It's not just mountaineers with their hearts set on conquering Everest who fall in love with the Himalayan country of Nepal. With stunning scenery, fringed by the highest peaks on the planet, leading down to steamy jungle packed with wildlife, there's something for everyone.
In addition to a distinctive ancient Hindu and Buddhist culture, Nepal has jaw-dropping mountains with spectacular scenery for walkers and trekkers. If there is a hikers' paradise, this is it, with picturesque mountain villages linked by hundreds of trails that have been used for centuries, with little change noticeable even today. Trails are dotted with intriguing temples to discover on the way.
Nepal was created from an amalgam of principalities in 1768 under King Prithvi Narayan Shah. Under the control of a hereditary king, it became a ‘buffer state' between the British Empire and territories to the north. The country became independent in 1923, but it was not until 1947 (the year of Indian independence) and total withdrawal of the British before Nepal achieved complete autonomy. In May 2008, the monarchy was abolished making Nepal the world's newest republic.