“Trek to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar” by Medhavi Davda

Posted Nov 2nd, 2017 under Photo Essay, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,
Namche Bazar

Namche Bazar (picture credit: http://www.ravenouslegs.com/)

Medhavi Davda, one of the attendees of International Travel Bloggers and Media Conference 2017 http://htmnepal.com/program/itbmc/, has recently posted her travel story on Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar Trek in her blog http://www.ravenouslegs.com/ . Though she was in Nepal solely for the conference, she could not resist the charm of Nepali Himalayas and instantly packed her bags and set off for Everest Base Camp, one of the most sought-after adventure trails in the world. Medhavi’s refreshing details take us to the very base of the mighty Everest and make us enjoy every corner and every stone of her journey including the overwhelming moment she had at the first sight of Everest. As Everest Base Camp Trek is always one of its kind, so is the story of her trek! Explore Himalaya is really delighted to be a part of her lifetime experience. To enjoy her journey in full detail, please visit http://www.ravenouslegs.com/blogs/trek-to-everest-base-camp-and-kala-patthar

Meadow at Pheriche

Meadow at Pheriche (picture credit: http://www.ravenouslegs.com/)

If you are next in the queue, you can also visit her next blog for detailed guidelines http://www.ravenouslegs.com/blogs/handy-guide-and-tips-for-everest-base-camp-trek-in-nepal . You will never remain without thanking her!

at Pheriche

Medhavi enjoying the sublimity at Pheriche (picture credit: http://www.ravenouslegs.com/)

  

Indra Jatra articles by Swati Jain

Posted Oct 29th, 2017 under Culture & Festivals, Photo Essay, Special Events, Travel Guide,

This year’s Himalayan Travel Mart http://htmnepal.com/overview/ was a huge success in many ways. Apart from promoting Nepal as an elite adventure destination in global context, it also brought together a group of professional International Travel Bloggers, International Media and Travel Photographers who did not just share their expertise on Blogging and Media but also spread some words to the world about their travelling experience in Nepal. Swati Jain, a loved Travel blogger cum freelance Travel writer  from India is one of them. She has recently published two articles titled Celebrating Indra Jatra and Kumari Jatra of Nepal and Understanding the Evolution of Indra Jatra in Depth in her widely read travel blog Bouyant Feet https://buoyantfeet.com/

  1. Celebrating Indra Jatra & Kumari Jatra of Nepal:
Indra Jatra Festival

(Picture credit: Bouyant Feet https://buoyantfeet.com/

In her first article “Celebrating Indra Jatra and Kumari Jatra of Nepal”, Swati Jain has taken us through her 4 day-experience of action packed Indra Jatra festival held at Kathmandu Durbar Square and its vicinity. As much as she is surprised by the festival itself and some perks of her unpreparedness, readers will also be equally amazed by the way she presented the energy and liveliness of the festival. Needless to say, the colorful images have added life to her sensuous details. In the meantime, she hasn’t missed the opportunity to give us some meaningful details about the festival, which is undoubtedly an added advantage as many readers still have some blurred ideas about the festival. Swati is actually bold enough to accept her prior ignorance!

“So if you are one those like me, who think that this prestigious festival is limited to the living goddess of Nepal and expects to read the same in this blog, hang on till I share its long history and significance. My myths were shattered.”

Finally, she has some wise tips that are sure to help you if you are the next one to enjoy this vibrant festival. For full story, https://buoyantfeet.com/2017/10/06/celebrating-indra-jatra-kumari-jatra-of-nepal/

2. Understanding the Evolution of Indra Jatra in Depth:

The Elephant looking for his master Lord Indra

(Picture credit: Nepal Tourism Board) 

As promised in her earlier blog, Swati Jain has given a full detail on both Indra Jatra and Kumari Jatra in this article. The festival is not enlisted as an off beat cultural interest in travelers’ bucket list and neither is the festival a virgin area for the writers. However, Swati stands out in this particular writing! She has traced the festival right from the myth making day and has brought down the cumulative history to the present day by associating the evolution with the major historical epochs of Nepal. Quite a feat! So, if you are a myth hunter, or want to have an in depth insight into the festival, or just interested in some unexplained facts about the festival, the article is a right answer for you. For full story,

https://buoyantfeet.com/2017/10/09/understanding-the-evolution-of-indra-jatra-in-depth/

If you want to enjoy the festival more intimately, you can also visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFNg-kwtS-g&t=3s 

HAPPY READING and HAPPY WATCHING!!!

Tihar Vibes in Kathmandu Streets

Posted Oct 18th, 2017 under Culture & Festivals, Photo Essay, Travel Guide,

Sometime preparation is more exciting than the festival itself. Tihar, Nepali’s second biggest festival is probably one of them. The festival, that immediately follows Dashain, the biggest festival, is one of the highlights of autumn season in Nepal. Nepal’s autumn is normally not considered to be as colourful as the one in the west. To be honest, we don’t have the second spring with all those colourful maple leaves, mellow pumpkins and scary stories! However, autumn is not less exciting as we have Tihar, the festival of lights and flowers!

Shoppers at Ason

People milling at Indra chowk for Tihar shopping

 

Flowers at display in New Road

Flowers at display in New Road! The street looks unusually quiet, thanks to the Traffic Management Team! 

Preparation of Tihar is all about buying, buying and buying! So, as the days draw closer, you will come across an unmistakable crowd in almost every chowk of Kathmandu. The streets of main bazar get thronged with people from early morning. They get so full that if you can save yourself some space to behold the spectacle or can make it to the other end of the street without squeezing yourself, you are lucky!

Flower vendors in front of Annapurna Temple at Ason chowk

Flower vendors in front of Annapurna Temple at Ason chowk

As the festival is all about rituals, flowers, lights and delicacies, the shopping list goes really long. And equally long is the row of different stalls on the either side of the streets. The stalls are laden with flowers, jhilimili (electric lights, paper decoration etc), bhai masala (a concoction of nuts and dry fruits for brothers) and an exhausting array of ritual items. Every item is weaved with myths and is equally important. So people don’t miss any of them, which is why the shopping spree seems to be never ending. Evenings are really beautiful as the shops are lighted with all those colourful lights. If you are around New Road, you won’t want to miss the extravagant decoration of jewellery shops there.

itensil shops in Indra chowk

Local utensil shops with extra extension displaying ritual wares for Tihar shoppers

So walking down the streets during Tihar can be a rewarding experience as it offers you not just the fun of a festival, but also the chance to witness a different dimension of Nepali culture! Just be a bit prepared for the impatient crowd and unruly traffic, and the fun is all yours!

temporary stalls at Ason chowk

Just name it, and we can do it: Stalls at Ason chowk!

Flowers:

Flowers are the foremost prerequisite for Tihar. The flowers used in the festival are exclusively sayapatri (marigold), godawari (chrysanthemum) and makhamali (globe amaranth). Sayapatri (literally hundred petalled), with its golden hue is the flower that matches the mellowness of the season. Sayapatri is used for both garlands and house decoration. Whereas, makhamali and godawari are used just for garlands only. It is believed that makhamali never gets withered. So, sisters offer makhamali garland to brothers on bhai tika, the fifth day of the festival, with a wish that their brothers would remain immortal like the flower.

Globe amaranth garlands are offered to brothers by sisters on Bhai Tika

Globe amaranth garlands are offered to brothers by sisters on Bhai Tika

 

Array of Marigold garlands at public footpath in New Road

Array of marigold garlands at public footpath in New Road

 

A walking garland showcase in New Road

Why to worry if you can carry: A walking garland showcase in New Road

Lights:

Another thing people don’t miss in Tihar is lights. Lights are used for both ritualistic and decorative purpose. People light their houses with colorful lights from Laxmi Puja, the third day of the festival. People use diyo (a small clay lamp with a cotton wick), candles and electric lights that come in different shape and size.

Candles of different shape and size

Candles of different shape and size

 

Artistic clay lamps used during Laxmi Puja

Artistic and plain clay lamps used during Laxmi Puja

Bhai Masala:

One of the main delicacies of Tihar is bhai masala. It is the concoction of nuts (cashew nuts, almond, raisin, walnut etc) and dried fruits, offered by sisters to brothers on bhai tika. A stall or shop without bhai masala is a rare sight. 

Bhai masala at display

Bhai masala at display

Ritual Items:

The shops and stalls are heaped with different ritual items ranging from walnut to seven colored tika. Some of the items that include the seemingly endless list are rato mato (red mato), amala (Indian Gooseberry), citrus fruits, coconut etc. Though it seems like a herculean task to know the name of all items at once, you would enjoy the neat arrangement displayed in all its glory!

Motley of ritual items

Motley of ritual items: walnut, Indian gooseberry, groundnut

 

A type of citrus fruit used in Bhai Tika

A type of citrus fruit used in Bhai Tika

 

Dhaka Topi, national cap made from local fabric called Dhaka, is presented to brothers by sisters on Bhai Tika

Dhaka Topi, national cap made from local fabric called Dhaka, is presented to brothers by sisters on Bhai Tika

 

Vendors selling varieties of colours (used for Bhai Tika and Rangoli decaoration) at Ganesthan, Chabahil

Vendors selling varieties of colours (used for Bhai Tika and Rangoli decaoration) at Ganesthan, Chabahil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trekking in Nepal during monsoon

Posted Jul 11th, 2016 under Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

Monsoon is considered as the off-season for trekking in Nepal. However, with a huge portion of Great Himalayan Trail, Nepal offers a wide range of option for trekking. Some of the rain-shadowed regions here provide the possibilities of trekking in Nepal during monsoon. The isolation of theses restricted areas is the best part of these trekking. One more reason to trek to these places is with no phones or lights, one can get disconnected to the world and purely enjoy the nature.

Upper Mustang

Except in the winter, the region can be trekked anytime of the year. The rain-shadowed valley also known as the forbidden kingdom has preserved the Tibetan Buddhism spread by Guru Rinpoche over the centuries. The region also holds several important cultural landmarks with the arid landscape like the desert making this trek more attractive. The hospitality of people of this region makes your stay even better.

Mustang can be trekked during monsoon Mustang can be trekked during monsoon Mustang can be trekked during monsoon Mustang can be trekked during monsoon Mustang can be trekked during monsoon

Upper Dolpo

The most isolated region of the country is popular as a must do trekking in Nepal. The rain-shadowed region is one of the strenuous trekking. However, the rewards of the trek can overcome the effort you give. The Bon Po (people of Dolpo) following the Bon religion influenced from Tibet and their culture is the highlight of this trek. Next, is the remoteness of the area. Apart from this; landscapes, views of the snowcapped mountains, monasteries including Shey Gompa are the reason why this is a must do trekking.

Dolpo trekking can be done during monsoon Dolpo trekking can be done during monsoon Dolpo trekking can be done during monsoon Dolpo trekking can be done during monsoon Dolpo trekking can be done during monsoon

Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries around Kathmandu

Posted Jun 22nd, 2016 under Travel Guide,
view of kathmandu valley on the to Naiki Gompa

view of kathmandu valley on the to Naiki Gompa

If you are in Kathmandu and you have a spare day, it’s a good way of spending time visiting a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery around Kathmandu, especially if you are interested in Buddhist culture. These monasteries are also known as “Gompa”. Here we suggest you some beautiful monasteries lying on an exotic location around Kathmandu that are incorporated with incredible Tibetan art and architecture.  If you have time, you can explore more about the lifestyle of monks and Buddhism by choosing to stay at a Tibetan monastery with the fact that they provide accommodation facilities as well.  Each of the listed monasteries also has their own schools where they provide academic or philosophic or both educations to the students.

Rigon Tashi Monastery

Rigon Tashi Monastery

Rigon Tashi Gompa:

The monastery lies to the south of Kathmandu on Pharping. It is also known as “Ripa Siddhi Sangathan”. The monastery lies just around 20KMS from Kathmandu and can be accessed by a vehicle which is approximately a 1-hour drive. Nearby lays one of the biggest statues of Buddha of Asia that is on the process of renovation.

the statue of buddha in pharping is said to be one of the biggest statues of the world

the statue of buddha in pharping

Kopan Monastery:

The monastery lies to the northeast of Kathmandu. It can be reached by a 30 minutes drive. The monastery provides a good view of Kathmandu. It also offers various courses about Buddhism and meditation.

kopan monastery

kopan monastery

Naiki Gompa:

Situated on a hilltop of Shivapuri Nagarjuna National Park, the monastery can be accessed both by transportation or walking. It can be reached by private vehicle, riding on bike or cycling is a good choice; hiking can be the better option as the trail through the national park is easy and peaceful. However, you need to obtain a permit as you have to pass through the national park. On the way to the monastery, you can see the panoramic view of Kathmandu valley which is probably the best viewpoint of the view of the valley.

naiki gompa

naiki gompa

 

Explore more on cultural tours of Nepal by clicking here.

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