Mustang: The Ancient Hidden Kingdom of Nepal

The word ‘Mustang’ is derived from a Tibetan word möntang, meaning ‘plain of aspiration’. It conjures up ideas of remoteness and seclusion, a region lost amongst the mountains. Carrying a rich history, with unproven claims of the caves throughout the region to be dated back to thousands of years ago, Mustang for sure is one of the most fascinating sites in Nepal.

Mustang, although tied by culture of Tibet, was originally an independent country well-known for its commercial trade route where the Lobas (the ethnic community of upper Mustang) and others traded Tibetan salt in exchange of grain from the lowlands. The region of Mustang lies north of the main Himalayan range known as the trans-Himalaya. A vast high valley, arid and dry, it has a barren desert-like appearance similar to the Tibetan Plateau and is characterized by eroded canyons and colorful stratified rock formations.

It is stated that Ame Pal, a fierce soldier was the founder king of ‘Lo’, the Kingdom of Mustang in 1380. He was responsible to develop the territory of upper Kali Gandaki, and many gompas throughout the area of Mustang capital – Lo Manthang. Upper Mustang remained a restricted area with hardly any visitors until 1992. Even though the kingdom was consolidated to Nepal at the end of the 18th century and the Kingdom of Nepal turned into a federal republic in 2006, the Mustang raja or king was still recognized and revered by the Lobas.

Travelling to Mustang

Discovering Lo Manthang on a horseback

Although the capital of the Mustang district is actually Jomsom, but the Tibetan influenced area north of Kagbeni that leads to Lo Manthang, is popularly known as the walled capital of Upper Mustang. The Trek to this mystique kingdom which requires a special permit begins at the airstrip of Jomsom after flying up early from Pokhara. The trek is rather easy as most of the route goes along the bank of Kali Gandaki River and eventually leads you to Lo Manthang at 3,730 m/ 12,238 ft., which is the highest point on the trek.

As Mustang lies in the Himalayan rain shadow formed by the Annapurna & Nilgiri Himalayas with very little rain, this makes the area ideal for trekking even in the mid monsoon while the other areas of Nepal remain unsuitable for trekking due to heavy monsoon rains.

The area is filled with wonders of the architecture, language, Tibetan culture and traditions, all amidst picturesque villages, monasteries, and unique landscapes, which usually leave the visitors mesmerized by the once-upon-a-time mystical kingdom.

This is among the very few adventure trips in Nepal which can be done throughout the year, yet with very less trekkers. Joining the Upper Mustang Trek is not only a road to discovering the ancient hidden kingdom, but it is also being a part of a small privileged minority to visit the remote outpost of Nepal.

Mustang’s only luxury accommodation: Royal Mustang Resort

There are quite a few simple lodges/ tea houses in Mustang offering basic food and shelter along the trekking routes. A recently opened new luxury hotel in the capital of Lo Manthang, is giving rise to more and more tourists in the area in the otherwise remote and restricted region. The Royal Mustang Resort was opened in June 2017 and is run by the region’s former king’s son. With about 20 rooms and suites, all offering tremendous views of Lo’s naturally gifted landscape, the resort is a blissful luxury after several days of hard trekking. This two-storey resort has boosted employment in the locality on a large scale. Boasting wooden floors, simple artworks, a private organic farm, its smiling local staff go about offering their high end services with utmost pride and pleasure. One is bound to get a touch of modern luxury with a blend of traditional royalty at this tranquil sanctuary.

Pokhara: Beyond a perfect getaway!


With its bewitching beauty extended in forms of snow-capped peaks, tranquil lakes, greenery, adventure sports and trek trails, Pokhara is a place for anyone and everyone. With the magnificent Annapurna range forming the backdrop and the serenity of three major lakes – Phewa, Rupa and Begnas – Pokhara is the ultimate gateway for relaxation. Apart from journeying the adventure hub, we recommend experiencing the following 2 eco-friendly hotels in Pokhara to unwind and enjoy the luxuries that they deliver.

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge

Perched on a ridge above the Pokhara Valley, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is located away from the bustle of the city. It is an ideal place set against spectacular Himalayan backdrop and defines the essence of tranquillity.

With a central lodge, bar and dining room, the comfortable rooms are arranged in clusters of cottages resembling a typical Nepali village. All their rooms have attached bathrooms, private verandas that face the views of the Himalayas. The place is also admired for their daily table menus featuring a wide range of Nepali dishes and continental specialties that are made from local fresh ingredients and home grown herbs and garden salads.

Amidst the calm and magnificent Himalayan views, there are numerous trails utilized by local residents that are suitable for day hikes & walks. It is also quite popular for bird watching, walking along the forests and villages nearby, accompanied by experienced local guides. They can also provide a checklist of birds and butterflies and point out the many different species of plants, and medicinal herbs found in the area.

Combining steady walk and short hikes in the rural villages, farmland and forests nearby is a wonderful experience exploring the culture and flora around the lodge. Few of the village walks and hikes are mentioned below.

1. Gurung Village Walk
Hike duration: Approx. 6 to 7 hours
A walk along the ridgeline to the east of the lodge, takes you through the village of Kalikasthan (Kali is one of the Hindu goddesses). From here, you will follow the main trail to the left through patches of beautiful forest. This trail leads to a village populated by Gurung people, one of the many ethnic groups to be found in the middle hills of Nepal. The Gurungs are known as hardy mountain people with Mongolian features, and provide many recruits for the Nepalese, British and Indian armies in their Gurkha Regiments. The interesting lifestyle and culture of these people can be seen in the village of Thuloswara. If you feel up to it, add an extension via Lankathar, another scenic village. From Thuloswara, walk downhill via, Lankathar to the Bijaypur river. The effort level now intensifies, with a 1,000 feet (305 metres) ascent to the ridgeline and main trail, which leads back to the lodge.

2. Thulakot & Ramchekot Walk

Hike duration: Approx. 5 hours
Walk from the lodge (or drive to Kalikasthan 15 minutes) steadily uphill through diverse cultural villages and farmlands to Thulakot (1250m / 4,100ft), an ancient boundary fort site of the Kaski Rajas until their annexation by King Prithivi Narayan Shah in the 18th century. There is a small Bhairav Temple in fort remains. To reach Thulakot takes about 2½ hours. Walk along the undulating ridge to Ramchekot (approx. 1425m / 4,675ft) with fine views (1 hour) and take in panoramic views of the Pokhara Valley and over into the Madi Valley of Lamjung district. Descend gradually to Deomadi (45 minutes) and back to Kalikasthan via Chitepani. From Kalikasthan either walk or drive back to the lodge.

3. Shanti Stupa Walk
Hike duration: Approx. 3 hours
Drive to Pokhara to the dam at the end of Fewa Tal (water from here goes to a small hydro-power plant at the southern edge of the valley) and walk up the forested hill called Raniban to the Shanti Stupa, or World Peace Pagoda, from where there are good views of Fewa Tal and the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himal. The path then descends to the lake shore and one can take a boat across to Barahi Ghat at the heart of the Lakeside area. There will be time for souvenir shopping / e-mail, or to have a refreshing drink or snack at one of the many lakeside restaurants and bars. The drive back to the lodge takes about 30 minutes.

World Peace Pagoda or Shanti Stupa

4. Begnas Lake Walk
Hike duration: Approx. 4 to 5 hours
Walk to Kalikasthan village from where you continue to follow the main trail to the right. On reaching Kaulikot, you will be greeted with views of the valley and Begnas Lake, the second largest lake of the valley. The walk from Kaulikot descends easily through villages and on to the lake itself. At Begnas there is the option of hiring a boat for a short ride in the tranquil surroundings, before meeting one of our vehicles for the 40 minute drive back to the lodge.

5. Bhimirepani Walk
Hike duration: Approx. 3 hours
This is a very pleasant general village and farmland walk through communities of varied groups and castes with the advantage that it is largely on the level or undulating without any serious steep climbs or descents. Leaving the lodge the walk goes to Sundar Gaun (above Khaste Tal) then through local forest to Naraspur (a good area for bird watching) and through farmlands to Bhimirepani before returning to the lodge.

6. Bijaypur River Walk
Hike duration: Approx. 3 hours
Descend from the lodge along the spur to the big bend in the Bijaypur River (a descent of about 305m / 1,000ft) and then along the river bank to Sangako Mukh. The path then climbs up to Murali Chowk for a vehicle pick-up and drive back to the lodge (15 minutes) or, alternately, one can walk back up (1½ hours). This makes a good morning bird-watching walk, returning in time for lunch.

Website Link: http://tigermountainpokhara.com/

The Pavilions Himalayas

The Pavilions Himalayas is a beautiful eco-sensitive luxury boutique resort nestled in a valley near the lakeside city of Pokhara. Far removed from every-day life, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this resort has a serene and peaceful atmosphere surrounded by farmland, forested hills, mountain fed rivers and spectacular mountain views.


Their luxurious eco-friendly villas set against the majestic backdrop of the mountain range introduces the traditional Nepalese architecture with contemporary structures that unfolds the beautiful natural landscapes around. Spread over the organic farmland, the resort respects the natural elements showcasing the village lifestyle of Nepal.

The stay here offers a truly unique opportunity to connect with the amazing natural surrounding without giving up the luxurious comfort. It offers some of the exquisite activities for everyone seeking a bit of relaxation and adventures amidst the soothing landscape on site.

On site experiences:

1. Nepalese Cooking Classes:
For lunch, join in to learn the art of Nepalese cuisine using handpicked fresh vegetables, herbs, eggs and fruits from their very own organic farm. Momo or dumpling, the most loved delicacy of the Nepalese, Chicken or Buff Curry, Black Lentils, Nepali tomato chutney and Kheer (dessert) are the few delicacies to name that are prepared in such classes.

Followed by a fun cooking class demonstrating the cooking procedures, the guests get the opportunity to see, learn and later savor the taste of local Nepali cuisine. This lesson is perfect for all ages, especially for the families, lasting for approximately 3 hours.

2. Village Tour/ Hiking/ Trekking:
Take an easy walk through the farmland and gentle countryside around The Pavilions Himalayas to relish the serenity away from the pressures of the modern world. Connect with nature through deep breaths of clean, unpolluted air and enjoy the taste of unspoilt rural life of Nepal. Treks can be customized to suit various age and fitness levels, all featuring sweeping views of the mountains and forests. Indulging in visits to the nearby rural villages such as Chisapani & Khalse village, farmlands and forests serve the guests as a mini –trek like experience and a typical day’s walk in the Himalayas.

3. Bird Watching:
Nepal is a home to over more than 800 species of birds. Birds such as rose finches, flycatchers, green magpies, vultures and others can be watched at surrounding villages and forests nearby. It serves as a paradise, being one of the perfect locations for bird-lovers.

4. Farm Activities:
Visit the organic farm to see the livestock of buffaloes, cows, wild boar, goats and chickens. Spend some quality time working with the farming community and hear them share their thoughts on the traditional pleasures of farm life. Get an opportunity to pick your own choices of organic fruits, vegetables, and fresh produce and also milk the cows or collect free-range eggs. This is an exceptional experience.

5. Wellness and Yoga:
Spa Svastha at The Pavilions Himalayas is a complete wellness centre, ideal to release all the pent-up stress in sauna, before washing away uncertainties with a refreshing dip in the pool. It offers signature Ayurvedic experiences with a luxurious treatment led by trained therapists by using customized spa products.

Their Pool & Clubhouse is set against the incredible farmland and mountain range views providing not only a place for play but also for pure relaxation. Enjoy the surroundings as you soak in their outdoor Jacuzzi and join for some pampering amidst the beauty of nature.

For more of self discovery and healing experience, one can practice yoga in a beautiful serene setting that is one of a kind. Joining for 3 to 10 days’ private classes ensures to recharge, energize and let one completely immerse into the curative beauty of the Himalayas.

Website Link: https://www.pavilionshotels.com/himalayas/

Unwinding Hikes around Pokhara

Pokhara’s bewitching beauty has been the subject of many travel writers. Its pristine air, spectacular backdrop of snowy peaks, serene lakes and surrounding greenery make it ‘the jewel in the Himalaya’, a place of remarkable natural beauty. With the magnificent Annapurna range forming the backdrop and the serenity of three major lakes – Phewa, Rupa and Begnas – Pokhara is the ultimate destination for relaxation. It is the second largest city in Nepal and sits high on the list of ‘must visit’ places in Nepal.

Pokhara Valley is not only the end of the famous Annapurna Circuit and the gateway to some of the most famous long-distance treks in Nepal, but it also has plenty of rewarding short walks and day trips that are suitable even for children and weary trekkers.

Along with several trails used by local residents leading to different villages, fields and viewpoints, below are a few popular hiking trails around Pokhara. These day hikes are ideal for those wanting to take some time away from the happening city life and immerse in the serene natural beauty that surrounds the Pokhara valley.

1. Hike to Begnas Lake
Hike Duration: 4 to 5 hours approx.
Drive Time from Phewa Lake: 45 minutes approx.
Transfer to Begnas Lake, the second largest lake of the valley after the Phewa Lake. A popular tourist destination, the area is filled with numerous resorts and eateries. There are different points from where you can begin walking.

Hike along the ridges as the trail slowly leads higher through forests of Horse-Chestnut and Saal trees. The view of the surrounding hill sides and of the twin lakes of Rupa and Begnas is simply breathtaking. Walk steadily north gaining a slight altitude through Begnas village, a spread out spectacle of clean mud houses and terraced fields. Higher up is Begnas Maidan, an open meadow perched on a hilltop from where one can have the most spectacular mountain views sweeping from east to west in a vast snowy expanse; Manaslu (8156m) the entire Annapurna massif with such prominent peaks as Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna III & IV as well as Mt. Macchapuchhre (6993m) and weather permitting, the distant Dhaulagiri (8167m) in the far west.

After lunch at one of the many local restaurants around Begnas, you have an option of hiring a boat for a short ride in the tranquil surroundings, before meeting your vehicle for the 40 minutes’ drive back to your hotel.

2. Hike to Shanti Stupa or World Peace Pagoda
Hike Duration: 3 hours approx.
Drive to the dam at the end of Phewa Tal, the second largest lake in Nepal. The lake is stream fed but the dam regulates the water reserve, therefore being classified as semi-natural freshwater lake from where the water goes to a small hydro-power plant at the southern edge of the valley. Walk up the forested hill called Raniban to the Shanti Stupa, or World Peace Pagoda, a Buddhist stupa built by the Buddhist monks of the Japanese Nipponzan Fujii organization at a narrow ridge above the Phewa Taal. Walk around the stupa that offers good views of the Phewa Tal and the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himal.

The path then descends to the lake shore where you can take a boat across to the other side while paying your respects at the Barahi Temple located at the heart of the lake.

3. Hike Naudanda to Sarangkot
Drive Time: 45 minutes approx.
Hike Duration: 5 hours approx.
Drive from Pokhara to Naudanda, a small hill offering pleasant views of the greenery and mountain ranges of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu. Start hiking from Naudanda (1600 meters) from a trail that leads you through the traditional Brahmin and Chhetri villages. After a four hours’ hike you will reach the vantage point of Sarangkot.

Sarangkot is a beautiful village located on a mountainside ridge at an altitude of 1600m with panoramic Himalayan views, from Dhaulagiri in the far west and Pokhara city in the south with the Phewa Lake on the north-western outskirts of the city. It is also famous for sunrise views and paragliding. Take a rest here while admiring the far-reaching views of the Himalayas and watch the acrobatics of the many adventurous paragliders that launch from here.

Our descent back down to Pokhara is steep in places. After approx. an hour and a half, it brings us back to Pokhara.

In addition to visiting various sites in Pokhara, the above day hikes can be included and customized as per your inclination to make for an exhilarating experience. These hikes can also be initiated as a warm-up to prepare for lengthier treks in the Annapurna region.

Dharma Adventures as an exhibitor in GAMCE 2018


Nepal boasts eight of the world’s tallest mountains including Mt. Everest, the highest in the world. The country is well-known for the enchanting medieval palaces, pagodas, temples, statues and stupas, along with unparalleled adventure options with abundance in flora and fauna.

Those who thrive on thrill and adventure are fascinated to explore Nepal, an ideal destination offering some of the best trekking routes and others adventurous activities in the world. From experiencing the thrill of rafting down raging rivers, soaring high amongst some of the world’s highest peaks, trekking along serene villages and landscape or just immersing yourself in the panoramic views of the mighty Himalayas and the abundance of scenic tranquility, the country just has so much to offer.

Having realized this, House of Rajkarnicar in collaboration with Nepal Tourism Board organized Global Adventure and Mountaineering Conference and Expo 2018 (GAMCE 2018) with a motive to celebrate and revive Nepal as one of the world’s most popular and prominent adventure destination, endowed with abundant natural resource and heritage. The event was held from 23rd – 25th March, serving as a great platform for national and international adventure enthusiasts and experts to not only exchange information, adventure products and services, but also to participate and discuss the potentials by improving adventure tourism in Nepal. The conference and expo was witnessed by several visitors, outdoor adventure professionals, tour operators and many others involved in the field of adventure tourism.

With over 40 speakers, 250 participants, 35 exhibitors and others, the event successfully directed in making the visitors aware on key subjects of Adventure Sports, Adventure Tourism and Adventure Environment. The speakers familiarized the listeners to new approaches in mountaineering, innovation in adventure sports, environmental impacts, climate change adaptation and sustainability practices, eco- friendly services, river tourism and conservation, waste management system, sanitary and hygiene, Mt. Everest Biogas Project, etc. along with several technical and plenary sessions in between. In overall, the conferences not only gave out prospective on developing adventure activities in Nepal, but it also gave an insight of stepping forward to grasp the emerging markets from all over the world, especially our neighboring country India. Besides, various socio – cultural environmental impact issues were discussed that encouraged to push towards the concept of responsible adventure tourism.

We, the Dharma Adventures team, were one of the sellers at GAMCE 2018 and gained an excellent opportunity to meet and partake in this wonderful event. The event participation has led to enlightened team, inspiring us to push forward our effort in offering finest adventurous experiences to our clients as we have always strived for.

We are your Gateway to the Himalayas!

Traditional Attires of the Himalayas

Blessed with one of the richest cultures of the world, these power places of the Himalayas proudly embrace their traditional attires as an integral part of their daily lives.

Bhutan, ‘the last Shangri – La’, is known worldwide for their brilliance in being able to guard their cultural values. The Bhutanese people are bound by a strict rule of national dress code in their day to day lives. Even today, Bhutanese people can be seen in their colorful traditional Bhutanese attire – Gho worn by men and Kira worn by women, which is believed to be a 16th century old custom. Their national costume adds to their national pride and serves as a unique identity.

Gho is a knee-length dress, identical to the Japanese kimono and the Scottish kilt. It is tied up at the waist with a hand woven belt called kera, forming a pouch in the front. The sleeves are usually made of raw silk, cotton or polyester, which are neatly folded to form white cuffs called lagey. The costume is complete with long socks or stockings and traditional handmade boots. Men also can be seen wearing Kabney, a long scarf made of raw silk, worn from left shoulder to opposite hip; especially when visiting dzong or a temple, or even when appearing before a high level official. The locals, regional officials, ministers and the King, wear significant coloured Kabney, indicating varied status on its own.

Kira is an ankle – length long skirt piece, made with fine woven fabrics and beautiful colour patterns. Inside the kira, a long sleeve blouse called wonju is worn. The set is completed with a short open jacket called as tego worn over the dress. Rachu, an embroidered woven scarf, also made of raw silk and rich patterns is hung over the shoulder.


Nepal is a multi – ethnic country with over 100 ethnic groups, each having unique cultural values, practices, traditional attires, accessories and jewelries different than the others. While the national dress of Nepal is Daura – Suruwal or Labeda Suruwal for men and Gunyo-Cholo for women, the Nepalese are greatly influenced by clothing styles of the neighboring countries which have led to significant variations in the costumes.

Daura is a double breasted sleeved shirt of knee length, which is tied up at the sides. It is worn with Suruwal, a loosely fitted trouser, with a long cloth called Patuka wrapped around the waist. The set is complete with Dhaka Topi, a traditional cap made of fabric – Dhaka, which is a symbol of national pride. Some also wear a waist – coat over the shirt and carry a khukuri, the national weapon and the symbol of the brave Gurkha soldiers of Nepal. The Nepalese men proudly wear their traditional costume during festivals and special occasions as it holds a religious importance for the Hindu and Buddhist practitioners of Nepal.

Cholo is a top or blouse which is tied at the sides and Gunyo is a sari (skirt like), woven from cotton or silk fabrics, draped around the waist. On top of the Gunyo, a long cloth called Patuki is wrapped around the waist. The costume is complete with traditional jewelries.

Nepalese women can mostly be seen in elegant Sari, a five to nine yards length fabric, draped around the waist with one end draped over the shoulder. The sari is worn with a fitted crop blouse having short or long sleeves. A matching petticoat or inner skirt is worn under the sari. The sari is linked with grace and is widely popular as traditional attire worn during various festivals and special occasions of Nepal.


Tibet also has several ethnicities each with their own set of customary attire. The main costume is the chuba, a distinctive piece of ankle length robe tied around the waist with wide elongated sleeves, worn by both men and women differently. Women wear dark-colored wrap dresses over a silk blouse called wonju, and a colorfully striped, woven wool apron, called pangden signifying the marital status of a woman. Men wear the unique woolen hat while ladies adorn their crowns with ornaments made of precious stones. The dress originated as a clothing to protect themselves in the high altitude and from the cold temperatures of the Himalayas.

Tihar at Dharma!

Tihar is the festival of lights. The five day long festival is a joyous annual festival that brings happiness, prosperity and good wishes into the lives of people.
Being the festival of lights, butter lamps known as diyos are lit and the entire country illuminates to celebrate with immense joy and ecstasy.
Here’s a picture of the ladies at Dharma during Tihar in October 2017.

The vibrant month of Shrawan

Shrawan is the fourth month in the Nepali calendar. If you happen to be anywhere in or near the vicinity of Nepal, you will come across women clad in red, green or yellow bangles. Most of them will also have henna tattoos decorated on their hands.

This month is considered highly auspicious and each Monday of Shrawan, known as Shrawan Somvar, is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. Believers, especially women, observe fast every Monday during this month and visit the holy Pashupatinath Temple. They light butter lamps and incense to please Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, Monday fasts in this month ensure good prospective husbands for unmarried girls and good health for husbands of married women. They believe Goddess Parvati observed fast for the entire month of Shrawan before Lord Shiva was impressed and married her.

Several days prior to this month, the market bustles as women passionately shop for new clothes and bangles. Items for prayers such as flowers, colours, butter lamps, incense sticks etc collect a high demand. Most women gather and pre- celebrate this month by applying henna on the hands, singing, dancing and making merry.

Nag Panchami

Nag Panchami is celebrated on the fifth day of the moonlit-fortnight in the month of Shrawan. As this festival falls during the rainy season, it is believed that serpents come out of their holes which get flooded with the monsoon rain to look for dry shelter.
Meanwhile, people stick pictures and images of snakes on the entrance to their houses across the country to mark the Nag Panchami. They also visit temples and offer milk to the snake god.

Teej
Teej is another festival that occurs during the months of Shravan and Bhadra, corresponding to the monsoon season of July-August. Married women celebrate this festival by fasting and worshipping idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati seeking marital bliss. Legend has it that it is the day when Lord Shiva was impressed with Parvati’s dedication and so accepted her.
Teej celebrations last for three pious days. Traditional dances and songs form an important feature of Teej celebrations. Red color is considered auspicious for women observing Teej fast and so most of them dress up in red or bridal clothes.

Boudhanath Stupa: A Spiritual Abode

Boudhanath, also known as Boudha, is one of the most popular tourist sites in Kathmandu. In contrast to the colorful surroundings, the stupa itself is stark white in color. It has different names in different languages. The Newar communities of Nepal call it Khasti, Tamangs call it Jyarung Khasyor and in Nepali it is Boudhanath.

This magnificent Stupa is one of the largest measuring almost 100m in diameter and stands 40m in height, and one of the most significant Buddhist monuments in the world. This great Stupa was enlisted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979 making it an admirable place of interest for people all over the world. Today it is the key center of Tibetan Buddhism and the holiest of all Buddhist shrines in Nepal. Surrounded by shops, cafes, and handicraft businesses, it has emerged as an important trade hub and a major tourist destination. It is believed that those who reside around this great Stupa are blessed and will never have to suffer from hunger, famine and unfavorable conditions.

There are many stories and legends relating to the origin and history of Boudhanath Stupa. It is believed that this great Stupa was built during the Kashyapa Buddha’s end period and the beginning period of Shakayamuni Buddha.
The earliest historical references of Boudha Stupa are found in the chronicles of the Newar society. Some believe the name is derived from Kasyapa, the Manusi Buddha of the Dwapara-yuga, whose relics are said to be enshrined within it.
According to Newari etymology it is derived from the Newari word for “dew”, by the chronicles that mentioned when the Stupa was in the process of construction, a drought struck and the workmen would lay out a white cotton cloth at night to collect the morning dew, which was then wrung out to facilitate the day’s construction.

According to another story (as per Gopal Raj Chronicles) the Licchavi King Dharmadeva installed “stone spouts” but the water did not come. So, the king consulted his astrologers and was told to sacrifice the most virtuous man in the kingdom for water. After disappointing results, the King decided that it was only himself and his son who qualified as victims and so decided to sacrifice himself. He instructed his son, Prince Manadeva to decapitate his shrouded form with one stroke. The prince obeyed his father’s command but was horrified to see his father’s head fly from the corpse. It landed in the temple of Vajra Yogini in Sankhu and he was told by the goddess that the only way the prince could undo his sins was to let a cock fly and build a Stupa for his father wherever the cock landed. The cock perched at Boudha, and King Manadeva built the magnificent Stupa there.

Part of the stupa was damaged when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country on April 25th, 2015. Realizing the religious, cultural, archeological and touristic importance of the Boudhanath Stupa, the locals of the area joint hands and decided to go ahead with reconstruction of the revered stupa. Support poured out from home and abroad in the form of cash, construction materials, gold and physical labour. The love, respect and hard work of the people paid off and after eighteen months of the devastating earthquake that shook the country, Nepalese celebrated the restoration of the stupa. In a massive three day -purification ceremony, amid a grand celebration that drew thousands of pilgrims, the historic site was restored to its glory, and reopened to public on 22 November, 2016.

Meaning of different parts of the Stupa
1. Mandala: Mansion of Boudha
2. Dome: Symbol of Universe or Vase of great treasure
3. Two Eyes: Symbol of method and wisdom
4. Harmika: Symbol of eight noble paths (Four square parts of stupa)
5. Nose like symbol: Symbol of Nirvana
6. Thirteen Steps: 13 steps of Bodhisattva’s ground for complete enlightenment
7. Lotus: Symbol of compassion and purity
8. Umbrella: Protector of three jewels; Boudha, Dharma, and Sangha
9. Pinnacle: Symbol of Mt. Sumeru (King of all mountains)

National Geographic: Best Spring Trips 2017

Pokhara is the second largest city of Nepal and tops the list of must visit places. With its bewitching beauty extended in forms of snow-capped peaks, tranquil lakes, greenery, adventure sports and trek trails, Pokhara is a place for anyone and everyone. With the magnificent Annapurna range forming the backdrop and the serenity of three major lakes – Phewa, Rupa and Begnas – Pokhara is the ultimate gateway for relaxation. While most famous treks begin here, Pokhara also offers adventure activities like paragliding, ultralight flight, and the world’s longest and fastest zip line.


Nepal is widely known for its vast trekking trails and spectacular views, however, there are many short trails as well that offer views equally stunning and splendid. Ghandruk, a beautiful Gurung settlement, takes you through rhododendron forests and rural areas, giving you an insight into the conventional lifestyle of the locals with glimpses of Machhapuchhre and Annapurna.

Ghorepani – Ghandruk Trek – 10 Days

Learn to make – Nepali Style Tomato Achar (Chutney)


This tomato achar is a local’s favorite. It is often served as a momo (dumpling) dip or a side dish in a Nepali thali set. However, this can also be served as a salsa dip.

Ingredients:

– Mustard Oil or any cooking oil
– Dry Red Chilies
– Chopped Onion
– Chopped Green Chilies
– Turmeric Powder
– Chopped Tomatoes
– Salt
– Red Chili Powder
– Cumin Powder
– Ginger-Garlic Paste
– Coriander Leaves

Preparation:
Heat mustard oil or regular cooking oil in a saucepan and put dry chilies. Stir until the chilies turn dark. (Nicely fried dried red chilies bring out the flavor)
Add chopped onions and green chilies and fry them until they turn golden brown in color. Add some turmeric powder into it.
Now, put the chopped tomatoes and let it cook in medium heat. Add salt, red chili powder, and cumin powder to taste.
Add ginger garlic paste and cover it for about 15 minutes.
After the water dries, wait till the mix turns into a nice thick consistency. (Add water if you want to dilute it.)
Lastly, garnish with fresh coriander leaves. This is served cold.


Let us know how it went and we would love to hear your feedback. Good Luck!