It is an amazing place and Nepalis are amazing people. Though the country is small yet the varieties it offers to visitors are many. Its history, geography and the people made this country simply amazing. And Kathmandu is the perfect place to start your holiday. Before you Asoka one of the great emperor of India visited Kathmandu valley including Lumbini, birthplace of Gautam Buddha. He visited because of its famous reputation as sacred place. Later the famous Chinese traveler Hen Tsang visited Nepal (Lumbini) in 7th century A.D. And what you see around the city sightseeing tours is the art work of the generation of the famous Nepal artist and craftsman Anshhuvarma (7th century AD) and Arniko who spread his pagoda style architecture through China during the reign of the emperor Kublai Khan. During their time Buddhism had already spread in Tibet through Nepal. Many famous people followed their foot steps through out the history.

If you are looking for amazing culture and real place for peace where past is still the present, and Buddhism is part of daily life then your choice is Bhutan where beautiful nature, clean environment, diverse flora and fauna, rich culture in traditional environment vibrates in the commotion of the modern world.

The flight from Kathmandu fly toward the eastern Himalayas through the green hills known as Duars or gateways (In India). As you approach Bhutan the plains of India rise higher as your flight travel north towards the Tibet border. The land mark of Bhutan are the rushing silvery rivers along the valleys, waterfalls in the forest and mountainsides, and the great snowcapped peaks in the north that extend to Burma and farm houses that dots the hillsides.

As the aircraft enters the Paro valley when you look down you would see Paro Dzong on the hillside overlooking the Paro Chu (river), with Ta Dzong above it. After completion of your arrival formalities, proceed to Paro or Thimphu. The road runs down through the Paro valley to Chuzom (confluence) at the entrance to the valley, where the Paro and Thimphu rivers meet. Three chortens (stupa) on the riverbank at this place, each in a different style, mark the confluence of the two rivers.

Shortly before you reach Chuzom you would see on your left side Tachogang Lhakhang, "the temple of the excellent horse". It is a private temple, built in the 15th century. The road passes along a narrow valley with high rocky cliffs on the left, after that the valley opens out into farmland as you approach Thimphu.  

Taktsang Monastery is brand image of Bhutan. You need to do a day hike to this view point. Horses can be arranged with an additional payment or prearrangement. The uphill hike takes about 2 to 3 hours through villages and pine forests. The monastery appears to cling to a huge granite cliff 800 meters from the Paro valley. It was devastated by fire in 1998 but restored to its original shape. It is believed that the propagator of Buddhism in the Himalayan belt, great saint Padmasambhava, came to Bhutan in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated in the cave for 3 months. The demons were subdued and he spread Buddhism in the Paro valley. During the end of the 17 century a monastery was built on the spot where the saint mediated. Thus this is a pilgrimage site for all Bhutanese to visit once in their life time.

Tour in Bhutan is expensive indeed! The Bhutanese authority boasts that it is privilege to visit Bhutan. They have chosen to keep Bhutan a hidden paradise despite globalization where happiness is their goal but not at the big expense of economic development. Thus the government policy is ‘controlled tourism.’ They strongly believed their past practice and unique culture is the pillar to protect the society that has a population of 672,425 from the adverse effect of international exposure.

 

Nepal and Himalayan chain to the north, Bangladesh and Bay of Bengal to the east, Tibet and Bhutan to North east, Arabian sea to the west, and the India Ocean to the south roughly define the geographical shape of India roughly in the shape of a triangular peninsula. Beside the Arabian Sea, its western border is defined exclusively by Pakistan. In between all these the landscape is unimaginable. This has set apart a big chunk of the continent in South Asia.

The nature has endowed India with mountain ranges, national parks, sea beaches, swift rivers and most of all diverse culture and people of every shades and color. It has everything for everyone in its own way. The distance from north to the south is 3200 km. North India has largest area that has lakes in Jammu and Kashmir to the north in the mountain and fertile land of Punjab to the west and the Himalayan foothills of Uttar Pradesh and the Ganges river valley to the East. Apart from the vibrating culture of Gujarat and Maharashtra, Goa located in the west coast is famous for sea beaches. The land along the coast is typically lush with rainforests. River Ganges, a scared river, and foothill of the Himalayas also define the culture of this part of India. Southern India that includes Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala are the extension of Deccan plateau that extend to Cape Comorin. These are unique places and favourite leisure destination of tourists.

People visit India for its unique culture and monuments. It has extra ordinary cultures that have been shaped by its history. The famous Indus civilization in the Indus river valley that had flourished about five thousand years ago is a major force that shaped what is India today. The word ‘Hindu for Indus’ is believed to have originated in this valley. The meaning of the word ‘Hindu’ was not so much of a religion rather it is definition of the civilization at that time. The ‘Indus Civilization’ is believed to have adopted high level of lifestyle and advance form of technology that developed the towns and undecipherable script language. The civilization is as old as the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Sumer but it outlasted both in all aspect. However, the tectonic upheavals in about 1700 BC and the advent of Aryans around 1500 BC in the valley brought end to its glory. The Aryans who came from the North and spread throughout India brought another dimension in the culture and religions of the Indus valley that transform its own character and thereby culture of the Arayans. It is strongly believed that the Four Vedas or script of Hinduism were compiled at this time of the history.

In 567 B.C. Gautam Buddha was born in Limbuni, a small town in Nepal, and later attained Nirvana in India. This is a landmark era in the history of Inida. Gautam Buddha well known for his ‘Buddhist’ Phylosophy brought a tremendous impact in the lives of the people. Mahavira propagated Jain Religion at that time also had impressive impact on the civilization of India. Next mile stone was two hundred years later, in the 4th century B.C. The emperor Ashoka who led the Mauryan Empire defined the modern cultural boundary of India. Ashoka later adopted Buddhism as his religion and built many monuments that are included in the UNESCO World heritage list.

The other imprint in the culture was made by Guptas in the north and in the south Cholas, Pandyas and the Cheras; they spread Hinduism. They flourish in the trade with Europes and other nationalities of Asia till the end of the 1100. During the time Christianinty came into India from Europe. The history has it that Jewish religion made its mark even before the arrival of Christianity. The Parsees who landed in Gujarat made its own impact in the religious mix. In 15th century Guru Nanak made lasting impact with Sikh religion in Punjab. Mohammed of Ghori, a ruler from Afghanistan came to India in 1192 and placed his important impression by introducing Islam as the religion in several places in North India including Delhi. Before him  Islam was already flourishing in Kerala. After that Mughals came from Iran and captured north part of India. During this time in 1336 the Hindu empire of Vijayanagar was strong in the south. The Europeans - Portuguese, French, Dutch, Danish and last but not the least the British came in and placed their own imprint on the culture and civilization of India.

This is a very  facinating land on the Roof of the World. The Rich cultural heritage of Tibet is a living museum and present day China is combined with past legend and mystique of Tibet.

Trip to Tibet is a fantastic, enchanting, adventurous and special experience. It is ancient Tibet and modern China in the process of blending together. It is one of the most remote parts of the world.  Most of Tibet, including Lhasa, is at an elevation of more than 3658 meter (12000 feet). The sight of pilgrims prostrating themselves in front of Jhokang must be seen to be comprehended. Tibetans from remote part of the country makes their pilgrimage to Lhasa. It is pilgrimage of their lifetime. As you go around Jokhang temple, Lhasa’s cathedral, you come across with pilgrims prostrating themselves, tall Khampas with red braids in their hair, Chinese tourists, and traders selling goods that you cannot imagine.

The flight over the Himalaya makes spectacular crossing rarely seen anywhere in the world. The lush green colour in Nepal slowly fades away and arid and dull gray plateau appears which in turn turns into blue sky as you land at Lhasa. The highest mountain in the world, Mt.Everest, and another 8000-meter peak of Mt.Makalu dominates the breathtaking view.

The distance in Tibet is very wide and the road is rough. So schedules are often disrupted by mechanical problem, floods, or landslides. To tackle the problems that arise out of these unforeseen circumstances you would certainly need spirit of adventure and patience. In fact your journey to Tibet would be a rewarding and unforgettable experience like the one Tibetan pilgrim get once they are in Lhasa.

The trip to Tibet is in high altitude region. The road is at elevation above 3600 meter (12000 ft.) above sea level most of the time and goes as high as 5300 meter if you go to base camp of Everest or Kailas in a short period. In case of altitude problem with a member of the group it is always priority of the group to attend the sick person for his safety. There are medical facilities at Zangmu, Xigar, Xigaze, and Lhasa but not other places. Medical facilities are limited and possibility of medical evacuation is negligible.

Kailash Himalaya Trek pvt. Ltd. (KHT) is the owner of Himtravel Venture. Himtravel is Budget division wing of Kailash Himalaya Trek. KHT is a private limited company registered in Nepal. Owner and operator are specialized in the management of adventure travel and climbing in the Himalayas. Mr. Santa Subba is the Managing Director of the company. read more

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