Savithri Rodrigo enjoys the montane offerings of a landlocked country
Living was invited to Nepal by Baahrakhari Media, which organised the Baahrakhari Everest Golf Tournament as a prelude to Nepal Tour-ism’s ‘Visit Nepal 2020.’
Unending snowy mountain peaks glisten in the sunlight and for the first-time climber, every craggy profile resembles Mount Everest. Nepal wel-comes about 500 big peak trekkers each year. But there’s more that attracts travellers to this landlocked country. There’s wildlife, mountain trekking, admiring Hindu and Buddhist monuments or simply imbibing the beauty of a tiny nation that embodies the esoteric.
DAILY SCENES Despite life’s shortcomings, there is a certain serenity that enfolds the Nepalese when they’ve donned the large kum-kum floret on their foreheads after visiting a temple in the morning. Nepalese cuisine is influenced by its many tribes; but in general, it’s momos, rotis or rice in a thali, which contains mutton, dried seafood or buffalo meat.
BECAUSE IT’S THERE Not everyone is cut out for the gruelling trek up Mount Everest. But Nepal is endowed with eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks, most of which can be climbed or seen from the air. However, if it’s Everest you seek, go by air and land at Tenzing-Hillary Air-port in Lukla or take the mountain flight. From that small town, it’s a six minute helicopter ride to Kongde Ri where the view is heady. At some 4,200 metres and against a clear blue sky, the view is a bucket list moment as Everest pulls out all the stops to showcase its ethereal beauty.
SAFARI STATE Nepal is rhino territory in addition to being tiger, leopard, elephant, monkey and deer country. So braving a six hour road trip or short flight to the Chitwan District is worth it. Hike it or take a jeep ride and come face to face with some magnificent animals. At Meghauli Serai in the Chitwan National Park, safaris start the moment you step out of your villa and into a boat to go where the rhinos take their morning dip in a river. With its amazing attention to detail and service beyond compare, the resort also employs members of the Tharu tribe, which is an ethnic group that’s indigenous to the southern foothills of the Himalayas.
GO TREKKING Nepal and trekking go hand in hand, and most trails offer sweeping views of the Himalayas, diverse fauna and flora, breath-taking scenery and dramatic sunrises. The Manaslu Circuit Trek inclu-des sightings of the elusive snow leopard and musk deer, while the An-napurna Circuit, Rara Lake and Langtang Valley treks emphasise adventure.