Nicknamed as “Roof of the World”, Nepal is an amazing nation squeezed in between the giant neighbors of India and China. Home to some of the rarest species of flora and fauna, it stretches from the subtropical forests and bushes to the Alpine vegetation, trans-Himalaya region and the lofty Himalayas. From the habitat of Royal Bengal tiger to the hunting ground of Snow leopard, from the fertile lands of the plains in the south to the lush hilly region and the snowy yet rough terrain, Nepal has a lot in terms of diversity in a small territory. From the steamy lands and jungles in the morning, you can be in the foothills of the ridges of a valley in the late afternoon.
The diversity in cultural and archeological as well as the historical dimension is much more than the physical diversity displayed by the ever-enchanting Nepal. With an extensive presence of distinctive ethnic and cultural communities speaking a different variety of languages, varied traditions and values, festivals and rituals Nepal also has pagoda styled Hindu temple and the Buddhist monasteries coexisting in harmony. From the Indian style Hinduism to the Tibetan influenced Buddhism; from the nature worshipping Shamanism to the indigenous Newar community, all share a distinct place in this tiny yet culturally rich nation.
A proud nation since its inception from the integration of smaller princely states by the Shah king Prithvi Narayan Shah, Nepal has never been colonized. With such a national pride, Nepal displays an amazing variety of festivals with adherence to the traditional values yet a charismatic blend of independent-mindedness, toughness, resilience and courtesy. Land of famous Gurkha soldiers and the legendary Sherpa climbers, Nepal presents to its guests excellence level of hospitality; Nepalese know their visitors, at times, better than the visitors themselves.
Himalayas are the chief reasons the travelers, visitors and adventure lovers pay visit to this vibrant nation with a rich legacy. Home to 8 of the world’s 10 tallest mountains and 800 km of stretch of the Himalayas in the north, Nepal has Mount Everest as the star attraction among all. This also gives birth to the cultures of these high-dwelling inhabitants. The lush hilly regions in the mid region of the nation along with the Himalayan terrain combine to form the haven for adventure lovers. Trekking along the Annapurna, Everest, Langtang, Manasalu, Helambu and other regions are the favorite trails for the adventure enthusiasts around the world. Celebrated and revered by the Hindu and Buddhist mythologies, Himalayan peaks are the life source for the entire South-Asia.
Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, is stunningly exotic with rich medieval legacy carried through the Durbar squares, Hindu architecture and temples, Buddhist monasteries and stupas and unique lifestyles. An increasingly bustle metropolitan city, Kathmandu neighbors the other well-preserved cultural cities of Bhaktapur and Patan, the surrounding rims of Nagarkot for an awesome view of mountains, and displays the wealth of harmony among these diverse communities. The beautiful valley of Pokhara, the Lake city of Nepal, is the favorite hub for the tourists and adventure lovers alike as it serves as the starting point for various trekking and climbing routes and hotspot for adventurous activities such as paragliding along with glimpse of western lifestyle as well. The plain land of Terai hosts the sanctuaries such as the Chitwan National Park, Bardiya National Park among the others. In the western Terai, Lumbini proudly presents the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism and another holy city of Janakpur, serve as jewels of this country.
Thus, Nepal offers a lot to the visitors from the thrilling beauty and culturally richness to the religious harmony and hospitality and from biodiversity to the diverse landscape. As the Nepal Tourism Board rightly puts it, a single visit is not enough to explore the richness of Nepal, also referred as a slice of heaven by some.