BlogWhere to Travel in Nepal?
5 Sep 2022 Chandra Gurung
Where to travel in Nepal? So you’re done exploring all the popular UNESCO heritage sites in Nepal. You’ve visited the Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur Durbar Squares. You walked around the Boudhanath Stupa, lit thick incense, witnessed the rituals at the Pashupatinath Temple, and also had momentary nervous eye contact with the menacing monkeys at Swayambhu.
To get a glimpse of the Himalayas, you got on the cable car to Chandragiri. If you love hiking, perhaps you took the chance to embark on the Tamang Heritage Trail (Langtang) too. You’re a certified adventure enthusiast if you’ve already braved the Everest trek/peak.
During your visit, you’d been to Pokhara, enjoyed the wildlife safari ride in Chitwan National Park, and maybe even had the opportunity to trek the famed Annapurna Circuit. Fascinated by the idea of Buddha’s birthplace, Lumbini, your piqued curiosity led you there too. All these places are already checked off your list of destinations.
Where do you go now?
Here’s a neat list of destinations for your unrelenting traveller’s soul:
The first monarch of the kingdom of Nepal, Prithvi Narayan Shah spent his last few days here, until he died in Devighat – the junction of the Trishuli and Suryamati rivers. Bidur is regarded as the capital of the Nuwakot District and it hosts a multi-storied palace, built by Prithvi Narayan Shah.
Known as ‘the city of nine hills’, this place has many significant Hindu temples. Additionally, you can get a good look at the Annapurna range from Nuwakot.
The Kakani Village also falls under the Nuwakot District. Regarded as one of the ‘most accessible settlements from Kathmandu’, this town has a memorial park that commemorates the victims of Thai Airways International Flight 311.
This elegant ridge is well known for its strawberry farms, and it produces a major volume of this fruit every year. Kakani has great biking trails and picnic spots which are great for a short getaway from the city valley of Kathmandu
A historical city situated approximately 30kms south-east of Kathmandu, this place was believed to be a gift from the King of Bhaktapur, to his sister (as dowry). The Rosi and Punyamati rivers join themselves in this city. This confluence holds monumental religious significance to Hindus and it is believed that washing oneself in the river frees the soul of sin.
Panauti was a hub for merchants along the ancient salt trade route to Tibet. The site has been listed in the UNESCO tentative since 1996 and has a durbar square, along with many temples, most notably the Indreshwor temple. It is considered the most artistic town in Nepal, due credit to its medieval sites. Moreover, the two main festivals in this area are the Panauti Jatra and Makar Mela.
A mere 15 kilometres from the Kathmandu Valley, perched on the eastern ridge of the Lalitpur District lies a magnificent vantage point where you can get a cool view of the entire Kathmandu Valley. Here; Paragliding, Picnics, Mountain Biking, and Trekking are a few of the activities that you can indulge yourself in.
With Ranikot and Nagarkot as their adjoining neighbours, this place is a splendid destination that you can partake in, just a short hike – 2 hours (or a drive – half an hour) from the Kathmandu Valley. Moreover, you will experience an exquisite, panoramic view of all the 8000-meter peaks that can be observed from this hill.
Located on the highway between Pokhara and Butwal, in the Palpa District of Nepal, this was the capital of the Magar Kingdom during medieval times. With a yearly average temperature of 20-25 degrees celsius, a visit to this hill station invites a pleasant atmosphere all year round.
Tansen Hill is the ‘nearest place to view the Himalayas, from the Indian border. This is a great stopover for those visiting the heritage site of Lumbini since the birthplace of Buddha is located just 80 km from this hill station. It receives an abiding comparison to Darjeeling ‘the place of the thunderbolt’ (in Lepcha language), due to its close resemblance and strategic location.
Some of the streets here are named analogous to the streets in Kathmandu since some of the Rana Dignitaries from Kathmandu resided here in their later years. A large cultural gathering is observed here during Maghe Sangrathi (Mid-Jan). This place is home to the United Mission Hospital, established in 1954.
Tansen has also been listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative, since 2008. Common points of interest here include the Tansen Durbar (Palpa Durbar & Museum), the Ranighat Palace, and Golghar (situated in the central town).
In the Limbu language (a trans-Himalayan indigenous tribe), the word Ilam translates to ‘twisted road’. Most notably known for its world-renowned, high-quality tea, this district in province 1 of eastern Nepal is located 700 kilometres from the Kathmandu Valley. Alternatively, you can take a 45-minute flight to Chandragadhi Airport in Jhapa, and continue your journey to Ilam on a bus or reserved cab/bike respectively.
Ilam is separated or rather connected to Darjeeling via Mane Bhanjyang, a village development committee in Bhojpur. The fertile soil of this region nourishes the roots of many medicinal plants and many varieties of the Orchid flower.
Points of attraction here include Mai Pokhari lake, Gajurmukhi Dham, Shree Antu, Sandakpur, and the Sano Pathibhara Temple.
20 kilometres southwest of the Kathmandu Valley, is a village of rich cultural heritage. Dating back to the Licchavi era, this Newari settlement is a beautiful hillside in the Makwanpur District of Nepal.
Radish, Olive, Peach Farms, and Apple Orchards can be seen in this alluring place. A goat cheese factory is also located in this village. Here, after your visit to all these farms and the cheese factory, you can get on a boat ride on the Kulekhani River.
The major points of interest here are the Ashoka Chaitya, the Swachhanda Bhairav temple, Shivalaya, and Sat Dhara.
This is one of the top destinations from this list, and in case you haven’t been here yet, it’s high time that you did so now. The well-preserved, vintage atmosphere of this settlement is something that you will fall in love with, a personal guarantee included.
Bandipur is located in the Tanahun District of Nepal, 147 kilometres away from Kathmandu. The Marsyangdi River lurks in the valley below this place. Moreover, heavily influenced by Newari architecture, the construction of buildings and streets with ‘slabs of silverish slate’.
Its many attractions include the ThaniMai, Tindhara, Raniban, Sidha Cave, and the Ramkot Village
Probably the shortest trek from Pokhara, the place gets its name from the five hills that align themselves at the top. It is considered to be a sacred site for meditation. An intersection of three districts, notably—Kaski, Parbat, and the Syangdi district, it offers striking views of Manaslu, Annapurna, Machhapuchhare, Dhaulagiri, and Lamjung Himal. Panchase is located 28 kilometres away from the city of Pokhara.
Ghalegaun is a traditional Gurung Village that is situated a 7-hour drive from Kathmandu, in the Lamjung district of Nepal. A great visit to explore the cultural heritage of this mid-hill tribe.
Common attractions here include the Khudi HydroElectric Dam, Batase Cave, Uttar Kanya Temple, Talangyo Lake, and the Pempro Fall.
In the Parbat district of Nepal, 57 kilometres from Pokhara, you will come across the world’s second-highest bungee jump(from a suspension bridge). However, another prime attraction here is the Yantrik pool, which is a half-kilometre cable car ride.
The Gupteshwor Cave near Kushma is also a great place to visit. Moreover, a huge stalagmite here is believed to be the revered ‘Shivalinga’ and worshippers flock to this site as a pilgrimage.
Regarded as one of the oldest villages in the Himalayas, this destination lies on the route to the LoManthang palace, besides the Kali Gandaki River. This picturesque village showcases many aspects of Tibetan Buddhism, especially the Bon Religion.
Animism is a prominent belief in this region, and it is even associated with the Hindu community. Moreover, it is famous for Pitri-Puja/Pitri Moksastala, a Hindu ritual performed to redirect the lost souls of ancestors in hell, helping them to reach utopia (in other words, Heaven itself).
A popular tourist attraction in the Makwanpur District, this place lies about 80 kilometres away from the Kathmandu Valley. Here you will witness the greatest views of the Himalayas.
Daman is the home to the religious site of Risheshwor Mahadev Temple, and spring here emerges from the rocks, which were created by Lord Shiva himself. For instance, stargazing is also a common activity here at nighttime.
Janakpur is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus, as it is considered to be the birthplace of Ram’s wife, Sita. It is home to the only railroad in Nepal, and this railway line links Nepal to India (Jayanagar, Bihar).
The central part of the city is marked by the religiously significant site of the Janaki Mandir, believed to be the historical site where Ram and Sita were married in the Ramayana. Moreover, there are some other religious sites including the Vivah Mandap Temple, Ram Tower, and the Kapileshwar Temple.
- Who do I report to in case of any lost belongings, fraudulent activities, etc.?
Established in 1979, under the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Nepal has a 24/7 committed tourist police force to assist tourists and enforce the law. Here’s the contact for the Kathmandu Branch of the Tourist Police – +977-14247041. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Is it possible to tour Nepal on a motorcycle? What are the facilities offered for such tours?
If you’re considering travelling on a motorcycle across Nepal, this is an excellent option. An off-road bike, e.g. the honda CRF 250l will cost you about 60-70$ a day, 40-50$ for a Himalayan Royal Enfield, and just 15-20$ for 200c motorcycles such as the pulsar NS or duke 200.
Check out our blog where we have discussed the best season to visit Nepal.
You will always come across unheard places and find newer places to visit, in Nepal. Once you’re done exploring all the sites on our list here, we recommend that you visit our blog again, for more exciting places to go to, and other interesting events that you should attend. However, we share only the crème de la crème of all the destinations, to our dear readers that follow our posts consistently. Stay updated for more!