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.

Often called the festival of colors or the festival of love, Holi’s lighthearted antics have serious cultural ties. It’s rooted in two legends about the Hindu god Krishna, always depicted with blue skin. One tells the tale of Krishna falling in love with Radha, who allows him to paint her skin with color to eliminate their differences. The other shows the mischievous side of Krishna as he seduces all of the local girls, and then teases them by dousing them in colored water as they bathe in the river. He continues to tease them as he hangs their clothes in a tree (represented by the ceremonial pole installed at the beginning of the festival).

The festival also takes its major theme — the triumph of good over evil — from a sacred Hindu story about a king, Hiranyakashyap, who tries to kill his son Phralad in a fire for worshipping Vishnu and not him. In the end, the king’s sister, Holika, is killed in the fire and the boy is saved by Vishnu.

Travelers who understand the deeper meaning of Holi will get even more out of the celebration. We designed the perfect travel itinerary around Holi to immerse travelers in the cultural and physical landscape of Nepal at this time, the spring awakening. We encourage travel agents, operators and travelers to ask us more about how we can help them experience this joyous festival.

A few tips for travelers attending Holi:

  1. Protect your camera and/or phone in a waterproof bag.
  2. Wear white clothes that you don’t mind being stained with color. They’ll become a beautiful souvenir of the trip.
  3. Buy or make colored powders from natural ingredients, like turmeric, marigold, pomegranate, beetroot, and henna.
  4. The steps of the temples around Durbar Square offer some of the best vantage points to take photos.

Sustainability, and the living is easy: Our commitments

At Royal Mountain Travel, we don’t just practice sustainable tourism, but sustainable living. As one of our core values, sustainability is woven through every element of our business and we’re proud of the work we’ve done to put our environment and our people first. 

As a Travelife Certified company, we know every small step we take to protect our environment has a powerful ripple effect. Eliminating single-use plastics is one of the most important steps we can take and we’re committed to it. Earlier this year, we gave each of our team members reusable water bottles, 500 in all. Each reusable bottle replaces roughly 217 plastic ones in a year, which means roughly 108,500 plastic bottles will be saved from landfills this year. We know this step starts with us, but will inspire similar actions among our guests and colleagues because we didn’t stop there.  Continue reading

Spiritual Travel in Nepal

The face of tourism is changing. Once seen solely as a reprieve from the mundane day-to-day life, individuals are now taking vacation opportunities to explore destinations aligned with their spiritual journeys. Whether that be a pilgrimage to holy sites or simply to connect with the spiritual side of nature, there’s one destination that should be at the top of every spiritual traveler’s list: Nepal.

Home to multiple religions, the country is ripe to intake those looking intrinsically for deeper connections. The topic was even discussed during the last Himalayan Travel Mart, an international B2B conference for business leaders promoting travel in the Himalayas. While there is an abundance of holy sites in the country, we’ve round up a must-visit list below:

Lumbini, the birth of Buddhism

Situated in the Terai lowlands and bordered by India, Lumbini is where Buddha was born in 623 BCE. Today, it is home to numerous monasteries represented by a plethora of countries to showcase how widespread Buddhism is around the world, it has also become a pilgrimage site for devout Buddhists. Continue reading

How to Take Travel Experiences to the Next Level

Most travel professionals know the ins and outs of travel, but can they identify what truly makes for an unforgettable experience? While it’s most likely a combination of things, we’ve discovered a core component: a connection to locals.

The natural beauty of our planet can be found all over the world, but the unique culture and traditions of each destination are what makes a place unique. Take the town of Tansen in the Palpa district as an example, the hidden gem is a remarkable stop for travelers. Most who visit stop by to enjoy the sweeping views for a day, but those who end up spending the night with Community Homestay experience something different – a connection to the destination itself. Continue reading

Two Happy Generations Working with Royal Mountain Travel

“We are happy here” was the first thing they both said when asked why Royal Mountain Travel?  Chandraman Tamang and Choisyang Tamang, the father son duo from Bhinkhure, Kavrepalanchowk district have been working with Royal Mountain travel since its establishment in 2005. The smiles on their faces were just enough to prove that they were happy.

In order to know the reason behind those happy faces we had a conversation for about an hour. The story of happiness was well worth listening to. Continue reading

How to Spot Red Pandas and Dolphins in Nepal

Plataniste or Ganges river dolphin (Platanista gangética), Karnaphuli river, Bangladesh Plataniste or Ganges river dolphin (Platanista gangética), Karnaphuli river, BangladeshDo you know what makes Nepal one of the most biodiverse countries in the world? Hint: it has something to do with a giant called the Himalayas. The climate range is so broad – from the highest point in the world (Everest) to the tropical lowlands that are engulfed in humidity and home to rainforests – the tremendous geographic diversity plays a part in the range of flora and fauna that exist within the country. Continue reading

7 Nepali Recipes for Your Next Potluck

Impress your friends or clients by sharing Nepali recipes or bringing an exotic home-cooked dish to your next potluck. Below, a round up of recipes from our hospitable employees:

Alu ko Achar

Arzoo Pokharel’s favorite dish to make is Alu ko Achar. A fitting meal for all kinds of occasions it combines ingredients that are rich in vitamins, proteins, and minerals that manifests into a savory addition for your next gathering. “Every time I’ve had this dish, I feel energized and it puts me in a pleasant mood,” said Arzoo.

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How to Enhance Your Client’s Trip to Nepal: Lessons From the Impact Travel Alliance FAM Trip

There are numerous factors for an unforgettable travel experience and most of these are unique to each traveller. Whether it is adventure or relaxation that your client is looking for, there is almost always a single factor that can transcend their experience: authenticity. Travellers, now more than ever, aren’t just looking for any type of vacation. They are looking for authentic experiences that pave the way for a connection to the local destination – travel that is transformative and meaningful. Lucky for us, that is exactly what we specialize in at Royal Mountain Travel. Continue reading

Fun Facts About Travel in Nepal to Share With Your Clients

Nepal is a country of nuances – just when you think you know it all, it surprises you. From the underrated wildlife to the incredible concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu, it’s a country that can’t be conventionally categorized because there truly is something for every type of traveler. Below, a round-up of interesting facts to share with your clients: Continue reading

Sustainable Tourism Can Help Wildlife Conservation Efforts


You don’t have to travel deep into Chitwan National Park in the Terai Lowlands of Nepal to come face-to-face with the once elusive one-horned rhino. Thanks to major conservation efforts, the population has grown from a mere 40 to over 600 living in the park today, making it an easier feat to spot one of these incredible creatures. In fact, you’re almost guaranteed to see one on safari – a major contributor to that possibility? Tourism. Continue reading