It’s the land of yaks and yetis, stupas and Sherpas, and some of the best trekking on earth. The small and scenic country called Nepal, nestled comfortably in the arms of the mighty Himalayas, is a traveller’s delight. From picturesque views to adventure sports to a spiritual trek, the tiny nation has something to offer for everyone. No wonder Nepal is one of the most popular foreign destinations for travellers from all around the world. The capital city of Kathmandu is the major attraction for tourists partly because it’s the gateway to the rest of the country and also because it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the country. Take a walk in the backstreets, however, and the capital’s amazing cultural and artistic heritage reveals itself in hidden temples overflowing with marigolds, courtyards full of drying chillies and rice, and tiny hobbit-sized workshops largely unchanged since the Middle Ages.
When there is a mention of Nepal, what immediately comes to mind is Mount Everest. No visit to the country is complete without a trekking expedition through the mountain ranges. Nepal trek tours are some of the most popular in Asia. On little frequented trails, it is fascinating to go from one village to another, along a river or a hill-side, through terraced rice-fields or wooded areas, and enjoy a magnificent view of the countryside set against the backdrop of snow-covered peaks. Trekking in Kathmandu can be a rewarding experience in terms of the beautiful sights it has to offer.
The capital city itself does not offer much in terms of trekking. However, just outside the city there are numerous trails. Nepal-Kathmandu trek tours are often organized at Sundarijal, Chichapani, Nagarkot and Dhulikhel, which are some of the most popular trekking sites close to Kathmandu and a trek covering all major sites usually takes about six or seven days. Evergreen pastures cover the trekking route and the landscape is marvellous. It is necessary to have warm clothing and stout footwear.
The Kathmandu valley trek, covering all the above mentioned sites as well as Namobuddha and Panauti takes eight days and is suitable for all age groups as the difficulty level is low. The Kathmandu-Changu Narayan-Nagarkot trek of six days’ duration is also well sought-after. For more ambitious hiking, lasting 3 to 4 days continue from Nagarkot to Shivapuri to Kakani making a hill-top walk around the northern edge of Kathmandu Valley. Kakani is located 29 km North West of the Kathmandu City. Nagarkot is situated at an elevation of 1982 m. above the sea level. The alluring peaks of the Ganesh Himal range are just opposite to it. Other Himalayan peaks of Gauri Shankar (7134m.), Chobha Bhamare (6016m), Manaslu (8163m), Himal Chuli (7890m), Annapurna (8091m) and several other peaks can be seen from here. Sunset views over the snowy Himalayan ranges are majestic. It commands magnificent views at all sides, snowy mountains in the north and a bird’s-eye view of Kathmandu City in the west.
There are two major factors to weigh while deciding when to visit Nepal- crowd and weather. As a general rule, the place is crowded whenever the weather is pleasant. Autumn till early winters is a good time to go for trekking. It’s a good idea to reserve rooms well in advance. The visa is usually provided upon arrival for citizens of most countries.