A Travellerspoint blog

Why should you not travel alone?

Travelling is a fun activity. We all love to travel. We travel various places in order to get away from our hasty and busy life. Everyone gets tired of the everyday monotonous life. We all travel to get pleasure and get refreshed. Travelling is essential to all. It helps in reducing the tension and makes people happy. People get new experience and knowledge from their travel. Some people love to travel in a group whereas some people love to travel alone. Travelling in a group gives us the feeling of safety and security. Travelling alone gives the feeling of freedom.

Mostly we don't meet with the problem when we are in city areas. The problem starts arising as we start moving off route. No one can predict when the problem arrives. It comes when it wants. Problems may differ as per the places we go. The travel is uncertain it may or may not arise during the trip. So it is better to take precautions before travelling. We should always travel with your family, friends, colleagues, etc. We may not find a travel partner for our every journey. If travelling with a travel partner is not possible then it is better to travel along with a guide or search any other travel companion.

Travelling alone may create various problems like:

1. We can get attacked by the wild animals when we travel alone along the dense forest. If we travel in a group or with travel partner there is less chance of animal attacking us. In case if we get attacked there will be the companion to help us. But if we travel alone no one will be there for help. So it is better to travel with the travel companion.

2. We can get serious health problems like acute mountain sickness, HACE, HAPE, etc when we travel in the high altitude (when we go for trekking and mountain climbing).

3. We can get a serious injury that can lead us to death.

4. We can get stuck in some dangerous problems.

5. We may lose our way.

6. In some destinations, we can get kidnapped by the local rebellions as captive,

7. We can get robbed, etc.

8. Hospitals may not be available in the off routes minor health problems can become fatal. If there is no one to care about.

The movie 127 hours (based on the true story of Aron Lee Ralston) directed by Danny Boyle also insists the traveller not to travel alone. Aron is the survivor from a canyoneering accident. He fell into a crevice in southeastern Utah. His hand stuck in the boulder. He then tried to get his right hand out of it but couldn't. With a dull pocketknife, he cut off his right forearm to free it from the boulder. He had been trapped there for five days and seven hours. He wouldn't have to cut his forearm had he gone for the trek with a companion. So, we should always inform our family member and friends where we are travelling. We should always search a travel partner. It is the inspiring real-life story. Everyone should watch it.

You can watch this movie by clicking on the following URL or by directly watching it from youtube. It is certainly an inspiring movie for all the traveller. Never ever travel alone.
127 hours

127 hours

https://www.google.com.np/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCIQtwIwAWoVChMI87Kjs9nhxgIVR1KOCh35hwuR&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DP12elrItchI&ei=N7aoVbO7IMekuQT5j66ICQ&usg=AFQjCNF2Bw-G_JxERMnSYv1D5ud0c7JNNA&sig2=TXGg1-rDVblseO6UdmMIWQ&bvm=bv.97949915,d.c2E

Posted by STN123 00:51 Tagged travel travelling_alone Comments (0)

Gadhimai Festival: The Most Controversial Festival

  • Warning: Some of the photos below depict animal sacrifice and may disturb some readers.

Gadhimai festival is one of the biggest festival for the people of Terai. This festival is celebrated in Bara district. This festival is celebrated for one month. This festival is celebrated by the locals of Terai region (known as Madhesi) and many people are from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar state of India. In this festival, large numbers of people gather in Bariyarpur (one of the village of Bara district). This festival is celebrated to please goddess Gadhimai, the goddess of power.
How is Gadhimai festival celebrated?:
This festival starts after Saptabali. Saptabali refers to the slaughtering of seven animals and birds. This festival officially starts after the white mice is sacrificed. After sacrificing white mice animals like rabbit, pigeon, rooster, duck, pig and buffalo are sacrificed. Slaughtering of animal is common for this festival. The slaughtering of animals like goat, sheep etc are also common. The slaughtering of animals and birds continues for two days. Many people sacrifice animals to Gadhimai believing it would please goddess Gadhimai. In this festival about 6,000 water buffaloes are sacrificed. The 6,000 water buffaloes that are offered to the Goddess Gadhimai are kept inside the open field guarded by the Armed Police Force.
After the priest completes the preliminary rituals, 200 men (men who have authority to slaughter the animals that are offered to the goddess) enter into this open field. Those 200 men have a red cloth tied into their arm. After the 200 men have entered into this open field slaughtering of water buffaloes starts. Then the buffaloes are sacrificed one by one. Slaughtering continues for three days. Except those authorized 200 men and armed police force no one is allowed to enter this area. So, the local people, tourists and pilgrims climb the fence of the guarded area to watch the slaughtering of buffaloes. Meat of those slaughtered animals are sold in Nepal and India.
History behind this festival:
This festival had started in the early 18th century. In the early 18th century a criminal saw a dream. On his dream goddess Gadhimai ordered him to sacrifice animals. So, when he got out of the prison he sacrificed the animals. After sacrificing animals he got prosperity. So, every 5 year he started sacrificing animals in the temple of goddess Gadhimai. The locals came to know about this secret of that criminal. So the locals too started sacrificing animals every 5 year. With the passage of time this tradition of sacrificing animals became a festival.
Negative part of this festival:
This festival is celebrated by the Hindus to please the goddess. But thousands of animals are sacrificed just to please the goddess. Animals are slaughtered without showing any mercy. During this festival the river of blood flows in the temple of Gadhimai. Animal also have freedom to live but this festival seems to have neglected it. Due to unwanted pollution made during the festival various epidemics come along with this festival.
Anti-festival protests:
There has been a worldwide protest against the amount of animal sacrificed during this festival. The festival is People all around the globe organized a campaign protesting against this festival. Many organizations urged to the Nepal government to stop the slaughtering of thousands of birds and animals. But, Nepal government in response replied they won't stop the tradition that has been followed since long period of time. To aware people and educate them would be the best way to control large number of animal sacrifice.
Background about the festival:
Gadhimai festival is one of the biggest festival for the people of Terai. This festival is celebrated in Bara district. This festival is celebrated for one month. This festival is celebrated by the locals of Terai region (known as Madhesi) and many people are from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar state of India. In this festival, large numbers of people gather in Bariyarpur (one of the village of Bara district). This festival is celebrated to please goddess Gadhimai, the goddess of power.
How is Gadhimai festival celebrated?:
This festival starts after Saptabali. Saptabali refers to the slaughtering of seven animals and birds. This festival officially starts after the white mice is sacrificed. After sacrificing white mice animals like rabbit, pigeon, rooster, duck, pig and buffalo are sacrificed. Slaughtering of animal is common for this festival. The slaughtering of animals like goat, sheep etc are also common. The slaughtering of animals and birds continues for two days. Many people sacrifice animals to Gadhimai believing it would please goddess Gadhimai. In this festival about 6,000 water buffaloes are sacrificed. The 6,000 water buffaloes that are offered to the Goddess Gadhimai are kept inside the open field guarded by the Armed Police Force.
After the priest completes the preliminary rituals, 200 men (men who have authority to slaughter the animals that are offered to the goddess) enter into this open field. Those 200 men have a red cloth tied into their arm. After the 200 men have entered into this open field slaughtering of water buffaloes starts. Then the buffaloes are sacrificed one by one. Slaughtering continues for three days. Except those authorized 200 men and armed police force no one is allowed to enter this area. So, the local people, tourists and pilgrims climb the fence of the guarded area to watch the slaughtering of buffaloes. Meat of those slaughtered animals are sold in Nepal and India.
History behind this festival:
This festival had started in the early 18th century. In the early 18th century a criminal saw a dream. On his dream goddess Gadhimai ordered him to sacrifice animals. So, when he got out of the prison he sacrificed the animals. After sacrificing animals he got prosperity. So, every 5 year he started sacrificing animals in the temple of goddess Gadhimai. The locals came to know about this secret of that criminal. So the locals too started sacrificing animals every 5 year. With the passage of time this tradition of sacrificing animals became a festival.
Negative part of this festival:
This festival is celebrated by the Hindus to please the goddess. But thousands of animals are sacrificed just to please the goddess. Animals are slaughtered without showing any mercy. During this festival the river of blood flows in the temple of Gadhimai. Animal also have freedom to live but this festival seems to have neglected it. Due to unwanted pollution made during the festival various epidemics come along with this festival.
Anti-festival protests:
There has been a worldwide protest against the amount of animal sacrificed during this festival. The festival is People all around the globe organized a campaign protesting against this festival. Many organizations urged to the Nepal government to stop the slaughtering of thousands of birds and animals. But, Nepal government in response replied they won't stop the tradition that has been followed since long period of time. To aware people and educate them would be the best way to control large number of animal sacrifice.

  • Warning: Some of the photos below depict animal sacrifice and may disturb some readers*

nepal-gadhimai-festival-november

nepal-gadhimai-festival-november

gadhimai-festival-nepal

gadhimai-festival-nepal

gadhimai-festival

gadhimai-festival

Photo of slaughtered water buffaloes left in the open field

Photo of slaughtered water buffaloes left in the open field

Animal Slaughtering in Gadhimai festival

Animal Slaughtering in Gadhimai festival

gadhimai festival

gadhimai festival

Posted by STN123 23:56 Comments (2)

Festivals in Nepal

Nepal is rich country in terms of cultures and festivals. There are more than 125 ethnic groups in Nepal and they celebrate various festivals. Some festivals are celebrated by all the ethnic groups but in different ways. The people celebrate the day when they grow crops and they also celebrate the day when they harvest it. In Hindu culture, there are many gods and goddesses. They worship statues of gods and goddesses. Plants & animals, water source, the mother Earth, Rain God, the Sun god, etc are also worshiped in Hindu culture.
The country gives public holiday for the festivals of all the major religions and all the major ethnic groups. Hence, in Nepal whole year can be taken as the festive season. Various festivals celebrated in Nepal in various months are mentioned below. Nepali people follow Gregorian calendar, also known as Nepali calendar.
1. Baisakh (April / May) & Jestha (May / June)
• The first day of Baisakh month is celebrated as New Year in Nepal.
• The no moon day of Baisakh month is celebrated as Mothers Day. In Nepali this day is called Ama Khuwaune Aunsi.
• The next day after no moon Rato Machhindranath Jatra (the festival of rain god) begins. This festival is celebrated in Lalitpur district of Nepal by the Newar community. In this festival, the locals of Lalitpur district make the 65 feet tall chariot of Rato Machhindranath. Then the locals pull the chariot through the streets of Patan.
NEPAL

NEPAL


• The third day after the no moon is called Akshya Tritiya. The Hindu community people take this day as the one of the most holy day in a year. This day is regarded as the day when Lord Shiva married with goddess Parvati. On this day there is a tradition to eat Sathu (flour of barley) and Sarbat (juice).
• On the full moon day of Baisakh month Nepali people celebrate Buddha Jayanti. It is regarded as the day when Lord Buddha was born. On this day especially Buddhist people and monks visit various stupas and gumbas. On this day heritage sites like Bauddhanath stupa and Swayambhunath stupa are full of Buddhist pilgrims.
• The full moon day is also celebrated as the Ubhauli Parba. This festival is celebrated by the people of Kirat community. This festival denotes the migration of people from lower part of the country to the upper part. This day is celebrated by performing famous Sakela dance.
• Bisket Jatra is one of the most important Jatra of Nepal. It is celebrated in Bhaktapur district. This festival starts from the Thousands of people gather in Bhaktapur to see this festival. This 1st of Baisakh. Huge chariot is made for this festival. Lord Bhairava is placed inside the chariot and this chariot is pulled in the old streets of Bhaktapur. The festival has been marked as the things not to be missed in the month of April.
• Sithi Charhe Puja is celebrated by the Newars of Kathmandu valley. This day denotes the last day to conduct Diwali (the day when hindu people worship their family god). There will be a huge feast on this day. Bara, Papad, etc are the special dish of this festival.
• Similarly on the eighth day after the full moon day of Jestha month Newar community of Devapatan (a place near Pashupatinath temple) celebrate Trishul Jatra. On this day a chariot (the chariot with the Trishul on the top) is pulled around the streets. A child is placed on the top of the chariot and it seems as if the Trishul is piercing the child’s body.
• There is also a festival named Panauti Rath Yatra. On this festival chariot is pulled around the streets of Panauti.

2. Ashad (June /July) & Shrawan(July / August)
• The main festival of this month falls on the 15th of Ashad. This day is taken as the Dhanbali Dibas in Nepal. They celebrate this day by playing with mud in their field. It is believed that if we play in mud in this day then all our skin related diseases will disappear. On this day they sing and dance in mud.

• This day is also known as Dahi Chiura Khane Din. On this day people eat beaten rice with curd. It is the special dish of this day.

• The first day of Shrwan is celebrated as Sahune Sanngranti. On this day people celebrate by eating delicious foods. They call their friends and relatives to their house and organize a big feast. On this day friend and relatives sit together and enjoy by having delicious dishes.
• On the full moon day of Shrawan month, Nepali people worship their teachers by offering delicious dishes and flowers. Similarly they visit Guru Mandir located outside the premises of Pashupatinath temple.
• From the same full moon day Muslim communities of Nepal celebrate Ramadan festival. They celebrate this festival for one month. They fast the whole month but only during the day time.
• On the 3rd day after the full moon day Newar community people of Kathmandu celebrate Gathey Mangal. This festival is celebrated to keep evil things and demons away from their home. They create a devil like creature in the morning and burn it down in the evening and throw it to the rivers. On this day they wear metal ornaments to keep spiritual things away.
gathemangal ghantakarna

gathemangal ghantakarna

3. Bhadra (August / September) & Ashwin (September / October)
• Nag Panchami festival is one of the important festival in the month of Bhadra. This day falls on the fifth day after no moon. Hindus paste the picture of Snake god above the main door of their house. This day is generally celebrated to keep evil spirits away from home. The picture of Nag (Snake) is pasted by using cow dung, wheat flour, etc. On this day Hindus go to Nagpokhari situated in Kathmandu to worship the snake god.
• Janai Purnima is another Hindu festival. On this day Nepali male were Janai (the thread made of cotton generally worn by male of Brahmin and Chhetri community). Generally this thread is worn by Nepali male after they complete Bratabanda ritual. Kwati is the special dish of Janai Purnima. Kwati is the combination of about 10 beans: gram, pea, etc.
• Gai Jatra is another important festival celebrated in Kathmandu Valley. This festival is celebrated on the next day of Janai Purnima. It was the tradition started by King Pratap Malla. He started this tradition in order to make his wife happy because his wife was in grief of losing her son. On this day the locals of Kathmandu who have lost their family during that year come on the streets of Kathmandu valley with their kids dressed like cow. In Bhaktapur this festival is celebrated by performing a special Ghintangghisi dance. To perform this dance locals gather on the street. Two small stick is held on two hands and played between or among the friends.
• On the eighth day after full moon Hindus celebrate Shree Krishna Janmaastami. This day is believed to be the day when Lord Krishna was born. On this day there is a huge gathering of People in Krishna Mandir to worship Lord Krishna.
• Father’s day also known as Bau Khwaune Aunsi is celebrated on the no moon day. On this day the one having their parents celebrate by serving their father with delicious food and gifting new clothes. But, the people who don’t have their father go to Gokarna and perform the Shradhh ritual in their memory.
• A day before Teej festival is famous as Dar Khane Din. On this day the married female are taken home by their brothers or parents. Then they celebrate this day with their father, mother and brothers. On this day the female member in the family is served with delicious dishes. The main/special dish for this day are Kheer (porridge) and other sweet items like Lal mohan, Ras bari ,etc
• Teej is another important festival of Hindu female. It is celebrated two days after no moon day. On this day the unmarried female fast to get a good and caring husband whereas married one fast for their husband’s long life. On this day hindu female visit the temple of lord Shiva. Thousands of female stay in line just to have a glimpse of Shiva Linga of Pashupatinath temple. In this festival thousands of female devotees come to Pashupatinath every year from all the parts of Nepal. The married women take food at night after they drink the water from their husband’s feet. But nowadays the culture of drinking water from husband’s feet is changing. They sing and dance the whole day. Most of the women appear on the dress of red color.
• Rishi Panchami is also the festival celebrated only by the Hindu female. It is celebrated just a day after Teej. In Hindu religion it is believed that the women become impure at the time of menstruation. It is regarded as the sin if the female touch any male during her menstruation period. So the festival is celebrated by all the female who get through menstruation. They celebrate this festival to get rid of all the sins committed during the year. On this festival female take a bath to clean their body. Soil is used to clean their body. Dattiyun is a plant that is very significant on this day. The female clean their tooth 365 times by the stem of this plant to clear all their sins. Then they organize small puja before they take any food.

nepal-fest..11-10-10-31.jpg
• Generally Indra Jatra is celebrated in Bhadra month but due to various astrological reasons sometimes it is celebrated in the Ashwin month. This festival is celebrated in Kathmandu by the Newar community. Rain god (Indra) is celebrated in this festival so it is called Indra Jatra. This festival is celebrated for eight days. In Indra Jtra festival the chariot of Lord Bhairava, living goddess Kumari is pulled through the streets of Indrachok in Kathmandu. The festival starts with the erection of Linga (the wooden pole). This wooden pole is brought all the way from the forest of Panauti village. Lakhe dance is the main dance of this festival whereas Jaad (local wine) is the main dish served by the Newar locals.
• On Shora Shradhh the dead persons of the family are remembered. On those 16 days, Hindus (especially the adults and old) do not eat garlic, meat, and other foods until they complete the Shradhh of their dead family members. These foods are forbidden to cook inside the house during those 16 days. The 1st day of Shora Shradhh. On these 16 days we can see the crowd of people performing the rituals on the bank of the Baghmati River and other rivers.
• Ashwin 1st is celebrated as Biswakarma puja by all the workers. The festival is celebrated by the people of terai region. The people of terai origin working in Kathmandu valley also celebrate this festival. They make the satue of Baba Biswakarma and worship it and sail it away the next day in the nearby river.
A traditional Nepali Swing

A traditional Nepali Swing


• Dashain festival generally falls in the month of Ashwin. Dashain is the biggest festival of Nepal. The people celebrate this festival for 15 days. The festival starts from the no moon day. The first Nine days is celebrated as Navaratri. During these nine days people visit the temples of various goddesses. Especially, goddess Durga is celebrated in these 9 days. The first day is celebrated as Ghatasthpana. On this day people bring soil from the river and place it on their home near the statues of god. They sow barley, maize seeds and flowers in it. Then they worship it for next nine days. The 7th day of Dashain is known as Fulpati, the 8th day as Mahaastami, 9th day as Mahanawami and 10th day as Bijaya Dashami. On the 10th day they cut Jamara (the grass grown from the barley, maize seed). The tenth day is Bijaya Dashami (it means the day when lord Ram got victory over Ravan and returned to Ajodhya). On this day Tika and Jamara is received from the elders of the family. People go to their relatives to receive Tika for next five days. On the 15th day (full moon day) they sail away the Jamara in the rivers.
Tikas and Jamaras

Tikas and Jamaras



4. Kartik (October / November) & Mangsir (November / December)
kukkur_tihar_festival

kukkur_tihar_festival

tihar-dipawali

tihar-dipawali


• On this month there comes second biggest festival of Hindu i.e. Tihar. Tihar is the festival of lights and color. Tihar is also known as Dipawali. This festival is celebrated for five days. The first day of Tihar is Kag Tihar. On this day Kag or crow is worshipped by giving sweets and delicious foods. 2nd day is Kukur Tihar. On this day Kukur or dog is worshipped. This day dog is garlanded with flowers and given delicious food. 3rd day is the no moon day. This day is known as Gai Tihar as well as Laxmi Puja. On this day Gai or Cow is worshipped in the morning and goddess Laxmi is worshipped in the evening. On the morning cow is garlanded and given flour, vegetables and other food. On this day they clean their house and decorate their house with flower and lights to welcome goddess of wealth, Laxmi. They offer sweets and fruits to the goddess Laxmi. At the evening Kids gather in a group to play Bhaili (especially female kids). They go door to door singing and dancing. On return they get sweets and money. Sel Roti is the special dish of Tihar festival.th day is known as Goru Tihar or Gobardhan Puja. On this day people worship Goru or Ox. People also make a Gobardhan Pahad of cow dung and worship it by milk, colors and flowers. On this day at evening time kids play Deusi. Same as in Bhaili, male kids play Deusi. They sing and dance at the doorstep of their neighbors and relatives. Neighbors and relatives give sweets and money to the kids. And in return the kids wish for their relatives and neighbors wellbeing. But nowadays youths and adults also play Deusi and Bhailo. The 5th and final day of Tihar is Bhai Tika. On this day sisters worship their brothers wishing them their long life. Sisters offer fruits and sweets to their brothers. Then they put Tika of seven different colors on their brother’s forehead. In return the brothers give gifts or money.
gai tihar

gai tihar

Bhai Tika

Bhai Tika


• Chhath is another important Hindu festival. This festival is celebrated by the people of terai region. But nowadays people in hilly region too have started celebrating this festival. Sun god (Surya devata in Nepali) is worshipped in this festival. This festival is celebrated on the fourth day after Bhai Tika. On the day of Chhath Parva, devotees worship the setting sun and the rising sun on the next day. They fast, sing song and stay awake the whole night until they worship the rising sun on the next day.
• On the fifth day after Chhath festival Nepali people celebrate Haribodhini Ekadashi. This day is dedicated to lord Vishnu. On this day people worship Vishnu and fast the whole day. The special food of this festival is Sakharkhanda and Pidalu.

Bala chaturdahi Festival

Bala chaturdahi Festival


• Bala Chaturdashi is another important festival. Thousands of people gather around Pashupatinath temple premises. This area becomes over crowded on this day. The day before Bala Chaturdashi people gather around Pashupatinath temple and at the night time they light an oil lamp called “Madi”, in the memory of their dead family members. The people remain awake for the whole night to keep the oil lamp burning. In the morning of Bala Chaturdashi festival the lamp is thrown in the Baghmati River and then the people take bath in the river. After bath they start sowing Satbeej (seven seeds). They sow these seeds in and around the Pashuaptinath temple premises. This festival is an old Hindu tradition but this festival makes the temple area dirty.

Janaki Temple decorated for vibaha panchami festival

Janaki Temple decorated for vibaha panchami festival


• Bibaha Panchami is the day when Lord Ram married Sita (princess of Janapur). This day is celebrated on the 5th day after no moon day of Mangsir month. On this day the marriage anniversary of Lord Ram and Sita is celebrated in Janakpur. Thousands of people gather in Bibaha Mandap (the place where Lord Ram and Sita got married). They sing and dance and enjoy the wedding anniversary. Lots of people from India come to Janaki temple to celebrate this festival. Till now there is a ritual of bringing a bride groom from Ajodhya, India (acting as Lord Ram) to marry a bride of Janakpur, Nepal (acting as Sita). To watch this ceremony thousands of people gather around Janaki temple. Janaki temple is decorated with flowers and lights. It is believed that the person’s wish would get fulfilled who visit Janaki temple on this day.
• Dhanne Purnima / Yomari Purnima is the festival celebrated especially by the Brahmins, Chhetris, and Newars. This festival is celebrated on the full moon day of Mangsir month. On this day Brahmins and Chhetris organize a Kul Puja (worshipping the family god). Kul Devata is regarded as the main god of their clan. Each clan has their separate Kul Devata. So on this day all the brothers of same clan gather together and sacrifice Boka (male goat) in order to please their Kul Devata. Vegetarian Brahmins and Chhetris offer fruits and coconut to please their family god. Yomari Purnima (Yomari Punhi as called by Newars) is a festival in which all the families of Newar community cook Yomari.
• Udhauli parva is the festival celebrated by kirat community people. They celebrate this day as the day of moving down. They also mark this day as the day when harvested crops are brought home. They sing and dance together to celebrate this festival.

5. Poush (December/January) & Magh (January/February)
• Tamu Lhosar is the festival celebrated by all the Gurung community people. This festival is celebrated on the 15th of Poush. Tamu Loshar marks the new year of Gurung community. On this day all the family members gather and enjoy by singing and dancing. enjoy the new year .
Maghe Sakranti

Maghe Sakranti


• Magh 1st is celebrated as Maghe Sakranti.. One day before maghe sakranti people boil yam and eat it the next day. Similarly, on this day they invite their friends and relatives and serve with delicious dishes. Special dish of this festival are Ghee, Chaku (cane sugar), Tarul (yam), Tilauri (ladoos made up of sesame). On the same day Magh 1st is celebrated s Maghi festival by the Tharu community of Nepal. On this festival the Tharu community people sing and dance as well as wear new clothes and have delicious food. The Tharu community sacrifices the animals on the eve of Maghi festival and enjoys the meat along with alcohol. Roti ad dhikri are the special dish of this festival.
• Magh month is a holy month for Hindus. From the full month of Magh Hindus start to read Swasthani Brata Katha. On this day people bring home the religious book of Swasthani goddess. Then they start reading this holy book every day till the next full moon. Some people fast for 1 month starting from the full moon of Magh to the next full moon. They fast for one month for their husband’s prosperous and well being. There is a fare for 1 month in Salinadi village, northeast of Kathmandu. Thousands of people go there every year to take a holy bath in Salinadi River. It is believed that Salinadi is the holy place where Goma Brahmadi (one of the character of the holy book Swasthani Brata Katha) had stayed during her hard time.
• Sonam Lhosar is the next day of the no moon day of Magh. Sonam Lhosar is the new year of Tamang community. They visit Buddhist monasteries and gumbas. They gather together and oraganize a great feast. The special dishes consumed in this festival are pork, chicken, ducks and various types of sweets.
• Saraswati Puja is another important festival of Hindu. In this festival all the students worship goddess Saraswati seeking blessings in their study life. Not only the students in school and colleges worship goddess saraswati but all the students of arts and crafts .They visit to the temples of goddess Saraswati and write their names on the wall of the temple. It is believed that the children will make progress in their study life if they start reading and writing on this day. So on this day people teach their children how to read and write. Students worship goddess Saraswati as well as the learning materials like books, pens, etc. Similarly, artists worship their instruments. Some interested people fast on this day to please goddess Saraswati.

6. Falgun (Febraury / March) & Chaitra (March / April)
• After a month the festive occasion of Swasthani Brata Katha ends. On the full moon day of Falgun the females end their month long fast. The fast lasts for a month. On this day all the Hindus organize small puja in their home and then with due respect throw the Holy book in the nearby river.
• Maha Shivaratri is one of the huge festivals of Hindu all around the globe. It is believed that lord Shiva was born on this day. On this Hindu people gather around the temples of Lord Shiva to celebrate the birthday of lord Shiva. More than 1,000 holy sages come from India to visit Pashupatinath temple. They make their stay in and around Pashupatinath temple. Naga Baba (the naked sage with ashes all over his body) can be seen inside Pashupatinath temple. On this day in Pashupatinath temple 4 big Puja is organized. Lord Shiva is regarded as the lord of all the gods. Hence all the Hindus show give huge importance to this festival. All the youths, adults and olds celebrate this festival. Thousands of people visit Pashupatinath temple on this day. The consumption of ganja is legal for this day. Because ganja (hashish) is among one of the favorites of Lord Shiva. This festival is giving freedom to the youths to get addicted to the cigarettes, hashish (ganja), etc. Many youths can be seen buying ganja with the holy sage coming from India.

Shivaratri

Shivaratri


• Gyalpo Lhosar is also one of the important festivals for the Sherpas, Tamangs, and other Tibetan sects. This day marks the Tibetan New Year. On this day the people clean their houses, sing, dance and eat a special kind of soup. The people visit monasteries and gumbas.
• Fagu Purnima falls on the full moon day. Fagu Purnima s also famous by the name Holi. Fagu Purnima is the festival of color and water. The people play with color and water. They put color in each other’s faces as well as decorate their faces with various colors. They fill water in balloons and plastics to hit others. There is a tradition to erect a bamboo pillar at Basantapur before Holi. Then on the eve of this festival the erected pillar is pulled and burnt down. In terai region of Nepal, this festival is celebrated on the next day of full moon day.
foreigners-enjoying-holi-festival

foreigners-enjoying-holi-festival


• Ram Nawami is another religious festival of Nepal. This day is believed to be the birth day of Lord Ram. Lord Ram is regarded as one of the incarnation of lord Vishnu. On this day Hindus visit the temples of lord Rama and worship lord Ram by offering various sweets, fruits and flowers.
• Chaite Dashain is also known as Sano Dashain. On this day Hindus worship goddess Durga. On this day various animals are sacrificed in the temples of goddess Durga. The people make get together on this day and organize a great feast. Long time ago Dashain festival was celebrated in the Chaitra month. But, this festival was moved to Ashwin month because many people suffered from diarrhea and cholera after having lots of oily foods and meats.
• Seto Machhindranath Jatra is another great festival for the Newars of Kathmandu. They prepare the chariot of Machhindranath (the rain god) and pull it through the streets of Kathmandu. The chariot of Machhindranath is prepared and designed at Tindhare pathsala and then pulled through the streets of Ghantaghar, Ratnapark, Bhotahity, Ason, Indrachok, Basantapur, Jaisidewal, Lagan, etc. On this festival locals drink liquors, sing and dance. The famous Newari dance Dhime dance is performed during this festival.

These are the major festivals celebrated in Nepal. Apart from these there are many other festivals celebrated in Nepal. There are various festivals celebrated only in certain regions, in certain valleys and by certain communities. So, it is impossible to list all those festivals. Nepalese are very friendly in nature. You will love their hospitality and friendly behavior. You will find it easy to indulge into their family lives and their social lives. You will be warmly welcomed and will be treated as a family member. Your participation in their local festivals will be widely appreciated. Visit Nepal and enjoy the feelings of home away from home.

Posted by STN123 17:19 Tagged festival nepal Comments (0)

7 World Heritage sites within 15 Kms

[left][float=left]Nepal is the country with various unique features. Nepal is the only country having seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites within the range of 15 Kms. These seven heritage sites are located within Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu Valley comprises of three districts: Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. Within Kathmandu there are 4 heritage sites (Pashupatinath, Bauddhanath, Swayambhunath and Kathmandu Durbar Square). Bhaktapur has two of those seven heritage sites (Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Changunarayan) and Patan having the remaining one (Patan Durbar Square).
These seven heritage sites have been the center of attractions in Kathmandu valley. They are the major tourism sightseeing area of Kathmandu valley. Daily these areas have been receiving thousands of tourists. These touristic areas have been the major source for generating revenue. Tourists need to pay entry fee to visit these areas. These areas highlight the religious as well as cultural. Newar community is the indigenous community of Kathmandu Valley. In Kathmandu Valley you will mostly find Newar community people. In Kathmandu valley, if you wish you can taste some spicy Newari cuisines.

Some descriptions of the above mentioned heritage sites are:

1. Pashupatinath Temple:
Pashupatinath

Pashupatinath


Pashupatinath temple is one of the most sacred Hindu temples in the world. This temple is located in Kathmandu. The temple lies on the bank of the holy “Baghmati River”. The temple has been the centre of attraction for most of the Hindu tourists. In a year millions of Hindu pilgrims visit the temple of Pashupatinath. On the day of Shivaratri, about one million people of Nepal and India visit the temple. The main temple of Pashupatinath is opened only for the Hindus. The non-Hindu tourist can watch the temple from the opposite bank of Baghmati River. The main temple of Pashupatinath is of Pagoda style. This temple has Shiva Linga as the main statue and the very statue is worshipped by the Hindus. The temple has 4 priests entitled “Bhatta”. These priests come from a part of South India. These priests are only allowed to touch the main statue. Pashupatinath temple is taken as the main temple. The main statue of Shiva Linga has five faces; four of them facing the four directions and one facing the upward direction. The temple has four doors made up of silver and the roofs made of bronze with gold coverings. Around the main temple there are temples of Krishna, Bhairava, Basuki (the Snake God), etc. Similarly, to the opposite bank of Baghmati River there are the temples of Rama, Biswaroop and Guheswori. They all have their own significance. On the east part of Pashupatinath temple there is a small forest known as “Slesmantak Ban”. This forest is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva wandered in the form of Mirga (Nepali name for deer). So this small forest is popular by the name Mirgasthali (the place where deer lives).
Cremation in Pashupatinath

Cremation in Pashupatinath


Dead bodies are burnt just below the temple on the bank of Baghmati River. The tourists can watch the dead bodies being burnt and the rituals performed to burn it. Similarly, you can also watch the rituals that are carried out after the death of the person. There is a Kriyaputri Bhawan (the place where 13 days rituals are carried out after the death) on the Southern part of the temple. Similarly, on the opposite bank of crematorium you might see the son’s and daughter of the dead ones performing the rituals that are performed annually remembering their dead parents. The entry fee for this heritage site is 10 US $ (NRs 1,000) for the foreigners and free for the SAARC countries.

2. Bauddhanath Stupa:
Bauddhanath  Stupa

Bauddhanath Stupa


Bauddhanath Stupa is the one of the biggest stupa in the world. This stupa lies just 4 kilometers away from the Tribhuvan International Airport. It is about 10 minutes drive from Pashupatinath temple. There are many tales and myths about the Bauddhanath Stupa. Bauddhanath Stupa has been the major destination for the Tibetan community people and local Buddhist followers. There are various small stupas around this main stupa. You can find various monks/nuns around the stupa. Bauddhanath Stupa is made in stupa style. The design of Bauddhanath is designed in very artistic manner. On the bottom, there are three Mandala shaped platforms, above it there are two circular bases supporting the main stupa. Then, there is large hemisphere. And above the hemisphere, there is a square part made up of metal known as “Harmika”. The square part has two eyes and a nose shaped design carved on the four directions. Then above it there are 13 rectangular steps that symbolize the thirteen steps for enlightenment. Above those thirteen steps there are three parts; a metal lotus, an umbrella and a pinnacle. Prayer flags are tied to the stupa. It is believed that when the wind flutters the flags the mantras are carried to the heaven. Many Buddhists visit the stupa daily. On the day of Buddha Purnima thousands of Buddhist pilgrimages visit the stupa. It is located one of the busy area. This biggest stupa is located inside the crowded area surrounded by houses all around. Here you can see people meditating, chanting mantras, spinning pray wheels, etc.

3. Changunarayan Temple:
changu-narayan-temple

changu-narayan-temple


Changunarayan Temple is a Hindu temple. This temple is situated at the hilltop of Changu village. And this temple is associated with Lord Vishnu, who is also known as “Narayan”. Hence, its name has been derived as Changunarayan. This temple is located few kilometers north of Bhaktapur. It is about 22 kilometers east of Kathmandu. This temple is famous for the arts and architecture dating many centuries ago. This two storyed temple is made up in Pagoda style. The main temple consist the statue of Lord Vishnu. Around this temple there are many statues and idols of Hindu gods and goddesses that were made around 7th century. This temple is the oldest temple in Kathmandu valley. There is also museum that has the arts and carvings from Lichchhavi dynasty. Except the main temple there are some old sculptures and arts of various deities. This temple has some myths behind its establishment. From the day of establishment the descendants of the Sudarshan Brahmin have been the priest of this holy temple. In front of this Hindu temple there is an oldest written inscription of Nepal. This stone inscription was erected by Lichchhavi King Mandeva in 464 AD. It is about 10 feet high. On the bottom of the pillar there is a statue of tortoise. The statue of Garuda on the top of the pillar has fallen down so it has been kept alongside the pillar. The entry fee for the temple is Rs. 100 for foreigners and Rs. 20 for SAARC nationals. Similarly Rs. 200 for the entry fee to the museum.

4. Swayambhunath Stupa:
Swayambhunath Stupa

Swayambhunath Stupa


Swayambhunath stupa is situated at the top of the hill in Kathmandu. The temple is in the western part of Kathmandu city. This temple is also famous with the name “monkey temple”.
Though it is Buddhist temple both Hindu and Buddhists worship this temple. This temple is also the symbol of religious tolerance. The word “Swayambhu” is the combination of two Sanskrit words “Swayam” and “bhu”, where Swayam means self and Bhu means existing/created. So the temple Swayambhunath refers to the temple which was self created. According to Swayambhu Puran, Swayambhunath temple was created around 2000 years ago from a lotus flower. The architectural design of Swayambhunath stupa is similar to Bauddhanath Stupa. There are various temples and shrines around the main stupa around. Among them Akshobya, Vairocana, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, Amogsiddhi, Tara, etc are some of the important temples. The temple can be reached by climbing 365 staircases, which represents 365 days of our life. The entry fee for this religious site is Rs. 200 for the foreigners.

5. Kathmandu Durbar Square:
Kala Bhairav Statue

Kala Bhairav Statue


Kathmandu Durbar Square is also known as Basantapur Durbar Square. It is located at the heart of Kathmandu. Most of the temples, idols and palace around this durbar area was built at the time of Malla Kings. The durbar was used by the shah kings after dethroning Malla king from Kathmandu. This area highlights the art and style of Newari culture. There are various temples and statues around Basantapur Durbar Square area. There is a nine story palace known as Nautale Durbar. Similarly, Hanuman Dhoka Museum, Kasthamandap, Taleju temple are some major attractions around durbar area. Kumari Temple “The Home of Living Goddess” is in front of the palace. Kumari is regarded as the only living goddess in the world. You can have the sight of the living goddess Kumari but cannot take the Photographs. “Kasthamandap” is a Pagoda style temple which was built from wood of a single tree. It was built in the sixteenth century by the Malla king. There are various tales and historical evidences about this durbar area. On the occasion of Basanta Panchami, Indra Jatra and Seto Machhindranath Jatra large number of people gather around this area. The entrance fee for this area is Rs 750 for all the tourists and free for the child below 10 years.

6. Patan Durbar Square:
Patan durbar Square

Patan durbar Square


Patan Durbar Square is located few kilometers south of Kathmandu. Majority of Newar community people reside around the durbar area. Patan is regarded as one of the ancient Buddhist city of Nepal. This area is full of Hindu as well as Buddhist religions temple and monuments. There are famous temples and monuments around this area. Krishna Mandir is one of them. It is believed Krishna Mandir was built from single stone. It is the temple built in Shikhar style. The walls of this temple have stone carvings that tell the story of Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. This temple was also built during the time of Malla kings. This temple was built in the early 17th century. Except Krishna Mandir there are Bhimsen Temple, Golden Temple and Taleju Temple. Similarly there is Patan Durbar Museum right in front of the famous Krishna Mandir. The entry fee for Patan Durbar Square is Rs. 500 for foreign tourists and Rs 150 for Chinese nationals.

7. Bhaktapur Durbar Square:
Bhaktapur-Durbar-Square-in-Nepal

Bhaktapur-Durbar-Square-in-Nepal


Bhaktapur Durbar Square lies in the area surrounded by the old Newar community from all sides. Bhaktapur is famous for the old Newari culture. Most of the people in Bhaktapur are Newar. Bhaktapur Durbar is exactly situated to the east of Kathmandu. Bhaktapur is the most beautiful city of the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur is rich in terms of art and culture. We can find wooden arts, stone arts and metal arts in Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur is famous for Thanka panting. Most of the people visiting Bhaktapur do not miss to taste Jujudhau (local name of curd). It is the curd made by the local of Bhaktapur. The taste of Jujudhau is marvelous. Around Bhaktapur there are various things to watch.
Nyatapola temple

Nyatapola temple


The famous Nyatapola Temple (the five stories pagoda style temple) is the main attraction of Bhaktapur. Similarly, 55 Window Palace, Dattatreya Temple, Golden Gate, Mini Pashupati are some major attractions of Bhaktapur. There are three museums within the durbar square area. The museum near the main gate of Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the National Art Gallery. It is the museum of normal paintings, Thanka paintings, etc. The second one is Wood Carving Museum, and the third one is Metalwork Museum.
potter_from_bhaktapur

potter_from_bhaktapur


You will also love to see the Pottery Square (Potter’s Square), where you can see the clay works done by the locals. The local name for the potters is Kumale. Here you can notice that though the Bhaktapur city is very near to the capital, locals still use their hands to make pots and other materials made of clay. Still the traditional way of making pot is being carried out by the locals. After entering inside the Golden Gate we reach the Taleju temple. Non Hindu tourists are not allowed to enter the temple. The entry fee for the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is Rs. 1500 for the foreigners and Rs. 100 for the Chinese nationals & tourist from the SAARC nations.

Posted by STN123 12:49 Archived in Nepal Tagged nepal kathmandu bhaktapur patan pashupatinath_temple swayambhunath_temple bauddhanath_stupa changu_narayan_temple Comments (0)

Post Earthquake Situation in Nepal

Nepal after being struck by the earthquake on 25th April 2015 has been in a great grief and sorrow. Nepal was greatly affected by the earthquake around 7,500 people lost their lives and double the number people are injured. Yet, many people are missing and they have not come in contact so death toll is certain to rise. About 200,000 houses have been totally destroyed and more than 200,000 houses have been partly affected by the earthquake, but are not suitable for shelter.. According to United Nations preliminary statement on Nepal, Earthquake, about 8 million people in Nepal are affected by the earthquake. Nepal and the Nepalese would have never expected that the earthquake would bring such a huge number of human casualties, large number of injured and wounded, huge loss of cattle, etc. Similarly, the massive loss of manmade houses and buildings, physical property and a huge destruction of the religious and cultural attractions of the country was also out of their expectations.

Nepal is one of the poorest country in Asia. Hence, Nepal cannot handle the present situation without foreign support. It is expected about more than 10 billion US dollar is required by Nepal at the moment to handle the present situation. This amount is 53% more than Nepal's whole economy. Hence, without support of foreign social organizations, associations and international governments Nepal will not be able to provide relief facilities to its people as well as renovation work cannot be carried out. Nepal is seeking and pleading for foreign help. Government of Nepal (GoN) has officially urged all the national and international associations and international governments to provide aids and supports.

The earthquake of 25th April has brought a tough task for Nepalese government to renovate cultural and historical heritages as well as temples and monuments because uncountable numbers of temples and monuments have been completely destroyed. It requires massive spending, workforce and long period of time to renovate the religious, cultural, historical and archeological sites that were destroyed by earthquake. It is a tough challenge to preserve those monuments and temples that are in a critical condition. Nepalese government and archeological department of Nepal are responsible for the quick renovation and maintenance of these important sites that have been damaged by the earthquake. They must give same artistic designs and looks to those destroyed monuments. Most of those destroyed monuments were build many centuries ago.

The earthquake on 25th April and a huge aftershock a day later have completely changed the shape and designs of world heritage sites within Nepal especially within Kathmandu. Among the heritage sites within Kathmandu Valley, Kathmandu Durbar Square area, Patan Durbar Square area, Bhaktapur Durbar Square area, Changunarayan Temple, Swayambhunath Temple area have been highly disturbed and Pashupatinath Temple, Bauddhanath Temple area have been partially affected by the earthquake. Dharahara, which was not among the world heritage sites but was a beautiful sightseeing spot and attraction for the tourists, has fallen down. Trekking areas have also been slightly affected by the earthquake. The landslide and avalanche after earthquake have hampered Langtang trek region. Tea house lodges around this trek region have been destroyed by the earthquake. But, for real adventure lover this earthquake has brought more adventure.

Economic situation of Nepal is certain to go down. Nepal's annual budget for the fiscal year 2072/2073 is certain to focus on the post earthquake economic situation of the country. Huge amount of budget is expected to be separated for providing home for the thousands of homeless families, maintenance cost for the partially destroyed houses and renovation expenses for the destroyed monuments and temples. Development expenditure is certain to increase and there is high chance of inflation, social crimes as well as many economic and social problems may come into rise.

At the moment whole Nepal is in grief and pain. Some have lost their parents, some have lost their siblings, some have lost their spouse and some have lost their sons and daughters, friends and relatives, neighbors, colleagues and beloved ones. Some people are homeless, many of them have lost their physical properties, and many of them have turned into slum dogs from a millionaire. Government is currently focusing on rescue and trying to search and contact to the missing ones. After finishing the rescue job they will focus on providing relief to the homeless people and the ones who have lost their family members.

Rainy season is arriving so many homeless people's condition is certain to worsen. So, the government must provide the relief fund to the victims of the earthquake for the reconstruction of their houses or the government themselves should provide alternative shelter for the affected families. Various government and non-governmental organizations and individual are providing the relief facilities to the victim families and individuals. But, the grievances are being heard from the victim family that the relief materials are being provided by the government and non government organizations only to the places that are touched with road network and the grieved family on the remote part who are hugely affected by the earthquake are being neglected. Even the relief materials distributed have not been distributed equally. Some people who have strength are taking the relief materials many times whereas some groups who are weak and cannot raise their voices have not even receive the relief materials once. So, it is the duty of the distributors to ensure that the relief materials are equally distributed among all.

Posted by STN123 01:53 Tagged nepal mountaineering Comments (0)

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