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Nepal
NEPAL
DESTINATION GUIDE

The Ultimate Guide Before You Plan for your Next Trip

Surrender yourself to the call of the mountains and pack your bags to visit the enchanting country of Nepal. The land where the casinos can be visited for real as the beautiful lake-side forests will set the perfect trekking trail for you. From sacred temples to magnificent lakes, from sky-touching mountains to endless adventure, Nepal is an ideal destination for Indians to explore. Closer to home, Nepal will allow the tourists to indulge in some exotic fun and frolic and explore some ancient cultures which will remain a secret to the rest of the world. Have one of the rarest and mystical experiences in the small country of Nepal.

Attractions in Nepal

The attractions in Nepal is not just like any other foreign destination. It is not only about beautiful landscapes and ancient monuments. Nepal will offer you a soul-stirring experience which you will treasure and talk about even after years from the visit.

Chhauni Museum

Located just beside the Swayambhunath Temple the National Museum of Nepal is definitely a must-visit for the travellers going to Kathmandu. The huge exhibition hall stages a display of the Judda Art along with terracota works of medieval Nepal. You can also see the leather cannons which was once being used during the Nepal-Tibet war back in the late 1800's. The museum itself is now a century old and it has a life-size statue of Jayawarma. This statue which was being discovered back in 1992 is claimed to be more than 1800 years old.

Bodhanath Stupa

Another UNESCO World Heritage site of Nepal is by far the largest stupas of its kind. Built back in the 6th Century, this stupa has a very unique shape and architecture. There are five different frontal architecture of this stupa, representing five basic elements of nature including the earth, sphere, water, fire, and wind. The bizarre structure of the stupa actually reflects on the abstract structure of the universe. Tragically some parts of the stupa has been affected by the massive earthquake back in 2015, but most of it is still intact.

Pilgrims’ Book House

The book-house which was once being torched back in 2013 has risen from the ashes like a Phoenix and now again is a major attraction for the tourists. All sorts of Indian and foreign books are available in this book-house as you can find exciting texts pertaining to different subjects like Yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism, and there is also a separate kid's section.
The book-house is very popular amongst the foreign tourists as they do not normally get hold of books on Hinduism or Buddhism. The kids section is also quite charming as you can find various forms of books for your children which will offer them knowledge and insights regarding the Indian and Nepalese traditions.

Royal Botanical Garden

This tranquil botanical garden is pretty well maintained and it has separate orchid houses, cactus houses and tropical houses for the tourists to savor. The place has a pretty nice Royal celebration pond and it is the perfect place to have a cook-out or a picnic. Located in the Lalitpur District of Kathmandu this botanical garden has a huge collection of exotic plants.
The monarchy used to take special care of these plants in order to preserve some of the rarest species. Till now you can find these plants, kept in special nurseries inside the garden, as you take a stroll in a late summer afternoon.

Devi's Falls

Locally known as the Patale Chhango this waterfall marks the end of the Pardi Khola stream in Pokhara. The fall reaches its peak during the monsoons and the sight and the sound is truly heavenly for the tourists. Tashi Ling Tibetan camp is just 2 Km away and that is also a site to visit. This 500 feet long waterfall reaches to almost 100 feet below the ground level, making it a spectacular beauty to behold. This magnificent waterfall in the Kaski District of Pokhara has created an underground tunnel due to its sheer force.

International Mountain Museum

Dedicated to the vast mountains of Nepal this museum is a must-visit for the tourists. All the original gears used by the first mountaineers to tame the Himalayas and the Mount Everest. Apart from that you can also find some exotic samples of the Himalayan flora and fauna in that grand museum. The museum takes proper initiative to narrate the tales of the mountains and the mountaineers to the visitors and it emphasizes on the importance of the Himalayan range as the only source of water to the Indian subcontinent.

When To Reach

The Nepalese monsoon is very treacherous and the mountain side becomes quite slippery during that period. That is why the ideal time to visit Nepal is when the monsoon gets over. The months of October and November are the perfect for travelling as the skies are blue and you can see the magnificent snow-capped mountains. The ideal time to reach this country depends entirely on their threshold of withstanding cold. The post-monsoon winter is quite a popular season to visit Nepal along with the autumn where the weather is mildly chilly and it is perfect for trekking.

Seasonality

High Season: The post-monsoon winter season comprising of the months like September, October and November are considered to be the peak season as far as Nepal is concerned. The sky remains clear and the weather remains moderate.


Shoulder Season: The pre-monsoon season comprising of the months like March, April, May till the middle of June is considered to be the shoulder season. The weather is still on its drier side but it tends to get a bit warm.


Low Season: Monsoons or the months of July, August, and also some parts of September are considered to be the low season as Nepal faces heavy rainfall and hills become muddy and most of the routes are closed.

How To Reach

There are numbers of direct flights which will take you to Nepal within hours. Starting from Air India to Royal Nepal Airline there are many flights which will help you land on the Nepalese soil. The likes of Jet Airways, IndiGo, Buddha Air, Biman Bangladesh Airlines all go to Nepal on a daily basis. You can also book luxurious flights from Oman Air, Ethiad Airways, and Malaysia Airlines in order to reach the destiation. For Indians, reaching Nepal is just a matter of time and all the hassles of applying for visa and other documentations are not required.

Why should you go?

For the Indians, Nepal is like the most affordable and yet beautiful foreign destination which titillates your adventurous spirits and also allow you to calm your senses and offers you some kind of tranquility. From high mountains to huge waterfalls, from medieval temples to green pastures of national parks, Nepal is all set to give you a very fulfilling adventure.
10 Reasons to visit Nepal -
  • Nepal offers you a cheap and affordable option for travelling abroad.
  • It is easier for Indians to visit Nepal because there is less complication as far as the visa processing and documentations are concerned.
  • The pupil-dialating beauty of Nepal would set the right tone for your journey.
  • You can savor great foods of the hills in the form of Thukpa and hot steamy Momos.
  • Nepal is a land of beautiful lakes and if you are in a mood for picnic or cook-out then they provide the perfect location.
  • Kathmandu offers itself to be a vibrant city with lots of history and culture and you would enjoy the aroma and the color the city has to offer.
  • You can legally gamble in Nepal and enjoy a Vegas-like night in the Royal Casino.
  • The Annapurna Circuit at Pokhara is the perfect trekking trail and you would love the scenic appeal of the place.
  • Nepal will give you a chance to view the tigers and the rhinos along with many other wild animals and birds.
  • Nepal enjoys both Hindu and Buddhist festivals and at it is great to be in the country during one of them.

Getting Around

Nepal is a mountainous water-locked land and it pretty challenging to go from one place to another. The inter-city public transport is not as smooth as other nations and people do have to wait for their airline bookings or hiring a car. Whilst both of the mentioned alternatives are expensive affairs, Nepal do have certain buses which can take you from one city to another.

Airplanes

Due to the high altitudes and the hilly terrains, airplanes are the best mode of commute within Nepal. All the major cities are well connected via airlines and it is easier to get a domestic ticket for daily travel within the borders of Nepal.

Bus

Buses are also available in Nepal. Travelling by bus is cheaper and it will give you the option to savor the natural beauty of the place. It will certainly take more time than the flights but nonetheless you will enjoy the trip. However, bus routes are fixed and if you desire to go to some obscure places which does not fall in that route then you need to hire a cab.

Rented Taxis

Cars are also available for hire in Nepal. Even though it is a costly affair you need to hire a car if you want to go on a remote location, especially up the hills and mountains. Most of the tourists, who wish to take an off-beat route end up hiring cars. Plenty of cars are there for hire in Nepal, with experienced drivers who know the routes through the hill.

Weather

Nepal experiences a weather just like the Northern India. The summers are hot and the tropical region experiences a humid climate. The monsoons are heavy and sluggish and that is not at at all suitable for travelling. However, the post monsoon temperature is perfect. It remains in the range of 20 to 10 degree Celsius, making it ideal for the travelers. The overall Nepalese climate is influenced mostly by the maritime weather and continental climate. The monsoon is quite heavy whilst the summers are warm with a little bit of humidity. The autumns are the perfect time to travel as the sky remains clear and weather remains cool. The winter is a mildly chilly with temperature dripping below the freezing point and the areas in the high altitude experiences snowfall.

What to pack in your suitcase?

  • The contents of your suitcase will vary according to the purpose of your visit. If you are going for a trek then you need a strong backpack with extra pairs of boots, gloves, rain-coats, sunglasses, caps, and other warm clothings to keep you comfortable.
  • It is always advisable to carry layers of clothing as the weather might change all of a sudden up in the hills.
  • Ear muffs are a must if you are travelling during the winters or even the autumn months.
  • Carry proper sunscreen lotion and moisturizers as the humidity is very low, up in the hills.
  • Knit caps and scarfs are also necessary even if you are travelling the place during the summer months.
In the Spotlight

Nepalese cuisine is very popular in India and the restaurants of Nepal has a wide variety of restaurants where you can have Indian, Nepalese, and even scrumptious Tibetan cuisine. Nepal shares its border with many countries including India and that is the reason why the restaurants have a large array of cuisines to offer to the guests.

Fire and Ice : Located on a very posh shopping district this restaurant brings the flavors of Italy in Nepal. Serving authentic Italian food this place is very popular amongst the locals and the tourists alike.
Operating since 1995 this place boasts its collection of home-made mozzarella cheese along with the typical Italian cuisines like risotto and pasta. Never thought of a entering a traditional Italian restaurant in Nepal? Well Fire and Ice will make your dream come true. Due to the high footfall of European backpackers this restaurant has gained much prominence, since its onset.
Bhojan Griha : This 150 years old establishment still can accommodate 250 people at once and located in the charming neighbourhood of the Dilli Bazzar this place will give you a taste of the traditional Nepalese foods.
The most exciting part of this eatery is that the foods are served in brass wares thereby giving you a royal feeling. The most enticing part is the Kamasutra Bar with erotic wood carving. More than a eatery, this place echos the core cultural values of Nepal and how the community came together everyday to have food together.
Yangling Tibetian Restaurant: Just like the Indian foods, the Tibetian cuisines are also quite famous in Nepal. This particular restaurant serves the best momos in entire Kathmandu.
The variety of momos found in this place is exceptional as starting from cheese, to vegetables, seafood to meat, you can find all sorts of them in here. This family-run restaurant is also famous for its healthy and hearty Thukpas. Nepalese cuisine is strongly influenced by Tibetan delicacies. So, this particular eatery has everything which is purely Tibetan and it offers the hottest Thukpa's in the town.
Caffe Concerto : Once you are up there in Pokhara the rustic appeal of this cafe will certainly tempt you to have a peek inside. To add to the charm, there is an open fireplace (which is a pleasant surprise in the cold weather)
and you can hear jazz being played in the old stereo. Order some continental dishes and sip a cup of coffee whilst enjoying the scenic beauty the place has to offer. This retro cafe of Nepal is yet another place where foreign backpackers had been gathering for over two decades now.
Moondance Restaurant: Loved by the locals, this lake-side restaurant is certainly a must-visit when you are in Pokhara. The open-fire cooking adds to the charm as you can order some Indian and Thai cuisines to spice up your evening.
Once you are there, do not forget to order the lemon meringue pie because the place is quite famous for that. The view is simply amazing and desserts will remind you of the sweetest time of your life. There will be music in the air as you can savour continental delights sitting in the hearts of Himalaya and enjoying the mild breeze from the lake and the nearby forest.

Nepalese cuisine is similar to Indian cuisine. They depend mostly on rice and daal along with vegetables and meat. Up north, the dumplings are very popular. The mix of Tibetan and Chinese flavors can be savored in this region. You should definitely try the noodle-soup called the Thukpas. They are scrumptious and suitable for a cooler climate. Like the Indians, especially the eastern part, Nepalese cuisines also mainly comprise of rice, lentil soup, and vegetables. It is the most common food in Nepal. Apart from that there are areas where Tibetan influences are strong. So, basically Nepalese food is not going to pose any challenge to your Indian palate and the food is quite essentially the same.

Daal-Bhaat-Tarkari: Typically like any East Indian cuisine, the most famous Nepalese cuisine comprise of rice, vegetable curry, lentil soup or daal and many other fish and meat preparation.

Momo: The famous Tibetan dumpling called the Momo is also very popular in Nepal. The dumplings are normally stuffed with vegetables or meat and served with a broth.

Chatamari: It is a typical Newari food which resembles a pizza with its flat bread and various toppings.

Dheedo: It is another classic Nepalese cuisine which is made from either wheat or maize and is served with spicy vegetables.

Aloo Tama: It is a very popular Nepalese curry made from potato and bamboo shoots. It is normally very sour in taste and it is served with vegetables and meats.

The Nepalese markets are always busy with foreigners and backpackers and as a result they always seem to be quite busy. The narrow lanes leading to the markets are flooded with stalls and the atmosphere is always electric when it comes to Nepal. The markets and the hawkers will give you a feel that you are back home but the products on display are something which are rare in India.

Freak Street : Once you are there in Kathmandu you must visit this quirky marketplace selling nice Tibetan woolen garments. Located in the southern part of the famous Darbur Square this place is certainly destination for you to strike a good bargain for nice and comfortable Tibetan garments.
As the name suggests this marketplace has a very funky appeal to it and it is a place where you can find some fantastic winter wears. The prices are quite cheap when you compare it to some place back in India and it will offer you a marvelous chance to make your winter garments even more colourful.
Makhan Tole : Makhan Tole is also a very popular destination for shopping in Kathmandu and it is a special place for collecting nice souvenirs for your friends and families, back home.
Located at the north of the Darbur Square this place sells some of the exotic Tibetan arts in the form of paubha and the thangka. Needless to say that the market gives a very colorful display of the items in stalls arranged by local artists. It is a place where craftspeople from all across Nepal and Tibet and even from China come and sell their art.
Indra Chowk : Located on the path of the ancient Indo-Tibet trade route this marketplace hosts a ceremonial market. The hustling bazaar filled with temples and pilgrims offers quality garments and other products to the visitors.
You will have a feel that you are back in India once you visit this lane. Items reflecting the Hindu Mythology are much in display in this market of Kathmandu. The displays are pretty ornamental and even if you are not religious you can still browse and buy something which relates very solemnly to the Hindu Epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Naturally you will find many foreigners here, busy taking souvenirs, back home.
Pokhara Cottage Emporium : Located in one of the most beautiful and charming areas of Pokhara this little shop sells some of the exotic hand-made products done by the local Nepali and Tibetan artists.
They will welcome you whole-heartily and even if you do not buy from them, they will display you the items with much patience. You can also purchase of the Nepali music instruments along with locally produced fabrics and garments. They often welcome their guests with a nice cup of tea, upon arrival. The lake side view coupled with classic hospitality will make this visit a memorable one.
Asan: This ceremonial marketplace is located near the popular Hindu temples in the form of the famous Annapurna Temple and Ganesh shrine in Kathmandu and starting from vegetables to spices, clothing to electronic items everything is being sold in this market.
This is not a regular market unlike the others mentioned in the list and it only sets in some of the special dates of the Hindu calendar. Considering its strategic location and timing this market has developed into a very popular tourist destination and people from all corners of the globe gather here each time the market sets.

Nepalese Rupee is the currency of Nepal. One Indian Rupee is equivalent to 0.62 INR according to current market rate. Some of the shops still accept Indian currency in Nepal. However, to be on the safe side you need to carry some Nepalese currency before you plan to visit. Getting Nepalese currency in the country itself is not a big deal. As a country, Nepal is a still very cash dependent and it is vital that you carry cash in order to experience everything you have planned for. Starting from the traditional restaurants to the trekking tolls, everyone accepts cash. However, as an Indian you are always in an advantage because if you run out of Nepalese Rupee, you can always pay them with Indian currency.

Special Tips

  • Keep cash handy as cash is the main mode of transactions in Nepal. Many places, especially the traditional eateries and the markets do not accept cards or digital money.
  • Along with Indian currency keep some Nepalese currencies with you since even though people will accept Indian rupee some people might refuse.
  • Do not pay the jeep drivers or the bus organizers in advance and they are ones who might accept only Nepalese cash.
  • Keep track of the transactions and make a calculation in your head as how much you are paying in the Nepalese currency and how much you are doing it with the Indian rupee.

The Visa procedure is pretty linient for Indian citizens. You just need to carry a valid Indian Passport along with any other Government Registered ID card like the driving license, voter-id card, or the Adhaar Card. For more details on the process check the website of the Bereau of Immigration. Nepal will give you visa on arrival and if you are carrying your documents properly and meet their requirements. The visa obtaining process in Nepal is quite simple and hassle-free.

Special Tips

It is always vital that you carry extra passport size photos because the processing might demand more. If you are planning on a trek then make sure that you are carrying a proper trekking permit along with you. There is a bank in the airport of Kathmandu where you can exchange currencies. However, since Indian currencies are also acceptable it is not important that you convert your entire cash into Nepalese currency. Also if you are short of passport size photos then there is also a small photo-booth where you can go and take your photos. Carry some photocopies of your passport because that will come handy during the visa processing.

If you are planning to trek then register yourself with the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu. It is vital that you do not trek alone as the chances of getting robbed is high on the hills. Solo women should avoid taking a male guide for the travelling. Be careful whilst you walk pass the earthquake affected areas as some parts of the roads are still damaged. The night buses should also be avoided as many accidents take place in the hills.

  • Police Control 100
  • Police Emergency Number 4228435
  • Ambulance Service 4260859
  • Fire Brigade 101
  • Blood Bank 4225344

Entertainment & Event

From snow leopards to rhinoceroses Nepal has an exotic fauna base whilst the people are friendly and humble and will allow you to enjoy a marvelous stay.

  • Flora and Fauna

    Due to the climatic diversity Nepal enjoys a wide range of plants and animals. In fact wildlife tourism is a part of Nepal's tourism board. The Government has taken many preservation strategies to protect the flora of this land. The typical comprises of both Artic and Tropical plants in the form of Sal, Asana, Rhododendron, maples, bamboos, juniper, sage grasses and many others. Oaks and Pines are also available in the norther zone. Animals like tigers, rhinos, bears, and snow leopards are available in Nepal.

    The ideal climatic conditions makes Nepal a country rich in different sorts of floras and faunas. Sal, simul and many other varieties of plants are available in the foothills of the Himalayas. Nepal also has a lower-altitude forestland where Oak, Rhododendron, and Pines are found. As far as the fauna is concerned Nepal has plenty of large grass-eating mammals along with the typical carnivores like leopard, tigers, and mountain bears.

  • Festivals

    Nepal is a multicultural country which celebrates both Hindu and Buddhist rituals. Like for instance the festival of Lhosar is the Buddhist New Year where many music and dances are being performed. Similarly, Nepal also celebrates Chhath Parva like in India during the month of October or November. Holi is known as Fagu Purnima in Nepal and it is celebrated in the same spirit like here in India.

    Buddha Jayanti is obviously a big festival when it comes to Nepal and people gather at Lumbini to celebrate the birthday of Lord Buddha. Gai Jatra is mostly celebration of the Newari community of Nepal and it is also an occassion which is rejoiced throughout the nation. Teej is also another well-known festival.

  • Culture

    Nepal has a very rich mixed culture with strong influences of Indo-Aryan and Tibeto-Burman cultures. The population is very conservative by nature and they are very particular about their dressing. Nepalese people lead a very simple and domesticated life. They are friendly by nature and will offer you help and assistance during your travels.

    A majority of the people of Nepal understand Hindi and so you would not have any trouble communicating with them. The people are very hospitable and they like to abide by the rules and regulations. The Hindus and the Buddhists stay there in quite a harmony and they are very generous towards the foreigners. The people are mostly religious and they try to follow every single thing as foretold by their religious leaders.