Top 5 Must See Tourist Places in Nepal
Visit Nepal 2011 - the heaven on earth!
Planning to travel to Nepal? It is one of the most sought after travel destination in the world. There is no denying the fact that nature has been decidedly partial to Nepal as it is one of the most picturesque regions in the world. On the northern areas, there are the majestic mountains almost reaching to the sky and in the south there are long stretches grasslands, touching the horizon.
The kingdom of Nepal, shares its borders with the Indian states of Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Uttarkhand and Uttar Pradesh is aptly called the
land of temples and pagodas and offers different genres of attraction for the
visitors. You have Buddhist heritage sites that attract tourists from all parts
of the world and there are renowned Hindu temples that draw hosts of
pilgrims. The neighbor of India and Bhutan, Nepal has a rich history
and there are palaces built by the various dynasties that are famous for their
distinct architecture and special aesthetics. The year 2011 is going to be a big year for Nepal Tourism. It is being promoted as visit Nepal 2011. Make sure to include the following destinations in your Nepal Travel, as they are the top 5 must see tourist places in Nepal.
Visit Nepal 2011
Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal and its largest city, is located in the eastern half of the country at an altitude of 4266 ft. History tells us that for several hundred years it was one of three major royal cities - the other two being Bhaktapur and Patan. Nepal is today a well-developed modern city without losing the old world charm.
Kathmandu boasts of many historic buildings and is home to the largest of the ancient royal palaces as well as numerous Rana palaces and important religious sites. Tourists find comforting the medieval air that prevails in Kathmandu and the fascinating indigenous culture - the site of prayers and pujas in the temples exudes a magic effect. Kathmandu is a city of assortments and contradictions, and remains, to this day, a thoroughly intriguing place.
Declared as one of the eight Cultural World Heritage site by UNESCO, Kathmandu Durbar Square is a marvelous cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets. The square is extremely popular as the social, religious and urban focal point of Kathmandu.
Pilgrimage to Nepal
The ideal way to
start a tour of Bhaktapur is from Durbar Square where, in addition to the royal
palace, one finds a series of temples built in the traditional Newar, pagoda style. It is a delight to watch the overflowing
architectural beauty of golden gate entrance to the Durbar Square – unmatched
by any other. The charm of this UNESCO listed World heritage site is difficult
to satisfactorily recapture in words.
From Durbar Square a small alleyway at the south-east corner leads to Taumadhi Tole and the Nyapotala and Bhairava temples. At Tachupal Tole, the original center and oldest part of Bhaktapur, the visitor will find a plethora of temples, shrines, cisterns and fountains and catch an gleanings of Nepalese lifestyle - much of which is played out on the streets and in the squares
Things to do in Nepal
Situated to the
south of Bagmati, Patan has officially been named Lalitpur. After Bhaktapur and
Khatmandu, Patan, steeped in history, is the third of the
three royal cities. A row of monuments bear testimony to the religious
significance of the city of Patan for Buddhists.
The roads from the palace precinct to the four Ashoka stupas were evidently designed to form a cross that is still clearly perciptible. Interestingly, it is said that the stupas are arranged in a mandala, the mystic Buddhist diagram symbolizing the order of the cosmos and the place of gods and men. Some historians suggest that a fifth stupa once stood at the center though not available now. They liken this to the theory of the doctrine of the five Jinabuddhas, or Pancabuddhas as they are known in Nepal.
Patan's strict adherence to a grid pattern of streets is indeed a wonder. There are the three focal points of the city's religious life, the Kumbeshvara Mandir (north), the Degutale Pagoda (center) and the Matsyendranath Mandir (south). Intriguingly these three temples illustrate the mystic reconciliation of opposites symbolized in the mandala.
Places and Faces of Nepal
Pokhara is a romantic city situated in a serene valley and a must-visit place in Nepal. It is also the starting point for trekking and rafting destinations. Pokhara, represents for many mountaineers the gateway to the Himalayas.
If you want to take pictures of the majestic Himalayas then you should go to the township of Tansen from where visitors can get the beautiful panoramic view of the Terai plains and the Himalayas. The nearby hill-town Gorkha offers some exquisite scenery. It is situated on a small hillock at an attitude of about 1000 m from where you can view the snow covered mountains.
The magnificent temple of Lord Pashupatinath, that draws hosts of devotees from all over the world, is situated amidst many other temples on the right bank of the river Bagmati. Pashupatinath Temple is one of the holiest Hindu Pilgrimage site in Nepal and is dedicated to Hindu Lord Shiva. This wooded ravine adjoining the golf course and airport is considered to be one of the abodes of Lord Shiva.
It is said that Pashupatinath is not only the principal Hindu shrine in Nepal but is one of the foremost temples to Shiva who is the patron deity of Nepal. Temples, ashrams, dharamsalas, shrines and ghats spread over a wide area along the Bagmati embankment. Pashupatinath is one of the UNESCO protected cultural monuments.
These are just a few glimpses of what Nepal has in store for the tourists and the list is by no means complete.
Boudhnath Stupa, Machendranath Stupa and Swambhunath are some of the popular Stupas in Kathmandu. There are various smaller Stupas and monasteries at Lumbini - birthplace of Gautam Buddha. Among the temples, Pashupatinath attracts the major chunk of visitors but there are other minor temples and there is all-pervading mystic air in Nepal.
Nepal may be a small country in the Himalayan region, but it is a dream tourist destination replete with numerous scenic spots and many renowned religious sites. It must also be remembered that of the ten highest mountains in the world, seven are situated in Nepal.