When it comes to travelling in Nepal, the first thing that pops up on people’s mind is spring. It’s a time when the temperature is moderate and warm with the crystal clear mountain views and flower blossoms.
But not all those might have experienced the monsoon in Nepal, which has its own essence, beauty and purity. Nepal is a land of serenity and splendor, while monsoon in Nepal is lighter and simply mesmerizing, and can be a lifetime experience for the travelers.
Having four climatic seasons spring, summer, autumn and winter, monsoon falls during summer usually between June and August. Though the weather is initially hot, it cools down immediately with the downpour of cool rain and refreshing air, and engendering lush greenery in most parts of country. The average temperature in Kathmandu ranges around 23-25 degree celcius during monsoon.
Rainfall not just appears as a boon for the farmers of this agricultural country, but it spreads the vibes of pleasantness and freshness all around. Be it walking through the historic art-adorned alleys of Durbar Squares of the Kathmandu valley on a rainy day or sipping a cup of coffee on a rooftop restaurant with a view of the city. It is a time to relax and embrace the moment. All the heritage sites are safe and open during monsoon for heritages walks, cycling, or just for strolling around for photography. It doesn’t take any additional effort, but just a wish to enjoy monsoon.
Taking a short hike across the lush green forests surrounded by the valley, or passing through the paddy fields and interacting with the cheerful farmers about their plantation in the outskirts of city, any visitor will be lured with the monsoon charm. Not limited to the view, one can even get into the muddy field and experience the overall process of paddy plantation with singing, dancing and enjoying various local delicacies. Special paddy plantation programs are organized in Kathmandu and Pokhara for the tourists in July.
The muddy patches in the hands and feet after visiting the field will not just provide you a feeling of accomplishment, but will help you in rejuvenating your soul. In fact, it’s a time of celebrations, togetherness and hopes of better harvest, which means better future.
Though it is hot and humid in the low-lying areas of the country, Kathmandu valley offers both erratic rainfall and warm sunshine. Light rain usually occurs during the night time while there is mostly sunshine during the day time which makes the sky look clearer. It’s the time when you can enjoy the view of blue sky, dramatic clouds and a different valley view.
There are many best spots in the city which you can explore during monsoon. Stroll around UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Kathmandu Durbar Square, Lalitpur Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square to witness the rich history and artistic structures. Similarly, Swoyambhunath and Boudhanath Stupa never disappoint any visitor, be it any season. In addition, visit different museums in monsoon to learn more about the history and culture of Nepal.
You can also take a walk around Bungmati and Khokana in the outskirts of Kathmandu, which offer the green landscape with paddy fields. Botanical garden in Godawari in a rainy afternoon can be a perfect spot for photography and video-graphy of flowers for the photo enthusiasts. Or else, one can simply enjoy walking in courtyards of Patan and Thamel and enjoy reading books and trying Nepali tea or coffee and ethnic tastes in the cafes around.
Monsoon trekking is equally unique due to the rainy walks along the lush green vegetation, flora and fauna, waterfalls and abundance of natural beauty. The trek is usually filled with varieties of colorful flowers which are found only in monsoon in addition to butterflies, insects and wildlife. It gives a feeling like mother nature is finally awake.
While many enjoy the peaceful walks in the capital city filled with temples and architecture, some also opt for trekking through the mountains to gain a totally different experience. Tea huts with food and accommodation are always open and welcoming, be it on or off season. In fact, there is no off season in tourism in Nepal in the recent years.
After a Chinese group trekked for a week to Annapurna Base Camp this mid-July, they could not stop sharing about the refreshing experience, avoiding the regular crowd and funny encounter with leeches on the way. They felt every step was worth, while they have already planned for Upper Mustang next year, where the dessert landscape looks totally dramatic during monsoon. When the arid desert soaks the rain, the colors of mountains and sky look so spectacular that one can never get enough of capturing its beauty in eyes and memories. Upper Mustang, once the isolated kingdom, cannot look better in any other season beside monsoon, many trekkers have concluded. Rara Lake, Dolpa or Limi Valley of Humla also offers endless possibilities during monsoon trek.
If you are not a trekking lover, you can always opt for visit of national parks like Chitwan National Park or Bardiya National Park to get close with wildlife, mostly rare one-horned rhinos and elephants. If you are lucky enough, there is a possibility of spotting tigers as well. It will be a good escape from the modern day stress and to get close with nature.
Besides hiking, trekking, mountain biking or a random jungle safari, one can also indulge in meditation and yoga during monsoon. With the blissful sound of rain in the background and aromatic fragrance around, a visitor can explore the depth of spirituality and find a way out towards the balanced and harmonious living. Monsoon can be a perfect occasion to detoxify the negativity and find inner peace and joy.
It’s true that sometimes, flights can be little delayed and roads can get muddy or obstructed followed by heavy downpour, but the pleasant experience in this Himalayan country is always worth the wait and patience. Monsoon travel is simple, easy, feasible and most importantly, full of pleasant memories. So, get your umbrellas and raincoats ready to experience Nepal in a fresher way this monsoon.