GOING OFF BEAT IN NEPAL
The kingdom at the foothills of the mighty Himalayan range, although small in area compared to its neighbours; encompasses within itself an extensive array of experiences that are guaranteed to leave travellers spellbound. Not a newbie to travellers, Nepal has a charm that has drawn adventurers towards itself from time unfathomable. Since ancient times it has prospered owing to its position between the Tibetan plateau & the plains of the subcontinent making it a heaven for resting traders, travellers & pilgrims.
Nepal now has opened its doors to a different league of travellers. These are in majority, who prefer to experience the country as a whole. They do not classify as adventurers or pilgrims – but pure travellers; open to experience a new country with all its glory & nuances. With this in mind we bring to you five experiences which you should try when you decide to make Nepal your next holiday destination… and that we suggest should be right now!
1) Fly like a bird
It is no news that Nepal boasts of some of the most picturesque settings to undertake an adrenaline pumping adventure. If you have any doubts, just book yourself a tandem paragliding flight in Pokhara. Right from the drive upto Sarankot through some quaint mountain villages, to the thrilling view of the Annapurna range during the flight and the landing right on the banks of the Phewa lake; there is a sense of thrill and a sense of peace at the same time. Very few places in the world will boast of giving its visitors this unique amalgamation of emotions.
2) Biking in the Kathmandu valley
You think the regular sightseeing tours have become monotonous & would like to see a place up, close and personal? We suggest cycling through it! Ride through the by-lanes of Kathmandu with a guide towards the southwest valley. Go past some breathtaking views, savour local Newar delicacies & experience a biking adventure through a jeep track trail. Rest on the banks of a serene lake and a hot cup of local coffee.
3) Cook like a local
Being a gateway to Nepal; Kathmandu is a melting pot of cultures from around the world. It thus offers a variety of local flavours to experience for a traveller. It is also one of the places where you can try your hand at cooking some delicious Newar dishes. Right from Dal Bhat to some mouth watering momo’s get a chance to learn these local specialities. Not just cooking, the experience starts right from sourcing the ingredients for your dish from the local markets!
4) The Himalayan wildlife
How about encountering Himalayan wildlife in their natural environs of a UNESCO World heritage listed National park! Literally meaning ‘Heart of the Jungle’, Chitwan is famous as one of the best wildlife-viewing national parks in Asia, giving you an excellent chance of spotting one-horned rhinos, deer, monkeys and 450 species of birds. If you’re extremely lucky, you’ll see leopards, wild elephants and sloth bears too.
5) Luxury in a picture perfect setting
Being the destination for adventure enthusiasts, doesn’t make Nepal any less luxurious. Given the unparalleled natural beauty you have umpteen opportunities to pamper yourself in the lap of luxury. One such place you would crave to go back to is the Fish tail lodge. With its unique location, right in the middle of Phewa lake with a view of the Annapurna range and the unconquered Fishtail Mountain; it gives a perfect setting to your relaxing holiday. To top it up, how about rowing in a boat to reach this beautiful location! Another property that has luxury, character, an infinity pool & incredible views is the Dwarika’s resort in Dhulikhel. Spend a couple of nights at the Kasara resort to experience chic understated luxury in the natural settings of the Chitwan National Park.
Even though we have scouted for some hidden gems; places & experiences less frequented by regular tourists there sure are some must see places which are popular for a reason! Some of these must do’s are:
- Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu – to experience the calm in the chaos that is Kathmandu.
- International Mountain Museum, Pokhara – one stop info centre to understand the geology of the mountains in Nepal along with the culture in its remote lands.
- World Peace Pagoda, Pokhara – for uninterrupted views of the Annapurna range, well worth the climb.
- Darbar Square, Bhaktapur – one of the 3 royal cities & UNESCO listed world heritage site, it has preserved its old temples, elegant pottery & an old world charm.