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While Nepal is geographically small, it has a distinctive culture all its very own. The country imbues its rich heritage from neighboring India, Tibet and China. It’s intriguing to see how Hindu and Buddhist cultures blend seamlessly here, and even converge, to create a greater universal understanding. Historically, Nepal was ruled by different royal clans until the 18th century, when the country was unified under Gorkha King Prithvi Narayan Shah. Nepal’s varied topography makes it an exciting place to visit – from some of the highest Himalayan peaks, to a slice of the Tibetan plateau, and dense forests of the Indo-Gangetic plain, Nepal has it all. Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital, a modern city that’s deeply rooted in its ancient traditions. Pokhara, the spectacular settlement at the foothills of the Annapurna range, is Nepal’s second largest city. The country has so much to offer, that surprises await around every corner – only a packed itinerary will take it all in!
Kathmandu is an amazingly vibrant city, with heart-stopping traffic, shopping and dining along the busy streets, and ancient monuments around every corner. You are greeted with a medley of sights, sounds and smells that might seem a little overwhelming at first! One of Kathmandu’s most important halts is the Pashupatinath Temple, considered the most sacred site for Hindus. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built when a natural rock linga formation was discovered here. Another pilgrimage site on every tourist itinerary is the Boudhanath Stupa, a monumental spherical structure that dominates the skyline of the city. Another Buddhist monument, the Swayambhunath Temple is an ancient monument venerated by Buddhists, and has a huge following. In the heart of Pokhara, is Durbar Square, a hub for tourists and locals alike. The Thamel Garden Of Dreams is yet another attraction, with gardens, fountains, and pavilions to enjoy.
Gateway to the great Himalayan ranges of Annapurna chain, Pokhara offers some of the most exciting excursions in the world. Between Kathmandu and Pokhara is the spectacular cable car ride to Manakamana Temple, a truly amazing experience.
Sarangkot, a little village near Pokhara, is a great sightseeing destination. Another natural wonder is Davi’s Waterfall. In Pokhara, the Old Bazaar & Bindhyabasini Temple are certainly worth a visit. Also not to be missed is the Phewa Lake, a high-altitude water body with crystal clear waters.
The Chitwan district is located in south western Nepal, with Bharatpur as its commercial hub and service centre. Best known for the famous Chitwan National Park, this is one region that remains undisturbed by urbanisation. To really explore the habitat, with its abundance of flora and fauna, an Elephant Safari at Chitwan is highly recommended. It gives you an opportunity to observe the beauty of the forest, at close quarters. Bordering the Chitwan National Park is the Balmiki Ashram - a hermitage named after the great Hindu sage Valmiki.