With the much anticipated spiritual mantra of “Run for Lumbini”, “Run for Buddha”, “Run for Peace” and ‘Run for Your Enlightenment” Shakya Muni Buddha Lumbini Peace Marathon is going to be organized in January, 2013 on the occasion of the closing ceremony of the Visit Lumbini 2013 programme. The organizers, FNCCI, Lumbini Development Trust and organizers of Tenjing Hillary Everest Marathon decided to organize the marathon on 15th of January, 2013.
The Lumbini Marathon covers all important places of Lord Buddha’s life following his journey of transformation from a common man to an enlightened being—the Buddha. Further, the marathon showcases all four important places related with Buddha’s life. Namely, Lumbini where he was born, Bodhgaya where he got his enlightenment, Sarnath where he gave his first sermon and Kushinagar where he passed away into Mahaparinirvana.
It is believed that the event will help to highlight Lumbini as the Birth Place of Lord Buddha and also help attract attention to other important Buddhist sites in Nepal such as Tilaurakot, Kudan, Sagrahawa, Kapilvastu, Ramgram, Devdaha and Mayadevi Temple.
In addition to highlights of Buddha’s life, the marathon hopes to promote Nepal as the place for Spiritual Sports through establishing Nepal as a unique destination for Pilgrimage sport. The marathon expects to add new dimension in tourism industry by connecting Buddhist population around the world.
The increased upward Swings in international tourist arrival in Nepal show the rising travel demand towards the destination. Nepal has enjoyed a sustained positive growth in the international visitor arrivals since 2009. The figures released by Immigration Office Nepal reveal that visitor arrivals in the month of September 2012, compared to the same month last year have increased by 7.2% to 49,075.
All travel destinations and regions have shown positive growth in 2012 and hope to heavy growth throughout 2013. The arrivals from South Asian region, have gained overall positive growth of 2.4%. India which constitutes the major market of Nepal, has recorded robust growth of 13.1 %. Visitor arrivals from Sri Lanka have gained positive growth with 28.5%. India, which is the largest source market for Nepal, has been increasing since the very beginning of 2010.
Arrivals from other than South Asia have also recorded positive growth of 19.3% in aggregate. Visitor arrivals from China, one of the fastest growing tourist markets for Nepal, have sustained the significant growth of 17.1%, compared to the figures in same period. Similarly, other Asian countries maintained the upward trend of previous months with Malaysia (136.6%), South Korea (26%) and Singapore (2.9%).
An overall positive growth of 2.6% has been observed from the European markets with arrivals from France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Russia up by 8.8%, 23.4%, 2.5%, and 3.3% respectively. Further, tourist arrivals from Australia, New Zealand, and USA have increased by 39.8%, 4.2%, and 3.8% respectively.
To brief, the continued growing level of flocks of international tourists in the forthcoming days in Nepal hope to give pressure to maintain tourist destinations within the country.
Arun Valley Trail is another new trajectory to encompass the majestic enchanting heights of nature’s hidden secrets which lie at the north eastern part of Nepal. The Arun Valley Trail is yet to uncover the mysteries of nature’s gift to the gourmet of nature. This demanding trail passes through the beauty of the regions, outstanding mountain views, fabulous local culture, Nepal’s biggest glacier river and diversified landscapes.
This trail provides superb glimpse of the Himalayan territory of Nepal as the visitors trek to two beautiful mountain regions, Mt. Everest and Mount Makalu. Similarly, the Arun Valley Trail enhances the trekker to make a closer view to the world’s deepest valley, Arun Valley. Arun Valley is situated in between the lap of Mt. Everest and Mt. Makalu. Trekking in these valleys provide an alternative approach to the Khumbu region as well. Further, the trail paves the way for viewing enticing thousand of other mountain peaks located around these regions.
Apart from exploring great Himalayan panorama including Mt. Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjungha, beautiful blooms of different flowers including rhododendron, the Arun Valley Trail further attracts the visitors to deep down into the depth of distinct cultural traditions, language, customs, indigenous clothing practices and innocence of the people found the around the vicinity. The Arun Valley is another stronghold of Sherpas in Nepal including Rai and Limbu.
In brief, the panorama recollected in tranquility of Arun Valley Trail will be enticing, alluring, and unforgettable to the memories of visitors to the regions. This trekking route not only gives beautiful mental pictures of different natural settings of the peaks, but it also irresistibly drags to recollect the vivid innocent pictures of innocent people, cultural traditions and wonderful waterfalls of the valley.
Thamel is an exciting site blended with uniquely glocal spaces to the viewers. Thamel primarily offers mysteriously local dimensions of cultural diversity representing remnants of Kathmandu Valley’s dynamic sociocultural credo of life. At the same tiny space, visitors can view imprint of global dimension of human life.
Thamel is glocal in the sense that its narrow streets excite awe and wonder within through the depiction of art and architecture, culture and cultural practices keeping intact at the advent of global cultures.
Thamel, approximately 7 KM drive from the Tribhuvan International Airport is heart of Nepal’s tourism. It is the place where tourist get everything they want. Thamel attracts visitors from across the nation and abroad and it is always bustling with hordes of tourists all year round. It is a colorful and beautiful mixture of craft shops, boutique cafes, trekking gear, and rainbow prayer flags.
Thamel has clean narrow streets full of mushrooming lodges, hotels for different travelers. It includes boutique or luxury retreats, motels and hotels, backpackers’ and budget hostels, Guest house or Lodge, apartment, hosted or self-contained from international standard to local originality.
Thamel has developed itself as an epicenter of entertainment and glamour blending local and global experiences of human wonders. From its origin, it was established with the theme to satisfy the needs of tourists in every desired way. In-fact it gratifies all sort of entertainment from visual to physical to mental. Likewise, it has transcended itself to a new hub of glitter and glamour where it wakes-up in the night showcasing a new exhilaration and excitement in satisfying the zeal of visitors.
There are hundreds of restaurants, cafes and coffee shops in Thamel serving Nepali-Western dishes a single location. Visitors can nearly find anything they want in Thamel – German styled wannabe bakeries to WiFi-enabled cafes. There are dozens of tourist restaurants clustered in the Thamel serving everything from Italian, Israeli, French to Tibetan. Indian and Nepali dishes are always the best tasting with best priced. The visitors can find of course “Nepali Dhal Bhat Tarkari”, or lentils and vegetables served with rice. Restaurants await here with mouthwatering taste, aroma and flavor.
No doubt, visitors can feel the test and touch of “Gyene Songs” live at their request along with Nepalese arts hang everywhere on the streets. Tourists have to protect their eyes from the gleam of metallic artifacts and “khukris” in the display cabinets. Together with these, it is almost impossible to shut out the rhythmic religious music played in stores at every corner of Thamel.
Further, being a main tourist hub of Kathmandu, Thamel boasts amenities such as Banks/ATM, Money Exchange, Internet, Clinics, Guides, Cargo, Laundry, Photo studio, Tattoo, Travels & Tours agency, Tailoring, Rental.
To brief, what can be more exhilarating experience than to walking through the narrow streets of Thamel at the broad day light and the night. The taste of Glocal Thamel is amazingly exciting within a narrow space.
“Mustang is one of the few places in the Himalayan region that has been able to retain its traditional Tibetan culture unmolested… authentic Tibetan culture now survives only in exile and a few places like Mustang, which have had long historical and cultural ties with Tibet.”
Internationally recognized travel guidebook Lonely Planet has listed Nepal’s Mustang as one of the top three regions in ‘Best in Travel 2013’. Having listed in Top Regions and Best Valued Destinations by Lonely Planet and CNN annual series, Mustang undoubtedly hits the mostly favored destination and travel and tour investment.
Until 1992 nobody from outside was allowed into Mustang. There’s also a restricted season for visits in winter. The Forbidden Kingdom is too cold and the snow too deep, so for months each year it again becomes a ‘forbidden kingdom’. Further, Mustang is a secluded semi-independent Tibetan Kingdom north of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Mountains and it is also one of the last fortresses of intact Tibetan culture in the world.
Mustang has an average height of 4000 m and is located to the north of the mountain giants of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna, being north of the Himalayan range is geographically part of Tibet. It has vast high valley, arid and dry, distinguished by eroded canyons, colorful stratified rock mountains and has a barren, desert in appearance.
The Forbidden Kingdom preserves some of the last residues of traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture, stunning views of the Annapurna range, famous palaces and gompas. Further it has twin symbolic meanings in the sense that politically Mustang is part of Nepal and yet it shares language, culture, climate and geography with Tibet. While trekking through the Kaligandaki River, it offers the experiences of remote villages and its unique settings.
In short, Mustang the forbidden Kingdom has kept the secret of Himalayan which needs to be explored. Not only Annapurna range it has, it also offers the trails of Kaligandaki River and sense of mental calmness through offering the sites of virgin unique cultures at the height of Annapurna. Its calmness, its cultural purity and innocent inhabitant still entice the visitors.
“With a record 467 million tourists traveling in the first half of 2012, international tourism remains firmly on track to reach one billion tourists by the end of the year.” (UNWTO)
The mentioned fact reveals the figure of massive transnational movement of international visitors within 2012. The major investors in tourism industry promote their products and services while facilitating their clients to reach different nook and corners of the world. Basically, tourism industry transacts human cultures, people and their habitats, and hospitalities at various levels. These wilderness tourism transactions appear to be possible at the cost of human rights yielding billions of dollars to the trade.
Despite claiming itself to be the fastest growing sector in the world, tourism industry stakeholders are absent from the far-reaching consequences that it has yielded. It should not be forgotten that the transacted places are peoples’ homes, their cultures, and the natural environment, that make the places and people alluring for visitors. Furthermore, the tourism industry and its developments have interrelation with other aspects of human lives.
Promotion of tourism includes land grabs and forced displacement, loss of livelihoods, compromised access to essential natural resources, environmental degradation, poor working conditions, exclusion from decision-making processes, cultural erosion, and the sexual exploitation of women and children as well. Many popular tourist destinations are known for their poor adherence to international human rights norms and standards too.
In brief, human rights approach to tourism tries to recognize and address the multiple human rights impacts and issues associated with tourism. For the sustainable promotion of tourism, its stakeholders have to consider the issues associated with violation of human rights within the industry whether it is for appropriation of land or for development of conservation.