Nepal is a
small, landlocked country situated between India and China. Famous for the
world's highest mountain, Mount Everest, and the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Nepal offers amazing and diverse holiday opportunities. With its ancient
culture and the Himalayas as a backdrop, it is known as the roof of the world.
Read more about Nepal country facts, visit Nepali local media sites or
flick through the photo galleries.
If you plan to travel by land,
take a train or a bus to the nearest border town, and research local bus
schedules to find a bus to the border. Once there, it is likely that you will
need to walk across the border and catch a taxi or bus on the other side. There
are several land crossings at the India-Nepal border. If you are coming from
Calcutta, consider crossing at Naxalbari or Birganj. From Darjeeling, try
Siliguri and from Varanasi or Delhi, take Sunauli.
Try a tour. For a more
organized experience, head to a travel agent or tour operator in India to book
travel. The bus/train trip from India to Nepal can be long and grueling, and a
tour operator will ensure that you are able to make the transportation changes
on schedule. If there are no available tours from your location, ask the travel
agent for schedules and price information to better assist you in planning.
Book a plane ticket. The
easiest and most convenient way to get to Nepal from India is to fly. That way,
you can avoid the long bus or train ride, and you will be spared the hassles at
the border. Cities in India with direct flights to Nepal include Delhi,
Calcutta and Bombay. All international flights to Nepal arrive in Kathmandu. Be
sure to arrive in Nepal with enough money to cover the tourist visa, which
costs around $30, and either two passport-sized photos or the money to pay the
photographer in the arrivals area. There is no ATM before immigration.
Understand visa requirements.
Before you attempt to travel from India to Nepal, be sure to research the visa
requirements for citizens of your nationality. For citizens of the US, European
Union, Australia and Canada, both passports and visas are required; visas are
valid for two months and can be obtained upon arrival with two passport photos
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO TO NEPAL
Climate factors are very important in deciding on a visit to
Nepal. October-November, the start of the dry season, is in many ways the best
time of the year in Nepal. With the monsoon only recently finished the
country-side is green and lush and Nepal is at its most beautiful. Rice is
harvested and there are some more important and colourful festivals to enjoy.
At this time of the year the air is sparkling clean, visibility is unexcelled
and the Himalayan views are as near perfect as you can ask. Furthermore the
weather is still balmy, neither too hot nor too cold. For obvious reasons, this
is also the peak tourist season.
In December - January the temperatures
and visibility are still good, though it can get very cold. Trekkers need to be
well prepared, as snow can be encountered on high-altitude treks. Heading for
the Everest Base Camp at this time of the year can be a real feat of endurance
and the Annapurna Circuit trek is often closed by snow on the Thorang La pass.
Down in Kathmandu the cheaper hotels, where heating is non-existent, are often
chilly and gloomy in the evenings. There's sometimes a brief winter monsoon,
lasting just a day or two in January.
February-March - April,
the tail end of the dry season, is good second-best time. The weather gets
warmer so high-altitude treks are no longer as arduous, although by the end of
the dry season, before the monsoon breaks, it starts to get too hot for
comfort. Visibility is not good as earlier in the dry season since the country
is now very dry, and dust in the air reduces that crystal Himalayan clarity. In
compensation, Nepal's wonderful rhododendrons and many other flowers are in
bloom so there are plenty of colours to be seen along the trekking trails. May
and the early part of June are not the best months as it is extremely hot and
dusty and the coming monsoon hangs Over you like a threat. Mid-June to
September, when the monsoon finally arrives, is the least popular time to visit
Nepal. The rains wash the dust out the air, but the clouds obscure the
mountains so you're unlikely to enjoy more than a rare glimpse of Himalaya.
Although it doesn't rain all day it usually does rain everyday and the trails
will be muddy and plagued by leeches. Despite this, it is possible to trek
during the monsoon, although high rivers may further complicate matters and
it's certainly not as pleasant as other times of the year. Landslides sometimes
block roads during the monsoon but many visitors still come to Nepal from India
as the weather is even less pleasant down on the plains. The latter parts of
the monsoon, the months of August-September, are a time of festivals which will
certainly enliven a visit to Kathmandu.
All visitors except
the Indian nationals must hold a passport and a valid visa. The visas can be obtained at the Nepalese
Diplomatic Missions and Consulates abroad and entry points issue visa for
visitors. The visa will be extended at
the Department of Immigration.
A visa is necessary to enter Nepal and can be obtained for
the following duration from any Royal Nepalese Embassy or Consulate or at the
entry points in Nepal.
1. The single entry
tourist visa can be obtained from the entry points of Nepal or from the Royal
diplomatic missions abroad by paying US$30 for 60 days.
2. If the visitor,
who has already visited Nepal under tourist visa, intends to come again
within15 days of the same visa year he/she can obtain entry visa by paying
US$50 for 30 days at the entry points or at the Royal Nepalese diplomatic missions
3. The visitors who
wish to stay for more that 60 days in Nepal can extend their tourist visa by
paying the equivalent of US$50 in the Nepalese currency for 30 days from the
Department of Immigration.
4. Business visa
with multiple entry facility for the period of one year and five years can be
obtained from the Department of Immigration on the recommendation of Ministry
of Industry by paying the equivalent of US$250 and US$100 respectively in the
Nepalese currency for the foreign investors.
Royal Nepal Airlines the national flag carrier of Nepal and
other International airlines operate scheduled flights to Kathmandu from Abu
Dhabi, Bangkok, Bombay, Calcutta, Doha, Delhi, Dubai, Dhaka, Paro
(Bhutan),Varanasi, Frankfurt, Paris, Hong Kong, Karachi, London, Moscow,
Singapore, Osaka, Lhasa and Vienna. The International Airlines operating their
flights to Kathmandu include Aeroflot, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, China South
West Airlines, Druk Air, Gulf Air, Indian Airlines, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways,
Singapore Airlines and Thai International. The overland tourists entering the
kingdom with their vehicles must possess an international carnet.
Nepal has every type of accommodation facilities that a
tourist might ask for. This ranges from
the international standard star hotels to budget hotels and lodges. Similarly one can also have a choice of
sightseeing from a range of different tour packages. In order to have an assured quality service
it is advisable to use the facilities and services of government-registered
hotels, lodges, travel agencies the licensed tour guides only and engage an
authorized travel/trekking agency.
Major tourist attractions
Very few countries in the World can offer as many varieties
of adventure tourism packages as Nepal.
Of the 14 peaks above 8000 meters in the World, eight are located in
Nepal. It is the land of Sagarmatha
(Mount. Everest 8848 meters), the highest peak in the World and other 1310
mountain peaks which are opened for expeditions. Nepal has thousands of such peaks, which are
yet to be conquered by the expeditions. For those who cannot withstand the
rigorousness mountain climbing there are mountain flights, which fly around the
Mt. Everest and provide a close look of the top of the World. From Nagarkot (32 kilometers East of
Kathmandu) and Daman (80 Kilometre southwest
Of Kathmandu) one can have a distant view of Mt. Everest and
beautiful Himalayan range. Trekking is
the best way to get to interesting and remote mountain villages of Nepal and to
enjoy views of the focused peaks together with their lifestyle untouched by
modern civilization. The river rafting which is known as White Water Adventure
represents another major attractions. With distance of 100 miles, one can see
the topographical variations with the river rising from the higher points near
Nepal - Tibetan border and then dropping dramatically to lower levels the
plains bordering India. For those who
wish to view wildlife, Nepal offers plenty of scope. There are eight National
Parks and four Wildlife Reserves and two Conservation Area in Nepal. For the
less adventure, Pokhara the lake-city of Nepal has no equal as it provides
ample opportunities for fishing,
swimming, canoeing and boating along with the sightseeing of majestic panoramic
views in its background. It is only Pokhara, a tropical spotty with an altitude
of about 900 meter from where one can see the mountain crossing over 8000
meters from such a short distance of about 40 kilometers.
For the nature lovers Nepal is such a land of natural beauty
that metaphors cannot delineate its real picture. At the same time, Nepal
proffers an incomparable scope to the scholars and connoisseurs of art and
culture to see and study the different aspects of fine arts be it painting,
sculpture, woodcarving or architecture.Kathmandu valley possesses several
historical monuments, old place and palace squares, shrines and temples. Ageless tradition and legends all make it a
living museum that any visitor would cherish its vivid memory in his/her heart
forever. Nepal is the land of Lord Pashupatinath, which is the holiest Hindu
temple in the World. Besides, two out of
the four main holy places (Chhetras) of Hindu pilgrimages namely Muktichhetra
and Varahachhetra, are located in Nepal. Not only for the Hindus but also for
the Buddhists, Nepal offers a unique place of pilgrimage as it happens to be
the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the apostle of peace and compassion. Nepal is
the Land of festivals with some part of the Kingdom or the other celebrating
festival everyday of the year. Festivals
may be linked with the remembrance of the departed soul, to herald the
different seasons, to mark the beginning or end of the agricultural cycle, to
mark the national events, or just family celebrations. On a festive day the Nepalese take their ritual
bath, worship different
Gods and goddesses, visit temple, observe fasting and
undertake feasting. The most important
aspect of Nepalese culture is the religious harmony and understanding
prevailing among the Hindus and Buddhist.
Kathmandu is known as Kantipur, the kingdom of Nepal. Here
you will visit the temple of the living Goddess, who acknowledges the greetings
of her devotees from balcony of her temple residence, Kathmandap-the source of
the name Kathmandu. It was allegedly made from the timber of a single
tree. Next, on to the Durbar Square area
with its array of temples overlooked by the Hanuman Dhoka Palace, the ancient palace of the Nepalese Royalty.
Lying 6 Km from central Kathmandu, Pashupatinath temple is
one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to
Lord Shiva. Situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of
the sacred Bagmati river, the temple, which was built in pagoda style, has a
gilded roof and beautifully carved silver doors. Visitors will be permitted to
view the temple from the east bank of the Bagmati river, as entrance into the
temple is strictly forbidden to all non-Hindus. Pashupatinath is the centre of
an annual pilgrimage on the day Shivaratri, which falls in February or March.
Behind the temples are the cremation grounds.
Literally meaning the Kali of the south, this temple is
dedicated to the Goddess Kali, the Hindu goddess of power. Goats, chickens,
ducks etc. are sacrificed on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The temple itself is
located in a forested canyon and lies 19 Km. from Kathmandu.
This stupa, situated 11 Km. from the center of Kathmandu, is
one of the biggest in the world of its kind. It stands with four pairs of eyes
in the four cardinal directions, keeping a lookout for righteous behavior and
human prosperity. This Buddhist stupa was built by King Man Deva at the advice
of the Goddess Mani Jogini. It is built on an octagonal base and is contains
inset prayer wheels. The shrine is
surrounded by the homes of Lamas, or Buddhist priests.
Located approximately 3km from the canter of Kathmandu, this
Buddhist stupa is said to be 2000 years old. The stupa which forms the main
structure is composed of a solid hemisphere of brick and earth which supports
a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of gilt copper.
Painted on the four sided base below the spire are the all seeing eyes of Lord
Buddha. The whole area around the Stupa contains an array of small stupas and
temples. This is one of the best places from which to view the Kathmandu
valley, as it is situated on a small hillock.
Also known as
BHADGAON meaning the city of devotes, this place is the home of medieval art
and architecture. Lying 14Km east of Kathmandu city. This place was founded in
the 9th century and is shaped like a conch shell. The city is at the height of
4600 ft. above sea level. In Bhaktapur you will visit the Durbar Square with
its array of temples overlooked by the palace of 55 Windows built by King
Bupatindra Malla, the Nytapola Temple. This temple, which was also built by
king Bhupatindra Malla, is the best example of the Pagoda style and stands on
five terraces, on each of which stands a pair of figures, famous strong men,
elephants, lions, griffins and goddesses. Time permitting, a visit to the
museum of Thanka painting can also be considered. A 30 minute walk brings you
to the Dattatraya temple and Pujari Math which can also be done provided there
is plenty of time at the clients' disposal.
It is situated about 35Km. east of Kathmandu city and from here
one can see Mt. Everet and other peaks of the Himalayas. Nagarkot is located
between Kathmandu valley in the west and Indravati in the east. He top of
Nagarkot commands accelerating views in all direction. The altitude of Nagarkot
is 2229Mt. above from sea level. It is also very popular for the viewing
sunrise and sunset.
It is situated at an altitude of 1600 m. above from sea level,
and 32 Km. from Kathmandu City. Dhulikhel is famous for its vantage location in
viewing the Himalayan ranges, from Cho Oyo in the east to Himalchuli in the west. It is popular for viewing the
sunrise and sunset.
5 Km. away from Kathmandu city. Patan, also known as Lalitpur, is a city of
fine arts, enclosed within 4 stupas, which are said to have been built in the
3rd century A.D. by Emperor Ashoka. You will see Durbar square, the Patan
durbar (palace), which houses a bronze collection, the Krishna temple built by
King Siddi Narsinh Malla, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, and Mahaboudha Temple. A trip to the Tibetan Refugee Centre and the
Handicraft Centre will be included during your visit to Patan, where you will witness the hand weaving of
Tibetan carpets and molding of metal statues.
Pokhara is Nepal's second most popular tourist destination and
its adventure capital. It is overshadowed by a massive wall of the Himalayas,
and dominated by the towering peak of the Annapurna range. Even more impressive
is the fishtailed pinnacle of Mt. Machhapuchhare (6977mt.) For the adventurous,
the massif of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m) waits to be explored. Pokhara is the
starting point for the most famous treks in Nepal, in the Annapurna area.
Pokara is situated 200 K.M. west of Kathmandu.