Nepal, Kathmandu – Ancient Royal City
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. However, it attracts a constant flow of tourists. Are you one of them? If so, your first stop will most likely be Kathmandu, the main and also the largest city of the Nepalese Democratic Republic. Immediately after leaving the airport hall, prepare for a large number of people in a small space, raiding cars, street full of taxi drivers, street vendors, and smog.
The city of Kathmandu is situated in the valley of the same name at the foot of the Himalayas at 1,400 m above sea level and is surrounded by four mountains. This valley consists of three royal towns - Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan. According to the ancient rumor where the city is today, it was a lake. In the two hundred-year-old city today, over a million inhabitants live and are mainly Hindus, the second largest one are Buddhists. Kathmandu is a mixture of ancient Newari culture, Hindu and Buddhist architecture, narrow streets, temples, and improving infrastructure.
Although the city is visited by an unbelievable number of tourists throughout the year, most unfortunately don't stop there. They continue to the untouched Himalayan countryside. The most famous monuments of the city include one of the oldest squares in the world - Durbar Square. It is full of ancient temples, the architecture of Newari and you will find here the old royal palace and residence Kumari. Among the most famous are the temples of Hanuman Dhok, Kumari Bahal, Kasthamandap and Maju Deval. Although the southern part was damaged by an earthquake in 2015, most of it was restored, the northern part remains.
The Buddhist Temple in Nepal - the Boudhanath Temple - is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the vicinity of this largest sphere in the world you can soak up the local atmosphere. Your monument list should also be the monkey temple of Swayambhu. For three hundred and sixty steps you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of Kathmandu. In the evenings you can enjoy shopping in the busy streets of the Thamel tourist center, where you can find colorful souvenir shops, hotels and cafes.
After a great deal of sightseeing, noise and hectic life, you can relax in the "Gardens of Dreams". The garden is situated adjacent to busy streets behind high walls, full of plants and greenery. A great place to escape from a rumble of the city.
GPS: 27°42'16.1"N 85°18'27.5"E
Text and photos: Andrea Meluzínová
Do you want to relax from the bustle of the capital Kathmandu? Explore local culture and explore the lives of local people? Then the mountain village of Daman in Nepal should definitely not be on your list. Just three hours drive from the capital, southwest of Kathmandu, you will encounter a small picturesque village located in the central part of Nepal in the Mahabharat mountain region at an altitude of 2 322 m.
In the country of the highest mountains in the world we find dozens of treks and countless shorter routes of varying difficulty. We have already looked at some of them together. Today our trips will lead to Ghorepani Poon Hill. The trek is one of the most popular tourist destinations, mainly due to its short distance and its simplicity.
The city of Janakpur is located near the Indian border and is considered the birthplace of the Hindu goddess Sita, also known as Bhudevi. It has become home to more than 70 Hindu temples, the most important of which is Nepal's largest temple, Janaki Mandir.
A few kilometers from the dusty Kathmandu you will find the second highest point at an altitude of 2175 m, which is a small village Nagarkot located on the very edge of the capital's valley. Nagarkot offers not only panoramic views of the Himalayas, but also plenty of hiking trails that take you to the Tamang village.
When someone says Chitwan to be in Nepal, most people have rhinoceroses, tigers, elephants, jungles, and a favorite destination for safari riding, but besides its well-known jungle, the National Park has many other activities.
Most travelers come to Nepal to experience the Himalayas. Some will spend a few days in Kathmandu, others will join a mountain tour with a trip to the Lake City of Pokhara, nature lovers heading for Chitwan National Park. But wait! What other cities and places to visit? There is so much to do in Nepal. Today we will talk about Bandipura, one of the beautifully preserved settlements of Newara culture.
Across the hills, through the rhododendron forest and along the ridge with views of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas to the Mardi Himal base camp. Do you want to get to know the local beauties of Nepal, but if possible untouched by mass tourism? Are you looking for a short, relatively easy and time-saving trek? If so, then Mardi Himal is the perfect choice for you.
Would you like to avoid the crowds heading to Everest Base Camp? Looking for less busy trails in the Khumbu area with stunning views of the world's highest mountains? Then the trek to Gokyo is one of the hidden gems of the Himalayas that will not disappoint you.
Experience your favorite base camp trek a little differently. Avoid the busy hiking trail to the base camp and head across three five-thousand-meter Renjo La, Cho La and Kongma La saddles. The best place in Khumbu awaits you.
In Nepal, we went through many familiar treks together, such as Everest base camp or around Annnapurna. Are you looking for something new now? Don't you want to go to Nepal, because the treks already seem to be too sophisticated? Then sharpen and focus your attention towards the Tibetan plateau, where you will find the forbidden Kingdom of Mustang, known as the “mini Tibet of Nepal”. This Nepalese part offers a breathtaking landscape and it seems almost unbelievable that something like this exists on earth. You could hold out for hours and days.
South Nepal has never reached such attendance and interest as its mountain areas. Today, let's enchant the atmosphere of one of the most important sacred places in the world. At the foot of the Himalayas in southern Nepal, near the Indian border, lies the sacred city of Lumbini, where the Buddha was allegedly born in 563 BC. It is probably the world's most important historical center, so Lumbini was listed in UNESCO in 1997.
Do you wish to see the base camp at Mount Everest? Or to see for yourself wild tigers? Do you wish to visit a sacred place where the Buddha was allegedly born in 563 BC? Thanks to its rich and varied culture, natural wealth and dozens of trekking routes in the mountains, every traveler will find joy in traveling across Nepal.
"When we meet the tiger, form a group and don't move, if we meet rhinos, throw away backpacks and run, bear ... well, that's a bummer, we're probably unlucky." hitchhiking and wading through the creepers to meet these animals.
If you have time in Kathmandu a few days before your trip to the mountains, you will probably wonder how to spend it. Head to the neglected royal city of Bhaktapur, twenty kilometers east of Kathmandu. Compared to other royal cities, it is an oasis of peace.
At the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass in the Mustang district, on the famous route around Annapurna, lies the famous pilgrimage site of Muktinath. Why famous? Muktinath is one of the oldest inhabited areas in the Himalayas, worshiped by both Hindus and Buddhists. Every year, a large number of pilgrims from all over Nepal, India and the rest of the world come here to wash in the sacred baths. Buddhists believe that in Muktinath, the Indian mudr Padmasambhava, better known in the Himalayan regions as Guru Rinpoche, who brought Buddhism to Tibet in the year 747.
In Nepal, I have already visited various regions, completed countless treks and thought that I had already seen most of what this country of the highest mountains has to offer. However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was wrong and there is still something new to discover. My next destination was the western corner of Nepal. This time my paths led to one of Nepal's largest lakes, Lake Rara.
Would you like to experience a real Himalayan trek, but would like to avoid the busy trails? Then the alpine trek through the Langtang glacial valley is an ideal solution. The glacial valley lies in the eponymous national park, which was recognized as the first Himalayan national park. If you are lucky, you can see herds of yaks, a red panda or a snow leopard.
A picturesque valley town surrounded by Himalayan greats, a famous adventure and adrenaline center - welcome to Pokhara. The panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks, the Annapurna Mountains and the Machhapuchhre make the area a remarkable place of natural beauty.
Divine mountain vistas, villages made of houses of stone as in the Middle Ages, the legendary tour around Annapuren, which annually attracts more than fifty thousand visitors and more and more of them try it every year.
Who would not want to see the world's highest mountain the faous Mount Everest? The Nepalese call it "Sagarmatha" (The Face of Heaven). The trek to the base camp, from where climbing trips take place on Everest, it is one of the most popular hikes in the Himalayas, even for ordinary tourists.
The beautiful mountain landscape with the highest mountain in the world, yet also a country that offers visitors the opportunity to approach the wild life. We talk about the Chitwan National Park in Nepal founded in 1973, thus being one of the oldest protected areas in Nepal. Eleven years since its foundation, in 1984, Chitwan was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It covers an area of 932 square kilometers and was the first national park in the country. It offers a variety of flora and fauna. You will find subtropical lowlands, but also a deep jungle.
After a night spent in the loggia in the village Ghap we should go for long trip and therefore we got up early. On the way back was a lot of the sacred mani. Sometimes we met a poor Nepalese children and Zuzana gave to some of them the pens. We met first yak caravan and dzopke, carrying its cargo from Tibet. Dzopke is a cross between a cow and a yak.
After a hot and almost sleepless night in tents in the village Lidingö we were both broken, but not be helped - we had to go on. March of the previous day was relatively easy, but now the terrain has changed and has become quite demanding, because continually alternated steep climb with a steep descent, with an overall prevalence of climb, mostly on the stairs.
There was a fourth day trek around eight-thousand Manaslu. This beautiful mountain was still far away. I didn’t feel happy to leave the village Dobhan, which I liked so much. Limited by time but we could not stay longer, so we had to continue.
In the morning after the first night spent in the National Park Manaslu, we said good bye to compatriots and started on our way. The path before us ran great many small and large lizards. In one village we passed, we saw the last banana tree, that hasn't grown higher.
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