Sightseeing Places Outside Kathmandu Valley
Lumbini (Buddha Burn Place)
Lumbini associated with the birth of Lord Buddha is of extreme archeological importance and also a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. It is said that Prince Siddhartha Gautam, who later became Buddha the Enlightened One, was born in the gardens of Nepal's Lumbini in 623 B.C. The main shrines of Lumbini are the newly restored Mayadevi Temple, the Ashokan Pillar behind the temple and the Lake Shakya Puskarini where Mayadevi is said to have bathed before delivering the little Buddha into the world.
Several other places near Lumbini are linked with stories connected to Buddha and Buddhism. Lumbini is about 300 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu. Bus and flights to Bhairahawa which is about 22 kilometers from Lumbini, are available from major cities. From Bhairahawa transport services to Lumbini are easily available. Food and accommodation facilities are available in Lumbini and Bhairahawa
Chitwan National Park
Nepal's first and most famous national park is situated in the Chitwan Doon or the lowlands of the Inner Terai. Covering an area of 932 sq km. the park includes hilly areas of the Siwalik Range covered by deciduous sal forest. A fifth of the park is made up of the floodplains of the Narayani, Rapti, and the Reu Rivers and is covered by dense tall elephant grass interspersed with riverine forests of silk cotton (kapok), acacia and sisam trees. This ecologically diverse area is the last remaining home in Nepal for more than 300 of the endangered Asian one-horned rhinoceros and harbours one of the largest populations of the elusive and rare Royal Bengal tiger. Besides rhino and tiger, Chitwan also supports a great variety of flora and fauna. There are four species of deer, including the spotted chittal, leopard, sloth bear, wild boar, rhesus monkey, grey langur monkey, wild dog, small wild cats, the white stockinged gaur (the world's largest wild cattle) and many other smaller animals. The swampy areas and numerous oxbow lakes of Chitwan provide a home for marsh crocodiles. In a stretch of the Narayani river is found one of the few remaining populations of the rare and endangered fish-only eating gharial, or Genetic crocodile. Here also is found one of the world's four species of freshwater dolphins. For the ornithologist and the amateur bird-watcher the park offers excellent possibilities with more than 450 species recorded. Some of the resident specialities are several species of woodpeckers, hornbills, Bengal florican, and red-headed trogons. Winter birds such as waterfowl, Brahminy duck, pintails and bareheaded geese, amongst many other cold weather visitors are drawn by the sanctuary of the park's rivers. In the summer the forest is alive with nesting migrants such as the fabulous paradise flycatcher, the Indian pitta and parakeets.
Sagarmatha National Park
The Sagarmatha National Park with its rugged mountains, glaciers, valleys and crowned by the highest peak on earth Mt. Everest at 8,848 meters lies in Northeast Nepal. The 1,148 sq. kilometers of Sagarmatha National Park extends across the region's river areas and the famous Sherpas' home front Khumbu. Forests of rhododendron, birch, blue pine, juniper and silver fir are found up to an altitude of 4,000 meters. Rare species of animals like the snow leopard, pandas, lynx are seen in the region. Rare bird varieties like snow cock, snow pegion and different species of pheasant are also to be seen here. The park was declared a Natural Heritage Site in 1979.