Irvin Hanni is a die-hard traveller and she is the happiest when cycling in a foreign destination, rubbing noses with a cat, or napping by a lake. Her goal is to touch every owl, monkey, puppy, and turtle that she meets on her travels. According to Irvin, the 8 major reasons why you should consider traveling Nepal are:
Home of the Himalayas
Nepal is a Himalayan country, wedged between the giants of India and Tibet, an autonomous region of China. Nepal is populary known worldwide for an incredible variety of ecosystems and the greatest mountain ranges; 8 of the highest mountains above 8000m in Nepal among 14 of them in the world. Nepal is home to the mighty everest, the world’s highest mountain. Trekking is the most preferred way to witness the beauty of the mountains, with the Annapurna and Everest base camps being the most beloved circuits. Conquering Everest would be the ultimate dream for each one of us but alternatively, a 1 hour mountain flight around Everest with upclose view of the highest mountain in the world, is worth the price.
Nepal is undoubtedly blessed with one of the best weather and abundant nature. Nepal offers you countless adventure sports. It offers you number of sports opportunities adventurously From Bungee Jumping in the deep George of 160 meters height above the raging Bhote Koshi River or recently opened bungee jumping in Pokhara or strong rapids Water Rafting or Kayaking or or Sky Diving or Canyoning or be it the natural rock climbing or flying off near to the himalayas in a paragliding or parahawking, where you will be paragliding alongside hawks, you name it and we have it.
Birthplace of Gautam Buddha
Irvin writes, “A few millennia ago, a queen gave birth to a healthy boy underneath a sala tree. That prince would turn out to be one of the most significant beings in the history of mankind, paving the path to many individuals seeking to connect with the universe.”
The birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam Buddha, is called Lumbini and is is a popular tourist destination. The exact birth spot of Siddhartha Gautam, located in the southern town of Lumbini, has been immortalised inside a temple fringed by a sacred ancient pond, archaeological remains and a beautiful Bodhi tree. The temple is popularly known as Maya Devi Temple. The surrounding area was gazetted as the Lumbini Development Zone, where visitors are free to roam on foot, by bicycle, or via a rickshaw ride to visit the Lumbini Museum, as well as monasteries from Japan, Korea, China, Australia, and Myanmar.
Cultural Heritage and Religious Sites
Nepal is rich in cultural heritage and there are plenty of religious sites to visit in the capital city Kathmandu alone. Irvin writes ,”The stupas are certainly not to be missed, including the Boudhanath Stupa which is one of the largest in the world, and Swayambunath Stupa, located on top of a hill with great views of the city. An early morning visit to these stupas presents the peaceful sight of worshippers walking clockwise around the structure, chanting the ancient mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”. For a dose of Hinduism, be sure to include the Pashupatinath Temple that is located on the banks of Bagmati River in your itinerary.”
Timeless Tibetan heritage
Kathmandu is the gateway to Tibet. Irvin writes ,”All over Nepal, traces of classic Tibetan heritage such as prayer wheels, singing bowls, as well as thangka (delicate scroll paintings that depict religious deities, astronomy, and mandalas) can be found in their everyday life. For travellers, the sight of the iconic Tibetan prayer flags in yellow, red, blue, green, and white, add much character to this amazing country and make for gorgeous photos.” As for the locals, with each blow of wind, the prayers that are written in the flag bring positivity in the atmosphere.
Nepal is a dreamland for wildlife enthusiasts. You can witness different species of exotic wildlife in their natural habitat in life. Irvin writes ,”At Chitwan National Park, there are currently more than 68 species of animals including Bengal tigers, leopards, sloth bears, striped hyenas, and honey badgers to spot. And if you’re ripe and fit to trek up to 10,000 feet or above, there’s high chance that you’ll encounter yaks. Yup, those big and shaggy-haired mammals from the bovid family that call the Himalayas their abode.’
Apart from Chitwan National Park, there are tons of other national park in Nepal. For instance, Bardia National Park, Banke National Park, Langtang National Park, Khaptad National Park, etc are also popular among travellers.
Nepal is full of festivals and celebrations celebrated whole heartedly throughout the hour keeping Nepali culture, traditions and rituals intact. Irvin writes, “All year long, there are a plethora of events to look forward to in this country, including Dashain, a fifteen-day festival to honour Goddess Parvati’s victory over evil, and Bisket Jatra, a merry celebration that takes place in Bhaktapur to welcome the Nepali new year.”
You can view the list of popular festivals here
Amazing ancient civilisation
Nepal is undeniably rich in culture and heritage. Irvin writes ,”We recommend spending at least a night in Bhaktapur, the old royal city located just an hour’s drive away from Kathmandu. A tour around the city feels like a walk within an open-air museum, with pretty cobblestone paths, old temples, and intricate carvings. Amongst the many interesting sites here include the Bhaktapur Durbar Square (which houses the 55 Windows Palace, the Golden Gate, and the Naga Pokhari royal bath), the five-storey Nyatapola Temple that honours Siddhi Laxmi (an incarnation of Goddess Parvati), as well as the charming laneways that occupy lovely shops, cute cafes, and humble homes.”