August 10, 2016:Â Nepal has been placed on the list of the top 10 places that deserve more travellers by the National Geographic.
The UK-based popular travel publication in its June issue has placed Nepal on the top 3 spots among the round up of 10 places.
The situation on the ground
Although Kathmanduâ€”and Nepalâ€”have long attracted adventurous travellers, the countryâ€™s April 2015 earthquake, which killed 8,000 and wrought about $10 billion (half of Nepalâ€™s GDP) in damages, decimated the countryâ€™s tourism industry, it writes.
Kathmanduâ€™s Durbar Square, a UNESCO-listed compound of palaces dating back as far as the tenth century, was partially destroyed, as was another of Kathmanduâ€™s iconic structures: the 19th-century Dharahara tower.
A year later, however, Nepalâ€™s situation is, if not what it once was, then nonetheless stable. And although several of Kathmanduâ€™s most famous tourist structures have been damaged or destroyed by the earthquake, othersâ€”like the fifth-century Pashupatinath Temple and the relic-containing stupa of Boudhanath, now undergoing restorationsâ€”remain largely, if not entirely, intact, it said.
WHY GO NOW
Power may not be a constant (nor are paved roads) but for travellers willing to sacrifice a degree of comfort for a sense of adventure, Nepalâ€™s draw remains, it said. â€œNepalâ€™s economy, deeply reliant on the tourism trade, is more in need than ever of visitors. While the earthquake has damaged Nepalâ€™s man-made structures, its mountain trailsâ€”including the legendary Annapurna Circuit through the snow-capped shadow of the Himalayaâ€”remain accessible.â€
Only two of Nepalâ€™s 35 listed trails have been rerouted as a result of earthquake damage, and as early as last summer, all of the Annapurna trailâ€™s bridges were successfully tested for safety.
If youâ€™re not up to a seven-day trek in the Himalayan wilderness, Kathmandu has a range of more sedate activities on offer. The tradition of the Himalayan singing bowlsâ€”bell-like structures historically rung before, during, or after periods of Buddhist meditationâ€”has a long history in Nepal. Cultural centres like the Kathmandu Centre of Healing offer three-day intensive bowl workshops (from $300) where you can learn the art of playing the bowls to make them â€œsing.â€
Last year, the UK-based magazine on its â€˜Cool List’ for 2016 had placed Nepal in the sixth spots among 16 cool locations.