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Community Connect: The Traces Of Terai & It's Tharu Heritage

Nepal

The Traces Of Terai & Tharu Heritage

Nepal

Trip Overview: The Traces Of Terai & Tharu Heritage

We curate unique experiences that highlight incredible cultures, traditions and regions that receive less attention, such as the Terai. The Tharu culture of Western Nepal is very prominent in the country’s context but still quite unexplored and mysterious. The indigenous culture of the Tharu community has been renowned all over Nepal for their spectacular stick dances and unique cuisine yet the actual experience can only be lived when one is present and engaging within the community. 

The beautiful Bhada Community Homestay is situated in a quiet and rural area of Terai, where most of the people are farmers. During your stay, you can explore the nearby Bheda Baba Temple and the serene Ghoda Ghodi Lake and witness the colorful Tharu dance performed by the locals of the community. Western Nepal is also a home to Bardiya National Park, a less frequented National Park yet offering a great chance of spotting tigers. Experience the rich wildlife in Bardiya through the open-top jeep safari and bird watching with local guides and observe how the community lives together in harmony with their environment. To explore the To explore the Terai with all your senses, you will taste authentic Tharu dishes while cooking the meals together with the host family to accentuate your cultural experience. 

Moving on to Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, explore the nearby monuments as well as stupas in the morning before you travel to Barauli. The Barauli Community Homestay, falls close to the buffer zone of the Chitwan National Park and is close to the banks of the Narayani River. Exploring the village and stopping over on the banks of the river to watch the sunset with a cup of tea and snacks is an experience not to be missed. 

During this entire trip, notice the differences yet the similarities of the Tharu communities that you visit region by region from their dresses and language. Get to know the authentic culture and lifestyle of the Tharu people living in the Terai region of Nepal by staying together with the community and experiencing their lifestyle upclose. 

Trip Highlights

  • Discovering Tharu culture and lifestyle directly in the Tharu locality
  • Colorful and vibrant Tharu cultural performances showcased by the local community
  • Exploring the tranquility of Ghoda Ghodi lake and Bheda Baba Temple
  • Wildlife exploration at the less-visited Bardiya National Park
  • Cooking authentic Tharu dishes with the host family
  • Chasing a glittering sunset in the banks of the Narayani river
  • Close engagement and Observation of rural lifestyles

Itinerary

International Airport Arrival Transfer, Sound Healing and Dinner at Avata

Welcome to Nepal! On your arrival at the airport in Kathmandu, you will be received with a placard having your name in the arrival hall. The luggage will be loaded in the car and you will be transferred to the hotel in Kathmandu. After check-in you can take the time to freshen up before you move to Avata, for a sound healing session to recover from the jet lag followed by a healthy dinner at Nourish by Avata. 

Thereafter, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Traditional Comfort or Similar

Sightseeing of Swayambhunath and Pashupatinath, Flight to Dhangadi, Drive to Bhada

After a filling breakfast at the hotel, you will be going for a world heritage sightseeing tour of Swayambhunath and Pashupatinath. 

The Buddhist pilgrimage centre -Swayambhunath Stupa, situated on the top of a hill, west of Kathmandu, is one of the most popular, holy, and instantly recognizable symbols of Nepal. The temple is also known as the ‘monkey temple because of the large tribe of roving monkeys who guard the temple.

Pashupatinath Temple, dedicated to the Hindu Lord Shiva, is a revered destination for devotees worldwide. Dating back to around 400 A.D., this temple sits alongside the holy Bagmati River and showcases exquisite ancient artistry. Its four silver gates symbolically represent the lord’s blessings spreading in all directions. The temple attracts Hindu Sadhus from various corners of the globe, often found meditating along the riverbank, embodying the essence of Lord Shiva.

In the late afternoon, you will be taking a flight to Dhangadi where your ride to Bhada Community Homestay will be waiting for your arrival. The scenic drive will bring you fleeting glimpses of the Nepalese lifestyle and nature. After reaching Bhada, the community members will traditionally welcome you. Your day ends with a traditional dinner that is sure to excite your palette.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Bhada Community Homestay

Village Excursion, Visit to Bheda Baba Temple, Cultural Program

Wake up to soothing sounds of nature at Bhada Community Homestay. You will experience the hustle and bustle of a rural Tharu lifestyle during the village excursion along with your hosts. After a delicious lunch, you embark on a trip to the famous Bheda Baba temple, which the locals and big fairs revere are held during festivals. Partake in the lively Tharu cultural program with local dance and music performed by the locals in the evening. And to top it all off, have an authentic dinner to end your day.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Bhada Community Homestay

Drive to Bardiya with via Chisapani and Ghodaghodi, Village Excursion

Your journey to Bardiya begins early right after breakfast. On the way, you will driving towards the Chisapani via Ghodaghodi lake. The lake holds significant religious importance, featuring a shrine dedicated to the Ghodaghodi deity. The indigenous Tharu community observes the traditional festival, Maghi here. After this exciting detour to Chisapani with lunch, you will resume the journey to Bardiya.

Notes:
  • Drive Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes Approx
  • Accommodation: Hotel

Full Day Jeep Safari with Packed Lunch

Bardiya is known for its abundance of biodiversity in its rich and lush tropical jungles. Experiencing it is a must while you are at the homestay. The full-day jeep safari will take you deep into Bardiya National Park which is home to exotic animals such as the Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephants and One- Horned Rhinoceros among others. Amidst the wilderness, have a scrumptious packed lunch made by the hosts while you are on a day full of wilderness exploration. The nature guide will make sure to let you know of any traces or evidence of the animals while you are there.

 

 

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Hotel

Village Walk followed by Jungle Excursion, Tharu Feast Cooking with Locals

After reaching the homestay you will be accompanied by a host to explore the village of Bardiya Community Homestay followed by a jungle walk into the forest. There are 426 species of birds in Bardiya National Park and your accompanying nature guide will be on the lookout to let you spot as many as you can. You may also come across many wildlife which a knowledgeable nature guide will brief you on as you walk through the forests. Later in the evening, discover the fine art of Tharu cuisine with the locals where the preparation will be as exciting as the feast. Learn about the dishes and explore the varieties of Tharu cuisine.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Hotel

Drive to Lumbini

Start your journey to Lumbini, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and more popularly, the birthplace of Lord Buddha before you move on to Barauli. You will be arriving at Lumbini in the evening hours and will be dropped off at your hotel.

 

Notes:
  • Drive Duration: 7-8 hours approx.
  • Accommodation: Hotel

Morning Lumbini Excursion, Cycling and Sundowner

In the morning, experience Lumbini, a global destination where numerous people visit to see the Mayadevi temple, the infamous Ashoka Pillar and other surrounding monasteries. Shortly after lunch, you will travel on to Barauli Community Homestay reaching the banks of the Narayani River from where you will behold the glittering sunset of the terai with tea and snacks before you enter the village of Barauli. The locals will welcome you in their traditional wear and flower garlands when you reach the homestay.

Notes:
  • Drive Duration : 5-6 hrs approx
  • Accommodation : Barauli Community Homestay

Local Activities with the Community, Drive to Kathmandu

Wake up to the misty morning of Barauli and get involved in local Experiences with the community at Barauli Community Homestay such as: 

  1. Tharu Wall Painting: Experience the traditional way of decorating Tharu houses with paint made from scratch.
  2. Tharu Henna Art: Learn how the women of Tharu community make Henna from the plants in their surrounding and design it on your hands with traditional designs
  3. Tharu Dressing like Locals: Dress in the cultural outfit of Tharu community, along with their traditional ornaments.

As time to say goodbye draws nearer, take some final pictures with the hosts and of the locality to make your way back to Kathmandu.

Notes:
  • Drive Duration : 7 hours approx
  • Accommodation : Traditional Comfort or Similar

International Airport Departure Transfer

Check-in is 3 hours prior to departure, and it is best not to skim on time as queues can be long and slow. Your booked airport transfer will be at your hotel ready to take you to the airport in time, allowing approximately 30mins driving time depending on time of day. At the airport security will check your flight ticket – either hard copy or on your mobile – along with your passport before you are allowed to enter the departure hall.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: None

Impact Footprints

  • Enhances cultural understanding and appreciation through direct interaction with Tharu communities.
  • Supports local economies by staying in community homestays and participating in cultural activities
  • Promotes sustainable tourism practices by engaging with indigenous cultures and minimizing environmental impact
  • Empowers local communities through the preservation and sharing of their traditional knowledge and practices
  • Contribute to wildlife conservation efforts by visiting and supporting less-visited national parks like Bardiya
  • Fosters cross-cultural exchange and dialogue by immersing oneself in the daily lives of Tharu people
  • Encourages responsible travel behaviours through activities like bird watching and jungle excursions guided by local experts.
  • Encourages sustainable agriculture and traditional culinary practices through participation in cooking sessions and tasting authentic Tharu dishes.