"Beautiful Nepal - a place to fall in love with!" Nepal by tremendopunto
Nepal Travel Guide: 4,243 reviews and 11,967 photos
Nepal is an amazing country, rich in beautiful landscapes mystic culture and friendly people - you just have to fall in love with this place!
I went to Nepal from Varanasi by train to Gorakhpur and went on by bus to the bordertown of Sunauli, where you have to walk over the border. After that I jumped on the next possibiity to Kathmandu. All in all this was a 23h ride - but with a magnificent countryside and the typical all-inclusive travel-happenings like running out of gas in the middle of nowhere or my seat that broke down on the bumpy ride :-) Besides that, I saw two new accidents and three old wrecks along the way since reckless driving is a sport and a question of honour overe here - so this road can also lead straight into Nirwana.....
Check out my very very short summary VIDEO
One of my main goals I could not accomplish was the Everest Trek, since I already caught a cough with fever in Kathmandu. But that certainly is the best reason to come back to this great country ;-)
But maybe it was the last chance to do it on my own, IF the Nepalese government really starts their new trekking regulations, that would force everybody to use trekking-agencies and their guides/porters!!!!!!!!! If you are a free soul take a look at PETITION)
The Kathmandu Valley itself is already amazing and full of highlights, like the three king-cities of Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu. From all the beautiful Durbar Squares - the cultural heart of a city full of temples, shrines and other monuments - the one of Patan fascinates me most. You can just sit there and watch this vivid place for hours.
But there is much much more to see and to do. Just a few examples:
The dizzling holy Hindu pilgrimage place of Pashupatinath, situated on the bank of the Bagmati River, the place for cremations along the Ghats. Just like in Varanasi the ashes will be put into the Bagmati, which finally leads into the Ganges. Dont miss the Sadhus, the holy men according to Hindu belief.
Or visit the Bodnath Stupa - the biggest buddhist stupa in the world. Situated in the heart of Bodnath quarter, it is embraced by monasteries and gompas. You can feel a very relaxed atmosphere, with a constant mass of buddhist pilgrims and monks circling the stupa.
It is a nice place to relax for a couple of hours from Kathmandu´s hectic. The best place for that is one of the rooftop cafes.........
Or climb up the steep stairs to the Swayambhunath Stupa, which is suposed to be the oldest stupa of Nepal and welcomes pilgrims of Hindu belief as well as of Bhuddist belief. Situated on a hill on the outskirts of Kathmandu, gives the best opportunity to enjoy the panorama over the complete city. So it is certainly worth to clim the steep and exhausting long steps all the way up - dont miss it!
Still not enough?
So what about a meet&greet with a living god? Well, she has no business hours, but you might get lucky seeing her at the window of her house. Yes, she has an address in Kathmandu - right at the Durbar Square ;-)
She is a sweet little girl - but she never smiles. And every movement of her has a deep meaning. She is a living godess embodying the Taleju godess!
Those girls get choosen by a lengthy process with some shocking moments - and the one that fits to all the requirements and does not get shocked or does not start to cry when seeing blood and skulls of goats gets chosen. From that time on they live in the house of the Kumari at the Durbar Square. But they are not allowed to smile, laugh or showing any emotions and have to stay inside of the house most of the time. She is said to leave the house only about ten times a year and this is mostly the case for religious celebrations and blessing the king. Not the easiest life for a child.
People come to her to ask for blessings and other help.
This lifestyle suddenly changes, when she turns "impure" - which means she starts to bleed froma wound or the menstruation starts..........and she has to leave her protected home and gets pushed into the common life, which she never got to know. And a new Kumari will be chosen..........
I havent seen her in person, but she is supposed to show up at on the window, now and than. If you are lucky to see her DONT take pictures - this is strictly forbidden. You dont want to mess with the gods, do you?
For another question: IS IT SAFE? SHOULD YOU GO THERE AT ALL?
Nepal - a country so rich in culture and nature, suffered for a decade from the fight between Maoist rebels and the king, who turned more and more into a totalitarian dictatorship. Since the latest clashes the king was forced to give up all his power and talks started between the democratic parties and the Maoists to find a unifying solution to give this country a new start into a better future. But that still doesnt mean there are no Maoist posts on treks or on the way to Tibet - I was stopped on this route, but because of the ongoing talks they just asked for a "goodwill"-donation without force. Rumours also said in August 2006 that there are no Maoist-fees on trekking routes anymore - but that can be history by now, again.
There is still a long way to go, but tourism is one aspect that can boost the economy of this country to do a step into the right direction.
In the far east of Nepal, on the Indian border to Sikkim, you can find the KANCHENJUNGA. With its 8.586m or 28.169ft... more travel advice
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