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Krishna Janmashtami -Celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna

Lone Trekker:

Celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna, the savior of justice and righteousness, on Krishna Janmashtami this August in Nepal

Originally posted on Chronicles of ADVENTURE TRAVEL:

One of the Avatars of Vishnu, a Hindu-Trinity Deity, Krishna is revered as the ultimate leader of Hindu religion.

Krishna Janmashtami

Krishna Janmashtami (Nepali: कृष्ण जन्माष्टमी) is a festival observing the birth of lord Krishna. This festival is also known as Krishn Ashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini and Sri krishna Jayanti, which falls on the 8th day of the dark lunar fortnight (Krishna Paksha).

The day is marked with observant fasting the entire day. It’s widely celebrated by the Hindus living around the world, however, it’s mainly observed in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna said,

Whenever there is predominance of evil and decline of good doings (religion), I will reincarnate again and again to end the evil and to save the Dharma (good)”. Krishna Janmashtami is celebration of victory of good and Dharma over devil and bad power.

Therefore, the festive holds a value of eliminating evils from the…

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Gai Jatra -Celebrating the Festival of Cows, in Kathmandu

Gai Jatra has a historical and social significance in Nepal. Mostly celebrated in Kathmandu valley by the Newar community, today, Gai Jatra is held nationwide and is marked as a public holiday.

~Origin & History~

Gai Jatra (Nepali: गाईजात्रा, & Newari: सापारु) is the festival of cows celebrated mainly in Kathmandu valley by the Newar and Tharu community. The word Gai stands for a Cow and Jatra for a festival. Held on the 5th month of Hindu calender, Bhadra (August-September), the festival is observed with joy, along with relishing the monsoon rain. This year it falls on 11 of August.

It is said. people in ancient time started worshiping Yamaraj, “The God of Death,” of Hindu mythology, on this day.

Children in costume marching along the procession during Gai Jatra in Kathmandu

Children in costume marching along the procession during Gai Jatra in Kathmandu

The modern form of celebration of Gai Jatra came into existence during the time of Malla Kingdom. The present form of Gai Jatra which is performed with humorous acts, parody and comedy was started by the then King Pratap Malla of Kathmandu.


 

The legend goes as;

Pratap Malla’s son died at the tender age. His consort was in great misery. The king, disappointed to see her faltering condition, tried many things to cheer her up but failed miserably. He then announced that anyone who could make the queen laugh would be rewarded adequately. Therefore, he asked to bring the cow procession before the sad queen.  People of the city tried donning different costumes and doing humorous acts. The theatrics finally made her smile.

Though, it is suggested that the smile was only for some time, the procession did gave queen a big relief.

Today, people from every household in Kathmandu don costumes and process throughout the street. Feasting is held widely and Comedians are well known for performing on this day for others’ amusement.

Foreigners visiting Nepal during the months of August and September are suggested not to miss this grand event.

~Gallery~

Resources

Inside Bhaktapur Durbar Square: The Ancient Malla Kingdom of Nepal

Lone Trekker:

Inside Bhaktapur Durbar Square -The ancient Malla (Newars) Kingdom of Nepal and the historic town of art and culture.

Originally posted on Chronicles of ADVENTURE TRAVEL:

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

The former royal complex at the center of Bhaktapur (Bhadgoan) district is known as the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Consisting of a palace, courtyards, historic monuments and numerous temples, the whole complex, along with Kathmandu Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

It’s an ancient town built by the Malla (Newars) kings of Nepal. Formerly a Newar kingdom, the major inhabitants of the region are Newars, therefore, the architecture of the area signifies the ancient establishment of the greater Newari culture and arts.

After Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur is the 2nd most visited location in the entire Kathmandu valley.

Major Attractions

  1. 55 Windows Palace (Pachpanne Jhyale Durbar) -It is a former royal palace of the Malla Kings. The interesting fact about this palace, is the it has a total of 55 windows.
  2. Golden Gate -A major gate of the palace is entirely made…

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Why the Restricted Areas in Nepal should be opened for commercial trekking?

Restricted areas in Nepal are defined by the protected status levied by the government on certain geographic regions which require protection and regulation for the various cultural, artistic and geographical reasons. The inflow of international tourists or foreigners in such area is highly regulated.

The Department of Immigration of Nepal issued total of only 10,560 trekking permits for the restricted areas in the year 2012, whereas, popular trek routes of Annapurna and Everest received almost 70,000  and 50,000 trekkers, respectively.

People in restricted area are very poor compared to other areas in the Country (Nepal). We can provide them alternative source for income [...] For that to happen, the government should open restricted area.

~Ang Tshering Sherpa, Former President (NMA)

 

Advantages of Opening the Restricted Areas

  1. Increase in Inflow of Tourists -The unrestricted access of such areas will ensure higher inflow of international tourists. The increase in tourists will help increase the annual inflow of tourists in Nepal, therefore, helping the nation gain economic advantage.
  2. Increase in Local Income -Local population of the area can engage in economic activities with the incoming tourists, therefore, helping them earn more money and invest in development of the local economy.
  3. Promotion of Tourism -There are many geographic regions in Nepal which are yet unseen or inexperienced by the tourists. Opening such areas for unrestricted trekking can promote tourism in the national and international market, hence, increasing the inflow of tourists.
  4. Development of Tourism Industry & Increase in State’s Income -Development of tourism sector in Nepal depends on the annual inflow of tourists and receipts from tourism industry. Opening restricted areas can help promote new holiday destinations and allure foreign tourists as well as receipts. The income generated by the state can be used in various promotional activities.
  5. Development of Local Regions -Increase in tourism leads to higher economic activities and access of infrastructures required for development. The construction of roadways, electric lines, trek routes etc can help develop the local scenario and generate income for the locals through direct trade with the tourists.

~List of Restricted Areas~

#1 Manaslu Circuit

It is one of the popular trek circuits located in the Himalaya. Primarily, located in the historical Gorkha district, the sightings of high mountains, snow and ice, exotic flora and fauna and ethnic villages and monasteries are common. >>Read complete article

 

#2 Upper and Lower Dolpo

Dolpo is a high-altitude region located in the western Himalaya of Nepal. The inhabitants of Dolpo are mainly Tibetans, therefore, the region is rich in ethnic Buddhist culture and arts. The abundance of Himalayan wildlife, including; Musk Deer, Himalayan Blue Sheep and endangered species of Snow Leopard, makes trek an unforgettable experience. >>Read complete article


#3 Upper Mustang

Upper Mustang was once an independent kingdom ruled by a monarch. It was annexed to mainland Nepal only in the 18th Century. Also known as “The Forbidden City,” access for foreigners in the region was permitted only in 1992. >>Read complete article


#4 Kanchenjunga Base Camp

The rudimentary campsite of Kanchenjunga 8,586 m (28,169 ft), 3rd highest mountain in the world, concurs in an adventure trek leading up to the far eastern mountain range of Nepal and up to the elevation of 5,100 m (16,732 ft).


#5 Makalu Base Camp

The trek offers outstanding scenery of lush tropical greens of Arun Valley and high-altitude ice fields of Makalu, including Kumbhakarna mountain range. >>Read complete article


#6 Tsum Valley

Tsum valley in Gorkha district was opened for International tourists only in 2007, making it one of the recent places to be opened for commercial treks in Nepal. The valley comprises two remote villages, Chumchet and Chhekampar. >>Read complete article

 

Some common Culture Shocks a Tourist may face in Nepal

Lone Trekker:

Some common culture shocks a tourist or foreigner may encounter while visiting Nepal. A Tourist’s Guide to Nepal

Originally posted on Chronicles of ADVENTURE TRAVEL:

Culture Shock (n) ~ the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes.

A Tourist’s Life in Nepal

Sadhus seen at Kathmandu

Nepal is one of the most recognized South Asian nation throughout the world for its natural and archaeological riches and ancient culture and arts. The historical palaces, towering Himalaya peaks, scenic landscapes and rare religious artifacts are the major USPs of this small landlocked nation. With availability of varying ethnic tribes, every region of Nepal is unique and distinct in terms of lifestyle and culture.

A life of a foreigner in Nepal can come with many unseen difficulties due to drastic difference in lifestyle and culture. Culture shocks are common for tourists who have recently landed in Nepal. Despite, all the minor difficulties one might concur during the visit, the nation and its people are sure to offer the…

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