Buddhist International Travel Mart to be organized in Lumbini

Buddhist International Travel Mart to be organized in Lumbini
Buddhist Travel Mart

Buddhist International Travel Mart

“Buddhist International Travel Mart” is going to be organized to promote Nepal as the birth place of Gautam Buddha. The travel mart is going to be organized by Nepal Government and Nepal Association of Travel and Tour Agent (NATTA). Buddhist International Travel Mart will be organized from January 10- 12 in Lumbini.

This travel mart is being organized with the slogan, “Explore the Buddha Land” and “Gateway to Buddhist Circuit”. A committee under Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has been formed to make this travel mart a great success.

Lumbini Birth Place of Lord Buddha

Monks, Tour Operators, Representative of Buddhist Association and Representative of National Tourism Council of 30 countries including China, India, Myanmar, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Canada, Germany, France will participate the Travel Mart. Surendra Bhattarai, Joint Treasurer of NATTA said that all the organizations and tourism entrepreneurs of Nepal will be there in the travel mart.

Bada Dashain festival begins

Bada Dashain festival begins

Dashain Festival

“Navaratri Parba” or the nine-night festival of Bada Dashain, the great festival of the Hindus of Nepal, commenced from Wednesday.

The first day of Bada Dashain festival is called “Ghatasthapana” that falls on Aswin Shukla Pratipada, the first day of the bright half of the lunar calendar in the month of Asoj.

On the day of Ghatasthapana, all Nepalis worship Diyo (an oil-fed lamp), Kalas (auspicious jar) and lord Ganesh in accordance with Vedic rituals and sow maize and barley seeds in a jar filled with soil and cow dung for germination of the auspicious Jamara (barley shoots). The auspicious hour for observing Ghatasthapana is 07:15 am today, according to Nepal Calendar Determination Committee.

Goddess Durga Mata

Prayers are also offered to Durga Bhavani, the goddess of power today. Germination of the auspicious “Jamara” is also initiated at Hanumandhoka Dashain Ghar in accordance with Vedic rituals, today.

There is also a tradition of sacrificing animals while initiating the germination of the “Jamara”.

Also today, prayers are offered to goddess Mahakali, Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati at the Dashain Ghar, marking the beginning of the Navaratri (nine nights).

The golden barley shoots and the auspicious Tika are given by parents to their children and by elders to their juniors on the tenth day of the Bada Dashain festival with blessings for peace, progress and prosperity. The auspicious hour for receiving Tika this year is 09:51 am on October 19, according to the Committee Chair Dr Ram Chandra Gautam.

Dashain Tika

During the Navaratri, thousands of devotees visit Naxal Bhagawati, Shobha Bhagawati, Maitidevi, Guheswori, Bhadrakali, Kalikasthan, Sankata, Mahankalsthan, Naradevi, Bijayeswori, Indrayani, Dakshinkali, Chamunda and other shrines of goddess Durga Bhavani in the early morning.

People also recite sacred verses and hymns dedicated to Durga Bhawani at temples and shrines as well as at their homes throughout the Dashain period.

Majority of the educational and academic institutions start Dashain holidays effective today. The public holiday unlike the past to mark the Ghatasthapana has been deducted from this year.

Happy Vijaya Dashami

Source: Kathmandupost

Happy Dashain Festival

Happy Dashain Festival
Fulpati at Dashain Festival Nepal

Fulpati at Dashain Festival Nepal

The Dashain Festival is also celebrated by Hindus and Nepalese in practically every other part of the planet where they live. In Nepal, Dashain is the longest and most notable festival on the calendar, and many Nepalese expatriates actually return to Nepal specifically to observe Dashain Festival in their homeland.

Dashain runs from the “bright moon” until the full moon in the Hindu month of Ashvin, lasting for 15 days. On the gregorian calendar, it falls in either September or October, varying from year to year due to the differences between a lunar versus a solar based time-keeping system. During Dashain, many Nepalese businesses and public buildings will be closed, so the tourist will need to plan ahead carefully.

Flying Kites

People Kite fly highly decorative kites from their roof tops and elsewhere and shout out “Changa Cheit” whenever kite strings get tangled.

Dashain is celebrated to mark the victory, according to Hindu religious writings, of Ramayan over the evil demon-king, Ravana, and over the demon Mahisasur, who cruelly terrorised the people of India in the form of a raging water buffalo. The Hindu goddess Durga was said to be instrumental in winning these victories, so she is especially worshiped at this time. In general, the holiday season of Dashain is a celebration of “the triumph of good over evil,” though it is tied to specific Hindu stories.

Dashain Festival

Dashain Festival

Dashain Traditions

The people of Nepal celebrate Dashain with great festivity. Some of their traditions associated with the holiday include the following:

  • Kites a flown as Dashain Festival draws near and during the festival. People fly highly decorative kites from their roof tops and elsewhere and shout out “Changa Cheit” whenever kite strings get tangled.
  • Playing card games is common during Dashain. Families get together to play for both money and for fun. While all ages take part in kite-flying, kids usually are out flying their kites while adults play the card games.
  • Homes are cleaned thoroughly and decorated ornately. This is meant to be a gesture to the Hindu “mother goddess” to come down and bless the home with good luck. Distant family members also gather and enjoy reunions in the clean and beautiful houses.
  • Many purchase new clothing and wear it at this time of year. Those who live in dire poverty don their best clothing and may buy clothes at few other times of the year besides Dashain.
  • Temporary swings are constructed out of bamboo and set up for children to play at. Adults even stop to try out the swings, which can be up to 20 feet high. They are disassembled at the end of the festivities.
  • Literally thousands of animal sacrifices are made, including buffalo, rams, and ducks. They are meant to appease Hindu goddesses and are sacrificed at temples all over the country. Many also rise early in the mornings and visit temples to worship various gods.
  • Since Dashain Festival arrives just after the harvest, there is much rice and grain in homes at this time of year. Worshipers use pigmented, red rice, called “tika,” to mark their foreheads. Some also mark them with a white circle instead, however.
Dashain Tika

Dashain Tika

Some things for tourists to look for and take part in if in Nepal for Dashain Festival include these three:

  • Attend numerous small fairs held in Nepalese villages, which often have Ferris wheels and other rides and entertainment. In major cities, like Kathmandu, you can expect to find larger fairs with more options.
  • Listen to Nepalese musical programs held at this time of year. There is “Dashain music” as surely as there is Christmas music, and it is called “Mal Shree Dhun.” In the Terai and Madhesh regions, you will especially find many musical opportunities.
  • Observe Dashain processions through the “three royal cities” of the Kathmandu Valley. The spectacle is very colorful and busily attended. It has a religious bases, for it involves the carrying of numerous statues of Hindu gods.

Source: Publicholidays

World Tourism Day 2018

World Tourism Day 2018
World Tourism Day 2018

World Tourism Day 2018

Today is World Tourism Day 2018  (In Nepali : विश्व पर्यटन दिवस २०१८ ) So, on this very special day I would like to wish you all a very Happy World Tourism Day 2018 from  Nepal, country of Earth’s highest mountain.

World Tourism Day, celebrated every 27 September around the world, is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on tourism’s actual and potential contribution to sustainable development.

“Tourism and the Digital Transformation” is the theme of this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD).

World Tourism Day 2018

World Tourism Day 2018

“Atithi Dewo Bhawa”, in Sanskrit, literally means Guest is God. This adage expresses Nepali cultural character since the time immemorial. This reflects age-long cultural characteristics of the Nepali civilization that derived its linguistic, religious and socio-cultural features from Sanskrit.

Here are some major Tourist Places, Religious Sites, and Tourism Activities in Nepal. Please share the tourist activities, places etc. of your country too. 

Visit Nepal Year 2020

Visit Nepal Year 2020

VITOF Nepal organizes Rice Planting Festival at Lele

VITOF Nepal organizes Rice Planting Festival at Lele
VITOF Nepal organizes Rice Planting Festival

Rice Planting Festival 2018

The Village Tourism Promotion Forum Nepal (VITOF-Nepal) is going to celebrate Rice Planting Festival in Kathmandu this year. VITOF Nepal is going to organize the rice planting festival in collaboration with the Nepal Tourism Board on 29 June at Godawari Municipality of Lele, Lalitpur. According to the Chairman of the Forum, Ram Sapkota, this festival is organized to promote the culture, tradition, monuments, and sights of Newari culture.

Dipak Dahal, vice president and media coordinator of VITOF Nepal said that most of the works have already been completed and this festival will play a great role to strengthen the agricultural sector. The festival is coordinated by Rajkumar Dhamala.

VITOF Nepal organizes Rice Planting Festival

Rice Planting Festival

He also mentioned that that the festival will be accompanied by Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation minister, Rabindra Adhikari, and other organizations. VITOF Nepal has been organizing this festival since many years. Lele holds a different culture, traditional community and beautiful natural geography. Thus, it has a great potential of tourism. A short trek will also be organized that day.

Source: Tourismmail

China ups travelling charges for Kailash Manasarovar

China ups travelling charges for Kailash Manasarovar
Kailash Yatra Map

Kailash Yatra Map

Jun 11, 2018-China has abruptly raised travelling charges for devotees going on the Kailash Manasarovar tour to the distress of Nepali and Indian tour operators. Hindus believe that bathing in Lake Manasarovar and drinking its water will cleanse them from all sin.

As per the new tariff that went into effect on June 3, pilgrims travelling to Kailash Manasarovar over the Nepalgunj-Simikot-Hilsa route will have to pay an extra $180 per head, and pilgrims taking the Rasuwagadhi-Kerung route will have to pay an additional $140 per head.

However, the new rates will not apply to pilgrims who have already purchased tour package this year. “Instead, it has created a huge burden for tour operators,” said a Nepali tour operator who did not wish to be named. “The new rules that were imposed unilaterally by the China-India Pilgrims Service Centre in China are expected to create a burden of Rs360 million for Nepali operators alone.”

Kailash Yatra by Helicopter

Kailash Yatra by Helicopter

“We are just a tour operator. We cannot afford to pay such a huge amount of money,” the operator said, adding that each operator would have to pay at least Rs15 million from their own pockets.

Until last year, the devotees had to pay $1,085 per person for a three-night package using the Nepalgunj-Simikot-Hilsa route. Now it has gone up to $1,265 per person. Similarly, a five-night package using the Rasuwagadhi-Kerung route which used to cost $895 per person will now cost $1,035 per person.

This is a mandatory fee that needs to be paid to the China-India Pilgrims Service Centre. According to operators, the new rule was enforced immediately after Wan Quan Lin was appointed the CEO of the centre.

The fee covers food, hotel, vehicle service and guide as the centre does not allow Nepali or Indian tour operators to provide these services on their own.

“The centre has also barred Indian pilgrims from carrying food, and they have to eat at the Chinese hotel and restaurants whether they like it or not,” said operators, adding that the fee was non-refundable if any pilgrim chooses not to eat the food served by the Chinese restaurants. “It’s a kind of cartel imposed by Chinese authorities after they saw pilgrim numbers from Nepal growing each year.”

Kailash Mansarovar

Kailash Mansarovar

This year, tour operators are optimistic about receiving around 20,000 to 25,000 Indian pilgrims. Last year, nearly 15,000 Indians visited the holy sites The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra normally begins in May and lasts till September. There are five routes to Mt Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. Two of them, Uttarakhand and Nathula, Sikkim, are in India. They are the longest and most expensive routes. It takes nearly three weeks to reach the holy place using these routes.

Nepal offers three routes to the holy sites through the Tatopani and Rasuwagadhi border points. However, there are no movements from Tatopani after the Chinese government closed the Tatopani border point in 2015. Pilgrims have also started to go through Rasuwagadhi after the road was opened this year.

According to operators, the Nepalgunj-Simikot-Humla route costs IRs175,000 per person, including the cost of flying by fixed with aircraft from Nepalgunj to Simikot, and by helicopter from Simikot to Hilsa. The package from Rasuwagadhi is IRs125,000 per person. Due to the cost factor, around 25 percent of the pilgrims are expected to choose the Rasuwagadhi route this year.

Source: Kathmandupost