Adorned with the gleaming Himalayas, Nepal is a beautiful tapestry of diverse races, cultures, languages, castes, and ethnicities. The natural beauty of the country is second to none and boasts many wonders that can enchant the human mind and spirit. Similarly, the welcoming personality and humble nature of Nepalese are addictive to millions of foreign travelers. As such, there are many facts and enigmas about Nepal that you should know whether you plan to travel to the country or not.
Home to Highest Himalayas in the World
The Himalayas are probably the biggest identity of Nepal in the world. What Nepal lacks in size, it makes up for the extreme altitude of the Himalayas. The country alone hosts 8 of the ten highest Himalayas in the world. Mt. Everest (8848m) is the face of Himalayan adventure in Nepal as it is the tallest mountain in the world.
Similarly, the other mountains on the list are Kanchenjunga (8586m), Lhotse (8516m), Makalu (8481m), Cho Oyu (8201m), Dhaulagiri (8167m), Manaslu (8163m), and Annapurna I (8091m).
Country of the Extremes
Tucked within the borders of Nepal, many extreme locations are worth exploring and admiring. The Mt. Everest (8848m) leads the charge along with the deepest valley in the world- Arun Valley and many other extreme places. The Kali Gandaki Gorge situated between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayas is the deepest in the world.
Similarly, the grassland in Chitwan is regarded as the tallest grassland in the world. Thorung La Pass (5416m) is said to be the biggest mountain pass in the world, whereas Tilicho Lake (4920m) is the highest lake in the world.
Origin of Yoga and Meditation
Nepal is believed to be the origin of yoga and meditation in the ancient times. The evidence of such a claim dates back to around 28,000 years. The Ruru Kshetra in Nepal is said to have been the destination Indian Hindus came to learn yoga, meditation, tantra, and Vedic culture.
Since then, yoga and meditation have spread across the world and become a part of our lifestyle. Even today, there are countless places, centers, and schools dedicated to teaching the right way to practice yoga and meditation.
Rich Biodiversity in Protected Areas
Nepal is prosperous in terms of protected areas and the biodiversity that they house. 23.39 % of the total land is covered by areas like national parks, wildlife reserves, conservation areas, and buffer zones.
As such, Chitwan National Park, Sagarmatha National Park, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, and Annapurna Conservation Area are some of the famous protected areas in the country.
Birthplace of Gautam Buddha
Lumbini, in southern Nepal, is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha- the founder of Buddhism. Kapilvastu was the capital of the ancient Shakya kingdom, where Siddhartha Gautam was born as a prince. Later, the prince abandoned his home and began his journey to attain enlightenment.
After his transformation took place, he was recognized as Gautam Buddha. Mayadevi Temple, Ashoka Pillar, World Peace Pagoda, and numerous monasteries are a part of this pilgrimage destination. Additionally, Lumbini is also recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
Nepal has never been colonized!
One of Nepal and Nepalese’s historical facts are most proud of the fact that Nepal has never been under foreign rule. Since the unification of Nepal by the first king of Nepal- Prithvi Narayan Shah, Nepal has upheld its sovereignty either under a monarch or a democratic republic government. Nepal has a history of standing against foreign invasions recorded in the Anglo-Nepalese War between the then Nepal and British East India Company.
Diverse Ethnic Groups, Culture, and Languages
Nepal offers staggering diversity in its demographics within a relatively small span of land. More than 126 ethnic groups call Nepal their home, and around 129 different languages have been recorded.
As such, each group has its own cultural identity, which is observed from daily practices, cultural rituals, and religious beliefs. Travelers can enjoy this fantastic variation first-hand on their trips to Nepal.
Tasty Local Cuisines
The diversity in ethnic communities across Nepal also adds to the variation and abundance of food cuisines and dishes. While Dal Bhat Tarkari is the Nepalese’s staple food, each ethnic community has its cuisine, recipe, and even ways to consume food. Newari, Tibetan, Gurung, Tharu, and Lohorung Cuisines are also quite popular among locals and travelers.
Momo is the favorite dish of the entire nation, whereas other food dishes like Bara, Chataamari, Kachilaa, Dhedo, Thukpa, Gundruk, and various meat items are some of the ethnic dishes.
Joyous Celebrations and Festivities
Owning to the multicultural roots of the country, there are many festivals and celebrations spread across the calendar. Since all the religions in the country share an exemplary harmony, the festivals in Nepal are celebrated by all people regardless of their religion, culture, or ethnicity. Dashain, Tihar, Chhath, Holi, Eid, Christmas, and Buddha Jayanti are some major festivals.
A plethora of Travel Destinations
This is where Nepal truly shines. All the tourist attractions, diverse cultures, food cuisine, festivities, and protected areas blend to create an unforgettable travel experience.Trekking in Nepal, peak climbing, expedition, hiking, tours, cultural exploration, and adventure sports are just a few ways to explore Nepal.
From Kathmandu and Pokhara to Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp to Limi Valley and Swargadwari, there are countless possibilities for Nepal’s travel and travel destinations.
Nepal is among the finest places to travel in the entire world. The unadulterated nature and authentic cultural display are too good to ignore. Additionally, the warm Nepalese are a friendly bunch, no matter where you travel across Nepal. So, Nepal is more than just a destination to break your routine. Here, you can find a new perspective to enjoy life and find peace in the little things that dictate our life. Travel to Nepal and relish the coming together of nature, people, and culture!