By Rajiv Joshi
Nepal is a mystical country in the world. The country boasts of diverse tourism attractions; it is a natural and cultural heritage, a living museum and abode of gods. The small country represents Africa for wildlife, America and Europe for wilderness and pristine nature, and Asia for culture and civilization.
The country is also rich in terms of culture, lifestyle and cuisines.
Nepal has an overwhelming amount of things to do. Nepal is a paradise for nature lovers and a mecca for adventure enthusiasts as the country is home to numerous Himalayan peaks, fast flowing rivers and deep valleys.
The question, ‘what to do in Nepal’ can be forgotten once you are here.
There are a lot of amazing things to do in Nepal, and although you might not have time to do explore all of Nepal, here are some.
EXPERIENCE TRADITIONS AT PASHUPATINATH TEMPLE
Pashupatinath Temple standing on the banks of the holy Bagmati River is the important Hindu temple of Nepal. The temple is dedicated to god Shiva. The temple is surrounded by the bustling market of religious stalls.
It is located just few hundred meters from the end of the runway of Tribhuvan International Airport. A half day trip to Pashupatinath is perfect while you are in here Nepal.
Though non-Hindus are not allowed to get inside the temple, they can still visit the exteriors, funeral ghats, river and most importantly the Aarati ceremony that is held every evening depending upon the season on the river bank that is opposite to the Pashupatinath Temple.
It is similar to the one that is held on the banks of the holy Ganga in Varanasi, India. The Aarati is offered to all the Hindu gods and goddesses, especially to River Bagmati, Pashupatinath (Lord Shiva) and Parbati (Shiva’s consort). The arati is full of colors, lights and chanting and its is totally worth experiencing.
WANDER IN THE THE TOURIST HOTSPOT-THAMEL
Thamel is one of the most popular tourist hotspot in Kathmandu Valley. It is right in the heart of the city and is easy to access with local transportations close by.
Thamel is also a backpacker’s paradise with so many budget hotels. Thamel has many stores selling mountaineering and trekking gears. Very often, it is also the first stop for many mountaineers. Accommodations are easily available here. There are numerous stores, cafes, pubs, music stores, mandala shops and gift shops to cater to the needs of tourists. There are even lots of tattoo places here, so you can get inked.
Full of gullies and small streets, each corner of this tourist district has fascinating stores, good food, good art, good music and an incredible treat to the senses. You can spend hours exploring the streets and meeting all the smiling locals.
Thamel is a cool place to hang out and you can even meet fellow travelers. Explore the surrounding areas as well, there are many things to do besides Thamel.
EXPERIENCE COMMUNITY HOMESTAYS
If you’re looking for an authentic experience of Nepal, community homestay are the best. Homestay facilities can be found in almost everywhere in Nepal.
Taking the local homestays also contributes to the economy of the local community. Staying at the homestays also gives immense opportunities to experience local culture and hospitality. Homestays provide very minimal amenities and lesser resources are used. Renewable energy sources have become popular among communities which are eco-friendly too.
While staying at the homestay facilities you can get close to the authentic lifestyle of the Nepali people. You can even learn about the local culture and tradition, learn to cook traditional and local food, harvest fresh produce and so on.
TAKE A SCENIC MOUNTAIN FLIGHTS
Most of us will never ever in life can neither get close to or summit Mt. Everest. Catching the glimpse of the world highest peak and the entire himalayan range close can only be a dream to people. But there is an alternative way to experience the himalayas. Taking an epic scenic mountain flight over the iconic peaks of the Himalaya, including Mt. Everest can be an easier option.
The scenic and astonishing mountain flights takes off from the airport in Kathmandu and gets higher up with the incredible views of the majestic mountains before soaring over the impressive snowcapped peaks of Nepal. Do not worry if you cannot recognize the peaks, the pilot will narrate during your flight, pointing out the main peaks and even teach you about the spiritual significance Himalayas.
From the ancient times, the mighty Himalayas are known as the source of mystical energy and immense spirituality leading people to enlightenment. It is often said that the enlightenment can be achieved from meditation and Yoga. If we look back at the history, Lord Shiva himself, as well as various yogis and sages, practiced Yoga and meditation in and around the Himalayas and achieved salvation.
Yoga means the union of individual soul with the cosmic soul or spirit. It is believed to revitalize an individual and release the hidden energies by freeing ones’ mind. It is said that a true yogi (practitioner of Yoga) is able to surmount the physical world and comprehend divinity.
The art of Yoga has been practiced in Nepal and India for centuries. Unlike other forms of exercise, especially the modern ones, it is not rigorous but relaxing while being just as effective. The Yoga and wellness traveling trend in the world is growing day by day. Travelers also get an additional bonus of Yoga, spirituality and wellness.
With yoga you can achieve a very high sense of spirituality and wellness and Nepal, the land of the Himalaya, is the perfect destination for Yoga travelling and immersion. Get an eternal experience of mind, body, and soul harmony in the Himalaya.