Nepal

Natural Nepal !

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Hey Folks,

Hope you all are enjoying our blog posts. Here is our first travelog, Kathmandu, Nepal. This year in July we visited Kathmandu. So here are our few tips and suggestions if you are planning to have a trip to Kathmandu.

Kathmandu is really beautiful. People are very friendly and nice. The scenery is so picturesque that one would like to click each and every point of the city. Beautiful mountains, pleasant weather, this place is like a beautiful painting. For adventure and trekking lovers, this place is heaven as there are so many trekking options here. If you love to do trekking, then Nepal is a must visit place.

Best Time to visit : September – November is the best place to visit Nepal. High on trekking season,  guaranteed mountain views, pleasant weather, autumn is the best time to visit Nepal.

How to reach: Okay! So first thing, Indian citizens do not need any passport to visit Nepal. Take your voter ID card with you and that is more than enough. If you have passport well and good carry it. But if you don’t have, no worries, you  can still have one international trip. 😉

To reach there I will recommend a flight. We can reach easily to Gorakhpur  by train and then Sunauli, India – Nepal border. But way after this is difficult. I have also heard that sometimes the gate does not open for around 3-4 days and people are struck here. So to avoid all this problematic condition, I would suggest a direct Flight to Kathmandu.

Currency:  Nepali Rupees. You can exchange money from the airport or there are many money exchange in Thamel  market. Shopkeepers may take Indian Currency, but carry only Rs 100 with you. It is difficult to exchange Rs. 500 there.

Cost: Nepal is a pocket and budget friendly Destination.

Sim Card : You can easily buy a  SIM card from the airport. Buying a new sim card from there is definitely much cheaper than using International call rates on your phone.

Food: Dumplings (Momos) are delicious here. One suggestion I would like to give is, when you are in any restaurant or cafe, order your food in one go only. Restaurants take time to prepare food, as they always cook fresh. So if you think that you  can have one dish later, it’s not a good idea because it will again take as much time as your first dish took.

Places to Visit:

Pashupatinath temple : One of the most sacred Hindu temples of the Nepal – Pashupatinath Temple is located on the banks of Bagmati River. Pashupatinath temple is dedicated to god Shiva. People come here to find shelter for the last several weeks of their lives, to meet death, be cremated on the banks of the river and travel their last journey to the waters of the sacred river Bagmati, which later meets the holy river Ganges.  It is believed that those who die in Pashupatinath Temple are reborn as a human.

This is really a beautiful temple. The main temple is not destructed by earthquake, but there are other small temples which have faced destruction. In the main temple, there is Shivling, and in front of this, is a huge golden statue of Nandi. At first look it gives a feeling of ‘woahhh’ . The temple is really beautiful, photography is not allowed inside the temple. There are many other small temples too, some statues of kings are also present. There is an area dedicated to 81 shivlings, in the temple.

Outside the temple, there are many sadhus sitting outside the temple, and that too in very fascinating attire. They are generous to get clicked, but not generous enough to be not paid for it. So if you want to click their photographs you have to pay them.

Sadhus at Pashupatinath temple
Sadhus at Pashupatinath temple

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Patan Museum : Formerly, residence of Malla Kings, this museum is a combination of architecture, and art. Some of the places here are destructed by the earthquake, but still, it is definitely a worth visit place. Moreover, there is a small garden cafe there, the cafe is really beautiful and one would be tempted to sit there quietly, or capture every corner of the museum.

Kathmandu Durbar Square : Durbar Square is the generic name given to plazas and areas to the old royal palaces in Nepal. Three most famous Durbar Square are :  Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. We went to Kathmandu Durbar Square only.  Several buildings here are massively collapsed because of the earthquake. But there are still buildings to see, it is surrounded by finely and spectacular architecture.

 Kumari Ghar: Kumari Ghar or House of the Living Goddess, was built in 1757 by King Jaya Prakash Malla. Known for his paranoia and weakness, the king offended a Kumari in some way  and was so overcome by guilt that he built a home for her as an act of atonement . Overlooking the south side of Durbar Square, the Kumari Ghar is a three-story brick building richly decorated with wood-carved reliefs of gods and symbols. The wooden carvings here are really beautiful. Photography is prohibited inside.

Swambhunath Temple: Perched atop a hill on the western edge of the Kathmandu Valley, the ancient Swayambunath Stupa (known to tourists as the Monkey Temple) is Kathmandu’s most important Buddhist shrine. The sleepy, all-seeing Buddha eyes that stare out from the top have become the quintessential symbol of Nepal. There are 365 stairs, which one has to climb to reach the temple. The stairs, run through a beautiful forest, where there are many monkeys, this is why it is called Monkey Temple. On the main gate there is a huge Tibetan prayer wheel there are small temples on the route. When reached at the top we see a huge temple, and Buddha eyes gazing from the tower. The view from the top is spectacular, one can see whole Kathmandu from here, and the view from the back of the Temple is really beautiful. So if you visit this temple, make sure to have a look at the view from the back of the temple. Because this is really jaw dropping.

Entrance at Swambhunath temple
Entrance at Swambhunath temple
Stairs at Swambhunath temple
Stairs at Swambhunath temple

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View from the top
View from the top
Top view from back of the temple
Top view from back of the temple

Bodhnath Stupa: This stupa is one of the largest in the world. It is said that whosoever make a wish here gets fulfilled. So definitely visit this place to make your wish true. 😉

 

Bodhnath Temple
Bodhnath Temple

Sanga Shiva : World’s tallest Shiva statue, this is 143 feet high. Build on a hill in Sanga, 20 Km away from Kathmandu. This is really a magnificent statue, there are statues of Nandi and Shiva family, Goddess Parvati and their sons, Kartik and Ganesha. This statue is exactly like the one in Gurgaon. But don’t make this a reason to not visit this place. We hiked a few Km to reach the statue, and the view from there is really beautiful. Pleasant weather, greenery around,  far away from traffic, this is a must visit place.

Sanga Shiva
Sanga Shiva

Garden of dreams : The Garden was famous as the garden of Six Seasons which was created by late Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher Rana (1892-1964) in early 1920. Entry fee for SAARC and other foreign citizen is different. For SAARC country citizens, it is Rs 200 while for others it is Rs. 900 per person. But let me tell you the pay is worth it. Beautiful flowers, amazing architecture, small cafe inside, this is one of the quiet and beautiful place to visit. Plus one can have beautiful photographs clicked here 😉 .

Flowers in Garden of dreams
Flowers in Garden of dreams
Garden of dreams
Garden of dreams
Garden of dreams
Garden of dreams
Garden of dreams
Garden of dreams

Budhaneelkanth : Situated below Shivapuri hill, this is an open air temple, dedicated to lord Vishnu. The main statue is of Vishnu, made of black stone. The statue is present in  a pound depicting Lord Vishnu, reclining in Serpent coil, Shesha. One can also go to hiking to Shivapuri National Park after visiting the temple.

Shivapuri National Park : This National Park is really famous with bird watchers. Though we are not bird watchers, nor do we have any such knowledge about different birds, we still visited this park just to enjoy the national park, hiking and view from up there. 😉

One needs guide and also there are entry fee charges.  Guides are available at the entrance of National Park, they charge from Rs. 800- Rs. 1200 according to hours for which you would like to hike. I would suggest to hire guides from here only, because packages from tourism and travel guidance were really expensive.

The park is very beautiful, there are waterfalls, scenic views, monastery, you will literally walk in the clouds. Trees are so dense  that one cannot even see rain dropping, and it is usually dark due to dense trees. One can also do trekking here.

 

Shivapuri National Park
Shivapuri National Park
Shivapuri National Park
Shivapuri National Park
Dense trees at Shivapuri National Park
Dense trees at Shivapuri National Park

Thamel Market : One of the biggest market of Kathmandu, this market is very busy. Usually shopkeepers charge fair price, but one can bargain a little bit. But not like in Sarojini Nagar. 😉 I would suggest you to visit this market at the end of the trip because you may get the idea of charges there.

Travel Tip: Kathmandu is a small city, every place is situated nearby. As we were without any guides, we found that we are visiting one place many times which obviously increased our budget. So I would suggest you to ask your guide or your Hotel manager about the places nearby to place you are visiting, so that you can cover as much places nearby and you will not waste your money.

Transport Tip: Buses here are tourist friendly, and main source of transportation. One can easily travel in buses, as it won’t take much time here to visit from one place to another. In this way you can save your money, and the trip will be in budget only.

Add this to your itinerary, if you want to visit NEPAL.

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