Bisket Festival Started on 14 Apr

The wait is over. The festival has started now. It is celebrated for seven days with lots of music, dance, rituals, chariot dragging and food. It coincides with Nepali new year. The festival takes place in the streets of Bhaktapur, a medieval city in Kathmandu valley where you still see people unchanged.

The festivities start off with a friendly tug-of-war between the residents of the lower and upper halves of the town of Bhaktapur, during which each group tries to pull an ancient chariot containing an image of Shiva Bhairab to their side of the town. The festival includes parades, a candlelight procession and the display of temple deities throughout the city. On the fourth day of the festival, and the last day of the “old year”, the men of the city work together to raise a 25 meter high ceremonial pole into place. The pole has a crossbeam with two strips of cloth hanging from it as a representation of two slain snakes. This ceremonial pole stays up until the following day when residents of the lower and upper halves of the city once more engage in a tug of war, but this time to pull the pole down to their respective sides. Once the pole crashes to the ground, it is seen as the official beginning of the New Year and the festivities continue for three more days.

Joining in the celebration of the Bisket Festival in April is sure to be an exciting and unforgettable experience.

Sherpa Tours will assist in organising a trip to the festival. Add this to your authentic experience next time you visit Nepal.

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22. A festival tour of Nepal where a festival takes place every week: Festival of comedy/light/colors and more….

The colourful spectrum of Nepal celebrating festivals creates lasting and cherished memories for anyone involved. Throughout the calendar year, there are many festivals being celebrated. One of the best ways to truly understand the beauty and richness of Nepali culture is through festivals, lively and purposeful; they are a treat to all senses.  A rich display of culture, festivities include rituals, songs, dances, food and performances.

GAIJATRA (Cow Festival): August. It is a carnival lasting 8 days. Highlights include; dancing, singing, comedy and anything that causes mirth and laughter.

TEEJ: September. A Hindu festival celebrated by women. Dancing, folksong and the colour red of women’s wedding saris dominate the days of Teej.

INDRAJATRA: September. The festival of Indra, the God of Rain is celebrated with great enthusiasm, lasting 8 days. The Chariot of the Kumari, the Living Goddess, is taken out into procession through the main streets of Kathmandu.

TIHAR/DEEPAWALI: November. Known as the festival of the lights, Tihar is celebrated for 5 days during which time houses are illuminated at night and special sweets are prepared and enjoyed.

HOLI (Festival of Colors): Celebrates Spring in the most extraordinary display of colour and happiness

LOSAR: January-February. Impressively observed by Sherpas who organise folksongs and dances for the occasion.

Options:

Just be an observer and capture moments in photographs, or participate in the festivals with locals (e.g. planting rice in the paddy farm and playing with mud, playing with color and water with locals in Holi festival or dancing with locals in Bisket festival).

You can time your visit with any of these festivals. You can enjoy a festival with a local expert photographer who will take you to spots from where you can take best photographs.

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19. Birdwatching in Nepal including transcontinental and altitudinal migrants

For best of bird watching in Nepal, we travel from temperate to Subtropical climate, from over 2000m above sea level to just 100m, visit world heritage natural and cultural sites, ramsar site, other wetlands and birth place of Buddha.

Nepal supports over 10% of the world’s bird species diversity. To-date about 860 bird species has been recorded from Nepal in the last 150 years. The corresponding altitude and habitat in the five physiographic zones including special sites such as Mai Valley, Rara Ringmo finger and western Terai contributed to the bird species richness in Nepal.

There are transcontinental and altitudinal migration of birds in Nepal. There are about 150 winter migrants residing in forest and wetlands. The summer migrants (about 62) include cuckoos, crow-billed drongo, pitta, Chestnut headed bee-eater etc.

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15. Indigenous people Tour

The rich heritage of Nepal has evolved over centuries. Nepal has around 36 different ethnic groups and 100 dialects. Most of the ethnic and tribal groups have their own distinct language, dress and culture. The diversity of Nepal is reflected in each group’s unique music, dance, art, crafts, folklores, food and drinks.

SOME OF THE INDIGENOUS FACES

FROM THE HIMALAYAN ZONE (influenced by Tibetan based languages and religion) – Thakalis, Tamangs, Tibetans (including those seeking refuge in Nepal) and Sherpas.

MIDLAND ZONES

  • -Rais and Limbus-Being Himalayan hunter-warriors , they make up some of the Gurkha regiment and have proven to be excellent soldiers.
  • -Newars- Lead a communal way of life and are recognized by their Mongoloid and Caucasian physical characteristics.
  • -Gurungs-Originally migrated from Western Tibet, Gurungs make up a large number in the Gurkha regiment.
  • -Magars-Renowned Gurkha soldiers.

TERAI ZONE

  • Tharus-Thought to be the earliest inhabitants if the Terai. Tharu beliefs are largely Animistic.

OPTIONS

– You can do a tour to visit one particular indigenous group of people concentrated in an area or visit rural villages where you meet multiple indigenous people.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES TRAIL

The first of its kind in Nepal, the ‘Indigenous Peoples Trail’ offers unique, living, exposure to one of the most culturally diverse areas of Nepal. The ‘Indigenous Peoples Trail’ offers scenic trekking at relatively low elevations, below 3000M. This trail presents an incomparable and natural blend of cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity coupled with breathtaking Himalayan panoramas, stretching from Dhauligiri and Annapurna in the West to Numburchuili and Kanchenjunga in the East.

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7. Travel to know, if God is he or she!

Observe the festival of Kumari, Living goddess; a small & cute girl with 32 perfections in life being worshipped as a true god amidst extravagant rituals and community participation.

Having its origin in the medieval period of Nepalese history, a golden age of art, craft and architecture, this largely religious celebration is based upon local legends and follow the lunar calendar (beginning in May) which changes from year to year.

A tour of Kathmandu city incorporating observation of this festival will provide the perfect package for the culture and tradition enthusiast by offering an exceptional opportunity to observe an indigenous religious festival.

When and where

This festival takes place annually in Kathmandu, Nepal around the month of October. The exact date isn’t know until May of the year due to the celebration following a lunar calendar.

Options

  • – Observing the whole festival which takes place for multiple days or just on two of the most important days.
  • – Observing the festival with a tour guide or a photographer/guide.
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Culture and heritage tour of Nepal

On this active sightseeing tour designed to discover the best of Nepal, you will embark on an easy day hike to historic village of brave Gurkha soldiers, followed by Elephant back safari in Chitwan National Park and cultural and archeological visit to Lumbini, birth place of Buddha.

On a guided tour of Nepal with us, you will be exploring the historical Kathmandu city and medieval Bhaktapur city, rural charm in a hilltop village of Nagarkot to view sunrise and sunset on the awe-inspiring snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas and a holy Hindu temple, Manakamana (goddess of wishes) at another hilltop village.

This trip combines culture, history, scenic mountains and adventures of a wild life safari and an easy day hike.

The valley of Kathmandu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes all its three medieval cities of Patan, Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. The rich history spans nearly 2000 years.  Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. The city is known to have more gods than people and more temples than houses. Wondering through the narrow streets, you will see devotees paying visit to open temples, a daily ritual of locals. After visiting several Hindu and Buddhist shrines, you may start to understand some of the links between the two ancient religion including the theory of Karma.

Chitwan national park, another world heritage site of Nepal, is famous for Elephant back Safari in search of signature species including one horned Rhino, Bengal Tigers and crocodiles with elongated snout.

Lumbini, another UNESCO world heritage site in Nepal, is the birth place of Buddha.The holy site has ruins of ancient monasteries, a sacred Bodhi tree, an ancient bathing pond, the Asokan pillar and the Mayadevi temple, where the precise place of birth of Buddha is located. From early morning to early evening, pilgrims from various countries perform chanting and meditation at the site.

Lumbini, where the Buddha lived until the age of 29, is one of four pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the Buddha, the others being at Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya and Sarnath in India.

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Highlights of Nepal

Discover the best of Nepal with us as you come face to face with friendly locals living in medieval-style towns, ride an elephant through a popular national park, encounter an intriguing collection of sacred Buddhist and Hindu shrines and enjoy multiple views of awe-inspiring Himalayan peaks. Your guided tour of Nepal will include:

  • an opportunity to explore historical Kathmandu and the preserved ancient city of Bhaktapur as well as experience the rural charm of the hilltop village of Bandipur;
  • an elephant ride through Chitwan National Park;
  • a visit to the birthplace of the Buddha;
  • a chance to enjoy various activities in the lakeside city of Pokhara at the foot of the awesome Annapurna ranges.

The Kathmandu Valley, with its three traditional cities of Patan, Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, is a UNESCO world heritage site. The rich history of the valley spans nearly two thousand years. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in the nation’s capital, Kathmandu. The city is said to have more gods than people and more temples than houses. Wandering through the narrow streets, you will see devotees paying visits to open temples, a daily ritual for locals. After visiting several Hindu and Buddhist shrines, you will develop your understanding of the theoretical links between the two ancient religions, including the famed concept of karma.

The ethnically rich hilltop town of Bandipur, with its well-preserved, old-time rural atmosphere, hosts various traditional Newari and Magar festivals which make for fascinating cultural experiences in instances where tours can be appropriately timed. Numerous Magar and Gurung men, additionally, have served in the fabled Gurkha regiments. Bandipur’s elevation provides an excellent view of the Himalayan mountains – including Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal and Langtang Himal – as well as the sacred Manakamana Temple perched upon a distinguished ridge 1,302 metres above sea level. From Bandipur, the Marshyangdi Valley, home to a fast-flowing alpine river, can also be viewed in all its magnificence.

Chitwan National Park, another world heritage site of Nepal, is renowned for its elephant jungle safari on which you will discover a lost world of signature species including the one-horned rhinoceros, the Bengal tiger and the mugger crocodile.

The pilgrimage and UNESCO world heritage site of Lumbini is the birthplace of the mystical Buddha. The holy site features ruins of ancient monasteries, a sacred Bodhi tree, an ancient bathing pond, the Ashokan Pillar and the Maya Devi Temple where the precise place of the Buddha’s birth is located. From early morning to early evening, pilgrims from various countries engage in chanting and meditation at the site. Lumbini, where the Buddha lived until the age of 29, is one of four pilgrimage sites that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the famous sage, the others being at Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya and Sarnath in India.

The lakeside city of Pokhara offers numerous fun activities, including boating on and cycling around Phewa Lake, paragliding, white water rafting, farmstays and hiking – all against the backdrop of the incredible Annapurna ranges.

To view the itinerary, please click here.

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Kirat Festival, Federation Square

Sherpa Tours kept a stall in the Kirat Festival on 26th May 012 in the heart of Melbourne city.

Lot of people visited us and inquired about our new and exciting trips to NEPAL. Most popular among them were YOGA TREK to Langtang area. People also inquired about volunteering in NEPAL.

Volunteering Options In NEPAL

– Working in projects

– Teaching in schools

– Visiting Orphanase and donations

The festival offer(10% discount, free ayurvedic massage and draw to win a mountain flight in Everest region) has been extended to end of June, 2012. Please make an inquiry to plan your trip and book well in advance of the coming busy seasion from Sep till Dec.

Sherpa Tours is about authentic experience in Nepal and other Himalayan countries namely India, Tibet and Bhutan.

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Birdwatching in Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park

The trip was organised by Bird conservation Nepal on 18/12/10 as a regular fortnightly trip and also as a remembrance of Late Dr. Chandra P. Gurung, who had made tremendous contribution to bird conservation movement in Nepal.

It was the second bird watching experience in my life after the one in Chitwan National Park. The trip was led by Bird watching and Plant exploration experts. The highlights of the trip were spotting one of the smallest birds, seeing a hawk flying below us, a group lunch fed by nuns in a monastry, lighting butter lamps in memory of Mr. Gurung, familiarity with some of the indigenous plants and getting lost on the way back.

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Khokana Festival, Visit Nepal 2011 Program

Less than 10 km from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu city, you can get to ethnic villages and enjoy fresh air, centuries old culture and heritage, welcoming people and food.

This is a great characteristic of Kathmandu valley if you know where to go.

The indigenous Newar Community still lives in an ancient way; its truely unspoiled. The dresses and ornaments wore by men and women are unique and attractive. There musical instrument, dances and musical prosessions are very interesting. Most amazingly, the communal living is just unbelievable. People come here to do PHD on this matter. They stay in the community for the knowledge and unique holiday experience.

Nepal is celebrating Visit Nepal year 2011 in initiative of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). Attraction of festivals are food stalls on the street, cultural dances and festivals in traditional form. Things that were most amusing to me were the whole town full of men and women in ethnic dresses and food & drink (and that is off course alcoholic) everywhere.

Indigenous Newari House

A girl in traditional Newari Costume

Yomari and Bara; unique food and best taste

traditional ornaments and jewellery

Traditional way of grinding raw rice

Preparing traditional food to sell to visitors

Traditional Newari Orchestra

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