The 10 Best Small Towns in Nepal
Colorful Newari town and hugely popular travel destination, situated at an elevation of 4,757 feet (1,450 m) in the hills of western Nepal. The center of Tansen is a thoroughly enchanting maze of market squares and steep, narrow alleys winding around temples and traditional shop-houses where metalwork and weaving dhaka cloth is the order of the day. The town also provides the best and most extensive views of the Himalayas and short, day hikes to Ridi. Tansen is about 6 hours driving time from Pokhara, or 2 hours or so from Lumbini.
Location: In the Palpa District, Western Nepal, west of Pokhara
Sankhu is a sleepy little village, surrounded by hills, just to the west of Helambu; and a place, too, of pilgrimage, where the principal draw is a 17th-century temple dedicated to the tantric goddess Bajra Jogini. There are several other shrines, stupas, statues, and a few caves here as well, the last of these the abode of the siddhas of India once upon a time. The village is on the ancient trade route to Helambu.
Location: Bagmati Zone, Central Nepal
One of Nepal's older small cities, at once historical and cultural, situated on the ancient Bhaktapur-Kathmandu trade route. Thimi is famous for its handicrafts, particularly its brightly-colored painted masks, its terracotta and pottery items, and delightful, handmade dolls and candle holders. It also hosts such popular cultural events as Gai Jatra and Bisket Jatra. The city lies between Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur
Location: Bhaktapur District, Bagmati Zone, Central Nepal
Dhulikhel, a medieval town perched on a hilltop on the "Highway to Tibet," offers a unique window on Nepalese village life, as well as some of the best sunrise views of the central Himalayan peaks. The old part of town is supremely flavorful, filled with traditional Newari houses, some more than five centuries old, with hand-carved doors and windows, winding around narrow, pedestrians-only streets. There are also several ancient temples in Dhulikhel, all fine examples of Newari craftsmanship.
Location: Kavrepalanchok District, Central-eastern Nepal
An absolutely stunning town in the Kathmandu Valley, all but a stone's throw from Kathmandu, set against a backdrop of the snow-clad Himalayas, with ancient houses covering the gently-sloping terraced hillsides. From a purely scenic standpoint, there's no town quite as picturesque as this one. Kirtipur has both Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas, and an 18th-century former royal palace.
Location: Bagmati Zone, Kathmandu Valley, 5 km southwest of Kathmandu
Location: 18 miles (30 km) west of Kathmandu
Bungmati and Khokana
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