Indra Jatra festival in Nepal

Indra Jatra festival in Nepal

Indra is Lord of Rain and the king of Heaven. Jatra is procession. Indra Jatra is celebration of God Indra’s Day.  Indra Jatra is festival of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.  Some believes Indra Jatra is thanking day to lord Indra for the rain. According to others, the festival is celebrated in the honor of Bahirab, who is Shiva’s manifestation and is believed to destroy evil.

Indra-jatra-festival-nepal

Indra Jatra begins every year from the day of the Bhadra Dwadasi to Ashwin Krishna Chaturdasi. It is an eight day long festival.

The festival begins with the carnival-like erection of The Linga (Yasingh), a ceremonial pole, accompanied by the rare display of the deity Akash Bhairab, represented by a massive mask spouting Jaad and raksi (Nepali local liquors). Households throughout Kathmandu (especially Newars) display images and sculptures of Indra and Bhairab at this time of year. This thirty-six feet long wooden pole (The Linga (Yasingh)) is chosen with great care from the Nala forest in Kavre district east of Kathmandu.

Indra Jatra Festival

According to traditional beliefs, Indra had received this flag from Lord Vishnu for protection.

Finally, the Kumari (living goddess), leaves the seclusion of her temple in a palanquin and leads a procession through the streets of Kathmandu to thank Indra the rain god. The main attraction of the festival is the procession of chariots and masked dancers representing deities and demons. Indra is called Yanya in Newari. Jaad (Nepali local liquor) flows from the Bahirab statue, which is remarkable to look at in Hanuman Dhoka.

Indra Jatra Festival
The procession consists of:
•    Majipa Lakhey
•    Pulukishi
•    Sawan Bhaku
•    Ganesh (Chariot)
•    Kumar (Chariot)
•    Kumari (Chariot)

Besides these, there are various dances held on the open stages of the city called dabu. There is display of Swet Bhairava as well as various deities of the city.

Visit Nepal Year 2020

Visit Nepal Year 2020
Visit Nepal Year 2020

Visit Nepal Year 2020

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has planned the 2020 as Visit Nepal Year with the aim to increase the number of tourists to 20 Lakhs (20 Millions). Tourism vision 2020 Nepal has been set soon after the MOCTCA had planned to celebrate Visit Nepal Year in 2018 which was put off due to the delay in construction of airports (Pokhara and Lumbini), re-construction of heritage sites and roads. So, Visit Nepal Year 2020 will be the best time to celebrate the tourism vision year as the reconstruction of the heritage sites is expected to be completed before 2020.

The Earthquake 2015 hit Nepal badly resulting in death of 2300 people and thousands of victim and homeless. After the Earthquake, the flock of tourists in Nepal decreased. Now, the tourism of Nepal has taken its path to grow and Nepal is receiving good number of tourists in the year 2017 and 2018. The announcement of the Visit Nepal Year 2020 will give a positive message to the world and the campaign will attract more tourists to Nepal.

Recently, Nepal Government has published the official logo for Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign.

Pokhara Street Festival set to Welcome New Year 2018

Pokhara Street Festival set to Welcome New Year 2018

Pokhara

Pokhara, 20 December 2017: Restaurant and Bar Association of Nepal (REBAN) Pokhara chapter is set to host the 19th edition of Annual Pokhara Street prior to the English New Year 2018. The festival will start from December 28 to January 1, 2018.

The festive spirit will once again come alive when the streets of Lakeside will be decorated with lights, filled with the aroma of delicacy and tuned with the finest musical performance. With the main slogan ‘Eat on the street, Dance on the street, Enjoy on the street’, the festival will draw maximum number of visitors; both Nepali and foreigners.

Pokhara Street Festival

Pokhara Street Festival

According to the festival coordinator, Gopi Bhattarai, the festival will focus on food items, music and various cultural programs. Talking about the expectation from the program, he explained, “We are planning to make this event more successful and grand than previous years. We welcome guests from all over the country and the world to showcase the beautiful scenario of Lakeside. Also, we are working to make sure that the festival will provide fullest entertainment.”

Pokhara Concert FB

Pokhara Concert FB

Hotels and restaurants in Pokhara have started booking their spots for the food stalls. The opening ceremony will take place on the banks of the Fewa Lake.

Street festival in Lakeside has been the center of attraction among the visitors establishing itself as a culture of the city.

Hungry Eye Restaurant Pokhara

Hungry Eye Restaurant Pokhara

There will be multiple stages featuring different cultural dances, live performances of artists and comedians. Famous singers like Nabin K. Bhattarai, Asish Rana and Mantra band will be rocking the stage.

source: Glocal Khabar

Hotel Landmark Pokhara

Hotel Landmark Pokhara

Aussie delegation terms Nepal a safe tourist destination

Aussie delegation terms Nepal a safe tourist destination

An Australian delegation led by lawmaker Jing Lee returned home today after completing a weeklong visit.

Speaking at a press meet at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) before her departure, lawmaker Lee said her delegation arrived here seeking to support Nepal in its ongoing post-earthquake reconstruction campaign and added that Nepal is safe for travel.

Nepal a safe tourist destination

During her Nepal visit, she found it safer, she shared her experiences, urging the international community to visit Nepal and help it in the reconstruction efforts. Nepal is rich in history, art, culture and adventurous trekking routes, mountains, flora and fauna and natural possessions have made it a wonderful tourist destination, she described.

In her words, one must visit Nepal once. She said during its stay here, the delegation member visited the areas within the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara, and Chitwan and was mesmerized by the natural beauty of Pokhara.

Traditional art and culture inherited by the capital, extra-ordinary natural beauty possessed by Pokhara, an elephant riding in Chitwan and hospitality shown by the Nepali citizen to them touched their hearts and made a print in their minds, the Australian guest said.

Lee born in Malaysia is currently the lawmaker from the Australia ruling party Liberal Party of Australia.

Nepal a safe tourist destination

Nepal a safe tourist destination

Our visit was aimed at giving a message to the world that Nepal that resisted a major earthquake last year is safe as a tourist destination, she said, adding that after return home, she would encourage the Australian people to visit Nepal. She said she would take her time at the parliament there to inform lawmakers about Nepal and its beauty. During the visit, the Austrian lawmaker called on the Prime Minister and the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, some of her counterparts and the government senior officials.

At the press meet, Nepal’s Honorary Consul to the South Australia Deepak Dhamala said Lee’s visit has helped further consolidate the bilateral ties existing between Nepal and Australia.

Lawmaker Lee is also learnt to have individually contributed to the Prime Minister’s Natural Disaster Fund in the wake of the powerful earthquake (April 25, 2015) in the country.

Source: Myrepublica

Popular Ghorepani-Poonhil trek route upgraded

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?

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