The Beauty of Nepal
The mountains in the distance, the clouds rolling in in the early hours of the morning, the strange cawing of a bird that sounded like “aiyo”. This is all part of the Nepal experience. Situated between India and China, Nepal is known for her mountains, especially the Himalayas and the formidable Mount Everest. Their city, Kathmandu, is a busy and bustling myriad of heavy traffic and tourists alike.
But if you want to leave urbanisation, take a bus up to Nagarkot where friendly locals and the splendor of Mother Nature awaits you. 2000 metres above sea level, Nagarkot was a whole new world to me. From the balcony of my resort, I could see sprawling green terraces spotted with goats and cows grazing while farmers went about their daily duties. Beyond them were snow-capped mountains, standing proudly against the backdrop of the clear blue sky. The Himalayas were truly a sight. It was like a postcard turned into reality, except with the added bonus of all the allure that could not be captured by the mere lens of a camera. Along the winding sand roads are feathery white stalks and brilliantly colourful flowers that bloom in the mostly cool temperature of Nagarkot.
Sunrises and sunsets in Nagarkot are beautiful. There is no better way to see the sun shining through the cracks of the dark and misty morning than over the silhouettes of the mountains. In the evening, the sunlight gleams off the snow-capped mountains, giving way for the moon to rise in the magnificent star-strewn night sky.
The beauty of Nagarkot wasn’t only from what Mother Nature had gifted her with; The people living in the rural areas of Nagarkot also had their role. Friendly to a fault, the Nepali people would smile at you upon making eye contact. Our calls of “namaste (hello in Nepalese)” were always answered with a “namaste” in return, accompanied with a slight bow and their hands pressed together as was the usual greeting in Nepal. Besides those who worked at the resorts, the Nepali people didn’t speak English. You’d think that that would result in them ignoring us non-Nepalese speaking foreigners like how we might avoid people in our country who spoke a language that we didn’t. On the contrary, they made the effort to try communicating with us through body language, gestures, and even attempting to pick up English words and teach us Nepalese.
After spending most of the two weeks up in the mountains of Nagarkot, going back down to Kathmandu was a culture shock. We were back in civilization; back to traffic and proper shops and buildings. For what they lack in natural monuments, they compensate with their meticulously carved wooden beams and temples. They sell a large variety of top-quality pashmina shawls and handmade knick knacks ranging from bar soaps to stationery – a small sliver of the beauty of Nepal that you can bring back with you.
Text and images by Arynah Aminuddin
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