Short Ghorepani “Poonhill” Trek – Jennifer Dombrowski (travel writers and photographers)

Posted Jul 21st, 2017 under Company News, Luxury Tours, Special Events, Trekking & Hiking,

Short Ghorepani “Poonhill” Trek Annapurna from Deurali

Interested in trekking to have panoramic views of Annapurna Region????? But you cannot trek for long days???? Yes, we have Poonhill trek which is suitable trek for you. Enjoy short trek with unreal mountain scenery that will leave you breathless. Annapurna foot hill trek is one of the most popular trekking routes for group of beginners, family holidays and for soft adventure seekers. This trek offers you the panorama view of Himalayas including Fishtail, Annapurna ranges, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung Himal, Gangapurna, and Manaslu. Challenging uphill to burn your extra calories and detoxify the body physiology with snow town breeze in peaceful atmosphere.

                                                             Deurali (P.C: Jennifer)  

                                                              Glimpse of Annapurna (P.C: Jennifer)

This is one of the most popular trek; known as Annapurna Sunrise Trek or Annapurna Panorama Trek and relatively one of easy trek. Poon hill is the Photographer’s Paradise with maximum elevation 3210M. The trail passes and twists through the beautiful ethnic Gurkha Warriors villages and lush green rhododendron forest. Especially Ghandruk Village is known to be unique and special to represent traditional culture of Gurkha Soldiers. Covering main highlight of Annapurna Mountain ranges you will trek about 5-6 hours a day for 5-6 days. It is also the prime choice for first time trekkers.                                                                                           Poonhill tower

                                                                    Annapurna range from Poonhill

Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara Approx. 220 km/ 6-7 hrs. Or fly to Pokhara which is about 20 minutes. Pokhara city is tourist zone of Nepal for domestic and international tourist. Drive from Pokhara to Nayapul about two hours/ 45 kms. This trek goes from Nayapul to Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani, Poon hill,then to Tadapani and Ghandruk or Landruk then back to Nayapul where you will drive back to Pokhara. 

                                                     Descending from Tadapani to Ghandruk

                                      Trekkers enjoying their moment at Naya-pul (P.C: Jennifer)

Historical Event, Himalayan Travel Mart 2017 offered an opportunity for a group of traveler Bloggers to experience this Poonhill trek and have a close sight of the Himalayas. The post trek article written by professional travel writers and photographers, Jennifer and Tim Davis did this trek. They have some memorable experience while doing Ghorepani- Poonhill trek.  They sum to be enjoyed this trek. However, this trek is one of the most challenging tasks of their life as the pain of exhaustion and tiredness seem to have moved away by the sums of achievement, overcoming to a height and serenity observed in the wilderness of Nepal Himalaya even an acute pain caused by the cramping of her foot muscles feels nothing bad as her joy and ecstasy of happiness was indefinable after completing her memorable trek.   

You can also read their experience at http://luxeadventuretraveler.com/ghorepani-trek-nepal

                                                                                     Typical Nepali House

If you are interested in doing this trip, please have a look at the details about the trip in our website at https://www.explorehimalaya.com/packages/a-week-below-annapurna-poonhill-trek/

                                                                                   Poonhill: 3210m    

                                                                                                 Annapurna Ranges: on the way to Tada-pani from Ghandruk

                                                               

 

Explore Himalaya with All Hands group in Everest Base Camp Trek

Posted May 24th, 2017 under Company News, Special Events, Tourism News, Trekking & Hiking,

Ultimate goal is to reach base camp and stand at the altitude of 5337m

Explore Himalaya recently organized the Everest base camp trek and Island peak summit for All Hands Volunteers for the second time under the name of All Hands on Everest Challenge 2017.The group consisted if 12 members from whom 9 took part in for Everest base Camp trek and 3 participants joined for Island Peak.

The group move towards the small village Phakding at the altitude of 2610m

On the following day, the group moved towards Tengboche located at 3,867 meters and visited Tengboche Monastery, which is the largest Gompa in the Khumbu region. As the weather was clear, they got a chance to see the surrounding mountains like Thamserku, AmaDablam, Nuptse, Lotse and Mount Everest.

Tengboche Monastery – Largest Gumpa in Khumbu region

Magnificent view of Himalayas from Tengboche

The next day, group reached at Pheriche at the altitude of 4371 meter where they also rested for acclimatization. From Pheriche, the group split into two and headed for Everest base camp and Island Peak.

Island peak group with their guides

On the way to Gorakshep

After reaching Gorakshep, the group decided to continue their journey towards Base camp which is the final destination for the group on the same day. 2 hours of walk through the rocks they successfully reached at Everest base camp.

Glacier seen on the way to Base Camp

Groups celebrating the happiness to be in the base camp

After completing the base camp challenge the group descended back to Lukla with having overnight in Pheriche and Namche. On 18th of May, the group completed the trek and flew to Kathmandu on 19th May. After landing in Kathmandu, the group had a whole day for their own and later they had a dinner with cultural dance show in Thamel. All the group members enjoyed the dinner by dancing, singing and sharing their memorable stories during the trek.

Groups celebrating the happiness to be in the base camp

 

After completing the base camp challenge the group descended back to Lukla with having overnight in Pheriche and Namche. On 18th of May, the group completed the trek and flew to Kathmandu on 19th May. After landing in Kathmandu, the group had a whole day for their own and later they had a dinner with cultural dance show in Thamel. All the group members enjoyed the dinner by dancing, singing and sharing their memorable stories during the trek.

Group posing for Photo shout near Hillary Bridge

Overall, the trip was successfully completed and the members were very satisfied with the service of Explore Himalaya / All hands and found this trip as one of the best memorable trip of their lifetime. Thank you for All Hands for making us a part of this memorable trip.

Bisket Jatra in Bhaktapur- “A culturally adventurous festival, which takes you deep into well preserved heritage sites of the newar community in Bhaktapur”

Posted May 11th, 2017 under Company News, Culture & Festivals, Special Events, Tourism News,

Among the many local festivals in Bhaktapur, “Bisket Jatra” is one of the main enthusiastically celebrated festivals, which falls on the month of April. It is observed annually, four days prior to Nepali New Year (Baisakh) and last for next nine days.  It is a festival of chariot pulling, erecting a large wooden pole (Yoshin Deo/Lingo) in two different places of Bhaktapur, one is in Pottery Square, which is locally known as “Talako” and next is in Yoshin Khel/Bhelukhel. Tongue-piercing and Sindur Jatra are other highlights of Bisket Jatra celebrated in Thimi, Bhaktapur.

First day of Bisket Jatra begins by enshrining the wrathful God Bhairab and Goddess Bhadrakali in their respective chariots, which brought out from the sacred temple. It takes place in Taumadi Sqaure, near Nytapole Temple (Five storied Temple) with the various ritual processes. In the same evening, both the chariots are being pulled by hundreds of people as tug of war from eastern (upper) and western (lower) part of the Taumadi Sqaure. Both the parties try to draw the chariot to their direction, but as this first day is Deo kwayo Bijaayegu, which means “ God comes down to the mass of people from his own sacred home” as a ritual, the chariots are to be pulled down toward the west direction from Taumadi Square.

On the second and third day, the particular group who takes care of these chariots performs various rituals. Local people visits and offer Puja to the God and Goddess, which was pulled on the first day.

The fourth day is the last day of the year, according to the Nepali Calendar and the very special day of the festival. On this day, two poles are erected in two different areas of Bhaktapur. The first pole is erected in the morning in the Pottery square (Approx time is at around 11 AM to 1 PM). All the local peoples actively participate in the process of erecting the pole successfully. Once, it is erected, people perform various ritual and offer puja.

 

Similarly, another pole with two extended arms is erected in the evening in Bhelu Khel (Approx time is at around 6 PM-12 PM) with great excitement. The huge crowd gathered for this occasion and sings songs of joy during the procession. Energetic youths attempt to climb the pole, using big ropes in order to get the plants placed on its top. It is believed that anyone who is able to do so will increase his chances of siring a male child. On the same evening, the chariots are also being pulled into this area.

 

The pole in Pottery Square remains standing for another five long days, while the wooden pole of Bhelu Khel is kept for only 24 hours. 

Another day is the fifth day of the festival, which begins with gathering of huge masses of devotees in Bhelukhel and in Pottery Square. Devotees from the whole city in the early morning sacrifice cocks and goats to the chariots of God Bhairab and Bhadrakali. Apart from that, people offer puja to other Gods and Goddess like Ganesh, Barahi, Mahakali, Mahalaxmi in their own locality. Afterwards this event is followed by a big feast all over Bhaktapur. In the evening, the lingo in Bhelu Khel is pulled down. This is the moment of danger and excitement too.

 

The following day is the sixth day of the festival. On this day, devotees in Thimi celebrate the Bisket Jatra by welcoming the advent of spring and New Year by throwing vermilion powder over each other, as Sindur Jatra. Beside this, tongue piercing Jatra is also observed.  One of the volunteers from the Shrestha family gets his tongue pierced in a spiritual trance with an iron spike and walks around the town shouldering a round bamboo rack with flaming torches. With this extreme ascetic practice, the person is supposed to secure his place in heaven. Tongue piercing is the ceremony that takes place during the chariot demonstration.

 In the same way, Kha lawayaakeu jaatra (God and Goddess from two opponents getting together) is celebrated in various areas. In Pottery Square, small chariots of Lord Ganesh and God Bhairabs’ from two different places are brought together and throw vermillion powder to each other marking as Sindhur Jatra. Further, In the Suryamadi tole (which is the eastern part from Dattatreya Temple), Jatra is observed by carrying the small chariots of God Bramayeni and Maheshori. In this way, Bisket Jatra is celebrated in different places of the city on their own local god and goddess.

 

The seventh day of the festival is also celebrated by worshipping their local God and Goddess in different areas. People from different places gather together to celebrate the festival. They invite their friends, family and relatives for the special feast.

The second last day of the festival is celebrated by offering the various delicious food items to all the local God and Goddess of Bhaktapur city. On this day, most people wear their own traditional dress and visit the whole city in a procession and offer varieties of food items, sweets, fruits to all the local God and Goddess. This day is full of crowd with the traditional music, dance with great enjoyment.

The ninth day is the last day of the festival. The pole, which was erected before 5 days in Pottery Square, is drawn down today performing various rituals. In the evening, chariots of God Bhairab and Goddess Bhadrakali are pulled towards the upward direction, as “Deo tha bijaayegu” which means “God now return back to his own sacred home”. All the peoples gather together and play various traditional musical instruments marking as the end of the festival “Bisket jatra”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Yoga Day – Nepal the ideal destination for Yoga holidays-Re Post

Posted Apr 25th, 2017 under Special Events, Tourism News, Trekking & Hiking,

YOGA

The practice of Yoga dates back to the time of Mahabharata, where Saints and Sadhus used to practice this ancient art of mental and spiritual discipline.

The history of yoga dates back to fifth century BC, in the ancient Indian sub-continent. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Yoga Gurus from the sub-continent introduced yoga to the west. Yoga is a physical exercise, which has spiritual and meditative benefits and has been important part of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Yoga is channeling the mental and spiritual strength of the body with the help of physical posture and exercise.

June 21st International Yoga Day is celebrated in Nepal, and yoga demonstrations and lectures are held all over the country .Most of the demonstrations are held for all the general public and some special programs are conducted for the special members or invitees. Cities like Birjung, Biratnagar, and Kathmandu among others are the annual hosts for these events.

yoga1

 Nepal houses more than 400 Yoga and Meditation centers all over the country and it has been a favorable yoga destination since 1950s.

Nepal is an ideal destination for practicing the ancient art of yoga. Lush green vegetation and peaceful environment in the lap of Himalayas offers a wonderful opportunity for anyone who wishes to practice this ancient art of reviving mental and spiritual strength- Yoga.

Tour Date 2015-06 Blog post date 2015-06-21

Sindure Jatra-A Unique Colorful Celebration in Nuwakot

Posted Apr 9th, 2017 under Company News, Culture & Festivals, Special Events, Tourism News,

A part of Bagmati zone, Nuwakot district lies northeast of Kathmandu valley. The name, ‘Nuwakot’, is made up of two words ‘Nawa’ and ‘Kort’. ‘Nawa’ means Nine in Nepali and ‘Kort’ means sacred religious sites at the top of a hill. During the 18th Century, it used to serve as an important stopover on the Tibetan-Kathmandu Valley trade route.  Referring to the pages of history, the Great King Prithvi Narayan Shah invaded Nuwakot which was under the ruling of Jaya Prakash Malla and made Nuwakot as the capital of his ruling area. At an elevation of 900 m, the ancient citadel stands proud as if untouched by changing times, amid the quaint Nuwakot Bazaar. The seven-story palace fortress was built during the reign of King Prithivi Narayan.  It takes about 3 hrs/75 km to reach the historical city by land transfer from the capital city Kathmandu. Newar, Brahmin, Chhetri, Tamang and Magar is the main inhabitant of Nuwakot.

Nuwakot Durbar

Nuwakot Seven Stored Palace (Sattale Durbar)

Sindure Jatra is one of the main festivals in Nuwakot. This Jatra is celebrated on Chaitra Purnima (April) which is celebrated for 10-12 days. The festival is celebrated every year and is mostly observed by people from Newar community. The festival marks the Nepali New Year and arrival of spring season. During the festival, devotees gather and take out a procession carrying a wooden chariot containing the idols of Goddess Bhairabi. People smear each other with Sindur (orange vermillion powder) and sing and dance to the tune of traditional music during the procession.

 

NOTE: Festivals dates change yearly.

 

 Day 01: 28th Chaitra (10th April 2017): On the very first day of the festival, at the evening time, Living Goddess Kumari and Holy Priest (Dhami) perform a special ritual bath for the priest by Goddess Kumari. After the ritual of the purification process, the priest performs special puja in the temple. On the premises of the temple, two wooden poles are praised and plunked.

Living Goddess Kumari

Living Goddess Kumari

Living Goddess Kumari                                                                                                                                                                

Jatra Lingo

Lingo( Wooden Pole)

                                                                                                                                                                                                Wooden Pole (Lingo)                               

 Day 02: 29th Chaitra (11th April): Devotes carry the chariot of Goddess Bhairabi and pull it up to the Devighat (Riverbank) as per the tradition. This is where Two Goddess will meet as siblings.

                                           

Chariot of Bhairabi

Chariot of Bhairabi

 Day 03: 30th Chaitra (12th April): Early morning, the Priest offer goats and buffaloes as per the rituals.

Following that people pray and sacrifice animals. On this day, the huge mass of devotees gathers, near the temple on the bank of a river. Mid-Night Goddess Bhairabi Chariot is returned back to her own Temple. This process will take whole night.

 

Day 04:  31st Chaitra (13th April 2017): Sindure Jatra (vermillion powder) festival is celebrated on this day. It is celebrated on after two days of Chaitra Purnima. Festival starts, after the guardian of Goddess Bhairabi scatter Sindur to the Priest, following on priest scatter Sindur to devotees

                     

 Dhami and Dhamini

 

Dhami Sucks Blood

Dhami Sucks Blood During Jatra

Day 05: –New Years Day- 1st Baishakh (14th April 2017):  On the 1st day of New Year, Priest performs another ritual following on sacrificing the goats in the premises of the Bhairabi Temple. Where priest will offer the goats and buffaloes to Goddess with few amount of blood. He will suck the blood the blood for three times as part of ritual.

 

Priest (Dhami) Suck blood during festival                           

 

Day 06 to Day 10: 2nd – 6th Baishakh (15th – 19th April):  Family gets together for celebration and invites each other for a special feast.

 

Day 11:-  7th Baishakh  (20th April): Special Puja is performed to the Wooden Pole which was established at the starting of the Festival and Today it will be pull down with special Puja rituals. Devotee’s gather around Bhairabi Temple to pull down the wooden pole.

 

Day 12: – 8th Baishakh (21st April): It is the last day of the festival. The second wooden pole is brought down in a same ritual process as performed on the previous day. This is the last day of the Festival of the year.

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