Kathmandu Valley, it is one of the prime destinations well acknowledged as the place where the Eastern culture began and thrived in harmony with its long neighbor India. Unsurprisingly, it is also the land of the densest concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. The history of the Art War that began in the valley between the kings of then three medieval kingdoms (Kathmandu, Bhaktapur & Patan) is as old as 4th century.
Artistically built Durbar Squares where cluster of temples, museums, royal residences and bahals manifest tremendous skill of expert architecture of the ancient and medieval eras. The gigantic dome shaped stupas at Boudhanath & Swayambhunath demonstrate the Buddhist influence in the valley for a long long time and the sacred Hindu Temples like Pashupatinath and Changunarayan is the religious showcase of ancient Hindu rituals and culture. In short, the biggest hub where Hinduism so well blends with Buddhism is Kathmandu Valley.
Traveling around the major landmarks of Kathmandu, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites is an opportunity to see the best of Nepal’s ancient and medieval treasures. The word treasure clearly signifies the architectural, historical and the cultural values these landmarks cater. Moreover, the activities that are always vibrant in these landmarks of the valley cater tremendous opportunity of cultural exploration along with the Photography opportunities.
Apart from the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the authentic and rich Newari culture seen in few villages lying around the valley literally takes you to the past. The only place on earth that boasts on creating Gods and Goddess and showcasing them with spiritual devotions during the festivals unique in themselves is Kathmandu Valley.
Housing the capital of the country, the valley also has some weird aspects that totally fantasizes the travelers at times and irritates at others. Cosmopolitan valley has massive pollution amidst the cultural opulence. Not well managed honking vehicles and motorbikes trigger long traffic jams at peak hours of the day. Despite everything that doesn’t attract a westerner who is used to with the well managed lifestyle, sometimes weirdness does grab their attentions. In the case of Kathmandu, weirdness looks even more beautiful because the cultural richness so well blended with crazy modern aspects is found nowhere else on earth.
After the agonizing pain every sectors of Nepal suffered because of devastating 7.9 magnitude quake last year, the country was gradually getting back to normalcy. However, the declaration of constitution in the middle of 2015 triggered Terai agitation and the blockade resulting the scarcity of essential goods. Despite all these adverse consequences, the tourism sector of Nepal begins to witness a series of positive incidents that really tend to drive the the travelers across the world to Nepal, which is an undoubted capital for outdoor adventure.
Here are ten latest News of Nepalese Tourism that show the sign of boosted Tourism industry in Nepal in the nearest future.
Royal Visit to Nepal – The visit of British Prince Harry to Nepal during late March is almost confirmed. The British Royal will land Nepal on 20th March and will visit the quake affected regions during his two days stay in the country. The visit of Prince Harry is believed to breathe life into the tourism industry of Nepal.
Better Air Services – For the construction of a new airport in Pokhara, China agrees to provide a loan of US$ 210m. Moreover, for the construction of SAARC International Regional Airport at Lumbini, China agrees to contribute additional support. The expanded airports assures to better air services in the country subsequently supporting the tourism sector.
Animal friendly wildlife activity – Tiger Tops collaborates with the popular elephant welfare expert from Elephant Aid International, Carol Buckley. The collaboration has designed innovative ways for travelers to allow experience better time with these giant creatures, which would be more fascinating and friendlier.
Rebuilding Heritage Site – The Shikara Style temple of Machhindranath at Bungmati, which was grounded during the devastating quake of April 25 2015, will be rebuilt by the Sri Lankan Government. Local officials at Bungmati said, “Local artists will be deployed for its reconstruction and the work shall start after the beginning of Nepalese New Year 2073.
Joss Stone Live in Kathmandu – The Grammy Winner and the singer known for soul-touching powerful voice, Joss Stone will perform in Kathmandu on February 18. As a part of total world tour, the singer having songs like “You Had Me” & “Fell in Love with Boy” in her bag will set the stage at Hyatt Regency on fire. Tickets for the show that cost NRS 4990, are available at MOKSH(Pulchowk),House of Music(Thamel), Jazz Upstairs (Lazimpat), Hyatt Regency (Bouddha) and the Sound Factory (Bhanimandap).
City of lakes gets recognition – The cluster of nine lakes in Pokhara are declared as Ramsar Sites by the Governement of Nepal during the occasion of World Wetland Day on February 2nd 2016. Now onwards these lakes are subjects to be protected by the GoN while, safeguarding the livelihoods of locals depending on these lakes shall also be GoN’s responsibility. While handing over the certificates, Advisor of Wetland Scretariat of Asia Pacific Region, Mr. Lew Young said, “Now the lakes would get even more value. World would be concerned about them,”. Nine lakes that have now received international recognition as wetland sites are Fewa, Rupa, Begnas, Kamalpokhari, Khaste, Gunde, Neureni, Dipang and Maidi.
Air safety assured – Yeti Airlines & Tara Air, both Kathmandu based Airline Companies have successfully achieved the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s ISSA (IATA Standard Safety Assessment) Programme standard. IFC International conducted the basic safety audit programme of these Airline Companies in which the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal was an observer.
Quake epicenter on the way back to normalcy – Magsaysay Award Winner Mahabir Pun yet again does a miracle of installing internet facilities in Barpak in Gorkha District. The village was the epicenter of devastating quake of April 2015. The logistic support required for the installation was offered by Internet Society, an international organization.
Teaching Adventure – Achieving all necessary permits from the Governement of Nepal, the first paragliding school has been opened in Syangja district. The school shall be operated by Babu Adventures, which has been conducting commericial paragliding flights in Sorek VDC of Syangja for a long time. Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) will directly monitor & supervise the school activities.
Nepal tops Guardian’s list – Nepal has been voted one of the top destinations for “ 10 best Long Haul Adventure Holidays” by the Britis daily, Guardian. Other adventure destinations that are in the list include, Belize, Mongolia, Russia, Indonesia, Jordan, Greenland, Venezuela, U.S.A. and Brazil.
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The forbidden kingdom, the city of walls or the Land of Los, with whatever names it is popular amongst the trekkers, Upper Mustang is one of the ancient towns of highland Nepal catering extremely unique culture of Tiji Festival that has been the way of life in the region for ages.
Nestling in the rain shadow of dazzling Dhaulagiri, Upper Mustang, a fabled town was the ancient trading center for the people of the region including the drokpas of Tibet. No wonder, sighting the best preserved Tibetan Culture in Upper Mustang could be the prime highlight for many despite the amazing landscapes trekkers get to see during Trek.
Today’s blog is on the most fascinating festival of Upper Mustang. Tiji, a three day celebration that manifests the victory of good over evil is an exciting festival for a traveler to experience.
Fusioned with rewarding Upper Mustang Trek, Tiji Festival in the recent years is not only the popular religious event for the natives; travelers’ interest in closely observing the religious rituals of the festival has heightened the importance of the festival.
The myth related with the festival is as equally fascinating as it is celebrated. The myth relates the battle of God Dorje Jano against his evil father who created water shortage in the region with the motive to harass the natives that ultimately led chaotic circumstances. The battle went on for days and finally the good Dorje Jano was victorious, being able to banish the evil from the region. Since then the festival is celebrated to prevent the revival of the evil soul with several religious rituals that includes, masked dances, holy music, intense prayers and the burning of the evil soul. Monks performing “TSA CHHAM” dance on the first day of the festival and “NGA CHHAM” on the second day is fascinating to watch; whereas the final day of the festival observes the burning of evil soul.
Tiji 2016 begins on 4th May and ends on the 6th. The trip for Tiji Festival 2016 departs on 26 April. A wonderful hiking journey that caters the Himalayan landscapes at its best blended with the barren highland deserts, each having interesting myths along with the myths associated with the cave burials has all to make it a hiking journey of a lifetime. Moreover, the fascinating Tibetan Buddhist culture that observes the most unique festival would undoubtedly make this trip of yours a great holiday; equally wonderful culturally and naturally.
Travelers most preferred place for overnight stays in Kathmandu; Thamel gets the newest Boutique Hotel. Apsara Boutique Hotel, the hotel named after the nymphs of heaven begins its operation from 1st Feb 2016.
Designed with ancient architectural looks and equipped with every modern facility, the hotel caters its services with 36 Deluxe Rooms and 2 suite rooms. Traditionally devised rooms providing the wonderful city view have comfortable beds with western style bathrooms. With indoor and outdoor restaurants catering wide varieties of food cuisines, the hotel also has spacious parking area.
For those travelers willing to experience the stay in traditional rooms having all modern amenities in relatively competitive price, the hotel could be the best place to stay in Kathmandu. The Deluxe rooms can accommodate friends willing to share rooms with twin single beds, family craving to spend quality time together and the couple preferring absolute privacy in a peaceful environment.
The prime highlight of the hotel is a spacious “Yoga Hall” having the capacity of 40 people at a time, where guests can practice yoga under the guidance of professional Yoga Teacher. If you are in Kathmandu, giving a try to stay in this newest boutique hotel could be a wise decision.
Unarguably the biggest hub for outdoor adventure, Nepal is the ultimate destination for adrenaline hungry adventurers of all kinds. Be it the scaling the summit of tricky Himalayan peaks or be it the thrills of jumping out of flying helicopter from the elevation higher than the Everest itself. Moreover, the raging liquid highways emerging from the Himalayas gets travelers wet in a thrilling manner; whereas the steep rugged terrains in the Himalayan deserts gives riders sufficient dirt during the gripping two-wheeler escapades. Wildlife Activities in the protected parks of lowland plains though incomparably very less adventurous than the ones of Africa; it is considered the best in Asia.
Besides adventure, the country also hosts incredibly diverse culture as Nepal has been the home to more than 100 ethnical tribes for more than a millennium. The architectural and religious heritages in Nepal date back to as old as 4th century and the human civilization prospered in this ancient land before the discovery of greatest countries of the present.
A small land-linked country to two major economies of the present, China & India; Nepal is truly the destination that has something for everyone. In today’s post we have listed few points that stand out Nepal to rest of the world. As very few nations have their own identities that in no way matches with another but in terms of having unique identity Nepal has many.
Humans make Gods and Nepal justifies it so well. The only country on the planet, where immortals still practice the culture of intermingling with the mortals is Nepal.
A young pubescent girl of Shakya or Bajracharya Clan from Newari Community after the series of enduring tests is chosen Kumari. The chosen one leaves her parents house and stays in the home in the revered region specially built for Kumaris. Presently, there are five Kumaris in Nepal of which Kumari of Kathmandu who lives in Kumari Ghar at Kathmandu Durbar Square is the most popular. Kumari gets to study there and she often visits the city during festivals in an adorned chariot equally adorned herself. Once she enters her adult age or after her first period, she leaves the house and the new Kumari is chosen.
Travelers willing to witness the drastic change of elevation after traveling relatively a very short distance would without doubt choose Nepal.
What could be the possible change of elevation in other parts of the world after traveling a couple of century kilometer? A few hundred meters or hardly a thousand meter! But in case of Nepal it is different. The lowest point of the country, which is 70m at Kachan Kalan is not even 200 kilometers away from the world’s highest point Everest 8848m. Simply, the dramatic rise of 8778m altitude within the diameter of 200km makes Nepal uniquely diverse nation geographically, which is an advantage on the edge for housing diversified landscapes, culture & lifestyle and floras and faunas.
Though Nepal becomes the first Asian country to constitutionally legitimize the same sex marriage, cultural taboos like single woman marrying multiple males still exists in Nepal.
Some 500km northwest of Kathmandu in the remote villages of mid-west Nepal, which includes Simikot the culture of polyandry marriage is still in practice. Brothers from the same father get to marry a same girl. The culture is justified with few logics but still is a taboo, which is unacceptable by almost everyone, who believes in civilization. One of the reasons that justifies Polyandry culture suggests that it avoids a girl from being widow if she marries multiple men. Secondly, to avoid the distribution of limited farming land among multiple sons the culture still prospers and thirdly inappropriate ratio of male & female has encouraged the polyandry culture. You may find the weirdest cultural taboos but bet you’d not find it elsewhere in the earth.
From lowland plains to snowy alpine region, every region is occupied by the homes of Nepalese. Some feel the heat of Terai and other experience cold of highlands.
Some enjoy the modern lifestyle others do live happily despite rural scarcity. Whatsoever, everywhere people live their lives harmoniously. Nepal holds more than 100 ethnical tribes speaking more than 125 different languages. Despite the diversity in the culture, these people live in an exceptional unity that has been an example for the whole world.