Kathmandu in Nepal is known as the Jewel of Asia, a mecca for the spiritual and those looking to find culture and enlightenment. The city itself is known for its beautiful architecture and hosts some of the world’s most famous temples and shrines, principally Hindu and Buddhist, it still holds a place for its guests and traditions without losing its identity in the process.
Documented widely, the focus of your journey through Nepal, in particular, Kathmandu will, of course, be spiritual and vast in the landscape. It also provides this in abundance as the birthplace of Buddha Kathmandu and has the most significant array of ashrams, temples, and gurus who cater to the needs of the weary soul.
Touring the region you can consult gurus in astrology, talk to faith healers and take part in yoga retreats with some of the most spectacular surroundings from epic forest dwellings and temple homes to the foot of Everest and the surrounding forests. With so much Eastern promise the whole trip should be a relaxing and calming experience; yoga and spiritual consultations are standard practice and openly encouraged, as in Asian culture its best to respect the people you visit and obey the rules of the temples and shrines. Albeit, it is not a difficult prospect as the sheer awe-inspiring aspect of arriving in Kathmandu will be enough to calve the weary travel soul and open your eyes to the splendor of the cities and villages around you.
Kathmandu is the single most peaceful place in the whole of South Asia and has a cosmopolitan atmosphere mixed with the eccentricities of western culture so much so that its become home to many expats who have built lives and businesses around this idyllic place.
For a chance to see the people in their native habitat and see the real Nepal, you can arrange walking tours of the villages and see how the people live, which in itself is an eye-opening experience. Each village and town has its methods and traditions, and you will see first-hand the differences in worship, dress, and habits. It’s usually encouraged that you buy from local merchants to support the economy and it also gives you something tangible to take home and alongside photos is another memory of your time in Nepal.
Although principally known for its spirituality, you can still find a little piece of shopping heaven to satisfy your needs. The traditional crafts focus on the region will delight you with a variety of wool hats, warm clothing, and shoes in the classic styles, something to bring back for the winters in your respective country. Jewelry is also a big part of the culture, and the preferred method of construction is silver. You will be able to cherry pick from the wares of the market and find something chic and traditional to tie in with your wardrobe. For a return to home as a little reminder of your spiritual break, you can arrange for something custom, which may take a little longer but will give you a more personal memento of your trip.
For those of a more adventurous mindset there is always trekking, skydiving and bungee jumping or a mountaineering expedition can be arranged to fulfill your desires to see a different side of the country.
On a more culinary note, you will find it more traditional Asian taking inspiration from the Himalayan regions and of course its Indian neighbors, so be prepared for fantastic veg dishes and traditional food over the more western flair than what you may usually want.
Bird watching and wildlife are also major parts of the cultural landscape, and since Asia has such a diversity of animal and birdlife alongside sanctuaries for people, you will find them for the various creatures that inhabit the area.
With an overall sense of spirituality and nature, Nepal is a place to visit to relieve yourself of the western burden and get in touch with the Gods or just to experience a different mindset. A culture that’s been around for millennia open your eyes to the potential of this beautiful landscape, and you will see why South Asia has become home to the spiritual and enlightened.
For information on the area or filming, options see The fixers in Nepal website.