Everyone who goes to India, always have this plan to go to Nepal, but few fulfill this dream of theirs. Well, I have been to India, but alas, I’ve never been to Nepal. This gem
Everyone who goes to India, always have this plan to go to Nepal, but few fulfill this dream of theirs. Well, I have been to India, but alas, I’ve never been to Nepal. This gem of a country is almost unknown to most people. So I deem it my duty to let you discover this marvelous country with so many hidden beauties and delicious food and diverse culture.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is wild beauty, with so much more to offer than its legacy of the Mount Everest to which it is mostly predefined. The majesty of the mountains and nature and the overall spirituality the place elicits gives it right to the acclaim as the abode of the gods, for more than these reasons. Nepal is the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, or Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. As one of the most preserved natural environments with over 3,000 temples, to be spiritually connected and feel at one with nature is hard to resist. As rich as Nepal’s heritage and traditions, the nation is one with the world to a progressive modernization while enduring with their culture and faith. Despite national issues like poverty and lack of welfare for the 5,000 Nepalese children living on the streets, the people of Nepal are not afflicted with materialistic concerns. They are focused on contributing to society more than money returns. This is a truly peaceful place where a smile means as it should, and people will always find a reason to, thus, explains more Nepali festivals than days of the year.
GEOGRAPHY & CLIMATE
Nepal (28 00 N, 84 00 E) is a 147,181 km2-stretch of what is a landlocked nation with the prestige of owning 8 of the world’s 14 highest peaks, including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga, the world’s tallest and third tallest mountains in the world respectively. Kanchan Kalan is the country’s lowest point, which is 70 meters above sea level, while the highest point, the Everest is at a nerve-racking altitude of 8,848 meters. Nepal has everything from Tarai or flat river plains in the Ganges in the south, to central hills, and rugged Himalayan Mountains in the north. The climate varies as well from with five seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter, and spring, which can be easily described as subtropical in the north to the Arctic in the south. Within this spectacular geographical diversity, location, and altitude variation, it is one of the richest in the world with its broad biodiversity. With 35% of the land covered by forests and tropical jungles, Asia’s thickest, 848 bird species, 39 exotic orchids, and 500 butterfly species are teeming in this breadth of plush land. A sizable 20% is preserved as eco sites.
PEOPLE & CULTURE
Rich as the natural environment, Nepal is also one of the richest cultural landscapes in the world, especially with a strategic location between China and India. There are about 103 languages and dialects in Nepal and just as many ethnic groups. The NEPALI, which not only refers to nationality but is also the language of the land with almost half the 28,563,377 population as speakers (46%), and the Chettris are the domineering ethnic group. ENGLISH in Nepal has a far journey to behold without proper programs in teaching. English is thus restricted to a small elite population.
Fundamentally, to understand the Nepalese is to understand that religion is their way of life. The multilingual society is mainly Hindu, as Nepal is called the “Hindu Kingdom,” but Christianity is an emergent minority with 128,535 Protestants and around 7,000 of Roman Catholics. Conversely, Buddhism and Islam are the second and third significant faiths in Nepal.
FOOD & ATTRACTION
To many people, Nepal is the end of the road, the ultimate destination that their life can end here on. No other sky in the world is worth US$20,000 to take the jump of your life or the jump that may end it. Talk about being on top of the world. Nepal is, after all, the “roof of the world.” The adrenaline junkie’s supreme adventure of a lifetime, Nepal has extreme exploits with mammoth proportions like bungee jumping, racing, rafting, kayaking, paragliding, ultra-light aircraft, rock-climbing, trekking, mountaineering, and biking, unparalleled found nowhere else. And Kathmandu Valley or the Abode of Snows is just the magnet for you adventure seekers where Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur are set along with the region’s scores of sacred temples and monuments.
Nepalese cuisine has a rich variety as well, that is an attraction in itself. Nepalese food revolves around the ethnicity, soil, and climate that all factors combined define its eater. Dal-bhat-tarkari is a national dish made of lentil (dal), and vegetable curry (tarkari) served on top of steaming hot rice (bhat) Bhat is the staple and could be in any other grain form. Nepalese cuisine also has spicy noodle soups, a diverse meat collection from freshwater shrimps to lamb, and vegetables of sorts. If the famished traveler desires a taste that is quite familiar, the local appetizer chatamari is a la pizza by feature and taste. By the way, the Nepalese are also experts on vegetarian cuisine. Desserts are another world in this other world of a nation, and one always a thrill to integrate into the body system. Nepalese desserts are dairy-based and, for the most part, constituting of flour, rice, and fruits.
Certainly, after Nepal, no one can continue with life as before. For the calmer unruffled audience, leisure pit stops to yellow mustard fields, green tea gardens and crystal blue lakes will ultimately suffice. There also are the 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites from the sacred birthplace of Gautama Buddha in Lumbini, the city of fine arts with artifacts that par excellence, or Shiva’s colossal temple Pashupatinath for historically-themed travel without compromising beauty and grandeur.