with lively festivities, delectable gastronomy, and breathtaking scenery.
So, pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and let Nepal cast its enchanting spell on you. Whether you’re savoring the flavors of dal bhat or bowing with a heartfelt “Namaste,” Nepali culture will leave an indelible mark on your soul.
Safe travels and happy exploring!
When one says “Kathmandu,” what comes to mind is a lively metropolitan in Nepal teeming with life! It boasts breathtaking scenic vistas and deep-rooted cultures, and delectable cuisines too! Surrounded by the imposing Himalayas lies a valley filled with mesmerizing tastes sure to captivate your senses. Here. One can enjoy multiple street food options or indulge in traditional delicacies brought down through generations. In short, Kathmandu has something special for everyone’s taste bud preferences!
Situated in the mighty Himalayas, this incredible city serves up many flavors that will make your taste buds go wild. Whether you’re into street food or traditional goodies, Kathmandu has something to satisfy every hungry soul.
So come on then – let us embark upon an exciting gastronomic challenge together as we delve deeper into this city’s top 5 must-try foods!
Must-Try Nepali Foods for an Authentic Culinary Adventure
Momos: The Yummy Dumplings
We can’t talk about Nepali foods without mentioning the legendary Momos. These little pockets of deliciousness are like the heroes of Nepalese cuisine, and they’re known all around the world. Picture this: juicy fillings of seasoned meat or veggies packed inside soft dumplings.
They steam them up just right and serve them with a spicy sauce for that extra kick. The flavors are so incredible that you’ll feel like you’re actually in the Himalayas with every bite. Trust me, momos are a big deal among the locals and the tourists alike!
Newari Cuisine: The Food Extravaganza
To truly understand Nepali foods heritage, you’ve got to try the unique flavors of Newari cuisine. The Newars, who are the native people of the Kathmandu Valley, have been rocking their culinary traditions for centuries. Get ready to indulge in dishes like “Chatamari.” It’s a fancy rice crepe topped with a whole bunch of finely chopped veggies and spices. There are dishes like “Bara”, a lentil pancake, “Choila”, spiced meat dish and much more.
Additionally, you can’t miss out on “Kwati,” a soup that’s loaded with nine different sprouted beans and bursting with rich flavors. The spices and tastes in Newari cuisine will leave you begging for more, I promise.
Thakali Thali: The Feast of Awesomeness
Prepare yourselves for a feast like no other with Thakali Thali, one of the traditional Nepali foods that’ll blow your senses away. The Thakali community from the himalayan region in Nepal is all about rocking this culinary masterpiece in Kathmandu.
The dish consists of an amalgamation of delightful items like Rice, Lentils (dal). Curries (vegetarian/non vegetarian). Pickles (achar) & sides. But what makes it even better are the bursts of sweet, spicy, tangy combinations that’ll make your taste buds sing praises!
Yomari: The Sweet Tradition
Got a Sweet tooth? Then get ready for Yomari, a traditional Newari dessert that’ll leave you wanting more and more. Yomari is basically a dumpling made of rice flour, and it’s filled with a sweet combo of molasses, sesame seeds, and coconut.
They steam it to perfection, and it’s usually enjoyed during special occasions and festivals. With its soft outer shell and heavenly filling, Yomari gives you the perfect blend of textures and flavors that’ll satisfy all your dessert cravings. It’s a taste you won’t forget!
Juju Dhau: The Yogurt King
And finally, we can’t wrap up our journey of Nepali foods without trying the famous Juju Dhau, a.k.a. “King Yogurt.” This creamy, dreamy yogurt is the pride of Bhaktapur, a historic city near Kathmandu.
It’s made from buffalo milk and prepared in good ol’ clay pots, giving it a super rich and velvety texture. The taste is mildly sweet, and the yogurt is so smooth it’s like spooning up pure happiness. Trust me, you’ll be begging for seconds!
In a nutshell, Kathmandu is not only a feast for the eyes and soul but also a Nepali food lover’s paradise.
The city’s diverse Nepali foods scene offer an explosion of flavors that even the pickiest eaters will adore. From the famous momos to the divine Juju Dhau, Nepali foods take you on a culinary adventure like no other. So, when you’re lucky enough to visit this amazing city, make sure to go on a food journey and savor these five must-try dishes that’ll leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. Bon appétit!
Every avid traveller dreams of conquesting the tall peaks of Nepal. Honestly, you can’t blame them. The gigantic picturesque Himalayas in Nepal are filled with serenity and power that one can’t help but yearn for.
While the idea of scaling the summits is liberating, trekking routes in Nepal are not everyone’s cup of tea. But fear not, hikes are there to save the day.
The best part, you may ask. The country’s capital, Kathmandu, has plenty of hiking spots that are short and filled with the same magic of nature. So give these best hiking places in Kathmandu a try and escape the city with serene hiking trails.
The Best Hiking Places in Kathmandu That You Must Explore Now
1. Kakani Hike
Kakani Hike is among the best hiking places in Kathmandu. The magnificent hiking trails take you to Kakani, a small village, located about 26 Km away from Kathmandu.
On your way to this place, you’ll also get to see beautiful villages such as Rani Pauwa and Kaule.
You have the option of taking 2 routes to Kakani. While both of these routes start at Kakani, they end at different spots. The first one is Kakani to Gurjebhanjyang or Surya Chaur. This route is more of a scenic hike in Kathmandu and offers a gorgeous view of the Langtang Himalayan Range.
The next route is from Kakani to Jhor. You don’t get to see the mountains however you will be treated to scenic views of Kathmandu. It’s good to avoid this route as it doesn’t have much to offer.
Kakani Hill is renowned for its strawberry farming built with a single irrigation system and Himalayan trout fish.
- Witness oak, pine, and rhododendron forests
- Breathtaking views of the Himalayas such as Annapurna II, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang Lirung, Langtang ri, Gaurishanker, Gosainkunda, and Jugal
- Explore Tamang cultures and traditions
2. Champadevi Hike
Champadevi is a short hike around Kathmandu. It is located at a height of 2250 meters on the Southern hill of Kathmandu Valley. This 20 km journey takes through a dense forest filled with pine, bamboo, and rhododendron.
You’ll also get up close with the Newari settlements of Khokana, Bungamati, and Pharping. These Newari settlements hold historical significance. This trial covers a delightful view of some of the hidden gems of Kathmandu such as the Bagmati River, Bungmati, Khokana, and Pharping.
Once you get to the top of the Champadevi Summit, you’ll see the stunning views of mountains in the Ganesh, Langtang, and Gauri Shankar ranges. You’ll find Champadevi temple at the summit of the journey.
- Impressive glimpses of Mt. Everest, Langtang, Gaurishanker, Ganesh Himal, and Annapurna.
- Explore stupas, shrines, monasteries, and Padmasambhava caves.
- Stunning views of Patan Durbar Square, Taudaha Lake, and Swayambhunath Temple
3. Amitabha Monastery Hike
The Amitabha monastery hike is a jackpot for anyone planning a one day long hiking places in Kathmandu. You’ll witness the beauty of nature without the hard work of walking for long days.
Amitabha Monastery, also popular by the name Seto Gumba or Druk Amitabh Monastery, resides within the southern part of Kathmandu Valley. The hike starts from Halchowk accompanied by the steep-pitched roads, greenery, and local settlements, and ends at Druk Amitabh Monastery.
Located at a height of 1500m, the monastery offers a stunning view of Kathmandu Valley including Swayambhunath. The invigorating air, and vibrant details in architecture all makeup for a captivating hiking experience.
If your hike is on clear days, then you’ll be delighted with the views of Langtang, Gauri Shankar, and Manaslu. The sunrise and sunset view in this place is to die for. With so many places to visit in Kathmandu, Amitabha Monastery hikes definitely offer a break from the chaos of the capital.
- Enchanting view of the valley
- Mesmerising sunset and sunrise view
- Get to learn about Buddhism and practice meditation
4. Nagarkot Hike
Nagarkot hike effortlessly takes the cake for the best place for hiking in Kathmandu. This is supported by the large popularity among national and international tourists. So do expect a bit crowd.
The hill station offers fascinating scenes of some of the highest ranges such as Annapurna, Langtang, Manaslu, Jugal, Maha Langur, and Ganesh Himal ranges. This hike offers a wide range of outdoor activities like walking, paragliding, and village sightseeing.
The thing that stands out for the Nagarkot hike is its accessibility from Kathmandu which caters to all nature lovers irrespective of their ages. The hiking trail covers terraced hillsides, dense vegetation, and sweet villages that make you fall in love with this place.
Nagarkot is beloved for its sunrise and sunset views. You’ll also spot Changunaryan Nepal, a UNESCO World Heritage site as you return from your hike.
- Welcoming Newari Kartik village
- Gorgeous sweeping view of the three highest peaks namely Dhaulagiri in the west, Mount Everest in the east, and Kanchenjunga.
- Tap into the lifestyle of neighboring Gurung and Tamang ethnic groups.
5. Sundarijal Hike
Sundarijal Hike serves as a great option for a short hike around Kathmandu. The hike is also popular with the name Shivapuri hiking as the hike covers the area of Shivapuri national park.
The place is renowned for its temperate climate, luscious greenery, and diverse flora and fauna. So you’d be up for some real nature walks in Kathmandu with Sundarijal Hike.
As you ascend through Shivapuri National Park, you’d discover gorgeous rhododendron forests, temples, and river dams. You can do some deep thinking while dabbing your feet alongside the river.
The Sundarijal River provides shelter to 177 birds with 9 endangered species, 102 species of butterflies, various endangered creatures, and 129 species of mushrooms. Your ears will be blessed with the chirping of birds and have some birdwatching activities.
It is an 18 km short hike and takes around 6 hours.
- Explore Shivapuri National Park and Conservation Area
- Visit the religiously significant Budhanilkantha temple and Tamang Monastery at Nagi Gompa
- Enjoy the beautiful landscape, waterfalls, and huge forest
- Enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayas from Shivapuri Hill.
6. Namobuddha Hike
The Namobuddha hike is yet another one-day hike around Kathmandu that satisfies every checklist any hiker might have. You have astonishing views of mountains, culturally rich Newari villages, gumbas, and chaityas. All leading to a perfect getaway.
The Namobuddha hiking trail covers the villages of Banepa and Panauti. The vibrant prayer flags add the perfect balance to the calm environment. The path is marked at an altitude of 2565 m and takes you through gorgeous rhododendron forests and holy temples and monasteries such as the Namo Buddha Stupa, Indreshwar Mahadev Temple, and the Brahmayani Temple.
If you’re lucky to be around clear sky days, then you’ll be blessed with the panoramic sight of Dorje Lakpa, Chovabhamare, Numbur, Langtang, Gaurishankar, Shishapangma, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, and Rolwaling.
Apart from being a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site, the trails also have historic and some early towns, making your hiking experience an insightful one.
- Revel in the breathtaking views of Langtang and Gaurishanker ranges from Namobuddha
- Learn about the Buddhist culture in the monastery
- Picturesque dense forests, verdant farms, and pristine topography
- Explore other cultural monuments in Dhulikhel such as Kali Temple, Chandeshwori Temple, Gita Temple, and Bhagwati Shiva Temple.
7. Phulchowki Hike
Saving the best for the last, the Phulchowki hike is another one-day hike around Kathmandu that deserves all your attention. Phulchowki Hill is the highest hill surrounding Kathmandu Valley within 20 Km of reach from Kathmandu.
The word ‘’Phulchowki’’ translates to ‘’hills full of flowers’’. So, the place embodies spring vibes. The hill owns your heart with its wildflowers, trees, rhododendrons, and Magnolia covering it.
The hike begins at Godawari and sets out on a journey through tropical forests with gravel paths. The path has various shortcut routes making it easier for hikers. If the weather’s in your favor, you’d see the views of Langtang Himal, Ganesh Himal, and Gaurishanker Himal.
If you went to this place during March and April, you’d also witness the religious ceremony at the Phulchowki Mai Temple. Phulchowki hike is also renowned for bird sightseeing and offers the sights of birds such as Yellow-browed, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Rufous-gorged, and a wide variety of butterflies and animals, all making for an immersive nature experience.
- Spectacular views of Annapurna and Gaurishankar range
- Gorgeous botanical garden featuring a wide range of biodiversity
- Religious Hindu temple, Phulchowki Mai
- Beautiful view of the Kathmandu Valley
|Best destinations for hiking in Kathmandu||Destination||Duration||Altitude||Difficulty Level|
|1. Kakani Hike||Kathmandu to Kakani||Minimum 5 hours||2000m||Easy|
|2. Champadevi Hike||Kathmandu to Pharping||Minimum 4.5 hours||2249m||Hard|
|3. Amitabha Monastery Hike||Swayambhu to Seto Gumba||Minimum 3.5 hours||1500m||Moderate|
|4. Nagarkot Hike||Sankhu to Nagarkot||Minimum 5 hours||2175m||Hard|
|5. Sundarijal Hike||Budhanilkantha to Sundarijal||Minimum 6 hours||100m||Easy|
|6. Namobuddha Hike||Kathmandu to Namobuddha||Minimum 6 hours||1800m||Moderate|
|7. Phulchowki Hike||Kathmandu to Godawari||Minimum 3.5 hours||2782m||Very Hard|
Kathmandu never disappoints you with its natural beauty alongside its rich history, art, and cultural diversity. So getting in touch with nature while hiking is a great idea that you might want to add to your to-do things in Kathmandu. Give these mentioned best hiking in Kathmandu a shot and make your journey filled with adventure.
No traveling experience in the world gets complete without teasing your tastebuds. After all, trying cuisines and having 100 different reactions in your body is what makes your traveling experience such a memorable one.
Kathmandu is a goldmine with rich cultural history, spectacular landmarks, and authentic Nepali cuisine. For all adventures out there who are all set to embark on discovering Kathmandu, don’t miss out on these best places to eat in Kathmandu.
These places offer not only traditional food in Kathmandu but also warm hospitality that simply melts your heart. Make your visit to Kathmandu a unique one by trying these local eateries.
The best places to eat in Kathmandu that you can’t Miss
OR2K is one of the famous places to eat in Kathmandu. The whole vibe of OR2K is vibrant and has an appealing ambiance.
They offer not only traditional Nepali food but also European-style food and even Middle Eastern cuisine. If you’re wondering why this weird amalgamation? Well, one of the founders of this restaurant is Israeli. So you have the best of both worlds.
Unlike other restaurants, you have to sit on floor mats with low cushions and take off your shoes. Talk about the traditional Nepali food dining experience, right?
This place will also win over people who crave vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Kathmandu. The menu serves a wide range of vegetarian items and leaves you full.
The popular item on their menu includes Babaganesh, Cheese Platter, Tovales Home Apple Pie, and Hummus Tahini.
- Location: Mandala Street, Kathmandu
Le Sherpa bags its place as a fine dining restaurant in Kathmandu. If you want to enjoy a calm and cozy environment amidst all the chaos of Kathmandu, you’d love this restaurant.
They offer high-end international cuisine inspired by French and Italian fare. They use ingredients in the recipe either by growing on-site or sourcing. They also organize a farmers’ market every Saturday morning.
The farmers’ market is like a chic market meant to promote organic and authentic brands from coffee, and foods to crafts. So you’ll be exploring the growing Kathmandu food scene up close.
You can find food items such as European cheese, bread and pastries, organic honey, homemade chutneys and jams, artisanal meat, and delicacies from the best restaurants in Kathmandu.
You’d find plenty of food markets and stalls and feel as if you’re in a food fest at this place.
- Location: Maharajgunj, Kathmandu
If you’re looking for a cute cafe that makes it to your Instagram feed and satisfies your taste bud, then Yala Cafe is your place. They offer not only some traditional Nepali dishes but also European dishes.
Yala Cafe is renowned among visitors for having a peaceful environment. So, for those of you who love to break free from the crowd and noise, watch out for this cafe. Their staff exhibits warm hospitality and has well-priced items on their menu.
They also serve vegan and gluten-free options. The waiters seem well-informed about food allergies. This can be helpful for people sensitive to certain food ingredients.
They use coffee beans and teas grown only in Nepal. So, you’ll be entertained by the exquisite taste of food grown in Nepal. Their popular offerings include Café Mocha, Latte, masala tea, pancakes, cheesecakes, and momo to name a few.
- Location: Kwabahal, Thamel, Kathmandu
Carpe Deim Lounge and Bakery
Carpe Deim Lounge and Bakery is another famous place to eat in Kathmandu. They have a gorgeous aesthetic. The restaurant consists of 3 floors for seating, with each floor having its unique details.
The bottom floor seems casual while the top floor has a romantic feel to it. So, if you’re traveling with your loved one, this might as well be among the best restaurant in Kathmandu for couples.
The popular items on their menu include the classic eggs benedict, the smoked salmon sandwich, the chicken Caesar salad, and the Margherita pizza. They also serve drinks and hookah if you’re in the mood to be relaxed.
- Location: Paknajol16, Thamel, Kathmandu
Wondering where you can quench your appetite for Pizza while visiting places in Kathmandu? Roadhouse Cafe is just the place to be. A large number of tourists have vouched for the quality of pizza as seen on many review sites.
To be more precise, their wood-fired pizza is what made it a must-eat place in Kathmandu. As tourists, you cannot always get along with the taste of Nepal, and this restaurant understands and presents it to its visitors.
It gets a little busy on Saturday. Do keep that in mind as you plan your eating experience here.
They have got a good ambiance and chill music to lighten up the vibe. Some of their preferred items on the menu include Roadhouse blue pizzas, sizzling brownies, Nachos, and cheesecakes.
Their popularity has grown so much that they actually extended their chain restaurants in various parts of Kathmandu and Pokhara.
- Location: Thamel, Kathmandu
Krishnarpan Nepali Restaurant
Let’s be real, exploring Nepal doesn’t get complete until you’ve tried authentic Nepali cuisine. That’s where Krishnarpan Nepali Restaurant comes to your service. It happens to be a part of Dwarika Hotel, a deluxe hotel.
Krishnarpan serves ethnic cuisines in Kathmandu. The whole architecture and interior decor of the restaurant are Newari inspired. The traditional attires worn by the service providers and traditional earthenware only enhance the atmosphere of authentic experience.
They also provide you with a customized menu and souvenirs like clay crafts with a description. So, you not only get a fine dining experience but also carry the memory with you. The management takes their customer service to the next level as they ask you about individual food allergies and preferences prior to serving meals.
No wonder, they’ve established themselves as a top dining spot in Kathmandu. Their 6-course meal is the most loved one. They also serve local rice wine, momos, appetizers, and a variety of desserts depending on your choice. So, embrace yourself for a heavy meal.
- Location: Battisputali, Kathmandu
Yangling Tibetan Restaurant
One thing to know before traveling to Kathmandu is you’ll sin if you don’t try Momo. Seriously, Nepal is incomplete without Momo. So you have to try them.
And Yangling Tibetan Restaurant offers the best momos in Kathmandu. One bite into their juicy momo and you’d be craving for more. The red hot chutney dip further enhances your taste.
It is a family-run restaurant that also offers other traditional dishes. You can also try Thukpa, and Tibetan butter tea if that’s your jam. The portions are great and quite affordable in comparison to other local eateries in Kathmandu.
- Location: Kaldhara Marga, Kathmandu
Rosemary Kitchen is a must-try restaurant for people looking to enjoy European and Asian cuisines in Kathmandu. You’d get a wide range of offerings from foods, wines to coffee.
The place is hygienic and has attentive servers and receptive kitchen crews. Thamel can be pretty overwhelming for travelers and this restaurant transports them to tranquility.
They have an open courtyard seating area perfect for getting together with your friends. You can dive into deep conversations while sipping wine or coffee. You can try rosemary chicken, Thai curry, Mongolian Chicken, organic salad, and Australian lamb.
- Location: J.P. Marga, Kathmandu
In the mood to romanticize your travel? Kaiser Cafe is the perfect getaway. Residing within the gorgeous Garden of Dreams, Kaiser Cafe without a doubt is a fine dining option in Kathmandu.
It is a bit expensive compared to other restaurants in Kathmandu. However, the gorgeous setting and delicious food all makeup for it.
It serves a wide range of international cuisines like Austrian Wiener Schnitzel, wild mushroom soup with creme fraiche, and Vienna coffee. The dreamy aura of the restaurant makes it your perfect night out in Kathmandu.
- Location: Thamel, Kathmandu
Your sweet memories deserve sweet delicious treats. Taza treats are there to accompany you in your memory. Taza Treats offer delectable sweets and desserts from Syria and Middle-Eastern Places.
A Syrian-Nepali couple runs this place. It started as a way to expand Kathmandu’s food scene and introduce Syrian dishes to Nepali. They have grabbed a lot of eyeballs.
Before getting big, the owner of Taza would bring materials from Syria to ensure authenticity. But, since this wasn’t practical in the long run, he switched to using quality materials available in Nepal.
Try their Kunafeh, a sweet creamy, and cheesy treat, and dive into ecstasy. You can also enjoy Baklavas, hummus, fatayers, zaatar, and suksseh.
- Location– Sanepa, Lalitpur
The food culture of Kathmandu is really intriguing with its diverse offerings. It manages to capture the beauty of both ethnic and international cuisines together, providing unique food experiences in Kathmandu. Commemorate your travel with these best places to eat in Kathmandu and discover the beauty of taste like never before.
Every traveler is mesmerized by the beauty of Kathmandu. Undoubtedly, It is a nature’s paradise, a place of cultural and political revolutions, and a landmark of history. You’d find yourself in a state of pure bliss.
But what people don’t acknowledge much about Kathmandu is how rich it is in terms of arts and has abundant historical collections with cultural significance. You’d not only have some visual feast but also be enlightened with historical knowledge, truly making your traveling experience to Kathmandu an insightful one.
It’s easy to get hooked while visiting different places in Kathmandu. But these top art galleries and museums in Kathmandu deserve your equal attention.
Top Art Galleries and Museums that You must visit in Kathmandu
1. Nepal Art Council
Nepal art council is a non-profit art gallery in Nepal. It has been working since 1962. So, you’d get access to some good old Nepali artifacts that have lived throughout history.
In its early days, this art gallery was promoted and supported by the state and King Mahendra (then King)acted as a trustee. Later it transitioned into a service-oriented, non-profit, and non-governmental organization.
Earlier, the art gallery was heavily concentrated on modern art. However, they have changed into different forms of art such as traditional art, folk art, novel art, and many more.
They feature visual arts in the form of painting, sculpture, photography, installations, and mixed media artworks. They also promote folk arts such as traditional crafts, woodwork, metalwork, pottery, and mask-making.
For an art museum in Nepal that paved the way for traditional architecture, they have remained open to experimentation with performing arts and organized seminars and workshops about various art forms.
- Location: Babarmahal, Kathmandu
- Entry Fee: Free
- Opening hours: 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
2. Patan Museum
The museums in Nepal literally embody the word ‘’art’’ like no other. And Patan Museum is no exception.
The Patan Museum falls under a world heritage site. So, you bet you’ll be on the journey for some exquisite art collections.
Patan Museum is located within the compound of Keshav Narayan Chowk of Patan Durbar Square courtyard. You’ll get to see around 300 artifacts on display. As this museum had to withstand the earthquake, Nepal Government and Austrian governments were involved in restoring this place.
The museum embodies the long cultural history of Nepal and displays objects that hold significance for both Hinduism and Buddhism. The displayed objects include cast bronzes and gilt copper repousse work and traditional crafts.
The Patan Museum Cafe managed by the Summit Hotel, Kathmandu perfectly complements the architecture of this art museum and provides a great place to enjoy some traditional and Western cuisines. So, you can eat the different cuisines of Kathmandu.
The museum also has a gift shop where you can buy unique handicrafts and take them as a souvenir.
- Location: Patan, Lalitpur
- Entry Fee: Rs.1000 for foreign visitors, Rs. 250 for SAARC citizens
- Opening hours: 10 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.
3. Taragaon Museum
If your museum experience is all about calmness, this art museum in Nepal is a must. Taragaon Museum is a breath of fresh air when it comes to architecture in Kathmandu.
Tarragon Museum was originally built as a hostel for visiting artists and scientists and was later abandoned in the 1990s. The hotelier and philanthropist Arun Saraf took the initiative of restoring this place and collaborated with Austrian architect Carl Pruscha to create a unique architecture.
It differs from the typical architecture in Kathmandu and has a minimalist and simple layout. The Taragaon Museum proudly boasts of displaying 50 years of research and cultural heritage conservation efforts of foreign artists, photographers, architects, and anthropologists in the Kathmandu Valley.
So, it’s an honest attempt to show the untold story of Kathmandu.
The museum features drawings, sketches, paintings, and other important documents that capture the history of Kathmandu. You’ll find dark red bricks all over the museum’s design representing a tribute to the dachi appa brick structures that are found in Kathmandu.
There is a barrel-vaulted style room inspired by the classic temple architecture.
- Location: Boudanath Sadak, Kathmandu
- Entry Fee: Free
- Opening hours: 10 A.M. to 5 P.M (closed on Saturday and public holidays)
4. National Art Gallery
The list of art museums in Kathmandu doesn’t get complete without mentioning the National Art Gallery. National Art Gallery is a museum that takes you on the journey of medieval as well as Lichhavi art and history.
Located within the heart of Bhaktapur Durbar Square, this art gallery in Nepal was formed by the Nepal Government’s Department of Archaeology in 1960. The core idea behind it was to preserve and showcase Nepalese traditional paintings.
You’ll discover palm-leaf manuscripts, Tantric cloth paintings, and metal, bronze, stone, and wooden artifacts that date back to the 12th century. You’ll also find a stone art section on the ground floor, which exhibits stone sculptures, and inscriptions and showcase stone art from the early medieval through medieval periods.
Before entering the National art gallery, you’ll be required to pay for the ticket. But these tickets will also let you access the other two museums namely the Wood carve museum and the brass and bronze museum.
- Location: Bhaktapur Durbar Square
- Entry Fee: Rs.150 for foreign visitors and Rs, 50 for SAARC nationals
- Opening hours: 10 A.M. to 4 P.M(until 3 P.M. on Friday and closed on public holidays)
5. Chhauni Museum
Chhauni Museum is an unconventional art museum in Kathmandu. This is because it started out as an arsenal house. It was popular with the name ‘’Chhauni Silkhana’’, which translates to ‘’the stone house of arms and ammunition’’.
Expect plenty of military artifacts at Chhauni Museum.
You’ll find substantial historical artworks such as sculptures, paintings, and weapons used in wars in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is the largest museum in Nepal. So, you can expect it to be a bit bigger, thereby giving you more time to explore this place.
This museum has 3 major buildings namely the Historical Museum Building, the Buddhist Art Gallery, and the Juddha Jayatia Kala Shala. They also feature a variety of animal, butterfly, and plant species.
The cultural section of the museums showcases traditional attire, musical instruments, and images of Nepali people in their daily lives.
- Location: Museum Marg, Kathmandu
- Entry Fee: 150 for foreign visitors and Rs. 50 for SAARC citizens
- Opening Hours: 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM(from Wednesday to Sunday) and 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM(Monday)
6. Siddhartha Art Gallery
Amidst all the traditional art museums in Kathmandu, Siddhartha Art Gallery stands as a unique art gallery in Nepal. This gallery has positioned itself as a place for contemporary art to thrive in Nepal.
Sangeeta Thapa and Shasikala Tiwara formed this gallery as a meeting point for national and international artists. The gallery has conducted over 500 exhibitions over 35 years.
The gallery takes its name from Siddhartha Gautam, the birth name of Lord Buddha, representing the connection between art and spirituality in Nepali culture. They have successfully featured many artists from India, Pakistan, The Netherlands, and Bangladesh to name a few.
So they’re staying true to their motto. They’re also active in organizing art-related events, workshops, and seminars and have passionate and knowledgeable gallery curators’ and staff, which eases your art gallery experience.
Siddhartha art gallery has also been working as a great platform for upcoming artists to showcase their work.
- Location: Tanka Prasad Ghumti Sadak, Kathmandu
- Entry Fee: Free
- Opening Hours: 11 A.M. to 5 P.M
7. Museum of Nepali Art(MoNA)
The Museum of Nepali Art is a custom-built gallery displaying a diverse range of artwork in various media each with unique themes.
The founder of this museum, Rajan Shakya established this art museum in Nepal to support and showcase the work of developing Nepali artists as well as established Nepali masters.
You’ll be delighted with arts in contrasting Western styles in a local cultural context. Accompany a guided tour as they’re great at explaining the history and essence of the artwork.
The museum has subdued lighting, and an elegant interior, and embodies a modern yet traditional theme to it. The walls have contemporary arts that incorporate style and techniques from golden prints of Kathmandu’s temples to colorful acrylic abstracts.
There is even a painting that reimagines Mona Lisa as a cancer survivor. The thing that sets MoNa different from the rest of the museums in Nepal is that it not only displays art but also the work and resources that go behind it.
This museum has been a credible source of information for the reconstruction after the 2015 earthquake.
- Location: Tanka Prasad Ghumti Sadak, Kathmandu
- Entry Fee: Rs.700 for foreign visitors and Rs. 500 for Nepali
- Opening Hours: 11 A.M. to 6 P.M
8. Nepal Academy of Fine Arts
Next on the list of museums in Kathmandu, we have the Nepal Academy of Fine Arts. This art gallery has been a go-to place for all artists, art critics, and art researchers in Nepal.
It was established on April 13th, 2010. You’ll find a wide range of art such as paintings, sculptures, handicrafts, folk art, architecture, traditional art, contemporary art, alternative art, video art, performance, and installation art here.
This museum is a repository of artworks throughout history and a priceless source of knowledge about both traditional and modern art. It organizes national and international art exhibitions and also lets aspiring Nepali artists showcase their work.
Nepal Academy of Fine Arts promotes art education by providing various grants and scholarships. So you know you’re in a great place of art admires.
- Location: Naxal, Kathmandu
- Entry Fee: Free
- Opening hours: 10 A.M. to 5 P.M
Kathmandu has withstood so many things that it’s a lot to process for anyone. This is why art and history collection is crucial to remind everyone of its great resistance and showcase its true beauty. So, don’t miss out on these top art galleries and museums in Kathmandu and enlighten yourself with its real narrative.
Things to Know Before Travelling to Nepal
If you’ve made up your mind about planning to travel to Nepal, then chances are you’re probably confused. And why wouldn’t you be? Nepal is nature’s treasure. So, stepping into this fascinating land might fill you with excitement and dilemma.
While you might be all excited about tapping into the land of mountains, you might also find yourself anxious about exploring this wonderland. So, it’s best to know some Nepal travel tips before having rich cultural immersion and meaningful experiences.
These tips will not only prepare you to travel to Nepal easily but also will help you navigate Nepal better. After all, the only way to encounter limitations and risks is by preparing well, right?
10 Nepal Travel Tips To Enrich Your Nepal Travel Experience
For those of you who truly want to get the best Nepal travel experience, be mindful of these 10 Nepal travel tips and get the best out of this land.
Visa and entry requirements for Nepal
Your travel to Nepal doesn’t kickstart without a visa and an understanding of entry requirements. You can access a tourist visa on arrival at Kathmandu airport and the official overland entry point.
If you’re pretty excited, you can also apply for a visa up to 15 days till your arrival. You can find the required instructions on Nepal’s government official site. You’ll have to pay the following amounts for a different duration.
- A 15-day visa:: $30
- A 30-day visa:: $50
- A 90-day visa:: $125
Nepal has its way to tempt adventure seekers. So, if you feel like extending your stay, you have the option to do that as well.
You can extend your tourist visa for 150 days in a calendar year. You just need to fill out the form on the Nepal immigration website.
Nepalese deal in Nrs(Nepali Rupees). And you can exchange them in banks and money exchange counters. Kathmandu has many places that exchange foreign currencies.
The Tribhuvan International Airport also lets you exchange money upon your arrival. There are 2 money exchange centres inside the airport at the arrival lounge. However, it is best to avoid exchanging your currency at the airport as they offer the lowest exchange rate.
Instead, you can go to various forex centres and banks. Normally, bank transactions take longer due to paperwork. So, you’ll have it much easier with Forex centres.
Nepal is quite affordable. So, even a little money can go a long way and you can travel to Nepal on a budget.
Avoid Trekking Solo
A trip to Nepal doesn’t get complete without trekking. So, the thought of exploring Nepal and its hidden gems on your own sounds liberating and full of adventure.
But the reality is it’s best to avoid trekking solo. This is because there has been a tremendous increase in the missing cases of solo travellers. Let’s be real. Something that’s supposed to be fun shouldn’t turn out to be such a terrifying issue.
Make sure you’re accompanied by travellers or guides or within a group when going for a trek. You can also find various online platforms to connect with fellow trekkers when preparing to trek in Nepal even if you’re travelling alone.
Travelling with a guide also makes your overall travel itinerary in Nepal a smooth process. They can easily help with you registering your permits, navigating the places, and acclimatising.
The best part about travelling in a group is you’ll have a lot of fun that’ll forever stay in your memory lane.
It’s pretty obvious. Travelling with travel insurance is a game changer. Specifically, the 2015 earthquake and Avalanche are a gentle reminder that unexpected occurrences can happen. That’s why, it’s best to get yourself covered to combat such moments of uncertainty.
A general travel policy covers necessities like the loss of baggage, and tickets, and include a refund or up to a certain limit – cash, in terms of cancellation or curtailment of your trip.
Some of the policies even cover extreme sports when you pay an extra premium. This can be helpful when you’re travelling to Nepal for whitewater rafting, trekking (especially above 4000m), and climbing.
When choosing your insurance with medical coverage, make sure to know whether benefits will be provided as treatment proceeds or only after returning to your country.
Expect Power Outages
Nepal has a long history of power outages. Keep that in mind as you prepare to travel to Nepal. Luckily, things have been better now. Power cutoff isn’t a major issue in big cities like Kathmandu, and Pokhara as it used to be before.
However, you might experience a shortage of power in remote areas. So, your experience while travelling to Nepal will be filled with constantly charging your electronic devices every time you get the opportunity. Invest in good power banks.
One of the smart travel tips to Nepal is to carry a universal adapter and a solar power charger. A flashlight is equally handy as you’ll be experiencing blackouts or exploring various places with limited light.
More Than Himalayas
Nepal has gained notoriety for its spectacular Himalayas. Don’t get us wrong. It has abundant Himalayas to leave you stunned. But it has a diverse topography and historic landmarks that equally deserve your attention.
Don’t limit your Nepal travel experience only to exploring the Mountains. Try giving various things a shot. You can go hiking or cycling across the hills. If you’re really in need of that serotonin, you can even go mountain biking and paragliding.
The sky’s the limit. Then there are stunning glaciers, deep valleys, and diverse ecosystems. And the rich historical architecture has an interesting story of its own. So, widen your exploration while visiting Nepal.
Prepare for Air Quality
Be prepared for bad air quality when planning a trip to Nepal. Recently, the air quality of Kathmandu has degraded a lot, making its way to one of the most polluted cities in the world.
And you’d be spending quite some time in places of Kathmandu. For individuals allergic to irritants in the air, this could spoil the overall travelling experience in Nepal. Always use a mask and carry extra medicines just in case.
As soon as you move far from Kathmandu, the air gets better as you move to the mountains.
Altitude Sickness is real
Don’t get taken away by the breathtaking view of snowcapped mountains. Altitude sickness will likely accompany you as you explore trekking routes in Nepal. Altitude sickness can occur at heights above 2,500m.
Even physically fit people have trouble with it. A good idea is to ensure that your travel insurance covers medical evacuation from altitude. Getting yourself checked with a doctor before the trip is helpful.
While exploring the mountains, drink water and eat even if you don’t have any appetite as you need a lot of strength.
The water quality in Nepal is not the greatest. Your body can have some difficulty adjusting to it. It’s best to avoid tap water. Carry some water purification materials and a filtration bottle while visiting Nepal.
The big restaurants and hotels have a good water system. However, that’s not the case with the local places.
You are required to have a trekking permit to trek in Nepal. You’ll need a TIMS card(Trekkers Information Management System) card to get into some of the popular trek routes like the Annapurna 7 passes trek and Everest Base Camp treks.
You can obtain a TIMS card from the tourist service centre in Kathmandu. You should submit a copy of your passport and 2 passport-style photos. If you want to save yourself from all the mess of acquiring permits, a tour operator and agencies can help you.
They’ll organise all permits on your behalf. This is included in their trekking package fee. You can get in-depth information about trekking permits here.
Best Time to Visit Nepal
The best time to set foot in Nepal is between October and December. You’ll be treated with clear skies and a favourable temperature. Hikers and climbers tend to visit Nepal throughout fall, autumn, and spring.
For trekkers, late September to late November offers a great experience as the weather is clear and you get the best view of the mountains.
Avoid monsoons if you can. It gets pretty messy. So, make sure you’re not visiting Nepal from late May to early September as the road is drenched with muddy water.
If exploring Nepal’s ecosystem and biodiversity is on your list, then Spring is a good time.
These Nepal travel tips might come across as simple. But they really help in making your overall travelling experience a delight and contentful. After all, a delightful travelling experience is what makes you enjoy the process and feel alive. Consider these mentioned things while preparing to travel to Nepal and you’ve embarked on a journey that’s worth celebrating for a lifetime.
Top trekking routes in Nepal that you must have on your bucket list
If there’s one thing that anyone should have on their bucket list is trekking in Nepal. The gorgeous nature, gigantic mountains, and dazzling glaciers all make up for an epic trekking experience in Nepal.
Unlike other places, travellers can choose among various trails and routes to kickstart their journey. All thanks to the perfect blend of divine nature and geographical diversity of Nepal. Now you can either go for short treks or challenge yourself with tough mountaineering expeditions.
No wonder Nepal manages to be among the most popular destinations for trekking. So, without further ado, here’s a list of top trekking routes in Nepal that you must have on your bucket list.
A list of Top Trekking Routes in Nepal
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest base camp is among those trekking routes in Nepal that are loaded with stunning mountain views. This trek takes you to the lap of Everest without all the expediting of the mountain itself.
It is a 2-week trip that starts from Kathmandu to one of the highest airports in the world, Lukla.
During the route, you’ll witness the magnificent beauty of Namche Bazaar, and Tengboche Monastery, crossing breathtaking suspension bridges. The stunning scenery of the highest mountains in the world such as Lhotse, Changri, Ama Dablam, and Nuptse standing at heights of 8414m, 6027m, and 7861m will treat your eyes.
Since it happens to be one of the major trekking routes in Nepal, prepare yourself for a bit of a crowd. You’ll see two Everest basecamps at the endpoints of this trek namely North and South base camps. The best time to make this trip is from March to May and from September to November.
- Tengboche monastery
- Namche Bazar-an entrance to Mount Everest
- Khumbu Glacier
- Kala Patthar- the highest point of the trek- panoramic viewpoint of Everest.
Annapurna 7 Passes Trek
You can’t complete the best trekking routes in Nepal without Annapurna 7 Passes Trek. Annapurna 7 passes trek is a 20-day trek that explores part of the Annapurna Circuit.
This trek originated as a great alternative to the Annapurna Circuit Trekking route. This is because the original route has transformed into dirt off-road with an increase in the number of people going by jeep to start trekking at any point.
This trek covers 7 passes namely the Kuchurmo, Yarcha, Meta, Phu, Nar, Kangla, and the popular Thorong la. The trail will take you through uncovered forests, and narrow canyons and if you are lucky, you might even get to see Red Panda.
For those of you who are obsessed with mountains, this trek is heaven. The hidden valleys, breathtaking mountain views, and calm surroundings will enhance your trekking experience like no other. You can trek this place throughout all seasons.
- Trek alongside the unexplored and hidden Dona Lake
- Stunning view of Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Annapurna I, and other surrounding mountains.
- Explore the culture of Tibetan Nomadic tribes
Manaslu Circuit Trek
If you’re in the mood for challenging yet less crowded treks in Nepal, then the Manaslu Circuit Trek could be the best option. Unlike other popular teahouse treks in Nepal, Manaslu has a more remote and off-beat village hiking vibe to it.
It is a 14-day trek that starts at Seti Khola and ends at Beshi Sahar. The trail falls under the preservation area of the Manaslu region, which has protected the wildlife and vegetation in their natural state.
So expect authentic and raw natural beauty. You’ll be delighted with visual feasts from rice paddies, widespread green forests, and gorgeous waterfalls to rocky landscapes, rich local tribes, and monasteries to name a few. You can get the best out of this trek during the autumn(September- November) and spring (March-May) Seasons in Nepal.
- Cross the highest point with Larkya La Pass at the height of 5125m
- Birendra Tal, a popular lake in the Manaslu Glacier.
- Get in touch with the lifestyle of the Tibet-influenced tribe, Nubri People
- Picturesque view of Mt. Manaslu
- The diverse topography of the Manaslu conservation area
Langtang trek takes the title for short treks in Nepal. This is because the trek begins at Syabrubesi within 8 hour’s drive from Kathmandu.
This teahouse trek will transport you to a wonderland with green pastureland, stunning waterfalls, high alpine meadows, and widespread forests of bamboo, oak, and rhododendrons.
The trek takes 11 days of exploring Langtang Valley. If you are running short on time, then you can opt for a helicopter ride from Kyanjin. You’ll also explore the exquisite craftsmanship, culturally significant dresses, and beautifully carved wooden porches of the Tamang and Tibetan people residing in the village.
- Stunning view from Kyanjin Gompa and Langtang Gompa
- Langtang National Park
- Tap into the life of local indigenous people and their culture
- Helambu village, Gosaikunda, Vairab Kunda, Surya Kunda, Saraswati Kunda
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
For those of you who expect trekking in Nepal to be more challenging, this could be your sweet spot. Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is a 21 days trek suitable for advanced trekkers at altitudes above 5,000 m.
The journey begins in Beni, a small town about a 2-3 hours drive from Pokhara. On the route, you’ll travel through the Myagdi Khola River to the Chhonbardan Glacier, at the foot of Dhaulagiri.
You’ll see barren farmland, snow-covered rocky mountains, and a magical view of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Nilgiris, and Annapurnas.
- Varied terrains, from green villages and barren lands to glacial deposits and snowy mountains.
- Town of Marpha, popular for its monastery and apple orchards.
- Spectacular views of Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) and various other 7000 m-plus peaks.
- Option to ascend Dhampus Peak(6,060 m) for experienced mountaineers.
- Discover less explored places of the Annapurna region with a high-altitude trek.
Gokyo Lake Trek
Since it is located to the west of the Everest Base Camp trek, it is a great alternative to explore the Everest region without the mess of a crowd. The Gokyo Lakes are six bodies of water or lakes located in the Gokyo Valley with altitudes ranging from 4700 to 5000m.
The turquoise water of Gokyo Lake leaves you mesmerised. Gokyo Lake trek is a 12-day trek that begins at Lukla. You’ll be walking for around 5 hours a day and cross Gokyo RI (5,357m) to view Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Makalu.
You can also opt for a helicopter tour in case you’re in the mood for a little fancy. The largest glacier in Nepal, Ngozumpa, and ice ridges are there to hypnotise you with their beauty.
The best season to trek here is from March to May and October to November.
- The hospitality of Gokyo Village
- Explore the calmness of sparking glacial lakes, specifically during the afternoon.
- the Ngozumpa glacier, and the diverse ecosystem of Sagarmatha National Park
- Sunrise and sunset views of Mount Everest and other peaks from Gokyo Ri (5357 metres)
Nar Phu Valley Trek
The Nar Phu Valley trek is one of the major trekking routes in Nepal that lets travellers experience the fascinating villages of Nar and Phu near Chame.
Nar Phu Valley Trek is a 9-day trek that is located between the Annapurna region and Manaslu region. You’ll be familiarised with the lifestyle of the Khampas (Tibetan refugees) by trekking in these less-explored regions of Nepal.
The breathtaking views of snow capped mountains, narrow canyons, dazzling glaciers, and deep gorges will make your short trek in Nepal quite a memorable one. Nar Phu villages are quite popular for their colourful Tibetan Buddhist chortens and will definitely lift up your spirit.
On the route, you’ll travel through Yak Kharka, followed by Thorong Phedi. You’ll then prepare for crossing the challenging Thorong La Pass – one of the highest passes in the world.
Splendid views of Himlung Himal, Tashi Lhakhang Monastery, and the unique blue sheep are a few of the highlights of this trek.
- Dip in hot springs at Tatopani
- Himlung Base Camp, Phu, Naar, and Thorong La passes
- Explore Tibetan-derived culture and lifestyle
- Tashi Lhakhang Gompa
- Tilicho Lake and Muktinath Temple
Major Trekking Routes in Nepal- A Summary
|S.No.||Best Trekking Routes in Nepal||Minimum Duration||Trek Permits|
|01||Everest Base Camp||14 Days||TIMS, Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit||5600 meters, Kala Patthar|
|02||Annapurna 7 Passes Trek||21 Days||TIMS, ACAP||5416 meters, Thorong La Pass|
|03||Manaslu Circuit Trek||14 Days||TIMS, MCAP, RAP||5,160 meters, Larkya Pass|
|04||Langtang Trek||8 Days||TIMS, Langtang National Park||4,984 meters, Tserko Ri|
|05||Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek||21 Days||TIMS, ACAP||French Pass (5370m)|
|06||Gokyo Lake Trek||12 Days||TIMS, Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit||5357 meters, Gokyo Ri|
|07||Nar Phu Valley Trek||9 Days||TIMS, ACAP, NRA||5416 meters|
The scenic routes, Himalayan trails, and natural wonders of Nepal will make you’re trekking a lifetime experience. Honestly, this land has so many variations that your quest for adventure never really ends. So, make sure to give these top trekking routes in Nepal a shot and embody nature’s magic in your memory lane forever.