Holi: The Most Fun Day of the Year

Nepal’s celebration of Holi is a colorful festival that is open to all, locals and visitors alike. The revered Hindu holiday, which dates back to the fourth century and signifies the arrival of spring, has gained attention in the U.S. in recent years and a number of travelers feel called to participate in the joyful revelry. A care-free celebration with people of all ages smearing each other with colored powders and drenching each other with water in the streets seems like the perfect excuse for a vacation, right?

Photo source: Inside Himalayas

While Holi truly begins with the installation of a ceremonial pole in Kathmandu Durbar Square almost a week earlier and religious ritual and prayer around a bonfire the night before, the free-for-all of color is found all around the square, the city streets, temples, parks and into the hill region on the day immediately following the full moon in March. The second day of festivities continues in the Terai with celebrations and feasts in area homes. Continue reading

Trekking to Nar Phu Valley

Nar Phu TrekkingAmong the 100 or so ethnic languages of Nepal, there are a handful that are spoken by just a few hundred people. One such language is Nar Phu, or Narpa, spoken by the 800 or so villagers of Nar and Phu villages in the Nar Khola Valley of Manang District, an area whose people are known as Mananges. Continue reading

Skilled Hands at Work, Nepal’s Top 5 Handicrafts

Nepali Pashmina

Pashminas displayed in a local shop. Image: flickr/Patrick Gage Kelley

1997 to 2000 were boom years for the pashmina industry in Nepal. Markets in the West were so enamored by the elegance of Nepali pashmina that they just couldn’t have enough. According to a leading manufacturer then, orders were doubling and quadrupling every other month. Continue reading

Trekking around Pokhara

trekking to dhampus

Annapurna South and Hiunchuli from Dhampus. Image:flickr/Matt Stewart

Most tourists visiting Nepal will make sure they spend a couple of days in Pokhara. Many will surely extend their stay to take a sojourn around the region, since Pokhara is a sort of gateway to many attractive trekking destinations. One such is Dhampus (1,770 m), a small village inhabited by mostly Gurungs, and some 23 km north-west of Pokhara. Continue reading

On Top of Larkya La—the Manaslu Trek

manslu trek

Mount Manaslu during sunrise. Image: flickr/Ben Tubby

Have you heard of a place in Nepal called Nupri? You will, if you go on the Manaslu trek. Nupri is an area where Tibetan influence is dominant, and where the traditional trade routes between Nepal and Tibet are very much still in use. But, this is nothing new as far as regions bordering Tibet are concerned; Continue reading

Nepal’s Far West and the Karnali Bridge

You have been to Nepal. You have seen the Himalayas, done the Annapurna Circuit trek, seen the sights in and around Kathmandu Valley, and picked up a few new friends along with some souvenirs in Thamel and Durbar Marg.  Fine, you’ve done a lot, collected lots of good memories. Continue reading

The Colors of Teej

As I entered through the wide open the doors, a virtual sea of red overwhelmed me. My first impression was that of entering into a world that closely resembled the fabled ‘eastern bazaar’ described in tales such as ‘Marcopolo’s Travels’, ‘Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves’ and ‘Thief of Baghdad’. Continue reading