While Mountain Everest is still its biggest attraction, there is more to Nepal than just the highest mountain in the world. The country has a population of 30 million but it has 124 different tribal groups. Temples, palaces, shrines, and lowland plains with exotic animals are just some of Nepal’s beauties. Nepal is a place where history, culture, and nature come together in harmony.
Pashupatinath Temple is the oldest temple in Kathmandu which is the capital of Nepal. While the temple reached its final form in the 17th century, there are accounts of the temple’s origins going back to the 5th century. The temple gets its name from an incarnation of Shiva: Pashupati. According to legends, Shiva turned into an antelope but the gods broke his horn which was buried under dirt for years.
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most important Hindu temples in the world. Many worshippers from all over Asia visit Pashupatinath to observe and take part in various celebrations. Hindus believe that if one dies inside Pashupatinath, one returns to life as a human no matter their karma. Therefore, lots of elderly Hindus come to the temple in hopes of a favorable reincarnation.
Unlike many other temples in Nepal, Janaki is a rather new Hindu temple. Its construction began in 1910 and ended in 1967. The temple involves a mix of Hindu Maithil architectural styles. While building the temple, the designers only used white stone and marble which gives a glowing outlook to the temple. Every year thousands of Hindus from India and Sri Lanka visit the temple as a form of pilgrimage.
Aside from its appearance, what makes Janaki really important is its location. Janaki is in the city of Janakpur, one of the biggest cities in Nepal. According to Ramayana, one of the holy books of Hinduism, the goddess Sita was born, grew up, and also married the deity Rama there and became the queen. The mention of Janakpur in Ramayana makes Janaki Temple even more important.
Chitwan National Park
One of the most famous safari locations in the world, Chitwan is the first national park of Nepal. It was built in 1975 and since then it has become a popular tourist attraction. Chitwan is in the south of Nepal which is fairly low altitude contrary to the general mountainous terrain of the country proving that there is more to Nepal than just its mountains. Moreover, the park has been a UNESCO National Heritage Site since 1984.
Before it became a park, Chitwan was a common hunting ground for the nobility. When the hunters decreased the number of many animals, the government took action and started to employ armed guards to keep the animals safe. Unfortunately, the park’s construction displaced the Tharu people from their ancestral homes but the park still remains a must-visit with its 68 different mammal and 113 water creature species.
Patan Durbar Square
Patan is known as the city of artisans. This is because the city is full of fine art and craftsmanship with its lively buildings, temples, and palaces. Patan was the home of Patan kings for many years. Durbar means a court of an Indian prince which tells the tourists that this place used to house royalty. There are only three durbar in Nepal and Patan Square is one of them.
Patan has been a place of harmony for centuries. Both Hinduism and Buddhism coexist inside the city with temples for both beliefs standing together. The square by itself is home to some of the oldest and most important temples in Nepal. The most noteworthy of these temples are the Krishna and the Golden Temple. Although the site suffered heavily during the 2015 earthquakes, the renovations are still under way.
Nuwakot is one of the 77 districts of Nepal. Nuwa means nine and kot means a sacred hill that points out to the nine hills of the district upon which the deities dwell. Nuwakot is a highly historic place as it was the capital of another kingdom before uniting with Nepal. Since then, various ethnicities and various languages coexist together in Nuwakot.
The district is mainly popular for its 9 forts. The forts were designed to protect Nuwakot against the invaders and they did for a long time too. After uniting with Nepal, the forts also served as protection for the capital. Nuwakot survived two different invasions and became a safe trade route between Nepal, Tibet, and India in the 18th century.