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Kathmandu Calling


Nepal, the Himalayan Kingdom is a beautiful country to travel. It is an ideal country to spend your holiday, out of your monotonous office work and prosaic city life. If you want to enjoy majestic mountains, sylvan surrounding and scenic beauty of the countryside; you cannot ignore Nepal. If your heart flutters to see the beauty of the nature, historic monuments, placid lakes, serpentine rivers, feel cool breeze of mountain and watch thousands varieties of flora and fauna of this small country, pack up your bag and baggage to visit Nepal.

Nepal is situated at the heart of the truly majestic Himalayan range. It is bounded by China from the north and India from the south, east and west. It is a land locked country and predominantly nestled in the lap of Himalayas. The climate of the country is not uniform; in the south it is humid, while to wards north you will find mountainous climate with increasing altitude. The countryside of Nepal is truly poetic, may be, your dormant poetic soul rise from its slumber to give your life a touch of eternity during your visit to Nepal.

How to reach in Nepal:

Reaching in Nepal is not a difficult thing. You may follow the air route or land route. Nepal has an international airport near Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. Different international airlines connect this city with different capitals of Asian and European countries. Precisely, at present 22 airlines operate from Tribhuvan International Airport. Remember some of the airlines, which once used to connect Kathmandu, now have become defunct. If you are thinking of the visit of Nepal then make sure that there is any direct flight to Kathmandu from your city. You can follow the land route from India and China. Reaching Nepal through land route has the advantage of sight seeing, which you will miss if follow the air route.

Kathmandu is worth watching:

There are scores of places in Nepal without been there the visit of Nepal will remain incomplete. Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal is the hot tourist spot of Nepal. You will find centuries old places, structures, temples and monuments in Kathmandu. In many cases, the history and legends are mingled in such a way that, as a tourist hardly you can resist the temptation to be there.

Kathmandu means the house of wood is a city of thousand years old. It excels the marvel of many modern cities of Asia. In nutshell, it is the commercial, cultural and political hub of entire Nepal. It is the meeting palace of people and culture.

The city of Kathmandu situated at the altitude of 1336m above the sea level. You will find yourself in a strange surrounding in Kathmandu, where both historic and modern structures fused to draw awe. In Kathmandu you will find a dozen of places worth watching.

Kumari Temple is the temple of the deity protector of the city. Kumari means the virgin goddess. The temple built for this goddess looks like a pagoda and it is one of the busiest tourist places of the city. You can enjoy the street, vendors and their items on display. If you are in Katmandu, never miss this place.

Patan is the oldest city of the entire valley of Kathmandu. This city is also known as Lalitpur, means the “city of fine art” originally founded by the great Mauryan emperor, Ashok. This place is not only the center of one sect of Buddhism bust also the cultural hub of Nepal. Here you will find 136 courtyards, 4 Buddhist stupas and 55 temples. The entire place will remind you of a picturesque ancient land read in a novel or seen in a movie. Every square inch of its land is enriched with the delicacy of fine art. Patan is also famous for Tibetan carpet; you can watch and enjoy century old tradition of carpet weaving in the nearby villages.

Bhaktapur is an old city situated within the periphery of Katmandu, though not exactly in the city. Bhaktpur means the “city of devotees” is also known as Bhadgaon situated just 14 km east of Katmandu. This city is the homeland of medieval art and architecture. Beautifully carved temples, historical structures fill the entire surrounding with medieval tinge. Visiting Bhaktpur means witnessing timeless history with your mortal eyes. The major spots that you should not miss while visiting Kathmandu includes the Golden gate, Durbar square, Palace windows, Bhairavnath and Nyatapole Temples and the Bell of barking dogs.

Boudhanath is a stupa which lies just 8km east of Kathmandu. This ancient stupa consists several images of Lord Buddha and prayer wheels. It is the largest stupa of Nepal and a religious hub of the Buddhists. Here you will find refugee settlements of Tibetans who has left their motherland against Chinese invasion.

The other important places you should not miss are the twin village Bungmati and Khokana, Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pasupatinath Temple.

If you have decided to visit Kathmandu then visit it either in autumn (October-November) or spring (March- April). During these two seasons the weather remain fine and ideal for Kathmandu visit. Never visit Nepal during the monsoon months.

Kathmandu visit will remain incomplete, if you do not taste Nepalese cuisine. ‘In Rome, do as the Romans’ is applicable to you. You can enjoy the delicacy of the local dishes. Momos, Tibetan cakes, Thukpas, Rikikul are some local foods you will enjoy the most. Mere scent and sight of such food items will bring water to your mouth. If you want to enjoy the authentic Nepalese delicacies order it from star grade hotels. If you are in a budget tour, you can opt for some non-star restaurants. You can also enjoy Indian food, Chinese and European foods in different star hotels and non-star restaurants.

If you are a tourist from any foreign countries, you have to get a Nepalese visa. Getting Nepalese visa is very easy. You can get your visa from the Royal Nepalese Embassy from your own country. The tourists from some Asian countries including India are exempted from visa requirement. You are advised to carry all the necessary documents with you while traveling to Kathmandu. For better understanding, you must go through the visa guideline of Nepal.

There are plenty of star and non-star hotels in Kathmandu. If you do not have any budget constraint, you can check in Hyatt Regency, Vaishali Hotel and Radisson Hotel. There are also some cheaper hotels you can find easily in Kathmandu.

If you want to enjoy beautiful sites of historic importance in and around Kathmandu, you need a sincere guide. You will find several guides to help the tourists; they will interpret you the history, legends and significance places and structures. If you are from European and American countries, you are advised to respect the local traditions and customs. Never wear skimpy clothes while outing. In public places you should not indulge in kisses.
Published: 2008-04-22
Author: Prafulla Nath

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M.A. in economics, PG Dip in Journalism.
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