The Republic of Nepal in South Asia is situated primarily within the Himalayas. Some of its territory falls under the Indo-Gangetic Plain and its neighbors include India, China and Bangladesh. This landlocked country has plains that are perfect for agriculture, hilly areas with lush forests, snow capped peaks and some of the highest mountains in the world. Nepal is famous for having the tallest peak in the world: Mount Everest. The capital, Kathmandu, is a thriving urban hub that reflects the culture and history of this region. The official language of the country is known as Nepali and records date back to the Vedic period. This happens to be the time in the history of the subcontinent when Hinduism was born in the ancient world. Therefore, it can be understood how Hinduism became the most dominant religion in Nepal. Things took an unexpected turn when Gautma Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in the south of Nepal. To this day, Lumbini remains a place of holy pilgrimage for his followers around the world. Depending on geography, various locations of the country share cultural elements with their neighboring areas for instance, Tibet and northern Nepal as well as the Kathmandu Valley and the Indo-Aryan areas. This valley used to be the seat of power in Nepal Mandala and by the time the 18th century rolled around, the country had been unified under the Gorkha Kingdom. Later on, the Kingdom of Nepal was founded and ruled by the Shah Dynasty that allied with the British Empire when the Rajput Rana Dynasty was in power. Thankfully, this territory never became a colony officially. However, it was meant to be a buffer region between the Chinese Empire and the Subcontinent that was colonized by the British Empire. The parliament was formed to support democracy in 1951 but the royal families kept stealing their power till 2005. Civil war broke out in the 1990s and lasted till the early 2000s. This led to the foundation of a secular republic in the year 2008 putting an end to the rule of the last Hindu monarchs. Nepal regularly hosts the SAARC of which it is a founding member. The government has signed cooperation treaties with neighbors including China and India. It is also a participant in the Non Aligned Movement and Bay of Bengal Initiative. The military of Nepal has a long history of affiliation with the Gurkha people and actively helps out with contributions to the UN peacekeeping forces.
Vacation rentals in Nepal
There are beautiful places in the country where visitors love to stay enjoying the scenery and abundant wildlife. Besides hotels, there are lovely vacation rentals in Nepal where you may benefit from top class accommodations through the search filter on the website of CuddlyNest. Look for your requirements among the great listings provided for your convenience.
Tourist attractions in Nepal
Some of the most famous places to visit in the country include temples dedicated to Hinduism and Buddhism which are the most prevalent religions in Nepal. Every religion has its own distinct identity in architecture and traditions. These are wonderful to witness in the gorgeous temples scattered all over the country.
The stunning temple of Swayambhunath rests in the green Kathmandu Valley that is situated in the central region of the country. It is present towards the west of the capital city of Kathmandu. In the language of Tibet, the native name of this temple refers to “Sublime Trees” pointing out the rich variety of tree species flourishing in the surrounding hills. The Newar people among the Buddhists hold this site in high regard and it is an important part of their daily worship. Hence, it is universally one of the holiest places in Buddhism and welcomes crowds of pilgrims every year. Those who follow the form of this religion that is popular in Tibet, Swayambhunath ranks second only to Boudha.
There are a number of royal palaces within the country as the monarchy tried to hold on power for decades. The squares near these historical buildings are locally known as “durbar” and offer a wealth of sights to enjoy at any time of the year. Of course, there is no lack of extravagant temple architecture in these squares but there are also wide open courts and religious idols. You may relax beside a grand fountain at a “durbar” with the rolling hills in the background. The majority of these squares date back to the time when Nepal was not unified and there were minor kingdoms in this entire region. You must visit the three most significant squares in this valley that are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Kathmandu Durbar, Patan Durbar and Bhaktapur Durbar.
If you are travelling near River Bagmati, you should not miss out on seeing the Pashupatinath Temple which is dedicated to the Hindu deity known as the national deity of Nepal. This temple is also present in the Kathmandu Valley and is accessible nearly 5km away from the city travelling north east. Millions of worshippers of Lord Pashupatinath come to this temple every week that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. This is not just one temple but an entire temple complex with a wealth of idols, “ashrams” and inscriptions with deep meanings connected to Hinduism. It is among the Holy Abodes of Shiva that are situated in South Asia.
Chitwan National Park
Those who seek a strong link with nature may head over to the incredible nature reserve in the Terai lowlands present in the south of Nepal. The Chitwan National Park is meant to protect the natural resources of the country preventing precious species from being threatened and helping the native ecosystems flourish. You will love the wide open plains with wild grass and lush forests teeming with rare wildlife. In fact, you can even see the Bengal tiger and one-horned rhino at the Chitwan National Park. It’s excellent for bird watching and observing nature.