Travel Nepal

Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek 2017

Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek 2017

I am headed to Nepal in September 2017 with family, with my two young daughters June & Maaya. Needless to say how excited I am, no really I am very excited.
I will be there celebrating Dashian (Biggest festival in Hindi Calendar) with family in Nepal after – I don’t remember. Surely it will bring back memories of the childhood.

 
Also when in Nepal, I will be doing two community projects around Annapurna Area, alongside travelers from Canberra in conjunction with Reach for Nepal Foundation. And in between that I will be trekking Mardi Himal Base Camp – all the way upto 4500 meters. The 5 weeks are full on 🙂


Situated just east of one of the most popular treks of Nepal, the Annapurna Base Camp trek, the Mardi Himal trek is a hidden gem.

 
Few trekkers make their way to the Mardi Himal Base Camp spectacularly situated at the base of Mardi Himal and the impressive Machapuchhre. The trail goes along small winding paths, through magical rhododendron forests. I am looking forward to get some amazing views of Mardi Himal, Machapuchre, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli & close up views of the entire Annapurna Range.

 

If you would like to join me, please contact me on 0422 657 897
Lachhu Thapa

Reach for Nepal Foundation – Introduction & Vision

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The REACH for Nepal Foundation was established after the devastating 2015 earthquakes of Nepal provides practical and financial assistance to rural Nepalese communities affected by the earthquake.

R = Rebuild areas affected by the 2015 earthquakes, and provide support to other schools and villages that need assistance.
E = Educate – Provide school textbooks and tuition, as well as scholarship programs and vocational training to improve employment outcomes.
A = Assist – Ensure that projects benefit the lives of children and their communities, while also stimulating the local economy by employing locals to assist in community projects.
C = Children/Communities – Our focus is to improve the livelihood of both children and Nepalese communities who have been worst affected by the 2015 earthquakes and other events.
H = Hope – Give hope to communities that have lost family members, homes, schools, income and opportunities as a result of the 2015 earthquakes, or who are otherwise in desperate need of assistance.

OUR VISION

Enable villages to become more self-sustaining

The Reach for Nepal Foundation encourages and facilitates opportunities for Nepalese people to complete vocational training through local providers. This will improve employment outcomes, create jobs and improve stability and harmony in remote villages. With in-demand skills, people won’t need to travel to the Middle East or India looking for work.

The Reach for Nepal Foundation also works with villages and schools to provide facilities so that residents and students have access to clean drinking water.

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Assist local communities to rebuild schools and libraries

With abundant local knowledge, the Reach for Nepal Foundation identifies schools in Western Nepal that need help rebuilding classrooms or other facilities. These projects are funded through fundraising activities in Australia.

In all rebuilding projects, we use local labour and materials. This creates jobs and stimulates the economy by investing funds locally.

 

Provide education scholarships and student support

The Reach for Nepal Foundation, with the support of its Nepalese director, uses local networks to identify students in remote Western Nepal that would most benefit from an education scholarship.

When undertaking school projects or visits, the Reach for Nepal Foundation donates used Australian textbooks to students. If you have school textbooks in good condition that you would like to donate for distribution in Nepalese schools, contact us.

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Enhance the skills of local teachers

The Reach for Nepal Foundation encourages qualified Australian teachers to travel to Nepal and volunteer to pass on their skills and share their knowledge with local teachers.

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Extend participation in sporting activities

Children who grow up in Nepal are often told to study hard. A good education helps graduates find jobs and provide a better future for their families, but it is only one part of the equation. At the Reach for Nepal Foundation, we believe that sports participation is also beneficial to school-aged children.

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Sport is a common language throughout the world, as it connects people. Participating in a sporting activity helps to:

  • Develop decision making abilities
  • Develop communication skills
  • Build self esteem
  • Provide safe and supportive community spaces for women
  • Improve quality of life for people with a disability through participation and social integration

 

The Reach for Nepal Foundation encourages grassroots programs in villages with sports including cricket, football, soccer, badminton and table tennis. In the initial phase, the Reach for Nepal Foundation distributes sporting equipment to the school administration. We are always in the lookout for schools who want to travel to Nepal on such sporting and community projects.

For more information contact the foundation directly here.

The Buddha Odyssey is set to organise their third Yoga, Trekking & Community Trip to Nepal in 2017

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Yoga Pathways & The Buddha Odyssey are again coming together in Oct 2017 and organizing another trip to Nepal from Canberra.

The trip will again focus on the Community Project in conjunction with Reach for Nepal Foundation, while also providing travellers the experience of trekking the Annapurna range & Hatha Yoga wherever possible.

Lou Nulley, yoga instructor at Yoga Pathways & co-founder/director of the foundation leads such a trip each year to Nepal alongside Odyssey tour leader Raju Thapa. Over the years, Lou and Raju have developed a special working relationship and delivered very successful trips.

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Lachhu Thapa, the co-founder/director of the foundation is also keen to join the tour group this year. Lachhu is excited to be going back to Nepal with family and finish off the project in Annapurna village.

The travel group raises funds for the project before they head off to Nepal.

BHAKTAPUR KATHMANDU VALLEY NEPAL - APRIL 8 2014: People walking near Nepalese temples in shape of pagoda at Durbar Square

The tour starts in Kathmandu, with sightseeing of major attractions of a 2000 year old valley. We then head to picturesque Pokhara where we spend another couple of days. From there we embark on a trek which sees you walking up to 5 hours a day on a route that’s less popular with tourist – making the experience more authentic whilst absorbing the mesmerizing views of the Himalayas.

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The 5 days trekking leads you to our Community Project where you will spend another three days working on the project and spending time with villagers, school teachers and students. Yoga is incorporated on the trip where ever practical. We then head back to Pokhara and fly out to Kathmandu for last minute shopping before our flight back home.

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Historically these trips are fully booked, as participants enjoy the blend of trekking the Himalayas at a relaxed pace, making a real difference in the lives of many people through the community project and maintaining a sense of equanimity through regular yoga sessions.

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The cost of the trip is around $3790 (to be confirmed around Jan 2017) including international airfares, accommodation and most meals.

To lock in a spot please contact us by filling this form

Namaste

Lachhu Thapa

Cook at home – khasi ko masu (Nepalese goat curry)

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Khasi Ko Masu – Nepali Style Goat Curry

Khasi Ko Masu (Nepali Style Goat Curry) is one of most loved meat varieties among Nepalese. We love it here at the Hungry Buddha too. Today we wanted to share the recepie with you.

In Nepal, the goat curry is normally cooked with bones, skin and fats instead of just boneless lean meat.

One last thing, the curry is cooked in Pressure Cooker. If you are not using pressure cooker, you will just have to cook the curry longer.

Ingredients (serves 3-4 people)

  • ½ kg Mutton pieces (with bones)
  • 1-2 medium size Spanish Onions (finely sliced)
  • 2-3 medium size Tomatoes
  • 1 tbs Garlic and Ginger paste
  • 3-4 Cloves
  • 3-4 Green Cardamoms
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek seed
  • 1 tbs Meat Masala
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Red Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tbs Canola Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves or shallots (to garnish)

Cooking Method

  • heat 2 tbs of oil in pressure cooker and start frying cloves, green cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves and then fenugreek seed – 20 seconds
  • add onions and fry until it becomes soft and starts changing colour
  • add chopped goat meat & stir around occasionally for 5-6 mins
  • add ginger/garlic paste, turmeric powder and cook further for around a minute
  • add salt (according to your taste), meat masala and red chili powder. Cook it for around 2 minutes with occasional stirring
  • add diced tomato & cook further for around 4-5 mins
  • add garam masala, stir it and add a cup of water
  • put the lid of the pressure cooker and cook it for around 15 mins (around 4 whistles) in low heat (if you are not using the pressure, cook the curry for around 25-30 mins in low heat with lid on)
  • once off the heat, leave it for 10-15 minutes for it to settle
  • garnish with fresh coriander or shallots before serving

Namaste

Do share your experience of cooking with us @ our facebook pages @ Curtin or Belconnen

UNESCO enlisted heritage site – The Boudhanath Stupa reopens in Kathmandu

An "eye" is seen behind the prayer flags during the prayers to purify the Boudhanath stupa ahead of its opening on November 22, after it was renovated following last year's earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 18, 2016. Photo: Reuters

An “eye” is seen behind the prayer flags during the prayers to purify the Boudhanath stupa ahead of its opening on November 22, after it was renovated following last year’s earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 18, 2016. Photo: Reuters

The Boudhanath Stupa, one of UNESCO-enlisted heritage sites in Nepal which was severely damaged by an earthquake last year, was reopened for public Tuesday after completing reconstruction.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal inaugurated the newly rebuilt 36-meter-tall Boudhanath Stupa at Boudha area of the capital city Kathmandu.

An aerial view of Bouddhanath Stupa, acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Kathmandu, in April 2016. The ancient stupa which was  affected by the April 25, 2015 earthquake is being rennnovated. Photo: Keshav P. Koirala

An aerial view of Bouddhanath Stupa, acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Kathmandu, in April 2016. The ancient stupa which was affected by the April 25, 2015 earthquake is being rennnovated. Photo: Keshav P. Koirala

The Prime Minister thanked the entire international community, including neighbouring countries China and India, for extending financial support to reconstruct the ancient Buddhist shrine.

The Boudhanath Stupa was the first heritage site to complete renovation after a devastating earthquake hit Nepal 19 months ago, claiming over 9,000 lives and left thousand others injured and a lot of buildings damaged.

Boudhanath stupa is silhouetted against the sun during the prayers to purify the stupa ahead of its opening on November 22, after it was renovated following last year's earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 18, 2016. Photo: Reuters

Boudhanath stupa is silhouetted against the sun during the prayers to purify the stupa ahead of its opening on November 22, after it was renovated following last year’s earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, on November 18, 2016. Photo: Reuters

The reconstruction, which started only two months after the earthquake, took 17 months. The cost stood at 230 million Nepalese Rupees.

Reconstruction of other heritage sites damaged by the earthquake was still underway or just in the early stage, authorities said.

Buddhist monks performed purification rituals for the completion of the renovation on Nov. 18.

A young girl poses for a photograph in front of Boudhanath Stupa, during its purification ceremony in Kathmandu, Nepal, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. A three-day purification ceremony has been organized to purify Boudhanath Stupa, which was damaged in the 2015 earthquake, after the completion of its reconstruction. The Stupa will officially open to the public on Nov 22. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

A young girl poses for a photograph in front of Boudhanath Stupa, during its purification ceremony in Kathmandu, Nepal, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. A three-day purification ceremony has been organized to purify Boudhanath Stupa, which was damaged in the 2015 earthquake, after the completion of its reconstruction. The Stupa will officially open to the public on Nov 22. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Boudhanath, the largest stupa in Nepal, is considered the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region, making it the center of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu.

Thousands of domestic and international visitors come to visit the shrine annually.
Source – Xinhua

Community Project, Yoga & Trekking Oct 2016

 

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Lou Nulley, co-founder of the REACH for Nepal Foundation (RFN), and Raju Thapa recently led a group of 10 people from Australia on another successful trek in Nepal, culminating in a community project in a remote area of the country in conjunction with The Buddha Odyssey.

Prior to the trip the group had raised around $3500. Together with funding from RFN, the team funded and helped to rebuild a library at the Hari Prasad school near the Khara Ko Mukh village.

The library was demolished by recent earthquakes and flooding. The facility is a key requirement to assist in the education of the children in this remote region.  The headmaster of the school and the school board were grateful for the team’s contributions, galvanizing the community as parents, teachers and villagers came together to assist the rebuild project.

The team included people from NSW, Victoria and the ACT. After trekking the Annapurna Range for five days absorbing spectacular views of the Himalayas, interspersed with regular yoga sessions to stretch the body and to remain present on the journey, the team enthusiastically arrived at the school to begin the rebuild project.

We were overwhelmed by the generosity and welcome from the community and children at the school.

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Trekking4Nepal to organise trip to Nepal with Reach for Nepal Foundation

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James Tatham, Canberra

Next April marks two years since my maiden trip to Nepal and I’m going back! Yes, that’s right I’m going back. I’ve been longing for a trip back ever since the earthquakes caused the widespread devastation.

This time rather than the Annapurna Region, I’m heading to the Solu Khumbu Region to conquer Everest Base Camp (5,380m), Island Peak (6,189m) plus and a community rebuild project in Pokhara to support Reach for Nepal Foudation.

What’s better… this trip is open to Trekking4Nepal supporters. I want you to come! So many people tell me they wish they could go to Nepal. Here is your chance.

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So here are the rough details at this early stage –

What: 16 days trekking Everest Base Camp, Island Peak, plus 3 days community rebuild project, plus two days leisure with The Buddha Odyssey
When: April/May 2016.
How Many: 6 person minimum.
How much: Approx $2700 USD pp includes the 16 days trekking Everest Base Camp, Island Peak, sherpas, equipment, food and the trekking permit. Plus approx $360-$400 for flights from Kathmandu to Lukla. Plus international flights ($1200ish). Total price = $4,300 USD
Bonus: There is opportunity for the fee waived for 7th participant. So the more the merrier which will lower costs for everyone else.

I think we could do a fundraiser for this event to subsidise some of the costs too.

If you are interested, put your details in this google form

Happy Dashian from all of us at the hungry buddha

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Dashain is the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar (falls bet Sep-Oct), celebrated by Nepalese of all caste and creed throughout the country. The fifteen days of celebration occurs during the bright lunar fortnight ending on the day of the full moon. Thorough out Nepal the goddess Durga in all her manifestations are worshiped with innumerable pujas, abundant offerings and thousands of animal sacrifices for the ritual holy bathing, thus drenching the goddess for days in blood.

Dashain commemorates a great victory of the gods over the wicked demons. One of the victory stories told is the Ramayan, where the lord Ram after a big struggle slaughtered Ravana, the fiendish king of demons. It is said that lord Ram was successful in the battle only when goddess Durga was evoked. The main celebration glorifies the triumph of good over evil and is symbolized by goddess Durga slaying the terrible demon Mahisasur, who terrorised the earth in the guise of a brutal water buffalo. The first nine days signify the nine days of ferrous battle between goddess Durga and the demon Mahisasur. The tenth day is the day when Mahisasur was slain and the last five days symbolise the celebration of the victory with the blessing of the goddess.

Dashain is celebrated with great rejoice, and goddess Durga is worshiped throughout the kingdom as the divine mother goddess.

Happy Dashain from us here at The Hungry Buddha

Namaste

The Hungry Buddha, Belconnen – Opening Late Oct 2016

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The Hungry Buddha coming to Canberra’s north!

If you live Northside and love Nepalese food, you’re in luck. You’ll soon be able to enjoy The Hungry Buddha’s fresh chicken mo:mo’s, gently spiced daal bhat and village-style goat curries a little closer to home.

We’re opening a second Hungry Buddha restaurant in Belconnen in October 2016. Watch this space for more news and updates.

We are now open in BELCONNEN [8/9 Luxton St Belconnen ACT 2617 ] (02) 6147 7326  🙂

Namaste

Nepal’s tourism industry on the rebound

Colorful wooden boats on Fewa Tal at Himalaya mountains background in Pokhara Nepal

Colorful wooden boats on Fewa Tal at Himalaya mountains background in Pokhara Nepal

Tourism is the lifeblood of Nepal’s economy, but the industry has suffered from low visitor numbers since the 2015 earthquakes.

After almost 18 months, things are finally looking up for local tourism operators. Nepal’s Department of Immigration reports that visitor numbers are up 13 percent compared to last year. It also expects a significant rise in the number of tourists for the peak autumn season (September to November).

There’s no better time to support Nepal’s tourism industry and experience the adventure of a lifetime. Want to know more? Check out some of The Buddha Odyssey’s tour options and book your trip today.