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Shopping for Thangkas in Bhutan and Nepal
27 Apr 2017

Shopping for Thangkas in Bhutan and Nepal

In her native Tibetan language, Her Eminence Jetsun Kushok Chimey Luding guided us to become the goddess at the ‘Uncommon White Tara Initiation’ taking place at the Ewan Choden Buddhist Center in California. With Lama Jay Goldberg translating for us, I envisioned the White Tara thangka painting I had acquired

Inside Himalayas 1
Must-Do Treks Around McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh
25 Apr 2017

Must-Do Treks Around McLeod Ganj

McLeod Ganj, in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, may be a destination for Buddhists the world over, but for those with an affinity for nature and a passion for walking, it is merely a gateway. The hikes/treks accessible range from short, hour-long walks to gushing waterfalls, to overnight trips

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Lo Manthang
23 Apr 2017

Exploring Lo Manthang, the Capital of Upper Mustang

It’s eight o’clock in the morning in Lo Manthang. The monks are still asleep, just like the five Tibetan mastiffs guarding the courtyard of the monastery. We peek inside the temple door, where a young monk looks back at us, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He jumps up from

Inside Himalayas 1
Chiya Khayo? Traditional Nepali Tea and Snacks
20 Apr 2017

Chiya Khayo? Traditional Nepali Tea and Snacks

Nepal is a tea drinker’s paradise, and a good cup of chiya – sweet milk tea – is hard to resist. Enter a Nepali home and before you can say ‘namaste’ and take off your coat, a steaming cup of chiya will have already been placed in front of you.

Inside Himalayas 3
Beas River
18 Apr 2017

Pushing Through Pain While Cycling in Himachal Pradesh

“It’s time to let the brakes off, but hold onto them tightly,” instructed my local guide as we neared the top of the 3,200 metre Jalori Pass. I was confused by the paradoxical instruction. It sounded as if I was about to perform a Mission Impossible-esque stunt. His words echoed

Inside Himalayas 0
16 Apr 2017

9 Reasons to Travel to Lower Mustang this Season

The Mustang region of Nepal was once an isolated and independent Tibetan kingdom. Now part of Nepal, it nevertheless retains a rugged and mystical reputation. Divided into Lower and Upper, these different parts of Mustang are connected yet also quite different. They offer different attractions for the visitor, in terms

Elen Turner 3
Looking for somewhere to stay in Tansen? Check out the Palpa Community Homestay.
13 Apr 2017

Exploring Tansen and Around

Tansen, in Palpa District, is situated atop a crest in the Lesser Himalayas, on the highway connecting Lumbini and Pokhara. You may choose to stop for a while in Tansen if you want to better understand different regions of Nepal. This way you experience a gradual transition between the subtropical

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Travelling the Legendary Karakoram Highway
11 Apr 2017

Travelling the Legendary Karakoram Highway

As the road wound uphill, the sultry weather made way for cool, fresh air. After months of sweating in cotton shirts, we changed our gear to fleece jackets, socks and hiking boots. As we checked off the big, chaotic cities of Abbottabad and Mansehra, more of Pakistan’s northern wilderness opened

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The Mystical Kingdom of Lo
09 Apr 2017

The Mystical Kingdom of Lo

Tucked away behind the Himalayas and bordering Tibet lies one of Nepal’s most remote and special places: Upper Mustang, or the former Kingdom of Lo. For a long time, this Tibetan kingdom was isolated from the rest of Nepal. Until 1992 it was even forbidden for foreigners to enter the

Inside Himalayas 1
7 Beautiful Sustainable Hotels in Nepal
06 Apr 2017

7 Beautiful Sustainable Hotels in Nepal

Sustainable tourism is tourism that is committed to making a low impact on the environment and local cultures, while helping to generate future employment for local people. It aims to ensure that development is positive for local people, tourism operators and tourists. While Nepal has great potential as a sustainable

Inside Himalayas 4
The Dhampus Village Hike, Nepal
04 Apr 2017

The Dhampus Village Hike, Nepal

When in Pokhara there are plenty of alternatives to the long Annapurna Circuit. Being short on time, we were looking for a one day trek that would bring us, at the end of the day, back to Pokhara before catching our flight home. We also hoped to get a peek

Gabriela Ghillanyova 4
Celebrating Tihar, the Festival of Lights
02 Apr 2017

Celebrating Tihar, the Festival of Lights

Nepal is a traditional country with diverse customs, and there’s a high chance your visit will coincide with some kind of ancient festival. Grounded in Hindu and Buddhist culture, the colorful festivals are a good way to witness local traditions and customs. Dashain and Tihar are the major Hindu festivals

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A Surprise Homestay in Arunachal Pradesh, India
30 Mar 2017

A Surprise Homestay in Arunachal Pradesh, India

On the eastern end of the Himalayas, bordering both China and Bhutan, lies the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. It is nothing like many people imagine India to be. Instead of dirty, crowded cities, the mountainous green land is sparsely populated by ancient tribes and clans. Many of these people

Inside Himalayas 0
Trekking with a Child in the Nepali Himalayas
28 Mar 2017

Trekking with a Child in the Nepali Himalayas

After having lived in Nepal for more than four years, last November we finally found the time to do our first “real” trek: The Poon Hill trek. Now that my daughter was six years old, I could not find any more excuses not to go, and so we set off

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A Bold Woman's Motorbike Trip across the Pakistani Himalayas
26 Mar 2017

A Bold Woman’s Motorbike Trip across the Pakistani Himalayas

Last year I travelled by motorbike from Australia to the Netherlands, not something many single women find themselves doing. There are a few countries along the way that most people, both men and women, would advise you to avoid. One of these is Pakistan. But with the high costs of

Inside Himalayas 2
The Stunning Portraits Show the Cultural Diversity of the Himalayas
23 Mar 2017

Stunning Portraits that Show the Cultural Diversity of the Himalayas

The Himalayas are an enormous mountain chain that spread from Pakistan in the west, to Bhutan in the east, as well as encompassing Nepal, parts of Tibet and several states of India. So while there is some cultural similarity between the peoples living in this region, there are also lots

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Witnessing Tamang Death Rites in a Nepali Village
21 Mar 2017

Tamang Death Rites in a Nepali Village

In Nepal, rural lifestyles and traditions are still alive. As a visitor, you can easily witness them if you immerse yourself in the countryside for a few days. You don’t have to go very far from the capital, just be open and willing to embrace whatever opportunities arise. Such opportunities

Iuliana Marchian 1
Trekking to Pikey Peak, Nepal
16 Mar 2017

Trekking to Pikey Peak, Nepal

Trekking in the Pikey Peak region has been gaining in popularity, but still a much-less travelled option than most in the Everest area. My journey began when guide Wangdowa Sherpa made a group for his friends in his new home in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, USA, after he married a

Inside Himalayas 2

Culture & Tradition

The Rato Matsyendranath chariot. Photo: Elen Turner
18 Apr 2018

Patan’s Furious Sage: The Rato Matsyendranath Festival

There’s a festival held in Patan that goes on and on for one entire month–the Rato Mtsyendranath Festival. This year it will be held from May-June. It’s also a festival that has been the foreteller of some tragic events in the country’s history. The focal point of the festival is

Inside Himalayas 0
Dashain swing. Photo: socialtours nepal/Flickr
15 Apr 2018

Dashain, Nepal’s Biggest Festival

Dashain is the most important festival in Nepal. It is a celebration of good prevailing over evil. Families offer goats, ducks, chickens, eggs and coconuts to the goddess Durga. People return to their home villages to spend some or all of the fifteen-day festival with their families. Large swings are

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Photo: R4vi/Flickr
11 Apr 2018

The Janai Purnima Festival, or Rakshya Bandhan

The Hindu, Buddhist and Jain festival of Janai Purnima (also known as Rakhsya Bandhan) takes place on the full moon day of Shrawan. Janai refers to a sacred thread worn by men as they come of age, and purnima means the full moon. During this festival, Buddhists bathe in sacred

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