5 Days Tihar Festival

Tihar is the five days celebration in Yama Panchak.

Tihar is the most celebrated festival after Dashain in Nepal. It is a five-day festival celebrated in late autumn. It has its unique ways of celebration.

Story behind Tihar
There are various stories about the celebration of Tihar. One of the famous stories behind the celebration of tihar is related to Yama the god of death and his sister Yamuna. Yama had been staying away from his sister for a long time. His sister wanted to meet him so she asked various sources to visit him and ask him to give her a visit. She sent crow, dog, and cow and at the end she went herself to see her brother. She worshipped him with tika and flowers, she put him five colored tika. Yamuna made a circle with mustard oil, Dubo Grass (Cynodon Dactylon) and put Makhmali Mala (Globe Amaranth) and asked Yamaraj not to go till the oil, Dubo Grass and the flower gets dry. Therefore, every sister worships her brother keeping him in the circle of mustard oil, putting mala (garland) of Makhmali flower and Dubo grass.

tihar-depawali-festival

Happy Deepawali

First day – Kag Tihar (Crow Puja)
On the first day of Tihar, crows are worshiped and fed early in the morning. People leave different food items outside for crows to eat. Crow is considered to be the messenger of death. People believe the crow gets the messages to the house in the morning. People worship it to bring good luck themselves.

Kaag Tihar

Kag Tihar (Crow Puja)

Second day – Kukur Tihar
The second day of tihar is dedicated to the most loyal friend of mankind. Kukur, the dog, Puja is done by putting a red tika on dogs forehead and flower garland around the neck offering him foods and sel roti. Generally male dogs are worshiped. It is said dog can see endangers and the death coming.

Kukur Tihar

Kukur Tihar (Dog Puja)

Third day Gai (cow) Puja and Laxmi Puja
On the third day of tihar Cows are worshipped in the morning. Cows are worshipped with sesame oil light, garland of flower and red color (abir). Wheat flour, sel roti, rice and dal are feed to cows. Disciples try to pass in-between four legs of the cow. Cow is regarded as mother in Hindu religion, as we grow up drinking her milk. Some look cow as Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

In the afternoon we clean our houses, paint floors with Red Mud (Rato Mato) and cow dung (gobar). Small circle are made in front of the main gate and decorated with colorful designs. Some people call it rangoli.

Small designs of footsteps are painted from the main entrance to the puja kotha. These footsteps are believed to be the footsteps of goddess Lakshmi. Candles or pala are lit all over the house making it bright and beautiful.

Gai (Cow) Tihar

Gai Tihar (Cow and Laxmi Puja)

There is a long tradition of going housed in the evening singing songs to ask for money and foods. Generally girls and kids go out to neighbors sing traditional songs called Bhailo songs. The tradition is called “Bhailo” and songs are called Bhailini songs.

The song starts with “Bhailini aain agana gunyo cholo magna, hey ausi ko din gai tiharo bhailo”. Badali kudali rakheko, laxmi pooja gareko, hey ajako dina gaitiharo bhailo…” Meaning Bahilini are at your door to ask for a gunyo cholo (Nepali traditional dress), today is no moon day and Cow pooja and Bhailo day, the house is clean and you have done Lakshmi puja, today is cow pooja day and Bhailo”

Fire crackers are blown in this day. People play cards in Laxmi puja to welcome goddess Laxmi in the night. People believe, laxmi comes to the house which is clean and bright.
In the evening the goddess of wealth Lakshmi is worshiped by lighting numerous lights and lightening works. It is believed that by worshiping Laxmi and pleasing her in return she gives us wealth. People worship wealth and food store this day.

Fourth day – Goru Tihar (Govardhan parbat ko puja) and Mah (aatma or self) Puja: On Govardhan puja Goru Tihar, three different Kinds of puja are performed. We perform Goru Puja, or worship Oxen. We also perform Govardhan Puja, which is done by making a hill of govardhan parbat using Cow dung. Cow dung has big importance in Hindu culture. In the old days it was used for everything from light at night (Methane) to polish mud floors of traditional houses. Still now no Puja is complete without cow dung in Nepali Hindu culture.

Mha Puja Nepal Sambat 1137

Mha Puja Nepal Sambat 1137

In this night Newar community perform Maha Puja also known as self-puja. It is done to purify our body. In this puja a Mandap decorated with Saipatri (marigold flower), sweets and fruits and a special Mala (garland) which is made of thread is kept. Each member of the family has one Mandap. A female member of the family offers the person sitting on the Mandap a Sagun with her hands crossed. Shagun usually consist of fried eggs, fruits, sweets, meat, fish, lentil and pastries. In the left hand with egg and fish and in the right hand Rakshi (homemade alcohol). This day is also the beginning of Nepal Sambat, Newari New year.

In the evening many Nepali children and young men go house to house singing Deusi song (Aahai bhana mera bhai ho deusi re bhana na bhana deusere). Deusi is very similar to Bhailo. Bhailo is primarily for female and Deusi for male. However, now a days there is such distinction. People go in group with males and females members to celebrate Bhailo and deusi both.

Fifth Day: Bhai Tika or Bhai Duj:
The fifth and last day of Tihar is Bhai Tika. This day sisters put “Tika of five colours” Paanch Rangi Tika – Yellow, green, red, blue and white on forehead of her brothers, to ensure long life and pray to Yamraja for her brother’s long life and prosperity. Sister offers brothers Shaguns of dry fruits especially walnut, hazelnut (Katus), fruits and sweets and in return the brothers give their sisters gifts and money. The brothers also put Pancha Rangi Tika to sister and bow her on her feet and assure her to protect her till the end of life.

Bhai Tika Tihar

Bhai Tika

On this day, Rani Pokhari Temple (located at central Kathmandu) is opened for those who do not have any brother or sister. This is the only time in a year the temple is open to general public.

Source: weallnepali

Popular Ghorepani-Poonhil trek route upgraded

Hotel and tourism entrepreneurs of Ghorepani have come together to upgrade the popular trekking route of Ghorepani-Poonhil.

ghorepani-poonhill-trek
In the past three years, more than Rs. 7 million has been spent in improving the condition of the trekking route, according to Ghorepani Hotel Management Committee. Last year, the committee had received Rs. 500,000 from the District Development Committee, and the remaining was contributed by the entrepreneurs.
The upgrading work was carried out in the 700 meters of Ghorepani-Poonhil route, 400 meters of Ghorepani-Shikha route and 200 meters of Ghorepani-Tikhedhunga route, said chairperson of the Committee Junu Pun. Work is still underway in the three kilometer Ghorepani-Ghandruk route.
The committee has been collecting funds including annual tax raised by the hotel, tourist tax and donations.

The Ghorepani region receives some 30,000 tourists every year. There are 22 well-equipped hotels in Ghorepani with an investment of more than Rs. 5 million. Ghorepani was opened to tourists in 1970. RSS

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Is it time to go back to Nepal?

On 25 April and 12 May 2015, deadly earthquakes struck central Nepal, causing catastrophic damage to Kathmandu and the surrounding valleys. Harrowing pictures of magnificent temples turned to rubble and concrete hotels collapsed on their foundations were beamed around the world. Five months on from the disaster, Nepal has declared itself open for tourism, but is now the right time to come back to Nepal, and what exactly will you find when you get here?

ADB photo

Image by Asian Development Bank

Assessing the damage
Media images at the time of the earthquakes made it look as though Nepal was completely destroyed, with its astonishing cultural heritage in ruins. The truth makes for less sensational headlines: while 130 historic temples collapsed across the country, only 14 of Nepal’s 75 districts suffered damage, and many of Nepal’s most famous sights escaped completely unscathed.

Even at the height of the disaster, travellers were relaxing in the resort town of Pokhara, unaware of the destruction to towns just 50km away. In Kathmandu, the vast majority of hotels reopened within days of the earthquakes, with just a handful of historic heritage hotels remaining closed for repairs.

This is not the first time Nepal has faced an earthquake of this scale, and as in 1934, Nepalis have stepped in to save what can be saved, and are now rebuilding for the future. How quickly this can happen will depend to a large degree on how quickly tourists return to the country and invest in the local economy.

Here is an overview of how different parts of Nepal are recovering after the disaster.

Kathmandu suffered the full force of the earthquakes, and damage was extensive, but localised to specific parts of the city. Four of the iconic temples in the UNESCO-listed Durbar Square collapsed completely including the multi-tiered Maju Deval Temple, one of Kathmandu’s most famous landmarks but the majority of temples still stand and the square is once again open to sightseers.

The royal palace of Hanuman Dhoka remains closed due to structural damage to the southern courtyards, but work is underway to reopen the museum and palace chambers. Perhaps the most photographed casualty of the earthquake was the Bhimsen Tower, which collapsed completely for the second time in its history (it was also destroyed in the 1934 earthquake). Today, it stands as a ruined plinth, but developers have pledged to rebuild it.

Other major World Heritage Sites such as the magnificent Buddhist stupas at Swayambhunath and Bodhnath were only mildly affected; restoration work has repaired the most obvious damage and the most tangible evidence for the disaster is some lingering scaffolding. The sacred Hindu pilgrimage site of Pashupatinath saw a terrible tide of funeral cremations following the earthquake but the site itself was mostly undamaged.

Patan krishna Mandir

Image by Rene C. Nielsen

Patan, Bhaktapur & the Kathmandu Valley

Despite the loss of some landmark monuments, including the famous Char Narayan and Hari Shankar temples, Patan’s Durbar Square and its stunning Patan Museum are open as normal. The quakes took a heavy toll on the traditional brick buildings of Bhaktapur, but here too, most of the medieval temples are still standing, including Nepal’s tallest, the five-storey Nyatapola Temple.

Elsewhere in the Kathmandu Valley, the damage was patchy. Some places escaped with minor cracks, while towns like Sankhu and Bungamati saw temple after temple crumble to rubble. While the valley is definitely open to travellers, it’s worth checking with locals before heading off from Kathmandu to be clear on which areas are still off-limits due to reconstruction following the disaster.

pokhra-nepal

Image by Mike Behnken

Across the country

Looking beyond the Kathmandu Valley, the historic towns of Nuwakot and Gorkha and their fortress-palaces were particularly badly affected due to their proximity to the epicenters of the two tremors, and the quakes caused extensive damage to the road to the Tibetan border and the Langtang Valley. However, away from the center of the country, there are few signs that the earthquake ever happened.

The east and west of the country were not seriously affected by the disaster, and most damage is restricted to trekking routes in remote areas. The tourist and trekking hub of Pokhara was effectively untouched and the trekking routes around it have been surveyed and declared safe. Despite damage to some villages along the trails, trekking in the Everest region has also been declared safe.

In the lowlands, the towns and national parks of the Terai were almost entirely unaffected. Wildlife safaris in Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park continue as normal and the number of tigers in Nepal is actually on the rise, bucking the regional trend. The birthplace of the Buddha at Lumbini – an increasingly popular stop on the overland route between India and Nepal – also escaped unharmed.

lukla-airport

Image by Chris Marquardt

Travelling to Nepal after the earthquake

The key thing to note is that infrastructure for tourists was remarkably unaffected by the disaster. Airports are operating as normal and almost all of Kathmandu’s tourist hotels and restaurants remain open, or will reopen for the winter tourist season, though business is currently slim. Kathmandu’s traveller district of Thamel is much as it was before the disaster, and transportation around the city, the Kathmandu Valley and the country continues as normal.

The main roads across Nepal are open to traffic (or as open as they ever were!), and the Arniko Hwy/Friendship Hwy to Tibet and Everest’s North Base Camp (in Tibet) is due to reopen for the 2015 winter season. However, roads are still cut off in some rural areas, where earthquake damage has been worsened by monsoon landslides. This situation is likely to persist for some time, so it pays to confirm that roads are clear and that accommodation will be available before leaving Kathmandu.

local

Image by Wonderlane

So should I go ?
In August, the US and UK lifted their country-wide travel advisories against travel to Nepal, meaning that travellers and companies can once again get travel insurance for upcoming trips. Most western travel companies plan to run trekking trips as normal for the 2015/16 winter and spring seasons and some companies are even offering special reconstruction treks, though it’s now more important than ever to do some research and partner with a reliable NGO that has long-established links with the country.

Of course, Nepal still has its problems – including a fuel shortage caused by a political stand-off with India over the new Nepali constitution – but these kinds of issues are part of the landscape when travelling in the subcontinent. Despite these problems, in many ways now is a great time to visit Nepal.

The infrastructure that travellers need is in place, but tourism is down by over 50%, which means fewer crowds on the popular trekking routes and discounts for hotels and airfares. More importantly, the money you spend when hiring a guide or porter, staying in a lodge or hotel, or eating in a restaurant will directly help local people. Given that 500,000 Nepalis work directly in tourism, the country needs travellers more than ever to rebuild its economy and bounce back stronger for the future.

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Source: www.lonelyplanet.com

Nepal Safe Destination for Travel

A recurring question, perhaps fueled by poor journalism or by out-of-date advice from Governments,  is ‘Is it safe to travel in Nepal ?

The short answer is yes, it is very safe in fact. Nepal feels more safe than most other countries around the globe, possibly due to the the religious nature of the people and their natural kindness. When Nepal shook under the impact of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25 followed up by a scourge of a series of powerful aftershocks, the country’s tourism industry was struck with a jolt of an equal magnitude.

Chitwan National Park

“We have found more than 90 percent of hotels that we monitored safe to accommodate tourists,” Kosh Nath Adhikari, senior divisional engineer of DoT, said. “Of the eight five-star hotels in Kathmandu, six have received green stickers while New Baneshwar-based The Everest Hotel has received red sticker. We are yet to assess the buildings of Hotel Yak & Yeti. “The five-star hotels, which have been declared fit to accommodate guests, are Radisson Hotel Kathmandu, Hotel Shangri La, The Malla Hotel, Hotel Annapurna, Hyatt Regency Kathmandu and Soaltee Crowne Plaza.We must be able to tell them that yes we have suffered collapsed structures, but still we have many places where you can visit,” Baral said. Pointing out that Lumbini and Pokhara remained intact,

Baral emphasized the only two trekking routes in Manaslu and Langtang areas suffered the impact of natural calamity, but many other trek routes are safe. “It has been hard,” said Sujan Sijapati, operations manager for Intrepid Travel in Nepal. “The earthquake meant that the season finished early and we’ve already written off the coming month to focus on rebuilding for the coming season.”

Tourism is critical to Nepal’s economy. The World Travel and Tourism Council reports that the industry contributed 8.9% to Nepal’s gross domestic product in 2014, supporting 1.1 million jobs. Before the earthquake, Nepal was the 26th fastest-growing tourism economy out of 188 countries. Most importantly, in the long term, it is essential that people travel to Nepal again in the future and contribute to its recovery by spending generously.

I recently spoke to .Dipendra Adhikari Tourism Entrepreneur and he said this season has ended early .He added we shouldn’t loose hope and we should be prepared for the Autumn season. For decades, tourism has been one of the pillar industries of Nepal and the main source of its foreign exchange reserve. No Doubt ,After things return to normal, Nepal should make more efforts to attract more tourists, who have become one of the largest groups of globetrotters and spenders in recent years.

After All Tourism is for All and It is a most promoting Industry ,we should not let this industry with a way ,Always need the unified vision and Action to establish this industry forever.

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Source: www.ajeybharat.com

Lumbini to be promoted in Thailand

Siddhartha Hotel Association of Nepal (SHAN), the regional chapter of Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), is promoting Nepal in Thailand with the slogan ‘Visit Lumbini Help Nepal’. To promote the campaign, tourism entrepreneurs of Lumbini are leaving for Bangkok on June 5.

lumbini (1) According to a press statement, they will be organizing a photo exhibition displaying various places of Lumbini, show a documentary about Lumbini and organize an interaction for promotion of Lumbini with tourism entrepreneurs, media persons and concerted stakeholders in Wat Saket — a popular Buddhist temple in Bangkok.

At these programs, tourism entrepreneurs will spread the message that Lumbini is safe and request people there to visit and help Nepal at the time of crisis, the statement said.

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Source: myrepublica

Good news for Kailash Yatries !!

Booking open!!! Hurry UP!

Kailash/Mansarover is opened for Indian/NRIs entry & exit from Lhasa only. Please find the new itinerary & cost.

join-kailash-yatra

Kathmandu-Lhasa-Kailash/Mansarovar-Lhasa-Kathmandu-15 Days

Day 01: Katmandu (1300 mts.) Arrival, Our reprehensive will meet at the airport and escort to the Hotel, Free at own and Evening dinner, overnight stay at Katmandu.

Day 02: Katmandu – After breakfast start to Katmandu sightseeing including Pashupatinath and Budhanilkanth Darshan, back to hotel and rest of the day is free for packing and program briefing.

Day 03: Fly to Lhasa (3650 mts.), Meet the group at the airport by the guide and transfer to Hotel.

Day 04: Sightseeing tour of the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar, Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 05: Lhasa to Shigatse (3800 mts.), Visit the Tashilunpo Monastery and the free market. Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 06: Shigatse to Saga / Dongba (4500mts. – 375kms) – After breakfast drive from Nylam to Dongba for about 08:00 hours. Overnight stay at Dongba at guesthouse.

Day 07: Saga / Dongba (4500mts. – 335kms) to Mansarovar – After breakfast drive from to Mansarovar about 07:00 hours. Overnight stay at guest house.

Day 08: Mansarovar to Darchen (4600mts. – 110kms.) – We will choose the special point to take dip in Manasarovar Lake and do Pooja of Lord Shiva. Full day free for spiritual activities. Drive around 2.30 hrs to Darchen and overnight stay there.

Day 09: Darchen to Diraphuk (4890mts. – 12kms.) – This is the first day of Kailash Parikrama. We should start our journey after breakfast as early as possible. This day we have to walk continuously for about 6 to 7 hours. Yak will carry all our goods and equipment. Overnight stay at mud House.

Day 10: Diraphuk to Zhulthulphuk (4790mts. – 22kms.) – This day is very sensitive and we have to pass Dolma-La Pass, which is 5400 mt. above sea level. The weather in unpredictable in Doma-la Pass and at any time snowstorm can fall. So we try to start our journey as early as possible. In route we can have Darshan of Gaurikund but it is very difficult to go and touch. Overnight stay in route to Zhulthulphuk at mud House.

Day 11: Zhulthulphuk to Saga– We will Trek down to Darchen later our tour starts back for Kathmandu following the same route and same system applies for all subjects of our accommodation and meal.

Day 12: Saga to Xigatse – Drive back to Xigatse, O/N stay at the hotel.

Day 13: Xigatse to Lhasa – Drive back to Lhasa, O/N stay at the hotel.

Day 14: Kathmandu – Fly from Lhasa to Kathandu, O/N stay at the hotel.

Day 15: Morning check out hotel, transfer to airport, catch flight for next Destination.
Option for early departure or you uses your extra day for Himalayan mountain flight, Manakamana road trip, or Muktinath tour (Contact Samrat Tours & Travels for more information about option day trip at additional cost).

Cost Per person:

Group Size

Deluxe Package for Indian (INR)

Deluxe Package for NRIs/Foreigner (USD)

Transport

05-09

247000.00

4175.00

By Jeep

10-16

237000.00

3995.00

By jeep

17 & Above

197000.00

3375.00

By bus

Note:

» Deluxe package based on 3* hotel in Kathmandu, 3* hotel in Lhasa –Xigatse and basic guest houses in Kailash Area.

» Single supplement US $ 450.00 extra applicable only in Kathmandu & Lhasa.

COST INCLUDES:

» Arrival & departure transportation

» KTM/LXA/KTM Air Fare With Airport tax

» Sightseeing tour of Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Budhanilkantha.

» 3 nights hotel at Kathmandu on twin sharing basis with all meals

» Tibet side: accommodation in decent hotel/tents /Mud House.

» Pure vegetarian meals (B/F+ Lunch + Dinner) providing by our counterpart at Local Restaurant in Lhasa & Xigatse and rest part preparing by our escort.

» A/C coach/ Japanese land cruisers (4WD) & support trucks

» English speaking Tibetan guide

» Nepalese Sherpa/Cook on 06:01 basis.

» oxygen, basic first-aid kit.

» Kailash permit & normal Tibet/China visa fee.

COST EXCLUDES:

» Airfares from Home – Kathmandu – Home

» All beverages, Photography charges and Telephone calls

» Travel Insurance of clients

» Emergency evacuation expenses.

» Riding Yak/Horse for Kailash Parikrama (direct payable to Yak/horse herder)

» Expenses of personal urgent visa fee etc & Services other than specified More Details

Contact US

Samrat Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd.

GPO Box: 20961, Gairidhara, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Tel: +977-1-4004700 / 4004701/ 4004702
Fax: +977-1-4700226
Cell: +977-9851030564 (CN Pandey) +977-9851032867 (Rajaram Tiwari)
Email:
sales@samratgroup.org   or pandeycn@gmail.com
Web: www.samratgroup.org             www.samratgroup.org/Tibet/kailash-tour.html

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