The land of the Himalayas, Nepal is a small country – the abode of the mighty Mount Everest. Spiritual or adventurous, whatever is your reason for a visit, this nation has both in abundance. Acting as a dramatic backdrop, the expansive Himalayas is not easy to ignore. Nepal has some of the world’s loftiest mountains, quaint Buddhist monasteries, stunning lakes, pristine natural forests, all contributing to its beauty.
This culturally rich country has its people belonging to various ethnic groups; Hinduism and Buddhism are widely practised here. The county is economically cheap as well (1 AED = 28 Nepalese Rupee), yes that cheap! From snow-kissed peaks to dense forests, natural attractions are in plenty and there is much more to anticipate from this strikingly beautiful land.
Here are a few surreal places to visit in Nepal for the ultimate travel nirvana!
1. Phewa Tal
Phewa Tal in Pokhara is the second largest lake in the country. Queen’s Forest or Rani Ban surrounds the lake, giving the lake its emerald hue due to the reflection. The boats, locally known as ‘doongas’ are docked at the lakeshore and can be availed for a boat ride. Tourists and locals are usually seen taking a walk or cycling around the lake. Trek towards the World Peace Pagoda and enjoy the view of the lake and the staggering mountains.
2. Tyangboche Monastery
Located at an altitude of 3,867 meter, Tyangboche Monastery is the largest monastery in the Khumbu region in eastern Nepal. Established in 1916, an earthquake wrecked it in 1934, and again it was engulfed by fire in the year 1989. Thanks to the international assistance and voluntary aid, the monastery was rebuilt. A mountainous trail from Namche Bazaar will get you to this spiritual site; it is a three-day trek from Lukla. The famous Mani Rimdu Festival is hosted by the monastery in the months of October-November, a must- see event in Nepal. October and November is the best time to go to Nepal, the skies are clear and best for trekking.
3. Phoksundo Lake
The deepest lake of the country, Phoksundo Lake, is located in the Dolpo region. The hiking trail to this beautiful and spectacular lake passes through some of the stunning landscapes filled with snow-capped mountains, wild rivers, and thick pine forests. This is also a sacred site for Buddhists; bathing or swimming is completely prohibited.
Nepal has one of the best hiking trails in the world, check out the full list here!
4. Annapurna Mountain Range
Thanks to the avalanches and other natural disaster factors, the Annapurna Mountain Range has earned itself the name of the most dangerous mountain. The range has six major peaks over 7,200 meters, and Annapurna I being the highest. The hike is as tough as it can get, challenging even the seasoned climbers. Look for the best “nepal hiking season” and head for these ranges!
The beautiful land of Mustang lies in the North-West part of Nepal at an altitude of 3,840 meter. It is divided into upper and lower Mustang. The region is famous known for one of the deepest gorges made by river Kaligandaki; scenic valleys add to the charm of Mustang. Muktinath Temple, Jomsom, Lo Manthang are few of the sought after destinations of this region. Still wondering what to see in Nepal?
6. Gokyo Lakes
Gokyo Lakes is a hidden treasure of the Everest region, comprising of six stunning, picturesque lakes. They are the highest freshwater lakes in the world, situated in the Sagarmatha National Park. The view of turquoise water of the lakes with striking backdrop of the mountains is too good to be true! If you are looking for a hiking trail in utmost solidarity, then this is the best option. Gokyo Lakes serve as a popular spot for trekkers en-route Mount Everest Base Camp. By far, this is one of the best places to visit in Nepal.
7. Poon Hill
To witness a remarkable sunrise, head to Poon Hill, also known as the ‘photographer’s paradise’. It is a perfect spot to view prominent mountain peaks including Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Gangapurna, and Dhaulagiri. The climb to the top is not a task, so beginners and children can easily take this trek. Passing through some of the scenic landscapes and several villages, the view from the top of the hill is awe-inspiring.
It is the most popular spot of Nepal, so come prepared for the crowd. To catch the glimpse of Annapurna Range, it is the best place in the country. The ultimate sunrise and sunset can be witnessed right here in Sarangkot. Paragliding is a popular activity providing aerial view of lakes, villages, rivers, and jungles. To get away from the noisy tourists, head to the grassy helicopter pad, ideal to bask in the glory of the mountains.
A sacred lake for both Hindus and Buddhists, Gosainkunda, is by far the most visited glacial lake of Nepal. Located in the Langtang region, the journey to this lake is breath-taking. Splendid valleys with streams and gushing rivers, the hike is equally spiritual and adventurous. The marvellous views of Manaslu, Himal Chuli, Mt. Langtang Range, Ganesh Himal will surely make the expedition less daunting.
This laid back village is about 30 km away from Kathmandu. There is not much to do in this village which is bustling with hotels, but to sit and relax and enjoy the view of the pristine mountains. To while away your time, opt to walk around and explore the village life. Pony ride is another option to take on the high mountainous areas. Make sure to carry warm clothes, as the weather changes quite frequently. The ideal months to visit Nagarkot is between March to May, during “spring in Nepal.”