Every traveler knows Nepal by heart as the home to the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest (Sagarmatha). Furthermore, they also know that Nepal is a small nation in the lap of the gorgeous Himalayas, which is why hundreds of adventure seekers and travelers come to the country to get the experience.
However, rugged mountain trails and pristine mountain views are not the only beauty of Nepal. Nepal is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious, and multi-cultural state. In simple words, this nation has much more than snowclad mountains and trekking trails.
Also, being a whole of multiple ethnic communities and religions, Nepal is vibrant in arts and architectural history. These ecotourism destinations have been the best-kept secrets of the nation. Yes, these locations are also the ones travelers miss but should not.
Hidden Gems Of Nepal Among The Ecotourism Destinations
Several tourist hotspot destinations in Nepal are always bustling with crowds and travelers. However, if you are looking for fewer crowds and lesser-known destinations, you should follow the trails that led you to the hidden gems in Nepal.
Below are some destinations you can visit and enjoy during your trip to Nepal.
Gorakhnath Cave in Gorkha
This particular cave in the Gorkha palace is a part of the important Hindu pilgrimage site and is religiously sacred. The Gorakhnath cave lies ten meters deep south of the Gorkha Palace, home to King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who unified Nepal.
This cave is well-hidden and shelters the statue of Gorakhnath Baba (sage). According to the historical pages, Gorkha was inspired by the sage, who is also believed to have inspired King Prithvi Narayan Shah for unification.
Well, this cave is made up of solid rock and holds immense value to the Hindu followers, especially Brahmans and Chhetris. During Baisakhi Purnima, devotees from all over the place come to worship here, and it is a famous spot for the pilgrimage tour. If you are in Gorkha, you can go sightseeing and hiking.
The Janakpur Dham of Mithila is one of the important tourist destinations of the Terai plain. This historical town holds high values of ancient and authentic temples, monasteries, colorful arts, and unique crafts. Back in the day, this particular town used to be the capital of the ancient Mithila Kingdom and was named after the sage king Janak.
Not to mention, it is also the birthplace of Sita – the consort of Lord Ram and a brave daughter of Nepal. Today, this town holds a significant value as a religious destination, where the Janaki temple is the most popular site in the city.
The Janaki Temple stands in Moghul design with hundreds of rooms, stages, prayer rooms, store rooms, and sitting rooms. Apart from this pilgrim, there are other holy sites such as the Ram Mandir, Vivaha Mandap, Janak Mandir, Laxman Temple, and the sacred Sagars (Ponds).
Often festivals and occasions such as Ram Navami, Vivaha Panchami, and Chhath are celebrated in full swing.
Rupa Taal in Pokhara
Fifteen kilometers drive from Pokhara city; Rupa Taal is a beautiful lake and the third-largest one in Pokhara. It is well hidden from the town’s main center and surrounded by astonishing green hills and forests.
If you seek isolation or tranquility, Rupa Taal is where you should head while in Pokhara. This freshwater lake depicts fewer crowds and gives you the time to be alone. With incredible views, you can sit here for hours contemplating, manifesting, or reviving from the distant world.
In addition, the reflection of the surroundings in the lake is quite calming and even is like a soothing therapy.
Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve
The only hunting reserve in Nepal, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, joins Rukum, Myagdi, and Baglung Districts in the Dhaulagiri Himal range. It was established back in 1983 and extended over an area of 1325 sq. km. This reserve is divided into six parts for hunting management purposes.
Yes, it is the perfect ground for travelers who love hunting sport, and besides hunting, you can also go on a solo journey here. This area is mesmerizing, with contrasting landscapes, verdant forests, deep marshes, and flat meadows. Its upper elevated parts are mostly snow-clad throughout the years, while the rest are flat meadows.
Villages surround the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve except on its northern side. This particular reserve is the primary habitat of blue sheep. However, other wildlife animals you can find here are leopard, goral, serow, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan black bear, barking deer, wild boar, rhesus macazue, langur, and mouse hare.
Besides them, this reserve also consists of some endangered species such as Musk deer, Wolf, Red panda, Cheer pheasant, and Danphe.
The Barun Valley in the Makalu Barun National Park
The Barun valley is a Himalayan valley situated at the base of Mt. Makalu (fifth highest peak in the world) in the Sankhuwasabha district. Yes, it falls inside the part of Makalu Barun National Park and is home to some rare species of flora and fauna.
As a hidden gem, the Barun valley protects the pristine mountain ecosystem. You will be welcomed by waterfalls, deep gorges, jagged rocks, dense forests, and bright flowers during your visit here. This valley also protects some of the few alpine ecosystems in the world with rugged, uninhabited terrain.
As a fun fact, the Barun valley preserves 3000 species of plants, 440 species of birds, and 75 species of mammals. Some plant species, like Swertia Barunesis and Potentilla Makaluensis, are only found in this valley. If you have luck traveling in this valley, you may encounter some rare animals, such as clouded leopards, snow leopards, red pandas, musk deer, and wild boars.
On the religious side, the Barun valley is a holy place for Buddhists and Hindus. Often Buddhists state this valley to be evergreen, while Hindus state it to be the sacred tap of Lord Shiva.
Siddha Gufa in Bandipur
Siddha Gufa (Cave) is a hidden gem in Bandipur, about 437 meters and 50 meters high. According to the sources, it is one of the largest caves in Nepal and home to numerous bats. Its inside is eroded by minerals such as stalactites and stalagmites, which gives it a cathedral-like look.
This cave is over 300 meters from Prithvi Thruway, and you will need Rs.200 for the cave’s entrance. Altogether, around 2500 people can fit in this cave alone. Also, this cave is open to the public from 7 am to 7 pm.
Namje in Dhankuta
Namje is a beautiful village in Dhankuta, which lies in the eastern part of Nepal. This particular village stands at an elevation of 1585 meters above sea level and is mainly dominated by the Magar settlements. You will be surrounded by aesthetically pleasing Nepali houses, terraced fields, and dense forests during your trip here.
Well, in this valley, you will also get a stunning view of the fifth-highest mountain in the world, Mount Makalu. If you are looking forward to this trip, you must catch a flight to Biratnagar from Kathmandu.
Olangchung Gola in Taplejung
Olangchung Gola is a remote village in the Taplejung district, which lies in northeast Nepal. Near the mountainous region, this village is snow-clad and offers mesmerizing views of the world’s third-highest mountain, Kanchenjunga.
Not to mention, Olangchung Gola is the last village before crossing the Lumbasumba La pass. Due to its placement in the mountain aside, it rarely gets tourists or travelers.
Enjoy The Local EcoTours In Nepal
Apart from some long journeys to enjoy the natural beauty, you can do multiple activities in Nepal. Below are some other things you might want to indulge yourself in.
- Try authentic Newari cuisines in Kritipur, which is not to Kathmandu. Kritipur is an old Newari settlement with unique cuisines to offer.
- Visit Changu Narayan, which is located in the east of the Kathmandu Valley. It is one of the oldest temples dating back to the fifth century that is enlisted among the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
- Explore Panauti, which is about a two-hour drive from central Kathmandu. This town depicts a multi-tiered Indreshwar Temple built in the 13th century.
- Experience the wildlife journey at Bardia National Park in the far western region of Nepal. This park includes forests, grasslands, and the Karnali River. During your visit, you can also enjoy white water rafting and kayaking in the Karnali river.
- Go bird watching in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, where you can find about 500 species of birds.
- Check out the tree plantation in Ilam and enjoy the fresh herbal tea.
Frequently Asked Questions
Travelers engage in activities such as hiking, rock climbing, nature walks, water sports, etc., while minimizing their impact on the surrounding environment.
The three major components of ecotourism are a focus on nature, environmental education, and sustainably managed operations.