The fact that this country in recent years is increasingly found in the reports of bloggers and television stories. The reason for this is the geographical remoteness, expensive flights, lack of information and fear of the mountains. But as soon as you overcome these difficulties, it turns out that it was worth it!
Why - in our today's material.
The country is relatively sparsely populated, poor, has no industrial production, and its neighbors to the north and south are very dangerous and call into question the existence of Nepal. There were already precedents – in 1975, India annexed Sikkim, located between Nepal and Bhutan.
But there are mountains. The country has 8 of the 14 highest mountains in the world, and the lion's share of the country is located above 3000 meters above the surface of the World Ocean, so only the same Bhutan and, perhaps, Bolivia in South America can compete with this state. Travelers from all corners of the globe tend to these mountains to forget about the worldly bustle and be isolated.
Any journey in this country begins with Kathmandu – the capital city. What is happening there, at an altitude of several thousand above sea level, defies human logic. There is noise, chaos, everywhere the droppings of animals, cars moving in a variety of directions, a hodgepodge of wires and a web of city streets. In appearance, all this resembles the capital's Bird Market, which Sobyanin's efforts managed to push out of the center of Moscow beyond the Moscow Ring Road.
Kathmandu also shares terrible air quality with Moscow. After an hour on the street, a person has a desire to wash to get rid of a layer of dust. There are a great many reasons for this - from problems with the redundancy of transport to the burning of garbage directly in the courtyards of venerable citizens. Adding to this is dust and countless construction sites, as well as the ruins of houses that died in the 2015 earthquake. Finally, Kathmandu is doomed to be dirty by its location in the valley between two mountain slopes: dust and dirt, and other waste, simply have nowhere to go.
But why, why go to such a "viper"?
Believe me, there is a meaning. Under a layer of dust hide the brightness of colors, simple life and the atmosphere of an eternal holiday. Here, even at a funeral, they know how to light up (literally and figuratively). And all because the Nepalese are convinced that death is part of the human cycle of rebirth, a prerequisite for the continuation of development.
True, there are no dance numbers at the wake. But at the end comes the turn of the fire show: the body is betrayed by flames in front of hundreds of people. Only in this way can a person, after rebirth, return to human form and avoid the fate of becoming an animal. You can look at such a show in the Pushupatinath temple, where people go on a pilgrimage from all over the world, because this is the most important and major center of worship of Shiva on Earth.
The funeral procedure is simple, but is accompanied by many conventions. The body is placed on a platform of logs, lined with straw and lit. Around the fire, the sons of the deceased walk with prayers. Until recently, women were forbidden to attend the ceremony: this is due to the belief that the death of relatives at the funeral will prevent the deceased from finding solace. And to cry at funerals, according to the beliefs of local chauvinists, it is women who are most inclined. Now there is no ban as such, but if a person begins to cry, he must immediately leave the ceremony.
Straight to the top
Since you have arrived in the country for the sake of nature, hanging out in Kathmandu for more than a couple of days does not make sense. Appreciate the temples, the great bodnath stupa and the monkey temple, get the necessary hiking trifles - and go ahead, to storm the heights.
However, before going to the mountains, you should visit the Tourist Board tourist center to register permits for the passage of routes. They are decorated in the form of a green book with a traveler's photo.
Nepal offers its guests thousands of different routes. Among them there are quite simple, accessible to beginners with children or elderly people in the group, and arch-complex, including ascents to eight-thousanders, not excluding Everest, the peaks of the majestic Mount Chomolungma.
For example, the route around the Annapurna mountain range can be passed independently. The length of the route varies from 10 to 17 days and from 150 to 230 kilometers. There are very diverse views and incredibly bright – although, it would seem, icy mountains – views. The route starts from the city of Besisahar, which is located in the foothills of Annapurna and Manaslu, the most hospitable among all Nepalese eight-thousanders. From Kathmandu you can get here by bus or car, the journey will take from six to ten hours. The transfer will cost from $ 15 per bus to several hundred by private car. The first option can be replete with various surprises, but then the traveler will be able to boast of unforgettable impressions and action-packed adventures, without which the trip would be incomplete.
Why? Yes, just the bus here serves not only as a means of transport, but also as a kind of forum where people trade, communicate and only that they do not drink coffee. And then only because on a high-altitude road, and under the cheerful Nepalese or Indian music, it is not possible to drink coffee.
But upon arrival, adventures of a different kind will begin.
The first days of travel around the Annapurn Ridge are mostly spent in the jungle. The route passes through countless villages, where travelers can get acquainted with the local way of life. The inhabitants of the region are mainly engaged in agricultural work. The cultivation of edible food for them is the only way of survival, so the agrarian sector reigns everywhere.
Another important source of income for local residents is tourism. You can stay overnight in any local village. Solid pluses: travelers do not need to carry equipment, tents or food supplies, and the aborigines get the opportunity to earn extra money and get to know their guests better.
Surprisingly, with all the archaism of this region, almost every guest house along the way has wireless Internet, and the villages themselves serve as an excellent substitute for the navigator. In order to completely exclude the moment of possible losses, the Nepalese authorities placed a variety of navigational symbols along the route of tourists. Well, to top it off, there are locals to these bread crumbs – that's who will definitely not let you go astray.
And it is also necessary to visit local catering establishments, whose menu in terms of breadth of views and variety of tastes is able to compete with any metropolitan and even European restaurant. In addition to European and Pan-Asian cuisine, you should pay attention to local momo (dough with minced meat, like manti) and dal-mat, made from boiled rice with a vegetable and lentil component for taste.
Beauty takes your breath away
Local species are able to impress even the most experienced and prudent travelers, because under every bush or any turn there are adventures waiting for you.
The banks of mountain rivers are drawn by rope bridges, spacious terraces pressed against the spurs of mountainous hills, impressive waterfalls that can bring down tons of water from mountain twists, bright and colorful houses of local inhabitants - all this represents not only a magnificent background for selfies, but also a real delight for the eyes and brain of a person.
As the road climbs up, the greenery loses its saturation, so that somewhere in the distance, beyond the horizon, merges together with the blue of the sky and the white caps of the snowy peaks. The local air is becoming more and more rarefied, it is becoming harder to move, and the living conditions of the locals are more concise and ascetic.
The most interesting begins above three thousand, in a village called Timanga, where you can see Manaslu - the eighth highest mountain on Earth.