Other Destinations

POKHARA
If Kathmandu is the cultural hub of Nepal, Pokhara is its center of adventure. An
enchanting city nestled in a tranquilvalley; it is the starting point for many of Nepal's most popular trekking and rafting destinations. The atmosphere on the shore of Phewa Lake is one of excited vitality as hipster backpackers crowd the many bars and restaurants exchanging recommendations on guest houses and viewpoints, both by the lake and above the clouds. 
Pokhara is a place of remarkable natural beauty. The serenity of Phewa Lake and the magnificence of the fishtailed summit of Machhapuchhre (6,977 m) rising behind it create an ambience of peace and magic. At an elevation lower than Kathmandu, it has a much more tropical feel to it, a fact well appreciated by the beautiful diversity of flowers which prosper in its environs. Indeed, the valley surrounding Pokhara is home to thick forests, gushing rivers, emerald lakes, and of course, the world famous views of the Himalaya. 
The powerful rule of the old kings of Kathmandu, the Lichhavis and the Mallas, held sway over this valley for some time. As these dynasties fell prey to their own troubles, Pokhara Valley and the surrounding hills disintegrated into small kingdoms, frequently at war with each other. These were called the Chaubise Rajya or the Twenty-four Kingdoms. It was among these that Kulmandan Shah established his kingdom. His descendant Drabya Shah was the first to establish Gorkha, home of the legendary Gurkha warriors. 
Finally, Pokhara is a part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen camped on the outskirts of the town, bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalaya. This is the land of the Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned world-wide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship


Chitwan:
 
  A visit to Nepal remains incomplete without seeing the beauty of the Terai. One of the   most traditional and conservative indigenous nationalities of Nepal, the Chepangs        live in Chitwan. They have their own distinct language, which belongs to one of the    Tibeto-Burman strains. Chepangs are mostly hunters and gatherers. They are    animists and their clan priests are called Pandes. It is felt that their religion and  culture are influenced by the Tamangs.




Dolpa - At A Glance !
 
The district lies completely on the trans-Himalayan region of Nepal and borders Mustang on the east, Myagdi, Rukum and Jajarkot in the south and Jumla and Mugu districts on the west, and the Tibet region of China on the north. 
The district spans an altitudinal range of over 5,000 meters from a little over 1,500 meters at Tribeni in Kalika VDC to 7,381 meters at the summit of Churen Himal. Kanjiroba (6221m), Mukot (6638m) and Putha Hiunchuli (7246m) are other noted peaks. Physiographically the lesser ranges of the Great Himalayas constitute the southern border of the district. Between these and the border mountain ranges of Gautam Himal and Kanti Himal to the north Dolpa district is a maze of often wide glacial valleys and ridges. Kanjiroba Himal and Kagmara Lekh running north-west to south-east separate the valleys of the Jagdula in the west with the rest.
 
Lumbini 
Lumbini is the place where the newly born Prince Siddhartha (simply known as Buddha
) took his first seven steps anduttered an epoch-making message to the suffering humanity. This happened exactly in a beautiful sal grove, which is now a focal point of the Lumbini Garden area. Maya Devi, the queen of Sakya King Suddhodana of Kapilavastu, while passing through the Lumbini Garden, on the day of ‘Vaisakha Poornima’ (the Full Moon-Day of May 623 BC), took a bath in the Pushkarni (the Sacred Pond) and soon after she took support of a tree branch, then gave birth to the Crown Prince Siddhartha, who became Buddha. The Lumbini Garden covers an area of 1x3 sq. miles (2.56 sq. km) and compasses three zones each covering one square mile connected with walkways and a canal. The area has a sub-tropical monsoon climate with a warm wet season. 

Manakamana  
 
Thetemple of Manakamana lies atop a 1,302-m hill. The deity is one of the manifestations of the Hindu GoddessBhagwatiwho is believed to have the power to fulfill wishes. It is one of the mostpopular pilgrimage sites in Nepa. Manakamana is situated 125 km to the west of Kathmandu. It is a steep three-hour hike to the hilltop from Abu Khaireni on theKathmandu-Gorkha highway. Or you can take the cable car at Cheres, 104 km from Kathmandu on the highway to Pokhara.Package tours are available, and you can be back the same day. There are hotels at Manakamana if you want to stay the night. 


Bandipur 

Located on a 1000m ridge in Tanahu district some 140km from kathmandu, Bandhipur's hallmark is its beautifulscenery, At the easternpart of the town is the pagoda -roofed Bindabasini temple which housesgoddess Durga, Bandipur's guardian deity. The rich wooden carvings and detailed brass -work that adorned the temple are replicas of those found in the many old pagoda structure of the \Kathmandu valley\. The other \important temples and shrines in the vicinity include the Mahalaxmi temple with its exquisite woodwork and the khadga Devi temple which comes alive once a year during the Dasain festival.

Nagarkot
 
Another famous lookout point only a short drive northeast of Bhaktapur is at an altitude of 2,175 meters above sea level.This lookout is most famous for its sunrise when the snow on the Himalayan peaks appears brilliant crimson, red. Be prepared to leave early from Kathman- du (4:00 A.M.) or come the night before and stay in one of the hotels offering panoramic views of Eastern Himalayan peaks including Mt. Everest.




Dhulikhel
 
A hilltop village of 4000 Newar inhabitants east of Bhaktapur, Dhulikhel is noted for its beautiful wooden carvings onmany of the buildings' doors and win¬dows. The Banepa Valley and the Himalayan range can be viewed from the Bhagavati Temple on the hillock at the north side of the village.
This temple is most noted for the large number of ani¬mal sacrifices performed here every Tuesdays and Sat¬urdays. Nested between two mountains in a beautiful forested area only a few minutes drive south of Kath-mandu, it is said this 14th Century complex was built by a Malla King under order of the goddess Kali her-self.