Monday, October 20, 2014

Araniko Highway-Nepal

The Araniko Highway  connects Kathmandu with Kodari, 115 kilometres (71 mi) northeast of the Kathmandu Valley, on the Nepal-China border. It is among the most dangerous of highways in Nepal due to extremely steep slopes on each side of the road from Barabise onwards, massive landslides. It also connects China National Highway to Lhasa after passing through Nepal-China Friendship Bridge. Araniko Highway, which was built by the Chinese Government and completed in 1966, is now a lasting symbol of the friendly relations between the two neighboring countries, promoting not just trade but also people-to-people contact. The highway offers alpine views of hilly region of Nepal with spectacular views of great snow- clad peaks. Along the side of highways many adventures activities such as Rafting, Kayaking, Canyoning and Fishing are done.

Araniko Highway-Nepal
The highway, which ends at the Sino-Nepal Friendship Bridge, links up with China National Highway towards Lhasa.

The Araniko Highway is the only land route that connects Kathmandu to Tibet. It was built on the legendary and difficult caravan route from the capital of Nepal to Tibet used by travelers and traders during ancient times.

Traders from Kathmandu sold food items, handicrafts and spices to Tibet while Tibetan sold salt and gold to Nepal.

The Sino-Nepal Friendship Bridge
The highway not only connects Kathmandu to Tibet but also several villages that lay across the route in the north-eastern part of Nepal.

Aside from its economic benefits, the highway also made a big impact on the people of Nepal, touching and even changing their lives for their better. The highway also changed the lives of people in some other villagers which have since become municipalities, such as Banepa, Dhulikhel and Panauti which lay along the highway.

Highway passes through beautiful landscapes, such as magnificent rivers and scenic gorges, it has contributed a lot to Nepal's robust tourism industry. In-fact, most of the adventure sports enthusiasts and nature lovers among the foreign tourists usually take the route.

The highway was named after the 13th century Nepalese master of Buddhist art and architecture. Araniko or Anige, who hailed from Nepal but had an immense contribution in the Buddhist architecture of China.

Tourists Attractions:
  • Rafting and Kayaking on the Bhole Koshi River.
  • Bungy Jump, Canyoning, Swing and High Ropes at Last Resort.
  • Beautiful Landscape and majestic views of snow-clad peaks.
  • Mountain Biking and Hiking Trails.

Nearby Attraction of Araniko Highway:

Barabise: Bahrabise is a village in Sindhupalchok District in the Bagmati Zone of central Nepal. It consists of nine wards. Arabise is a tiny village and business hub of Chinese market near the Tibetan border. Main reason to come here is to stay in one of the two eco-resorts and Partake in the many adrenalin activities that can be done in the area: Bugee Jumping, Canyon, Swinging, White Water Rafting, Canyoning, Mountains Biking, High Ropes, Caving or just plain relaxing.

Tourist Highlights:
  • Surrounding Landscape with beautifully blessed waterfall.
  • Adventure Activities at Last Resorts.

Bhotekoshi River Rafting
Sukute: Sukute is located 63 KM northeast of Kathmandu along Araniko Highway on the bank of Bhote Koshi River. Geographically set amidst pristine hamlets & lush green terraced hillsides, the Sukute beach camp is a wonderful destination to while away your time in the early parts of spring or the beginning of autumn into winter. Sunbathing on the beaches of the Bhote Koshi River under bright blue skies is a wonderful experience to behold for a long time. Sukute is an ideal place for adventure activities like Rafting and Kayaking.

Tourist Highlight:
  • Starting adventure activities like Rafting and Kayaking.
  • Naturally blessed Landscape along Bhule Khosi River.


Dolalghat: Surrounded by mountain chains not only two wild mountain rivers (Indrawathi and Sunkoshi) meet in the valley, but Dolalghat also served as a stopover for pilgrims and monks on their way to the holy sites in the mountains. After 10 KM down from the red clay landscape of Pachkhal, along with beautiful alpine and landscape views of fields. To reach this famous picnic spot it takes three hours drive from Kathmandu. There are lots of fish shops around Dolalghat where you can enjoy local fried fish.

Tourist Highlights:
  • Alpine views, surrounding landscape plus junction of two rivers.
  • Happing place for adventure activities like Rafting and Kayaking.
  • Picnic spot and local fried fish shop.
  • Newari community with rich cultural and traditional.

Palanchowk Bhagawati
Palanchowk Bhagawati:  Palanchowk Bhagwati Temple is situated in Sathighar Bhagawati VDC of Kavre-palanchowk District in Nepal. It is about 55 km north-east of the Kathmandu city and situated at altitude of 1,007 m above sea level. Palanchowk Bhagwati temple is said to have been constructed during the reign of King Mānadeva. The temple houses a 3 feet long beautiful artistic idol of Goddess Bhagawati carved in a black stone and decked with jewelry. This temple is one of the most beautiful and most important Goddess images in Nepal. On the clear weather you are offered exceptional views of crystal clear views of Himalayan range, beautiful landscape of Panchkhal are scenic region of eastern part of Nepal.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Festivals in Nepal

Festival in nepalNEPAL is a Land of Festivals. For the Nepalese, Festivals are not merely the annual spectacles, but also are a living part of their rich cultural heritage. Festivals effectively bind together the Nepalese people of diverse cultural backgrounds and beliefs into one nation. Most Nepalese festivals are related to different Hindu and Buddhist gods and goddesses and they are celebrated on such days consecrated for them by religion and tradition.

Others are observed in honor of personal relatives such as festivals of Matatirtha and Gaijatra. Yet others are held to herald the different seasons or to mark the beginning or end of agricultural cycle. Some festivals are of national significance such as Dashain or Tihar; some are confined to the Kathmandu Valley, while still others are celebrated only within one or two villages or cities.

Sweta Machhendranath Snan (Jan)

Sweta (white) Machhendranath Snan Festival is celebrated for about a week in the month of January. During this festival, the Machhendranath is bathed, oiled, perfumed and painted. The Goddess Kumari visits him at his elaborate temple near Asan Tol. If he is pleased by the music and offerings from his devotees, the people of the valley can look forward for the satisfactory rainfall during the season.

Swasthani Puja (Jan-Feb)

The Swasthani Puja Festival is held between the month of January and February. The Goddess Swasthani is the ultimate gift grantor, but, if she is insulted, she can make life miserable. By worshipping Swasthani, Parvati attained Lord Shiva as her husband. During the worship or Puja, the Swasthani scripture is read every evening for a month. The worship of Goddess Swasthani brings parted relations together, limitless gifts and remove curses.

Maghe Sankranti (Jan-Feb)

The Maghe Sankranti Festival is celebrated on the occasion of the sun entering the southern hemisphere. The Maghe Sankranti is celebrated in the month of January. On this day, the people take an early morning bath in a holy river, worship the Lord Vishnu and present flowers, incense and food to him. They read the Bhagavad Gita, the holy scripture, rub mustard oil over their bodies, and enjoy feasts of Rice cooked with Lentils, Yams or Taruls, Laddu, Sweets made of Sesame and a Sugarcane Paste.

Basanta Panchami (Jan-Feb)

Basanta or spring season is the loveliest time of the year. The Festival of Basant Panchami is celebrated in the month of February to welcome the spring season. On the Basanta Panchami or the fifth day of spring season, the people gather at Kathmandu's Durbar Square and His Majesty, the king and other dignitaries celebrate the season. The band plays the traditional song of spring. In Swayambhunath and the Nil Barahi temple, near Lazimpat, there is a different celebration. On this day, the people worship the goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning at the temple. Artists, musicians, teachers, and students bring flowers, unbroken rice, and other gifts to please her.

New Year's Day (Apr-May)

Nepalese follows their own calendar system known as the Bikram Era or Bikram Sambat.The Bikram Era is the official calendar of Nepal. This solar calendar was started by king Vikramaditya and starts from the first day of the first month of Baisakh. The new year 2057 of the Bikram Era corresponds to 2000-2001 of the Christian Era. The New Year's Day is an official holiday. The first day of the month of Baisakh is observed as the Nepali New Year and falls in the second week of April. It is also known as Navavarsha in Nepali language and is observed as an official holidays. On this day, the devotees visit the Pashupati temple to take a dip in the holy Bagmati river and visit other religious spots. The People go for picnics, have get-togethers and celebrate the day by socializing in various ways. It is a day to seek blessings from family priest and one's elders as well.

Ghode Jatra (Mar-Apr)

On the Ghode Jatra Festival, the horses of the Nepalese army perform the graceful events before the public. According to the legends, this "horse festival" was celebrated after the people Kathmandu people buried a demon under the soil of Tundikhel showground. They say that he may rise again and cause worry to the world if he is not trampled on by horses each year. So in the spring season, in the month of April, this victory over evil is celebrated in the valley by organizing palanquin processions and grand display of show jumping, motorcycling feats, and gymnastics. The King and Queen, the Living Goddess Kumari, and thousands of people from all over the country take part in the festival.

Maha Shivaratri (Feb-Mar)

Nepali saints smokingDuring Maha Shivaratri Festival or the great night, the devotees throughout the Indian sub-continent visit the Pashupati temple and worship the Lord Shiva. The Maha Shivratri festival is celebrated in the month of February. The devotees gather here is such a large number that there is no space even for a sesame seed. The saints who emulate the Lord Shiva, rub ashes over their bodies, give lectures to disciples, meditate and practice yoga. The devotees worship the Lord Shiva till the midnight. On this day, the people lit bonfires, share food with neighbors and friends, and enjoy two days and a night of music, song, and dance throughout the Pashupati complex and in the streets.

Losar (Feb-Mar)

This is the New Year of the Tibetans and Sherpas of Nepal which falls in February. The Buddhist monasteries in Kathmandu like Boudhanath and Swayambhunath are decorated with eye catching colorful prayer flags pulling the crowd. The people perform their traditional dances and welcome their New Year with feasts and family gatherings wearing all the new clothes and finest jewelries and exchanging gifts. The Buddhist monks offer prayers for good health and prosperity, and perform dances at the monasteries. The colorful prayer flags are decorated at the streets and rooftops and they seem as brilliant at the Buddha and Swayambhu stupas. In the Buddha stupas, the people celebrate the New Year by throwing tsampa (roasted barley flour) into the air.

Fagu Purnima (Feb-May)

Holi or Fagu Purnima is one of the most colorful and playful festivals of Nepal. The Holi festival is celebrated in the month of March. The chit pole are decorated with colorful flags and erected on the first day of Fagu at Kathmandu's Durbar Square. On this day, a formal announcement is made to all the people to hide their good clothes or you would be splashed with coloured powder and water balloons. On the last day, the youths cover their body with red vermillion powder and roam the streets. 

Buddha Jayanti (Apr-May)

The Buddha Jayanti is observed as the birth of Lord Buddha on the full moon day in the month of May. The Lord Buddha was born in Nepal, and he preached Buddhism, which is the second most popular religion in Nepal. On this day, the people celebrate the Lord's birth, enlightenment, and salvation throughout the valley with celebrations. Before the coming of the festival, the Swayambhunath and Boudhanath Stupas are prepared for the festival several days in advance. The people clean the monasteries, polish the statues and monks prepare for the dance. On the Buddha Jayanti, people reach the stupas before dawn, go around them and give offerings to the various Buddha images.

Gunla Festival (July-Aug)

The Gunla festival is celebrated by the Buddhists of the Kathmandu valley in the month of August. This festival is celebrated to welcome the monsoon season. The celebrations of this festival was started about twenty-five centuries ago by the Buddha. It is a time for prayer, fasting, meditation and religious music. The devotees climb past jungles, stone animals, great statues of the Buddha, and begging monkeys to Swayambhu hilltop where daily prayers begin before dawn. Important Buddhist statues, oil lamps, prayer flags and scroll paintings are displayed in the monasteries, and the teachings of Lord Buddha are remembered as the rains nurture the crop of rice, Nepal's most important crop.

Krishnashtami Festival (Aug-Sept)

Krishna Astami.Still003
The festival of Krishnashtami is celebrated in the month of August. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. On this day, an impressive ceremony takes place at the Krishna Temple in Patan and Changu Narayan temple.The Krishna Temple is one of the most important temples in the square which is said to have the most diverse collection of traditional architectural styles found within a square anywhere in the world. This square once served as the seat of the former royal family of Patan and has been designated a world heritage monument zone by UNESCO. Made in the shikhara style of India with red stone, the Krishna Temple was built in 1637 by King Siddhi Narsingh Malla following a dream he had in which he saw Lord Krishna and his lover Radha standing in front of his palace. The very next day, he ordered a temple to built at the very same site. It is three-storied and has 21 golden pinnacles on top. Icons of the gods Krishna, Shiva, and Lokeshwor grace each of the three floors.

Janai Purnima (Aug)

The Janai Purnima or Raksha Bandhan festival is observed in the month of Shrawan english month of August. It is called Raksha Bandhan as this festival observes the bond of purity and security. This festival is celebrated by Hindu all over the world. Janai Purnima is Sacred Thread Festival. On this day, Hindu men, especially the Brahmins and Chhetris perform their annual change of Janai and all who celebrates this festival put a sacred thread around their waist. Janai is a cotton string worn across the chest by Hindu male. This thread is only given to males during a long and impressive religious ceremony called Bratabandha. Bratabandha is basically a formal and when the knots are tied the person wearing it is supposed to gain complete control over each of them. This cord id changed if it becomes untidy or dishonored due to those acts which are forbidden by religion. However, Janai must be changed without fail on Raksha Bandhan Day. Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival that celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters; the festival is also popularly used to celebrate any brother-sister like loving (nonsexual) protective relationship between men and women who are relatives or biologically unrelated

Gai Jatra Festival (Aug-Sept)

The gai or cow is holy to Hindus. She represents Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, and guides the departed souls to the gates of the another world. The Gai Jatra or Cow Festival is celebrated in the month of August. Satire, jokes, fancy costumes, and colorful processions are the part of the festival as the people recall how an eighteenth century king rallied his people to cheer his queen upon the death of their son. Those who have experienced the death of close ones during the past year share their sorrow and comfort so that the gai can safely transport the departed souls on their afterlife journey. The young men wear the women's saris, children dressed up as cows, and whimsical characters of all sorts fill the streets. The special issues of local magazines shower its fun on everyone and everything.

Teej Festival (Aug-Sept)

The festival of Teej is celebrated in the month of August. On this day, the women dressed up in their fine red wedding saris visit the Pashupatinath temple of Shiva. The women celebrate the festival by fasting, folk songs, and dances and recall the goddess Parvati's devotion to her husband Shiva. The married women visit their fathers homes and all daughters and sisters receive gifts from their male kin, and an elaborate feast is prepared for them. It is a loud and cheerful celebration until late night, when strict fasting discontinues. On this day women observe a fast and pray to Lord Shiva for the long, healthy and prosperous life of their husbands and their families. The unmarried women also observe this festival with the hope that they will get to marry good husbands. The blessings of Shiva and Parbati ensure that family life will be joyous for all.

Indra Jatra (Sept-Oct)

Living Goddess Kumari during the festival. Image: Bhuwan Maharjan.The festival of Indra Jatra is named after the Lord Indra, King of Heaven. This festival is celebrated by both the Buddhists and Hindus in the month of September in Nepal. On this day, the people worship the Lord Indra, to be grateful to him, who has blessed the valley. This festival is celebrated for eight days in the Durbar Square in Kathmandu with singing, mask dancing and rejoicing. On the first day, the Indra's dhwaj or flag is erected. It is said that many centuries ago, Indra's mother needed specially scented flowers but could not find them in heaven's gardens. Indra discovered parijat flowers in the Kathmandu Valley and tried to steal them for his mother. He was caught and imprisoned by the people of the valley. When Indra's mother came searching for him the people were punished for what they had done. As a result, they released Indra and dedicated one of the most colorful festivals of Nepal to him to appease his anger. On this day, the masks and statues representing Vishnu, Bhairab, and Shiva are shown to the public, and the Goddess Kumari witnesses the special occasion from her chariot. The chariot of the Living Goddess Kumari is taken through the main streets of Kathmandu. On the first day, the King of Nepal also pays homage to Goddess Kumari. The people gather at the streets of Kathmandu valley to enjoy the festival.

Dashain -Bijaya Dashami  ( Sept-Oct)

Dashain Tika & JamaraDashain is the longest and most favourite festival of Nepal. This festival is celebrated in the month of October in Nepal. On this day, everyone stays at the home with their families, offices are closed. The skies are filled with kites and the marketplaces are filled with farmers bringing their buffaloes, goats and chicken to sell. These animals are then sacrificed on the night of Kal Ratri to please the goddess Durga. On the day of Dashami, everyone puts on new clothes and goes to honour their family elders, where they receive large red tikas of vermilion paste on their foreheads. In the following days of Dashain, families and friends unite, take part in the feasts, impart the blessings and exchange the gifts.

Tihar Festival (Oct-Nov)

Tihar also known as the Festival of Lights is celebrated in the month of November. This festival is a time of candlelight, tinsel decorations and festive colored sweets. This festival is celebrated for five days and on different days, there are offerings and small celebrations for crows, dogs, cows and oxen. On the night of Lakshmi Puja, garlands are hung and lamps are lighted to invite Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth into the home. Maha Puja, the New Year's Day according to the Nepal Era is celebrated as the day of the self, when people give themselves blessings to remain healthy and happy for the rest of the year. On Bhai Tika, the last day, the sisters make offerings to their brothers and the rituals include breaking of walnut, putting on garlands of Makhamali flowers and encircling brothers in rings of mustard oil to protect them from Yama, lord of the Netherworld.
Source: Nepal Tourism

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Canoeing in Nepal

Why Nepal?

  • A paradise for the average recreational Kayakers or Rafter.
  • Finest choice of multi-day trips in the world.
  • Warm water and white Water.
  • Semi-tropical climate.
  • Friendly, welcoming people.
  • Spectacular mountain scenery.
  • World Class White Water.
  • Rich Cultural Heritage.
  • Wild-Life and Jungle.

Nepal boasts some of the best white water in the world. Seventy percent of Nepal’s total land mass is mountains; and Nepal is second to Brazil in water resource. That’s whys Nepal is a haven for water based adventure sports such as rafting, kayaking and canoeing.

Canoeing is one of the water-adventure sports visitors can experience in Nepal. No doubt, Nepal is best destinations for adventure-seekers like Canoeing in whiter water. This thrilling sporty adventure is available in almost all the rivers which flow through national parks, conserved areas and religious spots. Altogether 16 rivers can be chosen to have this wonderfully exciting adventure in Nepal-stay package.

canoeing in nepalCanoeing in Nepal is best option because rivers in Nepal are valued the best in Asia for adventure sports. Trishuli River is popular canoeing trail with full of adventures and technical rapids. There are other popular rivers like Sunkoshi, Bhote Koshi, Marsyangdi, Kali Gandaki, Karnali and Arun etc are very popular rivers for this adventure sports. This white water sports gives amazing experience who wants to live a life with stunning adventures in. Canoeing in rivers is wonderful adventure which can be enjoyed other adventures like Rafting, Swimming, Fishing, Boating etc. Canoeing in river provides full amusement of natural beauty, exploring the surroundings, ritual performances by the river side etc. The sports is not only adventure but also exploration of Nepalese life along the trail of river flow.

Canoeing can be of various level regarding the skill and interest of the adventurer. Simply canoeing to technically difficult adventures are assisted by expert guides. Canoeing adventure can be done in Bul Bule Khola, Kabindra Khola, Raindo Khola, Sansapu Khola, Ghopte Khola, Chipla Khola, Syange Khola, Jagat Khola, Tal Khola and other rafting routes also are best for adventure seekers. Canoeing is water adventure which provides full time adventure in water.

Canoeing as sport adventure is recently growing popularity in Nepal. The rivers have the necessary features for these sports in water with demanding options to select. The rivers in Nepal which are selected for rafting are best trail for canoeing and so many other water adventures.  Cannoning is an extreme sport geared to the ultimate sport enthusiast. It is an activity that involves abseiling sliding, jumping, swimming and climbing down waterfalls through sleep canyon walls to deep pools.This unique combination of skills gives the intrepid conyoneer the freedom to explore some of the most ruggedly beautiful, yet forbidden places in the world.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Traditional Foods in Nepal

Dal Bath, plat traditionnelle népalais
Nepal's Food: Nepal is similar to many countries within South Asia, as it successfully combines a range of characteristics from its neighboring with its own gastronomic history, resulting in foods that are rich with flavor and culture. Recipes from Nepalese cuisine can be relatively simple and the flavors subtle. countries The Food of Nepal is as diverse as the country itself. The food in Nepal differs from the one culture to the another. However, here's a typical sample of food from different cultures in Nepal.

Dal-Bhat and Tarkari- Translated as lentils, Rice, and curried vegetables. It is the main staple diet of most Nepali people.

Nepali Snacks:

Chataamari (Newari): Chatānmari is a kind of rice crepe. Chatamari is crepe made out of rice floor and topped with chopped or ground red meat with seasoning. It is a traditional specialty of the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal and is eaten during festivals and other special occasions. Food resembles Pizza or Dosa (South Indian), rice flour flat bread cooked over, heat with tappings such as minced meat (with or without some vegetable ), egg, sugar or no tappings.

Choyla (Newari): grilled/ roasted spicy meat, usually eaten as appetizer with liquor.

Gundruk:  Gundruk is fermented leafy green vegetable and is a popular food in Nepal and claimed to be one of the national dishes. It is popular not only in Nepal but also in the every gorkhali or Nepalese household worldwide. It is served as a side dish with the main meal and is also used as an appetizer and can be made into a soup

Kwati (Newari): This is a wonderful traditional soup from the Himalayas. The common threads are the use of a variety of beans including some lentils and peas, that they be sprouted before cooking, and that it is a curry. There it is called “Hot Beverage of Pulses and Beans”, or Kwati, from Nepal. It is made for a religious festival, soup with many beans, a festival specialty.

Momo (Newari): Momo is a type of dumpling native to Tibet and Nepal. It is similar to Chinese baozi and jiaozi, Mongolian buuz, Japanese gyoza, Afghan mantu, and Korean mandu, a dumplings filled minced meat, usually buffalo in Nepal, Turkey elsewhere served steam or fried, very popular appetizer afternoon snack or evening meals.

Samay Bhaji (Newari): beaten rice with roasted meat, smoked fish, boiled-then-fried egg, black soy-beans and diced ginger, usually ritual food.

Sekawa: grilled meat usually made from mutton, duck, chicken, buff, wild boar.

Sal: doughnut like shaped dessert/snack made from rice-flour.

Sukuti:  Sukuti is the Nepali word for dry meat (jerky). Sukuti is either consumed directly or charbroiled and spiced as an appetizer or snack or mixed with other ingredients and served as side dish such as in sukuti ko achar, which is a side dish, usually with tomato sauce.spicy dried meat roasted over a charcoal fire.

Aloo Tama: potato made with bamboo shoots.

Taw Khoa (Newar) jello of meat soup served cold.

Wo: (Newari) flour patty made of lentils with or without meat/ egg tapping used in ritual or festival or used as snack.

Nepali Main Dish:

Aloo Tama:  Aloo Tama simply means "Potato Bamboo Shoots". This is one of the popular dishes in Nepali / Newari cuisine. In Newari style Bhoj (feast) you will always find this dish. It is a unique and classic Nepali curry flavour dish. Aloo Tama is a classic Nepali soup prepared with black eyed beans, potatoes, bamboo shoots and spices. Tama is a non-fermented bamboo shoot product. Aloo tama is well-loved comfort food cooked almost in every household throughout Nepal. The enduring popularity of this dish is that, it is extremely tasty and very appetizing mainly for its slightly sour and pungent taste.

Dal:  Dal is a dried pulse which has been splitLentil soup usually eaten with rice most popular lentils used as dal in Nepal are black, red and yellow.

Sag: Green vegetables, spinach, mustard greens or broad- leaved mustard. A standard accompaniment to plain rice lunch or dinner.

Masu: meat with spices (curry) and gravy, usually soured rice. Most Nepalese eat children, mutton. Some eat buffalo and pork.

Bhat: Bhat (Nepali) means boiled rice in languages such as Assamese, Nepali, Bengali, Marathi, and Gujarati. Chawal means boiled rice in Hindi. At higher elevations in Nepal where rice does not grow well, other grain such as maize, buckwheat, barley or millet may be substituted in a cooked preparation called dhido or atho in Nepal. Bhat may be supplemented with roti in Nepal (rounds of unleavened bread).

Vegetable Tarkari: Vegetable tarkaris, are a spicy vegetable curry, which is very popular in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal. Preparation methods for tarkaris range from simple dishes to complex ones any vegetables or group of vegetables in curry,usually both.


Achar: Achar also known as South Asian pickles or Indian subcontinent pickles, are made from certain individual varieties of vegetables and fruits that are chopped into small pieces and cooked in edible oils a sour, spicy pickle, can be made in thousands way, the most popular are made of ground tomatoes, sliced radish, ground coriander, boiled or diced potatoes.

Sanya Khuna  Takha and Sanya Khuna are two of the wintertime favourite foods of the Newars of Nepal, especially in Kathmandu. Takha (originally Ta Khwa, meaning 'frozen stuff') is a frozen dish made from buffalo meat (only male buffalo meat is acceptable in a typical Newari kitchen). Sanya Khuna (sanya is 'dried fish'; khuna means 'boiled or cooked') is a frozen fish soup. Both Takha and Sanya Khuna are often prepared and served together, due to the similar preparation methods, hot, spicy, salty jello type food.

Nepali Desserts

Dahi: Yogurt/curd.

Juju Dhau:  One of the popular Newari desserts, Juju Dhau literally means the ‘king of yoghurts’ in Newari language. Dhau (yogurt), known as dahi in Nepali is an important aspect of Nepali culture and daily life.It is also one of the most common and popular item in the Nepali kitchen, usually people do not miss including dahi in their meals or even snacks as most of the Nepalese love to eat dahi-chiura (yogurt and beaten rice). A specialty of people of Bhaktapur, Juju dhau in Nepal is famous as Bhaktapurko Juju dhau meaning Juju dhau of Bhaktapur.

Sikarni: curd mixed with dried fruits

Nepali Drink

Rakshi: Liquor.

Thon (Newari): or chyang (Tibetan) the milky white beer/liquor made from fermented rice.

Togba: a popular liquor in the hills, made by pouring hot water into a pot of fermented millet and drunk with a bamboo straw.

Nepal Climate

Nepal's weather is generally predictable and pleasant. There are four climate seasons:

1 Spring:  March-May
2 Summer:  June-August
3 Autumn:  September-November
4 Winter:  December-February

The monsoon is approximately from the end of June to the middle of September. About 80 percent of the rain falls during that period, so the remainder of the year is dry. Spring and Autumn are the most pleasant seasons; Winter temperature drop to freezing with a high level of snowfall in the mountains. Summer and late Spring temperature range from 28° C (83° F) in the hill region to more than 40° C (104° F) in the Terai. In Winter, average maximum and minimum temperature in the Terai range from a brisk 7° C (45° F) to a mild 23° C (74° F). The central valleys experience a minimum temperature often falling below freezing point and a chilly 12° C (54° F) maximum. The Kathmandu Valley, at a altitude of 1310 m ( 4293 ft), has a mild climate ranging from 19-27° C ( 67-81° F) in Summer, and 2-20° C (36-68° F) in Winter.

Nepal Festivals

Nepal is not only the land of mountains; it is also the land of festivals. There are more than 50 festivals celebrated in Nepal every year. While the national festivals have fixed dates, religious festivals are set by astrologers following the lunar calendar. The rich cultural heritage of Nepal is manifested by the diverse social customs and festivals.


Friday, July 4, 2014

Nagarkot- Gateways to Mount Everest

 Attractions and Places to visit Nagarkot

NAGARKOT: Nagarkot, located 32 kilometers east of Kathmandu-Nepal is one of the most scenic spots in Bhaktapur district and is renowned for its spectacular sunrise and sunset views of the Himalayas. Nagarkot is a simple farming town, had a population of 4571 and had 973 houses in it, according to census conducted in 2011.

Kathmandu valley near Nagarkot
Kathmandu valley near Nagarkot

Nagarkot has become famous as one of the best spots to view Mount Everest as well as other snow-capped peaks of the Himalayan range eastern Nepal. It also offers an excellent view of the Indrawati river valley to the east with an elevation of 2,195 meters, Nagarkot also offers an panoramic view of the valley

Nagarkot, historically, used to serve as the summer retreat for the royal family and many other aristocrats from Kathmandu. While the town offers great views of the mountain, there are few monasteries and temples

.The Village of Nagarkot in Nepal is 7,200 feet above sea level and not far from Mt. Everest
Things to do in Nagarkot: The city has plenty to offer visitors in the form of panoramic sights, hiking, nature trails, mountain biking and more. Nagarkot is most beautiful during spring

The stunning sights of the Dhaulagiri range in the west and the Mount Everest in the east are the most popular with tourists. Along the way the historic town of Sankhu is a much frequent tourists spots.

.Inhabitants to use special farming techniques called terrace farming to deal with the steep terrain
Bhaktapur, Sundarijal and Banepa are excellent hiking destination. While on their hikes, you can also visit the temples of Sankhu, Changu Narayan and Vajra Yogini. Cafe Dumont is a peaceful place, where you can watch the sunset

For those who wish to spend more than one night in Nagarkot, there are plenty more activities to keep you occupied. Here, you can savour the beauty of majestic mountains under comfort and quite, or if you wish you can do pony-riding, a visit to Tamang village, bird watching, meditation and yoga, hiking or simply stretch out in a terrace with a vodka cocktail.

.Nagarkot is famous for its incredible sunrise and sunset which tourists from around the world go there to witness
Things to see: Nagarkot is surrounded by thickly forested hills of pine trees which gives you an idyllic escape. It is a rustic resort high on the northern fringe of the Kathmandu valley. It is an outstanding hilltop that offers great views of Himalayas, breathtaking mountain scenery and most impressive view of sunrise and sunset. From Nagarkot, one see the breathtaking views of the major himalayan peaks of Nepal like Manaslu (8,463m), Ganesh Hill (7,111m), Lantang (7,246m), Dorje Lakpa, Sisa Pa Choyu, Gauri Shanker etc. On a clear crystal day, one can even see tip of Mt. Everest (8848m) from Nagarkot.

Sunset in Nagarkot
Get in: The easiest and cheapest way to get here from Kathmandu is to take a bus at the "Bhaktapur Bus Terminal" located east of Ratna Park to Bhaktapur , 40-50 minutes trip and from there another bus to Nagarkot 1.5 hours, nice trip although buses are very overcrowded.
There is also a tourist bus which goes directly from Kathmandu. Departs Kathmandu at 13.30 from Shorankhutee Tourist Bus Park Narayan Bazaar. And from Nagarkot at 10.15. But please check first if it still operates.

View of Mount Everest Peak near Nagarkot

It is best to travel by private-hire cars and taxis to Nagarkot. From the International airport, it should take about 40 mins and from the city centre, about an hour. A scenic drive via the ancient city of Bhaktapur and tiny villages along meandering mountain roads is a journey by itself.

Where to stay: If you plan to stay overnight during the high-season, it is best to book your hotel room on arrival or in advance, as they often become full later in the day. Many of the hotels are booked by agents in Kathmandu, who often charge highly inflated prices. It is best to call to the lodge or hotel directly to book a room. Budget hotels do not usually have hot water or heating. It can be cold here so you might want to bring a sleeping bag in the winter.

  Map of Nagarkot

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mountain Biking In Nepal

NEPAL is a heaven for cyclists with plenty of adventurous trails spanning across the country's amazing landscape, mountains, valleys, cliffs, riverbeds etc.Nepal has been recognized as one of the best mountain biking destinations in the worldwide. Mountain Biking is one of the best ways to experience this Himalayan Nation. Nepal's diverse terrain is a mountain biker's dream adventure come true.Mountain biking offers an environmentally sound way of exploring the magnificent country,with diverse landscapes and breathtaking natural beauty, challenging trails through some of the most stunning scenic and cultural landscapes in the world. With the stunning backdrop of the Himalayan ranges, the extreme valleys and forests of the rugged middle hills, the charming terraced fields and bright smiles in the timeless villages, you will remember this journey for its unique beauty as well as its challenging mountain biking terrain.

Mountain Biking in Nepal: Nepal Mountain Biking Tours has always been a pleasure for a person who loves adventure and sports. The exquisite and varied topography of Nepal offers a wide scope for mountain biking. Mountain Biking is fantastic way to explore to explore Nepal. Nepal Mountain Biking offers a challenging and pleasant scenic ride from the tropical plains of terai, mid-hills mountainous terai and its lush valleys to the arctic climate of the high alpine region. Nepal offers some hard to beat tracks for the adventures lovers. Nepal has many trails. Nepal adventure track can make a challenging climb thousands of meters to reach of view point with fantastic views. Fascinating mountains villages, nomadic lands, winding rivers, rice fields, temples and monasteries and backdrop of majestic snowy Himalayan peaks makes mountain biking trails in Nepal an extremely inspiring play ground for riders. To Ride on Nepal provides you a truly unforgettable mountains biking experience. The land of Himalayas consists of series of uphill and downhill cycling trails spanning all across most part of the country with flatland occurring only in the southern plains of the narrow terai belt. Ridding terrains vary from.
  • Lush and flat tropics of terai.
  • Steep and rolling mid-hills.
  • Towering mountainous region with lush river valleys and
  • High alpine regions with arctic type of climate.

Best Time to Bike in Nepal:

Nepal has four seasons. So depending on what you would like to do, you can choose your seasons to get involved in Nepal.
  1. Winter (Nov~Jan) One of the best time to cycle in low altitudes of Nepal as the sky is clear.
  2. Spring (Feb~Apr) Another best time to cycle in any altitude of Nepal as the weather remains beautiful and the temperature is moderate.
  3. Summer (May~July) Good for riding the high altitudes such as Mustang area where there is almost no rain.
  4. Fall (Aug~Oct) Generally good for ride in the high altitudes.

Photo of Kathmandu - Tikabhairab - Badi Khel - Godavari
Near Dhobi ghat, Bagmati Zone, Nepal
Grading of Cycling Biking in Nepal

A. Casual Recreational Cyclist no mountain biking of off-road experience but having general bike skills and enjoys cycling.

B. Intermediate Mountain Biking/or road cycling experience with some skills developed and enjoys off-road trails.

C. Intermediate Plus good riding skills with off-road experience and enjoys some challenging trails.

Photo of Nakhu River Trail 23/10/2010 7:05 am
Near Dhobi Ghat, Bagmati Zone, Nepal
D. Advanced Regular mountain biker seeking tough/ challenging single track. No matter what earth bound expeditions tour is chosen, safety and health are of major importance.

The Best Mountain Biking Trails in Nepal

For details: The Best Mountain Biking Trails in Nepal

Best Mountain Bike Trails in Nepal

downhill mountain biking nepal
Nagarkot biking trail-Nepal
1.Mountain Biking Around Pokhra Valley: offers one of the most exciting experiences, breathtaking mountain views, picturesque villages, gently rolling chains of hills with terraced fields of rice, subtropical forsts and the unique outline of Himalayas.

2. The Anupurna Circuit: is one of the best bike rides in Nepal, offering a unique insight into the physical and cultural diversity of this fascinating country.

Biking in Anupurna Circuit-Nepal

3. Kathmandu Valley Day Biking: Mountain biking day tour in Nepal is the best way to explore the Kathmandu Valley and around is on a mountain bike, Nepal's diverse terrain is a mountain biker's dream adventure come true. Mountain biking offers an environmentally sound way of exploring this magnificent country, its landscape and living heritage.

5. Nagarkot Biking Tour: This tour is for the intermediate level cyclist, taking you into the small villages around the valley, Shivapuri National Park and the mountain  resort of Nagarkot from where you get fantastic panoramic views. This is a great ride for those people who have limited or short time. It's beautiful ride with lots of good action down hill and some challenging climbs, it's a great ride for the recreational to intermediate level ride.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

World's Scariest Airport: Lukla Airport, Nepal, LUA

LUKLA AIRPORT- NEPAL:  World's Scariest Airport/ Adventure of Mount Everest begins at tiny Nepal Strip

A Tara Air Domestic DC 228 Aircraft Taxis after landing at the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, some 140 kilometres (87 miles) northeast of Kathmandu.In Picture Flights are ready to take off

At Everest, it's not just the mountains that takes some guts, writes Plip Byrnes

There is one catch to arriving at the Everest Base Camp Trek start-point in Nepal and that is flying into infamous, perilous situated Lukla Airport.

That is the coolest airport ever. It going to be really, really exciting. Have fun!

Lukla Airport: Carved out of the side of mountains, the airport was built by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1965. At an altitude of 2,843 meters (9,325 feet) it is one of the most extreme and dangerous airport in the world.In January 2008 the airport was renamed Tenzing- Hillary Airportin in honour of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest and also to make their efforts in the construction of this airport. Landing at Lukla airport in the outskirts of the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu is tricky. Just 1,500ft long and only 60ft wide, the runway ends in a blank mountain wall and has an uphill gradient of 12 per cent, in the town of Lukla, is a small airport in the town of Lukla in Khumbu, Solukhumbu district, Sagarmatha zone eastern Nepal.

Why Lukla Airport is World's Most Dangerous Airport?

  • Tenzing Hillary Airport doesn't have a Control Tower, Radar or Navigation.
  • Pilots are forced to rely on the view from their Cockpit to Land and Take-Off.
  • The 460 metre long runway-a tenth of standard length-is also on a slope.
  • If a pilot misjudges landing or take-off, they face a 9,200 ft. fall off a cliff edge.

The landing strip is built on the steep incline of a hillside. Its length is 450 m and width 20 m. and the runway incline is a staggering 12%. The apron has 4 stands and there is one heli-pad located 150 m. below the air traffic control tower. No landing aids are available and Air Traffic Service is limited to AFIS (Aerodrome Flight Information Service) only.

Landing in Lukla leaves no room for error. Pilots throw their propellers into hard reverse before they touch down and gun the engines as they race down the hill for takeoff. Considering the extreme landscape it was the best candidate for the engineers to construct the facility. The strip is at an elevation of 2800 m with a an abrupt drop off down to a river valley below. The approach is through a maze of spectacular mountain peaks and the air is often cluttered with clouds.

There is a big hill right behind the landing strip. You also need to clear a high ridge, bank left, descend steeply, straighten the airplane and land. Navigation is by sight only and you need to negotiate several layers of clouds which can hang on the high hill or rise from the deep valley. This is why flights will often be cancelled and you could be stuck in Lukla waiting for a plane for days on end.

If this is worrying you one comforting thought is that only the most experienced pilots in Nepal are flying to Lukla.

The airport is quite popular as Lukla is the place where most people start their trek to the Khumbu and Everest Base Camp and now what once was a dirt strip is one of  Nepal's busiest domestic airport. Thousands of mountaineers and trekkers who visit the Everest Region have to fly to the airport if they want to avoid a day long bus trip from Kathmandu. In the peak season the  airlines operate over 50 flights a day far beyond the acceptable capacity for such a facility.

The airport's paved Asphalt Runway (any of several black semisolid substances composed of bitumen and inert mineral matter. They occur naturally in parts of America and as a residue from petroleum distillation: used as a waterproofing material and in paints, dielectrics, and fungicidesis only accessible to helicopters and small, fixed-wing, short-take off and landing aircraft such as the De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, Derriere Do 228, and Pilates PC-6 Turbo Porter. The runway is one-way for both take off and landing. Aircraft have to land from the southwest and take-off toward the northeast because other end of one side of the runway is mountain. When winds are blowing in an unfavorable direction, all take off and landings have to stop.The runway is 460 by 20 m. ( 1,509 ft) with 12% gradient. The elevation of the airport is 2,800 m. (9,200 ft.)

Aircraft can only use Run-way 06 for Landing and Run-way 24 for Take-Off. There is no prospect of a successful go-around on short final due.

Trip Notes:

Flying into Lukla: Airlines flying into Lukla change annually, but Yeti Air, Tara Air ( a subsidiary of Yeti), Agni Air and Nepal Airlines are staples.

If travelling independently, have a local operators such as Himalayan Encounters can make reservations. They can arrange an experienced porter or guide to meet you at Lukla. Flights start at about $140 one way.

In trekking season, flights can be booked solid. Try for earliest 6 am flights to avoid weather deterioration mid-morning (and cancelled flights). Be aware Lukla can close for days, but if pilots call it unsafe to fly, its best to go with the flow.

Top Tip: Sit on the left-hand side of the plane towards Lukla for scenic Everest massive views, right side on the return.

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A Panoramic Photograph of Lukla Airport and its surroundings.
The Control Towers: Manned by two or three Air Traffic Controllers who are in constant Radio Contact with Kathmandu Airport and the Planes. They will decide if conditions are good enough for Planes to leave Kathmandu and land in Lukla

Carved out of the side of a mountains-the Airport was built by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1965 to help the local yak herders known as Sherpas spur development in the improvised area. In picture Flight get ready to take off
Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, Kathmandu eastern Nepal doesn't have a Control Tower, Radar or Navigation- meaning Pilots have to rely on what they can see fromm their cockpits to land and take-off.
A flight approaches Lukla airport for a landing on May 28. If the pilot misses the runway, the plane will slam into a mountain.
A Flight Approaches Lukla Airport for a Landing. If the Pilot misses the runway, the Plane will slam into a mountain
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A Flight approaches Lukla Airport Terrifying Landing.

Don't look down: The tiny runway ends at a cliff edge with a 9,200ft drop to the ground below
The Tiny Runway Ends at a Cliff Edge with a 9,200 ft dope to the ground below

A plane pictured coming into land at Nepal's Lukla Airport - the most dangerous landing strip in the world
A plane pictured coming into land at Nepal's Lukla Airport - the most dangerous landing strip in the world

Challenging: The 460 metre long runway - less than a tenth of the length of those at international airports - is also situated on a steep incline
Challenging: The 460 meters long runway less than a tenth of the length of those at International Airport is also situated on a steep incline

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A Flight take-off for Kathmandu
A plane begins to lift off the ground just a few metres before the end of the runway and the 9,200ft drop
A plane begins to lift off the ground just a few meters before the end of the run way and the 9,200 ft, drop.

Brave travellers: A group of passengers on a plane coming into land at the most dangerous airport in the world
Brave Travelers: A group of passengers on a plane coming into land at the most dangerous airport in the world

All aboard: A group of tourists wait to board a plane departing from Lukla Airport. The airport is the main route for those trying to reach the Everest Region
A group of tourists wait to board a plane departing from Lukla Airport. The Airport is the main route for those trying to reach the Everest Region

Landing in Lukla, Neal leaves no room for error

A program Titled Most Extreme Airports Broadcast on The History Channel in 2010, Rated the Airports as the Most Dangerous Airport in The World

2. Nepal Airlines
3.Lukla Weather Forcast for Sagarmatha Nepal
4.Information on Lukla Airport, Lukla, Nepal
5.Lukla, Nepal Forcast