Kathmandu-Varanasi direct bus service begins

  • ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP TREK - 15 DAYS
    ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP TREK - 15 DAYS
    This trek is the one of best views of annapurna range, nilgiri , Dhaulagiri , Tukuche peak , Dhampus peak , Hiunchuli ,Machhapuchhre , Gangapurna, Lamjung Himal other many more greatest views of mountains you never seen before.
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    KATHMANDU-POKHARA-CHITWAN TOUR (BY FLY/LAND)- 07 NIGHTS 08 DAYS
    Nepal, the land of splendid nature and rich culture is waiting for you exploration through its different facets.
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    DAMODAR KUND TOUR BY HELICOPTER - 05 NIGHTS 06 DAYS
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    KAILASH MANSAROVAR YATRA BY OVERLAND - 14 DAYS
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  • MUKTINATH TOUR BY LAND/FLIGHT
    MUKTINATH TOUR BY LAND/FLIGHT
    Muktinath is one of the most ancient Hindu temples of God Vishnu.

A regular Kathmandu Varanasi bus service was flagged off amid a function in the Capital on Thursday. The Nepali registered ceremonial bus will follow the Kathmandu-Bhairahawa-Sunauli-Azamgarh-Varanasi route. The bus would be covering about 600 kms during its journey of about 12 hours. The bus service has been started under the provisions of Motor Vehicle Agreement between Nepal and India during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Nepal during the 19th Saarc Summit in November last year.

Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Bimalendra Nidhi and Ambassador of India to Nepal Ranjit Rae flagged off the bus service.  The flag-off ceremony was conducted from a spot near Dashrath Stadium, Kathmandu. Another regular bus operated by Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) from Varanasi to Kathmandu through the same route was also flagged-off from Varanasi by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday.  UPSRTC has fixed the ticket cost of Varanasi to Kathmandu bus at about Rs 2,100. “The start of regular bus service between Kathmandu and Varanasi is expected to enhance people to people contact and further strengthen ties between people of India and Nepal.

banaras-bus

The bus service is also likely to have a positive impact on the tourism industry as both Kathmandu and Varanasi are popular tourist destinations,” said a statement issued by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu. Regular bus service on Kathmandu-Delhi route is already operating since November 25 last year. In the next phase Pokhara-Delhi route would be made operational for which consultation process between the officials of the two governments is already underway, added the statement. To discuss the issues related to implementation of bilateral Motor Vehicle Agreement for regulation of passenger traffic, an Indian delegation from Ministry Of Road Transport & Highways participated in a meeting with their Nepali Counterparts in Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport on Wednesday.

The implementation of this bilateral agreement would facilitate seamless and hassle-free movement of people between India and Nepal, said the Indian Embassy statement.

Along with the launching the bus service, flagging-off ceremony of Kathmandu-Varanasi service coincided with the flag-off of the first Indo-Nepal Friendship Motor Rally which was conducted on the same day at the same function.

Minister of Youth and Sports Purushottam Paudel and Indian Ambassador Rae flagged off the Motor Rally.

Source: Ekantipur

Places to hang out in Kathmandu Valley

There seems to be no place in the Kathmandu Valley that hasn’t been breached upon by the ambitious will of a domestic adventurer: That funky restaurant? Oh no, you went there last time with your peeps. That cool place to hang out? Nah, went there for a funny photo shoot with colleagues. Sometimes, it feels as if the Valley is the same old assortment of familiar people and even more familiar settings. But worry not. I guess looking for a needle in the haystack is even better for the true adventurer at heart. The Week, as usual, comes to your aid.

Newa Lahana, Kirtipur
This restaurant is famous for its spot on Newar delicacies and drinks.newa-lahana-kirtipur

To reach there, go past the Tribhuvan University Heights and take a right turn. With two and a half stories dedicated solely for food lovers, also find the place apt for hanging out with your friends and family. The views from the rooftop are ones that you shouldn’t miss. Look forward to a great experience at Lahana.

Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur
traditionally known as the city of devotees, Bhaktapur is always a supreme place to hang out in. With its old brick houses and lanes, any place you go there will be a treat to your eyes and senses. Take a look at the potter’s village, or even sign up for a pottery class! If you are in your walking shoes, then you can go for hiking around the famous Changu Narayan Temple. Although Bhaktapur is the smallest city among the three in the Valley, it still has a string of temples and places that are waiting for the right kind of visitors.

Bungamati/Khokana

bungamati_khokana
A bus from Lagankhel for 30-45 minutes – depending on the crowd in the vehicle – and you’ll reach this beautiful Newar village of Bungamati. Bungamati has grown to become a local tourist destination, with extended cultural events on auspicious days, and traditional music in full swing and the locals clad in traditional wears. If not, go for an evening to watch the sunset, from where you can also watch the Khokana valley in the right. Stroll around in the ancient hamlet where it seems time has decided to rest. This evening will definitely be memorable.

Nag Daha, Dhapakhel
Nag Daha is a big pond which, from afar, looks like a snake. It’s a haven for nature seekers: The pond with gentle water ripples surrounded by greenery is quiet and perfect for solace. To reach there, take a public vehicle from Lagankhel to Dhapakhel, and walk for a few minutes. The place even has a modest number of eateries if you’re looking to enjoy the place with food. If you’re lucky, you can even get a chance at boating. This will be a good opportunity for the legend seeker in you. This legendarily rich place may have some stories that you can share later on.

The Sankata Temple, New Road
If you’re tired of hanging around Basantapur and are looking for something less crowded, then you could give the Sankata Temple a visit. It has a big courtyard dedicated to it, and one can easily find a ‘chiya pasal’ along with a few other snacks. If you are really in the mood for local food, then seek the Sankata Restaurant which is hidden in a busy alley to the north of the temple. Aside from serving the regular lunchtime snacks, they have yummy baras that are worth dying for. The area is pretty big, with people doing their usual businesses. Sneak in for a laidback time with your buddies.

Source: Republica

1st Indo-Nepal motor rally to kick off next week

The first-ever Indo-Nepal Motor Rally from Odisha to the Nepalese capital will kickstart next week, linking key Buddhist cities in the two countries to boost “spiritual” and “adventure” tourism.

nature-adventure-culture

The rally will begin on February 27 and will conclude in Delhi on March 8, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae told mediapersons here. The rally – aimed at promoting nature, culture and adventure tourism – would be instrumental in strengthening people-to-people contact between the two countries, said Rae. The rally will link Jagannath, Puri and Pashupatinath as well as sister cities Bodhgaya and Lumbini, highlighting age-old cultural and civilisational links between Nepal and India, he pointed out.

The rally will see participation of around 110 people in 30 cars which will cover a total distance of 2,500 km in 10 days. 25 vehicles from India and five vehicles from Nepal will take part in the rally. “The event also aims to give tremendous impetus to tourism, both spiritual and adventure tourism in both the countries. “This venture also attaches great importance to the Buddhist trail, linking Bodhgaya, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment with Lumbini in Nepal, where Lord Buddha was born,” remarked Rae.

The rally will open up new avenues of tourism in both the countries by encouraging young travellers of the two countries to each other’s territories through the land route, he pointed out. The Nepal-India Motor Vehicle Agreement signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal during the 18th SAARC Summit has helped promote tourism between the two countries through land route, Rae said.

Three Nepalese motor drivers today embarked towards Puri to take part in the rally.The motor rally will enter Nepal at Jogbani customs point at Biratnagar on March 2 and will halt at the picturesque town of Dharan before embarking to Dhulikhel, another scenic town situated in the east of Kathmandu famous for its mountain views.

The rally will reach here on March 4, marking the end of its first leg. On March 5, the second leg of the motor rally will be flagged off by Rae and Nepal’s Minister for Youth and Sports Purushottam Paudel. It will then pass through the beautiful cities of Pokhara, Lumbini and Dhangadhi before reaching Delhi on March 8.

The rally is being jointly organised by Kalinga Motor Sports Club, Bhubaneswar and Nepal Automobile Sports Association with support from the Indian Embassy here and the Nepal government.

Source: News Nation

Nepali tourism delegation off to New Delhi

  • ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP TREK - 15 DAYS
    ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP TREK - 15 DAYS
    This trek is the one of best views of annapurna range, nilgiri , Dhaulagiri , Tukuche peak , Dhampus peak , Hiunchuli ,Machhapuchhre , Gangapurna, Lamjung Himal other many more greatest views of mountains you never seen before.
  • KATHMANDU-POKHARA-CHITWAN TOUR (BY FLY/LAND)- 07 NIGHTS 08 DAYS
    KATHMANDU-POKHARA-CHITWAN TOUR (BY FLY/LAND)- 07 NIGHTS 08 DAYS
    Nepal, the land of splendid nature and rich culture is waiting for you exploration through its different facets.
  • DAMODAR KUND TOUR BY HELICOPTER - 05 NIGHTS 06 DAYS
    DAMODAR KUND TOUR BY HELICOPTER - 05 NIGHTS 06 DAYS
    Many Hindus from round the globe are dreaming to take a holy bath at least once in their life time in the sacred Damodar-Kund
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    08 DAYS 07 NIGHTS NEPAL TRIP: KATHMANDU 3N, CHITWAN 2N, POKHARA 2N
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  • EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK - 17 DAYS
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    Sagamartha (Everest) Base Camp trek takes us into one of the most spectacular regions of Nepal where the Sherpa culture thrives amongst the highest peaks in the world.
  • KAILASH MANSAROVAR YATRA BY OVERLAND - 14 DAYS
    KAILASH MANSAROVAR YATRA BY OVERLAND - 14 DAYS
    Mt. Kailash (6714m) is the most sacred mountain in Asia.
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    KAILASH YATRA BY HELICOPTER VIA NEPALGUNJ/SIMIKOT/HILSA/TAKLAKOT - 11 DAYS
    Mt. Kailash, the sacred mountain and the abode of the Hindu god Shiva is one of the world's greatest pilgrimage destinations especially for Hindus, Buddhist, Jains and others.
  • MUKTINATH TOUR BY LAND/FLIGHT
    MUKTINATH TOUR BY LAND/FLIGHT
    Muktinath is one of the most ancient Hindu temples of God Vishnu.

The first meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) on tourism between Nepal and India is starting in New Delhi, India from Thursday.

A 12-member delegation led by Joint Secretary Umakanta Parajuli left for the Indian capital of Wednesday to attend the meeting. Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation had formed the 12-member team last week to represent Nepal in the JWG meeting. Along with Parajuli, Tulsi Prasad Gautam, director general of Department of Tourism; Nandini Lahe Thapa, officiating CEO of Nepal Tourism Board; Shreejana Rana, tourism convener of Nepal India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI); Ramesh Dhamala, president of Trekking Agencies´ Association of Nepal (TAAN); DB Limbu, president of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA), a representative from Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and five government officials are in the team.

According to Parajuli, JWG will oversee implementation of agreements related to tourism sector that are included in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that Nepal and India signed on the sidelines of the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu in November. “In the meeting, we will discuss how Nepal and India can benefit from each others. Similarly, we will also explore the possibility of launching joint tourism promotional campaigns,” he added.

According to officials, Nepal will focus on joint promotion of the Buddhist Circuit (Lumbini-Boddgaya-Sarnath-Kushinagar), facilitate banking system for travelers, human resource development, and promoting cities in Nepal and India with historical and religious similarities as sister cities, among others.

The MoU, among others, aims to expand bilateral cooperation in tourism sector, facilitate exchange of information and data related to tourism, encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders, and establish exchange program for cooperation in human resources development. Similarly, it aims to increase investment in tourism and hospitality sector, exchange of experience in the areas of promotion, marketing, destination development and management, and promote sustainable tourism, among others. The meeting of JWG will take place every two years. According to NICCI, JWG will also work to simplify procedures and policies for third-party payment collections as well as transfers between India and Nepal and create a Nepal-India Tourism Forum for discussing bilateral tourism issues. JWG will also work toward holding B2B mart for international travel operators to jointly promote tourism attractions in both the countries and explore the possibility of launching joint promotional campaigns in the international market. TAAN President Dhamala said it is a necessity to jointly promote Nepal and India as both countries have many similarities. “Tourism industry in Nepal can take huge benefit from the joint promotion campaigns as this will help in bring not only Indians but also others tourists visiting India to Nepal,” said Dhamala.

Source: Republica

Shivaratri is celebrated as birth-night of Lord Shiva.

This day is the celebration dedicated to the Lord Shiva which falls on the Trayodashi of the month Fagun (February/March).

Maha-Shivaratri-pashupatinath

Nepal is the only Hindu kingdom in the world and thus the land of Lord Shiva, Lord of all Lords, for here you can feel his presence everywhere. Even in the sacred texts of the Hindus it has been stated that Mt. Kailash in the Himalayas is the abode of Lord Shiva or Mahadeva as he is also known. Shiva the Destroyer of Evil is among the most praised and worshipped of all the gods in the Hindu religion. Hindus all over the world know him through different names and forms. The country has thousands of idols and monuments, which glorify his name, the most common one being the Shiva Linga or the phallus of Shiva that represents him. For it is the Shiva linga that Hindus regard as the symbol of creation, the beginning of everything. Shiva Ratri is the night of Lord Shiva when He himself was created by His own Divine Grace and Hindus all over the world celebrate this day with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. Shiva Ratri literally means ‘ the night consecrated to Shiva’. This auspicious festival falls on the fourteenth day of the waning moon in the month of Falgun, (February – March in the Gregorian calendar ). The temple of Pashupatinath in Kathmandu which is considered as one of the holiest shrines of the Hindus, glorifying Lord Shiva, thus receives more than 100,000 worshippers during the festival of Shiva Ratri. These worshippers come from far and wide to pay their respects and homage to Mahadev on his sacred day.

Lord Shiva

We worship Lord Shiva with the maha mantra “Om Namaha Shivaya”.  The Mahamantra   “Om Namaha Shivaya” also known as shadakshari mantra. Each letter in this mantra has spiritual meaning. This mantra is also known as maha mantra.

Om alone is the sound of life. It is the endless vibration that flows through the universe and provides life in every living being. Chanting revitalizes the mind and body and settles the mind. Om is the beginning and it is the end. In Sanskrit, the meaning of Om is avati, or rakuati. Rakuati means one who protects or sustains. Om is the most powerful mantra.

(Om as made up of three parts.  These are and .  Our sound starts with “a”, when we speak go to “O” and end with M, so Om is the totality. It is a mantra which provides complete rest to our body and energy to our mind. )

Maha-Shivaratri

Meaning of each letters of the mantra

Main god of all the regions (loks)

One who gifts supreme and spiritual knowledge (dnyan) and destroys greatest sins

Shi: generous, calm and responsible for the beginning by Lord Shiva

va: Symbol of vehicle (Nandi) the bull and the Vasuki and Vamangi Energies (Shakti)

Y: Positive residence of highest heaven and Lord Shiva.

Maha-Shivaratri-pashupatinath1

Nepal, India to jointly promote tourism

Nepal and India will soon begin joint tourism promotion campaign.

Speaking at the 51st anniversary of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA), Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae said that there is a need of mutual cooperation as Nepal and India are jointly promoting tourism.

“As Nepal is a famous religious tourism destination for it has Pashupatinath, Lumbini, Muktinath and Janakpurdham. It should promote these destinations to attract tourists,” said Rae, adding, “Nepal should focus on religious and adventure tourism and it is through this it can bring in quality tourists”.

NATTA-AGM

Prachanda Man Shrestha, former CEO of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) said there is a need of the campaign to promote regional markets. “Nepal needs to move forward giving priority to neighboring countries India and China first to promote tourism and increase tourist arrivals,” said Shrestha.

At the program, NATTA demanded a certain percent from the tourism service fee (TSF) for strengthening the association. “As it the tour operators who bring in tourists, we should get certain percent from the TSF collected by NTB,” said DB Limbu, president of NATTA.

NATTA currently has around 500 members associated with it. It cancels the membership of companies that does not renew its membership for more than a year. Earlier, it used to cancel membership of companies that did not renew membership every six months.

Source: Republica