Top 10 reasons to visit Nepal. If you are asking for reasons to visit Nepal, its diversity in natural beauty, cultural ways of the people, and unique traditions are a few of the highlights. Nepal is a small country, packing tons of surprises for tourists visiting Nepal.
Nepal is an Asian country located on the southern slopes of the Himalayan mountain ranges. It is a landlocked country bordered by India to the east, south, and west, and China’s Tibet Region to the north. Nepal covers a 147,516 km2 area stretching about 800 km from east to west and more or less than 200 km depending upon the region from north to south.
Geographically, Nepal is divided into three regions, i.e., the Terai, the Hilly and the Himalayan region. Nepal has plain lands covered with sky-touching trees in the Terai region, luscious thick forests in the hilly regions, and the world’s highest peaks in the Himalayan region, making Nepal the complete package in terms of natural resources. There is huge diversity in terms of weather, vegetation, and the lifestyles of people in this region. The late King Prithivi Narayan Shah of Nepal once quoted Nepal as a garden of four castes and 36 sub-castes. This is true in every possible way. All these people associated with different ethnicities have a diverse culture and their traditional beliefs. Nepal is a religious country as well. The majority follow Hinduism, and the remaining follow Buddhism. There is a small portion of Muslim people as well. Christianity has recently gained a foothold in Nepal.
Diversity in terms of nature and the lifestyles of people makes Nepal a hotspot for tourists. Here are the top 10 reasons to visit Nepal, in case you’re wondering:
1. Trekking paradise
When people speak of visiting Nepal, it is mostly about the trek in the remote places. Nepal is well-known for being the home of the world’s tallest mountain (Everest), and it is a popular destination for trekkers and mountaineers from all over the world. Trekkers around the world have been drawn to the enormous snow-covered mountains, beautiful terrain, jaw-dropping panoramas, and rushing rivers that flow from these mighty peaks. In addition to this, you may enjoy a wide range of natural wonders, including farmland, farms, forests, old cultures, and abundant animals.
Trekking routes like Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) and Everest Base Camp (EBC) are famous worldwide and have always attracted thousands of tourists to Nepal every year. But the list of trekking routes in Nepal is endless. Remote areas with zero to no infrastructure have kept these areas untouched from the modern world, which still holds its natural beauties in its original form. Nature doesn’t get any more pure than this.
While considering trekking in Nepal, you might get overwhelmed by the variety. But here are some trekking routes that should be on your bucket list:
- Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek – If you are considering trekking for the first time.
- Annupurna Base Camp – Most famous around the world
- Everest Base Camp – Dream of every trekker, Base camp at the roof of the world
- Upper Mustang Trek – Barren yet jaw-dropping landscape with Himalayas as a backdrop.
- Langtang Gosaikunda Lake Trek – Captivating tour to the Langtang valley and Gosaikunda lake
- Tsum Valley Trek – The hidden valley of Happiness
With Nepal being home to the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest, and seven of the top 10 highest peaks, along with 14 other peaks towering above 8,000 m, mountaineering is a no-brainer reason to visit Nepal. Every year, a few hundred people attempt to climb Mt. Everest, along with other mountains. But not everyone makes it to the top. It takes more than strength to climb these mighty mountains. Both physical and mental endurance are required to conquer this merciless and cruel mountain environment. To earn pride and honor among the mountaineering community is no piece of cake. So, every year, many climbers enter Nepal to earn themselves respect and satisfy their never-ending hunger for adventure.
3. Breathtaking Landscapes
Nepal is a mountainous country. However, all of Nepal is not as mountainous as people often think. Geographically, Nepal has three regions: the Terai region, the hilly region, and the Himalayan region. So, Nepal has been incredibly fortunate in terms of natural beauty. Plain lands stretching as far as the eye can see to the highest point in the world have allowed Nepal to offer all kinds of landscapes that there possibly are. There are many magnificent locations to visit in Nepal, like valleys, woods, lakes, caverns, temples, monasteries, and palaces, all of which provide breathtaking views.
Some of the most famous places to soak up beautiful scenarios are:
- Pokhara Lake side – The famed Lake Phewa, clear air, and beautiful vegetation
- Poonhill – Famous hill top for its sunrise view along with views of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Machhapuchhre as backdrop
- Sarangkot – Picture-perfect views of Pokhara cityscape and Phewa Lake, as well as the Annapurna, Manaslu, Machhapuchhare, Dhaulagiri, and Lamjung mountains.
- Kathmandu Valley – City of temples
- Annupurna Base Camp – Close views of the Annapurna Massif, Manaslu, Gangapurna, and Machhapuchhre
- Everest Kalapatthar viewpoint – Upfront view of mighty Mount Everest
These are only a few destinations to start your journey to experience the heavenly landscapes of Nepal. Besides these, Chitwon National Park, Sagarmatha National Park, Langtang National Park, Manang and Mustang regions, Barun Valley, Lumbini—the birthplace of Lord Buddha—and many more places can be explored. Honestly, every point in Nepal offers magnificent scenery.
4. Home to varieties of wildlife
Nepal’s wildlife is incredibly diverse, with a vast range of species living in the nation’s many climatic conditions, which range from tropical to arctic in different parts of the country. Nepal is home to about 185 species of animals, as well as around 900 species of birds. Some species are rare and only found in Nepal, while some are endangered species throughout the world.
There are many endangered species in Nepal. The one-horned rhinoceros is one of Nepal’s endangered mammals. The rhino, which was formerly common throughout Asia, is now nearly extinct. Chitwan National Park is famous for this rhino. The red panda, Bengal tiger, musk deer, great hornbill, and snow leopard are also endangered in Nepal. The Collared Falconet and the Lesser Kestrel are also endangered species belonging to the bird family that can be found in Nepal.
Nepal’s various ecosystems are home to uncommon and unusual creatures that can be found nowhere else. One of the country’s many national parks is the best spot to see them. The list of protected areas in Nepal is:
- Chitwon National Park
- Sagarmatha National Park
- Langtang National Park
- Rara National Park
- Khaptad National Park
- Shey Phoksundo National Park
- Bardiya National Park
- Makalu Barun National Park
- Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park
- Banke National Park
- Shuklaphanta National Park
- Parsa National Park
- Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
- Annapurna Conservation Area
- Kanchenjunga Conservation Area
- Manaslu Conservation Area
- Blackbuck Conservation Area
- Api Nampa Conservation Area
- Gaurishankar Conservation Area
- Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve
5. Diverse Culture, Tradition and festivities
Apart from diverse natural offerings, Nepal is equally diverse in terms of culture and tradition. The product of a long history of migration, invasion, and commerce has created a vibrant and vivid Nepali culture influenced by Indo-Aryan and Tibeto-Mongolian elements. Nepali culture is also influenced by Hindu and Buddhist traditions. In terms of culture and customs, Nepal has progressed over time. It is home to a diverse range of ethnic, tribal, and socioeconomic groupings, each with their own dance, music, theater, and other unique traditions.
Some of the best ways to experience Nepalese culture firsthand are to time your visit during festivities. Dashain and Tihar are the main festivals in Nepal. Almost all people in Nepal from the Hindu and Buddhist communities celebrate these festivals. Dashain commemorates the day when the goddess Durga defeated an evil-spirited demon known as “Mahisasur.”The Dashain celebration symbolizes a victory over an evil entity. Similarly, Tihar is celebrated in order to protect brothers from their sisters, the god of death, Yamaraj. These festivals usually fall in the months of September and October, respectively.
Another festival in Nepal that you will most likely not want to miss is the Holi celebration.This is the festival of colors. Holi marks the beginning of spring, the end of winter, and the flowering of love, and it is a celebratory day for many to meet new people, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and mend broken relationships. In addition, the celebration is a prayer for a prosperous spring crop season. Every street is filled with joy and the colors of love and affection. Don’t forget to roam the streets wearing a white shirt and a smile on your face if you ever decide to visit Nepal during Holi. Holi generally falls during the month of March.
6. UNESCO Heritage sites in Nepal
One of the reasons for choosing Nepal for holidays must be the UNESCO world heritage sites. These heritages reflect cultural and natural diversity along with the history of Nepal in a summarized way, highlighting some important aspects of Nepal.
UNESCO listed world heritage sites in Nepal are:
- Pashupatinath temple – One of the world’s most holy Hindu temples
- Boudhanath stupa – One of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world
- Swayambhunath stupa – One of Nepal’s oldest monuments, its origins go back to the valley of Kathmandu itself
- Changu Narayan temple – Nepal’s oldest temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
- Kathmandu Durbar Square – Kathmandu’s historic royal palace and courtyard of the Malla and Shah dynasty
- Patan Durbar Square – Old royal palace of the kingdom of Patan/Lalitpur.
- Bhaktapur Durbar Square – One of the best showcases of Nepali architecture and craftsmanship
- Lumbini – The birthplace of Gautama Buddha.
- Chitwon National Park – The first national park of Nepal famous for the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Asian one-horned rhinoceros
- Sagarmatha National Park – home to Mount Everest and some of the highest peaks in the world
7. Religious Importance
The majority of Nepalese people are Hindu (about 88%), and 8% are Buddhist, while the other minority consists of Muslims, Christians, and other religions. Even though a huge part of the population is Hindu, Nepal is still a secular state. One of the reasons for visiting Nepal is for religious beliefs.
Many religious tourists visit Nepal for religious reasons. These travelers perform pilgrimage as a way to worship and enjoy salvation. The most holy Hindu temple, Pashupatinath, is crowded with religious tourists from South Asia during the Shivaratri festival. Muktinath temple, a Hindu and Buddhist shrine dedicated to Vishnu, is also very popular among religious tourists. It is situated in the Muktinath Valley, Nepal, at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass. Trekking in this region is also very popular.
Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha, is visited by many Buddhist and also Hindu tourists. Boudhanath stupa and Swayambhunath stupa in the Kathmandu valley are the main attractions for Buddhist people.
Even though these places have high religious values, they also have historical values. Many non-religious tourists visit these places to learn about social norms and values in the lifestyles of Nepalese people, which tie way back to the past few days.
8. Nepali Cuisine and Delicacies
If you consider yourself a foodie, then Nepali cuisine will leave you mesmerized and drooling for more. Food in Nepal is one of the reasons to visit Nepal. Nepalese cuisine incorporates a variety of products, methods, and traits from its bordering countries as well as its own culinary heritage.
Here are some foods to try when you are in Nepal:
- Dal Bhat/Dhido: Dal Bhat is Nepal’s well-known staple food, which means rice with lentil soup. It sounds quite basic, but it packs a Nepalese kick to it. It is served with side dishes of vegetables and meat cooked in spices popular in Nepal. Sometimes, instead of rice, Dhido is served first. It is made by gently stirring flour into hot water while it cooks. It is slightly chewy and sticky. The taste of Dal Bhat and Dhido varies in every household, but the Thakali Khana Set is one of the most authentic and most popular in Nepal. Gundruk ko aachar (dried spinach marinated with spices) is included in this khana set, which may not be to your liking, but if it is to your liking, you will crave for it your entire life.
- This is a food prepared by the Newar community during festivities. It includes beaten rice paired with spicy, hot and mouthwatering choila (grilled buffalo meat mixed with spices), beans, pickle, fried black-soybeans, bara (a kind of pancake made with ground lentil batter) and aalu-tama (soup prepared with pickled bamboo shoot and potato).
- Momo: When talking about Nepalese food, momo is a must. It is a dumpling having minced meat as a filling served with soup. Soups are generally spicy and flavorful. Momo is so popular in Nepal that it can be found in every corner and street. From street-food to 5-star hotels, momo is sure to be on their menu.
- Beverages (Chyang, Tongba): These are the alcoholic drinks. Chyang is a wine made of fermented rice. It can taste sweet or sour depending on the preferences of the people who made it. Generally, restaurants serve it sweet. Chyang is very popular in the Newar community. Tongba is a hot beverage mostly popular among people in the Himalayan and higher hilly regions. Tongba is prepared from fermented millet.
These foods are only a few of them. When talking about food in Nepal, these foods always make the list. However, foods like sell roti, yomari, somosa, local rakshi, thukpa, juju dhau, and chatamari are must-try at least once when you are in Nepal.
9. Land of Adventure Sport
Nepal being a mountainous country, the word “adventure” comes to mind while thinking of Nepal. This is one of the main tourist attractions in Nepal. Some of the adventure sports that you can do in Nepal are:
- Bungee jumping is an adventure sport that has been popular in Nepal since its debut. The famous bungee is 160 meters over the raging Bhote Koshi River, which is 3 hours from Kathmandu at the Tibet-Nepal border. Bhote Koshi is one of the world’s longest free-falling gorges and the ideal vacation for thrill seekers. The second bungee in Pokhara is Nepal’s only tower bungee, with a vertical height of 70 meters. It is only 20 minutes away from Pokhara city. It offers breathtaking views of the Annapurna and Fishtail mountains, as well as rivers.
- Rafting: One of the top 10 white-water rafting adventures in the world is on Nepal’s Sunkoshi River. This six-to-ten-day journey takes you from the highlands outside of Kathmandu to the plains on the Indian border. The Bhotekoshi and Trisuli Rivers are appropriate for one-day journeys, while the Kali Gandaki, Marshyangdi, and Lower Seti Rivers are good for two to three days.
- Paragliding: Sarangkot, which is located 1,592 meters above Lakeside in the Pokhara Valley, is the most famous spot for paragliding. The Annapurna Himalayas in one direction, terraced farmland in the other, and the city of Pokhara and Phewa Tal below make this place perfect for the gliders to take off. Besides Sarangkot, paragliding is best done in the hills of Gorkha, Kot Danda, Godavari, Surkhet, Phulchoki, and Bandipur.
- Rock Climbing: Shorter rock-climbing adventures can be enjoyed instead of full-fledged mountain climbing. There are natural climbing areas around Kathmandu, including Pharping and Nagarjuna, which are popular with climbers in Kathmandu city. There are numerous undiscovered sites scattered across the highlands that can be explored with adequate clothing, proper experience, and skills.
- Ziplining: Ziplining is an excellent adrenaline activity for flying between mountains and experiencing an adrenaline rush in Nepal. Pokhara has Nepal’s longest zip-line with a length of approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) and speeds of 120 kilometers per hour (74 miles per hour).
10. Spiritual as well as Mental Healing
If you are frustrated with your daily life and want to escape the busyness, then you will find a Top 10 reason to visit Nepal. The landscapes and natural beauty of Nepal will heal you spiritually as well as mentally. The soothing sounds of flowing rivers, breeze touching leaves, silence in a dense forest, and birds’ chirping will compose the most beautiful melody, which will be the tastiest medicine for your spirit and mind. Silence in the monasteries of Buddhist people will make you forget everything and make your heart lighter than ever. This is the best place to go if you seek peace in your mind.
In addition, Nepalese people are some of the friendliest and most humble people around the globe. A smile on their faces reflects love and affection for the guests that they are attending. The Nepalese consider guests to be gods, and this is no myth. You will enjoy every bit of their company.
If you are searching for an answer to the question “Why Nepal?”, then the diversity of nature and culture in Nepal is the summarized answer. This diversity offers many possibilities for tourism in Nepal. Choosing Nepal for your holidays will be surely counted among your life’s best decisions ever.