Nepal in November – Travel tips

The peak tourist season continues till the third week of November. The dry and moderate temperature, crisp sky and clear view of the Himalayas attract large number of tourists. By November, the biggest festivals of Nepal (Dashain and Tihar) also end. This ease the availability of transportation and other logistic services resumes to its full potential. While popular trekking trails of Annapurna, Everest and Langtang over crowed with trekkers in the early November, the number reduces by the mid November. So starting the popular treks in mid November one can avoid the tourist crowd and still enjoy the good weather of Autumn.

nepal-trek-november
Everest trek in November

Nepal weather in November

The vertically rising landscape of Nepal has different climatic zones. Accordingly temperature, wind and precipitation varies with altitude. In general November is dry month with the comfortable temperature and clear blue sky offering crystal clear view of the Himalayas.

The temperature in the capital ranges between 8 – 24 ° C. Pokhara will be warmer by one or two degree.

The maximum average temperature of Chitwan national park will be 28 degree centigrade with no rainy day. Warm and sunny day make the animal come out to bask in the sun and the visibility remains clear throughout the day.

The temperature of Namche bazaar at 3,440 m ranges between -3 to 10 °C.

The temperature at Everest base camp may go down to – 18 °C at night and around 2° C during the day.

Similarly Annapurna base camp temperature will range between – 9 to 8° C

7-day-nepal-tour

Nepal Travel Tips for November

  • If you time is flexible, start your trek to popular trails of Annapurna and Everest in mid November.
  • Book your tour, trek or other logistics well in advance as it is peak tourist season. 
  • Choose remote trek, or alternate routes those avoid crowded trails. There are many alternate routes and treks based on community lodges in Annapurna and Everest.
  • Bring your own sleeping bags or make sure your trekking package includes a sleeping bag.
  • The biggest festival of Nepal, Dashain and Tihar may fall in November. The mass movement of locals make the transportation and other services scarce during the festival time.
  • Keep your itinerary flexible to consider delays and cancellation because of traffic.
  • Main days of the festival will have restaurants and shops closed.

short-everest-trek

Nepal tours for November

The extension of road, airstrip and accommodations make it possible to visit even the remote corners of the Himalayas without strenuous, multi-day trekking. Few tourist hubs like Lakeside of Pokhara, Thamel of Kathmandu and Sauraha of Chitwan get crowded with tourists in November.

Hill station towns like Bandipur, Gorkha, Tansen and Daman gives true insight of Nepalese countryside with enchanting view of the Himalayas. The Bardia national park is still is pristine like what Chitwan used to be some 30 years back.

Similarly it is possible to drive to Jomsom / Muktinath and do side trips to village like Lubra, Larjung, Dhumba Lake and many more.

The community based homestays provide unique opportunities of cultural encounters.

BBoudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu
Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu

Nepal treks for November

The first half of the November is still peak tourist season and the popular trekking trails of Annapurna and Everest get crowded. If you are trekking to Everest base camp or Annapurna base camp, we suggest you to start your trek in mid November to avoid the crowd.

November is also the best time for less traveled Manaslu trek, Dhaulagiri trek, Rolwalling and Kanchanjunga trek.

There are also alternate route and community lodge based treks in Annapurna. A trek to Khayer Lake (4,500) or Mohare danda (3,300 m) is less traveled, ‘off the beaten path’ trek.

The ‘Three pass trek’ of Everest is more adventurous and mostly avoids the crowded trail.

poon-hill-annapurna


Nepal offers adventure of all level for people of all age group. There are gentle walking trips to challenging treks in Nepal. ‘i Tour Nepal P Ltd’ have been organizing treks and tours in the Himalayas for family with kids and senior citizens. October and November is the best time of the year for tour of Nepal. Visit our website or write us to customize best off the beaten path treks and tours in the Himalayas.

Nepal in October

October is the beginning of main tourist season for Nepal. The moderate temperature, dry weather and clear sky makes it the best time for Nepal tour and trek. While the monsoon months of July and August remains busy for locals, October is time to celebrate. Major holidays and festivals falls around end of September and October. The local movement for holiday and tourist crowd however makes the services scarce. But well planned trip in October is rewarding.

everest-trek-thamsherku
Mt Thamsherku in Everest trek

Nepal Weather in October

October has crisp skies throughout the country. Temperature of the places varies with altitude. Kathmandu and Pokhara will have pleasant temperature ranging from maximum average 27 degree centigrade and minimum average 13 degree centigrade. Similarly temperature of places like Jomsom and Lukla at 2,800 m ranges between 15 to -3 degree centigrade. Similar the tropical regions like Lumbini and Chitwan national park will have temperature ranging from 30 – 19 degree centigrade. Higher you go the temperature falls down. The average raining days in October is about 3 days.

In general this is the perfect weather to travel to Nepal.

Short trek in Annapurna
Short trek in Annapurna

Travel tips for October

  • Choose off the beaten path treks and tours to avoid the crowd.
    Plan your Nepal trip well in advance if your travel dates are fixed for October. The festival holiday movement and the tourist crowd in October make flight, ground transportation and accommodation scarce.
  • Avoid the crowed tourist destinations.
    The popular tour destinations and treks like Annapurna and Everest are over crowed. There are ways to avoid crowded trails and popular tourist destinations.
  • Pack with dresses in layers
    Temperature in October changes from scorching heat to cold at night. Temperature also varies with altitude. While walking, it is warm but as you sit for lunch or walk in the level, it may start to get cold. Dress in layers to help with the changing temperature.
  • Carry sleeping bag
    If you are trekking for over a week and going to the base camp, you may have to sleep in the dinning / dormitory or tent. So it is must to carry warm sleeping back.

senior-citizen-1

Nepal tour in Monsoon

July, August and September is monsoon rainy season in Nepal. Monsoon rain clouds smolder from the Bay of Bengal in Indian Ocean and moves along the southern flank of the Himalayas. The monsoon rain lasts for about 105 days from mid June to mid September. Monsoon brings 80% of the country’s rainfall. While some days will see incessant rain for few days, it mostly rains in the afternoon or at night. It mostly remains partially cloudy with scorching heat during the day. The period of torrential rain triggers landslides and flooding across the country. These months are also hot and humid. The rain cools down the temperature making the nights more pleasant.

nepal-july
Annapurna seen through the window of clouds in July

July and August are the main rainy months with average rainfall of 350 mm and 300 mm respectively. Being an agricultural country, the monsoon rain also brings happiness among the farmers. Rice is the main staple food of Nepal. The rice plantation relies on monsoon rain. Once the monsoon starts, rice plantation officially begins with ‘Ropain Festival’ meaning the paddy day in July. Schools remain closed as the families need more manpower to finish the transplantation of the saplings.

Nepal Tour in Monsoon

Boudhanath stupa of Kathmandu
Boudhanath stupa of Kathmandu

The month of July and August have the worst weather conditions for trekking and tour in Nepal. The overgrowth of shrubs, muddy and slippery trails, landslide, flooding and the agricultural rush make it more challenging to travel.

However if these are the only months you can travel, there are few trips relatively more enjoyable. Except on some days, it mostly rains in the late afternoon or at night. Also the rain cools down the summer temperature. If it rains at night, it may clear in the morning for the Himalayan views. Himalayas are hidden behind the dense clouds most of the time.

The rain starts to subside by the end of August. The weather starts to improve in September. Temperature cools down and it rains only in few days in September. September is the beginning of touring season for Nepal. Nepal tour in September benefits with fewer tourists, low cost and the festivity. Here are some of the recommended trips for July, August and September.

 

Nepal Tibet Tour

The Himalayas block the monsoon clouds keeping Tibet dry and cool. Also the summer temperature makes the high ground of Tibet more bearable which remains frozen during winter. This is best time to visit Tibet. Because of Tibet visa and permit regulations most of the foreigners travel to Tibet from Nepal. While tourists are waiting for Tibet visa, they go on a day hike for acclimatization and the sightseeing around Kathmandu. Nepal Tibet tour is the most popular thing to do during Monsoon.

Mustang Trek

Mustang is politically in Nepal but culturally and geographically it is Tibet. The hidden kingdom stayed aloof from the trouble its neighbors went through in the last century. Hence, the Tibetan culture is preserved in its original form until it was open in 1992.
Being beyond the soaring peaks of Annapurna massif, it remains relatively dry during the monsoon season. Fewer tourists, the rain shadow and the reduced off season price make Mustang trek, the best trekking for monsoon months.

tiji-festival

Spiritual and culture tour of Nepal

Spiritual and cultural tours of Nepal can be organized problem free during the monsoon months. Nepal have been safe haven from several spiritual and cultural practices for time immemorial. The mountainous landscape, dense jungle and gushing rivers kept even the mightiest enemies at bay for long time. Several spiritual practices and cultural groups in the verge of extension are protected in Nepal. There are several power places and meditation caves used by ancient Buddhist and Hindu sages. Since Spiritual and cultural tours involved driving, sightseeing and cultural experiences, the monsoon clouds and rain doesn’t make much different. Understand the occult Tantric practices, unique Vajrayana Buddhism of Kathmandu valley, consult with Jyotishi (Asian astrologer) and Ayurvedic doctor (ancient Vedic herbal medicine), meet the shaman, learn Yoga and meditation. Spiritual tour of Nepal mostly involves visit of heritage and cultural sites of spiritual significance, watch locals practice and discourse with spiritual masters and expert guide. This is also a best way to immerse into local culture as it is low tourist season and the tour activities allows you to interact more with locals.

monk-lumbini
Monks praying at Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha

‘i Tour Nepal’ has been organizing tour of Nepal Tibet and Bhutan for over two decades. We are specialized in private customized tour in the Himalayas. Write us or visit our website – iTourNepal.com for more information on travelling to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal in monsoon.

Upper Mustang driving tour

Driving to Upper Mustang was not thought possible until few years back. But jeep tour of 4wd tour to the walled city of Lo is the most intriguing adventure road trip in the Himalayas. The land that was forbidden until 1992 can be accessed by road in a short trip of about a week. Driving to the fabled, hidden walled capital of Lo Manthang, one can experience the landscape beyond the Himalayas and the majestic snow peaks. What makes it more exciting is the intact Tibetan Buddhism and culture practiced with freedom and smile unlike in Tibet.

tiji-festival
The advent of dirt road has shortened the travelling time and also made the journey less stressful. But the harsh and remote landscape at the high altitude, basic accommodation, unfavorable weather conditions and costly special permits are still keeps Upper Mustang away from the mass tourism. The driving tour is not a luxury one on the bumpy dirt road winding through the world’s deepest gorge wedged between Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) and Annapurna I (8,091 m). However the road have opened an opportunity for those who have dreamed about Upper Mustang but were put off by the idea of long and challenging trekking.upper-mustang-trek
Even though the access and physical effort have been made easier by the extension of road, the experience of Mustang haven’t changed. The colorful, eroding arid valley with yet honeycomb caves is highly wild and surreal. The Chortens (Stupa) and Khanis (traditional entrance gate) colored in three vertical strips still make perfect picture with the Himalayan background. The Tibetan style houses, Mane walls and monasteries still preserve the essence of Mustang. The patches of tillable land and terraces still grows barley, potatoes, apple and buck wheat. High pastures are grazed by Yaks and sheep. Polyandrous family is still the need of some households.
Driving quickly you may easily escape major highlights. So driving slowly with enough time to explore around and enjoy the landscape and scenery is important.

lo-manthang

Here are some of the highlights not to miss on the driving tour of Mustang.

  • Drive through the world’s deepest gorge wedged between Dhaulagiri 8,167 m and Annapurna I (8,091 m). Stay overnight in Lete or stop for the magnificent view of both Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. The place is where the southern lush valley turns into arid alpine landscape and windy valley.
  • Apple orchard and distilleries of Tukuche and Marpha. Tukuche and Marpha are the largest Thakali villages. Thakalis were popular caterers along the salt trading route with their own proud identity and culture. In the last few decades, the processing and production of liquors from the locally grown fruits like apple and apricot have been popular.
  • Bon monastery of Lubra. Bon is pre-Buddhist religion and is in verge of extension. There are still few bon monasteries. With the help of some organization from UK, Lubra monastery is more organized to teach Bon practices.
  • Chungsi cave monastery or Ranchung cave is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mustang. It is believed that the Guru Rinpoche meditated in the cave in around 8th century. The natural cave wall has many self arising deities. The valley is also an important vulture sanctuary.
  • The walled city of Lo Manthang was the capital of former Mustang kingdom. The 15th century fortified town has 6 m high earthen wall protecting the medieval Tibet. Walk through its alleyways is like walking back into the time. Most important monuments are the 15th century Jampa Lakhang and the 18th century Thupchen Lakhang.
  • Choser area north of Lo Manthang is popular historical and religious site. Many of its caves are still being used for household. Garphu and Nymphu gompas are located in Choser.
  • The cave monastery with Chorten, Buddhist frescos and other artifacts of Luri gompa dates back to 14th century.

mustang-caves


Mustang driving tour is one of the road trip i Tour Nepal P Ltd offers. The extension of road to this remote and forgotten land have made the local life easier. But at the same time it is important to preserve its fragile heritage, culture and environment from the mass tourism. We organize the driving tours with less or no impact on the environment following sustainable tourism practices to preserve local heritage and culture.
Visit our website iTourNepal.com for more sustainable treks and tour in Nepal.

Buddhist Tour of Nepal for Vesak

Vesak or Buddha Jayanti is a national festival of Nepal celebrated by both Hindus and Buddhists. This is the day when Buddha was born, enlightenment and attained Mahaparinirvana. Hence the day is considered as the day of triple bliss and is special for spiritual merits. The day is known as ‘Vesak’ in Pali and Buddha Purnima in Sanskrit. Buddhists from around world commemorates the birth, enlightenment and passing into Nirvana by praying, making Dana (donation), listening to sermon and offering prayer flags, butter lamp, flower and incense.

Buddha was born 563 BCE in the Lumbini garden that lies in present day Nepal. The garden shared by two kingdoms Kapilavastu and Devdaha is explained as splendid garden in Buddhist scriptures. Buddha’s mother Mayadevi was travelling to her maternal home Devdaha to give birth. She went into labor at the Lumbini garden and gave birth to Buddha. The exact date is based on lunar calendar that falls in April and May.

boudhanath-buddha-purnima

The day is national holiday in Nepal and people from all religious background celebrates Buddha Jayanti. Rallies and congregations are organized throughout the country to disseminate Buddha’s message of peace and harmony. The Buddhist centers like Boudhanath, Swyambhunath and Lumbini see hundreds of devotees from morning till night. People visit important Buddhist monuments in the morning and pay there respect to Buddha by offering flower garland, bouquet, butter lamp and incense.

Kathmandu valley has been safe heaven for Buddhist practices for long time. Unique variant of Vajrayana Buddhism thrived in the valley for over a millennium. Many important Buddhist monuments like Swyambhunath, Boudhanath and meditation caves have made it one of the must to visit Buddhist pilgrimage destination. In the last century, Himalayan Buddhists also migrated in the valley following the crisis in Tibet. The town of Boudha is growing as Buddhist learning center for new aspiring westerners. Accordingly Buddha Jayanti is celebrated with different ceremonies in Kathmandu valley. Buddhist monuments are cleaned, white washed and cleaned. Visitors fly prayers flags, make donations to poor, needy and to the monasteries. Buddhist congregations are organized to preach sermon, Monasteries recite scriptures and organize special worshiping. At several places singing of Buddhists hymn choir is organized with offering of oil lamp in the evening.

Other important Buddhist monuments to visit during the Buddha Jayanti are Namo Buddha Stupa, Pharping cave of Guru Rinpoche and Lumbini, the bith place of Buddha.

Buddha Jayanti is perfect time to visit Lumbini. The month of Baishaka (April / May) is less touristic but yet not intolerably hot. It is still spring and the temperature is moderate.
mayadevi-templeVisit of Lumbini has been referred by Buddha himself “O-Bhikshus’, after my death when people and members of a new generation come and ask you, then tell them that here the Buddha was born, here he attained the full enlightenment, here he turned the wheel of Dharma twelve times, and here finally the Buddha entered into Parinirvana”.

The pillar with inscription erected by Emperor Ashoka in 3rd century BCE and the documentation of 7th century Chinese travelers made it easy to rediscover the exact birthplace of Buddha. The place has be abandoned during the medieval period subjected to socio-political change and the Muslim invasion. With the discovery of the pillar in 1886 AD, the place got attention of world Buddhist pilgrims. In 1996, UNESCO declared Lumbini as World Heritage Site.

Lumbini at present have been developed into the garden and pilgrimage site in the area of 6 by 2 km. The total area of 72 sq km comprises sacred garden, monastic zone and Lumbini village.

World peace pagoda in Lumbini
World peace pagoda in Lumbini

Lumbini Tour

It is possible to visit Lumbini as a day trip from Kathmandu by flight. However we recommend the tour of at least 2 days. The 2 days tour visits important Buddhist sites like Kapilavastu palace ruins (Where Buddha spent 29 years as prince Siddhartha) and Kudan (Nigrodharma), the residence provided to Buddha by his father King Suddhodhana on homecoming after his enlightenment. Visit our Lumbnin Buddhist circuit tour.
You can also visit other important Buddhist sites in Nepal and be in Lumbini for the Buddha Jayanti celebration. Our 8 days Buddhist tour of Nepal covers must to visit site within Nepal.


The writer is affiliated with a Kathmandu based tour company – i Tour Nepal P Ltd. We have been organizing Buddhist circuit tour in Nepal and India. We are local company from the Himalayan country of Nepal dedicated to implement sustainable tours. We help you organize most rewarding private and small group tours and treks in the Himalayas with ample opportunities of cultural encounters. visit our website for Nepal Tour packages and treks.

Nepal in Spring – March & April

annapurna-march
Mt Dhaulagiri with Rhododendron blossom

March and April are the best Spring months for Nepal tour and treks. While April is the peak tourist season, March is the beginning. The moderate temperature, clear sky, lowered river levels, colorful blossoms and festivals make these months the best time to travel to Nepal.

Nepal has huge climatic variation because of vertically rising landscape ranging from 70 m to the top of Mt Everest within the distance of 180 km. So the temperature and best time to visit varies slightly with the places. However March and April have average best weather for the Nepal tour and trek.

March is less crowded

January and February are the winter. After the winter rain in mid February mercury starts to rise and thawing of the trekking trails begin. The month of March sees moderate temperature with warm and sunny days for trekking and touring around Nepal. The Rhododendron, Magnolia, Cherry blossoms and other flowers make the trail more picturesque. The month sees relatively lesser tourists making it the best way to avoid the crowd.

April is peak tourist season

April temperature ranges from 12 – 30 degree centigrade in the most popular cities. The high altitude trekking trail can still see snowfall until mid – April. The temperature at base camps goes well below 10 degree centigrade. Days are warm and sunny which may cause sunburn or snow blindness. There are also more avalanches during the month of March and April. The avalanches change the route and make it tricky to get to base camps in the higher altitude.
Because of peak tourist season, choices of accommodation and transportation will be limited during the month of April. Accommodation in the busy trekking destinations like Annapurna and Everest may be overbooked. It is wise to book your tour in advance if you are travelling in the month.

Annapurna base camp
Annapurna base camp with Annapurna South

Nepal trips for March

March is the best time for cultural sightseeing, day hikes, short treks and tour of Terai like Koshi Tappu, Bardia national park, Chitwan National park and Lumbini the birthplace of Buddha. The warm and sunny days and the breeding season make the wildlife more active. It is also best time to do white water rafting as the water level is lower and calm with more stable and recognizable rapids. The air and water temperature also rise making rafting and kayaking more enjoyable.
It is possible to do big treks to Annapurna base camp and Everest base camps during the month of March but the snow deposition from winter and occasional snowfall makes it more challenging. However, short treks are highly recommended. Here are some of the recommended Nepal trips for March.

Nepal trips for April

April is peak tourist season in Nepal.  The rush makes the popular tour and trek destinations crowded. Chitwan national park, Bardia and Lumbini (the birthplace of Buddha) get hot but it is still possible to visit until the third week of April.  The month is best for high altitude trek and peak climbing. Treks and tours that avoid the popular destinations are recommended. Here are some of the pristine trekking trails avoiding the crowd.

Taktsang monastery or Tiger's nest monastery
Taktsang or Tigers nest monastery hiking in Paro, Bhutan.

The variation in altitude of Nepal has created different climatic zone within a short distances. Best time to visit and activities depends up several factors like temperature, precipitation, access and local festivals and events. Write us or visit our website iTourNepal.com to know more about best Nepal tour for the time you will be travelling.

Nepal tour in winter

Nepal tour in winter is perfect with sunny days with clear sky for Himalayan view. The temperature may go up to 0 degree centigrade or lower depending upon where you are. The minimum temperature is at night and is manageable with warm clothing and heating available in the hotels. Days are usually sunny with moderate temperature perfect for sightseeing and hiking.
So if you are not going on a high altitude treks or base camps, it is perfect to visit Nepal during winter months of December, January and February. There are fewer tourists as hardcore trekkers doesn’t come during these months.

Everest panorama
Sunrise over the Mt Everest sen from a short trek during the month of December

Nepal tour in December

December is known as shoulder season. There are still trekkers going and coming back from base camps. The first half of the December is perfect for high altitude trekking. Snow fall doesn’t starts yet. The temperature starts to drop but is manageable with down jacket, good sleeping bag and heating available at the lodges. Day temperature ranges from 12 – 22 degree centigrade.

The Christmas and New Year holiday in Asian countries like Japan, Singapore, Malaysia etc increase flow of tourist again in the end of December. It is perfect to do short treks in Nepal and tour of Kathmandu, Chitwan, Lumbini and Pokhara and surrounding hill towns.

Nepal in January

January is the coldest month in Nepal and is definitely not good for big treks. It starts to snow up in the mountains above 3,000 m. It may rain little in the lower valleys like Kathmandu and Pokhara and the cold wave hits tropical low land. However it lasts only for about a week. This doesn’t disturb if you are driving around Kathmandu Pokhara, Lumbini and surrounding hill towns.

Annapurna south seen from Astam village.
Annapurna seen from Astam village during a short trek from Pokhara

Nepal in February

February is dry month and the mercury starts to rise again. February is a shoulder season to Spring. The best thing about visiting Nepal in February is that it is less crowded and the Himalayan views are clear. Himalayas appears more beautiful with fresh snow from the winter. This is perfect for short treks, cultural tours and wildlife tours.

Chinese new year holiday in Asian countries increase tourists in Nepal during the month. Also one of the major Hindu festival – Shivaratri falls in the month.

Thamsherku during the month of December
Thamsherku during sunset in the month of December

Best things to do in Nepal during winter

Short treks in Nepal during winter

There are several scenic and cultural treks in the foothills of the Himalayas which could be done throughout the winter. These short treks last from 2 days to week and goes to the altitude of 3,000 – 4,000 m only. Best thing about trekking in winter is the guaranteed clear sky and less crowd. As the trekkers going to high altitude and climber avoid winter trekking, the trekking routes are less crowded. The higher reaches may still have snow, but it makes trek fun. The fresh snow over the Himalayas make the scenery more picturesque.
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Nepal tour during winter

For those coming to enjoy Himalayan scenery and culture without much effort, winter is the best time. One can easily drive or fly to destinations like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan and Lumbini in the low land. Cultural tour of 5 to 10 days could be planned with day hikes and overnight in ridge top villages like Nagarkot and Bandipur. Again the winter explorer have the benefit of fewer tourists, clear sky and moderate day temperature.

BBoudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu
Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu

Buddhist pilgrimage tour of Nepal

The months of December to February is also the best time to visit Buddhist pilgrimage sites of Nepal. Most of the important Buddhist pilgrimage sites including Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha are in lower valleys. Actually this is peak tourist season for Lumbini which will have temperature up to 40 degree centigrade during April to September.

Lumbini the birthplace of Buddha
Mayadevi temple in Lumbini development zone

Lumbini tour – things to do

Lumbini tour is visual aid to Buddha’s life and an introduction to Buddhist philosophy. This is great way to begin your journey into Buddhism or to know and observe the Buddhist practices from around the world. The region is also one of the important archaeological sites in Nepal with exclusive findings from about 3,000 years back.

Mayadevi temple Lumini

For secular tourists, visiting Lumbini is an opportunity to see rural south of Nepal dominated by happy self-sufficient peasants. The marshland, lakes and acres of paddies make it paradise for wide verity of birds with the most popular Sarus Crane. Sarus crane is the largest bird that flies over the Himalayas to come here during the winter.

Moreover, Lumbini is one of the important archaeological sites for the world with the ruins of civilization dating back to at least 3,000 years. Recent excavation have shown existence of well planned city with road, fort, wells and other infrastructures in the area.

Here are some tips for making your Lumbini tour a best experience.

  • Mayadevi temple, Puskarini pond and the sacred garden

    Don’t forget to go to the Mayadevi temple and the sacred garden in the evening when there are pilgrims praying, lighting lamps and the monks and devout Buddhists meditating. The place has great energy to help you immerse into inner peace and meditate.

    Inside the modern temple, ruins of temples and sculptures from 1 – 12th centuries are preserved. The central compartment of the ruins have marker stone that was kept to mark the exact birthplace of Buddha. Temple was built over it with time. The marker stone is mentioned in the travel journal of Chinese traveler from 6th and 12th century. The pillar with inscription by Emperor Ashoka from 3rd century BC still stands next to the temple. After the birth Buddha and his mother took bath in the nearby pond known as Puskarini pond. The pond has been restored and is still glorifies the beauty of legendary garden.

  • World Peace Pagoda, crane sanctuary and monastic zone

    Lumbini is being developed under the master plan in the area of 5 X 5 miles. The 1 X 3 miles area is being developed as a pilgrimage site based on Buddhist symbolism and geometric shape. The remaining area makes a forested buffer zone around it. The 1 X 3 miles Lumbini project area consists of three sections – New tourist village, monastic zone and the sacred garden with the Mayadevi temple, the exact birthplace of Buddha.

    World peace pagoda in Lumbini
    World peace pagoda in Lumbini

    The pilgrimage tour of Lumbini begins from the New tourist village representing the worldly activities. The monastic zone is represents the knowledge and spiritual purification and the sacred garden represents the enlightenment.

    You can walk, cycle or hop into one of the auto-rickshaw for the pilgrimage tour. The new tourist village consists of World Peace Pagoda and crane sanctuary. The World Peace Pagoda is a Japanese style Stupa built to spread the message of non-violence after the second world war.

    Sarus crane
    Sarus the tallest flying birds

    The wetlands surrounding the World peace pagoda is protected as crane sanctuary. Sarus Cranes are the largest bird that migrates over the Himalayas. The bird is in the brink of extension in South Asia. About 90 pairs of resident cranes have been recorded in and around the sanctuary. The crane sanctuary is related with Buddha’s life and the compassion. Buddha as prince rescued the wounded crane and released it in the jungle.

    The walkway towards north leads to the watch tower offering clear view of wetlands. There are also blue bulls and wolves in the sanctuary.

    Chinese monastery in monastic zone Lumbini
    Chinese monastery in monastic zone

    Monastic zone is divided by a canon into Theravadi and Mahayani monasteries. The sites have been allocated for world Buddhist communities to built their temples. Buddhist murals and symbolism are painted in the architecture representing respective countries. Walk around and visit the monasteries to catch up with the prayers or communicate with monks. Some of the monasteries offer meditation courses.

  • Lumbini Buddhist circuit tour There are over 62 archaeologically important sites around Lumbini. While some of them have revealed great resources for Buddha’s life and history of the region, others are still waiting for excavation. Among the most important findings are Ramgram Stupa, Tilaurakot palace ruins, Kudan monastery, birth place of Kanakamuni Buddha and Krakuchandra Buddha and Sagarhawa.
    Driving to these sites, one can also see rural life of southern Nepal. The villages are simple and self-sufficient in food with lots of agricultural activities.

    Ramgram stupa ruin
    Ramgram Stupa ruin

    Tilaurakot palace ruin
    Mahaniskramani dwar of Tilaurakot palace ruin

We at ‘i Tour Nepal P Ltd’ have been involved in research and development of Buddhist pilgrimage tour in Nepal. The tour is supposed to promote sustainable tourism in the region and help to maintain the Buddhist sites. Most of the Buddhist sites in Nepal are in remote and non touristic places. The ignorance of people make the site vulnerable. Buddhist pilgrimage tour support the local economy using local food, accommodation and other services involving people in conservation of the sites.

‘i Tour Nepal’ is dedicated in developing sustainable tourism in the Himalayas. We have got many local experience tours those gives exclusive cultural immersion opportunity and also sustains local culture and environment. Write us or visit our website for more about our Nepal tour packages.

Highlights of Langtang trek

Langtang is one of the few Himalayan valley that still sustains rich Himalayan ecology, awe-inspiring scenery and the authentic Himalayan culture less touched by modernization. The national park comprising 1,710 sq km area is just about 18 km from Kathmandu. It shares the border with Tibet in the north. The valley of Kyirong provides one of the easy crossings to Tibet making it the most important trans-Himalayan trade route. This was also from where spirituality and culture spread across the border.

Langtang Lirung
Langtang Lirung as seen from Laurebina

Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer mentioned the valley as the ‘valley of happiness’ in his book ‘Seven Years in Tibet’. The essence of the name still sustains in Langtang across the border.
Langtang national park is dominated by the massif of Langatng with Langtang Lirung reaching the height of 7,234 m. One can also see Mt Shisa Pangma (8,013 m) the 14th highest peak in the world on the Tibetan side. There are about 70 glaciers, over a dozen of alpine lakes and majestic mountains with mystic Tibetan Buddhist villages.

Here are some of the highlights of the Langtang trek

Rebuilding after 2015 Nepal earthquake

The 2015 Nepal earthquake hit the region hard. Series of avalanches and landslide triggered by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and its strong aftershocks, destroyed the valley. About 300 were killed including 70 foreigners. A village of Langtang was wiped out of the map burying 100 underneath to be never found. After about a year, locals have rebuilt the teahouses and fixed the trekking trail with more safety caution. However it will take over a decade to overcome their lost. Trekking in Langtang aids to the locals’ struggle in recovery from the earthquake.

Langtang village swept by the avalanches after earthquake.
Langtang village swept by avalanches after the earthquake in 2015

Listed in 52 places to visit in 2017 by New York Times

Langtang national park made it to the list of 52 places to visit in 2017. The valley of mountains and glaciers is thrived with the most pristine Himalayan Eco system and intact Tibetan Buddhist culture. The listing boosted tourism in the region, increasing the most needed revenue for recovery from the earthquake.

Choice of climbing peaks above 5,000 m within about a week long trek.
Langtang National park has got several peaks above 5,000 m that could be climbed within as less as a week long trek from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The most popular are Tserko Ri (4,994) and Yalla Peak (5,500 m). There are also few other trekking peaks like Naya Kang (5,844m), Ganja La Peak and Baden Powell Scout Peak (5,825m). The most popular climbing are Kyanjin Ri (4,773 m), Tserko Ri and Yalla Peak.

Tserko Ri Peak
Tserko Ri Peak with Langtang Lirung at the back.

The valley of glaciers and alpine lakes

Langtang national park have about 70 small and big glaciers. The sacred Gosaikunda Lake complex is supposed to have 108 small and big lakes. A trek in Langtang National park brings one close to some of the pristine alpine lakes and Glaciers.

View from Kyanjin Ri
Langtang valley from from Kyanjin Ri

Awe-inspiring mountain, rivers and waterfalls

Trek in Langtang offers great view of Langtang Lirung (7,200 m), Ganesh Himal (7,400 m) and Dorje Lakpa, Naya Khanga and many other spectacular peaks. one can also see Mt Shisa Pangma (8,013 m / 14th highest in the world) in Tibet side walking to the end of Langshisa valley. Melting snow and glacial Lakes make White Water and beautiful waterfall as the streams and rivers flow down the steep buttresses of the Himalayas.

Langtang Lirung
Langtang valley wedged between spectacular peaks.

Undisturbed alpine ecosystem with endangered wildlife

Langtang National park with the undisturbed thick forest, meadows and alpine vegetation still sustains the endangered Red Panda and Snow Leopard, making it the untouched spectrum of alpine ecosystem for researchers. It is also home of Himalayan black bear, Langur monkey, Ghoral and Leopards. Rare Himalayan Honey Guide and Larch have also been recorded in the national park along with the 250 species of birds.

Yak grazing in Langtang valley
Yak grazing in Langtang valley

The valley of Happiness with more intact Tibetan Buddhist culture

Langtang valley is just next to Kyirong (the valley of happiness), Tibet which was classic trans-Himalayan trade route. The culture from pre-Buddhist shamanistic practices till the cultural revolution had its effect in the Langtang side of Tibetan border. Tamangs and Sherpas of the region had less influence of outside world keeping the Tibetan culture more intact. Mani walls, traditional cantilever bridges, stone houses, carved wooden porches their dresses and monasteries reflect the rich culture.

Buddhist Chorten
Langtang valley is marked by Buddhist Chortens, Mani walls and flags.

Best Short treks in Nepal

Langtang national park offers some of the best short treks in Nepal. The national park is only about 18 km from the capital Kathmandu making it the closest short trek destination. Short trek to Gosaikunda Lake could be started right from the outskirt of Kathmandu valley. Also within a week’s trek, one can explore the inner Himalayan alpine zone and climb view points at above 4,500 m.
I am an adventurer exploring Himalayas of Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan for about 20 years. I love nature and the am always curious about the new knowledge. With my friends at ‘i Tour Nepal P Ltd’ we have tried to implement sustainable tourism in the Himalayas to help sustain local culture and environment. Treks we organised are culturally rewarding and ecologically safe. We handpick the safe and comfortable but very local accommodation supporting the local family directly. We make sure that the food served are produced locally as much as possible. Also our trekkers and staffs avoids plastics, bring back batteries and other wastes, filter water.
Visit our website -‘ http://www.itournepal.com ‘ and write us if you want to know more about our tours.

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