Nepali runners dominate Everest Marathon

Suman Kulung and Nirkala Rai have won the men’s and women’s category of Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon held in the Everest Region on Monday.

Kulung, who ferries loads of trekkers between Lukla and Everest Base Camp, completed the 42.195 kilometers race in 3:43:57 hours. The 26-year-old Kulung had secured third position in last year’s marathon. Similarly, Nepal Army athletes Surendra Basnet and Bed Bahadur Sunuwar secured second and third positions, respectively, with the timing of 3:52:8 hours and 4:5:40 hours.

The highest marathon in the world begins from the Everest Base Camp (5,300 meters) and concludes at Namche Bazaar (3,450 meters).

Everest Marathon 2017

Everest Marathon 2017

The event is organized every year on May 29 to commemorate the first ascent of Mt Everest by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary back in 1953.

Similarly, Nirkala clinched the women’s title with the timing of 4:51:33 hours. Purnima Rai and Dawa Doma Sherpa finished in the second and third positions, respectively, completing the marathon in 5:07:26 hours and 5:37:43 hours. All the three ladies are from Solukhumbu district.

The top three finishers in both categories became richer by Rs 100,000, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000, respectively.

Everest Marathon 2017

Everest Marathon 2017

Pitor Hercog of Poland won the foreigner’s category with the timing of 4:38:22 hours. Robert Celinski, also from Poland, clocked 4:48:48 hours to secure second position, while French runner Fabrice Arman stood third with the timing of 5:28:30 hours.

Meanwhile, Nepal Army athletes clean swept the 60 km ultra-marathon. Tirtha Bahadur Tamang secured first position clocking 6:38:56 hours, while Mohan Dev Joshi (7:18:16 hours) and Purna Tamang (7:30:00 hours) secured second and third positions, respectively.

The top three finishers in the ultra and foreigner’s categories were given equal amount of Rs 100,000 Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000.

The event was organized by Himalayan Expeditions.

Source: Travelpress

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017 kicks off in Kathmandu

The International Travel Bloggers and Media Conference kicked off here in the capital on Thursday.

This is the first time that the conference has been organised in the country to promote the message in the global tourism market that Nepal is the gateway to the Himalayas. The theme of the conference is – Nepal Gateway to the Himalaya.

Taking part in the meet are 107 travel bloggers from 33 countries, 70 travel and tourism-related experts and more than 100 journalists from various countries.

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017

In the biggest tourism event ever, held at Budhanilkantha in the capital, the participants shared knowledge and experience regarding the tourism products of their respective countries, the use of digital media and the new practices in the field.

Experts from various countries shared information on the tourism market, tourism products and ways of promoting both.

Some 500 people from home and abroad participated in the conference organized by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal Chapter as the executive organizer, the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation as the host and Nepal Tourism Board as the main organizer.

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017

Minister for Health Gagan Kumar Thapa, inaugurating the conference, said that the conference, organised with a new vision of tourism and a long-term goal, would play a key role in promoting Nepal’s tourism in the world market.

He opined that Nepal’s tourism would be much benefited from the promotional programme through this international level conference in the context of the Nepali tourism market with high potentials in terms of natural, geographical and cultural aspects not been reaping the expected benefits.

He also stressed the need of the government and the private sector to work together for further promoting the country’s tourism.

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017

Himalayan Travel Mart 2017

Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board, Deepak Raj Joshi, highlighting the potentialities of Nepal’s tourism market, reiterated that the conference would be useful in giving a new message to the global tourism market.

PATA CEO Mario Hardy described the conference as the appropriate forum for promoting new tourism product in the global tourism by exploring the avenues for nature and culture tourism of Nepal, a country of the Himalayas.

PATA Nepal Chapter president Suman Pandey said that the conference has been organized with the objective of promoting Nepal’s tourism throughout the world through digital media.

Health Minister Thapa also launched the special issue of Himalaya Travel Magazine on the occasion.

Source: Tourismmail

Mata Tirtha Aunsi (Mother’s Day)

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day

Nepalis both home and abroad are observing the Mata Tirtha Aunsi or the Mother’s Day today by showing respect and reverence to their mothers by offering gifts and various delicacies.

The day falls on the New Moon Day in the Nepali Month of Baisakh according to the lunar calendar. Living mothers are offered gifts consisting of delicacies while ritual offerings are made in the name of the deceased.

The festival of "Mata Tritha Puja"

The festival of “Mata Tritha Puja”

Offsprings in return receive the blessings from their mothers who are highly placed by the holy scriptures. According to Nepal Calendar Determination Committee, the Hindu holy scriptures narrate that the mothers are 10 times revered than fathers and extol mothers and place them higher above father, ancestors and mentors.

Every year this day, a big religious fair takes place at Matatirtha, a place to the western part of Kathmandu. Although a Hindu tradition, Buddhists also flock here to perform ‘Shradda’ for their departed mothers.

The festival of "Mata Tritha Puja"

The festival of “Mata Tritha Puja”

Mothers apart, mother-in-law, female mentor and aunties are also presented gifts on this occasion.

Source: Nepaliheadlines

Nepalese tourism stakeholders want competitive air fare between Nepal and China

Nepal Airlines

Nepal Airlines

Nepalese tourism stakeholders on Wednesday stressed on making air travel between Nepal and China cheaper to promote bilateral tourism, arguing that air transport between the two neighbors is one of the most expensive in the world.

They said at an interaction on the theme of Silk Road Tourism between Nepal and China, organized by China National Tourist Office and Nepal China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCCI) that potential growth of Chinese tourists to Nepal has been hindered by higher air fare and relatively low air connectivity.

China is the Nepal’s second largest source market for tourists after India since 2010. Nepal welcomed 104,005 Chinese tourists in 2016 as arrivals surged by 55.26 percent on year-on-year basis after disastrous 2015 due to deadly earthquake and subsequent blockade in southern border points of Nepal, according to the data of Department of Immigration of Nepal.

NCCCI President Rajesh Kaji Shrestha said that air ticket for Kathmandu-Guangzhou is more expensive than travelling through the Kathmandu-Bangkok-Guangzhou. “Travelling Kathmandu to Kunming is costlier than India’s Kolkata’s to Kunming. Price must be competitive to attract more Chinese tourists to Nepal,” he said.

Currently, four Chinese airlines — China Southern, China Eastern, Sichuan Airline and Air China are serving Kathmandu to Guangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu and Lhasa respectively.

China Air

China Air

Shrestha said that there should be direct air connectivity between Kathmandu and Beijing, Shanghai to attract more Chinese tourists. Nepal’s national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation is also serving Kathmandu-Hong Kong route currently and also has plan to reach Chinese mainland.

Sunil Sharma, officiating director of Nepal Tourism Board, the main tourism promotion body of Nepal, said that the board has been consistently promoting Nepal’s tourism in China but travel cost has been hindering the potential of Chinese tourist arrivals to Nepal.

Nepalese stakeholders also asked China to ease travel for tourist through land route too, particularly through bordering Geelong port which is currently only international trade route between the two countries.

Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong said that China was promoting Nepal’s tourism under the Year of Tourism for Nepal 2017 in line with the joint statement signed in 2016.

Source: Travel News Nepal

Religious tourists throng Muktinath Temple

Muktinath Temple

Muktinath Temple

The famous holy shrine in Mustang district, Muktinath Temple, has been seeing an overwhelming number of tourists in the recent days. According to Krishna Prasad Subedi, the Chief Priest of the Temple, religious tourists have been thronging the Muktinath Temple in some 100 number in a day after, Chaite Dashain and Ram Nawami.

Muktinath Darshan

The 108 waterspouts at Muktinath Temple

With the influx of tourists, the hoteliers in Kagbeni, Jomsom, and Marpha among others are also elated for getting good business.The onset of tourist season has also added to the increment in the number of tourists here, shared Subedi, adding that the place is believed to attract more tourists in coming months.

It is believed that one who makes offerings at Kagbeni in memory of the deceased ones and visits Muktinath Temple will get his/her wishes fulfilled.Since the temple hold religious significance for both Hindus and Buddhists, the place also receives
as many as religious tourists from India and China. It takes an hour of drive from Kagbeni to reach Muktinath Temple.

Source: RSS

Maha Shivaratri (The Night of Lord Shiva)

Happy Maha Shivaratri 2017

Happy Maha Shivaratri 2017

Maha Shivaratri meaning the night of Lord Shiva is one of the major festivals of Nepal and literally means Night of Shiva.

It is believed that on this day, the stars in the Northern Hemisphere are at most optimum positions to help raise a persons spiritual energy.It is also believed that the Shiva principle is most active on this day of the year.

Sadhu smokes in Pashupatinath Temple for Mahashivaratri

Sadhu smokes in Pashupatinath Temple for Mahashivaratri

Maha Shivaratri is celebrated marking the convergence of Shiva and Shakti. Maha Shivaratri also celebrates the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandav, the cosmic dance.

Hundreds of thousands of devotees visit Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, one of the holiest shrines of the Hindus. Pashupatinath is considered the Guardian and Protector of the Kathmandu Valley and Nepal.

Devotees chant Om Namah Shivay and Mahamritunjaya all night praying for light over darkness. Tourists are seen enjoying the ambiance with curiosity, as colorful and naked sadhus are seen meditating, posing for photographs and interacting with disciples.

Maha Shivaratri at Pashupatinath Temple

Maha Shivaratri at Pashupatinath Temple

Special attendance camps are set in the courtyards of the temples. Children are seen collecting donations from passersby on this day preparing for holy meal and bonfire in celebration of the special night.

Arrangements for Maha Shivaratri at Pashupatinath Temple Maha Shivaratri is known as one of the most celebrated religious festivals for Hindus. Every year Hindus from all over the world are seen thronging many Shiva temples during this festival. Pashupatinath Temple is the place with the biggest crowd on this day.

This year, on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri, the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) is expecting a crowd of 1.3 million people from across the world. For the successful celebration of the festival, the management unit in Pashupatinath have started cleaning the area. Also, this year more importance has been given for figuring out an easier way to manage crowd so that devotees can carry out their Puja and Darshan faster and more conveniently.

Spring is one of the best times to visit Nepal, and Indian tourists enjoy visiting during the most auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri. Special prov

Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva

isions are made to ease Darshan for Indian pilgrims at Pashupatinath during Maha Shivaratri, which falls on Feb 24 this year, according to officials at the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT). The PADT will also make available Pashupati Darshan passes at easy outlets near Pashupati area to facilitate pilgrims from India.

Apart from Puja and Darshan other attractions for visitors to the temple vicinity at the time will be the colorful crowd including gorgeous Sadhu Babas from different parts of Nepal and India. People come to Pashupatinath to observe and see the different kinds of Sadhu Babas and their activities; some Sadhus are covered is ashes while some prefer to be completely naked.

Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) Chairman Mr. Govinda Tandan says, As a huge crowd is expected this year. We are working to manage a fine parking facility and a good place for devotees to sit. Also, as many devotees show eagerness to distribute food to the people present there, we are trying to manage a proper place for the devotees to enjoy their meal.

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra 2017

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra 2017

As Maha Shivaratri is mainly related with the night, the devotees stay up all night and pray to Lord Shiva. The four Prahars of Puja is carried out all night long, the devotees usually stay in tents along the Gaushala road.

Source: Nepal Tourism Board