The mystical land of Nepal holds mysteries of nature, mankind and mountains! This tiny land-locked nation between Tibet and India, encompasses a healthy mix of cultures from its neighbouring countries, making it one of the most heart throbbing encounters one can experience. Above all, Nepal is a travel experience for anyone and everyone! Be it snow-capped Himalayan mountain peaks or centuries-old ancient Hindu temples, lush green rainforests or quaint Buddhist monasteries; Nepal is a distinctive choice and preferred destination for all kinds of travellers. Such is the vibrant beauty of the country that it leaves every visitor spellbound! Most noteworthy, it is known as the Abode of Mt. Everest – where life begins and where life comes full circle.
Some of the best Nepal tour packages reflect its true identity which is known by many wonderful names such as ‘Devbhoomi’, ‘Roof of the World’, ‘Hiker’s Paradise’ and ‘Birthplace of Gautama Buddha’. Furthermore, each of these names has a profound meaning that truly describes the essence of this land! Let’s have a look at some of the best places you can visit in Nepal, to fall even further head over heels with this Himalayan beauty,
1.) Kathmandu Durbar Square
The heart of Kathmandu city is adorned by an illustrious Durbar Square! During ancient times, this square was used for the coronation of kings. It was from here that they ruled over their kingdom! Also known as Basantapur Durbar Square, this UNESCO world heritage site consists of temples, shrines, palaces and courtyards belonging to the Malla and Shah Dynasty. Many temples date back to the 16th century and some of the older royal palaces have been around since the 3rd century. Even more, the square is a remarkable specimen of traditional Newari architecture! The popular square still remains one of the best places to visit in Nepal in spite of several temples and towers being destroyed in the fateful earthquake of 2015.
2.) Swayambhunath Stupa
Perhaps the most ancient and prominent of all sacred shrines in the Kathmandu Valley! Swayambhunath Temple is placed on a hillock overlooking Kathmandu city and comprises of a white-washed dome topped with an ornate spire. The four sides of the structure resemble the four iconic faces of Buddha as he looks over the valley and protects the city. The white dome is said to represent the earth and the 13-tiered gilded spire stands for the 13 stages to Nirvana. It is also known as the ‘Monkey Temple’ owing to a large number of monkeys that are found at this temple. Locals swear by it and travellers often recommend this remarkable site that is certainly a must-visit as part of your Nepal tour packages.
3.) Boudhanath Stupa
Also known as ‘The Great Stupa’, Boudhanath is the most prominent landmark of Kathmandu and easily one of the largest stupas in South Asia! The stupa is 36-metre-high and is clearly visible as soon as you land at the Nepal International Airport (almost as if it is an icon representing the country). The Stupa represents the Mind of all Buddhas (Past, Present & Future). It is believed that those who pray at the Stupa with a pure heart, create good karma for themselves. As a result, it is said that their wishes are fulfilled!
Having said that, Boudhanath is a very popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists from all over the world and one of the most popular Nepal places to visit! The Stupa is surrounded by several monasteries making it the centre of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. Be it morning or evening, the huge white dome buzzes with energy and worshippers go around the Stupa in reverence often lighting butter lamps and or simply praying in complete devotion. A sight you must definitely not miss if you want to experience one of the best Nepal tour packages!
4.) Pashupatinath Temple
Your Nepal vacation is incomplete without including the iconic Pashupatinath Temple as part of your Nepal holiday package! Located in Kathmandu Valley, Pashupatinath Temple is a UNESCO world heritage site that serves as the abode of Nepal’s national deity, Lord Pashupatinath (commonly known as Lord Shiva). Apart from being religiously significant, the temple is also historically prominent and a fine masterpiece of Hindu temple architecture that dates back to 400 A.D. The Shiva Lingam at this temple is unique in such a way that it faces all four directions. Much like the Swayambhunath Stupa (talk about God being one). Such is the beauty and uniqueness of this temple, that it is easily one of the most popular and must-visit Nepal points of interest!
5.) Budhanilkantha Temple
A unique temple situated at the foot of Shivpuri Hills in Kathmandu Valley! Budhanilkantha is a holy shrine consisting of the largest stone statue of Lord Vishnu reclining on a bed of Nagas (snakes). The 5-metre long statue has been carved out of a single granite rock and dates back to the 5th century Licchavi kingdom. Visit this temple to witness a unique specimen of intricate artwork and a magnificent Vishnu sculpture that almost resembles the image of the Buddha! Interestingly enough, the temple is called ‘Budhanilkantha’ but the name is not derived from Buddha. It means ‘Old Blue Throat’ which actually refers to Lord Shiva (‘God is One’ vibes again!). With such allure and spiritual significance, this temple should definitely be a part of your Nepal holiday packages from India!