Travel Nepal

Nepal on track welcome a million tourists in 2017

Nepal tourism is on track to reach the magic figure of 1 million arrivals by the end of the year, industry watchers said. Analysts have based their projection on arrival trends for the first 10 months (January-October) of 2017 when the number of visitors jumped 25.47 percent to 757,448 individuals.

According to the Department of Immigration, arrival figures were buoyed by the growth in the number of travellers from India, the US, China and Europe. Nepal received 153,792 more tourists in the first 10 months of this year compared to the same period last year. The figure includes overland arrivals.

 

Arrivals in October, the peak tourist season, reached an all-time high of 112,492 individuals. Considering hotel and airline booking trends, November is expected to be a very productive month with arrival figures expected to break all past records. Travel trade entrepreneurs predict that November is expected to record more than 130,000 tourists.

“The growth puts Nepal on a path to record arrivals,” said senior hotel entrepreneur Yogendra Sakya. “This is an achievement that should make us all proud, irrespective of the 2015 earthquake, subsequent trade embargo and crumbling infrastructure at the country’s sole international airport,” said Sakya.

The private sector and the Nepal Tourism Board have poured a lot of money into promoting Nepal. “But beyond that, social media has emerged as a key tool. People obtain a true story and true picture on social media connecting Nepal across the globe.”

Nepal has been featured regularly in different foreign publications and media as top destinations to visit in 2017. With the improved arrivals, revenue from tourism is also expected to beat expectations.

The growth prospects have also prompted investors to inject billions of rupees into the aviation industry. Travel trade entrepreneurs said that the entire sector, ranging from hotels to restaurants and airlines to trekking, had witnessed a boom in terms of earnings.
Source – Kathmandu Post

10 Interesting Facts about Nepal

Nepal lies between India & China, high in the himalayas, a country full of diverse ethnicity, rich culture and awe-inspiring natural beauty. With a wide variety of flora and fauna in the country, Nepal is home to rarest species like the one-horned Rhino, the Bengal tiger and the national flower Rhododendron. Nepal is truly a god’s playground with stunning landscapes & majestic mountains. Here are some interesting facts on Nepal –

1. People in Nepal greet one another by saying “Nasmaste” or “Namaskar” with their palms together and bow their forehead. Namaste is directly translated as ‘I salute the God in you’.

2. Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha, the light of Asia. Siddhartha Gautam (Buddha) was born in Kapilvastu, Lumbini which lies in Nepal.

3. Nepal has over 80 ethnic groups and 123 Languages.

4. Nepal has the densest concentration of World Heritage Sites. Kathmandu valley alone has 7 World Heritage Cultural sites within a radius of 15 kilometres.

5. Nepal is the only country with a non-rectangular flag. Nepal’s flag is maroon with two triangular shapes stacked on one another with a blue border. The upper triangle consists of the moon and the lower triangle consists of the sun.

6. Nepal has the only living goddess in the world called Kumari.

7. Cows are sacred in Nepal. Recently turned secular, Nepal still has the highest proportion of Hindus in the world. The cow is considered the national animal of the country.

8. Nepal was never under any foreign invasion. Thus Nepal does not have an independent day because Nepal was never colonized. Nepal is also the oldest country in South Asia.

9. Elephant polo game was originated in Nepal. Tiger Tops in Nepal is the headquarters of elephant polo and the site of the World Elephant Polo Championships.

10. Nepal opened its borders in 1949.

 

Namaste

The Hungry Buddha Team

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

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