Why Visit Nepal?

Nepal, a country of sublime beauty, tucked away in the shades of the highest mountain range in the world, can truly be labeled the 'last paradise' on earth. Even in such a small area of 147181 sq. kilometers, Nepal presents a myriad of attractions to tourists and locals alike – ranging from its scenic beauty and well preserved exotic culture to the adventure opportunities in every nook and cranny in the country.

When the hippie culture hit the world in the mid 20th century, Nepal could not remain an exception. Indeed, the first tourists who came to Nepal were these hippies who arrived in search of cheap marijuana. Hashish was available here and there were no laws preventing its use. Thus, backpackers with the likes of Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix thronged to Nepal and the well known "Freak Street" established itself as the tourist hub of Nepal.
Now, tourism has developed much in Nepal and it has lots more to offer to tourists than just cheap narcotics. Due to the diverse topography, altogether different forms of life have developed in the northern Himalayan valleys and the southern plains of the Terai. These lifestyles have given rise to different customs and traditions. Exotic cultures have developed which differ with the part of the country you are in, the mid hills and southern plains being the richest in traditions. Festivals like the Kumari Jatra and Bisket Jatra cannot be seen in any other part of the world. Neither can one experience such hospitality anywhere else. Nepalese believe in a traditional Sanskrit saying "Atithi Devo Bhava"(meaning guests and gods are alike) This is what makes them so hospitable that they can never regard their guests with indifference and always warm heartedly welcome them and try to help them as much as possible.

The exotic customs has also given rise to different monuments of cultural, religious and historical importance. Temples and palaces dating back to 10th century AD still exist as cultural heritages in Nepal. Beautiful pagoda style monuments in the Kathmandu valley uphold a strong reminiscence of their glorious past. Magnificent Buddhist stupas also remind everyone that Buddhism originated from this religiously tolerant country. Art and architecture are particularly well developed in the capital Kathmandu as it was the cultural and political centre of the country from the very beginning of its existence.
The exoticism of the culture makes only a small fraction of what a tourist can experience in Nepal. You cannot come to Nepal and return without trekking some of the ancient pathways hidden in the barren Himalayan Bhots. In fact, nowadays most tourists throng to Nepal for this very purpose: trekking. The well worn trade routes used by people of the Himalayas descending south in the winter or moving in caravans further north towards Tibet in the summer have been modified to serve as trekking routes. More and more trekking routes are opening year by year to enhance a tourist's experience in Nepal.

Not only trekking routes but also more and more mountains have been opened for mountaineering by the Nepalese government. The Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, along with six of the ten tallest peaks in the entire world, lies in Nepal's terrain. The majestic Everest, which stood so proudly and magnificently shining its own snow white light without anyone daring to reach its hilt until just half a century ago was scaled by several thousands of mountaineers two years back to mark the golden jubilee of the scaling of the Sagarmatha (Nepali name for Everest, meaning greatest of all) by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hilary. Sir Edmund was himself in the capital to grace the functions organized to commemorate this remarkable event.

Moreover, the thing that makes visiting Nepal really desirable to visit is its supreme natural beauty. The hills and mountains, the rivers lakes and falls, the omnipresent greenery, the exotic flora and fauna, the forests with all the wilderness are sure to bewilder tourists who see just their well kept lawns and flower pots in the name of greenery. All these factors, along with the local people; in their small, straw thatched mud houses, living a backward life in the villages, beautifies Nepal more than ever.

Where else in the world can you paraglide, balloon ride, bungy jump off one of the highest fall in the world, bird watch, go for a safari in jungles home to one horned Rhinoceroses and Royal Bengal tigers and yet canoe or kayak in white water rivers or go for a trek or even try to ascend the world's highest mountains? Nepal has it all which many other destinations lack. This country always makes you feel elated, as if you have just landed into a paradise, a small yet really beautiful utopia. The wilderness of Kenya might be excellent for safari but can it offer the snow? The beaches of Hawaii might be the best in the world but can one go for a safari there? Here, in Nepal, one can do all the things they have never even dreamt of. One can go for an elephant ride to see the endangered one horned rhinos and an hour later be at the foot of Everest with all the mountaineering gear ready to scale it. Nepal has it all, from riverside beaches and exotic wildlife to people who value their traditions and present themselves with utmost hospitality to tourists. From adventure sports to sightseeing of ancient relics, anything can be done here. Thus, if you can visit Nepal, do it now, if not, it might be too late.

P.S. It is our sincere request to all those people visiting Nepal or looking forward to it to be responsible in dumping their wastes along the trekking routes and help Nepal remain as beautiful as it is now, if not more so.

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