Welcome to Manakamana
From the tiny hamlet of Cheres (6km before Mugling), an Austrian-engineered cable car soars up a vertiginous hillside to the ancient Manakamana Temple, the apex of a religious vacation for Hindus far and wide. The temple itself is somewhat disappointing – it's relatively small, and seemingly held together by scaffolding since the 2015 earthquake. But the journey up and the cultural experience at the top make this trip worth doing. Hindus believe that the goddess Bhagwati, who is enshrined here, has the power to grant wishes, and many newlyweds arrive to pray for male children. Tacky, the goddess of bad advertising, also reigns: as the cable car rises, you'll see enormous corporate billboards embedded in the mountainside. Non-Hindus will get many curious glances and endless opportunities to meet fellow travellers, including extended families from India.