That’s time, when I sit in my front of laptop and browsing about new destination to visit, my mind keep thinking about Nepal. Maybe many of you also wondering, is Kathmandu worth of visiting?
I visited Nepal twice within 6 months and I research why Nepal become a magnet of many wandering. I found and encounter the reason behind why Nepal is worth visiting, Kathmandu.
Kathmandu is a capital city in Nepal. It become so attractive and draw Traveler attention around the world, because the highlight of Himalayas Mountain and the tranquil of nature, that give positive vibration and great destination to finding peace.
Society in Nepal live with their tradition and religion. It’s make the historical and culture become preserve.
In short, Kathmandu is worth of visiting because it’s a gateway to the highest peak in the world and hold history, culture and religion significance.
Nepal also house of 10 Cultural World Heritage Sites because of its cultural, historical, and nature significances.
Lumbini, birthplace of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, is one of them. It’s become the center and pilgrim destination for Buddhism.
Other reason is the contours and landscape of Nepal, Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara Valley, allow many traveler to experience adventure activities, with many options from cheap to luxurious tours.
Nepal make your dream to visit Himalayas is possible.
Even if you don’t want to trek to Everest because its demand superb fitness level and you don’t have 14-15 days to trek to Everest base camp, there are still so many short trek varieties or day hike available to see Himalayan Mountain.
Mountain flight also available, if you want to see Mount Everest with an affordable price.
Different from Mountain Flight, Helicopter ride to the Holy lake Gosaikunda, or Everest base camp also become popular luxury tour.
It because Helicopter tour only take 2-3 hours to see Sacred Lakes, Everest and other peaks in Himalayan in 360 scenic views.
We can experience vivid journey to Ancient palaces at Kathmandu Valley that very important in trans-Himalayan trade in the medieval era and become shelter for Tibetan and Indian pilgrimage.
Nepal also offer another option to have stay vacation at Natural UNESCO World heritages site at Chitwan National Park and experience Luxury Safari Tour that become popular things to do nowadays.
If you are love adventurous things like flying to the high, you can try to do Paragliding, bungee jumping, couple Dhulikel zipline/zip flyer with your loved one or superman zipline/ zip flyer that give you unique experience.
You will have superb experience fly high with spectacular views of Himalayan Mountain.
The other magnet that attract Kathmandu is except Himalayan and historical places is here you can try “culinary tour” and enjoy traditional vegetarian cuisine.
Average foods price in Kathmandu is cheap. Hotels also cheap and affordable, you can find a guesthouse to 5-star hotels.
Many places provide Yoga retreat at a local house that setup as a guesthouse in remote villages.
Yoga can help you develop an inner awareness.
It focuses your attention on your body’s abilities at the present moment.
It helps develop breath and strength and release stress and anxiety.
Kathmandu offer so many options for a traveler with an affordable price based on the budget and experience, from Trekking, Hiking, adventurous activities with superb views of Himalayas, pilgrimage, until Luxury Everest Helicopter Tour.
Gateway to the Himalayas Mountain
Kathmandu is a gateway to the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest.
Nepal have over 1310 mountains are over 5500 meters (18,090 ft.) to 8848m (29,028ft) above sea level.
238 are open for climbing. Fourteen 8000 meters above peaks, eight of them, include Mount Everest.
Mount Everest have two Basecamp in south and North. South Base Camp in Nepal with an altitude of 5,364 metres, and North Base Camp in Tibet with 5,150 metres.
Even though, reach mount Everest base camp from Nepal side is easier.
To go Nepal you only need to arrange your accommodation in Kathmandu and book the trek, so you can have a guide, Sherpa and worry free because agencies will manage trekking for you.
So you can focus on your fitness preparation.
You are possible to travel independently and not travel in a group.
Travel to Tibet is more difficult compare to Nepal. If you are plan to reach Everest base camp from Tibet side, you must go in Group.
All foreigner that want to visit Tibet, they must contact travel agencies beforehand, before reach Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
You must have travel permits, a tour guide and a private vehicle and driver, if you want to go outside Lhasa. They restrict independent travel in Tibet.
There are so many options for trekker to another base camp and see another peaks in Himalayan Mountain like Annapurna Base camp, Mardi Himal, Kopra Dhanda or other base camp in Annapurna region, Langtang region, Dolpo, Mustang and Manaslu.
Beginner trekker usually choose another trail that have lower altitudes before trekking to Everest base Camp.
Himalayas Mountain will never disappoint you.
Pilgrimage and Cultural Heritage Sites
Nepal is home for 10 UNESCO World Heritage sites, because of cultural and historical significance.
International treaties protect this site.
The following are 8 Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal:
1. Kathmandu Durbar SquareThe palace remind us about the live of Royal family and the root of culture and religion in Nepal, they make the palace as Museum.
What we can do at Kathmandu Durbar Square are explore the culture, temples, shrines, architecture, and history of Royal palaces.
2. Bhaktapur Durbar Square
UNESCO regard Bhaktapur as the stand for of ancient Nepali culture, custom and alluring arts pieces of outstanding craftsmanship.
Medieval culture and religious of community in Nepal presented in each historical monument here.
Newari peoples have dominated living in Bhaktapur.
This is the only place in Nepal which has continued unaffected by western culture.
Lion Gate, Art Gallery, Golden Gate, Statues of Kings and gods, temples, shrines and fifty-five windowed Malla palace are the living glories of Bhaktapur.
3. Patan Durbar Square
4 stupas built by Emperor Ashoka bound Patan Durbar Square. Lalitpur is the other name of Patan.
There is story linked to the origin of the name Lalitpur. In the ancient time severe drought happen in Kathmandu.
Then three people summon God Red Machhendranath from Kamaru Kamachhya, a place in Assam, India, into the kathmandu valley to bring rainfalls.
Lalit is a farmer, one among of these three people who believed to have contributed more.
When rain streamed into the valley, people named the place as Lalit-pur (township) as gratitude.
The tale legend state that Thousands of years ago Swayambhunath was an island.
The stupa is a solid fraction of brick and mud, supporting a towering conical spire crowned by a pinnacle of copper golden. There are Lord Buddha’s eyes adorned on all the four sides of the spire base.
Buddhists respect these stupas as the sacred place. You can see a majestic view of the entire Kathmandu valley from Swayambhunath.
Pashupatinath temple is a temple of Lord Shiva and is the divinest place for Hindus.
The sacred temple lies down on the banks of Holy Bagmati River. They prohibited Non-Hindus from entering the temple. It has a two-tiered roof and four silver doors.
Devotees and spiritual seeker from all over the world come here to greet their devotion to lord Shiva.
It is a center of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. its colossal and ancient stupa. Boudhanath stupa is one of the world’s biggest stupa.
It has built on a stepped octagonal base and decorating with alcoves representing Buddha and his teachings.
thousands Tibetans come to this famous Buddhist Chaitya and empowered the stupa, after a Chinese invasion in 1959 in Tibet. Different temples also surrounding the main stupa.
The atmosphere of the entire place brightens up with perfumed-incense drifts through the air.
We can hear beautiful Chanting of monks and creaking of prayer wheels while strolling around here. Boudhanath is one of the prime sites for pilgrims and tourists in the country.
Two-tiered Changunarayan temple also called Narayan near Changu.
Changunarayan is the temple of Lord Vishnu.
Stone engraving and other architectural masterpiece presented in the temple show an ancient history of Nepal.
The temples have the sculptures of Vishnu’s ten incarnations, Vishwaroop, Vishnu Vikranta, Vishnu riding Garuda, and Nar-Singha Vishnu.
These also surrounding gods and goddesses temples near Changunarayan temple. They are Temples of Kileswar Shiva, Chinnamasta Devi and are also present near.
The temple provides an outstanding view of Manohara River cascading through green vegetation.
Lumbini It is the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. They regard it as a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Emperor Ashoka built a large stone pillar containing an inscription about the birth of the Buddha.
Lumbini provides historical, cultural and religious significance.
the major attractions of Lumbini are Lumbini Garden, Maya Devi Temple, Tara Foundation, World Peace Pagoda, China Temple, Thai Monastery, Burmese (Myanmar) Temple, Nepal Buddha Temple and Dharma swami Buddhist monastery.
There is also a museum and a research center for Buddhism. It’s considers as an ideal birding destination because a variety of rare bird species.
Many premier quality hotels, restaurants and lodges are accessible in Lumbini.
Other UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal are Sagarmatha National Park and Chitwan National Park.
It because Sagarmatha National park and Chitwan National park holds rich elements of biodiversity, including flora and fauna, ecosystems and geological structures.
These heritages got from past generations, maintained in the present, and granted to future generations.
Affordable Accommodation in Kathmandu
The average price of accommodation in Kathmandu this evening is $36.
At weekend the average price per night for a 3-star hotel in Kathmandu is $49 and $70 for a 4-star hotel. If you want luxury accommodation in 5-star hotels in Kathmandu, it cost around $161 per night, on average. These price based on Booking.com prices.
To save money, you can try to eat at local cafes and restaurant. Average Food Prices in the Valley Regions of Nepal, In Kathmandu and Pokhara, expect to pay:
- Drinks, such as a cup of tea: 10-30 Nepalese Rupee per cup
- Chapati (flat bread): 10-30 Nepalese Rupee per piece
- Momo (Nepali dumplings): 50-100 Nepalese Rupee
- Fried eggs: 30–50 Nepalese Rupee
- Nepali pastry with spicy filling and fried in oil (Samosa) 10-30 per piece Nepalese Rupee
- Local Dhal bhat (rice, curry), basic prices is 70 rupees in a local restaurant
USD$1 = 121.29 Nepalese Rupee.
If you go to a tourist restaurant, they serve a variety of meals, and your average meal with a non-alcoholic beverage may cost 7-20 USD. If you eat special Nepali Dal bhat set in a tourist restaurant, it cost 200 rupees. The cost of food in Tourist Restaurant 3x or 4x times than a local restaurant.
How to go Kathmandu, Nepal?
You can go to Nepal by road from India. Nepal have six border crossings with India. Land road is an economical and scenic way to reach Nepal.
The most convenient crossing point is is Sunauli, near Bhairahawa if you come from Delhi or Varanasi. There are also daily direct air-conditioned buses from both cities.
The best way to reach Nepal from other countries is by Airplane.
Nepal have one international airport in kathmandu that serve intercontinental flight. its Tribhuvan International Airport.
Second Internation Airport is Pokhara Internation Airport in Pokhara.
Government schedule the Pokhara Internation Airport to be operated in 2021. But because of Pandemic Covid-19, it could be a delay.
My Last thought
Kathmandu have so many attractive places to visit. It’s gateway to Himalayan Mountain. You can choose short trek to remote trek to the untouched area in Himalayan Mountain, that will take time 1 month and more.
There also many affordable options for accommodation and foods in Kathmandu.
Not only Himalayan mountain, but Nepal also one of the best pilgrims and heritage travel destination.
So, if you wonder, is Kathmandu worth visiting, consider on Nature and cultural significance, Kathmandu is counting as one city that you must have in your travel bucking list.
You can check flight cost to Nepal and accommodation in Kathmandu below
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