Nepal is a wonderland for those who enjoy the beauty and also for those who don’t. Check out the following reasons why you should plan your next trip to the land of the Himalayas and home of diverse culture.
1. Picturesque beauty
“Heaven is a myth, Nepal is real”
It is no secret that Nepal’s ethereal exquisiteness is a treat for the eyes. It is also no secret that the land of Himalayas also has shades of green throughout the nation. The flora and fauna, as well as the snow-capped view, take you to a different world of joy through the tales of picturesque beauty.
2. 8 of 10 tallest mountains in the world lies here
No wonder Nepal is called the land of the Himalayas. The high and very cold mountains, which are amongst the tallest mountains in the world, are in Nepal. Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Annapurna are the ones you are looking at which will leave you with total awe.
3. Atithi Devo Bhava
As you walk into the country and surf through different places, you will always be greeted with warmth. The hospitality of the people is something which will touch your heart because the sincerity to serve our guests first is a beautiful element of our culture. We Nepalese put our guests first and make sure they feel comfortable.
4. Variety of culture
As per 2011 census, there are 126 castes and ethnic groups and 123 languages. So you can be assured that there is a lot to witness and explore. Some of the most unheard cultural celebrations of the country are:
- Tongue-piercing festival: In this festival, a local volunteer of Bode from Shrestha family pierces his tongue with an around one-foot long needle dipped in oil. This represents preventing evil spirits from getting into the community.
- Naag Panchami: This festival is celebrated by worshipping Naag (snakes) and serpents on this day, and also by offering them rice and milk. Pictures of Naag is also worshipped and offered with milk, rice, sweets and so forth. It is believed that Naag will protect us from all evils.
5. Variety of Food and Cuisine
The most popular ones are Newari cuisine which includes a feast of beaten rice, curry of potato and bamboo shoots(aalu taama), curry of lentils, minced buffalo meat(haku choila which is an absolute must to try), green vegetables and pickle. Other than that, the food culture of Nepal is expanding, so here we introduce you to the best hits that the country is seeing. Laphing from Bouddha is a must-try. And so is Titaura Ice-Cream at Shree Gha, Juju Dhau aka King Curd at Bhaktapur.
The biggest festival that the country celebrates goes from September to October. It is Dashain, which is celebrated for 15 days, to remember the victory of Goddess Durga over the devil Mahishashur. And following it comes Tihar, which is called the festival of lights. It is celebrated by worshipping Goddess Laxmi, with the belief that she will grace our homes with peace and money. You can see why it is called the festival of lights¬- because everyone’s houses are decorated with lights (either electric or real oil-lamp).
What the reader definitely cannot miss through these festivals are some major jatras like Indra Jatra, where men pull the chariots of Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesh and Goddess Kumari, by hand; and take these chariots to different places but beginning from Basantapur Durbar Square. The environment is loud and blasts with enthusiasm, with Newari instruments being played. It is a festival where everyone comes together to celebrate and enjoy. Other festivals like Fagun Purnima or Holi, Bisket Jatra, Teej, Gai Jatra, Buddha Jayanti definitely needs to be celebrated by the reader.
8. Living Goddess: Kumari
Now that you know about Dashain, you need to know about the living goddess, Kumari. She is the symbol of purity, power and protection. The meaning of Kumari means virgin. She lives in the Kumari Temple and is carried to the chariot so that her feet don’t touch the ground. In this festival, the arrival of her chariot is the most awaited moment.
9. Unity in Diversity
Through these many languages and ethnicities, there is unity in diversity. Even with the diversity of faith, culture and religion, people understand the sentiment and whenever possible, also engage with it. A Nepali grows up with the realization that there are so much more of beliefs that lies around you. And in that process, they take in, of the variety of beliefs in them.
10. Musical Instruments
As much as there is diversity in culture, there is diversity in the instruments that accompany these cultures as well. They differ according to culture, religion and place. The instrument called “Dhaa Baajan” is played in the months of June- July to celebrate the month-long festival of Gunla, where Newar Buddhists visit Swayambhunath, early in the morning and encircle the whole place while playing the instrument.
In Indra Jatra, instruments like Dhime Baaja are played to liven the atmosphere even more. There are other instruments like Sarangi, which you will surely see if you walk the streets of Thamel. Also, instruments like Madal, Pancha Baaja, Narsinga are there to name few.
11. World Heritage Sites
Out of the 10 World Heritage Sites of Nepal, seven of them are inside Kathmandu valley. These represent our cultural richness as well as what our history, so make sure you check them out.
- Kathmandu Durbar Square
- Bhaktapur Durbar Square
- Patan Durbar Square
- Bouddhanath Stupa
- Swayambhunath Stupa
- Pashupatinath Temple
- Changu Narayan Temple
- Chitwan National Park
- Sagarmatha National Park
12. The Art of Living
If you walk 20 km away from the city, you will walk into the clean air and serene environment of the rural areas. The city life of Nepal is fun, but if you walk into the rural life of Nepal, you experience that less can be more. And that less can be happy. It definitely is here.
Its never-ending reach will surely give you a sense of calm that the busy city life might lack.
13. Benefits of local fruits
You should definitely try fruit juices of the local fruits like Marmelos (Bel in Nepali), Sea Buckthorn (Akhrilo in Nepali). Not only these juices are exquisite in taste, but it also has great health benefits.
One glass of Marmelos equates to four glasses of sorbet without adding sugar. So it is not only packed with vitamins and minerals, it is used as a cardiotonic and for indigestion in Ayurveda. Also, Sea Buckthorn contains 12 times more vitamin C than normal orange juice, found more in the trekking trails of Sagarmatha National Park, which makes it more in demand in the area.
14. Medicinal plants
Nepali Rhododendron flowers are many times eaten by Nepalese because they are sweet, sour and they have vitamin C. But it shouldn’t be taken too much because it can be intoxicating. And because these flowers cover the mountainsides in late February to April, it is a beautiful sight to walk through the area.
There is also the juice of “Delphinium Glaciale” which helps in getting rid of ticks on livestock as well. Nepal is an enriched country and has a lot more medicinal plants used in Ayurveda.
15. Original arts and crafts
Not only these are handmade, but they also represent the culture of Nepal. Gurkha knife or Khukuri, prayer wheel, singing bowls, Thangkas, Pashmina are few of the most loved souvenirs that visitors love. While you shop for these items in places like Thamel, New Road, Basantapur, Asan, Patan, Bhaktapur, you can also visit these places and enjoy the street life of these live places.
16. Witness the faith of people
The reader will without fail to see deities making prayers or worshipping in any religious place. If you look closely, they will chant prayers as well. The faith that Nepalese have towards worship and making prayers with a sincere heart is a warm sight. And taking back those offerings, which is called Prasad after it has been offered to God represents God giving it back to its people.
17. Extreme sports
It is difficult to separate what a dare-devil of a place Nepal is capable of being when we talk about visiting Nepal. Because you can engage yourself in the thrill of mountain biking or rock climbing in Nepal.
Rock climbing is also there for those who don’t want to take several days, yet enjoy the thrill of it. Places like Pharping and Nagarjuna are the destinations you need to reach to fulfil those cravings. To conquer and experience the shining glory of Nepal in these dimensions, once will definitely not be enough.
18. Trekker's paradise
Other than the mountains like Everest, Nepal also has breath-taking sights to discover for yourself. As per the majority of people wanting to experience this delight, some of the most fascinating trekking sites can be Annapurna Base Camp, Ghorepani Poonhill Trek, Ghandruk trek, Langtang trek, Gosaikunda’s frozen lake view side, Mardi, Dhampus trek, Island Peak. These treks will surely have you realizing why Nepal is a trekker’s destination for quite a lot of people.
19. Adventurous things to do
The fun doesn’t end there. One of the most famous things to experience in Nepal is these adventurous things too. Sky diving, Canoeing, Paragliding, Rafting, Bungee Jumping will get you hyped, as you not only engage this activity but also witness the environment that comes packed with this.
So that means, if you sky-dive and feel like a bird on a flight, you also see our beautiful nation from up above. And when you go for rafting, you also experience the current of the strong waves that the rivers push you to.
20. Wildlife species
Finally, if you’ve experienced adventure, thrill and beauty of the country, it is time to wind down and see in slow, some of the rare beings the country has tried to protect. 185 species of mammals are found in the country and some of the rare ones are Bengal Tiger, One-horned Rhinoceros, Asiatic Elephant, Giant Hornbill, Clouded Leopard to name a few.
So now that you know that Nepal is power-packed with beauty to the eyes and soul, will you visit Nepal in 2020?
If you do, don’t forget to contact NBM Travel so we can help you make the best out of your experience.