Tourists visiting Lumbini up by 40.57 percent

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Number of tourists visiting Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, increased by 40.57 percent to 1.19 million in 2014.

According to the data of Lumbini Development Fund (LDF), a total of 849,273 tourists had visited Lumbini last year. In 2012, Lumbini had welcomed 758,269 visitors.

Hari Dhwoj Rai, information officer of LDF, said tourists from 83 different countries visited Lumbini in 2014. Domestic tourists topped the list of tourist visiting Lumbini in 2014, followed by visitors from India. A total of 902,621 Nepalis visited Lumbini in 2014, up from 573,529 in 2013.

Likewise, a total of 154,217 Indian tourists visited Lumbini in 2104 compared to 150,000 in 2013. Similarly, Lumbini welcomed 136,999 third country tourists in 2014 compared to 125,492 in 2013.

Among third countries, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Myanmar, South Korea, Vietnam and Japan were the major tourist generating markets for Lumbini. Lumbini welcomed 37,600 tourists from Sri Lanka, 24,733 from Thailand, 20,718 from China, 18,777 from Myanmar, 8,790 from South Korea, 3,649 from Vietnam, and 2,527 from Japan in 2013. Similarly, arrivals from US, Australia, UK, Germany, Switzerland and France also increased in 2014.

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“Number of tourists to Lumbini increased due to stable political situation in the country following the successful Constituent Assembly (CA) election promotion of Nepali tourism products and services in the international market,” Rai said, adding, “Visit of foreign diplomats during the recently held SAARC Summit also helped to promote Lumbini.”

Number of international conferences like International Buddhist Conference and International conference of SAARC Psychiatric Federation also helped to increase the number of tourists in Lumbini, according to Rai.

Source: Myrepublica

SAARC leaders plan to visit Lumbini

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the Bhutanese King and the Sri Lankan President have expressed their willingness to visit the Buddhist holy shrine during  the SAARC Summit to be held in Kathmandu on 26 – 27,2014.

Keeping in view the SAARC leaders visit , Lumbini  Development Trust has implemented different works to beautify Lumbini .Sacred garden area , Mayadevi temple area and other important locations are renovated and painted.

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Meanwhile, the number of Indian and Chinese tourists visiting Lumbini has increased in recent months.A total of 13,300 Chinese tourists visited Lumbini in the first nine months of 2014 according to LDT.

Most of the tourists visiting Lumbini are from India, China , Sri Lanka and Thailand .

The total number of tourist arrival in Lumbini was 136,000 in 2012 and 125,000 in 2013.More than 83,000 foreign tourists have visited the sacred place during January-September 2014.

Source: Travelbiznews

Nepal, Sri Lanka set to revive direct air link

The relationship between Sri Lanka and Nepal may strengthen once the two nations resume direct air travel service between Colombo and Kathmandu early next year.

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Buddhists monks pray outside the Maya Devi temple in Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha.Nepal and Sri Lanka are set to re-establish direct air service, making it easier for Sri Lankan Buddhists to visit the holy site. [Prakash Mathema/AFP]

The two countries signed an Air Service Agreement (ASA) to establish direct service between their two capital cities in 2009, and it is projected to become reality in March 2015. “Mihin Lanka airline is set to start direct flight from Colombo to Kathmandu starting March. All necessary preparations have already been made to this effect,” Sri Lankan Ambassador W. M. Senevirathna told Khabar South Asia.

Sri Lanka’s other state-owned airline, Sri Lankan Airlines, will likely begin its own direct service to Kathmandu once it completes renewal of its long-haul fleet, the ambassador said. Mohan Krishna Sapkota, a spokesman at Nepal’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, confirmed the arrangement. “We expect this to help boost Nepal’s tourism and bolster friendship between the two countries,” he told Khabar.

Nepal’s national flag carrier — then known as Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation — had weekly direct service from Kathmandu to Colombo until the early 1980s. Escalating domestic terrorism in Sri Lanka and air safety issues in Nepal caused suspension of the service.

Special cultural relations between Nepal and Sri Lanka

As home to Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha , Nepal has special cultural and religious relations with Sri Lanka, where over 70 percent of the population is Buddhist.

According to the Nepal Tourism Board, in 2011, nearly 60,000 Sri Lankan nationals traveled to Nepal – mainly visiting Lumbini. In 2012, nearly 70,000 visited.

“As direct flights between the two countries make travel a lot easier, we expect more Sri Lankan nationals to visit Nepal in coming years,” Ajit Man Tamang of the Lumbini Development Trust told Khabar.

Tamang added that Sri Lankan tourists constitute the largest number of tourists visiting Lumbini, followed by Burmese and Thai.

Source: Khabar South Asia

Beautiful places in Nepal for your vacation

Nepal and Himalayas have been the synonym words for Nepal enjoys the pride of having 8 out of 10 highest peaks of the world! We don’t have only mountains but our unique geography has given us green hills and valleys, rivers, subtropical forests and flat lands all adding beauty to our country. Apart from geographical diversity, we have incredible cultural diversity within the boundary of our small Himalayan Kingdom. We have a number of ethnic groups, each with their own languages, cultures, and costumes, all living in perfect harmony.

The best way to experience unbeatable combination of natural beauty and cultural riches of Nepal is to walk through terrain. One can walk along the beaten trails or virgin tracks. Either way you are in for an experience of a lifetime. Along with rhododendron forests, isolated hamlets, small mountain villages, birds, animals, temples, monasteries (Gomba) breathtaking landscape of unsurpassable mountain ranges, you will also encounter friendly people of different cultures and traditional rural life.

The great Mountains with unsurpassable splendor, crystal clear streams and brooks, the high current of rivers, colorful species of flowers, birds and animals, abundance of greenery and forests with much more hidden beauty and mystery with unavoidable adventure and fun will be waiting for you.

Here are the best tourist attractions in Nepal you can visit:

Kathmandu:

Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley

Kathmandu is Nepal’s largest city and capital of Nepal. Kathmandu is situated in a valley in the heart of Nepal. Kathmandu is famous for many Buddhist temples and in it, mostly from the 17th century. One example is the Kathmandu’s Durbar Square. Buildings that are open admiration in Nepal as a tourist attraction was built in the 16th century, contains a marvelous royal palace and many temples built in traditional pagoda style.

Durbar Square. This complex of palaces, courtyards and temples like Hanumandhoka Palace, Kumari Ghar (Abode of the Living Goddess), Taleju temple, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, used to be the seat of the ancient Malla Kings of Kathmandu. An intriguing piece here is the 17h -century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages. The Durbar Square, protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. Even to date, all the major state and social ceremonies, including the solemnization of coronations are performed in one of the courtyards in this complex. There are also museums inside the palace building. There is an entrance fee of Rs. 250 for foreign visitors. Your ticket to the Square entitles you to visit all the museums.

Chitwan:

Chitwan National Park

Nepal’s first & most famous national park, The Chitwan National Park covering 932 sq. Km is situated in the southern terai lowlands of Nepal. Widely known for one of the richest varieties of wild life adventures.Only 160 km from Kathmandu, 155 km from Pokhara & 160 km from the Indian border (Sunauli), Chitwan National Park is the best known safari park in Nepal .It is home to many species of animals such as the world famous royal Bengal Tiger, the great one horned Rhinoceros, 4 different kinds of deer, sloth Bear, Leopards, crocodiles, monkeys as well as many different species of butterflies, insects & over 450 sorts of colorful & endangered birds.

Even if you don’t get the chance to see all of these animals, the rich vegetation with dense forest, grassland & riverside areas will be worth walking through.
From Kathmandu & Pokhara comfortable tourist buses have daily departures to Chitwan. If you have only limited time, you can also fly to Bharatpur Airport which is only 17 km away from Jugle Wildlife Camp.

Pokhara:

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The Pokhara Valley, a land of spectacular beauty crowned by the majestic Himalayas, conjures visions of calm but vibrant green hills. Loaded with luxuriant vegetation and dotted with shimmering lakes, the valley offers awesome vistas. Magnificent image of Mount Machhapuchhare reflected in the clear waters of the Lake Phewa leaves everyone spellbound. One of the Nepal’s adventure hubs, it has reputation of being the second home for the tourists worldwide.

The geographical studies reveal that centuries ago a glacier was formed in the valley. As the time passed, the temperatures steadily increased and the solid ice melted and formed a river that began flowing, cutting into the soil of Pokhara. The regular flow of glacial waters created several underground tunnels. Currently, most of these tunnels are dry and are found in the form of caves.

Lumbini:

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Lumbini is the birth of place of Lord Buddha and has been declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. It is small town in the southern Terai plains of Nepal, where the ruins of the old city can still be seen. At the age of 84, he left this world with thousands of followers to keep Buddhism alive. Lumbini has since been a holy ground for Buddhists all over the world. The restored garden and surroundings of Lumbini have the remains of many of the ancient stupas and monasteries. A large stone pillar erected by the Indian Emperor Ashoka in 250 BC bears an inscription about the birth of the Buddha. An important part of Lumbini is the temple of Maya Devi. It has stone image of Maya Devi giving birth to Lord Buddha as she holds onto a branch.

An important archeological site near Lumbini, Kapilvastu evokes the ancient palace where Lord Buddha spent his formative years. Scattered foundations of the palace are abundant and archeologists have by now discovered 13 successive layers of human habitation dating back to the eighth century BC.

International Buddhist Conference in Lumbini

An international Buddhist conference will be held on November 15-18, 2014 in Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha in Rupandehi district, with the objective of preserving Buddhist culture and heritage.

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Lumbini is the birth of place of Lord Buddha and has been declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

The four-day conference is being hosted by Nepal Therawada Buddhist Academy and Sitagu International Buddhist Academy of Myanmar.

More than 400 Buddhist monks and scholars from 30 countries around the globe will take part in the conference, according to Secretary of the main organizing committee Bhikshu Nigrodh.

The conference further aims to motivate individuals who are interested in extensive study of Buddhist heritage and religion, Bhikshu Nigrodh added.

Source: Nepalnews

Guru Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche visits Lumbini

Prominent Buddhist Guru Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche has visited birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha, Lumbini recently.

Guru Rinpoche, who arrived to visit Lumbini with his 21 disciples, told after visiting Lumbini that the birth place of Lord Buddha is a great source of inspiration for the peace in the world. He also termed that Lumbini’s divine energy of peace and spirituality is the prodigious in the world.

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Guru Shyalpa, who arrived here  to observe the construction site of to be built Mahasiddha Sanctuary for Universal Peace, also visited relic of Tilaurakot Palace where Prince Siddhartha Gautama had spent his 29 years.

On the occasion, he emphasized on the preservation of Buddha’s birth place as it is important and relevant to all the religious communities.

Guru Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche is a prominent writer and an expert in Buddhist study.

His spiritual book entitled as ‘In Living Fully: Finding Joy in Every Breath’ had become best seller book in USA back in 2012.

Source: myrepublica.com