Nepal: The Most Charming Place to Visit during the Holidays
Nepal has unique landscape and terrains. It is also a home of countless rivers, glaciers, creeks, lakes with their common origin in the Himalayas. It also offers a wide range of climate, topography according to altitude and it has also favoured a large variety of flora and fauna. There are many places around Kathmandu including Nagarkot. Nagarkot is at an altitude of 2150m with high hills, clean environment, and access to natural resources and is covered with forests. It is easily reachable by local bus or a private car. Being considered as one of the most scenic spots in its district, it is famous for a beautiful sunrise view right out of your window of Himalayan Range. For adventure seekers, it’s an excellent opportunity for hiking and nature walk as Nagarkot provides broadest views of eight Himalayan ranges. Nagarkot is also very popular for relaxing your mind and soul throughout the year.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Nagarkot is usually from October to April. The primary reason is the temperature which is warm throughout the day and cool at night. Rainfalls are also relatively low during this time. The average number of sunshine hours is also the highest during this time of the year. During this time, you can have a stunning view of the Himalayan peaks and the sunrise. Kathmandu’s wet season begin in May and goes on till September when there are extreme winters althoughthe view is clear and very beautiful.
Anciently known as Mandapgiri, Nagarkot is located just 32km east of Kathmandu, Nepal. It offers a stunning view of the great Himalayan Mountains and the natural beauty. It is internationally known for scenic beauty and sits on the edge of Kathmandu valley. Situated at an altitude of more than 2000m, it has a very clean environment with the presence of natural resources (like fresh water and clean air) and is covered with forests. As a result, the place has a spectacular variety of flora and fauna which provides with a cleaner environment with clean, fresh and relaxing air. Positioned at such a high altitude, the villagers live the healthy life because of the presence of fresh environment.
Moreover, the Nepalese inhabitants of Nagarkot in Himalayas consider Mount Everest as more of their neighbours. The population of people living in these steep mountains exceed 3500 people. They practice terrace farming that is making flat terraces on the mountains to grow crops. Such farming technique prevents the sliding of crops as well as soil erosion.
Furthermore, it is easily reachable by means of local bus or private car. Some adventurous tourists can also opt for other means like hiking, cycling or simply driving in their cars to reach their destination.
The clean environment and fresh drinking water has made it quite popular. Nearly 500 tourists visit Nagarkot per day and state of art accommodation facilities amounts to a total of more than 35 hotels and 40restaurants in a homely and welcoming environment. Climate-vise, it is very cold in winters and cool in summers and so it has become quite popularfor relaxing the mind and soul throughout the year.
It is also equipped with fascinating old and ancient temples like Mahakali temple, Vajreshvari Temple, Brijeswari Devi Temple. The palace of Bhangeri Durbar is also famous attraction for tourists.
The culture is tempting and spellbinding as it reflects the people, their lifestyle and their beliefs and perceptions. They still practice their traditional festivals like Dashain (overcoming of the goddess by Durga), Tihar (correspondent to Diwali in India), and Gaijatra (celebration of cow) with full enthusiasm. The locals are very polite and friendly towards the tourists. However, communicating with the elderly (although very kind) may not be easy because of the language barriers and so the youth is more approachable. Not to forget there are also passages of jungle safari and places for picnic. So why wait for long, hurry up and plan a trip!
Things to see and places to visit
Lookout Tower: It is a very popular place perched at 2164m on a ridge and is gives a stunning 360degree view at sunrise. Though, it can be reached easily through any taxi or a private car, but its best to take an hour’s walk south from the village. To get to this point, you haveto pass an army checkpoint, which only allows you to pass in the morning. Another option is to visit Nagarkot in afternoon, stay at a booked hotel and then witness a beautiful sunrise in the morning.
Sunrise: To witness the sunrise view of Himalayan is one of the most dazzling and unforgettable experience for the tourists. This view stretches as far as Dhaulagiri in the west to Kanchenjunga in the east. Tourists mostly spend the night in Nagarkot so they can have a beautiful view of the sunrise. Indrāvati River Valley, Viewing tower and Café Dumont also provides such an amazing view.
Trekking: Kathmandu valley has some ancient treasures in the form of old temples. Some of the most common ones that have survived all these years are the Vajrayogini Temple and Changu Narayana Temple. These temples can be best reached by foot through a ridge down from Nagarkot. The total one-way hike distance is of 13 miles. By choosing to hike this distance one can experience then amazing forests and little hamlets. Another trekking trail to the southleading to Tibet takes you through lush-green forests where you can stop for some bird-watching as well as well the unusual flora, fauna and the colourful flower meadows and unique rock formations. The availability of local guideshelps you for a trail walk just around the hills.Jungle walks and pony rides are also other alternatives.
Temple:Changu Naryana Temple is more than 7 miles east of Kathmandu and is considered one of the oldest temples in the history of Nepal. It is situated on a hill top with Champak tree forest surrounding it. With the development in this region you can how see small restaurants, hotels, shops etc. Thetemple architecture is rich withembossed works. It’sa two story temple surrounded by sculptors. Monuments are located from the main entrance to the courtyard including Historical pillar, Garuda, Chanda Narayan Sridhar Vishnu etc. there is also an information centre which issues tickets to the tourists. It also has drinking water facilities. Onan average the temple is visitedby 150 foreigners. Changu museum is also present there. It contains an excellent collection of historical, religious, cultural, and socialobjects. The entrance fee is Nepalese is NRs. 50 and NRs. 300 is charged for foreigner. Around 35 villagers visit it dailywho mostly are foreigners and Nepali students.
Villages:The nearestvillages can be reached easilyon foot or by a ride on mountain bike. The tourists are attracted by the shopping and sightseeing atthese small villages. The famous The Vajrayogini Temple is located at about a mile outside the famous village Sankha. Also, spending sometimes with village children can be too. You can have great experience playing games with them as they are very polite and hospitable and listening and singing some folksongs with them will add a little more to the fun.
Meditation and Yoga:Since it is at a high altitude and has cleaner air, one must try to do more yoga or meditation. Thisis relaxing for both the soul and the body. The quietness and the peacefulness of the village provides makes it the best place for such workout.
Shopping: Nagarkot is very famous for cashmere, ceramics and crafts work as theseare the highest tourist-purchased items. Cashmere and pashmina are made out of two types of mountain goats. Pashmina is made into scarves or shawls and are oftendyed in different colours to match the outfit. Cashmere remains in the natural color of the goat and is also made into scarfs tobe used in chilly weather. In times of monarchy, they were considered precious items for the royal family. Ceramics also have a long history. Tourists visit ceramic factories for a chance to buy some pieces and taking themhome. The craftwork of thisregion is admired by all. The finest arts include paintings, carving of insects and animals which are good souvenirs to take back home. It takesquite a long time to complete them and so is quite expensive as well depending on the complexity of the design.
Hotel/Resort in this Place
There are many hotels in Nagarkot. Some are quite far and expensive as compared to others. The most famous for tourists are these:
Berg House Café: On the highway, near the Main Junction, this colourful cafe has a traveller-oriented menu. It includes delicious pizzas, sandwiches and steaks. It also has spacious sitting area and Wi-Fi facility. The price of dishes is between 180-350 Nepalese rupees.
Club Himalaya: Situated on Windy Hillat a height of more than 7000 feet above sea level, Club HimalayaNagarkot offers a dazzling view of 360degrees of Himalayan Mountains. It is at a distance from the busy streets of city and has a special feature of shopping arcade with an indoor pool, cycling, hiking, hot tub, massage. It has a variety of Chinese, Italian and other cuisines starting from more than PKR 5000.
Peaceful Cottage and Café Du Mont: With attractive views of Himalayas, forests Kathmandu Valley, the café offers facilities of hiking, cycling and horse-riding in addition to its delicious cuisines. These include; Asian, Chinese, Nepalese, Indian, International etc. with lowest prices.
Hotel Country Villa Nagarkot: The Country Villa serves a speciality of Indian and International delights including Indian, Nepalese, Sichuan, Thai and more. It also has recreational activities like table tennis, hiking and more activities comprise of library and massage.
The Fort Resort: Nagarkot Resort is located at a distance of 20 km with a dazzling view of the mountains. The cuisine includes Chinese, America, Indian and BBQ. The tourists can enjoy a drink from the bar as well. The lowest prices for reservations are available. You can select your room according to your feasibility.
Foods and Restaurants in this place
The food of restaurant is very delicious. Many varieties are available covering a wide variety covering the starters and all the way to entrees and desserts.
Fish and chips, Chinese, American, Gilled, Italic cuisines are commonly found in there menu. Apart from these the famous local foods include:
- Baji (food) – a type of rice flakes (beaten rice) eaten in Nepal.
- Bhatmaas – Nepali name for fried black soybeans.
- Buffalo curd – curd dairy product prepared from buffalo milk.
- Chaku (Nepalese cuisine)
- Chicken curry.
Newa cuisines are the most delicious with over 200 varieties. Reason being that Kathmandu has exceptionally fertile alluvial soil and the products are very rich in taste.
Some of some top rated restaurants and food hotels by the tourists are:
- Café dorje lakpa
- Café de Mont
- Langtang Restaurant
- La Bella Nepali Restaurant
- Shiva’s Café Corner
Arrival and the cost of travel
The bus is one of the easiest and cheapest means of transport available to travel from Kathmandu to Bakhtapur Bus Terminal. It usually takes around 40to50 minutes and the travelers are charged around 30RR. Then after changing the bus, it takes around 1.5 hours and a cost of 50 RP although it. These buses are usually crowded. Tourist buses are usually available and take you directly to Nagarkot at a cost of 400PR per person. But people tend to prefer private cars are the taxi to reach their destination. You need to hire a taxi from your Nagarkot hotel and the charges vary for the number of people traveling.
During your stay, hire a taxi if you don’t want to walk. But you will have to book it at least a day before. On contrary, if you are hiking and are traveling alone, try to hike with a group instead of doing it alone.
Tips for tourists
There are few things to keep in mind before the tourists set out to plan their journey. The public busses are the main source of travel but sometimes they get delayed for re highly packed because of high tourists. That’s why taxi is considered to be a better and comfortable option for the tourists. It’s best to visit it during the summers that are from October to April. In winters it is not comfortable because of rainfall and comparatively cool climate. Moreover, do not forget to take umbrella, sunscreen, and camera before the trip. Have a memorable trip!