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How to Celebrate Dashain & Tihar in Nepal?

Lone Trekker:

Come this September celebrate two of the holiest and grandest Hindu festivals in the Indian Subcontinent. Mainly observed in Nepal and India, Dashain and Tihar has utmost religious and historic significance.

Originally posted on Chronicles of ADVENTURE TRAVEL:

The grandest of the festivals celebrated by the Hindus worldwide falls on this September-October. Dashain and Tihar are two of the main festivals which uphold the religious and cultural significance of Hinduism.

Nepal, with the majority of Hindu population, celebrates the festivals with full joy. Feasting is common in almost every Nepalese household during the occasion.

Dashain

Dashain (Nepali: दशैं) or Badadashain, Dashera in India, is a festival celebrated by Hindu devotees worldwide. It is the longest festival, lasting 10 days, which starts from lunar night and ends on full moon. It is widely celebrated throughout India and Nepal. The festive is known for bringing joy in the household by bringing families together.

Tika (Vermilion) and Jamra are considered auspicious during Dashain

Tika (Vermilion) and Jamra are auspicious during Dashain

Starting from September 25 and ending at October 5, the 10 day celebration celebrates the overcoming of the evil by good.

The first day begins with the celebration of the Goddess Durga, meaning “the…

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Celebrating Indra Jatra & Kumari Jatra (Yenya Punhi) in Kathmandu

Yenya Punhi is one of the oldest festivals of Kathmandu, which is marked by a week long celebrations and feasting among the greater inhabitants of Kathmandu.

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~Origin & History~

Yenya Punhi (Nepali: येँयाः पुन्ही) is a festival belonging to the Newari community of Kathmandu. Celebrated as a street festival, Yenya Punhi carries a historic and mythological significance to the bygone Lichhavi and Malla Kingdom of Nepal.

It is an amass of cultural, religious and historic events. From the start till it ends, the city of Kathmandu is filled with processions of various kinds, street festivals and feasting. The celebration lasts for eight days from the 12th day of the bright fortnight to the 4th day of the dark fortnight, and it generally falls on the 5th month of Hindu calender, Bhadra.

The occasion is remembered for two different occurring, Indra Jatra and Kumari Jatra, where one celebrates the Hindu God Indra (God of Rain & heaven) and the other celebrates the arrival of virgin deity or a living goddess. Despite the overlapping of the two occasions, these are completely different festivals and has no resemblance.

Indra Jatra

Relic of Lord Ganesha carried during Indra Jatra

Relic of Lord Ganesha carried during Indra Jatra

Indra Jatra (Nepali: ईन्द्र जात्रा) was initiated during the Lichhavi period (300 Bc-1200 AD) in Nepal by the King Gunakamadeva. It generally celebrates God Indra for offering a boon in form of rainfall to the inhabitants of Kathmandu.

It is marked by masked dances of deities and demons, displays of sacred images and tableaus. The celebration starts from the erection of a linga (a wooden pole) at the center of Kathmandu Durbar Square. The erection of pole and the following events enacts the mythical event of imprisoning God Indra by the inhabitants of Kathmandu. This year it falls on September 8.

The Legend goes as;

Indra, the lord of heaven, was told by doctors that a rare jasmine flower was needed for the treatment of his dying mother, Dakini. Indra came to earth in search of the flower and found it in a tree in Kathmandu. Locals spied on the god in the act of plucking the flower and promptly seized him as a thief. Indra was tied to a pole and put on display at various places in the city for eight consecutive days, beginning with the Baman Duwadasi, according to the religious calendar, which usually falls in September-October.

Later, when Dakini herself came to know of her son’s arrest, she too came down and pleaded for her son’s release. Upon realizing that the ‘thief’ they had arrested was the god Indra, they immediately released him. Dakini then promised the residents a boon and the people, content with their lives under the king, only demanded regular rain in Kathmandu.

Kumari Jatra

Kumari Jatra (कुमारी जात्रा) celebrates the living goddess Kumari, a virgin deity. Started by King Jaya Prakash Mall of the Malla Kingdom in 1756, the festivals offers a tribute to the goddess Taleju Bhawani.

Kumari is a living goddess

Kumari is a living goddess recognized by the Newari community of Kathmandu

The procession of Kumari, accompanied by the relics of Bhairava and Ganesha, is carried out in a chariot throughout Kathmandu city for 3 days following the Indra Jatra. The first day procession leads through downtown Kathmandu, the second leads through the uptown and the final procession is carried out in the midtown Kathmandu.

The selection of Kumari from the arrays of eligible candidate is an elaborate affair. The operation is carried out in accord to the law dictated by Vajrayana Buddhism. The girls aged 4-7 are pre-screened and selected for a task involving meeting the deities in a dark room. The one who remain composed and calm during the process is considered the goddess. It’s believed that the spirit of Taleju Bhawani enters the body of the girl hence giving her the spiritual identity, and the term of being a goddess remains until her first menstruation or the first cut and bleeding.

The Legend goes as;

Taleju Bhawani was the king’s political and social advisor and would give important tips to the king on good governance. However, during one of their meetings, the king, overwhelmed by desire, attempted to rape the goddess inside the Taleju Bhawani temple, prompting the goddess to disappear and vow never to appear before the king again. Worried by the goddess’ proclamation, the king begged her to reconsider her decision. Taking sympathy on the poor king, Taleju pledged to reside within the Kumari, a virgin girl from the city. Jaya Prakash Malla identified the right Kumari and built a palace for her in the Hanumandhoka area. In honour of Taleju Bhawani and the Kumari, he began a separate procession called the Kumari Jatra, which happened to fall on the third day of Indra Jatra.

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Nepal to build a Highway to Everest Region

Nepalese Government has recently announced to build a 65 miles (100 km) long tarmac road to Everest region to help ease transportation of supplies from cities to the mountain region of Nepal.

~Highway from Jiri to Lukla~

A town of Jiri, Dolakha district

A town of Jiri, Dolakha district

The proposed highway will connect Jiri to Surkhe village in Lukla, couple of hours away from Tenzing-Hillary Airport. The new road shall primarily facilitate the transport of goods and supplies from cities to Khumbu region. The other important purpose the road will serve is to cater trekkers in distress, who couldn’t fly out of the region for bad weather or are stuck in Khumbu.

A gas cylinder for cooking costs Rs. 10,000 (£60) and a cup of tea at least Rs. 250 (£1.50). Flying goods by air from Kathmandu to the airport at Lukla – known as the gateway to the Everest region – costs Rs. 50 (90 pence) a kilogram.

Dailymail.co.uk

It’s almost impossible to commence flights during bad weather, therefore, flights to and from Lukla tend to get delayed or cancelled often. Those who can afford to escape the hassle pay $500 for a helicopter ride from Lukla to Kathmandu.

The government has earmarked funds for the project, and the construction will begin by this fiscal year.

Purna Chandra Bhattarai, Joint Secretary of the Ministry

Everest Base Camp Trek

Trek to Everest base camp is one of the most desired treks the world. Leading to the base camp of Everest through the ethnic villages of popular Sherpa inhabitants, it receives more than 35,000 trekkers in a year.  

Trekkers at Everest base camp

Trekkers at Everest base camp

Everest base camp trek via Jiri tends to take 4 more days to reach Lukla from Jiri, and the entire length is covered by foot. Although a transportable road demeans the authenticity of trekking region, with the availability of tarmac road now one can choose to drive to Surkhe village, Lukla from Jiri.

Sherpa Guides’ Insurance Hiked & Two New Climbing Peaks Open at Everest

Lone Trekker:

Nepalese Government has decided to hike the insurance cover for Sherpas working on Everest expedition, along with unveiling two new peaks for climbing

Originally posted on Chronicles of ADVENTURE TRAVEL:

Everest Region is the hub of controversy lately, but that doesn’t mean good things stopped happening in the region altogether. In the latest twist, Nepalese government decided to hike the insurance cover for Sherpa Guides on Everest and unveiled two new climbing peaks beside Mount Everest for avid mountaineers.

#1 Insurance Cover for Sherpa Guides Hiked

Sherpa community grieving following the tragedy on Everest last April

Sherpa community grieving following the tragedy on Everest last April

Following the tragic event of April 2014, which killed 16 innocent Sherpa guides while trying to fix ropes on Everest (Full Article), and much hullabaloo by the family members of the guides for better compensation and insurance, Nepalese Government has recently decided to hike the insurance cover for Sherpa guides by 33.3%. The new rolled-out rates for insurance cover and medical insurance will be $15,000 and $4,000 respectively.

The hike will address to some extent the demand by Sherpas for better compensation.

Dambar Parajuli,

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Everest Heli Tour -Flying to Kala Patthar via Syangboche

Heli tour to Everest culminates into a sightseeing adventure. You need not walk tirelessly for weeks to reach the Everest base camp, a helicopter flight will facilitate the entire trek in few hours, along with dining at the highest elevation in the world.

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~Overview~

Formed 65 million years ago, Mount Everest is known to be the highest peak in the world. It is located in the Mahalangur Himalaya range at Khumbu valley in the northeastern Nepal. The passage to Everest is generally completed in two weeks on foot, however, during a helicopter tour, it can be completed within few hours.

Heli Dashboard

Heli Dashboard

The wider expanse, from Kathmandu to Kala Patthar and back, can be covered with ease in a Heli tour, along with flying in a close proximity to Everest. You can see the entire valley, Sherpa villages, trek routes, oligotrophic lakes and glaciers while you relax on your seat. The tour commences only during the morning for the reason of clear weather and sky.

A Day on Everest

The flight commence at Tribhuvan International Airport at 6 am sharp. It moves east towards the serene valley of Khumbu, almost 170 km from Kathmandu. The first stop will be made at Syangboche in Namche Bazaar, the biggest Sherpa town in the entire Nepal. After a brief break and refueling, the flight resumes for the rocky expanse of Everest Base Camp at 5,364 m (17,598 ft), followed by a short flight to Kala Patthar 5,545 m (18,192 ft).

You can rest at Kala Patthar for full 20-30 minutes and enjoy the view of surrounding Eight-Thousander peaks, Khumbu valley and else. The tour moves down to Everest View Point Hotel at Namche Bazaar for breakfast, and later concluding at Kathmandu.

~Route Map~

~Gallery~

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