Nepal

Nepal is a small landlocked country with a diversity of natural and cultural wealth you will find in few places on earth. The land rises abruptly from the sweltering Terai plains in the south at 60 meters above sea level to the freezing heights of the Himalayan in the north well above 8000 meters culminating in the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest at 8848 meters - with lush sub- tropical forests, green hills and valleys in between - within a distance of a mere 200 km. The tale of the country dates back to the time when the Gods and goddesses communed with the mortals. Religion and festivals are an integral part of every day life here. People still respect centuries old culture and tradition and history still lives on here among the numerous beautiful temples, monuments and palaces of exquisite art and architecture. This varied landscape offers a fascinating array of cultural experience, sightseeing and adventure opportunities.

CUSTOMS FORMALITIES

Customs:All baggage must be declared and cleared through the customs on arrival at the entry. Personal effects are permitted free entry.Passengers arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) without any dutiable goods can proceed through the Green Channel for quick clearance without a baggage check. If you are carrying dutiable articles, you have to pass through the Red Channel for detailed customs clearance.

Import:Apart from used personal belongings, visitors are allowed to bring to Nepal free of duty cigarette (200) or cigars (50), distilled liquor (one 1.15 liter bottle), and film (15 rolls). You can also bring in the following articles free of duty on condition that you take them out with you when you leave: binocular, movie or video camera, still camera, laptop computer, and portable music system.

Export:The export of antiques require special certification from the Department of Archeology, National Archive Building, Ram Shah Path, Kathmandu. It is illegal to export objects over 100 years old like sacred images, paintings, manuscripts that are valued for culture and religious reasons. Visitors are advised not to purchase such items as they are Nepal's cultural heritage and belong here.

For more information on customs matters, contact the Chief Customs Administrator, TIA Customs Office (Phone: 4470110, 4472266).

ENTRY PROCEDURE AND VISA RULES

Nationals of SAARC countries and China do not need visa when visiting Nepal. As per this rule, Indian nationals do not require visa. However, effective from October 2000, Indians traveling to Nepal by air have to show upon arrival at entry point a valid photo identity like a passport, voter's identity or an identify card issued by the Indian government. Temporary identity card with photographs issued by Nepal-based Indian diplomatic missions is considered in case of exception. Children under 10 years need not show any identification.

Other non-Nepali visitors do not need visa to be in Nepal for three days. Visa must be obtained for staying over the initial period of three days. Free visa is to be given to tourists for re-entry to Nepal provided they stay at least for 15 days in the country in that visa year.

First single entry to Nepal for 60 days from the date of entry is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible foreign or Nepali currency. The second entry in the same visa year for 30 days from the date of entry is US $ 30.

Multiple entry for one visa year is US $ 50 plus US $ 30 for single entry or equivalent convertible foreign or Nepali currency.
The visitors who wish to stay for more than 60 days in Nepal can extend their tourist visa by paying US $ 30 or equivalent convertible foreign or Nepali currency for 30 days from the Department of

Immigration:

For foreign investors business visa with multiple entry facility for a period of one year and five years can be obtained from the Department of Immigration on the recommendation of Department of Industry and Commerce by paying US $ 100 and US $ 250 or equivalent convertible foreign or Nepali currency.

KATHMANDU CITY
Kathmandu is known as Kantipur, the kingdom of Nepal. Here you will visit the temple of the living Goddess, who acknowledges the greetings of her devotees from balcony of her temple residence, Kathmandap-the source of the name Kathmandu. It was allegedly made from the timber of a single tree. Next, on to the Durbar Square area with its array of temples overlooked by the Hanuman Dhoka Palace, the ancient palace of the Nepalese Royalty.

PASHUPATINATH
Lying 6 Km from central Kathmandu, Pashupatinath temple is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Situated amidst a lush green natural setting on the bank of the sacred Bagmati river, the temple, which was built in pagoda style, has a gilded roof and beautifully carved silver doors. Visitors will be permitted to view the temple from the east bank of the Bagmati river, as entrance into the temple is strictly forbidden to all non-Hindus. Pashupatinath is the centre of an annual pilgrimage on the day Shivaratri, which falls in February or March. Behind the temples are the cremation grounds.

Dakshinkali
Literally meaning the Kali of the south, this temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kali, the Hindu goddess of power. Goats, chickens, ducks etc. are sacrificed on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The temple itself is located in a forested canyon and lies 19 Km. from Kathmandu.

Boudanath
This stupa, situated 11 Km. from the center of Kathmandu, is one of the biggest in the world of its kind. It stands with four pairs of eyes in the four cardinal directions, keeping a lookout for righteous behavior and human prosperity. This Buddhist stupa was built by King Man Deva at the advice of the Goddess Mani Jogini. It is built on an octagonal base and is contains inset prayer wheels. The shrine is surrounded by the homes of Lamas, or Buddhist priests.

Swayambhunath
Located approximately 3km from the center of Kathmandu, this Buddist stupa is said to be 2000 years old. The stupa which forms the main structure is composed of a solid hemisphere of brick and earth which supports a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of gilt copper.

Painted on the four sided base below the spire are the all seeing eyes of lord Buddha. The whole area around the Stupa contains an array of small stupas and temples. This is one of the best places from which to view the Kathmandu valley, as it is situated an a small hillock.

BHAKTAPUR
Also known as BHADGAON meaning the city of devotes, this place is the home of medieval art and architecture. Lying 14Km east of kathmandu city. This place was founded in the 9th century and is shaped like a conch shell. The city is at the height of 4600 ft. Above sea level. In Bhaktapur you will visit the Durbar Square with its array of temples overlooked by the palace of 55 Windows built by King Bupatindra Malla, the Nytapola Teple. This temple, which was also built by king Bhupatindra Malla, is the best example of the Pagoda style and stands on five terraces, on each of which stands a pair of figures, famous strong men, elephants, lions, griffins and goddesses. Time permitting, a visit to the museum of Thanka painting can also be considered. A 30 minute walk brings you to the Dattatraya temple and Pujari Math which can also be done provided there is plenty of time at the clients' disposal.

Nagarkot
It is situated about 35Km. east of Kathmandu city and from here one can see Mt. Everet and other peaks of the Himalayas. Nagarkot is located between Kathmandu valley in the west and Indravati in the east.

The top of Nagarkot commmands accelerating views in all direction. The altitude of Nagarkot is 2229Mt. Above from sea level. It is also very popular for the viewing sunrise and sunset.

Dhulikhel
It is situated at an altitude of 1600 m. above from sea level and 32 Km. From Kathmandu City. Dhulikhel is famous for its vantage location in viewing the Himalayan ranges, from Cho Oyu in the east to Himalchuli in the west. It is popular for viewing the sunrise and sunset.

Patan
5 Km. away from Kathmandu city. Patan, also known as Lalitpur, is a city of fine arts, enclosed within 4 stupas, which are said to have been built in the 3rd century A.D. by Emperor Ashoka.

You will see Durbar square, the Patan durbar (palace), which houses a bronze collection, the Krishna temple built by King Siddi Narsinh Malla, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, and Mahaboudha Temple.

A trip to the Tibetan Refugee Centre and the Handicraft Centre will be included during your visit to Patan, where you will witness the hand weaving of Tibetan carpets and molding of metal statues. There are many other place to vist which are:

Kathmandu Darwar Square
Sleeping Bishnu
Ason Bazar
Kopan Monasteries; http://www.kopan-monastery.com
Pahrping Monasteries
Daksin Kali Temple
Orphans schools in Kathmandu
Nepal National Museum
Freak street
New road (Cheapest place to buy electronics goods)
Chitwan National Park Jungle safari

Pokhara Valley
Pokhara is Nepal's second most popular tourist destination and its adventure capital. It is overshadowed by a massive wall of the Himalayas, and dominated by the towering peak of the Annapurna range. Even more impressive is the fishtailed pinnacle of Mt. Machhapuchhare (6977 mt.) For the adventurous, the massif of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m) waits to be explored. Pokhara is the starting point for the most famous treks in Nepal, in the Annapurna area. Pokara is situated 200 K.M. west of Kathmandu.

What to See

Phewa Lake: The second largest lake in the kingdom, this is the center of attraction in Pokhara. The eastern shore, popularly known as lake side, or Baidam, is the favorite hang out for travelers, and is where most of the hotels, restaurants, and handicraft shops are located.

Begnas & Rupa Lake - The lakes offer the perfect natural retreat because of their relative seclusion. Splendid boating and fishing oppertunities can be had here.

Barahi Temple: The most important religious monument in Pokhara, built almost in the middle of Phewa Lake, this two storied pagoda is dedicated to the manifestation of Ajima, the protectress deity who represents the female force.

Seti Gandaki: Flowing right through the city, this turbulent river runs completely underground in places. Amazingly, at certain points, the river hardly appears to be two meters wide, but it is quite deep, up to over 45 meters.

Devi’s Fall: Locally known as "Pataley Chhango", this is an awesome waterfall lying about two km. southwest of Pokhara airport. Legend has it that a trekker (Devin David….) was washed away by the Pardi Khola (river) and mysteriously disappeared down into an underground passage beneath the fall.

Mahendra Gupha (cave): Another of nature's wonders in Pokhara is the Mahendra Gupha. This large limestone cave is locally known as the house of bats, which is an apt name for it. A two hour walk to the north of Pokhara, it is best to bring your own torch in order to see the stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the local winged residents.

Lumbini
The birth place of Lord Buddha
Nepal is as well known to the world as the sacred birth place of Lord Buddha as it is famous for its mountains and monuments. It attained a high level of civilization and prosperity, and its acclaim is well deserved. Buddha was born into a royal family. Immediately after his birth, he took seven steps in the four cardinal directions, and wherever he set foot, a divine lotus flower bloomed.

The main attraction at Lumbini is the Secred Garden, which is spread out over 8 sq km and contains all of the treasures of this historical area. The Mayadevi temple is the main attraction for pilgrims and archaeologists alike. Here we find a bas relief that shows Mayadevi, the Buddha’s mother, giving birth to him. Standing west of the Mayadevi shirine is the oldest monument in Nepal, the Ashoka Pillar. The pillar was erected by Emperor Ashoka in order to commemorate his pilgrimage to the sacred site.

Trekking in Nepal
Nepal, the mythical Shangri-La of the awesome Himalayas.

Trekking in Nepal is the best way to observe the country off the beaten path, along with its topography and life-style, while experiencing a combination of its natural beauty and cultural richness. Himal Reisen offers short and long treks as per the group's interest. Ranging from 4 days to a month, trekking in Nepal means walking uphill, downhill, over ridges, and through villages and valleys in remote areas. While short treks give one a look into the different cultures and fantastic views of the mountains, longer treks bring one much closer to the Himalayan peaks.

Grades of difficulty

Grade: I - low altitude and easy walking.

Grade: II - mid-range altitude (3,000m-4000m) with some high altitude climbs. It requires good health and physical fitness.

Grade: III - takes you to high altitudes (4000m +) and over mountain passes. Requires a high level of physical fitness.

Grade: IV - is strenuous and requires experience and mountaineering skills. Excellent physical fitness required. Time will be spent at altitudes of over 5,000m.

Annarpuan Region (Trek): What is Annapurna and what to expect in that area? : Annapurna , in the western part of Nepal is as popular as the Everest region for tourists. This trip provides the spectacular panoramic view of the Annapurna Himalaya mountain range, the greenery jungle, (full of uphil l and down hill beautiful mountain,) beautiful little settlements in front of the mountains attracts every one. Machhapuchhre is one of the most famous mountains in the western part of the Himalayas . “Machhapuchhre” means fishtail and comes from two Nepali words Machha (Fish) +Puchhre (Tail). This is a holy mountain in this region. A beautiful lake, Phewatal is situated in Pokhara city and you may take a row boat and spend hours on the lake, you might even see the reflection of Fishtail in the lake Phewatal . Mainly the lower parts of the Annapurna region are settled by Brahamans, Chhetris, and Gurungs. From Kaligandaki Valley to Jomsom is settled mostly by Thakalis. The upper part of this region is settled by Tibetans who migrated from Tibet a long time ago. Kagbeni and Mustang is very beautiful area. Mustang is a kingdom that still has king and Queen living there. Mustang is situated close to the Tibetan border so this area looks exactly like. According to the viewpoint of religion, upper parts of this valley are Buddhist and the lower parts are mixture of Buddhists and Hindus. Except for the Mustang area, the other parts of this region are economy area for tourist comparing to Everest region.

Everest Region Trek (Little note): All over the world, everyone knows that Mt. Everest is the Top of the World. It lies in northern Nepal in the Himalayan district of Solukhumbu. Solukhumbu is known as the capital of the Sherpas. “Sagarmatha” is the Nepali name for Mt. Everest; the Sherpas and Tibetans call Mt. Everest Chomolungma, which means mother of the goddess. This is one of the most beautiful mountain regions in the world. This region gives the finest and most magnificent view of the mountains. From the religious viewpoint, Solukhumbu has a mixture of Buddhists and Hindus. Sherpas follow the Buddhist religion so normally every Sherpa village has a monastery. In Nepal, the Sherpas have beautiful settlements in front of mountains which are very beautiful and their culture and religions makes more beauty in their country side. At present the main entrance for Everest is Lukla where a small airport is available. It takes about 37 minutes to fly to Lukla from Kathmandu. This flight is very scenic and beautiful. To enter to the Everest region the National Park fee is $13 which is payable in local money (Rupees 1000). This price will be included in the trip price.

 

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