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Guide to the Hemis Monastery Festival, Ladakh, 23-24 June 2018
04 Jun 2018

Guide to the Hemis Monastery Festival, Ladakh, 23-24 June 2018

The Hemis Monastery, 43 kilometres from Leh, is one of the richest and most important monasteries in Ladakh. It is also one of the few monasteries to hold its annual festival in the summer. Therefore, it’s very popular with tourists. If you’re lucky enough to be in Ladakh in June/July,

Elen Turner 0
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

Inside Himalayas 1
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

Inside Himalayas 0
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

Inside Himalayas 2
Tips for an Unforgettable Stay in Chitwan
13 May 2018

Tips for an Unforgettable Stay in Chitwan

When I first traveled to Chitwan, I thought I had fallen into a horrendous tourist trap. It was hot, I didn’t see any animals, and I endured a really, really long and bumpy bus ride to get there. Fast-forward a few years and at the urging of friends, I decided

Michelle Welsch 0
The Nepali Man's Traditional Dress Explained
09 May 2018

The Nepali Man’s Traditional Dress Explained

Although Nepal is made up of many different cultures, there are a couple of items that most men across the country will wear at some time or another, perhaps even every day. Daura Suruwal Once the national dress, young men now only wear it on occasions such as weddings. But,

Inside Himalayas 1
Cho Oyu expedition. Photo: Dirk Groeger / Flickr
06 May 2018

On Mountain Climbing and the Himalayan Database

I spoke to Billi Bierling, German climber and major contributor to the Himalayan Database. The Database thoroughly chronicles those who have summited the Himalayan peaks from 1905-2018, utilizing details gathered from over 15,000 individual interviews. The creator of the database was the legendary Elizabeth Hawley, a close friend of Billi’s,

Erin Green 0
On the Nepali Flag
03 May 2018

On the Nepali Flag

On August 23, 2014, almost 40,000 people congregated at the Tundikhel ground in Kathmandu to participate in a unique event. They were there at the call of an organization that hoped to create a new world record of sorts—making the largest national flag. Around 30,000 people in nearby Lahore, Pakistan

Inside Himalayas 0
Photo credit: Malmaison Hotels / Flickr
29 Apr 2018

The Top Spas in Kathmandu

After some extremely serious research over the past few years, I’ve compiled a list of the top contenders for the best massages, therapies and other treatments to keep the body and soul aglow through the ‘fairy dust’ that Kathmandu casts on her residents and visitors. Check ’em out! For a

Erin Green 1
Help Clean Up Nepal: Take Out Your Trash
25 Apr 2018

Help Clean Up Nepal: Take Out Your Trash

As a child I often saw my mother pick up trash. It was a quiet action that showed me the importance of leaving a place better than I found it. I have picked up trash on beaches, mountains, and in cities for years, so I wasn’t surprised to see trash

Inside Himalayas 0
Snake ornamentation in a water tank. Photo: 
Peretz Partensky/Flickr
22 Apr 2018

Nag Panchami, When the Snakes Have Their Day

Nag Panchami (August 19) is a Hindu festival that worships Nag, the serpent king. Pictures of Nag are posted in doorways, and milk is the prime offering of the day. If you have a keen eye, you must have noticed that snakes are quite prevalent in many wood, metal, and

Inside Himalayas 2
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

Marianne 0
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

Marianne 1
Photo: socialtours nepal/Flickr
08 Apr 2018

The Story of the Gai Jatra Festival

Going by just the name, you might think that Gai Jatra (or the festival of the cows) it’s something like the ‘running of the bulls’ festival in Pamplona. Well, that is really far from the mark. Gai Jatra, held on August 27 this year, is actually an occasion to commemorate

Inside Himalayas 1
Around Dingboche. Photo: Paul/Flickr
05 Apr 2018

Living as an Honorary Sherpa in the Solukhumbu Region

Twenty years ago, my father made one last great trip before becoming a stay-at-home dad. I was then four years old and I don’t recall his absence. This final adventure was a hike to Gokyo Ri in the Everest region. Despite his determination, he got caught in a snow storm.

Inside Himalayas 0
Photo: Matt Zimmerman/Flickr
02 Apr 2018

Where to Take the Best Photos, Film & Selfies in Pokhara

The world is no stranger to Nepal’s natural beauty. Yet beyond stunning mountaintops and sweeping landscapes, Nepal’s urban centers bustle with markets, restaurants, music, and more. Perfect for idyllic photos and film backdrops. Once a quiet trekking town, Pokhara is now full of luxury hotels and trendy nightspots. Beyond the

Michelle Welsch 0
Mustang's Colourful Tiji Festival
30 Mar 2018

Mustang’s Colourful Tiji Festival

The Tiji Festival is the most auspicious festival in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal. Ancient mythology relates how the Tiji Festival was celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil. It is believed that what is now the Mustang region was in trouble, and was being destroyed by

Marianne 0

Culture & Tradition

6 Monasteries in Ladakh You Should Definitely Visit
28 Aug 2018

6 Monasteries in Ladakh You Should Definitely Visit

Along with trekking, rafting and the high-altitude lakes, visiting the monasteries of Ladakh is a highlight of any visit. There are monasteries perched upon every second craggy hill, it seems, but some of them are more visit-worthy than others. There are two main monastery circuits that visitors to Ladakh take—to

Elen Turner 0
World Heritage Sites in Tibet
28 Jun 2018

World Heritage Sites in Tibet

Tibet is home to three UNESCO-listed World Heritage Sites, all in the capital city, Lhasa. These three places–the Potala Palace, the Norbulingka Palace, and the Jokhang Temple–are all fixtures on Tibet sightseeing itineraries, and are well-worth visiting. UNESCO states that “the beauty and originality of the architecture of these three

Elen Turner 1
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

Inside Himalayas 1

Nature

Jungle Walking in the Chitwan National Park
19 Jan 2017

Jungle Walking in the Chitwan National Park

The Chitwan National Park is one of Nepal’s most popular tourist destinations, situated in the subtropical southern part of the country. It was the first national park to be established in Nepal, in 1972, and was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1984. The park covers an area

Iuliana Marchian 3
The Colours of the Nubra Valley, Ladakh
28 Nov 2016

The Colours of the Nubra Valley, Ladakh

The Nubra Valley is situated at the end of the road, at the cap of India, in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a hidden treasure with fine silver sand dunes cradled by gargantuan mountains. This is a politically sensitive area, and all visitors require an Indian

Gabriela Ghillanyova 2
tilicho-lake
17 Nov 2016

Tilicho Lake Trek: Highest Lake in Nepal

The plan was to climb up to Tilicho Lake – the highest lake in Nepal (4,920m) the morning after. Tilicho Lake is well known for its outstanding beauty and after many days walking I was so excited to be there! In October 2015 I set off for the Tilicho lake

Inside Himalayas 2
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