A country nestled in the Himalayas


It was 9 in the morning when I arrived at the Tribhuvan International Airport of Nepal. Everything looked different. I was visiting  after a really long time. In case you do not know much about Nepal, I am going to give a brief introduction.

Nepal is a small Himalayan country, located in  between China and India. 8 out of  the 10 highest mountains in the world are in Nepal. The highest peak in the world, Everest is probably the most popular tourist site in the country. Nepal is rich in natural resources as well as history. The inscriptions and old cravings found in the ancient monuments suggest that Nepal is at least 3500 years old. The main religions of Nepal are Hinduism and Buddhism. Siddhartha Gautama, who is the founder of Buddhism was born in Nepal in the 6th century B.C. There are 102 castes and ethnic groups in Nepal, and they speak 92 languages. Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal.

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Well, that is it for a brief introduction. Let us get back to the trip. I visited many interesting places, but I am going to introduce only three.

Swoyambhu

Swoyambhu

The first is Swoyambhunath, which is a Buddhist shrine complex.It is located in a hill, west of Kathmandu Valley. You have to climb 365 steps to reach the shrine. It was built 1500 years ago. It is one of the many UNESCO world heritages of Nepal. The Buddhist chants and prayers are mixed in the air there. I always feel peaceful whenever I go there.

Red Panda in the zoo

Red Panda in the zoo

Nepal has many national parks and natural reserves, but there is only one zoo. It is the Central Zoo of Patan, built in 1932. There are so many exotic animals and birds in the zoo. Tigers, Asiatic elephants, Himalayan bears, clouded leopards, alligators, etc. are some of the species found in Nepal. You can also see hippopotamus, ostrich, emu, hyena and other animals from foreign countries. The animal that I really wanted to see was Red Panda. It is found only in the Himalayas. It looks like a panda but has a furry tail.

Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square

The last one is The Patan Durbar Square. It is a palace complex, consisting of temples, monuments, pillars and palaces. Most of the monuments were built in 1600s, but the complex is ancient. It is also a UNESCO world heritage. The traditional art and  architecture are majestic and magnificent.  You can always find crowd of foreigners wandering around, spellbound by the glory of the monuments.

It was a short but wonderful stay. It helped me remember what I had forgotten after living so many years in a foreign country.

Nepal is a small developing country. The difficult geography makes the country vulnerable to all kinds of natural disasters and affects the transportation and telecommuncation. The natural resources do contribute to the economic development, but they can also become hindrance. It is a boon and also a curse. The population is growing, and most of the people do not have access to the things that we often take for granted. People are discriminated on the basis of religion, caste and language. It is outrageous.

I do not know when and how the situation will change. I am not sad, and I am not angry. I just hope that people will realize the importance of helping and understanding each other. That will definitely change the situation of Nepal.

Namaste!!

You might find the links below useful if you want to more about Nepal:

http://welcomenepal.com/promotional/know-nepal/nepals-history/

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/nepal

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2 thoughts on “A country nestled in the Himalayas

  1. I’ve got a friend who is visiting Nepal right now, she’s visiting Nepal but traveling to Mustang. Wish I had gone with her. Maybe next year. Great post.

    • Thank you very much for your comment. I appreciate it. Mustang is a really beautiful place. I hope your friend will have an amazing time in Nepal.

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