Plan your Nepal trip in December

Nepal trip, covering Kathmandu, Pokhara and Nagarkot was a perfect week long getaway with the family. Initially, we were planning for a Dubai trip and started looking for hotels in Dubai. But eventually didn’t go for it and instead settled for Nepal. Nepal has crisp weather in December, with clear sky and better visibility. It has a lot of history, culture and natural beauty that can be enjoyed in a cooler weather. We booked our flights with Jetairways to Nepal. Jetairways has comfortable seats and they are prompt with updating flight status, which was required given that we were travelling with two small children. Though adventure outings like visit to Annapurna Base Camp, Everest Base Camp, and flight in a glider/helicopter or walking 10 floors down to Gupteshwor Cave was challenging with the tiny tots. Still we managed one. We completely had a ball and here are the details about our visit to Nepal. You will find some good recommendations in this write up so take note and plan your travel with the kids.

Kathmandu, Durbar Square, Palace, Nepal, Jetairways, Trip to Nepal

Booked a flight with Jetairways – Mumbai to Kathmandu

Kathmandu, Durbar Square, Palace, Nepal

Kathmandu Durbar Square, Nepal

Kathmandu – Kathmandu is like any other busy city, full of traffic and dust but it does give you a flavor of what has to come next with heritage buildings and monuments all over. The airport is small and for Indian citizens there is no visa requirement. There are not many screens to check the flight status and you need to be alert with the announcements. When we reached Kathmandu, I felt that I moved 20 years back in time. The electric pole wires hanging in heaps on the sides of the roads, the dug up roads reminded me of the gone by era. For some time, I doubted my decision to have chosen Nepal over Dubai. Hotels in Dubai are very beautiful but I guess Himalayas charm had won the toss. I wanted to be near the mountains. Kathmandu was a perfect start to our sojourn.

Kathmandu, Durbar Square, Palace, Nepal, Jetairways, Trip to Nepal, Nagarkot, Mystic Moutain Hotel

Charm of the Himalayas, view from Mystic Mountain Hotel, Nagarkot

Kathmandu Durbar Square or the Basantpur Durbar square is good, but Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Square fare far better than Kathmandu square. Patan is half an hour away from Kathmandu. Bhaktapur is a little over 45 minutes away from the Kathmandu city centre. A lot has been destroyed during the 2015 earthquake. But still the ancient buildings, architecture, wood carvings attract you and depict a glorified past that was lost with time. All three squares showcase spectacular architecture and the skills of the Newar artists and craftsmen over several centuries. All three durbar squares are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Day trip can be organized from Kathmandu to these places. Take a guide who can explain to you the value and significance of the various structures. Kathmandu city is dotted with temples, shrines and monasteries. Take your pick while visiting these. After a while, all look the same. Though, a few stand out, like Swayambhunath temple, where you have to climb a flight of stairs and it is full of monkeys. These monkeys are used to humans. Even their off springs are very comfortable around humans. If you are planning to buy a souvenir then go for authentic Thangka made by the Lamas or the art students who are learning to paint Tanka. Tibetan markets offer some exclusive gifts, especially very vibrant and beautiful handwoven carpets.

Kathmandu, Durbar Square, Palace, Nepal, Jetairways, Trip to Nepal, Swayambhu Nath Temple, Monkey Temple

Swayambhu Nath Temple, monkey’s abode

The Panauti temple square is also beautiful. If you are planning to spend some time with the locals, then do try out the Panauti Home Stay. The local villagers invite you to their home for a simple lunch but you can sit with them, chit-chat, drink tea and learn a lot about their lives. Not only in Panauti, these home-stays are available in many other cities. Here is a link to their website Community Home Stays for more information.

Quick tip: Though hotels arrange for taxis but remember that you will have to walk a lot and climb stairs at many places. So it will be a good idea to wear comfortable shoes and leave the baby prams at home. You hardly get to use them. Their 5 stars are as good as our 3 stars so do not expect a plush property, except for a few new ones. We stayed in Shangri-La Hotel and the services, food and amenities were just about average.

What to eat?

We ate amazing food at Nanglo and Brick Café in Kathmandu. Brick Café offers some remarkable local performances in the evening. The spicy vegetable and mushroom Choila is a must try. The Nepalese cuisine varies and has influences of Tibetian food as well. Momos are available everywhere, though they prefer an orange coloured tomato based chutney instead of the fiery red chili chutney that is served in India. Thukpa, Yamori, Juju Dhau, Nepali Thali, Sel Roti and other Tibetan dishes are eaten throughout the day. The Newari food is pretty different. We tried a few dishes on our visit to Nanglo., nepali thali, Pokhara

Nepali Thali, what the locals eat

Kathmandu, nepali food, Nanglo, best restaurant in Kathmandu

Newari delicasies at Naglo with Gorkha beer

Pokhara – A little piece of heaven – quiet, beautiful and serene. – Needless to say, it was our favourite among all places we visited in Nepal. I recommend that you take a flight to Pokhara from Kathmandu. It is a 15 minute flight in a lightweight, 40 seater Yeti Airlines which is an experience in itself. If possible try to get the right side seats for an Amazing Himalayas snowcapped peaks. The Kathmandu domestic airport is chaotic, but on the other hand Pokhara airport is just beautiful and a tiny little gem. You actually climb down from the aircraft and walk to the arrivals where your baggage is given. The city looks lazy but is pollution free. We stayed in Shangri-La Village Hotel which is a decent property with sprawling lawns for the kids to run around. You get a clear view of the Himalayas from the rooms located on the first floor. In the evenings, local musicians play for the guests and you can do an outdoor dinner in their only restaurant. The fish pond mesmerizes the babies. The hammocks look inviting.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square, 5 roof temple

This small town has some impressive sights. Visit to Gupteshwor Cave was thrilling. We climbed down 10 storeys, struggled through wet stairs, narrow passages, very low ceilings and power cuts. But the end result was the bottom of the cave where water fall from Davis Falls finds its way. There is a 1000 year old Shiva temple so many come here for their Hindu faith while chanting Har Har Mahadev. Small children to old citizens, people throng this cave in huge numbers. We were just praying to get out alive. At this point I thought that it would have been better if we were travelling without the kids. Carrying my two year old up and down that Cave with wet floor, was no easy feat.

Bhaktapur, Nepal, trip to Nepal

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Lake Phewa is beautiful and changes colours with the sunlight. There is a temple in the middle of the lake and local boatsmen help you reach the temple, as well as take you around the lake. You can go fishing on the other side or arrange a jungle trekking opposite the lake. Though our boat man warned us that there were leopards in the jungle. Be prepared for some cardio if you take the paddle boat, but they looked much safer than the tiny dinghies. Life jackets are a must. But the lake gives you some amazing views of the mountains in the background. Again my two year old freaked out the minute he got on the boat. If he could, he would have jumped off the boat. But later grudgingly settled for a nap while we enjoyed our sail across the lake.

Bhaktapur town from a height. I wish I had visited the town before the earthquake destroyed most of it

Our guide suggested that we should take a flight (glider/helicopter) to Annapurna Base Camp. I so wished to do this. But then I thought that my kid would be traumatized in an open glider or a helicopter so we kept this for our next visit. This is where I wished that if my kids were a bit older then I wouldn’t have to opt out of these experiences.  Nevertheless, we invested each and every minute of our trip with our puddings having fun. Pokhara also has a World Peace/ Shanti Stupa on Ananda Hill where you have to climb quite a lot of steps. It was tiring. But once on the top, you can see beautiful views of the Himalayas and the Phewa lake. Buddhist monastery near the stupa was abuzz with chants and drum beats. The phrase no pain, no gain was apt for this location. We also had a locally grown, roasted and brewed Himalayan coffee at a shop on our way down. It gave us wonderful view of the Pokhara valley.

Nepal, Royal Guard

My puddin with the Royal Guard

We also went for the Sunrise, on one of the days and felt it was over hyped. Not recommended.

If you are looking for souvenirs, buy pair of Nepalese Bride Groom Dolls or visit the Tibetan market to buy carpets and metal Buddhist prayer bowls, etc.

Where to eat?

We dined at the Harbor restaurant near Lake Phewa and the food didn’t disappoint us, neither did the ambience. If you can, visit here. There are many eating joints in front of Davis Fall that serve local Nepali Thali, tea and momo. To calm your nerves after the Gupteshwor cave visit, a small bite here is worth it.

Nagarkot – We saw exceptional views of the Himlayas from the hotel Mystic Mountain. Crystal clear snow peaks and lush green valleys. That’s Nagarkot for you. The rooms are spacious and decent in Mystic Mountain. There are no major sight-seeing places so technically you sit in your room and do nothing. And that is what we wanted to do on a holiday. You can go for small treks around the hotel but beyond that nothing else. The road to reach Nagarkot is seriously broken. It took us almost 2 hours to reach Mystic Mountain from Kathmandu. But the view was breath taking. Their restaurant is fantastic and offers some finger licking food. We wished to stay there for another day but it was completely sold out. Nagarkot is for people who love peace and tranquility. And I would highly recommend this hotel.

Where to eat?

Local stalls. Try Sel Roti and Samosa.

How did you like this post? Do you have any suggestions for Nepal visit for the readers? Do leave your suggestions in the comments section below.

About MumbaiGloss

Parimita Chakravorty is an author, blogger, features writer and a communications specialist. She has written for various popular magazines and websites related to beauty, fashion, jewellery and lifestyle, including HAIR India,,, Hello, etc. She has also contributed to various youth blogs and magazines. Her book ‘Look Stunning At Any Size’ has been well appreciated and received by the readers. Currently, she is part of India’s leading IT brand and takes care of their internal communications. Parimita is also working towards bringing awareness about Endometriosis in India; a silent epidemic which is consuming a lot of lives. She manages a page ‘Endometriosis India Files’ where patients discuss their condition and diagnosis.
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