Tihar: The Festival of Lights begins

With lamps banishing the darkness of the new moon night, fireworks lighting up the sky and people exchanging greetings, Tihar is a festival like no other. Tihar, one of the largest festivals for Nepali Hindus after Dashain starts today. Also known as Yampanchak, the festival is observed for five days.

The first day of Yamapanchak, Kaag Tihar (worship of crows) is celebrated by offering sweets and food to the crows. According to Hindu mythology, crow is considered the messenger of Yama. As the cawing of the crows symbolizes sadness and grief, the devotees offer the crows food to avert grief and deaths at their homes. This festival is considered to be of great importance as it shows reverence to Yama, the god of death, and animals including crow, dog, cow and ox, which maintain a close relationship with humans. Read More

Ban on blizzard-hit trekking route lifted

Authorities have lifted the ban on trekking through some sections of the Annapurna trekking route.

Following blizzards and avalanches at various places last week, trekkers were restricted from crossing the Thorang Pass section of the Annapurna Circuit since Friday.

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) Western Regional Association Pokhara said now the trekkers are free to walk through any part of the circuit. Read More

Tsho Rolpa: The Glacial Lake

Tsho Rolpa is one of the biggest glacial lakes in Nepal. Located at an altitude of 4,580 meters in the Dolakha District, this lake lies between the famous Langtang and Everest ranges. Those who embark on this trek are rewarded with the majestic view of Mt. Gaurishankar and the Himalayan panorama surrounding it.

Your journey begins from Dolakha from where you take a bumpy ride through winding road and beautiful landscapes towards Gongur Khola. Next day you head for Chyochyot which is the gateway to Simi Gaon, a Sherpa village high up on the mountainside of alpine forests and rocky terrains. You will be mesmerized by the beautiful landscapes and gurgling streams. Having said that, keep an eye out for leeches as they are everywhere on the trail. Finally, you reach Dongang which is at the altitude of 2800 meters.

The journey from Dongang to Nagaon is the longest stretch with continuous uphill and increase in altitude making the trek difficult. You reach Thangding and continue to Rangding, a small village. Next day, after two and half hour of trek, you finally reach Tsho Rolpa Lake. The beautiful blue patch of ice-cold water shines like a jewel in the midst of the panoramic snowy mountains. The sight is enough to make you forget your days of exhaustion.

Five-year-old boy climbs Kala Patthar

Five-year-old Harshit Saumitra from Darbhanga, India, has become the youngest mountaineer to successfully climb Kala Patthar (5,554 metres) in the Mt Everest region.

According to members of the expedition, Harshit climbed Kala Patthar on October 17. Harshit was a member of an expedition that comprised his father Rajeev and two Sherpa guides.

During a press meet in the Capital today, Rajeev, a famous Indian mountaineer said that it took his son 10 days to reach the base camp, which for ordinary people takes seven days. According to him, Harshit was moving towards the base camp at a time when dozens of people, mostly foreigners, were losing their lives in blizzards in the Annapurna circuit. “I had taken special precaution for his safety. His health condition is perfectly sound.” Read More

Getting inked in Nepal

Long before red hearts, colourful butterflies, oversized skulls, and misspelled names of loved ones became permanent accessories among Nepal’s urban crowd; tattoos were an important ritual in the Newar and Tharu communities. However, it took more than two decades for the body art to gain mainstream acceptance. Tattoo culture in Nepal has found a new niche among youths today. With more and more youths wanting to get inked, tattoo parlors have mushroomed like never before and unlike earlier, found market away from core tourist areas. Read More

Top 10 Wildlife Destinations from around the World

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Get up close and personal to animals you would normally only see in books or on television. Nothing comes close to that feeling when you have encounters with animals in the wild, especially when you are least expecting it. Here are top 10 ultimate wildlife-watching destinations from around the world that will take your breath away:

1. Bolivia

Thanks to Bolivia”s varied geography, sparse human population and lack of development, its national parks offer some of the world”s best places to observe wildlife. The Parque Nacional Madidi is one of South America”s most intact ecosystems. This wild utopia is home to an incredible variety of Amazonian wildlife, including 44% of all New World mammal species, 38% of tropical amphibian species, more than 10% of all bird species known to science and more protected species than any park in the world. Read More

Nepal in Huffington Post’s ‘Eight Amazing Places in Asia You Have to Visit’

Asia offers an astounding variety of travel destinations. There are so many, in fact, that it can be difficult to decide where to go first and which to miss because of time constraints. The reality is that it’s impossible to cover them all in one trip unless you’re lucky enough to have plenty of time and money to spare, but hopefully this post can help you make up your mind if you’re pondering the many wonders of the East and you have to choose just a few.

Here we will look at 8 amazing places in Asia that everyone should see at some point in their lifetime.

1. Beijing, China

Beijing offers the ancient alongside the modern, and is a fascinating city in the heart of China. It is home to a wealth of history, and sights include the Forbidden City and more modern constructions such as Chairman Mao Memorial Hall. For real Chinese shopping check out Beijing’s Dirt Market, rather than the tourist-filled Silk Market. Other top attractions include the Great Wall at Mutianyu, the Temple of Heaven and Jingshan Park. Read More

Kilimanjaro: The Roof of Africa

Soaring above the rippling tea plantations and low hills of northeastern Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft) is Africa’s highest peak. Crowned by eternal snows, the mighty Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world and dominates its landscape unlike any other mountain. Located in Tanzania, this extinct volcano looms over five eco-systems and large game reserves and is certainly one of the world’s most impressive sights. Every year, over 50,000 people set foot in Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak.

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Follow the less traveled Shira Route up the western slope, hiking eight days through the spectacular landscapes of five temperate zones. On this once-in-a-lifetime trek, take in extraordinary views extending hundreds of miles, and experience the sunrise from the roof of Africa.

Trip highlights:

  • Climb the tallest free-standing mountain in the world and sleep on its crater floor.
  • Explore rain forests, heather moors, lava formations, and glaciers.
  • Learn about the unique flora and fauna of the mountain with local naturalists.