Nepal Places and Sights
Nepal’s capital and also its prevalent city Kathmandu is located in the Kathmandu Valley along with the prominent cities of Patan and Bhaktapur covering up an area of 220 square miles (that is nearly the area of Singapore). The city’s prosperous history is almost 2000 years old, as inferred from writing in the valley. Kathmandu, as an access to Nepal Tourism is the centre of the country’s economy. Some time ago Kathmandu was considered to be the magical and unattainable Shangri-La, which currently is a focal point for travelers and also a promising retreat spot pleasing to all budgets. Its religious connection is principally Hindu followed by Buddhism. The city of Kathmandu is widely known as City of Temples which is named after a Pagoda located in the city of Kathmandu. It is the City of Temples named after a Pagoda located in Durbar called Kaasthamandapa (in Sanskrit kastha means "wood" and maṇḍapa means “covered shelter”.
The whole Kathmandu Valley in fact can be looked up as one huge art gallery and museum, and the arts and architecture in Nepal are basically connected. The most excellent woodcarvings and the best sculptures are regularly a part of a building here. People of other religious beliefs also exist in Kathmandu granting it a multi-ethnic culture. The common language of the city is Nepali however many speak the Nepal Bhasa “Newari” as it is the center of the Newar people and culture. English is understood by all of the educated population of the city. Moreover a considerable number of the population also speaks any of the foreign languages like: French, German, Chinese, Hebrew, Korean etc. The literacy rate is 98% in the city. In the year 1979, the Kathmandu valley was agreed the status of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city in general has weather with warm days that follows by cool nights and mornings. Irregular weather is expected given temperatures can drop to 3 °C (37 °F) during the winter. In the Kathmandu Valley the average summer temperature varies from 28–30 °C (82–86 °F). The average winter temperature is 10.1 °C (50.2 °F).
Situated at an altitude of 827m from the sea level and 200km west of Kathmandu valley and is the third largest city in Nepal after Kathmandu and Biratnagar. Pokhara is an incredible place of natural beauty. Pokhara is definitely a place of enlivening beauty to refresh and relax and to discover the mysterious creation of nature. Thousands of people from diverse parts of the world come here just to awake the sleeping beauty.
Known for its adventure, this captivating city boasts of many attractive lakes and puts forward spectacular panoramic views of Himalayan peaks creating a magical atmosphere. The city is not only the preliminary spot for most prominent trekking and rafting destination but also a place to rest and take pleasure in the beauty of nature. Three out of the ten highest mountains in the world: Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu which are within 30 miles of the city. It also prides on a flourishing adventure sports industry and it is perhaps the best paragliding spot surrounded by white-water rivers.
There's also a mesmerizing museum that is committed to the Gurkha soldier who are world-famous. Pokhara is an access to the most illustrious treks in and around the Annapurna range and beyond and also an access to the well known Hindu temple Muktinath and the birthplace of Buddha, Lumbini. The geological location has made Pokhara one of the biggest valleys in Nepal and is covered with emerald blue lakes, green forests, deep gorges and underground waterfalls, caves, hills and rills. Pokhara is truly a paradise on earth layered with emerald blue lakes, green forests, deep ravines and underground waterfalls, caves, hills and rills. The city also has world famous honey-hunters living here. Amongst other advantages, the valley is also eminent for many different ethnic groups known for their rich art and cultural heritage. The blend of striking natural beauty and brilliant art and culture has succeeded in attracting visitors to the Pokhara Valley.
Chitwan is situated only 150m above the sea level and is one of the few remaining intact remnants of the Terai region which previously extended over the foothills of Nepal. Chitwan once used to be a thick jungle which was ruled by Chitrasen Baba, Tharu God/King. He used to worship in the deep forest and ruled over his state. People regarded him as the living form of Lord Vishnu.
Tharu people worship his idol even today, during HariBodhini Ekadashi in Chitrasari,on the way to Sauraha. Since the forest locally called “ban”was ruled by Lord Chitrasen, it was called Chitra Ban, later came to be known as Chitwan. Chitwan has very well-off in flora and fauna and Nepal's first national park, the Chitwan National Park and also Parsa Wildlife Reserve support the varieties of species incomparable to any other on the Indian subcontinent. Chitwan also has many temples and Ashrams and Devghat is home to various temples and caves of Hindu gods, goddesses, and also saints. Goddess Sita's cave, Bashistha Cave, Radha Krishna Temple, Galeshwor Temple, Sita Ram Temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Shankaracharya Temple, Bageshori Temple, Laxmi Narayan Divya Dham, Maula Kalika Temple, and Bishwa Shanti Dharmashala among others. Mahesh Sanyas, Hari Hara, Sharana Gati, Galeshwor, Radha Sarbeshwor Bhajan and Yogi Narahari Nath are ashrams where all through the year different religious activities are performed. Makar Sankranti is the time when massive melas are carried out every year making it one of the largest religious melas in Nepal. But the date when this festival started remains unknown.
Lumbini is the traditional birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. In sanskrit Lumbini means 'The Lovely One' and is a eminent Buddhist site in the Lumbini District Zone of Nepal. Owing to its cultural, religious and historical importance, Lumbini was declared, a world heritage site by UNESCO in the year 1997 attracting many Buddhist pilgrims from around the world. Lumbini boasts a number of temples, counting the Mayadevi Temple and numerous others that are still under construction.
Many monuments, monasteries and a museum and the Lumbini International Research Institute are also situated in this divine site. The holy site of Lumbini has remains of ancient monasteries, a sacred Bodhi tree, an ancient bathing pond, the Asokan pillar and the Mayadevi temple, where the accurate place of birth of Buddha is located The Lumbini district comes under Lumbini Trust, an NGO. Foreign pilgrims here have raised new temples and monasteries.The Buddhist associations of China, Myanmar and Gautami Nuns have their pagodas separately and the ones by Japan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are under construction. Lumbini is regarded as one of the most religious and also a popular tourist destination that attracts the tourists in large number each year.
Located in the Terai region, Janakpur is one of the most famous cities in Nepal; it is the headquarters of the Dhanusha district and is situated at a distance of 135 kilometers from capital, Kathmandu. The city is also known as Janakpurdham by the local people and has historic and religious importance of its own.
Since Goddess Sita is supposed to be born in this place it is very much related to the epic of Ramayana, the place has developed as a pilgrimage site for many Hindus. Throughout the year, many pilgrims come to pay their respects to Ram and Sita who are the main religious attractions in Janakpur. Throughout the year, many pilgrims come to pay their respects to Ram and Sita who are the main religious attractions in Janakpur. Janakpur is full of culture and the ancient Maithili culture and language is still prevailing in this city and there is also the famous temple Janaki Mandir here. There are various other reasons to visit Janakpur. Jhula, Bol Bum, Tihar, Dashain, Ram Navami and Vibhaha Panchami are some of the festivals that are celebrated here and Chhath is also another festival that is celebrated by the Maithili people in Janakpur in Nepal. Throughout the year, many pilgrims come to pay their respects to Ram and Sita who are the main religious attractions in Janakpur and Vivah Panchami being the main festival celebrated here at the end of March and the beginning of April according to the Hindu calander. Janakpur is a city of dozens of holy pools, with a number of ancient sites, some of which have yet to be recognized.
Nepal is a country which is merged of both nature and human efforts and the land as protected area are known as National parks or Wildlife reserves or Conservation areas. Nepal can be divided into three areas: high mountains, mid hills and low lands and all three areas have different temperatures. The country has an extensive range of wild floras and faunas that are unparalleled with any other geographic Nation of the global but also cover the altitude of 70 m to 8,848 m.
More than 13,000 square kilometers of protected areas has been put aside by Government of Nepal which includes as many bio-geographic provinces as possible to reassure conservation of the maximum numbers of wildlife species. These nature havens attract wildlife fanatics and tourists from all over the world. Every park and conserve has its own appeal. Nepal has surely been gifted with a great range of life-zones providing a home for a large species of plants, birds and animals.
Nepal has always been a leader when it comes to rich culture, highest mountains, and stunningly beautiful sceneries and the pilgrimage here adds so much more to its significance at the same time. Religion has always been an important part in every part of the world and since religion is a cause of evolution and culture in every society and country; its importance is always increasing. Some people said that Nepal is a country of temple.
Regardless of having a large Hindu population, Hinduism and Buddhism both have managed to take their lead making it the most followed religion like nowhere else and confirming it are the many temples and the stupas built in every corner the country and each temple are connected to a legend or belief that pay tribute to the miraculous supremacy of its deity. Other religions such as Islam, Christianity, Bon, Kirat, Jain and Sikh also exist here. Hundreds of famous temples are located in and around the Kathmandu Valley with many being listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.Like Swayambhunath, Bauddhanath, and Lumbini, Pashupatinath etc.. Some well-known pilgrimage sites are: Baraha Chhetra, Halesi Mahadev, Janakpur, Pathibhara, Tengboche in East Nepal; Manokamana, Gorkha, Lumbini, Muktinath, Gosainkunda, Tansen, Kathmandu Valley in Central Nepal; and Swargadwari, Khaptad Ashram in West Nepal. There are also monasteries and caves where Guru Rinpoche, or Padmasambhava, is believed to have meditated. The pilgrmae sites here have unlimited number of devotees pay visit every year different parts of the world especially South Asia and South East Asia visit Nepal. Consequently, pilgrimage tourism has been increasing lately as an important tourism sector.
Bhaktapur is ancient city situated about 12km outside of Kathmandu City and is the home of traditional art and architecture, weaving industries historical monuments and craft works, magnificent windows, pottery and, excellent temples, beautiful ponds, rich local customs, culture, religion, festivals, musical mystic and so on. The city is spread with pagodas and religious shrines and is still an intact as well as preserved ancient city. Lying along the ancient trade route between India and Tibet, Bhaktapur is surrounded by mountains and provides a magnificent view of the Himalayas. Bhaktapur was founded in the 12th century by King Ananda Malla (as per different records), It was the capital city of the Greater Malla Kingdom until the 15th century and was an independent kingdom from then until the 18th century. Bhaktapur is known as 'City of Devotees', the 'City of Culture', the 'Living Heritage', and 'Nepal's Cultural Gem'. It is one of the 3 royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley. The others are Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and Patan. Bhaktapur is also known as “Khwopa” and “Bhadgaon” locally. It is one of the major attractions for tourists from the beginning of the tourism activities in Nepal. Bhaktapur is also known for its tradition-loving residents. While in this city, you may come across the locals observing one or more of their generations old festivals or may come across some traditional musical band going around the township, playing their traditional musical instruments. It is also likely that some of them may tempt and request you to join the company. Wherever you go, in the streets and alleys of Bhaktapur, you are always surrounded by the local Newars for whom; hospitality is a way of life. Bhatkapur is one of the best places to take home Nepalese souvenirs, make sure you visit Bhaktapur before buying as it is reputed for producing pottery, puppets, masks and cultural handicrafts. This is the place where the visitors can walk around and completely get covered in the beautiful yet traditional environment.