How is the Mountain Bike quality and standard in Nepal?

If you don’t have a mountain bike for your tour in Nepal, we can provide you the world standard brands mountain bikes. We have popular Brands such as Giant, Trek, Marin full suspension and hard trail bikes which we can avail you as per your request.

What are the best Mountain bike tour packages in Nepal?

Nepal is a paradise for off-road mountain bike riders. It has lots of cycling trails including single track and high altitude trekking routes, which is nearby the famous city either beyond the Himalayas, you can choose your trail according to your cycling holiday’s interest. Annapurna Circuit trailupper and lower MustangPikey peakKathmandu valley, and Kathmandu to Pokhara classic road are the most popular mountain bike tour packages in Nepal.

Where can bikers stay?

Many trails are close to visitor-friendly towns that make a convenient base for day rides, while multi-day trails feature a variety of accommodation from teahouses to hotels. In stunning natural locations on or around the trails, Chitwan and Shivapuri parks are also an excellent option.

What is the best time of year to do mountain biking tours?

Generally, the ride can be done throughout the year except during the monsoon months ( late June to August). Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) is considered the perfect season to do mountain bikes. The clear sky with moderate temperature is the main reason for these months to succeed in the tour. Likewise being easy to travel, winter season is also acceptable for those rare riders who are experienced and can tolerate cold, too. Honestly, justifying views and comfortable riding along capturing the clear sceneries are wonderful rewards of pursuing a tour on these seasons.

How do I choose a trail?

Mountain biking trails are spread throughout Nepal. If you are looking for mountain biking on the Himalayan trails, then nature and adventure trip is the right option for you. We are the local and have more accumulated experience on mountain biking in Nepal than any other tour operator. All our itineraries are carefully created by ourselves to suit the biking levels of ability and interest of our clients. Whether you are addicted to mountain biking challenge or just want to be a leisurely rider for sightseeing in Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys, we have every package that you are looking for.

How is mountain biking tour in Nepal?

Mountain biking tour in Nepal is an enchanting experience, which leaves you spellbound as you ride through the rugged trails of mid-hills which are made up of steep ascent, descent, and rocky path. During the ride, lots of greenery is also a treat for seasoned riders. All our mountain biking tours start and end in Kathmandu.

How is mountain bike guiding service in Nepal?

Trek Himalayan offers perfect mountain bike tour guiding service in Nepal, Our guides are passionate, reliable with deep knowledge of bike repairing and speak English. They are very skillful for technical trails, know the route details, and respect the locals’ culture and Nepali traditions. Our top-notch gears backed up by the Mechanic make these adventures in Nepal and safe and thrilling simultaneously.  Book a biking trip in Nepal with us and experience the feel of being into Nepal’s most genuine environment where every biker really wants to experience.

What are the activities guests can enjoy?

Guests can enjoy learning Nepali cooking, local culture and traditional skills, day hiking around, volunteering in a local school; learn a bit about farming and interaction with the villagers during home-stay.

What do Homestay offer?

In Homestay, the host family serves 3 meals a day to the guests, furnished room(s) with a window, a bed with clean linen (sheets, pillow and blankets), a shared or private bathroom (depending on the place) with clean towels and a quiet place to study. Please note: special requests (like dietary restrictions) will also be taken into consideration.

Who can be the guests?

Home-stays are popular among tourists, gap year travelers, university students, interns, volunteers, and language students. Home-stays are a relatively new but growing concept for tourists who want to experience the local community and culture of the place they’re visiting, people who are on a short city break and want affordable accommodation.

Guests who book Home-stay can be from all walks of life. Holiday-goers craving a unique travel experience, culture-hungry volunteers, gap year travelers and students. Home-stays are ideal for the independent leisure traveler and tourists who want to experience the local community and culture when they travel. For leisure travelers, it opens up a world of local travel experiences, where they get to meet the people in the place they’re visiting.

How does it work?

It offers guests the chance to live like a local and experience what life is really like in that place. They can immerse themselves in the local customs and traditions, practice speaking a bit of Nepali language, and spend time with the people that really make the place what it is. A homestay is an affordable accommodation alternative. It is ideal for independent leisure travelers or tourists who want to experience the local community and culture of the place they’re visiting, people who are on a short tour and want affordable accommodation.

What is a Homestay?

It is a relatively new but growing concept in Nepal.  Home-stays mean private homes that provide basic accommodation and food to the guests who spend one or two nights during the trip to Nepal. Meals are prepared from locally available vegetables and livestock. Local families make some money out of Home-stays and tourists also enjoy the hospitality of the local host family. It is an opportunity to stay with a local family that charges a certain minimal cost on a daily basis. It’s an affordable accommodation alternative, ideal for independent leisure travelers of all ages, interns, gap year students, students living abroad, and anyone seeking a real and genuine travel experience. It allows them to experience the local community and culture of the place they’re visiting.

Facts About the Annapurna Region Treks

All the popular Annapurna treks start and end in Pokhara, a beautiful lakeside town with a glimpse of Annapurna I (8,091m), the world’s 10th highest mountain, the Dhaulagiri ( 8,167m) world’s 7th highest mountain, Manaslu ( 8,163m), the world’s 8th highest, and Machhapuchhre (6,993m ), the beautiful and sacred mountain that is restricted to climbing.

Popularity of Annapurna Region Treks

According to the survey conducted by Modern Maturity, a US-based magazine the Annapurna region has been declared as one of the world’s best trekking trails. Every year more than 60,000 travelers from different parts of the world visit this popular region. The major highlights of the region are Nepal ‘s spectacular socio- cultural, natural diversity at its best from various ethnic communities, a wide range of topography, diverse vegetation from sub-tropical rain-forest to an alpine meadow, hidden valleys, the deepest gorge in the world and windswept desert plateaus. Trekking journey to the Annapurna region is full of pleasures and wonders that any trekkers can ever feel.

How to get there?

One can choose any of the options to reach the region either by taking land transport directly from Kathmandu to Pokhara or flight or 4- wheel drive from Pokhara to Jomsom and Muktinath or overland journey to Beshishar to begin trekking and climbing expedition . In the Annapurna region tea house/ lodge accommodation or full board camping or simply tented trekking can be arranged for private or groups, family, college students as per their desirability and vacation schedule.

Conservation Area Project and the Entry Permit

Mt. Dhaulagiri and Annapurna I there runs the Kaligandaki River. Most of the trekking routes mentioned in the overview lie within the area controlled by Annapurna Conservation Area Project and the entry permit needs to be purchased before the trek starts.

Highlight of Annapurna Region Treks

Annapurna region is perhaps the best known and the most popular trekking destination in Nepal after the Everest and Langtang regions. It lies towards the north of central Nepal offering a variety of excellent treks of all grades and styles. The region introduces us Nepalese spectacular diversity at its finest: various ethnic groups, a wide range of lush, fertile farming land, Annapurna Conservation Area Project ( ACAP), wooded alpine pastures from the sub-tropical rainforest, deep valleys, deepest gorge of the world. While trekking, we cross Thorong La pass (5416m), a challenging ascent before reaching the wild plateau of the forbidden land of Mustang to the north. Between

Style of Trek in Nepal

There are two types of accommodation available in trekking, Tea house trek and Tented Camp trek. All the treks are led by our professional local guides, who all are well trained and licensed by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Nepal.

Tea House / Lodge Trek
In Nepal tea house accommodation or lodge trek is very popular in the most popular regions that include Annapurna, Everest and Langtang- Helambu where enterprising villagers provide good accommodation with attached bath with hot showers, western, continental and Nepalese meals,
Private rooms (twin sharing) are also easily available. Our English speaking local trekking guides arrange overnight halts with dinner and breakfast in teahouses and lunch in local restaurants en-route and the main baggage of the traveler is carried by porters, yaks or donkeys.
Staying in locally owned lodges, travelers are able to interact with the local community. It gives them an opportunity to experience about the Nepalese culture and their rural lifestyle.

Camping Trek [Tented Camp]
On our full board camping trek a team consists of English speaking guide, cook, kitchen helpers, Sherpa, and porters. Our porters carry all trekking gear: food, fuel and personal belongings, whereas our professional cook prepares hygienic meals and the Sherpa (Assistant Guide/ Care taker) supervises the whole operations. Travelers sleep in tents which are roomy and pads/ mattresses are comfortable. International style of food is freshly prepared and served by the cook. On all of our camping treks a bathroom tent is also provided along with a dining tent, tables and camp stools, providing a cozy, comfortable atmosphere to eat and chat with fellow trekkers during the evening

Special Trekking Permit in Nepal

    1. Upper Dolpo & Upper Mustang: US $ 500 or equivalent foreign currency per person for first 10days. For trip extensions, the extra fee per extra day fee per person has been fixed at US$ 50 or equivalent foreign currency.
    2. Manaslu: US $ 70 or equivalent foreign currency per person per week for September to November. US $ 10 or equivalent foreign currency per person per extra day. US $ 50 or equivalent foreign currency per person per week for December to August. US $ 7 or equivalent foreign currency per person per extra day.
    3. Permit fee for Kanchanjunga, Lower Dolpa: US $ 10 per person per week
    4. Permit Fee required for Humla (Simikot-Yari): US $ 50 or equivalent foreign currency per person for a week. US $ 7 per person per extra day.
    5. Permit Fee required for Gaurishankar and Lamabagar: US $ 10 or equivalent foreign currency per person per week.
    6. Permit Fee required for Chekampar and Chunchet of Gorkha district: US $ 35 or equivalent foreign currencies per person for eight days for Chekampar and Chenchet of Gorkha district (Sirdibas-Lhokpa-Chumling-Chekampar-Nile-Chule) for September to November. US $ 25 per person for eight days for December to August
    7. Permit Fee for other Trekking Areas: Apart from the above-mentioned areas, trekkers are required to pay permit fee as per the notice published in Nepal Gazette in US $ or other equivalent foreign currencies.

Note: Trekking to Dolpa, Kanchenjunga, Manaslu, Simikot and Mustang can be undertaken through registered trekking agencies only.

Trekking Season in Nepal

Trekking in Nepal is possible at any season round the year, depending on the area of interest to visit. The most popular seasons for trekking are autumn and spring.

Autumn: (Sep-Nov- October & November)
These are really the best months – offering excellent weather and tantalizing mountain views.

Winter: (Dec-Feb)
This season is noted for occasional snowfall only at higher elevations and higher passes on the trekking route. We therefore recommend trekking at lower elevations, generally below 3000 meters especially around Kathmandu valley, Pokhara & Gorkha.

Spring: (Mar-May)
During the spring days and nights are milder but still colder in the mountain regions. Different varieties of wild flowers decorate the natural beauties of hillside. Specially, varieties of rhododendrons make the hillside a haunting paradise and above 4000meter the mountain views are excellent. Trekkers get a great opportunity to see the traditional way of farming in hills in this season.

Summer: (Jun-Aug)
This is the monsoon season. During these months Nepal experiences its most heavy rainfall. Trekking at this time is tough in hillsides due to flood and possible landslides. But, trekking is possible in the Upper Mustang and Dolpo areas. This season is blessed for the keen botanist as the higher valleys and meadows blossom with flowers and lush vegetation. Insect repellent is a nice addition to your list to bring.

What is TIMS Card?

TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management Systems)

In order to ensure safety and security of the trekkers and to control illegal trekking operations, the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) have implemented TIMS Card to trekkers in Nepal.

Past experiences have revealed that difficulties were seen while carrying out rescue operations during times of accidents and natural calamities. Due to the lack of proper record system of trekkers, rescue and search missions used to face difficulties in spotting the missing trekkers. Based on the data collected through TIMS cards, however, it will be possible to know the position of a trekker in case a rescue operation is needed.

NTB and TAAN signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 18, 2010 to implement the TIMS system in a new format from April 1, 2010. NTB and TAAN have introduced separate TIMS Cards for FITs and organized groups. FITs need to have Green TIMS cards by paying Nepali currency equivalent to US $20 per person, while those travelling in groups need to have Blue TIMS cards by paying Nepali currency equivalent to US $10 per person. Trekkers taking the service of trekking agencies can pay fee for TIMS card in US dollars.

Documents Required
– To obtain TIMS Card you need copy of: a) Passport b) two (2) Passport-size Photographs. The Role of a Trekking Agency Trekking agencies will collect trekkers’ passport details, trekking area, trekking routes, handling agencies, duration, etc and enter it in the central database to provide a TIMS card after paying fee prescribed above

Where & how to obtain TIMS Card?
The visiting tourists, who are interested in doing trekking in Annapurna, Everest & Langtang Regions in Nepal, are required to receive TIMS Card through Trek Himalaya office in Kathmandu. In order to obtain TIMS Card you need copy of Passport and two copies of Passport-size Photographs.
TIMS are not required for:
Expedition members permitted to climb the mountains
Visitors in the controlled areas with permits by the Department of Immigration
Foreign guests invited by the Government of Nepal
Authorities from the various diplomatic missions present in the country, who hold official letter/s and travel at their own risk
Visitors on certain missions recommended by the concerned Governmental Department(s);
Foreign Nationals possessing a residential visa.
Why is TIMS Necessary?
The following considerations have been taken into account in the process of issuing TIMS:

All important details of trekkers and trekking routes shall be maintained on a computerized Database Management System that may be useful for safety and security of trekkers. To help carry out search and rescue operations for trekkers in case of natural calamities and other accidents by means of Authentic Information Service . To maintain a record system that includes personal details of trekkers, trekking area, trekking routes, handling agencies, duration, etc. The data generated from the system will be useful to all stakeholders:- tourism organizations, Government agencies, diplomatic missions, tour operators, research institute, etc.

Unauthorized trekking operations will be controlled, thus, resulting into better management of trekking service and in benefit of all concerned :- trekkers, agencies, field staff, Government, etc. and also occasional untoward incidents will be better prevented.

To upgrade the service standard and contribute for better management of sustainable mountain tourism development of Nepal.

Currency & Exchange Rate in Nepal

The unit of the Nepalese Currency is Rupee. One Nepali Rupee is made up of 100 paisa. Nepali Rupee notes come in Rs. 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000. Coins come in paisa 5,10,25,50 Rs. 1 , 2, 5 denominations. Paisa coins are not currently used for common transactions.

Foreign currency and traveler’s cheques can easily be exchanged at banks or authorized agents. In Kathmandu banks have money exchange counters, which are quick and convenient. Mastercard, Visa and American Express are accepted at all major Hotels, Travel Agencies, Restaurants and Stores.

Money Transfer
Normally there is no problem to transfer money to Nepal, however there are few restrictions to send money out of Nepal. If someone who wants to transfer money from Nepal to any other overseas countries they need authorization from Nepal Rastra Bank (Central Bank of Nepal).
Basically there is no any restriction to transfer money from abroad to Nepal and there are many financial institutions who help easiest & safest online money transfer service

Exchange Rates
Currency exchange rates in Nepal often fluctuate. Please click here to get the latest update

Banking hours
Banks are open between 10:00 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. Sunday to Thursday and between 10:00 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. on Fridays. Closed on Saturdays and national holidays. Some Banks in Thamel, Kathmandu are open till late hours.

A General Packing List

Jersey Tops
Cycling shorts with a quality chamois (padding)
Bike gloves with padding under the palm
Cycling socks (synthetic or lightweight wool)
Arm warmers
Leg warmers
Cycling shoes
Energy bars and electrolytes

Rain jacket (Gortex with pit-zips)
Wind jacket (lightweight and form-fitting)
Sweater (fleece and form-fitting mid layer)
Top and the bottom base layer (synthetic or lightweight wool)
Sunglasses (clear lens and polarized lens)
Backpack with hydration system (2-3L water capacity)
Cycling water bottle (with squirt lid)
Camera (phone, GoPro, point and shoot)
Ear warmer (toque or headband)

Flip flops
Small camp towel (for swimming etc )
Comfortable, casual clothes for relaxing in (cotton attire, such as jeans, t-shirt, a hooded sweater will be welcomed after a day in synthetics or wool)
Trail shoes or hiking boots
Backpack (for day hikes)
Flashlight or headlamp

Toiletries i.e., toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, soap, etc.
Sunscreen (oil-free for sport)
Insect repellent
Anti-bacterial wipes
Anti-bacterial gel
Toilet paper
First-aid kit (ibuprofen, band-aids, Polysporin, tweezers)

Electrical tape (tapes your bike tube or pump to your bike, without leaving a sticky residue)
Duct tape (tape up holes in a bug net and/or everything else duct tape fixes!)
Solar panel battery charger with USB adapter
Zip-lock bags

Do’s and Don’ts in Nepal

Nepal’s Culture is so astounding and surprising, that some tips for newcomers are sometimes necessary.

  • To show appreciation and respect, use two hands rather than one when giving or receiving something, even money.
  • Remember not to point with a single finger but use a flat extended hand especially to indicate a sacred object or place.
  • Among Hindus, avoid touching women and holy men. The traditional palms-together “Namaste” greeting is preferable.
  • Don’t eat with your left hand nor eat beef among Hindus.
  • Try not to step over or point your feet at another person, a sacred place or a hearth.
  • Remove your shoes when entering a home, temple or monastery (and leather items in Hindu temples) and avoid smoking and wearing scant dress in religious settings.
  • Do not offer food from your plate, nor eat from a common pot, and avoid touching your lips to a shared drinking vessel.
  • The sight of men holding hands is common, but men and women holding hands, and general acts of affection, are frowned upon.
  • Ask for permission before taking pictures, specially inside holy shrines and temples.

Festivals in Nepal

Festival in Nepal has always been a meaningful event where people enjoy themselves more through their direct involvement than just watching them. In Nepal, every festival has some purpose to serve, such as to bring rain or to have good harvest, to avert calamities and so on. In fact, festivals are the best way to understand and appreciate the Nepalese way of life. The Nepalese year is full of festivals which are celebrated according to the lunar calendar. Some of the important festivals are listed below.

Ghodejatra (Horse Festival, March-April)
It is one of the exciting festivals celebrated in Kathmandu. Horse race and other sports take place at the Tundikhel parade ground on this day. In other parts of the city, various deities are carried to a shoulder-high on palanquin (Khat) with the accompaniment of traditional music.

Rato Machchendranath Rath Jatra (May-June)
This festival is the biggest socio-cultural event of Patan. The wheeled chariot of a deity known as Bungdyo or Rato Machchendranath is made Pulchowk and dragged through the city of Patan in several stages till it reaches the destined location (Lagankhel). The grand final of the festival is called the ‘Bhotto Dekhaune’ or the “showing of the vest”.

Teej (August-September)
Teej is Hindu festival celebrated by women. Dancing, folk song and the red color or women’s wedding saris dominate the days of Teej. Women observe a fast and flock to Shiva temples where married ones pray for a happy conjugal life and unmarried ones for a right husband.

Indrajatra (August-September)
The festival of Indra, the God of rain, is observed with great enthusiasm in the Kathmandu Valley. The festival lasts for eight days. The chariot of Kumari, the Living Goddess, is taken out in procession through the main streets of Kathmandu. The festival is specially noted of the masked dancers almost every evening.

Dashain (October-November)
Dashain festival is the major festival of the Nepalese. Entire country is in enthusiastic holiday mood at the time of the festival. Dashain, the longest and most favorite festival right after the monsoon is a time for shopping, eating and socializing with friends, and family. The Dashain celebration marks the victory of good over evil. Durga Bhawani is the emblem of the good. Durga conquered evils on this day. Huge amount of animal sacrifice take place during the festival in temples and in home to please the Goddess, Durga. The final day of the festival is known as ‘Tika’, a day on which the elder ones give ‘Tika’ to the younger ones and to other relatives who come for blessing.

Tihar (Deepawali, October-November)
Known as the Festival of Lights, Tihar is celebrated for five days. Tihar, festival of lights is one of the most dazzling of all Hindu festivals. In this festival we worship Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. In other words, this festival is meant for life and prosperity.

Maha Shivaratri (February-March)

It is celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva. A great religious fair takes place in the Pashupatinath Temple and thousand of people from all over Nepal and India flock the temple to worship Lord Shiva.

Holi (Water festival) February-March
This is a colorful occasion when people smear colored powder each other and splash water balloons into one another. The Chir pole is erected at the Kathmandu Durbar Square gaily decorated with colorful flags. That is the formal announcement to everyday to hide all their good clothes and to join in the revelry. At the end of the festival, the Chir pole is taken down and burnt.

Lhosar (February)
Lhosar is most impressively observed by the Sherpas. They organize folk songs and dances on this occasion. These dances can be seen in Khumbu, Helambu and other northern regions of Nepal and also at Bouddhanath in Kathmandu.

Buddha Jayanti (April-May)
Ever-benevolent Buddha was born in Nepal and the religion. His preaching is second most popular in the kingdom. On full moon day the Lord’s birth enlightenment and salvation are applauded throughout the valley with celebrations. On this day, people reach the Stupas before dawn go around them and give offering to the many Buddha images there.

Mani-Rimdu (November-December)
It is a Sherpa dance drama performed in the Khumbu region. It is held annually at Tengboche and Chiwong monasteries during November or early December and at Thami Gomba each May. Although usually held during the full moon, this is sometimes scheduled at a more auspicious time. So inquire in Kathmandu and along the way to learn when it will take place. This colorful, uniquely Sherpa festival has its origins in ancient Tibetan theatrical genres. The performers are monk and the occasion is highlighted by much gaiety and feasting.

it is a birth celebration of Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava) that takes place in June in the Khumbu region. It lasts for 6 days. Eight families sponsor the event each year. It is a heavy financial burden, so this responsibility is rotated among the villagers. Separate celebrations take place in the villages of Namche Bazaar, Khumjung and Thami.

Nepal Climate

Climatic factors are very important in deciding when to visit Nepal.

October-November,the start of the dry season, is in many ways the best time of a year: the weather is balmy, the air is clean, visibility is perfect, and the country is lush following the monsoon.

February-April,the tail end of the dry season is the second-best period: visibility is not so good because of dust, but the weather is warm and many of Nepal’s wonderful wild flowers are in bloom.

In December and January,the climate and visibility are good but it can be chilly: trekkers need to be well prepared for snow, and budget hotels in Kathmandu – where heating is non-existent – can be gloomy in the evening.

May and early June are generally too hot and dusty for comfort, and the monsoon from mid-June to September obscures the mountains in cloud and turns trails and roads to mud.

When is the best time to go to Nepal?

The weather is probably the best guide for deciding when to plan your trip to Nepal. October and November are considered the best times of the year. The monsoon will have just ended, and clear skies with optimal temperature will prevail. The main festivals of Dashain and Tihar (Hindu equivalent of Christmas in terms of festivity) fall during these months. However, this is also the busiest tourist season, and the main tourist centers and trekking trails tend to be crowded with travelers like you. The tourist flow ebbs a little, but not significantly, between the winter months of December and mid-February. It catches up once again between mid-February and mid-April. From mid-June to early October, it’s the monsoon, during which time it rains almost every day and most of the Himalayas are hidden behind the clouds. In short, plan to visit Nepal between October and May, keeping in mind that October-November and February-March are the best times.

Places to visit in Nepal

Nepal is blessed with diverse cultures, ancient arts and crafts, religions and world heritage sites. The country quietly nestles itself in the Himalayas and cast its magic on the travelers who visit Nepal to experience.

There are many sightseeing spots within and outside Kathmandu valley that offer the travelers to visit beautiful villages, farmlands, national parks, shrines and monuments. Trek Himalayan organizes various tours and sightseeing packages that include cultural excursions, river rafting, wildlife safari, village tours and many others tourism related activities in different popular destinations of tourist interest in Nepal for individuals and groups.

Kathmandu Valley

Kathmandu is a capital city of Nepal, enriched with temples more than homes and festivals exceeding the number of days in a year. The whole valley with its seven heritages sites has been enlisted in Cultural World Heritage Site list. The city, with three Durbar Squares- Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur along with Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath, Swoyambhunath and Changunarayan are the familiar places for sightseeing within the Kathmandu valley and Dhulikhel, Nagarkot, Dakshinkali, Phulchoki, Kirtipur at the rim of Kathmandu valley are most popular sites to explore the ancient art and architecture.

Major attractions in Kathmandu

Kathmandu Durbar Square (World Heritage Site)
The Kathmandu Durbar Square is an overwhelming frenzy of art and architecture. The medieval palace complex belongs to Malla and Shah Kings who ruled over Kathmandu in the past. Along with these palaces, the square also surrounds quadrangles revealing courtyards and temples. The square is presently known as Hanuman Dhoka, a name derived from the statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, near the entrance of the palace. The royal palaces at this site dates back to as early as the Licchavi period in the third century.

Pashupatinath Temple (World Heritage Site)
One of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated on the banks of the sacred river Bagmati and has been considered the pilgrimage site for the Hindus. It is built in the familiar pagoda style with its two-tiered golden roof and silver doors, displaying superb Nepalese architectural craftsmanship. Entrance to the main temple is permitted only to Hindus, however visitors can clearly see the temple and the activities performed on the temple premises from the eastern bank of the Bagmati river.

Bouddhanath (World Heritage Site)
It is the world’s biggest stupa located about two kilometers north of Pashupatinath temple. This colossal Stupa with all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha is known by Bouddha Nath, the god of wisdom. It is said to have been built by Lichchhavi King Mana Dev in the fifth century A.D. It is built on an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels. The design is much like the Swayambhu Stupa, except the squares recede instead of circles. Bouddhanath attracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world.

Swoyambhunath, Monkey temple (World Heritage Site)
The Swoyambhu Stupa crowns a hillock to the west of Kathmandu. A massive white dome surrounded by a 13stage spire, the stupa is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Nepal. It is said to be 2000 years old. Its origins are linked to the founding of the Kathmandu Valley by draining the water of the lake by Boddisattva Manjushree. Swoyambhu manifested in the lake as a brilliant light emanating from a lotus and Manjushree let the water out by slashing a passage through the surrounding hills to facilitate paying homage to Swoyambhu, thus making the valley inhabitable.

About eight kilometers north of Kathmandu, at the base of Shivapuri hill, is remarkable, colossal statue of Lord Vishnu, reclining on a bed of snakes. The sculptured statue belongs to Lichchhavi period, the fifth-century. It is placed in the middle of a small pond and seems to float on the surface of the water. It is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus.
Akash Bhairav Temple
This temple is a three-story structure located on a busy market street, called Indra Chowk. The image of Akash Bhairav is displayed outside for a week during Indra Jatra, the festival of Indra, the god of rain.

Machchhendra Nath Temple
The temple of Sweta Machchhendra Nath is located at Machchhendra Bahal between Indra Chowk and Asan. It is a pagoda of considerable artistic beauty. It has a two-tiered bronze roof and a courtyard full of stupas and statuaries. It is surrounded by residential houses and busy shops. The god within the shrine is Padmapani Avalokiteshwor, worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists. This deity is also called Jammadyo or Machchhendra.

This historical building lies near the temple of Kumari. It is said to have been built by King Laxmi Narsingha Malla in the beginning of the sixteen century although it may be twice as old. Legend says it was constructed from the wood of a single tree, thus its name, Kasthamandap, or “Pavilion of Wood”. The current structures dates back no more than 500 years and houses the beautiful images of four Vinayaks (Surya Vinayak, Chandra Vinayak, Jal Vinayak and Karna Vinayak) of the Kathmandu Valley.

Kumari Temple
It is the house like pavilion located at the left hand side of the huge courtyard in the vicinity of the Hanuman Dhoka Palace. The building has many carved wooden balconies and window screens. It was built by Jaya Prakash Malla, the last Malla King of Kathmandu. Although certain aspects of Kumari worship and her annual festival parade existed in ancient times, the modern-day chariot festival was inaugurated by Jaya Prakash Malla in the mid-eighteenth century. Non-Hindu visitors can enter the courtyard, but are not allowed beyond that point. The Kumari Goddess acknowledges greetings from well wishers from her balcony window. Photography is prohibited. The Kumari Goddess, is also known as the Virgin Goddess. She is nominated from the Newar Shakya caste and should be virgin with no body marks or injuries. When she achieves puberty she is replaced by another Kumari.

The temple of Dakshinkali is situated about two kilometers south of Shekha Narayan temple. Dakshinkali is an important place for pilgrims who visit this temple to offer prayers and animal sacrifices to the Goddess Kali. Apart from the religious importance, the site has also been popular as a picnic spot.

Nepal Highlights

Area : 1,47,181 sq km

Location: Situated between China in the north and India in the South, East and West.

Capital: Kathmandu

Population: 25 Million

Language: Nepali is a national language. However, travel – trade related people understand and speak English as well.

Currency: Nepalese Rupee (approximately USD 1 equal to Rs 73.00 as of July 2010)

Political System: Federal Democratic Republic

Religion: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam , Christianity & others

Climate: Nepal has four major seasons, namely

Spring : March – May
Summer : June – Aug
Autumn : Sept – Nov
Winter : Dec – Feb
People: Nepal has more than 91 ethnic groups and 72 spoken languages

Time zone : GMT +5.45hrs

World Heritage Sites(Cultural): Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changunarayan, Lumbini (birth place of Lord Buddha)

World Heritage Sites( Natural): Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park ( 1,148 , Chitwan National Park ( 932

Getting to Nepal

By Air
Tribhuvan International Airport is the only international airport in Nepal. The major airlines that operate flight to Kathmandu are Indian Airlines, Thai International, Bangladesh Biman, China Southwest Airlines, Druk Air, Qatar Airways, PIA- Pakistan Airlines, Gulf Air, Sahara Ailrlines, Jet Air, and Silk air. The national carrier – Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), operates flights to Europe and Japan as well as other regional destinations.

From South -East Asia
You can fly to Kathmandu via Bangkok, Hong Kong , and Singapore. There are daily flights to Kathmandu from Bangkok.

From India
You can fly to Kathmandu from Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Banglore and Varanasi.

From Lhasa ( China)
You can fly to Kathmandu every three days a week (Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday) by China Airlines.

From Bhutan
You can fly to Kathmandu from Paro by Druk Air, or take a flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

From Europe and Middle East
Qatar Airways and Gulf Air operate daily flights to Kathmandu from Doha and Dubai. Pakistan International, Bangladesh Biman and Aeroflot have one-airline service from Europe to Kathmandu.

From North America
You can fly to Nepal via India or alternatively via Bangkok or Hong Kong. NAC’s Osaka flight makes good connections with North American flights.

From Australia and New Zealand
Look for routes via Singapore, Hong Kong or Bangkok.

By Land
There are some entry points into Nepal by land open to foreigners.

Via India
The entry points from India to Nepal are Mahendranagar, Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj, Sunali, Birganj and Kakarbhitta so you can get on the direct buses to the Nepal border from Delhi, Varanasi, Calcutta, Patna and Darjeeling.

Via Tibet
You can cross over the Kodari border from Tibet.