Nepal

County of Himalaya

Starting at

$ 1600

Duration : 15 Days

Group Size : 3-5 pax

According to the renowned Nepalese Historian Babu Ram Acharya the original inhabitants of Nepal were Kiranti. They are from Astro-Asian group. They established their kingdom around 2nd century BC. It has been established that about 4 to 5 thousands years ago Tibeto-Burman, a stream of Astro-Asian stream, migrated from Burma through Assam (India) corridor to Nepal and in several generations they assimilated with Kiranti to become larger group of ethnic known now as Mongol-Kirant. The natural traits of the people presently living in Assam is similar to the original inhabitants of Nepal, specially the ethnic people living in East Nepal.

The diverse ethnicity of people of Nepal extending from east to the mid-west, both in the middle hill and Terai regions, has distinct languages and cultures. This is evidently seen and experience when one travel to Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Solu-Khumbu and Kanchanjunga regions. The prominent nationalities are Rai and Limbu in East Nepal, Tamang in the Central, Gurung and Magar in West Nepal and Tharu in Southern plain. Closer to Kathmandu in the vicinity of Sun Koshi river and Ramechap district Sunar are the original inhabitants.

In Nepal the remnant of Kirati culture remained dominant in East of Banepa (Bhaktapur) for centuries until the Gorkha used the same ethnic group to defeat the Kiranti in 1774. After the advent of the extension of Gorkha expansion to the east the Kiranti/Mongol ethnic composition went into further fragmentation and most of them lost their root. Actually the decline of Kiranti culture started after Lichivi people migrated from India overran the Kiranti principalities in 236 BC in Kathmandu valley.  The process of conversion to Hindu religion and culture started from the time Lichivi started adopting Hindu religion which was later propagated by the subsequent ruler that continued to infringe the original Kiranti and Mongolian cultural mix until this day. So, further east and west of Kathmandu the original culture went to drastic changes even though they still retain their originality in several aspects of their culture.

Hence the original Kiranti culture still remained intact to a greater extent in eastern Nepal. This culture is located in between Dudkoshi and Kanchanjunga Himalayan range. The region between Dudkoshi to west of Arun river used to be known as Khumbuwan and the region east of Arun river is known as Limbuwan. This region is inhabited by Rai and Limbu respectively. The area east of Arun especially Chainpur, Therathum and Taplejung villages provides the experience of meeting the people with unique culture. Ethnic diversity of Nepal with almost 102 spoken dialects and 70 different identified ethnic groups within a small Himalayan kingdom is its strength in tourism potential. Thus the vanishing culture need to be resurrected through tourism in the time when dominant international western culture, technology, road and development is pushing the originality of the unique race to oblivion at a faster rate than Hindunization of original culture institutionalized systematically throughout the past centuries.       

 

Limbu (Kiranti)

The land of the Limbus known as Limbuwan consists of Sankhuwasabha, Dhankutta, Therathum, Taplejung, and Panchthar. Beyond the boundary of Nepal they are in Sikkim and part of Bhutan. Their settlements are in the elevation of around 2000 to 5000 meter. They live in their ancesterial land known as kipat. They retained their tax-free land after negotiated settlement with the invading Gorkha to form confederation against the war against Sikkim. It is the only autonomous region in Nepal, though at present time the meaning and usefulness of kipat or autonomous  has been eroded.

House are painted with red and white earth colour; it is usually one storey with attic. Most of the villages are located in the high slopes of Tamur-river. Houses are clean and orderly. Lands are neatly cultivated.Culinary cultures of the people are varied. Some of the items are similar to the food enjoyed by the Koreans and

Japanese, especially food that are fermented. Recent survey of food items they prepare listed about 55 varieties. It surpassed the number Newar of Kathmandu boast of their preparation.  Foods are prepared from range of meat, like pork, mutton, buffalo, and chicken, and several kinds of vegetable grown in their land. As for alcholic beverage Tongba, a millet brew, is popular. It is usually served in a large jug made of bamboo with a bamboo straw now replaced by other materials. This beverage is served in all occasions.

Natures of the Limbus are similar to other ethnic groups who are considered as descendent of Mongol and Kiranti. They like merry making and fun. They take pride in their heritage and are sensitive. They are fierce, brave and combative. They do not keep grudge; even serious problems are solved with a bottle of homemade spirit. If they fight they fight to the end. They are loyal and submit totally when they do submit. Perhaps this is the region why British have recruited them in their armed force. They have fought as British  force since first world war.  

 

Profession: Apart from agriculture they are employed in British and Indian army. The British considered them best soldiers ever since they had problem in controlling their empire in India. They have proved the proficiency in numerous battles fought in first and second-world war, either near home front or far away in Europe, in jungle or desert warfare. They are also considered a good business-people, but unlike Newars their business are regionally centered. The Limbu women are expert in making carpet, and knitting colourful local cloth (dhaka) with intricate design for clothing. They are also expert in bamboo work.

 

Custom: Their society is free of any conservative tradition. Their conjugal family and social life is based on mutual respect. They are open and flexible in their tradition. Compared to other non-Kirati and Mongoloid nationality their social and personal life style is simple and systematic.  Young boys and girls are allowed to meet freely during the market days, marriage ceremony, and community gathering. They have freedom to choose partner. Women have unlimited right. Even after marriage and children they retain their right to surrender their personality and property. Until a ceremony called "Saimundri" is performed the women have all the right in their paternal home. For marriage it is the groom who has to offer all necessary goodwill things to the bride family. Though marriage is done through arrangement yet the traditional way 'capture of the lady or elopement' are commonly accepted. Limbu marriage does not have elaborate formalities; it is quite straightforward. The priest of the Limbu called 'Phedangma' perform the ceremony by reciting their religious text called 'Mundhum' throughout the night during which the bride and groom are not allowed to sleep. The ceremony is held in the groom's house. Regarding crop cultivation they perform a simple ceremony called Nwagi. In this ceremony the first cultivated crop is offered first to the deity and then only it is available to the household.   

 

Cultural dance: Dhan-nach and Chebrung are their traditional group dance. Dhan-nach is performed in a group. Young boys and girls exchange their questions and answers through a song called palam, which they sing in unison. The dance can continue for hours until the wee hour. The dancers line up in a single row with girls and boys in alternative position. They join hand and make forwards and backward steps in uniform rhythm and slowly go around in a circle. Chembrung is name of a big drum. All the drummers are male. They form a single line, held the drum with a string around their neck and bit the drum with hand in a rhythm. They dance with the drum moving forward and backward and sideways in synchronized form beating the drum in unison. This dance is usually performed during marriage ceremony and festival only.      

    

Religion: Like all Tibeto-Burman group Limbus has their own natural deities. Every Limbu household has their ancestor-god called mangena. Their main deity is in the form of Yuma-sam and theba-sam. Yuma-sam is original grandmother. Her spirit is the most powerful in every household.  Theba-sam is original grandfather. They are the common ancestors of all the Limbus. Beside them, Limbus worships nature-earth, river, and mountain. This worship is done in the ceremony called udhauli-ubhauli. Specially flavoured rice is served on this ceremony. Their priests are called phedangma and shamba. Phedengma are generally used for birth and marriage and Shamba are used in death ceremony. Though both perform similar function however shamba are considered more proficient in their job. During special ceremony the priests wear special white dress with feathers, bells, and beaded necklace etc. and uses religious text to prepare and perform the ceremony. In such ceremony they beat metal plates to make rhythmic noise in unison when invoking their ancestors and natural gods. All these are performed according to the strict text in their texbook-mundum. Limbus buries their dead. A ceremony known as Tongshim is performed for the welfare of the dead.    

 

Script: Script is the indicator of their civilization. The only ethnic group that enables to preserve their communication skill in the Himalayan Kingdom is the script of Limbu. This script was almost lost had it not been researched and re-established by an imminent Limbu scholar Iman Sing Chemgong. The script is known as Shrijunga. It is introduced by a Shrijunga Hang (880-915 A.D), a powerful Limbu chief who had his fort at Phedap and Chainpur; he is said to have brought the script from a cave in one of the Kanchanjung peak (Dr Harka Gurung in Vignettes of Nepal page 345).    

 

Taplejung cultural tour: The main reason being it is easily accessible by surface and air. The hills are some of the best place to make easy walk in the forest covered by varieties of rhododendron flowers. The other accessible region are Chainpur and Therathum; they have closest large Limbu village in easy proximity to the good road that would represent Limbu Kirati culture. This region closer to Chainpur and Therathum is the best place for rhododendron flowers. And Arun river valley is one of the biggest geological mysteries of earth. And it has the biggest concentration of birds, wildlife and plants that are never found in other area because of its wet and damp climatic condition. The whole area east of Arun river is now national park conservation area because of its rich natural and cultural heritage.    

After the opening of Nepal in 1950 traditional societies are changing rapidly. At present road access, development in communication and mass media, social integration and new value system are imposing rapid changes on the societies.  Among the many ethnic communities in Nepal Limbu of Eastern Nepal, whose dominant culture in east of Arun river and in the vicinity of Kanchanjunga Himalaya range, has unique culture and tradition. As Kirati culture have dwindled, disappeared and mixed up with other culture throughout the centuries some of the few pockets of this original race in south Asia is being in the process of loosing their identity. 

 

Note:

Books to read: "The Arun" by Edward Cronin. It is a rich source of information about natural history of Arun river valley. "Vignettes of Nepal" by Dr.Hark Gurung. An imminent geographer and explorer. It is interesting reading the section Chapter 19 and 20. "People of Nepal" by Dor Bahadur Bista. A prominent anthropologist whose famous book "Fatality and Development" brought to light the flaw and negative aspect of Hinduism which is related to Brahamanism

Bandipur

Starting at

$ 320

Duration : 3 Days

Group Size : 3-5 pax

Bandipur was once a prosperous trading centre, as its charming building with their neoclassical facades and shuttered windows. Originally a simple Magar village, Newars from Bhaktapur settled here in the early nineteenth century, taking advantage of its malaria-free location to develop it into an important stop on the India-Tibet trade route. The heart of Bandipur is the medieval-looking Bandipur Bazaar that sweeps in a gentle curve along the top of the hill in an east-west axis. The stone paved main street is lined with compact town houses with ornate windows and doorways and roofs of tin or slate. All along the street, a covered veranda extends in front of the rows of houses providing shade in summer sun and monsoon rain.

Bandipur village Tour – Bandipur is located between Capital of Kathmandu and the Lake town of Pokhara ridge above the highway above Dumre a picturesque Newar town that still retains of its centuries old appeal. The village is  mix of history, architecture, incredible views, awesome caves and unspoiled landscapes. Located at an altitude of 1030 meters, Bandipur has been described as a natural view tower, providing a spectacular panorama of the entire Annapurna range plus the peaks of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Langtang to the Marsyangdi valley which is below 500 meters. Apart from the stunning views of the Himalaya and the Marsyangdi valley; a visit to the town is an opportunity to get a close look ar Newar culture life that reflects the refined civilization of the Kathmandu valley. Bandipur was once a prosperous trading centre; as its charming buildings with their neoclassical and shuttered windows will attest. Originally a simple Magar village, Newars from Bhaktapur settled here in the early nineteenth century, taking advantage of its malaria –free location to develop it into an important stop on the India –Tibet Trade route.

Place to Visit around Bandipur:

Bandipur Bazzar - the heart of Bandipur is the medieval – looking Bandipur Bazzar that sweeps in a gentle curve along the top of the hill in an east –west axis. The stone paved main street is lined with compact town houses with ornate windows and doorways and roofs of tin or slate. All along the street, a covered veranda extends in front of the rows of houses providing shade in summer sun and monsoon rain.

Thani Mai (Purano Kot) - Thani Mai (Purano kot) originally a fort, Lies at a distance of about 500 m to the west of the main Bandipur bazzar. It takes about twenty minutes of easy and gently climbing to reach the top of Thani Mai. There is small temple nearby containing a number of old statues. Next to it stands newly build temple of Thanithan Mai. The local people believe that praying to the god Mahadev at this spot during a drought will bring rain. Since this spot lies on a hilltop above the Bandipur Bazzar. It’s providing stunning views of the mountains and the Bandipur village especially at sunrise and sunset.

Nature walk in Raniban - This mixed sal forest is located to the east of the main Bandipur Bazzar. It is a tranquil haven for the nature enthusiasts with abundant local flora and Fauna, including langurs, orchids, butterflies etc. Exploring the Siddha Cave Bandipur’s hillsides area dotted with caves, often carrying religious significance for the locals. The must see destination here is the

Siddha Cave discovered only in 1987. Rich in stalactites and stalagmites, it is said to be tha largest cave in the Himalayan region. Siddha Cave is situated just above the cliff of Bimalnagar from where it is a 30 minutes climb. Hike to Ramkot village.

Ramkot village is about two hour easy hike to the west of Bandipur. It passes through Muchuk village from where you can also visit Mukundeswari temple. Ramkot is a typical Magar village with traditional round houses, untouched by modern developments offering an opportunity to experience authentic lifestyle of rural Nepal. From here, one can go on to Chabdi Barahi, a pilgrimage spot which can be reached after easy 2 hour hiking.

Jhargaun, a lovely place lies on the isolated area of Bandipur. Jargaun lies on the east side of Bandipur, we will take a shortcut trail to make our walking hour short by switching the trail via village, school and some time walking through small jungle. The trail provides panoramic views of Annapurna range plus the peak of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Langtang and the valley of Marshyangdi. It is also an opportunity to get a closer look of Newali cultural life that reflects the refined civilization of the Kathmandu valley. 

Sirubari Homestay

Starting at

$ 250

Duration : 4 Days

Group Size : 2 pax

Sirubari village is one of the most popular destination to enjoy local lifestyle culture of Nepal. The beautiful, grandeur of the village and the enjoying the company with warmhearted people is very exhilarating. It lies in the southwest part of Nepal and easily accessible by motorable roads.

The village is a totally unspoiled Gurung settlement set in the hills at 1700 meters above sea level. It is a short drive and walk from Pokhara 9 3hrs) the major tourist center for the Annapurna region. You can also reach from Kathmandu which is approximately 8 hours drive and Lumbini , the birth place of Gautaum Buddha (5 hours Drive). The trail to the village is steep but well made and most people manage to reach the village after a three-hour walk.

The hills above Sirubari village offer panoramic views of Mt. Annapurna massif including Macchapuchare, Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Lamjung and Hiunchuli. The climate is ideal at any time during the September to June season with warm days and cool nights.

In the past touring in Nepal has meant either trekking along the trails or staying in specially built resorts. Getting to know the locals and their culture has been difficult. In Sirubari, one can experience a stay in an unspoiled village living as a family member. You will be welcomed into the community and invited to stay in the home of one of the village families. Each night there will be entertainment provided by the community. One evening this will be in the form of traditional Gurung and Nepali dancing and singing.

The accommodation is simple but comfortable with clean room with good beds as well as clean toilet facilities (squat toilets). The food is delicious and you will be eating your meals as one of the family. During your stay, you will be able to feel what it is like to live the life of a Nepali villager. Walk with your family while they go about their daily chores, tending animals, tilling the fields, or simply sitting in the sun talking to the neighbors. Feel free to wander, safely, by yourself and look at all of the developments that the community have supported and funded. And, at the end of the stay, you will be overwhelmed by the farewell that your new family will give you. Even if you never come this way again, the village and its people will remain in your heart forever.

Starting at

$ 835

Duration : 9 Days

Group Size : 3-5 pax

In Kathmandu we spend next two days on a guided tour of Swambhunath, Patan, Pasupath and Boudhanath. In Patan we take you to visit Patan Durbar Square, Hiranya Varna Mahavira, and Mahaboudha, which are very close to the old palace, believed to have been built in 299 AD. There are many famous and beautifully carved windows, doors and balconies. Mahaboudha is made of Terracotta bricks and pagoda style structure of Mahavira dedicated to Lord Buddha. It is built in 13th century.  Swayambhunath is 2000 years old Buddhist stupa (Chaitya), known as monkey temple. Boudhanath is one of the most popular Buddhist pilgrimage center. The legend has it that Goddess Manjushri found a shrine here after she drained the water from the lake. The stupa represents the mind of the Buddha. It is believed to have been constructed in the fifth century by King Mandeva. Pasupatinath is the holiest Hindu shrine in the world dedicated to Hindu god ‘Shiva.’ The temple is located on the bank of Bagmati-river. Every year on the day of Shivaratri, (Night dedicated to Shiva) in February, Hindu sadhus (pious men) and pilgrims from all over the world comes to pay respect to Pasupatinath.

After Kathmandu travel to Chitwan National Park. You will drive there to see and enjoy ecology and wild life activities in natural setting. You will spend two full day watching wild lives on elephant back, in the Jungle walk, or when you ride the dug out canoe. You will be also taken on a jeep ride deep inside the jungle. In the evening the camp staff show you local Tharu cultural programme.

We travel onward to Pokhara and to a mountain village at Chandrakot. The overnight camp at Chandrakot gives you opportunity to see close up view of Machhapuchare and Annapurna Himalaya range. Next day drive back to Pokhara. Spend your leisure time in the Phewa Lake taking a boat or just walk around the lake.  At the end of the tour fly back to Kathmandu; stay overnight in Kathmandu before flying back home.    
Pokhara is your first stop before you head to the mountain. It is a small city situated by a lake. From Pokhara travel up the winding road to the mountain that has crispy cool air. After a short drive you walk to Chandrakot; you are in the middle of the mountain villages. You could see himalayan peaks real close. It is simply great to see the wonderful view of the mountain and the snow caped Himalayan range. The walking trail to these villages and camp are wide and easy for your legs – age is not a barrier. If you enjoy walking it is simply nice. The trek staffs in the camp welcome you and make you comfortable. Even if this is your first time in tent, you will enjoy it thoroughly. If kids are around they love to enjoy camping, especially when it is just below the lofty peak. The magnetic attraction of the mountain is enigmatic. In the evening you will have bar-b-que dinner with wine and 3 course camping meals. Sit around the camp fire and exchange your story of the past days. Next morning you are wakened up to see the mountain range that put on different colour than what you saw the previous evening. After hearty breakfast return back to the road head for a jeep ride back to Pokhara and fly back to Kathmandu.

If the flight to Kathmandu is late take the opportunity to enjoy the peaceful environment of the lake in the boat in Phewa Lake where you could see the shadow of Fish Tail peak. Fish Tail known in Nepali as Machhapuchere is a beautiful peak as impressive as the famous Matterhorn in Switzerland. Beside this beautiful peak there are other huge mountain peaks on the Annapurna range.  
Optional Tour to the city of Bhaktapur provides fine example of the preservation of heritage site. This city has many beautiful temples and well preserved architectures. There are many monuments and temples like Lion Gates (1696AD), Golden Gate, The Palace of Fifty Five windows (1427AD), Picture gallery that has ancient Hindu and Tantric painting, and Nyatapola temple (1702 AD), Bhairab Nath and Dattatraya Temple (1427 AD) - dedicated to Shiva in his fearsome mood, and the intricately carved Peacock window built in a monastery (1458 AD). All these monuments are famous for artistic quality.

Starting at

$ 655

Duration : 9 Days

Group Size : Min 5 pax

This tour includes three full days in the city center of Kathmandu valley that provides insight into the rich cultural heritage of Nepal that includes Nepalese culture, life style and art and architecture dates back to centuries. Beside the regular sightseeing tours of temples and Gods the tours allow you to understand and feel more about the culture of Nepal. It is indeed true this is the very reason why the valley is in the heritage list of UNESCO. Many people find Kathmandu valley as an open museum. Beside the regular places we take you to Kritipur, Bungamati and Khokana. These places where culture is very much traditional are less frequently visited by tourists.

Pokhara is next popular tourist destination after Kathmandu. The serene lakes and the close up view of the majestic Himalayan peaks are simply wonderful. The Pokhara valley lies in the Nepal Midland. In the south is Mahabharat-Lekh and to the north is high Himalayan range. It covers an area about 125 square kilometers. It lies equidistant (170 km) between the Tibet to the north and India in the south. Pokhara derived its name from the word "pokhari" meaning lake and is dominated by Machapuchere Himal (6997m) - the "Fishtail" shaped peak and the giant Annapurna Range. We stay overnight in Pokhara before the trek.

Upon arrival in Kathmandu we take you to see cultural heritages of Kathmandu valley listed by UNESCO in its World heritage list. Durbar squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, Stupas of Swambhunath and Boudhanath, and the Hindu temple of Pasupatinath and Changu Narayan are all located within Kathmandu valley in the city centers except Changu Narayan. You will find Kathmandu an open museum. Most of the buildings are made of wood engraved with meticulous design with metal doors and roofs. These monuments are center to many festivals that happens here throughout the year. It is best to visit during festival time. After the tour of Kathmandu you would be thrilled to find rich culture, life style and art and architecture that date back to centuries still thriving. After going through many temples, images of Gods, and architecture that are part of the heritage we take you to Nagarkot (2195 m) to see sunrise view over the Himalayan range including Mt. Everest. We enjoy the mountain and its cool, fresh air. Nagarkot is situated on north eastern rim high above the valley. Our next destination is Pokhara. It is famous for its serene lakes and close up view of the Annapurna and Machhapuchare himal. We spend two nights in and around Pokhara taking easy walk on the ridge near Phewa lakes and boat ride from the foot of Sarankot to your hotel. You get to see mountain villages, meet villagers and get close up view of Machapuchare peak and whole range of Annapurna Himal. We fly back to Kathmandu, stay overnight before flying home.

Starting at

$ 220

Duration : 1 Days

Group Size : 3-5 pax

Mountain flight is an exclusively one of the best tours that you can experience . It is an instant tour to the high valley in the Himalayas and the quickest means to reach remote and little known hinterland of the high mountain over 7000 meter. In less than an hour you are at the heart of mighty Himalayas and feel close to Mt. Everest .The close of view of Mt. Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8501m) and Pumori (7165m) are everlasting memory.  The close up view of the mountains is simply mesmerizing.

The Fleet consists of Beechcraft 1900D of 18 seater , ATR 42-320 of 47 seater, and ATR 72-500 of 70 seater. If you are here in Nepal i think you dont want to miss the mountain flight to have the best panoramic view of the Himalayas and see these magnificent mountain to the fullest. 

 

 

 

Starting at

$ 240

Duration : 3 Days

Group Size : 3-5 pax

Arrive Kathmandu. Your flight approaches Kathmandu in the back drop of panoramic view of the Himalayan range that appear like a jeweled crown on the majestic head. The view of the mountain range is simply amazing. The white snow capped mountain with blue sky in the horizon can captivate anyone. After arrival and some rest we take you to a walking tour of Asan and Hanuman Dhoka known as Kathmandu Durbarsquare. Next day you will be taken on a guided tour of Swambhunath, Patan, Pasupath and Boudhanath.
Beside the regular sightseeing tours of temples and Gods the tour allows you to understand and feel more about the culture of Nepal. You will be amazed to find many aspects of human still alive here which are fast disappearing in other part of the world. It is indeed true this is the very reason why the valley is in the heritage list of UNESCO. The sightseeing tour is not all temples, monasteries, God and Goddess. It I about the people and their cultural which is going through fast changing process.

Starting at

$ 1500

Duration : 11 Days

Group Size : 2 pax

Nepal is a country of grandeur with its high mountains , ethnic diversity and customs and tradition of its unique blend make it a heaven for adventurers. You will be visiting some of the important Hindu and Buddhist heritage sites.  This tour is will take to the place where Buddha was born. You will drive across the hills to the plains. The major hightlight of the tour is Lumbini and Pokhara. 

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