While Dashain and Tihar are rejoiced in by all Hindus, Mha Puja is an event that only Newars celebrate. It is today celebrated all over the world, thanks to globalization, or rather, lots and lots of emigration to foreign lands by hordes of optimistic Nepalis, among whom are invariably, quite a few from the Newar community. Mha Puja (this year 26th October 2022) also marks the beginning of the Newari New Year. Legend has it that, 1134 years ago, a trader and a philanthropist, Sankadhar Sakhwa, declared his countrymen to be debt-free by paying off all their debts himself. The Newars decided to mark a new beginning by commemorating a new era. Thus was born the Nepal Sambat (Nepal Era) of which, NS 1134 will come to an end this year, a day after Bhai Tika, the fourth day of Tihar, the second biggest festival of Nepal.
Here, it might be interesting to say something more about the legend of Sankadhar Sakwa. It was during the reign of King Raghav Dev of Bhaktapur in AD 879 that his royal astrologers foretold about there being gold at an auspicious date and time among the sands at the confluence of the Bhacha Khusi and Bishnumati rivers in Kathmandu. Accordingly, the king sent his porters to bring back basketfuls of sand at the appointed hour. The porters, while carrying the heavily laden baskets back to the king, decided to take a breather at a pati (resting place) in Maru Tole. Sankhadhar Sakhwa, a trader, was on his way home, and nearing the pati, he decided to take a few minutes rest himself. On asking the porters about the reason for their carrying so much sand, they told him that they were doing it as per the king’s orders. This made the shrewd Sakhwa think, “There must be something important about the sand.” He convinced the porters to empty their heavy loads at his home, and later, he found a handful of gold in it. This gold, he used to pay off all the debts of his countrymen.
Every year, Newar communities all over the country celebrate this day as their own New Year by taking out processions with cries of Nha Daya Bhintuna (Welcome, New Year). In the evening, families congregate in their bhuigals (dining rooms) to partake in a most enjoyable function called Mha Puja. Family members sit cross legged in front of colorful mandaps that are venerated by lighting itta battis (long cotton wicks) and doing ‘puja’ on them as is done with deities. Sagun, consisting of eggs, meat, fish, bad‘, curd, and aila (homemade alcohol), must be taken before the wicks go out. This is followed by as elaborate a feast as can be expected of such renowned connoisseurs of food as the Newars.
After the feast, women folk sweep away the mandaps. It is said that wiping the throat with swept-away remains increases one’s memory. It also used to be said that if one were to cross over while the wick is burning, then one would certainly go abroad. Which, in earlier days, was maybe not a good thing, but today? Oh, only if it was true! That’s what youngsters will surely be praying this Mha Puja.
Trekking |Jun 13, 2023
West of the popular Rolwaling and Khumbu trekking regions, and east of Kathmandu, is where begins one of the newer trekking areas of Nepal. The trek begins at Barahabise and ends at Charikot of Dolakaha district on the southern slope of the Gauri Shanker Himal (7,134 m).
Tours |Sep 27, 2016
The Langtang Valley – which is only a stone’s throw away from the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu – is one of the colourful, culturally affluent, and diverse-in-landscape trekking routes in Nepal.
Tours |May 22, 2023
That’s right, a country cannot be fully known and its culture really understood by just looking at its capital city alone. No doubt, Kathmandu is renowned as a World Heritage Site with seven groups of cultural monuments (Monument Zones), that is,
Wildlife |Jun 21, 2023
Additionally, Nepal is increasingly being promoted as a favored destination for tourists looking for high adventure, and this, the country promises in full through its many outdoors activities including adventure sports.
Tours |Jul 4, 2023
Tistung is also known as Tistung Deurali (deurali: resting place). Once upon a time, when the Tribhuvan Highway was the only road to the capital from outside the valley, most buses used to stop here for lunch.
Nepal |Jun 28, 2023
Hindus never tire of listening to the retelling of Ramayana, the epic story of Lord Rama and his wife Sita. It is as exhilarating a story as is the other fantastic Hindu epic, that is, Mahabharata.
Trekking |Jul 14, 2023
From the shore of Rupa Taal (Rupa Pond) there is a hiking route to Chisapani Hill, which is now introduced as the Royal Hike. Once the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles had hiked from the same section, which later attributed to name this route as the “Royal Hike”. However, this hike is already in business for a day excursion.
Nepal |Jul 10, 2023
Saraswati Puja often approaches in late January or early February, where one will find schools and colleges all over the country gaily decorated with festoons and stages on which will be a large, wonderfully made statue of Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and learning.
New Itineraries |Sep 28, 2015
One expects destruction and finds silence. In Nepal can bring a spiritual experience every day. Visiting a country that up early not only for the gods.
Impact Tourism |Jun 27, 2023
Royal Mountain Travel is well aware of its social responsibilities and has sponsored a number of projects to meet this obligation. We have identified a list of specific and worthwhile community projects for rural people in the areas of education
Women Empowerment |Jul 19, 2023
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is a success.” A famous quote from Henry Ford proves positive in affiliation to Royal Mountain Travel. Eleven years ago we ventured to the tourism industry of Nepal with a promise to work hard for a better tomorrow and shall execute any barrier, together as a team, that comes in our way.
Culture & Festivals |Jun 21, 2023
Bhutan has a score and more festivals throughout the year. Most of them are religious events known as tsechus, and they are celebrated on the 10th day of a month of the lunar calendar corresponding to Guru Rimpoche’s (Guru Padmasambhava’s) birthday.