Nature’s Show at Nagarkot

Sunrise on a mountain top with the Himalayas glistening in the morning light behind you. Could anyone ask for a more spectacular view? At Nagarkot mountaintop just outside of Kathmandu you can see this spectacular sight.

The day starts at 4.30am in Kathmandu. Either by private tour guide, tour bus or by your own transportation (Taxi’s are relatively cheap) you can take the journey. It’s a 32Km drive east of Kathmandu, reaching the picturesque district of Bhaktapur.

A slow and steady climb up the mountain path in the darkness is an intriguing journey as you strain your eyes to see what is happening in the quiet, early morning world around you.

Reaching the top of the Mountain at approximately 6am, you have plenty of time to choose the best point for viewing. There are 3 options. The lovely little Tea house to the far left is a small and quaint little place with a stunning view of the sunrise to the east. The other option is to stand on one of the outdoor terraces of the Club Himalaya Nagarkot. The views from this lovely hotel are stunning and if you can’t stand the cold on the winter mornings, go inside for a nice hot breakfast and incredible view.

If you are looking for the complete package, you should head to the Tower view, the highest point at Nagarkot. From here there is a stunning view of the Indrawati river valley to the east. The area has an elevation of 2,195 meters, so you are sure to see all of the amazing surrounds of this valley and the villages that are nestled within the hills. The tower is a simple structure with coloured flags flowing from the tip to the ground, reminding you that you are in the Buddhist following country of Nepal. Apart from the tower, you have an unspoiled 360 degree panoramic view.

I must warn, that it’s not always sunshine and clear views. The morning I went up we unfortuantely were surrounded by a thick fog and the clouds were continuously rolling in and out obstructing our view. Despite the cloudy weather, we had glimpses of the famous Himalayas behind us and were able to sneak a peak at the tip of Everest. As the light begins to cover the area and it seemed as though the sun had risen, we began considering heading back to the restaurant. Then all of a sudden a little ball of red pops out from the clouds and for 5 minutes slowly rises to its heavenly position looking over the earth. Some will get a better view than this and be able to see clearly for miles around, others won’t even get to see the suns glory. On that day though, we were lucky enough to be guests at one of Nature’s most stunning shows.

The fog quickly took over and you realise that thegrand spectacle is over. With freezing fingers and cheeks we shuffled off the mountain top and took the short drive back down to the hotel for a steaming hot buffet breakfast.

A lovely idea is to reach Nagarkot the afternoon before and this way you will get both the Sunset and the sunrise. The Club Himalya Hotel is a little piece of luxury in this natural setting with a pool, spa and spacious rooms decorated in Nepali style. There are also other hotels dotted down the hill but for the full experience, I recommend this one. It’s also possible to walk to the Tower from here.

On your way back down you will see the Nepalese Army training and it’s no wonder the Gurkha army were known as the best in the world. These guys are extremely fit. For example, running up the mountain with a fellow soldier sitting on their shoulders. Look at the picture! You have to see it to believe it.

Nagarkot is a must see when in Nepal and it can be very cheap if you drive up on the same day and come back. You can also make the most of your journey by stopping the Ancient City of Bhaktapur, one of Nepal’s 4 remaining kingdoms.

If you need a guide, contact the wonderful Shadev Panday. We met this delightful gentlemen on top of the mountain. Speaking English, Spanish and Nepali and with a deep knowledge of Nepal, he is the perfect guide.

Mob: 977 9841 348750
Email: panday59@hotmail.com

Sunrise is generally around 6.30am in the winter months, so make sure you are there nice and early.

VISIT NEPAL 2011. NEPAL TOURISM YEAR 2011!

STOP MELTING LIFE, SAVE THE HIMALAYAS

Today is The Global Day of Action on Climate Change, and we should all be standing up and taking notice.

With Climate Change at the top of the World agenda, it was of no surprise to find a group of youths in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square promoting the cause. The people of Nepal are proud of their famous Mountain ranges but all could be lost if things don’t start to change quickly. The young students have realised this and are standing up for their beloved natural beauties.

A group of 10 young people had set up their banner and display on one of the temple monuments in Kathmandu’s most prestigious and cultural centre of Durbar Square. In a peaceful and friendly way they were approaching passers-by to ask them to sign post cards which would be sent to the National Newspaper and the messages printed for the Prime Minister to read. The youths were shouting messages, talking to passers-by and playing gentle music. A very polite and unoffending way of raising awareness about an issue close to their heart and of National concern.

A concert is to be held all day today, 12th December 2009, in the Durbar Square in promotion of the efforts to Stop melting the Himalayas. No easy feat admittedly but the first step is awareness. The concert will again spread the word and hopefully get more people interested in the topic. The concert will be held in Basantapur.

With the Nepalese Government paing special attention to this issue in more recent times, even hosting their meeting at Everest Base Camp, changes should start to occur in Nepal. The strong focus and movement has been taken by the Nepalese representatives to the World Summit in Copenhagen and the message from Nepal is clear, they care.

Climate Change Network Nepal has initiated this campaign in order to highlight the plight og the poorest and most vulnerable communities of Nepal. This campaign is intented to raise the profile of an issue affecting the country and taking voices of the poorest and most vulnerable population int he global platform to make a sustainable deal which will benefit them.

The group is urging people of the world to stand up and take notice of this epic campaign and actively take part in making changes in our world. The message from Nepal is ‘STOP MELTING LIFE, SAVE THE HIMALAYAS’. Let’s help to spread the word and really make the change.

See Climate Change Network Nepal’s website for more information:

http://www.ccnn.org.np/

Natural Nepal

Here I am in the beautiful, natural and picturesque Nepal. I’m visiting friends and will only be in Nepal for a total of 10 days, sadly it’s already halfway through the trip. Time just goes too quickly when one travels. This is a quick summary of what I have been doing so far with many more detailed articles and tips to come from this interesting and dynamic country.

2nd Dec

  • Delhi- Kathmandu flight delayed 1.5 hours, arrived 9.30am.
  • Quick stop to the house I would be staying in with my friend Sundar.
  • Drive to Pokhara, approx. 5 hours. 200km from Kathmandu.
  • Drove through Dhading District, famous for supply of vegetables of all varieties.
  • Malekhu- Famous for fish, also a spot for young Nepalese to come and party.
  • Manakamana – 10 minute cable car to the top where there is a temple which is said to make all your dreams come true. Very Holy Place.
  • Arrived Pokhara 6pm. Walk to Lakeside.

3rd Dec

POHKARA

  • Western Region.
  • Lake Fewa, boat rides and temple Talbarahi.

  • Breakfast at the FEWA LAKE RESTAURANT.
  • Motorbike is a great way to get around the Pokhara and really see the 360 degree great view.
  • Devi’s Falls.
  • Gupteshower Caves (no photos allowed).
  • Bindabasini Temple – Saw a wedding take place.
  • Seti Gorge- See the raging river coming under Pokara from the melting       glaciers
  • Mahendra Caves.
  • Lunch at Thi’k Tha’k. Located in the Tourist Area. Great Nepali and western cuisine.
  • Saw Disabled Day March through a town of greater Pokhara.
  • Lake Begnash – Most serene and calm place with boat rides and fish farms.

  • Dinner at our lovely little hotel, HOLIDAY POKHARA HOTEL.

4th Dec

POKHARA – CHITWAN

  • STRIKE in Damauli.  2 hours, no cars allowed to go through – UN arrived   and only ambulances allowed through. Regular occurence in Nepal these days.
  • Drove through Muglin, main HUB for bus and car transportation to the       rest of Nepal and the divide for Pokhara to the Southern and Western part of Nepal.
  • Souraha, CHITWAN. Chitwan National Park is a tourist hot spot for the       elephant riding, river activities- canoeing, fishing and boating, jungle treks and relaxing.
  • Boat ride in canoe down the river to ELEPHANT BREEDING CENTRE. Less than Aus$1 entry and I got to pat and name a baby elephant, Malachyte.

  • Cocktails at the riverbank – SUNSET VIEW RESTAURANT & BAR.
  • Tharu Culture Program at night. Stick and peacock dance which is specific to this region and the ethnic group of the Tharu people.

5th Dec

CHITWAN – KATHMANDU

  • Breakfast in our hotel,  RIVERSIDE HOTEL, next to Budagandaki River
  • Go to Baghmara (translation Tiger Killer) for Elephant Ride, 1450 rps           (Nepalese rupees) for 1.5 hours through Jungle. We saw deer, peacocks,     kingfishers, 2 x rhino plus a baby rhino and more birds.


  • Drive back to Kathmandu at 12pm.
  • Noticed NARANYAN GHAT, this is where the road divides to lead to the  Western part (Lumbini, birth place of Buddha in this direction, road to        Kathmandu and the Southern and Eastern part. Interesting and busy section of the country.
  • Lunch at the lovely RIVERSIDE VILLAGE RESORT. Luxurious hotel on the river bank with white water rafting nearby, trekking, swimming pool and relaxation.
  • Return to Kathmandu 4.5 hours from Chitwan by car, perhaps 6 hours in   the bus with no strikes.
  • Dinner in the home of my friendSundar with wife, daughter and two nieces.  Amazing experience to stay in a real Nepali home.

6th Dec

HOME DAY, Kathmandu

  • Typical Nepali day at home\due to STRIKE. No cars, bikes or buses               allowed to move. Most shops closed. Cars were burnt in the centre of            Kathmandu in the morning as they were breaking the rules of the strike,     according to the Maoists.
  • Walk around the local area to visit the carpenter who is making the               families furniture.
  • Washed my own clothes BY HAND. Now I am true Nepali women. Washing  the clothes on the rooftop with the Himalayas in the background.
  • Made traditional Nepali food, Momo’s, in the afternoon with all the girls. Delicious!
  • After 6pm, strike lifted. Went to Thamel, the main tourist area, to visit my  friend from Australia, photographer Krystle Wright                             (www.wrightfoto.com.au)
  • Dinner and drinks at the famous RUMDOODLE 40,000 ½ feet. Trekkers   can right on giant foot placards and stick them all over the restaurant

The adventures in Nepal continue. Stay tuned!

NB: Strikes are currently occurring on a regular basis in Nepal due to the Maoist movement. The UCPN Maoist ‘political’ group plan the strikes across the country, stopping most trade, all transport movements and bringing the country to a practical standstill. Tourists and visitors from other countries should know that it is still safe to be in Nepal at these times and flights will still be operating out of most airports. The strikes are more of an inconvenience to tourists for transport reasons and lack of opportunity to see sites, rather than a threat or danger.