Stretching from the snow-capped peaks of the high Himalayas, to the lush jungles of the steaming Indian plains, Nepal encompasses a spiritual landscape blessed with a remarkable fusion of natural beauty and rich cultural diversity. Home to eight of the world’s ten highest mountains, including the hypnotic majesty of Sagamatha (Mount Everest) itself, this spectacular “Abode of the Snows” offers up some of the finest trekking anywhere on the planet. Amongst the mystical lands of the inner Dolpo region you can still find a world steeped in shamanistic traditions, where remote fortress-like settlements and elusive snow leopards lord it over one of the highest inhabited regions on earth. But Nepal is so much more than just its mountains.
To the south of the bustling Kathmandu Valley lie the subtropical plains of the Terai, where the lush grandeur of the Chitwan and Bardia National Parks provide an expansive haven for rare one-horned rhinos and majestic tigers. Whilst amongst its central valleys nestle historic old towns that lie at the heart of the country’s rich heritage. Here, amongst the rambling streets of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan, you can find some of Nepal’s finest architectural monuments including World Heritage temples and spectacular Buddhist stupas. This is a land of breathtaking scope, where Buddhist and Hindu traditions share centre stage with the largest Shiva temple in the world and the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as the Buddha.
Quite simply, Nepal is one of the world’s most fascinating, beguiling and unforgettable places.
Spend a sunny afternoon on a rooftop in one of Thamel’s many restaurants whilst in Kathmandu and watch the mayhem below.