The world knows that Nepal is a small but beautiful country often called as the “miniature paradise” lying on the lap of mighty mountain ranges, the Himalayas, having the highest point on earth. The geographical location of Nepal is in the South East of the continent Asia, bordered by the two bigger neighbors India and China. The latitudinal extension of Nepal is 26’12’ and 30’27’ North & longitudinal extension is 80 degree 4′ and 88 degree 12′ East. Within the small distance of north to south, the altitude varies largely and has caused a great diversity in the geographical features, climate, natural vegetation and socioeconomic life of the people. The country Nepal has a great diversity in the natural landscape and resources as well as in sociocultural life of the people. The small country bears more than 100 castes and ethnic groups enriched with their own traditions and unique culture. “Unity in diversity” is the specific feature of Nepal as there exists love, peace and gratitude among the people. Nepal does behold the beauty of nature as well as the ancient culture and rich traditions. Nepal is obviously an interesting an owe-inspiring place to think of while you are planning for your vacations.
Natural beauty one must enjoy in Nepal:
Nepal has ten world heritage sites enlisted by UNESCO. The capital city Kathmandu itself has seven of them where would be your first step in Nepal. Among the ten heritages, two of them are natural resources Sagarmatha National Park and Chitwan National Park store great mystical natural beauty in them. Besides these two, there are many such naturally hypnotizing places in Nepal. Some main places are listed below:
1. Sagarmatha National Park: It is where the world’s highest peak Mt. Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepali language) lies. It has an exceptional beauty attached with many other smaller peaks, glaciers, deep valleys, rare flora and fauna, unique culture and tradition of the ethnic Sherpa community. One can enjoy mountaineering, trekking, and mountain biking or any other kind of adventurous fun there.
2. Chitwan National Park: It is the first national park of Nepal which is one of the best tourist destinations in Nepal. The park has reserved a great scenic pleasure with many species of wild plants and flowers, animals, wetlands etc. It is the habitat of marvelous one-horned rhinoceros and the Bengal tiger which are close to the extinction. Jungle / wildlife safaris by foot, jeep and elephant, rafting and guided jungle walks are the major dos there.
3. Pokhara: Pokhara is one of the best tourist destinations in the Asia which lies in the West central part of the country. It lies in the lap of three major mountains Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu which reflect their beautiful shade over the Phewa Lake. The mysterious Davis Falls, Seti river, Phewa Lake, Mahendra Cave and many religious Hindu and Buddhist shrines take your breath away. Annapurna Circuit Trek is also based on Pokhara. Boating, paragliding, sight-seeing, mountaineering, trekking are the major things to do in Pokhara.
Cultural beauty one must enjoy in Nepal:
Nepal is a traditional country preserving its diverse ancient art, culture, civilization and way of life. The specific features of Nepal are the “Unity in diversity” & “Religious Tolerance” as there lives more than 100 castes and ethnic groups speaking more than 100 languages. The people are bounded by the feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood. More than 10 kinds of religious followers are here but good mutual understanding and cooperation in them. Seven of the religious and culturally important places of Nepal are enlisted in the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Some of them are discussed below:
1. Three Durbar Squares in the Katmandu valley: Namely Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu), Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Square in the Kathmandu valley hold the great importance depicting medieval art, culture and civilization. They resemble unique urban settlements, architecture, sculpture and structures with outstanding craftsmanship in wood, stone, timber, brick, and metals. They represent the rich medieval civilization that developed in the world.
2. Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha: Lord Buddha, ‘the enlightened one’ was born in Lumbini in 623 B.C. who spread the message of love and peace in the world. It lies in the southern plains of Nepal. It is one of the holiest pilgrimages for the Buddhists in the world and equally important centre for archaeological researches as well. Lumbini includes Maya Devi Temple, Ashoka Pillar, monasteries and stupas(shrines) as major attractions.
3. Muktinath Temple: The famous temple of Lord Muktinath lies in the beautiful mountainous district of Mustang,northeast of Jomsom which is a major center in the Annapurna region. The temple has great importance to the Hindu religion followers as well as to the Buddhists reflecting the religious tolerance. The main shrine is a pagoda shaped temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.