Who should go to Kathmandu, only those who want to climb the Mount Everest? Not really. While tourists flock to India and China every year in a big number, there is one serene little kingdom in the laps of the mighty Everest that remains mostly off the tourists’ radar. The Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal. Best known as the gateway to the Everest, it has a lot to offer to the non-mountaineering tourists as well.
If you are looking for a place that offers a blend of lush green nature, mighty mountains, serene spirituality and an old world charm then take a flight to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
Bodhunath Stupa: A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Bodhunath Stupa overlooks Nepal with its famous “eyes” on all four sides. This icon of Nepal is a paradox. Buzzing with people and activities at all times, it is rumored to have an “undercurrent of peace” that permeates the environment. To experience the beauty, positive energy, and grandeur of the stupa, visit it early in the morning or at late evening. If possible, drop in on a full moon night to watch it shine in its peaceful splendor. Spin the prayer wheel and buy souvenirs. Note:Be respectful all the time. It is a tourist attraction but before that, it is a religious center.
PashupatiNath Temple: Situated at the banks of river Baghmati, this temple is one of the holiest Hindu shrines in the world. Entry into the temple is allowed only to Born Hindus. However, others can come close enough to look, take pictures and feel the sublime spirituality of the place. Note: It is also a holy cremation place for Hindus and the sight of burning funeral pyres can make some people uncomfortable.
National Museum of Nepal: A hidden gem, not very famous, but a must visit for those who love history, royalty, and art. The Buddhist Art Gallery with ancient works is a sure hit. But the main attraction is the collection of royal weaponry. The fact that the royal family was wiped out by its own prince, who later killed himself, gives a hint of tragic charm and intrigue to the family possessions at display.
Fly to the Mountains: Want to see the top of the Everest, you don’t have to climb it all the way. Just book a flight tour for $100-150 and you get an hour over the Himalayan skies. The sights of the snow capped Himalayan peaks from a distance of a few feet are a feeling that cannot be described in words. Be ready to board your flight early in the morning.