Location

In Nepal it feels like the clock has gone back several hundred years when one comes from the western world. The capital city is a maze of narrow, unpaved streets lined with terracotta-roofed houses. With its thousands of shrines, temples and antiquities, Kathmandu is often referred to as a "living museum." Taxis, buses, rickshaws and bicycles compete for space with a clamor of horns, stopping only to allow a cow right of way. Cows are sacred in Nepal, the only country with Hinduism as its state religion, and killing one carries the same penalty as murder. Kathmandu is perhaps best described by its smell: The wafts of incense and the stench of sewage typify the juxtaposition of the city' incredible beauty and distressing poverty.

The reason Nepal is such a popular tourist destination is immediately evident. Even from Kathmandu there are spectacular views of the mountains. Eight out of the ten highest peaks in the world are here, and the surrounding foothills offer superb trekking. In the popular tourist district of Thamel it is impossible to walk down the street without being offered a trekking package. Every guidebook and traveler in the Thamel coffee shops waxes lyrical about trekking, mountain biking, white water rafting and tiger spotting in the Royal Chitwan National Park. Most also feel obliged to describe their holiday bowel movements in minute detail.

Volunteers are welcome to choose any location in the country as per the volunteers' wish; connections could be established to any location of the country. VSSN can arrange volunteering opportunities in every part of the country from the Himalaya to the low-land Tarai. However, VSSN recommends following beautiful but underdeveloped working places located in the Kathmandu valley, Chitwan and Pokhara.
 
Kathmandu Valley

Kathmandu

Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal and is situated at an altitude of 1350m. Almost all types of facilities are available in the Kathmandu valley, such as hospitals, means of transportation, hotels, restaurants etc. This city is one of the richest cities in culture and history in all of Nepal, so lots of interesting local festivals and cultural events and shows can be observed. At least one festival can be seen in nearly every week of the year. There is also an array of interesting places to see in an around Kathmandu, from ancient temples to amazing landscapes. In, and outside, Kathmandu there are urban and rural areas, so placement can be arranged according to the volunteer's wish.

Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur is lying at 14 KM east of capital city Kathmandu. Bhaktapur is "the city of Devotees". It is locally known as "Khwopa and Bhadgaon" which is world renowned for its elegant art, fabulous culture, colorful festivals, traditional dances and indigenous lifestyle of different people of different religion. For its majestic monuments, temples and the native typical Newar lifestyle best known for their long history of craftsmanship, the ancient city is also variously known as the "City of Culture", "Living Heritage" , "Nepal's Cultural Gem" and "An open museum". Given such unequaled opulence in ancient art and culture, Bhaktapur is more like an open museum, and the ambiance here is such that it instantly transports visitors back by centuries. This conch shaped historic city is spreading over an area of 6.88 square KM at 1,401 meters above sea level, which was founded in the 12th century by King Anand Dev Malla. Bhaktapur was the capital city of the Greater Malla Kingdom till the 15th century AD. Volunteering opportunities can be arranged in city and also in the villages near the city.

Lalitpur (Patan)

The ancient name of Patan is Lalitpur, meaning city of beauty. It is indeed a city of beauty and grace and is planned on a circular format with Buddhist stupas at each of the four points of the compass. The city is three kilometers south-east of Kathmandu across the southern bank of the river Bagmati. Like Kathmandu, its most photogenic centre of attraction is its Durbar Square complex, situated right in the middle of the market place. The city is full of Buddhist monuments and Hindu temples, with fine bronze gateways, guardian deities also and wonderful carvings. Noted for its craftsmen and metal workers, it is also known as the city of artists. The city is believed to have been built during the reign of Vira Deva in 299 A.D. Volunteering opportunities will be arranged near villages in Lalitpur district.

Pokhara

Pokhara is a remarkable place of natural beauty. Situated at an altitude of 827m from the sea level and 200km west of Kathmandu valley, the city is known as a center of adventure. The enchanting city with a population of around 95,000 has several beautiful lakes and offers stunning panoramic views of Himalayan peaks. The serenity of lakes and the magnificence of the Himalayas rising behind them create an ambience of peace and magic. So today the city has not only become the starting point for most popular trekking and rafting destinations but also a place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Pokhara is part of a once vibrant trade route extending between India and Tibet. To this day, mule trains can be seen camped on the outskirts of the town, bringing goods to trade from remote regions of the Himalaya. This is the land of Magars and Gurungs, hardworking farmers and valorous warriors who have earned worldwide fame as Gurkha soldiers. The Thakalis, another important ethnic group here, are known for their entrepreneurship.

The climate of Pokhara is slightly warmer than Kathmandu with daytime temperature hovering around 15 degrees Celsius in winter and 35 degrees in summer. The monsoon season which lasts from mid-June to mid-September is very wet; in fact Pokhara records the highest rainfall in the country. Best time to visit is between October and April.

Chitawan

Formerly, the Chitwan valley was well known for big game and was exclusively managed as a hunting reserve for the Rana Prime Ministers and their guests until 1950. In 1963, the area south of Rapti was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. In 1970, His late Majesty King Mahendra had approved in principle the creation of Royal Chitwan National Park.

Royal Chitwan National Park stands today as a successful testimony of nature conservation in South Asia. This is the first national park of Nepal established in 1973 to preserve a unique ecosystem significantly valuable to the whole world. The park covering a pristine area of 932 sq. km is situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of southern central part of Nepal. The park has gained much wider recognition in the world when UNESCO included this area on the list of World Heritage Site in 1984. The park boundaries have been delineated by the Narayani and Rapti rivers in the north and west, and the Reu river and Someshwor hills in the south and south-west. It shares its eastern border with Parsa Wildlife Reserve. Volunteering opportunities will be organized in urban and rural area of Chitwan according to volunteers interest.

Contact Address

Volunteer Service & Support Nepal
Dhumbarahi, Kathmandu.
GPO Box: 8974 CPC 478
Kathmandu, Nepal

Email

matrika@volunteer-nepal.org
volnepal@gmail.com

Contact

Matrika Rijal
(+977) 98510 48497