30 kms east of Kathmandu lies the small resort town of Dhulikhel set on a hill top, enveloped in copper soiled terraces with magnificent views of the central Himalayan peaks. Dhulikhel is well known for its sunrise views and a number of day trails lead along the north ridge of the town. A good way to get a glimpse of Nepalese village life.
Lumbini, the birthplace of lord Gautam Buddha, is the pilgrimage destination of the world’s millions of Buddhists. The main attraction at Lumbini remains the sacred garden spread over 8 sq. kms and possessing all the treasures of this historical area. The Mayadevi temple (under reconstruction) is the main attraction for pilgrims and archaeologists alike. This site, identified by the Indian Emperor Ashoka’s commemorative pillar is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. To the south of the pillar, we find the sacred pond Puskarni, where Queen Mayadevi had her bath just before giving birth to the Buddha. Other attractions include the various monasteries and stupas erected by different Buddhist countries.
The name of Namche Bazaar is generally associated with that of Sagarmatha or Mt. Everest, the highest point on earth. It is the entrance to the Everest region and is 241 kms from Kathmandu and located at an altitude 3,440m. Trekkers cover this distance in 9 days from Jiri town. As the largest settlement in the Everest region Namche Bazaar now boasts of its own electricity generated from the Dudhkoshi river. One can also reach Namche Bazaar by flight to Lukla and then a 2 days trek through Phakding.
Chitwan National Park (932 sq. kms)
Just a 5 hour drive from Kathmandu or a 4 hour drive from Pokhara or a 20 minutes flight from Kathmandu, Royal Chitwan National Park is proud to be called Asia’s best managed park and is home to over 50 species of mammals, 55 species of amphibians and reptiles and 525 species of birds. Wildlife that thrive here include; the great one-horned Asian Rhinoceros, Gaur, wild Bison, sloth Bear, four different species of Deer, the Rhesus Monkey and the black-faced Langur, the spotted Leopard, Royal Bengal Tiger, the fish-eating Gharial, the flesh-eating marsh Crocodile and the Gangetic Dolphin among many others. The birdlife too is very rich and varied and a delight for Ornithologists. A number of jungle lodges & camps operate inside and on the periphery of the park. They offer activities such as; elephant back safaris through the jungle in search of wildlife, nature walks, jungle drives to spot animals, canoe rides to see crocodiles & water-birds, tribal village visits etc; In the evenings, slide shows on Nepalese flora & fauna and Tharu tribal folk dances are also held.
For those seeking the ultimate pan Himalayan view, Daman is the place to visit. Located 80kms southwest of the Kathmandu valley, Daman (2,400m) offers the only unimpeded view of the entire Himalayan range. Daman is located on the Tribhuvan Highway between Kathmandu and the town of Birgunj. There is a view tower fitted with long range telescopes.
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (175 sq. kms)
Just 1 hour flight towards east from Kathmandu to Biratnagar and 2 hrs drive, the Kosi Tappu is one of the best places in Nepal to view migratory and native water fowls; waders and shore birds during the winter months. Many species not recorded elsewhere in the region have been found here. Thousands of birds congregate here in January, February and March before they migrate north when the warm weather begins. Well-qualified nature guides take clients out on walks, jeep drives and boat rides to look for birds and the Arna, wild buffalo found only here in Nepal. We recommend to combine this tour with treks in the eastern hills or with a tour to Bhutan & Sikkim or with a Sunkosi rafting trip.
Bardia National Park (968 sq. kms)
Bardia National Park situated in western Terai of Nepal is one of largest undisturbed parks in the region. The park is the home of many endangered animals, reptiles and birds - including the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger. A few years ago, under a successful wildlife project several young one-horned rhinos where translocated here from Royal Chitwan National Park. Over the years, Bardia has also been a good place for tiger viewing - a rare event anywhere. Recently sightings of a group of wild elephants have further enhanced the wildlife experience possible in this beautiful and unspoiled sanctuary. A stay in this park is recommended with the combination of a short raft trip down the Karnali and Bheri rivers or with a trek to Dolpo and the Rara lake area in far western Nepal.
Tansen, a colourful hill town is situated at an altitude of 1,450m. It is the most popular summer resort in western Nepal on account of its location and climate. It has the most extensive views of the country’s chief attraction the Himalaya; from Dhaulagiri in the west to Gaurishankar in the north east. Walking around Tansen town is interesting or short day hike to Ridi can be a rewarding experience. It takes just five hours by car from Pokhara to reach Tansen or just a couple of hours drive from Lumbini.