Saturday, April 12, 2008

Moutaineering & Trekking in Nepal

Everest Expedition (8848 m)

Even though Sir E. Hillary & Tenzing Norgay has conquered the highest mountain in the world many times ever since its first conquest in 1953. Everest is still as mysterious, beguiling and magnificent as ever. Standing incredibly tall silhouetted against the shared sky of Nepal and Tibet , this mountain has many names Chomolungma, Sagarmatha, Qomolungma or Mt. Everest . Whichever name one chooses, its mystery still lives on...

Perhaps the most colorful story about the early attempts on Everest is the one involving Captain J. Noel and his native companions. He disguised himself as a Mohammaden and made a journey from Darjeeling through Northwest Sikkim and round the north of Kanchenjunga in an attempt to reach Everest. Unfortunately, he had to retreat back short of just sixty-five kms from Everest when a posse of Tibetan soldiers forced them to turn back.

Kanchanjunga Expedition (8586m)
Mt Kanchajunga (8,586m / 28,170ft) Located on the Sikkim ( India )- Nepal border as part of the Himalayan mountain range at longitude 27º42' North and 88º08' East, Kangchanjunga 8,586m / 28.170ft.) is the third highest mountain in the world.

The other name of Kangchenjunga is Kangche Dzo-nga, Kachedzonga, and Kangchanfanga means "The Five Treasures of the Snow" in the local dialect referring its five summits all over 8000 meters. Kangchenjunga has 5 peaks, of which the true Summit is 8,586 meters /28,169 feet.

Dhaulagiri Expedition (8167m.)
The Dhaulagiri Himal lies south of the Tibet/Nepal border and the culminating high point at its eastern end is Dhaulagiri l, the seventh highest mountain in the world, which towers in solitary splendor. This magnificent peak rises as a giant shoulder of shining ice and snow. It got its name from the Sanskrit word "Dhavala" which means 'white' and ‘giri', which means mountain.

This mountain was first sighted by the British surveyors in India in the early 1800s but remained virtually unknown until a Swiss aerial survey in 1949. This White Mountain was first climbed in 1960 by the Swiss following the Northeast ridge. Five ridges buttress Dhaulagiri one and even up until the early 1980's only the Northeast ridge had been successfully climbed. Dhaulagiri is considered the most interesting peak among the eight thousands Mountains.

Manaslu Expedition (8463m)

Mt. Manaslu (8,163m / 26,781ft) Located 28.32.58 longitude and 83.33.43 latitude Manaslu is situated in the central region of Nepal in the Gorkha massif is the eighth highest mountain in the world. The name Manaslu was derived from the Sanskrit word "Maanas" meaning "soul" or "intellect". Japanese were the first to climb Manslu Mountain in 1956, therefore it is still considered as Japanese peak by many people. Though there are many routes to Manslu mountaineering , as the long ridge Manaslu base camp and valley glacier offer feasibility to approach from different directions, but South Face is considered to be the most difficult.

Annapurna Expedition (8091m)

Annapurna is also known as the store of the rise, located in Himalayan ranges of Nepal . The best climbing seasons is on April, May (pre-monsoon) and late September, October (post monsoon). Gokyo Treks & expedition has catered the needs of mountaineers climbing Annapurna Expedition/Mountaineering in a professional and committed manner. Annapurna 8091m was first climbed by a French expedition in 1950. There are four summits called Annapurna, the entire massif forms a barrier on the northern side of the pokhara Valley . The main summit of the Annapurna sanctuary/Annapurna base camp , Annapurna II is above Chame, about 24km to the east. Fewer climbers have reached the summit of Annapurna than any other 8000m peak in Nepal .

Ama Dablam Expedition (6812m)

Ama Dablam has long been considered the prettiest mountain in the world. High on her Southwest face hangs a glacier resembling a 'Dablam' - the sacred ornament box worn by the ladies in Sherpa community. It was this spectacular feature that got her the name "Ama Dablam". She lies alongside Everest in the heart of the Khumbu valley offering a superb climb up a spectacular ridge.

The route we follow begins at Lukla (2850m) and the initial days of the trek pass through the legendary Sherpa country up the spectacular high valley of the Khumbu. Much of the route on the actual climbing is fixed with no icefall or glacier to negotiate, and most of it is concentrated on the crest of a ridge. The climb is relatively safe though exposed and steep and not really a mountain for debutantes.

Pumori Expedition (8463m)

Pumori Ascend – More information
The ascent starts at 5,300m. In a beautiful base camp aside a small lake (water source, take water filters or barrels - where you can pack your equipment- and to clarificate the water -let sand to drop all night-). From base camp you have the most wonderful sight of Mt. Everest you can imagine, just above is Kalapattar Rock hill at 5545m.

After a 3 hrs walk (loaded) trough an easy hike terrain you will reach camp 1 or advanced base camp 5700m. To let your equipment and supply nearby. After this you will face a 500m. Elevation difference trough a 40 to 65 degrees slopes, 100m. Horizontal traverse, steep and expose to wind narrow ridges, some 5m. Ice wall, one tunnel climb. Pumori has many rock and mixed climb (not to need rock pitons but take some in case for the fixed rope) and spring might be more rock falling. If you have good Sherpa, Could be good for spring season.

Camp 2- 6200m. Is located on a narrow ridge at the end of the section described before. Expose to wind and far from avalanches (but people say it has happened before that avalanches reach camp 2) the next 400m. Is an ice climb with 35-65 degrees, more 5m. Ice walls, many crevasses, and the bigger avalanche danger from big seracs hanging from the shoulder 6500m.

The shoulder can be camp 3, but is too windy and not much gain. From here you cans see Tibet. After this it is presume that the rest is a wide ridge that takes you to a not hidden summit, but like I told you, You still need rope here because of many crevasses, Ice walls.

Finally, at 6,850m, there is an enormous crevasse 200m large, 40m. Deep, 10-20m wide. Try to walk towards Tibet side where the crevasses ended just before a great cliff, but in the other side the snow two-layer difference for avalanche danger. You can try Nepal side and you can reach the beautiful famous Pumori cliff and crossed the crevasse. After this the walk to the summit is only walk & you can summit Pumori 7145m.

Normal route: This is the easiest route to climb this peak and most of the expedition climbed this peak so far have used this route. As you know Pumori is not easy as like other mountains, there are technical parts in this route as well. We suggest you, you have take climbing Sherpa and who will take to Summit. We can arrange for you summiter Sherpas for the Pumori, if you have required.

You need to have at least 3 camps after base camp to reach the summit. The base camp is just above Gorekshep at the altitude of 5300m. After base camp, you can set up first camp at the altitude of 5,650m. Around the phase of Pumori.
We set second camp at the ridge after the phase at the altitude of 6,000m. The most technical part for this peak is around camp 1 and 2. We set camp third at the altitude of 6,480m. Around the corner after the ridge. you can summit from the third camp to the top. This route has been used by former expedition to Pumori in every year.

South-West ridge: Only few climbers tried this route, as this is one of the most difficult routes. This route follows directly from the top of Kalapatar and goes straight over the ridge nearly 75 Degree. As this route has lots of technical difficulties, I recommend you to use the normal route for the Pumori and you & your group will reach the Top.

I will update more information soon........

Jungle Safari in Nepal

A huge diversity of land exposes Nepal's fascinating diversity with the highest crystal mountains, terraced middle hills and flat plains from north to south. The dense foliage of the southern lowlands offers an exciting jungle safari tour with its rich habitat and population of wildlife a massif wild family. Certain areas of the southern flatlands have been declared as National Parks and wildlife reserves, here let us inform you about some of the greatest jungle safari parks in Nepal.

Royal Chitwan National Park:
In southern Nepal, Chitwan is the richest wildlife reserve in Asia with an area of 932 sq,km. Easy access in 5-6 hours by bus riding or 35 minute short flight from Kathmandu or Pokhara. The home of the indigenous people, the Tharu, and the home of the unique one- horned rhino, majestic Royal Bengal Tiger, Many species of deer, and the largest number of zoological species of local and migrated birds more than 450, Crocodile family with the rare species of Marshmugger, Gharial and numerous flora & Fauna to be discovered. Elephant riding and walking through the woods makes the unique experience of a safari interesting.

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve:
A recently promoted safari park lies in eastern Nepal. The reserve provides the best opportunity to spot hundreds of rare species of birds and fresh water Dolphins. This reserve is of course, the least explored but also can be combined to the trip to India, which enhances the journey and allows you to enjoy nature.

There are other National parks in Nepal as well. Information will be added soon..

Paragliding in Nepal

You'll get memories to last a lifetime in 30 to 45 minute flight. For those who want to find out what paragliding is all about but cannot commit to 2 days of instruction, we offer tandem flights. During the flight pilot will explain what he/she is doing and allow you some hands-on control of the glider.

The best way to view Nepal and its Himalayan panorama is by a short flight from Sarankot. Observing glory of Annapurna range and beautiful landscape around Pokhara valley, virgin Mt; Fishtail (Machhapuchhre), Lamjung Himal, Annapaurna Himal, Himchuli, Fewa Lake, Rice field, Rivers and settlements are below gives you thrills with a great photographic opportunity. Fly once in Pokhara to make your dream come true.

In the morning, after breakfast drive to Sarankot (1592m) Paragliding spot.
After arrival on the spot, briefing about flying by expert& professional pilot and fly.About an hour of exiting flight, during the flight you have breathe taking panorama views of Annapurna Range, beautiful Mt. Fish Tail, Annapurna South, Himchuli, Annapurna II, III, IV, Lamjung Himal, Mt. Manashlu and great Mt. Dhaulagiri togethere with landscape panorama and Fewa Lake.

This exiting short flight trip can be done after or before the trekking when you have rest day in Pokhara.

Mountain Flight in Nepal

" I can't climb Mt. Everest ………… But I want to touch it with my heart " Don't worry, you have a nice option to see Mt. Everest from the sky. For the traveler who is unable to make a trekking trip to the mountains either because of lack of time or physical fitness, or due to sheer want of the adventure streak, there are mountain flights to simulate the experience.

The one-hour flight takes you within camera range of some of the highest peaks in the world, and cruising this close to the awe-inspiring massifs of rock and ice, is an out-of-this earth experience. The aircraft takes off and heads eastward and almost immediately, the peaks come into view. The first peak that appears on your horizon is the majestic Gosaithan, standing 8,013m tall to its (6966m), looking like a massive figure of 8, lying prone and covered in snow. Next to the right Phurbi Chyachu, which looms over the Kathmandu Valley. Next on your vision is Choba Bhamare, rather small in this company at 5,993m, but singularly stubborn, as it remains unconquered to this day. Then comes Mt. Gaurishanker (7,134m), standing out sharp and conspicuous-Hindus believe that Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati protect this mountain.

As the flight moves toward the eastern Himalaya, a succession of majestic mountains follows. Melungtse, with a plateau-like top stands at 7,023m; Chugimago is at 6,297m, and still remains to be scaled. Mt. Number stands at 6,511m, and Cho-Oyu, the sixth highest in the world at 8,021m.

The last and most exciting stretch of the journey takes you close to the 7,952m-tall Gyachungkang, which is considered an extremely tough climb. To its right is Pumori at 7,161m and Nuptse at 7,855m. Finally, there is Mt. Everest itself (8,848m), called Sagarmatha by the Nepalese and Chomolungma by the Tibetans. It is an altogether different feeling as one comes face to face with the world's tallest and most enigmatic of mountain.The spectacular mountain flights are offered by the various Domestic airlines.

Visiting Places around Nepal

Museums in Kathmandu

One of Nepal's delights is the variety of Museums found in the Kathmandu Valley. As rich as Nepal's unique culture and landscape, these museums provide a fascinating look into Nepal's art, people, history and architecture. They also serve as an enjoyable serene alternative to the vigorous of walking and trekking in the countryside.

Changunarayan Temple

This temple is situated on a scenic hill top 20km from Kathmandi and 7 km from Bhaktapur. King Hari dutta verma built this temple. The temple is decorated with magnificent art works made of metal and woodcarvings. This is the finest example of Nepalese pagoda architecture.The inscription at Changunarayan is the oldest recorded in history, dating to the 4th century. Its history dates back to the Lichhavi period when the Lichhavi king Manadeva installed pillars in 464 AD. The temple is worth visiting to see the architectural and iconography combination.


Nagarkot is a popular place to see the mountain ranges and sunrise. It lies at an altitude of 2175m and it is 32 km north east of Kathmandu. It is the nearest place to see the panoramic views from Kathmandu valley. Close up mountains are from Nagarkot Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Dorje lakpa, Sishapangma, Gauri shanker and more.When the sun begins to rise from behind the Himalayas. It looks spectacular as the mountains change color. Many tourists go to Nagarkot and stay over night to enjoy the scenic beauty of the country side and from Nagarkot one can hike to Changunarayan, Banepa and to Sankhu Vajrayogini too.


Dhulikhel is an ancient small town situated 30km away from Kathmandu. The drive from Kathmandu to Dhalikhel is very scenic and beautiful rice terraces on both sides of the road are spectacular. It is a popular panoramic Himalayan viewpoint, which is also a good starting place for short treks where visitors can stretch their legs before starting for a longer one.

The small village of Daman is an interesting place to see mountains. One can see whole mountain range of 400km from Dhaulagiri to Mt.Everest.Daman lies 2323m above the sea level. It is 85km away south West from Kathmandu and It also one of the most spectacular mountain-bike routes in the world.


Lumbini is situated about 250km South West of Kathmandu. This place famous for Buddhist pilgrimage because Lord Buddha was born here in 560 BC. The birth of Buddha at Lumbini has been recorded in the pillar inscription 'The Light of Asia' although there is not much to see but the peaceful environment provides you with inner sense of tranquility. In some ways, Tilaurakot, the site of Kapilavastu, the fortress-palace where Buddha was raised as a prince of the royal family is more evocative.


Tansen lies 1310m above sea level, at the southern slope of Mahabharat range. It lies on the way from Pokhara to Sunauli and is known as the Siddhartha highway. Tansen city itself is very colorful with its old houses and slopes landscapes. There are different types of people-Magar, Brahmin,Chhetri, Newar, have been living in the city.It is popular for its metal crafts and Dhaka cloth,shawls and caps. Place to visit in Tansen- Shrinagar hill Amarnarayan temple and Tansen Durbar etc.


Pokhara is the second major tourist destination in Nepal. It is 200km west of Kathmandu. Standing at 884m above the sea level, Pokhara offers a mild climate. It is famous for the natural beauty of its lakeside location and its proximity to the mountains. Especially stunning views of Machapuchhare 6997m (also known as the Fishtail mountain). There are many places to visit in this beautiful city such as the panoramic mountain views, Phewa Lake and the Varahi Temple on its island, David's fall, Mahendra Cave, etc. Activities such as boating, fishing and canoeing can be organized on the Phewa Lake.

Recommended Books about Nepal

There are many Travel Books about Nepal available in the major book Stores all over the world. Following Books are worth valuable to read to know more about Nepal.

1. Lonely Planet Nepali Phrasebook
- Writer Mary Jo O'Rourke
2. Lonely Planet Trekking in the Nepal
- Writer Stan Armington
3. Mountain Madness
- Writer Robert Birkby
4. The Soul of the Rhino
- Writer Hemanta Mishra
5. Left for Dead
- Writer Beck Weathers
6. Into Thin Air
- Writer Jon Krakauer

Friday, April 11, 2008

Travel Information

It borders with the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China in the North and India in the East, South and West respectively.
AREA: 147,181 sq. kilometers.
ALTITUDE: Varies from 70 meters to 8848 meters.
CAPITAL: Kathmandu.
POPULATION: 2,90,0000 ( Estimated )

Nepali is the national language of Nepal and other regional languages are spoken all over the country. Educated people understand and speak English as well.

Nepal Time is 5 hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT and 15 minutes ahead of Indian standard time.

Nepal has four major seasons, namely, (1) Winter: December-February, (2) Spring: March-May, (3) Summer: June-August, (4) Autumn: September- November.
Nepal can be visited the whole year round.The best time for visit - Autumn & Spring

Nepalese people are mainly divided into two distinct groups the Indo-Aryans and the Mongoloids. Kathmandu Valley is the spiritual and cultural meeting point of all these groups.Hindu Temples and Buddhist shrines are scattered all over the kingdom. Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the Light of Asia. There is a complex blending of Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal. Christians, Muslims and other minor religions are also in Nepal.

Except in formal gathering informal clothes are acceptable mostly everywhere. Warm garments are required in October-March. An umbrella or a rain coat are must for the rainy season.

Nepali Rupee notes come in Rs. 1, Rs. 2, Rs. 5, Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 50, Rs. 100, Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 denominations. Coins come in 5p, 1 0p, 25p, Rs. 1 & Rs. 5 denominations.

Foreign currencies must be exchanged only through the banks or authorized foreign exchange dealers. The receipts from such transactions are to be obtained and retained. Visitors can exchange foreign currency at the foreign exchange counter at the airport upon arrival. Visitor other than the Indian nationals have to make the payment in hotels, travel or trekking agencies and air tickets in foreign currency. Non-lndian visitors are not allowed to import or export Indian Currency. The approximate value of one US Dollar is equivalent to Rs. 63.35 as present exchange rate.

All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold a passport and a valid visa. The visas can be obtained at the Nepalese Diplomatic Missions and Consuls abroad and entry points issue visa for a 15 days. The visa will be extended at the Department of Immigration, Pardashani Marg, Kathmandu. The Department also issues multi entry visa for the visitors.

By Air: Tribhuvan Internaitonal Airport, Kathmandu.
By Land: (1) Kakarbhitta (2) Birgunj (3) Belhiya (Bhairahawa) (4) Nepalgunj (5) Dhangadi (6) Jogbani (Biratnagar) and (7) Mahendra Nagar in Nepal-lndia border and Kodari in Nepal-China border. The overland tourists entering the Country with their vehicles must possess an international carnet.

All baggage is subject to customs' check at the point of entry. Visitors are allowed to bring in the consumable articles such as liquor one bottle up 1.15 litres, 200 sticks of cigarette, 15 rolls of photo film and 12 rolls of movie camera film. Visitors are also allowed to carry one binocular, one camera, one movie camera, one video camera, one radio, one tape recorder, one bicycle, one wrist watch, one set of fountain pen, one perambulator, 15 radio cassettes & 10 disk records into the country on the condition that they are declared and are to be taken back on return. Carrying narcotics, arms and ammunitions are strictly prohibited. Visitors can export souvenirs to their respective countries. The export of antiuques requires special certificate from the Department of Archaeology, National Archive Building, Ram Shah Path, Kathmandu, Gold, silver, precious stones, wild animals and their skins, horns, etc, all drugs whether processed or in their natural state, are prohibited to export.

Nepal Airlines the national flag carrier of Nepal and other International airlines operate scheduled flights to Kathmandu from som Destinations mainly in Asia. Cosmic Air, Fly are budget airlines operating from Nepal .The International Airlines operating their flights to Kathmandu include Biman Bangladesh Airlines, China South West Airlines, Druk Air, Indian Airlines,Pakistan International Airlines, Silk Air,Thai International,Jet Airways, Continental Thai Airlines, Druk Air, Air China, Korean air, Dragon Air - Hongkong, Sahara Airlines, Qatar Airways, Gulf air, Itihad Airways, Air Arabia etc. Some of other international Airlines are planning to operate their scheduled flights near future too.

Rs. 700 per person for departure to SAARC (South Asian) Countries and Rs. 1130 for departure to other international destinations. For domestic flights those flying within Nepal are required to pay Rs. 65.

Nepal Arilines has an extensive network of air services in the interior of Nepal. This include Taplejung, Bhadrapur, Rajbiraj, Bhojpur, Phapl, Lukla, Lamidanda Tumlingtar, Rumjatar, and Biratnagar in the East; Nepalgunj, Chaurjhari, Surkhet, Dang, Rolpa and Jumla, in the Mid-West, and kolti, Mahendranagar, Dhangadi, Silgadi (Doti), Tikapur, Sanphebagar, Baitadi, and Darchula in the Far Western Region.
There are many Demostic Airlines in nepal who operate domestic flights all over the country.

The domestic Airlines in the private sector also operate breathtaking mountain flights for the tourists round the year.

In addition to metered taxis, limousine service is also available at the airport for transport to major hotels in the city.

Metered taxis having black plates with white figures are available in Kathmandu. Bicycles, motorcycles and rickshaws are also available on hire. The fare for the bicycles or motorcycles is fixed wheareas the fare of rickshaws is to be negotiated. There are regular bus services between the main town of the Kathmandu Valley. The Bus Terminal is located at Gongabu (new bus terminal) and Bagbazar (old bus terminal). Similarly, scheduled bus services for outside the Valley operate from the Gongabu Bus Terminal which is located at Balaju, Kathmandu.

The Department of Immigration located at Tridevi Marg, Thamel issues trekking permit for the tourists who intend to trek any part of the country. Trekking permit fee for different trekking areas are fixed as follows.

Trekking areas Trekking permit fee
1. Annapurna, Everest,Langtang and Rara Equivalent to US$ 5 per person per week for the first four weeks and US$ 10 per week thereafter.
2. Dolpa and Kanchenjunga Equivalent to US$ 10 per person per week for the first four weeks and US$ 20 per week thereafter.
3. Manaslu US$ 75 per person per week.
4. Mustang and upper Dolpa US$ 700 per person for the first ten days and US$ 70 per person per day thereafter.

Note: Trekking to Dolpa, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Mustang can be undertaken through registered trekking agencies only. To Trek in a national park area an entrance fee of Rs. 650.00 is to be paid separately. Likewise, an entrance fee of Rs. 200.00 is also collected from every trekker going into the Annapurna Conservation Area. There are several government registered trekking agencies in Nepal to conduct such trekking programmes.

Nepal has every type of accommodation facilities that a tourist might ask for. This ranges from the international standard star hotels to budget hotels and lodges. Similarly one can also have a choice of sightseeing from a range of different tour packages. In order to have an assured quality service it is advisable to use the facilities and services of government registered hotels, lodges, travel agencies the licensed tour guides only and engage an authorized guide or porter only through a registered travel/trekking agency.

Very few countries in the world can offer as many varieties of adventure tourism packages as Nepal. Of the 14 peaks above 8000 meters in the world eight are located in Nepal. It is the land of Sagarmatha (Mount. Everest, 8848 meters), the highest peak in the world and other 1310 mountain peaks.

For those who can not withstand the rigorousness of mountain climbing there are mountain flights which fly around the Mount Everest and provide a close look of the top of the world. Also from Nagarkot (32 kilometers East of Kathmandu) and Daman (80 Kilometers south-west of Kathmandu) one can have a distant view of Mount Everest and beautiful Himalayan ranges. Trekking is the best way to get to interesting and remote mountain villages of Nepal and to enjoy views of the famous peaks together with their lifestyle untouched with modern civilization.

The river rafting,which is known as "White Water Adventure" represents another major attractions. Within distance of 100 miles, one can see the topographical variations with the rivers rising from the higher points near Nepal's Tibetan border and then dropping dramatically to lower levels the plains bordering India. For those who wish to view wildlife, Nepal offers plenty of scope. Of the eight National Parks and four Wildlife Reserves and two conservation areas in Nepal.

For the less adventures, Pokhara, the lake city of Nepal has no equal as it provides ample opportunities for fishing, swimming, canoeing and boating along with the sightseeing of majestic panoramic views in its background. It is only Pokhara, a tropical spot with an altitude of about 900 meters where from one can see the mountain crossing over 8000meters from such a short distance of about 40 kilometers. For the nature lovers Nepal is such a land of natural beauty that metaphors cannot delineate its real picture. At the sametime, Nepal proffers an incomparable scope to the scholars and connoiseurs of art and culture to see and study the different aspects of the fine-arts be it painting, sculpture, wood carving or architecture.

Kathmandu Valley possesses several historical monuments, old palaces and palace squares, shrines and temples, ageless traditions and legends all make it a living museum that any visitor would cherish its vivid memory in his/her heart for ever. Nepal is the land of Lord Pashupatinath, which is supposed to be the holiest Hindu temple in the world. Besides, two out of the four main holy places (chhetras) of Hindu pilgrimages namely Muktichhetra and Varahachhetra,are located in Nepal. Not only for the Hindus but also for the Buddhists Nepal offers a unique place of pilgrimage as it happens to be the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the apostle of peace and compassion.

Nepal is a land of Festivals with some part of the Kingdom or the other celebrating some festival during everyday of the year. Festivals may be linked with the remembrance of the departed soul, to herald the different seasons, to mark the beginning or end of the agricultural cycle, to mark the national events, or just family celebrations. On a festive day the Nepalese take their ritual bath, worship different gods and goddesses, visit temple, observe fasting and undertake feasting. The most important aspect of Nepali culture is the religious harmony and understanding prevailing among the Hindus and Buddhist. Some of the major festivals of Nepal are:

New Year's Day-April 14,(First day of Baisakh)
Matatirtha Aunsi or Mother's Day - (April)
Buddha Jayanti - (April)
Machchendranath Rath Jatra- (May-June)
Guru Poornima (August)
Gaijatra (August)
Krishnashtami - (August-September)
Gokarna Aunsi or Father's Day - (August-September)
Indra Jatra - (September)
Bada Dashain - (September-October)
Tihar- (October-November)
Bala Chaturdarshi - (November-December)
Basanta Panchami - (January-February)
National Democracy Day- (February 18, ie. Falgun 7)
Maha Shivaratri - (March-April)
Ghode Jatra - (March-April)

If someone really wants to be away for sometime from the cacophony of modernization, here is Nepal,the best sojourn cradled in the lap of the Himalayas that never ceases to offer eternal peace and tranquility.

( Plz note: I need to update travel Information and I will try to update regularly )

Other Cities / Places - Kathmandu Valley

Patan is separated form Kathmandu by the Bagmati River and is the second largest town in the valley. It is also known as Lalitpur, which means city of beauty. Patan has a long Buddhist history and have stupas at four corners. Like Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square is also packed with temples. Most of these temples are built during the Malla kings period.

Places in patan (Lalitpur)

Durbar Square
As in Kathmandu, Patan also has an old royal palace built during the Malla kings period. Most of the temples here are built in Newari architecture. The rectangular square has an axis from north, south, east and west to the Royal Palace. Malla kings who used to rule over Patan in the ancient times used to love art and architecture. To fulfill their wishes, many buildings having excellent arts such as wood carving, stone carving etc. were made. These buildings, which were created by skilled Nepali architects have stood firmly for centuries defying all the barriers of nature.

Historical Palace
The Royal Palace is located in the heart of Patan, Mangal Bazaar. Parts of the Royal Palace was built in the 14th Century and main construction was done during 17th & 18th Century by Malla kings.

Mul Chwok & Taleju Temple
This is one of the largest courtyard among the three main chowks. Bidya Temple stands at the centre of the courtyard and three Taleju temples stand around the courtyard.

Sundari Chowk & Tusha Hiti
South of the Mul Chowk is the Sundari Chowk with its sunken tank known as Tusha Hiti Mul Chwok & Taleju Temple. This is one of the largest courtyard among the three main chowks. Bidya Temple stands at the centre of the courtyard and three Taleju temples stand around the courtyard.

Mani Keshar Chowk
This is the northern courtyard to be entered through golden gate. The golden gate is gilded with Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh and Kumar. This is the newest part of the palace. Above the golden door is a golden window from there king would make public appearances.

Golden Temple
This temple is known as Kwa Bahal among Newari people and Hiranya Verna Mahavihar among the others. This unique Buddhist monastery is well known as Golden Temple. This monastery was found in the 12th century and recorded its existence in 1409. The simple entrance gives no hint of the magnificent structure in the courtyard within.

Bhaktapur,also known as Bhadgaon or the city of Devotees, is the third major town in the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur was the capital of the whole valley during the 14th to 16th century. Much of the towns great architecture dates from the end of 17th century. This town is also well known as Newari Architecture town. Bhaktapur rises upon the northern bank of Hanumante River. All foreigners visiting Bhaktapur Durbar Square are charged a fee .

Bhaktapur is also famous for their home made curd which is known in Nepal as Khopa Dhau. This is the pottery center of the valley and a visit to Potters' square is a must. You will get to see lots of different types of handmade souvenirs ( wood-carvings, puppets, thangkas, caps etc.) inside the Square

Golden Gate & 55 Window Palace
This famous 55 Window palace was built during the period of King Bhupatindra Malla in 1754. The entrance to this Palace is well known as Golden Gate or Sunko Dhoka in Nepali, and is the most important piece of art in the whole valley. A Garuda tops the gate and is shown disposing of a number of serpents. The four headed and 16 armed figure of the goddess Taleju Bhawani is below the Garuda.

Hill Station
There are various places around the edge of the Kathmandu Valley which offer great views. These places are not so far away from the valley and easily accessible.

Nagarkot is generally hailed to be the best for the mountain watchers. People normally spend the night in one of the lodges to see the sun set and sun rise. Nagarkot extends the views all the way from Dhaulagiri in the west to Kanchanjunga in the east. There are number of walks from Nagarkot, down to cheese factory, Sundarijal, Changu-Narayan and Bhaktapur. It is about an hours drive from Kathmandu.

Other visiting places around kathmandu valley

On the skirts the southern side of Bhaktapur , down to Banepa , towards to Tibetan border is a hill station called Dhulikhel. It is easier than the steep and winding road to Nagarkot, is also famous for the short treks. Its population is Newar, although there are people of many other groups in the surrounding villages. This place was gathering point of hippies who even planned to build their own temple here. This place is also surrounded by Harisiddhi temple, Vishnu Temple, Krishna Temple and Bhagwati Temple, Shiva Temple and Famous Kali temple. People often spend the night in one of the lodges here to sun set and sun rise. It is about an hours drive from Kathmandu.

This 2,762 m. hilltop is the highest point around the valley and is also known as home to one of the last surviving cloud forest in central Nepal. This place is just 45 minutes drive from the valley and the only place, where snow falls during the winter. Above all, there lies a shrine of Phulchwoki Mai. Generally visitors travel by cycle to Godavari and walk all the way to Phulchwoki as it is known for the short walk destination.

Standing in a peaceful valley roughly 8 Km south of Banepa, the small beautiful town of Panauti is at a junction of the rivers Roshi and Pungmati. Similar to that of Ilahabad in India, a third ‘invisible’ river is declared to join the other two at the confluence point. This Town is relatively untouched but where festivals preserving tradition of the indigenous Newars are held. It possesses a number of interesting temples, one of which perhaps be the oldest in Nepal. Besides it is famous for magnificent woodcarvings. Panauti once stood at the junction of important trading routes and had a royal palace in its principal square. Today it’s just a quiet backwater, yet all the more interesting for that. Concerning trek, an interesting walk leads from Dhulikhel to Panouti. The pleasant two-hour stroll starts off south from Dhulikhel, then turns west crossing rice-fields and running along the course of tiny stream. It eventually hits the Banepa - Panauti road a little north of the town.

Budhanilkantha Temple
About eight kilometers north of Kathmandu, at the base of Shivapuri hill as a remarkable colossal statue of Lord Bishnu, reclining of the bed of Snake. This is one of the masterpieces of stone sculptures of Lichchhavi period. This fifth century statue is in the middle of a small pond and seems to float in water.

Short Introduction - Kathmandu

There are numerous exciting places to visit in Nepal. Due to its rich cultural diversity, art and architecture have flourished in various places in different ways. These wonderful arts and architectures of the ancient times which remain as cultural heritages nowadays are worth seeing.
Nepal, being the country of the highest mountains and hills in the world offers excellent trekking and adventure facilities. Various places which lie on hill tops offer both trekking and historical study facilities. the most interesting and culturally, geographically and historically rich places of Nepal which any tourist would want to see and relish.

Kathmandu is the arrival point for most of the visitors in Nepal. This small mountain sheltered valley is the historic center and the capital of Nepal. This is the place where kingdoms rose and fell, palaces and temples are built and rebuilt, art and cultures are refined and protected. Kathmandu city is the largest in Nepal and is surrounded by green hills all over. Scattered around the valley are hundreds of temples and shrines, traditional villages and agriculture scenes of timeless beauty. You can see all these places by taxi, cycle, bus and by foot.

The Newars are regarded as the original inhabitants of this majestic valley, but their origins are shrouded in mystery. They speak Newari language and their physical features range from distinctively Mongoloid. Kathmandu Valley has long been a cultural and racial melting pot with people coming from both east and west. This fusion has resulted in the unique Newari culture that is responsible for the valley's superb art and architecture. Kathmandu was once run and ruled by Malla Kings during 1600s and 1700s. The unification of Nepal in 1768 by Gorkhas King Prithivi Narayan Shah singled the end of the Kathmandu Valleys fragmentation. Nepali language spoken by the Khas of western Nepal, replaced Newari as the country's language of administration.

Surrounded by the green hills, Kathmandu Valley is about 25 km from east to west and 20km from north to south. It lies at the height of 1300m. You can see Kathmandu Valley clearly while you are flying in. This valley is specially known for growing rice, corn, wheat and vegetables. However, nowadays this valley is increasingly dependent on imported food and fuels. All the rivers drain towards the center of the valley and join the Bagmati river. Geologist have confirmed ancient myths that claim the valley once lay under water.

The Kathmandu Valley has the pleasant climate most of the year. Although there are forests, snow is unheard of and the monsoons are nowhere near. Between October and March it can become quite cold at night and the days become short, although its sunny and warm between mid-morning and afternoon. In April things start to heat up and there are often light storms in the afternoon.

Still today, Newars form the largest single group in the valley as well as in smaller towns and villages. Bahuns, Tamangs and Chettris live on the surrounding hills. People living in Kathmandu Valley are mostly Hindus and Buddhist and they are very much related to each others religion. People living here speak Newari and Nepali mostly.

In Kathmandu Valley majority of people are Hindu and fall under a caste system, although there are still second majority of Buddhists. This valley is full of temples, shrines and stupas where both Buddhists and Hindus go for their regular praying. Nepal is the only country where people worship Gods of all religion.The Hindus and Buddhists coexist in a very homogenous atmosphere. The best example of this coexistence is the Kumari Bahal, House of the living goddess Kumari. The Kumari is considered a goddess by both the Hindus and the Buddhists and both come here to pay homage to her.

Places to visit in Kathmandu

Hanumans statue marks the entrance or dhoka to Kathmandu's old Royal Palace and has given the palace its name. The place was originally founded during Licchavi period , but as it stands today of it was constructed by King Pratap Malla and his Queen.

Nasal Chowk
Nasal Chowk means dancing one and the courtyard takes its name from a small figure of dancing Shiva. Inside the nasal chowk, there is a large statue of Narshigha, The Kabindrapur Temple, Pancha Mukhi Hanuman Temple, Basantapur Tower, Mul Chowk, Degutaleju Temple, Mohan Chowk and Rana museum.

Swoyambhu Stupa
Swoyambhu, the Buddhist temple is situated on the top of a hill west of the city, is one of the popular and instantly recognizable symbols of Nepal. The temple is also known as the monkey temple after the large tribe of monkeys which guards the hill. Although you can get to the temple by vehicle, and save yourself is by far the best way of approaching Swoyambhu. This huge stupa is surrounded by other famous temples and gompas. The great thunderbolt which is known as vajra is on the edge of the stupa was built during the Malla kings period. On the top of the stupa is a gold-colored square block from which the watchful eyes of the Buddha gaze out across the valley in each direction. The question mark-like nose is actually the Nepali number ek or one is a symbol of unity.

Pashupati Nath
Pashupati Temple is is one of the most important and world renowned Hindu temple standing on the banks of the Bagamati River , between the airport and Boudha. This Shiva temple on the subcontinent draws numerous devotees, sadhus and holy men from all around the world. Lord Shiva is known as the destroyer and creator of the Hindu religion and appears in many forms. Although Shiva is often bloodthirsty god, no animal sacrifices are made here. Outside the temple you will see numerous people selling flowers, incense and other offering materials. In-front of the temple there is a bull known as Nandi facing towards the temple. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the temple and you are not allowed to take photographs of the Lord shiva inside the temple. Bagamati River Bank on the side of Pashupati, is also a popular place for cremation. Normally you see visitors taking videos and photographs around this place. Just beside this temple lies Guheyeshwari temple where you will see all the Hindus removing their shoes before entering.

Just north of the airport and an interesting walk from Pashupati, is the huge stupa of Bouddha and is one of the largest stupa in the world. This place is mostly surrounded by Tibetan Buddhists. Prayer services are held in the surrounding gompas and as the sun goes down the community turns out to walk around the stupa. You should always circle around the stupa in a clockwise direction. While entering the surrounding gompas, do not forget to remove your shoes and get permission before taking photos. Make sure that you do not step over the monks cushions. Enter quietly and stand by the main entrance during the ceremonies. These gompas are decorated with impressive mural paintings and thankas. The wheel of life is represented in the porch of every gompa. Listed here are the name of the gompas surrounding Boudha.

Nepal - Geography

Geography of Nepal is uncommonly diverse. Nepal is of roughly trapezoidal shape, 800 kilometres (500 Miles) long and 200 kilometres (125 mi) wide, with an area of 147,181 Square Kilometers (56,827 sq miles). Nepal is commonly divided into four physiographic areas: the Mountain,Hills, Siwalik Region and Terai Regions. These ecological belts run east-west and are vertically intersected by Nepal's major, north to south flowing river systems. Nepal is roughly the same size as England or the US States of Michigan and Arkansas.

The southern lowland Plains bordering India are part of the northern rim of the Indo - Gangetic Plains. They were formed and are fed by three major rivers: the Kosi, the Narayani (India's Gandak River), and theKarnali. This region has a hot, humid climate.

The Hill Region (Pahad) abuts the mountains and varies from 1,000 to 4,000 metres (3,300–13,125 Ft) in altitude. Two low mountain ranges, the Mahabharat Lekh andShiwalik Range (also called the Churia Range) dominate the region. The hilly belt includes the Kathmandu Valley, the country's most fertile and urbanised area. Unlike the valleys called Inner Tarai (Bhitri Tarai Uptyaka), elevations above 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) are sparsely populated.

The Mountain Region, situated in the Great Himalayan Range, makes the northern part of Nepal. It contains the regions of highest altitude in the world; the world's highest mountain, 8,848 metres (29,028 ft) height Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepali) is located here on the border with Tibet, the autonomous region of China. The Annapurna mountain range also lies in Nepal. In fact, seven more of the world's ten highest mountains are located in Nepal: Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Kanchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu.

Nepal has five climatic zones, broadly corresponding to the altitudes. The tropical and subtropical zones lie below 1,200 metres (3,940 ft), the temperate zone 1,200 to 2,400 metres (3,900–7,875 ft), the cold zone 2,400 to 3,600 metres (7,875–11,800 ft), the subarctic zone 3,600 to 4,400 metres (11,800–14,400 ft), and the Arctic zone above 4,400 metres (14,400 ft).
Nepal experiences five seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. The Himalaya blocks cold winds from Central Asia in winter, and forms the northern limit of the monsoon wind patterns. Once thickly forested, deforestation is a major problem in all regions, with resulting erosion and degradation of ecosystems.

Nepal is a Mecca of mountaineering, containing some of the highest and most challenging mountains in the world, including Mount Everest. Technically, the south-east ridge on the Nepali side of the mountain is easier to climb; so, most climbers prefer to trek to Everest through Nepal.

Until the Sugauli Sandhi (treaty) was signed, the territory of Nepal also included Darjeeling, and Tista to the east, Nainital to the south-west and Kalapani, Susta, Garhwal to the west. However, as of today these areas remain annexed by India. As a result, Nepal shares no boundary with Bangladesh now and the two countries are separated by a narrow strip of land about 21 kilometre (13 mi) wide, called the Chicken's Neck. Efforts are underway to make this area a free-trade zone.The border dispute between India and Nepal have often been a cause of tension between the two countries. These days their is a call for a revolution in the ethnic Nepalese dominated area of Darjeeling for a different state to be known as Gorkha Land or in other words "Greator Nepal".

Nepal - a Short Introduction

A landlocked country the size of Arkansas, lying between India and the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, Nepal contains Mount Everest (29,035 ft; 8,850 m), the tallest mountain in the world. Along its southern border, Nepal has a strip of level land that is partly forested, partly cultivated. North of that is the slope of the main section of the Himalayan range, including Everest and many other peaks higher than 8,000 m.

In Nov. 1990, King Birendra promulgated a new constitution and introduced a multiparty parliamentary democracy in Nepal. Under pressure amid massive pro-democracy protests in April 2006, King Gyanendra gave up direct rule and reinstated Parliament, which then quickly moved to diminish the his powers. In December 2007, Parliament voted to abolish the monarchy and become a federal democratic republic.

The first civilizations in Nepal, which flourished around the 6th century B.C., were confined to the fertile Kathmandu Valley where the present-day capital of the same name is located. It was in this region that Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born c. 563 B.C. Gautama achieved enlightenment as Buddha and spawned Buddhist belief.

Nepali rulers' early patronage of Buddhism largely gave way to Hinduism, reflecting the increased influence of India, around the 12th century. Though the successive dynasties of the Gopalas, the Kiratis, and the Licchavis expanded their rule, it was not until the reign of the Malla kings from 1200–1769 that Nepal assumed the approximate dimensions of the modern state.
The kingdom of Nepal was unified in 1768 by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who had fled India following the Moghul conquests of the subcontinent. Under Shah and his successors Nepal's borders expanded as far west as Kashmir and as far east as Sikkim (now part of India). A commercial treaty was signed with Britain in 1792 and again in 1816 after more than a year of hostilities with the British East India Company.

In 1923, Britain recognized the absolute independence of Nepal. Between 1846 and 1951, the country was ruled by the Rana family, which always held the office of prime minister. In 1951, however, the king took over all power and proclaimed a constitutional monarchy. Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah became king in 1955. After Mahendra died of a heart attack in 1972, Prince Birendra, at 26, succeeded to the throne.

In 1990, a pro-democracy movement forced King Birendra to lift the ban on political parties. The first free election in three decades provided a victory for the liberal Nepali Congress Party in 1991, although the Communists made a strong showing. A small but growing Maoist guerrilla movement, seeking to overthrow the constitutional monarchy and install a Communist government, began operating in the countryside in 1996.

On June 1, 2001, King Birendra was shot and killed by his son, Crown Prince Dipendra. Angered by his family's disapproval of his choice of a bride, he also killed his mother and several other members of the royal family before shooting himself. Prince Gyanendra, the younger brother of King Birendra, was then crowned king.

King Gyanendra dismissed the government in October 2002, calling it corrupt and ineffective. He declared a state of emergency in November and ordered the army to crack down on the Maoist guerrillas. The rebels intensified their campaign, and the government responded with equal intensity, killing hundreds of Maoists, the largest toll since the insurgency began in 1996. In Aug. 2003, the Maoist rebels withdrew from peace talks with the government and ended a cease-fire that had been signed in Jan. 2003. The following August, the rebels blockaded Kathmandu for a week, cutting off shipments of food and fuel to the capital.

King Gyanendra fired the entire government in Feb. 2005 and assumed direct power. Many of the country's politicians were placed under house arrest, and severe restriction on civil liberties were instituted. In Sept. 2005, the Maoist rebels declared a unilateral cease-fire, which ended in Jan. 2006. In April, massive pro-democracy protests organized by seven opposition parties and supported by the Maoists took place. They rejected King Gyanendra's offer to hand over executive power to a prime minister, saying he failed to address their main demands: the restoration of parliament and a referendum to redraft the constitution. Days later, as pressure mounted and the protests intensified, King Gyanendra agreed to reinstate parliament. The new parliament quickly moved to diminish the king's powers and selected Girija Prasad Koirala as prime minister. In May, it voted unanimously to declare Nepal a secular nation and strip the king of his authority over the military.

The Maoist rebels and the government signed a landmark peace agreement in November 2006, ending the guerrilla’s 10-year insurgency that claimed some 12,000 people. In March 2007, the Maoists achieved another milestone when they joined the interim government. Just months later, in September 2007, however, the Maoists quit the interim government, claiming that not enough progress had been made in abolishing the monarchy and forming a republic. They agreed to rejoin the interim government in December, when Parliament voted to abolish the monarchy and become a federal democratic republic.