A Short History of the Gurkha Soldiers
12 Sep 2018

A Short History of the Gorkha Soldiers

General Gillespie was as seasoned an officer as could be found anywhere in the great British Army. Thus, when in 1814 General Gillespie set out to conquer Nepal, that small mountainous country neighboring Hindustan, it wasn’t such a big deal. Or at least that’s what must have gone through the

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Trekking to the Rolwaling Valley and Tso Rolpa Lake
30 Jul 2018

Trekking to the Rolwaling Valley and Tso Rolpa Lake

The first Western exploration of the Rolwaling Valley was undertaken by Eric Shipton and his team at the end of the 1951 British Mount Everest Reconnaissance Expedition. After extensive exploration of the Solukhumbu for potential routes to tackle an Everest summit attempt, the team decided on their return to cross over the Tashi Lapsek

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Exploring a Himalayan Paradise in Dardistan, Pakistan
25 Jul 2018

Exploring a Himalayan Paradise in the Gurez Valley, Kashmir

Dardistan, meaning the land of the Dard people, was once inhabited by this tribe. It used to refer to parts of land between north-eastern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan and northern Kashmir, extending up to a small part of Western Tibet. Even today, in places such as the Gurez Valley in Indian-administered

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A Non-Hiker's Guide to Trekking to Gosaikunda
11 Jul 2018

A Non-Hiker’s Guide to Trekking to Gosaikunda

I’m not a hiker and I’ve never been ultra keen on the outdoors. You can imagine that leaves me a bit at odds with the typical crowd you find hanging around Kathmandu or anywhere in Nepal. But when in Rome, right? When some friends invited me to walk (or climb!)

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Same Same But Different: Religion in Nepal
20 Jun 2018

Same Same But Different: Religion in Nepal

The last few years I have been studying different aspects of religion in Nepal. During my fieldwork, the most common phrase I encountered when asking people about their religious faith was “same same but different”. This pretty much sums up the feelings of many Nepalis toward the two major religions

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Beautiful Monasteries to Visit in Nepal
13 Jun 2018

Beautiful Monasteries in Kathmandu to Visit

Buddhist monasteries are a distinctive landmark across Nepal, and there are several beautiful monasteries in and around Kathmandu. Devout Buddhists visit monasteries daily for prayers, food and community. Visitors have also started to be interested in these monasteries, as they are architecturally marvelous, and often have expansive views over cities

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Trek to Darchula and the Api Nampa Conservation Area
07 Jun 2018

Trek to Darchula and the Api Nampa Conservation Area

There I stood, on paths previously trod by the famed Limi salt traders, who ventured further north into Tibet, while staring a the riverbanks of the most western flank of Nepal, into what was once the territory of the Gurkha Kingdom.  Alone in this remote district of Nepal, I stared

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An Introduction to Bhutanese Food
31 May 2018

An Introduction to Bhutanese Food

The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is a world unto itself, and the food from the country is a strong part of that world. Though Bhutan serves a variety of cuisines–such as Indian, Tibetan, Nepali and Chinese–for travelers seeking somewhat familiar tastes, the country’s own food is as delicious as it

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Chortens at Swayambhunath. Photo credit: chripell / Flickr
27 May 2018

Nepal’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Pictures

Nepal is home to four UNESCO World Heritage sites. But, this number is actually misleading because one of these sites (the Kathmandu Valley) includes seven monument zones. Here are some images that reflect why these sites are considered so culturally and naturally important, not just to Nepal, but to the

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Mangal Dhun, the Music of Nepal
16 May 2018

Mangal Dhun, the Music of Nepal

Once, I received a curious query from someone I knew in America; he wanted to know about the origin of the mangal dhun, one of the most familiar tunes in Nepal. The name means “auspicious tune”, and is played during festive and celebratory occasions. It is the tune that announces

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