Bhutan or Nepal , Bhutan or Nepal – as we were discussing our next travel plans ,pat came a really convincing & authoritative reply , “Nepal jaiye bhaiya ,bohat khoobsurat hai ” (Go to Nepal bro,it’s beautiful ) .It was Shiv Prasad , the cook at my Dad’s place who happens to be from Nepal only. Believe it or not , we simply believed his words and straightaway booked our flights for Kathmandu .
Nepal is obviously not too far from India but the problem is that we Indians take this “Not too far” term way too seriously and so we get over casual as if Nepal is only about 100 meters or so away. Leave international , we even refuse to acknowledge it as a domestic destination which requires flight.You bat an eyelid and bang ,Nepal it is. Further I was of the view that since Indians don’t need a Visa for Nepal so there will be no Immigration check while departing or arriving and hence we reached terminal T-3 Terminal,New Delhi barely 2 hours or so to go for the flight.We were really going easy till we got to know that there will be proper Immigration check for Nepal too and we had to stand in a really long que for the same.We panicked a little but then I recalled ,hey we are having a 5 year old kiddo with us, that too of our own. That’s it,to hell with the ques .Like some Royalty , we straightway headed for special assistance counter and got our passports stamped within minutes.Kids I tell you are really useful,if not helpful, during international departures.
Oh sorry, the Title reads ‘On the streets of Nepal’ and here I am discussing nitty gritties of our ordinary airport experience. Hello Nepal, here we go :
Day 1 – Kathmandu
The moment you land at Kathmandu Airport , you feel happy to have chosen Nepal for the view is so beautiful with Nature all around .
After collecting pre-paid sims cards from airport itself , we headed straight for our Hotel which was located right in the middle of a very popular market and favorite hang out & dine area of Tourists called Thamel which is so full of life all the time . After a rest of an hour or so, we headed straight for the busy thamel streets , exploring the shops,the food and the people.
Thamel , Kathmandu
# Travel Tip – You need not worry about Currency exchange or Sim cards while travelling to Nepal. Like most of the countries ,everything is readily and easily available at the Airport itself at a reasonable price.
Day 2 – The Dashain Festival & Travel to Pokhara
It was Dashain that day .
What we call Dusherra Festival in India is called Dashain in Nepal however unlike India, Dashain (or dusherra) and not Diwali ,is probably the biggest festival of Nepal as everyone there was so excited and so happy that day. But for tourists ,there is a catch as almost whole of Nepal is closed on this day as people go to their native villages to be with their Families . But unknowingly ,this worked to our advantage as we had to travel to pokhara by taxi that day as per our itinerary and hence we enjoyed a wonderful road trip with very little traffic on our way to Pokhara. Though most of the shops were closed but we could see Dashain trending everywhere :
Bamboo swings & traditional ‘Tikka’ during Dashain festival
After about 5.5 hours of travel , we reached Pokhara . As we checked in , this mesmerizing view greeted us from our room balcony :
View from the Hotel , Lake side , Pokhara
Thanks to this kiss of nature , we spent nearly 2-3 hours in the balcony itself before heading for Dinner.
# Travel Tip – If you are planning for a Nepal Tour around September end or so, then do include Dashain day in the plan and fix travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara or whatever other place you wish to go on Dashain day itself as there is almost zero traffic over otherwise very crowed routes.But please carry some snacks or quick eats for on the way hunger as you won’t find much roadside on Dashain day.
Day 3 & 4 – Pokhara & travel back to Kathmandu
After a brief evening stroll a day earlier , we left for Sightseeing in & around Pokhara on Day 3 :
Davis Fall or the Devi’s Fall – A popular waterfall with ferocious intensity of water flow
Gupteshwar Mahadev Caves,Pokhara – Beautiful & mystic caves formed naturally within a Hill.
Seti River, Pokhara – a river with natural white water
Rare Pigeons of possibly every colour at the Bindhya Basini Temple,Pokhara
Boat ride & Tal Barahi Temple visit, Phewa lake, Pokhara – Temple is located on an Island right in the middle of this beautiful lake surrounded by lush green mountains
In the evening, we ( or rather my wife Nishtha) decided to head for main market area of Pokhara for some shopping and we were not disappointed .Besides the Nature’s dominance during the day, the glittering market at night, oozing with lively Tourist vibes all around,makes Pokhara a must visit during your Nepal tour.
If you are looking for some Yummy vegetarian Indian food,then straightway head for this “Marwari Restaurant” in the main market area of Pokhara and follow the same with some Delicious Ice-cream scoops at the Ice cream parlour in the immediate vicinity on the lake side :
Day 5 – Bhaktapur & Nagarkot
On our penultimate day before departure, we left for sightseeing around Kathmandu :
Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu – The famous Buddhist stupa which is kind of a mini buddhist City in itself.
Devi temple ,Bhakatapur – Bhakatapur is one of those places in Nepal which suffered huge damages during 2015 Earthquake.This Devi Temple was the highest building in Nepal for a very long time ,though it no more holds this laurel thanks to massive concrete structures coming up.
Nagarkot – It’s basically a spot about 1.5 hours drive from Kathmandu , which is at a substantial elevation and hence you can have a wonderful view of the whole kathmandu city by scaling a watch tower .There’s nothing much to this place other than the scenic frame and you can easily skip this from your wishlist if you want to.
The famous Pashupatinath Temple near Kathmandu
Garden of Dreams , Thamel ,Kathmandu – It’s a beautiful and very well maintained garden where you can enjoy your time after a tiring sightseeing day.
# Travel Tip – Taxis are way too costly at Nepal.To save some good bucks, book the taxi for the whole tour – from airport pick up on Day 1 to airport drop on the last day (including all the travel/sightseeing in between) – in advance from any of the travel portals of your respective country which have some sort of tie up with travel agencies of Nepal.I booked through Yatra.com from India before departing.
Day 6 – Flight Back Home
After pure surrender and immersion in the Nature’s warmth for 5 days, we reluctantly headed for Kathmandu airport for flight back to India.
Saying final goodbye to Prem, the wonderful guy who drove us through Nepal on all 5 days
#Travel Tip : For my Indian friends , most of the Credit cards issued by Indian banks work readily in Nepal however if you are carrying Debit card,then please do recheck that it is unlocked & available for international Transactions. As for the cash,well all Indian Currency notes worth Rs. 1OO & below are acceptable there however Rs. 200,Rs.500 & Rs. 2000 Indian Currency Notes are banned as of now.
Nepal is beautiful beyond doubt and people of Nepal are equally beautiful at heart, very helpful,polite and honest, thereby making almost all the major sightseeing/shopping destinations super safe for tourists .
Besides, Nepal sets perfect example for Women empowerment as you will find women being involved and working almost everywhere ,in all kinds of business along with their male counterparts.
Also,there is substantial presence of Budha all over Nepal for your spiritual hunger :
However one thing that was disturbing and made us upset time & again there was that even though Nepal is wonderful for tourists but for majority of the locals there , life is really very tough . I sincerely wish that will change the next time I visit this Beautiful Country . But the best part is that people are still happy and not complaining at all and the way they have rebuilt Nepal brick by brick after the unfortunate earthquake demands salute to their passion for life.
On a concluding note , Check out few random Shots from Nepal :
1.Junior showing some attitude
2.Entanglement : My state of mind before I started Meditating
3.Meeting with The Spiritual Guy
4.Enjoying the Bliss brought by Meditation
5.Junior Getting Inspired
I hope you liked our journey through Nepal.
Would love to hear your thoughts & feedback. Please do share the post if you found it interesting .
Namaste & Good bye till my next write up !!
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