The 20 best places to visit in Nepal

 

Completed in 2010 after seven years under construction, east of the capital, Kathmandu, is the Kailashnath Mahadev Statue, the tallest statue of Shiva in the world. Representing the Hindu God Lord Shiva, made from copper, zinc, concrete and steel it stands 43.5 metres (143 ft) tall, just 2.5 metres (8 ft) shorter than the Statue Of Liberty, in New York City.

20. Kailashnath Mahadev Statue

 

In the extreme southern centre of the country, close to the border with India is the Buddhist pilgrimage site of Lumbini, meaning 'The Lovely'. The site, according to Buddhist tradition, is the place where Queen Mayedevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in 623 BC, the man who would later achieve enlightenment and become Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Home to a number of temples, monuments, monasteries and a museum centred around the life of Buddha, Lumbini with it's high religious pilgrimage status has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pictured is the Shanti Stupa.

19. Lumbini

 

In the far south of the country, directly south of the capital, Kathmandu, close to the border with India is the city of Janakpur, renowned for it's religious and cultural significance. The cities most stand out landmark is the Janaki Mandir, built in 1910 AD this grand Hindu temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Sita. Considered the most important model of Koiri architecture in Nepal, the bright white stone and marble construction is impeccably decorated inside and out.

Pictured is the Janaki Mandir.

18. Janakpur

 

In the far southern centre of the country, to the south west of the capital, Kathmandu, straddling the Indian border within the subtropical Inner Terai Lowlands is the 932 square kilometre (360 square mile) Chitwan National Park, the oldest area of protected land in the country. Made up of grasslands and subtropical moist forests, the park is home to sixty eight mammal species, including the majestic and endangered Bengal tiger. Being one of the best tiger habitats in the world, Chitwan National Park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

17. Chitwan National Park

 

Officially opened in 2008 to the south east of the capital, Kathmandu, is the Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, sometimes referred to as the Namo Buddha Monastery. According to legend, 6,000 years ago Prince Mahasatwo at the top of the hill looked out and saw a tigress dying of hunger while her babies attempted to suckle milk. In an act of compassion the prince cut himself and sacrificed his body to the dying tiger. His bones were brought back to the village and buried in the tomb, which is the actual stupa of Namo Buddha. Some 3,500 years later when Gautam Buddha visited the area he declared he was the reincarnation of Prince Mahasatwo, leaving this hilltop location one of Nepal's holiest sites. From it's high vantage the monastery offers visitors magnificent views of he surroundings mountains.

16. Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery

 

In the south west of the country, close to the border with India, is Bardiya National Park, covering a 968 square kilometre (374 square mile) area of protected land that makes up the most undisturbed national park in Nepal. Made up of alluvial grasslands and subtropical deciduous forests, the park is home to a large number of reptile and amphibian species, as well as around fifty-three mammal species that include rhinoceros, wild elephants, Gangetic dolphins and the endangered and majestic Bengal tiger.

15. Bardiya National Park

 

To the south west of Nepal's second city, Pokhara, is a viewing platform considered one of the finest man made views in the country, the Pokhara Viewpoint. With an elevation of 1,600 metres (5,249 ft) above sea level, the platform offers visitors excellent views of Pokhara in the north east, and Phewa Lake with the high peaks of the Annapurna Range to the north. Another man made view of note in the area is the Sarangkot Viewpoint, located further north it offers visitors a closer view of the Annapurna Range.

Pictured is the Phewa Lake.

14. Pokhara Viewpoint

 

In the north east of the country, on the southern edge of Sagarmatha National Park is the town of Namche Bazaar, located on the side of a hill some 3,440 metres (11,286 ft) above sea level. Surrounded by high snowy peaks, with it's daily markets and tourist friendly amenities it has become popular with hikers in need of altitude acclimatization. Namche Bazaar is seen as the gateway to the high Himalayas.

13. Namche Bazaar

 

First built in 1916 in the Tengboche Village of Khumjung, at the southern edge of Sagarmatha National Park is the Tibetan Buddhist Tengboche Monastery. Located at an elevation of 3,867 metres (12,687 ft) above sea level the monastery sits within an area of outstanding natural beauty, with views of the highest Himalayan Mountains, including Tawache, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablan, Thamserku and Mount Everest. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1934, what stands there today was subsequently rebuilt as recently as 1989. Situated at the mid way station of the trail to Everest Base Camp, the trek to the monastery alone takes three days, though a four day trek is preferred due to the acclimatization needed for high altitudes.

12. Tengboche Monastery

 

East of the capital, Kathmandu, in the Kathmandu Valley is the city of Bhaktapur, meaning 'City Of Devotees', at it's heart lies the wonderful and historical Durbar Square, one of three squares in the Kathmandu Valley to hold the name. With a history going back to the 8th century, it's detailed pagodas and temples date back to the 15th century, displayed like a living museum of the Newari culture. Though partly destroyed in the 2015 earthquake, most of the historical buildings survived, including the much revered Nyatapola Temple. Constructed in 1702 AD this wonderful example of multi roofed temple architecture remains to be one of the tallest pagoda's in Nepal. While the complex consists of at least four distinct squares; Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square and Pottery Square, the whole site is informally known as Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Much of the area is part of the Kathmandu Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site.

11. Bhaktapur

 

South of the capital, Kathmandu, in the Kathmandu Valley is the city of Lalitpur, once known as Patan, one of the oldest known cities of Buddhism. At it's heart lies the historical Patan Durbar Square, one of the three Durbar Squares within the Kathmandu Valley. Considered a marvel of Newari architecture, the square is surrounded by 55 major temples, the most important of which is the 17th century Krishna Mandir, built in a Shikhara style imported from India it is one of the countries most unique ancient buildings. Though the square and surroundings were heavily damaged in the earthquake of 2015, it remains a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

10. Patan

 

In the northern centre of the country, directly north of the capital, Kathmandu, covering an area of some 1,710 square kilometres (660 square miles) is the Langtang National Park, protecting an area of the central Himalayas. Encompassing high peaks and deep valley gorges, two of the parks main sights include the Langtang Lirung, at 7,245 metres (23,770 ft) it is the parks highest point. The other is the Gosainkunda Lake. This alpine freshwater lake sits at an altitude of 4,300 metres (14,100 ft) above sea level and is considered sacred by the people of Nepal. 

9. Langtang National Park

 

In the extreme east of the country, straddling the border with India and China is the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, covering some 2,035 square kilometres (786 square miles) of protected land. Connected to the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve in the Autonomous Region of Tibet and the Khangchendzonga National Park in India, the entire area acts as a trans-frontier park encompassing some of the highest peaks and most rugged terrain on the planet. Mount Kanchenjunga, from which the park takes it's name, standing at 8,586 metres (28,169 ft) above sea level, is the third highest mountain on Earth.

8. Kanchenjunga Conservation Area

 

In the north east of the country, east of the famous Sagarmatha National Park is the 1,500 square kilometre (580 square mile) area of protected land, Makula Barun National Park, part of the Sacred Himalaya Landscape. Named after Mount Makulu, with an elevation of 8,463 metres (27,766 ft) above sea level it is the fifth highest peak on the planet. The park encloses pristine tropical forests, alpine meadows, great lakes, glaciers, deep valleys and some of the highest and most rugged mountains in the world.

7. Makalu Barun National Park

 

In the far northern centre of the country, within the Annapurna Conservation Area is a region known as Upper Mustang, formerly the Kingdom Of Lo, a remote and isolated region of the high Himalayas. Up until 1992 the entire area was a restricted demilitarized zone, making it now one of the most preserved and untouched regions of the world. One of the major highlights among the steep snow capped mountains is the Kali Gandaki Gorge, which by some measure is the deepest gorge on the planet.

6. Upper Mustang

 

In the north west of the country, on the Himalayan Crest which lies at the southern edge of the Tibetan Plateau is the Shey Phoksundo National Park, encompassing a protected area of some 3,555 square kilometres (1,373 square miles) it is Nepal's only trans-Himalayan national park. It's elevation ranges from 2,130 metres (6,990 ft) to the peak of Kanjiroba Himal, an enormous 6,883 metres (22,582 ft) above sea level. The most prominent feature within the park is the famous turquoise Phoksundo Lake, itself situated at an elevation of 3,660 metres (12,010 ft) above sea level, it's still waters are surrounded by glaciers and high peaks. Encompassing some of the most spectacular landscape on the planet, Shey Phoksundo National Park is often cited as one of the most scenic national parks in the world.

5. Shey Phoksundo National Park

 

To the north west of the Pokhara, at the southern edges of the Annapurna Conservation Area is a lodge and viewpoint known as the Kopra Ridge. Visitors will require a six to eight day trek through the Annapurna Mountains, expecting five to eight hours of hiking a day through small villages, rice fields and great open valleys of steep terrain. From it's vantage point at an elevation of 3,640 metres (11,942 ft) above sea level the ridge offers spectacular views of the Annapurna Mountains, including the 8,167 metre (26,794 ft) Mount Dhaulagiri, the worlds 7th highest peak.

4. Khopra Ridge

 

In the north western part of the Kathmandu Valley is Nepal's capital and most populated city, Kathmandu. Once the royal capital of the Kingdom Of Nepal, it has been at the centre of the countries history, art and culture, remaining today as it always has been, the gateway to the Himalayas. Centred around the historical Kathmandu Durbar Square, it like many other historical areas in the city were devastated during the 2015 earthquake.

Click here for the Must See Places In Kathmandu...

3. Kathmandu

 

In the northern centre of the country, directly north of Nepal's second city, Pokhara, is the 7,629 square kilometre (2,946 square mile) Annapurna Conservation Area, encompassing the Annapurna Massif. The area includes Mount Annapurna, at 8,091 metres (26,545 ft) above sea level it is the tenth tallest peak on the planet. In an area made up of many of the worlds tallest mountains, rugged terrain, deep gorges, mountain lakes and glaciers, it has become one of the premier trekking locations in the country.

2. Annapurna Conservation Area

 

In the northern centre of the country, north east from the capital, Kathmandu, is the 1,148 square kilometre (443 square mile) Sagarmatha National Park, part of the Sacred Himalayan Landscape. Meaning 'Sky Head', the park is home to some of the tallest and most extreme peaks on the planet, including the single highest point on Earth, Mount Everest, standing a whopping 9,334 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level. Like much of the Himalayan landscape, the park is home to high snowy peaks, large glaciers, mountain lakes, steep valleys and some of the most wild and pristine landscape in the world. Due to it's fantastic natural and extreme surroundings and the inclusion of the worlds highest mountain, Sagarmatha National Park is one of the worlds premier trekking locations. The entire protected landscape has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pictured are the Gokyo Lakes from Gokyo Ri.

1. Sagarmatha National Park

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