Rishi Panchami celebrated

September 1, 2014

KATHMANDU, Aug 30: Hindu women across the country observed the Rishi Panchami festival as per the established rituals. The festival is observed on the fifth day of bright half-moon day of Bhadra in the lunar calendar.

Hindu women reaching their menstruation period observe this festival with due respect and importance by observing fast and paying homage to the Saptarishis (seven powerful saints as per the Hindu mythology) with a belief that they will be blessed and forgiven for all their sins they believed to commit during their menstrual cycle by not following (unknowingly) strictures set by their religion.

On the day, those observing the festival wake up early in the morning, go to nearby river, stream, pond and lake and take bath with established rituals. They clean their body with 365 stems of Apamarga, a herbal plant, take bath with cow dung and soil collected from sacred places and ash.

 

S Asian countries keen to close in on wildlife crime

September 1, 2014

KATHMANDU, Aug 30 : South Asian law enforcement agencies have sought strong collaboration among member countries working to combat wildlife crime and vowed to streamline and standardize the legal policies of their respective countries.

Concluding a three-day second annual conference of the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) on Friday, the participants from member countries also endorsed its statute, but could not finalize a proposed action plan to combat wildlife crime in the region.

Megh Bahadur Pandey, director general of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), who is also chief enforcement coordinator of SAWEN, said the members will recommend policies to their respective governments and organizations to make SAWEN more effective.

“The conference strongly felt the need for intra-country law enforcement initiatives through intelligence sharing on wildlife crime,” he said. Read more

Haritalika Teej: Festival of Women

September 1, 2014

The festival of ‘Teej,’ a big festival observed by Nepali Hindu women,was celebrated with great zeal, wishing for prosperous life and perpetual luck throughout the country on Thursday.

As per the tradition, women on this third day of dark half of the lunar month that falls in the Nepali month of Bhadra observe fasting and wish for a prosperous life while observing the festival.

The ‘Teej’ festival is also celebrated as ‘Haritalika’. All the Hindu Nepalese women offer prayers and worships at Pashupatinath Temple and other temples of Lord Shiva in other parts of the country.

According to the ‘Skanda Puran’ (a religious scripture of the Hindus), this festival got the name ‘Haritalika Teej’ as it was on this very day in the ‘Satya Yug’ (golden epoch of truth) that the daughter of the Himalayas, Parvati, was hidden by her maids because of her refusal to marry Lord Vishnu. Read more

Bhadra Shukla Chaturthi: The day of the Elephant-God

August 29, 2014

Goddess Parvati, the better half of Lord Shiva, was yearning for a child. One day, while she was taking a bath with turmeric and water, she started rubbing the turmeric off her body. Then she molded the residue thus derived into a human structure. With her powers, she breathed life into the image. Within seconds, a little boy magically appeared before her. She called him her son and commanded him to guard the main gate of her palace. Lord Shiva, who was not home at the moment, returned in the evening. The little boy stopped him from entering his own house. Shiva was so angry with the boy’s audacity that he cut off his head and entered the palace.

When Parvati came to know about this, she told her husband that he was her son and pleaded him to bring him back to life. Lord Shiva, softened by his wife’s tears, asked his messengers to bring him a head of any creature to be attached to the dead boy’s body. They searched far and wide and stumbled across an old elephant with a single tooth. They cut off its head and presented it to their lord. Shiva then brought the boy back to life with his powers.

This day, also known as Bhadra Shukla Chaturthi (the fourth day of the waxing moon period), is regarded as the birthday of the little boy brought back from the dead, who went on to be worshipped as Lord Ganesha. Read more

Construction of regional airport to begin soon: Tourism Minister

August 29, 2014

POKHARA, Aug 28: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Bhim Prasad Acharya has said the construction of regional airport of international standard would kick off soon since all the processes for the same are complete.

Inaugurating a function organized here today by Nawa Adarsha Community Development Society, Lamachaur on the occasion of Teej festival, he pledged to accomplish the construction of the airport by all means during his tenure.

The Minister stressed that maximum benefits should be reaped by developing adequate infrastructure around tourism sites including Mahendra cave, Dhorpatan, Panchase and Muktinath after airport construction.

He expressed his confidence that the constitution would be promulgated within coming January 22 if works are carried out in line with the statute-making calendar.

Source: myrepublica.com

Lhasa’s Drepung Monastery comes alive for Shoton festival

August 29, 2014

LHASA, Aug 28: The usually quiet city came to life with hundreds of people, if not thousands, thronging the Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). They came as early as five in the morning for the Shoton festival that started this year, according to the Tibetan calendar, on August 25.

“This is a regional Tibetan festival and it´s celebrated in different parts of Tibet,” says Zou Yuheng, a staffer at the TAR Information Office, explaining that Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, which is the largest monastery in the world, is the main venue for the festival.

Built in 1416, Drepung Monastery is situated at the foot of Gambo Utse mountain. The monastery looks from afar like a heap of rice, and hence its name. Dre in Tibetan means rice and pung signifies collecting. To reach the monastery on the first day of the five-day festival, people have to walk for two to three hours as all motorable roads leading to it are closed off. What makes the journey even more strenous is the fact that almost half the going is up a steep hill. Some people opt to head for the monastery surroundings on the eve of the festival and pitch tents for the night. Read more

Tourism entrepreneurs seek change in provision

August 29, 2014

POKHARA: Tourism entrepreneurs of Pokhara have demanded that the government ease the process of granting permission required to trek in the popular Manaslu area.

Citing unnecessary hassles of having to make a long haul to the Capital to acquire permit for tourists, the concerned entrepreneurs have sought change in the provision so that permission can be granted from Pokhara itself.

“Though the permission per person costs Rs 2,000, more than double or triple the actual amount is spent to reach Kathmandu just to obtain it, how can such a provision encourage tourists to trek?” asked a local tourism entrepreneur. Read more

Landslide threatens World Peace Pagoda

August 27, 2014

POKHARA, Aug 26: World Peace Pagoda, a popular tourist destination in Pokhara, is on the verge of collapse after a landslide weakened its foundation.

Immediately after the incident on Sunday evening, locals and tourists have been prohibited from visiting the pagoda that stands at Andu, Pamdibhumdi VDC-1.

Talking to Republica, chief of the World Peace Pagoda Committee, Prakashman Gubhaju, said people have been totally restricted from entering the pagoda area.

“Human mobility has been restricted because anything can happen at any time. Only days ago, massive stones and trees swept down by the landslide near the pagoda completely destroyed a restaurant near Lakeside,” he said.

“We had erected an earthen wall near the pagoda. We believe rainwater must have loosen the wall and finally it fell,” added Gubhaju. Read more