Surrounded by the highest mountains in the world is the fascinating world of Nepal, the Golden Kingdom of the Himalayas. Compared to the hubbub of the Nepal capital of Kathmandu, the lakes of the Pokhara Valley located two hundred kilometres to the west are tranquil and relaxing. The freshwater lakes, the Pokhari, also gave the region its name. The vast forest areas of Chitwan in the south of the country on the border with India provide a surprisingly diverse variety of flora and fauna and make its nickname of, The Heart of the Jungle, appropriate. Modern life is far more obvious in Kathmandu Valley than in the south of the country. But the region’s rich historical heritage with its magnificent temples and palatial buildings is still a magnificent sight. The valley is like a huge treasure trove and it is where the cultural development of Nepal first began. Despite its slow development this land has preserved much of its fascinating mediaeval atmosphere. Lalitpur was once known as a centre of Buddhism with more than a hundred and fifty monasteries including the most famous main monastery, the so-called Golden Temple, the Kwa Bahal. With a population of around seventy-five thousand, Bhaktapur, once an independent royal city, is the third largest city in Kathmandu. Apart from the Swayambhunath Stupa, Bodhnath, otherwise known as, Tiny Tibet, is the most important Buddhist sanctuary and also the largest sacred building of its kind in Kathmandu Valley. Surrounded and protected by the highest mountains in the world in a truly magical setting where the Earth seems to touch the sky, the Golden Kingdom of the Himalayas lives on in perfect timeless beauty and majestic brilliance!
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