Sunday, July 19, 2015
Prior to being declared a secular state in 2006, Nepal was officially a Hindu state. Today, around 80% of Nepalese follow Hindu religion and the culture of the country is greatly influenced by it. Besides Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity are the most favored religions. This variation in religion can be seen in cultures all over the country.
Nepal is a land-locked country with two of the largest country in the world on its either sides; India and China. Because of the proximity, some of the cultures and the traditions of Nepal have been found to be influenced by those countries. Some cultures have also been found to be altered by physical factors such as elevation and remoteness.
Nepal’s culture has been deemed one of the most unique in the world. What makes the traditions even more special is the fact that two of the widely followed religions; Hinduism and Buddhism are sometimes practiced by the same group of people. This resulted in the merging of some of the old traditions and created a whole new set of practices equally rich and rousing.
Festivals are another inevitable part of Nepali culture. Because of the diversity in the religion, at least one festival is celebrated each month. Each religion has its own set of festivals that are celebrated in a jovial and sometimes ostentatious manner. Some festivals see an eager participation of people from different ethnic groups and religions like Dashain or Lhosar. Most of the festivals of Hindu and Buddhist religions require priests and an elaborate prayer made to god with offerings. While the Buddhism preaches non-violence, Hindu offerings are usually made with animals.
Because of the amiable nature of Nepalese, foreign nationals are always invited to participate or to be onlookers in most of the celebrations. You may receive a cultural shock at first but it wears off after you are acquainted with the friendly people from the Himalayas. Tourism in Nepal doesn't have to be about you observing from a distance; you are welcome to join the festivities as our guests.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Nepal is the perfect agglomerate of tribal, ethnic and social groups. This collection of many ethnic groups and religions resulted in diverse and rich cultures with unique traditions of their own. Nepal is a place where people of different religion exist peacefully and in perfect harmony with each other. Different places of Nepal see the celebration of different festivals.
There are many festivals strange and entertaining at the same time. Take Gai Jatra for instance, it is a festival native to Kathmandu and is celebrated on the memory of the dead. Thousands of people walk the streets of Kathmandu valley to commemorate the deaths in their families. People don masks and participate in the traditional dancing.
Then there are other festivals like Indra jatra. Kumari, also known as the living goddess is worshipped as the manifestation of a female goddess in many places of Nepal. Kumari jatra falls under the celebrations of the Indra jatra where devotees pull the chariot of the Kumari in the procession. Rare dances like Lakhe, Pulu-kishi, and Sava-bhaku are also performed by the locals in this occasion.
The festival of lights or Tihar is another festival which is considered the most exciting of all festivals. Hindus all over Nepal decorate their houses with lights and flowers to worship the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. The festival goes on for five days where people worship animals and the festival ends with Bhai tika, a festival for brothers.
There are many other festivals around the country that are interesting. The festivals like Dashain; which is celebrated for 10 days, Holi; the festival of colors and Janmastami; celebrated for the birth of lord Krishna are absolutely entertaining too. After the initial inconvenience due to culture shock, you’ll find these festivals welcoming and fun. Your participation will be appreciated despite the nature of your religion. One can always see the participation of a number of tourists in the festivals of Nepal and tourism in Nepal is thriving because of this.
Sunday, July 5, 2015
Pokhara’s beauty has been an inspiration to many artists. Situated as a backdrop to this serene valley is the resplendent Annapurna range and the tranquil lakes situated in this city make this place perfect for a holiday. Because of its alluring beauty and an active nightlife, Pokhara is the ultimate hotspot for tourism in Nepal.
Some of the most popular tourist destinations in Pokhara include the majestic Phewa Lake, the Taal Barahi temple situated in the middle of the lake, Devi’s fall, and the house of Bats; Mahendra cave and the Old Bazaar. The world peace pagoda lies on the top of a hill overlooking the city and provides a bird’s eye view of this panoramic Valley.
Pokhara also houses a lot of adventure sports; paragliding being the most popular of them all. Apart from that, one can choose from a number of such sports like rafting, hiking, ultra-light aircraft rides etc. Since it is the gateway to the celebrated Annapurna circuit trek, one can unwind here before or after the trek. There are shorter trails around this valley if you have limited time.
Mountain climbing is also growing as a sport in Pokhara. Mount Annapurna at 8,091 meters and Mount Dhaulagiri at 8,167 meters are the most coveted mountains by adventurers. Adventurous and equally dangerous, these mountains invite a lot of tourists every year. And if you are in Nepal Just for sight-seeing, you can visit the surrounding hills of Pokhara valley.
What makes a person’s stay in Pokhara memorable is its night life. From pubs dedicated to Rock n’ roll to the cultural programs held by the friendly locals; the Lakeside part of the city comes alive at night. With a lot of world-class restaurants and cafes to choose from, you will have the time of your lives in Pokhara.