Nepal is the very watershed of Asia. Ensconced between India and Tibet, Nepal’s landscape stretches from rich subtropical forest to soaring Himalayan peaks: from jungled tiger habitat to the rocky hunting grounds of the snow leopard. The ascent from a valley basin can have you sweltering under the shade of a banana palm in the morning and seeking shelter from a snowstorm in the afternoon.
“Climbing the hillside of one valley alone, you can be sweltering in the shade of a banana palm in the morning, and sheltering from a snowstorm in the afternoon. That’s one secret to the beauty and diversity of Nepal.”Kalyan Gurung, Host, Smiling Buddha Trekking and Cultural Tours
Nepal’s cultural landscape is every bit as diverse. It’s people belong to a host of distinctive ethnic groups, and speak a host of languages. Dwellings range from dense, ancient cities with pagoda-roofed Hindu temples to villages perched on dizzying sweeps of rice-farm terraces to dusty highland settlements clustered around tiny monasteries. Religious practices range from Indian-style Hinduism to Tibetan Buddhism and from nature-worship to shamanism. The indigenous Newars, meanwhile, blend all these traditions with their own intense, tantric practices.
It is possible to go trekking in Nepal throughout the year. This fascinating country is home to a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic population. As well, Nepal is home to Mount Everest also known as “The Crown of the World.” Fascinating places abound year abound in Nepal. Kathmandu Valley, also known as “The City of Devotees,” consists of three ancient cities. These cities are home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites and hundreds of old monuments, temples and Gompas. The incredible sights and the wonderful people combine to provide a truly amazing experience. Outside of Kathmandu Valley in the Pokhara valley, a huge lake awaits with the Annapurna Himalayan Range as a backdrop. In the ancient town of Lumbini lies the birthplace of Buddha. To the south lies Chitwan, The Royal National Park where tigers roam and you can experience your safari by elephant. The impressive array of regions and sites will make your visit to Nepal memorable in any season.
FACTS ABOUT NEPAL
In Nepal, people do not greet one another with a handshake, but rather put their palms together and bow their forehead and say “Namaste” (directly translated as ‘I salute the God in youˇ). This same greeting is used throughout India.
Nepal is one of the very few places on earth where you can see both the Bengal tiger and the one-horned rhinoceros.
The Annapurna region is regularly voted one of the Top 10 best trekking destinations on earth.
The word “Everest” translates to “Sagarmatha” in the Nepali language, which means, “Goddess of the Sky.” It is the highest peak in the world, standing a staggering 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level.
The Sherpas are an ethnic group, with many hailing from the mountainous region of eastern Nepal. Many are employed as porters for mountain expeditions since they do not suffer the effects of altitude, largely due to their genetics and lifelong acclimatization. Many trekking groups refer to their porters as “Sherpas.”