Luxury Nepal Tours

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Surrounded by the Himalayas, luxury Nepal tours might seem to pale in the face of the world's highest peak, but do not. Nepal is a tiny kingdom, only 57 square miles, a thin rectangle sandwiched between China and India, approximately 75 percent of which is mountainous. Closed to the world until 1951, it gained considerable mystique and has sustained it since then. The tragic murder-suicide of Nepal's crown prince and 10 members of the royal family in 2001 have only added to that.

Understanding Luxury Nepal Tours

Lying in the heart of Nepal's easternmost zone, Katmandu Valley is the cultural and political center of the country. Bordered on the south by the Ganges River of India and to the north by the foothills of the Himalayas, the valley was once covered in tropical vegetation. Today, however, the land is almost exclusively agricultural. Known locally as the Terai, it is also home to Chitwan National Park.

Famous across Asia, Chitwan is also notable for being one of the few to allow visitors on luxury Nepal tours to travel on foot. Home itself to an astonishing number of rare wildlife species, Chitwan serves as a protected zone for the rare freshwater dolphins, one-horned rhinoceros, Bengali tigers, rhesus monkeys, wild boars, wild sheep, and snow leopards, to name a few. From the rhododendron forests of Shivapuri to the 13th-century Newari temple at Panauti, Nepal's lower-altitude attractions are sure to amaze visitors taking luxury Nepal tours.

Nepal is also home to a legend shared with Canada--the Yeti. Best known colloquially as the abominable snowman, the Yeti is also called bear-man in Nepal. Reports on actual sightings, of course, are very rare. It is commonly assumed that the tracks seen and attributed to the Yeti are in fact the result of an occasional bear characteristic, in which the hind foot print partly overlaps the fore print, leaving an imprint that looks remarkably like an oversized human footprint facing in the wrong direction.

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