Exploring the City of Nepal in October

October is the most popular touring season in Nepal, owing to the moderate temperature and clear skies that come after the monsoon. The perfect weather for trekking and other mountain-based activities and the best panoramic views of the snow-clad Himalayas and lush greenery attracts people from all over the world to Nepal during this month, making it the peak tourist season. Escape the crowds by visiting offbeat locations and plan your trip well in advance to make your trip to Nepal worthwhile. Go through the article to get an idea of the offbeat places to visit and things to do in Nepal during October.

Weather in Nepal in October

The monsoon rains subside by the end of September to mid-October when the main tourist season of Nepal begins. Temperatures are moderate in mid-hills where Pokhara and Kathmandu are located, usually ranging from 21 to 28-degree celsius while the higher ranges remain cool. It may rain a little during October, so be prepared and pack your things accordingly. The pleasant weather, warm sunny days, clear skies with clear views of the mountains and green valleys, attracts the trekkers who fill up almost all trails in the Everest and Annapoorna range. 

Places to visit & Things to do in Nepal in October

1. Visit the Lesser - Known Locations

Pokhara
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To escape from the crowds at the regular tourist spots in the Kathmandu valley or the Pokhara lakeside, try visiting the offbeat but beautiful destinations in Nepal. Try visiting the Rupa Taal in Pokhara for a peaceful getaway among the large lake, green hills and forests. Explore the caves in Gorakhnath and Bandipur, or roam around the picturesque lush green carpets in Barun valley- the Amazon-like green covers located at the base of Makalu Himal. For a culturally enriching experience, visit the popular pilgrimage sites of Janakpur, Lumbini, Bhaktapur or Swayambhunath temple, the heritage sites known for their amazing architecture and craftsmanship. Phulchowki hill station, the highest and less crowded hill station located at the south of Kathmandu, offers the best panoramic view of the mountains and valleys and is also a good spot for birdwatching.

2. Explore the Offbeat Trails

Nepal offbeat trek
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The perfect weather condition for trekking and camping is what makes October the peak season for trekking enthusiasts in Nepal. If trekking in the Everest and Annapoorna is your main purpose of visit, remember that you would not be having a trekking trail or a viewpoint all for yourself. Trek to the less popular and remote areas of the Himalayas to beat the crowds, but still have the spectacular trekking experience and views of the Everest and its neighbours. The Gokyo Lakes trek along with the highest freshwater lake system, the Three Passes trek that crosses three challenging mountain passes, the challenging trek from Arun Valley to EBC through the heritage site of Sagarmatha national park and Barun valley, the Limi Valley trek, and the Dhaulagiri circuit trek are some of the treks that leaves the usual crowds of the regular Everest base camp treks behind.

3. Adventure Activities

Adventure in Nepal
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Apart from trekking and mountain climbing, mountain biking, hiking and camping are some of the activities that can be enjoyed in this season. You can also try bungee jumping in Bhote Koshi river, and paraglide with an amazing view from Sarangkot or Bandipur. For those who wish to take on an adventure to a next level, try bike riding along the mountains, to the Tibetan border in Gyirong. 

The Karnali Rivers, Sun Koshi, Bhote Koshi, Tamur, and other lakesides in Nepal offer the perfect settings for a water expedition during this season. With the rise in water and atmospheric temperature, water-based activities such as white water rafting, kayaking, and canyoning is also possible in a few places. Mountain climbing and Kayaking lessons are also offered in some places.

Events in Nepal in October

Some festivals that often fall in October (depending on the lunar calendar) are: 

1. Dashain

Dashain Nepal
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Dashain is one of the important festivals of Nepali Hindus, celebrated to honour goddess Durga and the triumph of good over evil. The celebration lasts for two weeks, during which elaborate poojas and animal sacrifices are done to please the goddess, while the locals in Kathmandu valleys dress in their fineries, seek blessings of their elders, visit friends and relatives and exchange gifts. Ghatasthapana, Phool Pati, Mahaashtami, Navami and Bijaya Dashami are the important days towards the end of Dashain, each marked with a significance and a different set of rituals.

2. Tihar

Tihar in Nepal
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Tihar or the festival of lights is another important festival celebrated by Nepali Hindus to honour Yama, the god of death and Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. The five-day-long festival has different rituals and significance on different days but has a common ritual of lighting up of homes and localities with lamps, candles and electric lights. The festival begins with worshipping the gods and concludes with Bhai Tika, the brother’s day in Nepal. The festival is celebrated by exchanging gifts, decorating homes, making special food and feasting, and bursting of firecrackers.

If you are high up on the mountains during the festive season, you won't be able to witness the festivities going on in lower parts, because the inhabitants of the mountain region are usually the Sherpas who follow Tibetan Buddhism. Sherpas celebrate an important festival called Mani Rimdu, which usually falls during October or November. Mani Rimdu is celebrated by Buddhists in the Himalayas to honour their Guru Rimpoche. Grand shows and performances are put up on the Tengboche, Thame and Chiwong monasteries, where monks dress up in colourful costumes and masks.
Mani Rimdu
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The festivals as well as the opening of high altitude trekking camps after the monsoon, make October the peak tourist season in Nepal with soaring rates for accommodation, travel and other services. Make sure to book your tickets, rooms and services well in advance if you are planning to visit Nepal during October. Do not be afraid to travel to the lesser-known and remote areas to avoid the crowds, because no matter where you are, Nepal has its own way of pleasing its visitors- be it through the picturesque landscapes, adventure activities, cultural heritage or the unique Nepali cuisine.

This post was published by Sriya Ganesh

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