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Nine Places People Miss While Visiting Nepal

Nine Places People Miss While Visiting Nepal

Most of the tourist and travel destinations in and around Nepal are famous for one reason. But tourists who wish to escape traffic and tourist traps should still be searching for some of those lesser-known Nepal attractions. 

Here are a few fascinating and breathtaking locations in Nepal that most people miss, but shouldn't.

9 Places and Things People Miss While Visiting Nepal

Below we have enlisted the places and things that most tourists tend to miss while spending their vacation in Nepal. They are as follows:

  • Visiting the temples in Panauti
  • Bird watching in Koshi Tappu
  • Wildlife spotting in Bardia National Park
  • Visiting the Tea plantations in Ilam
  • Visiting Tansen
  • Buying souvenirs in Janakpur
  • Visiting the Historic town of Gorkha
  • Trying the Newari Cusine of Kirtipur
  • Seeing Changu Narayan in Bhaktapur

The activities, as mentioned earlier, have been briefly described below:

Visiting the Temples in Panauti

Approximately a two-hour drive from central Kathmandu, Panauti has an odd claim to fame. An earthquake has never affected it substantially, and that's believed to be because the town is built on a large piece of a single rock.

It doesn't matter much how scientifically or geologically accurate this is, but the majestic, multi-tiered Indreshwar Temple, which is believed to have been constructed in the 13th century still survives today.

Panauti

Panauti is a largely Newar town, meaning there are plenty of beautiful temples and house architecture to check out. Lush rice fields and hills also surround the town, and it is linked by hiking trails to other nearby towns such as Namo Buddha and Dhulikhel.

Panauti is home to a large-scale homestay network, operated by local women, as well as some modest guesthouses, which provide convenient, tidy, and homey accommodation and meals.

Bird Watching in Koshi Tappu

Enthusiasts of bird watching will especially enjoy a visit to the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve on the south-eastern Terai bordering India. It is situated on the Sapta Koshi River floodplain, which consists of mudflats, reed banks, which marshes with fresh water.

Birdwatching in Koshi Tappu

Here you can find nearly 500 species of birds, so carry a decent pair of binoculars to see watercocks, Indian nightjars, dusky eagle owls, the critically endangered Bengal florican and more. 

The reserve is home to elephants, spotted deers, wild boars and other mammals, as well as birds. Travellers rarely visit this nature sanctuary, but hotels in the area will plan excursions to see birds.

Wildlife spotting in Bardia National Park

Many travellers searching for a nature and forest encounter in Nepal are going straight to Chitwan, as both Kathmandu and Pokhara are convenient for this. 

But a highly worthwhile option is in far west Nepal: Bardia National Park. Many say Chitwan used to be like Bardia before it became too popular with travellers.

Bardia National Park

The Park contains trees and grasslands, and it flows along the Karnali River – the only free-flowing river in Nepal. It is the main National Park in the Terai. 

Like Chitwan, here you can see elephants and rhinoceros, plus there's a fair chance to see the jungle king: the Royal Tiger of Bengal.

Accommodation options are smaller and more accessible but still satisfactory and are based primarily in Thakurdwara. Getting to Bardia National Park from Kathmandu or Pokhara requires a flight to Nepalgunj (or very long bus ride — not recommended), then a two-three-hour drive to the Park.

If you're up for a significant adventure, an excellent way to explore is to take a Karnali River white-water rafting and kayaking trip, which finishes near Bardia and can be extended to encourage you to have an extended stay in the Park.

Visiting the Tea plantations in Ilam

Though neighbouring Darjeeling is a household name in the tea world over the border in India, Ilam plantations are not nearly as well known. 

Ilam

You can pick up Ilam Tea boxes in Kathmandu but travel east to Ilam itself for even fresher things. The hilly tea plantation terrain is suitable for gentle walks and biodiversity to abound in the surrounding forests. 

Ilam is also a decent starting point in eastern Nepal for far more difficult long treks, such as the Lumba Sumba Pass trek.

Visiting Tansen

Tansen, in the hills between Butwal and Pokhara in western Nepal, is in some ways, a stunning location. It is home to the famous Nepali Dhaka cloth, the woven fabric used to make men's topi (hats) and many other traditional garments, as well as being a relatively attractive hill town.

Rani Mahal in Tansen

Also next to Tansen is the Ranighat Palace, an out-of-the-way but fascinating palace on the banks of the Kali Gandaki River in the late 19th century. 

Founded for his wife by General Khadga Shamsher Rana in 1897, he and his family were compelled a few years later to leave Nepal leaving the palace deserted.

The neoclassical blue and white building has been undergoing renovation, and while it appears to be Nepal's reaction to the Taj Mahal may be a minor distortion. It is an intriguing spot to hang out.

Buying souvenirs in Janakpur

One of the main cities of the Terai, Janakpur isn't on the tourist circuit in Nepal, despite having some exciting attractions. The Janaki Mandir (temple) from the late 19th century is constructed in a neo-Rajput style, meaning it's entirely different from any other temples you can find in Nepal.

Janakpur

 It looks as if it will be more at home in western India's deserts than at the Himalayan foot.

Janakpur is also home to the Janakpur Women's Development Centre, where local people produce all sorts of art — paintings, pottery, textiles — both to make a living and keep their traditions alive.

If you can't get it to Janakpur, these crafts are sold around Kathmandu, including at Patan's Pulchowk Road's fair-trade shops Mahaguthi and Sana Hastakala. 

Visiting the Historic town of Gorkha

Despite being a very out-of-the-way hill town nowadays, Gorkha is a historically significant location about an hour of the central Kathmandu to Pokhara highway. Governing Nepal, the Shahs, is the ancestral house of the last royal family. 

Gorkha

As evidence of this remains the Gorkha Durbar which lies high on a hill above the town. The mountain views from Gorkha are exceptional when the weather is perfect. Gorkha town is the district capital of Gorkha, which reaches up to the border with Tibet. 

Some of the best long-distance treks in Nepal fall within the district of Gorkha (such as the Manaslu Circuit Trek) but few visitors swing through the area. Many that do will find some luxurious boutique apartments set in the countryside.

Trying the Newari Cusine of Kirtipur

Kirtipur is a simple half-day ride from Kathmandu (to the north) or Patan (to the East), but this quaint town of Newari doesn't see about as many tourists as other towns in the Kathmandu Valley. 

Newari Cuisine

The town's old part is on a plateau, with a sweeping view of Kathmandu and the Himalayas. One end of the town is primarily Buddhist, and the other is mainly Hindu, as is traditional of Newari cities. 

There are many beautiful temples and in the windows and doorways of homes there are several excellent examples of Newari carving throughout the region.

Kirtipur is considered to have some of Kathmandu's finest and most authentic Newari cuisine.

Visiting Changu Narayan in Bhaktapur

Changu Narayan is situated in the East of the Kathmandu Valley, just north of Bhaktapur. It is believed to be the oldest temple currently in existence in Kathmandu-parts of it dates back to the 5th century. 

Changu Narayan

For Nepali temple architecture its two-story pagoda is significant, as it marks a change between the styles that came before and after it.

Changu Narayan is amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Sites inside the Kathmandu Valley, but maybe since it's away from the main city, it's much less busy than other such sites as Swayambhunath or Pashupatinath.

Changu Narayan is easy to visit or integrated into a multi-day trip across the Kathmandu Valley from Bhaktapur.

 

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