When an average American person is asked what they associate Nepal with, the answer is almost unequivocally Mount Everest! Countless people train to climb it every year. Even more, the stories of the fight for survival while on the mountain are epic, and people who make it all the way to the top are considered modern day heroes.
If you’re not an extreme climbing enthusiast, it is likely that Nepal is not on your radar as a destination. I am here to tell you that Nepal, as a whole, is as grand as its tallest mountain when it comes to its culture, spirit, food, and beauty.
It is more than I could ever imagine it being and I am so thrilled for the opportunity to share some of its other incredible features with you.
Kathmandu’s Monkey Temple
Known by the locals as SWAYAMBHUNATH STUPA, this temple is one of Nepal’s oldest religious sites. It is revered by the Buddhists as well as the Hindus, and admired by all.
The structure is known for the eyes and brows painted right above the main “stupa” (a dome shaped structure) which are said to belong to Buddha himself. After you climb 365 steps to get to the main square, these eyes will be looking at you and asking you about the meaning of life (your call if you want to meditate on that for a while . . . but highly recommended!).
The spirit of a strong warrior committed to his life’s intention is alive at the top of this hill - you won’t regret the climb, the beauty, or the monkeys you are likely to meet along the way.
2. Pashupatinath Temple
Otherwise called the Temple of Shiva, what makes this place special is its commitment to showcasing spiritual practices. From a cleansing bath in the Bagmati River to a cremation ceremony, any day you visit you are likely to experience a unique ritual performed right in front of you.
A spectacle for some, but an eye-opening cultural experience for all. You will be inspired by the presence of such reverence and commitment. It is a reminder for us all that values like ritual and humility are part of being a good human. No matter where we come from and where our life has taken us, we are all connected in our basic needs as humans - we all need a purpose and a connection to the world around and beyond us.
The view of the Annapurna Himalaya is worth hiking up to the Sarangkot village for. Doing it right before sunrise (or sunset) are prime times. Watching the sun rise (or set) over one of the most incredible views in the world is a once in a life time experience, and maybe even a place where you can set (or reset) your life’s intention?
Words don’t do this place justice, so here’s the image of what you are likely to experience…
It is the birth place of Buddha, and you will feel its special vibe right from the start. You can visit a number of temples built by Buddhists from all over the world - they are all unique in paying homage to the country of their creators yet also united in their reverence for Buddha himself.
Visiting the Lumbini garden is a must. It’s a place so beautiful it will take your breath away with every turn. Historic, scenic, and boundless in beauty and history … a place that makes you feel awake and alive.
If you are looking to engage with nature and its beauty, Chitwan is the destination for you. It literally means “heart of the jungle,” and that’s exactly how you will feel in any of Chitwan’s locales - like you’re in the heart of what nature teeming with life.
Watch birds, elephants, and crocodiles. Hang out and dance with the local villagers. This is a place where you will gain an appreciation for the raw beauty of the natural world.