Himalayas

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

Three friends. 2700 kilometres. One tuk tuk. Crazy? Probably!

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We’re heading to India at the end of the year to drive a tuk tuk from Cochin to Jaiselmer and raise money for the Reach for Nepal Foundation. It’s part of the annual Rickshaw Run event, and it promises to be a lot of fun.

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Now to take the adventure to another level, we have decided to fundraise for Reach for Nepal Foundation (RFN), which is a start-up charity based here in Canberra.

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RFN works to improve the lives of Nepalese people through initiating and supporting programs that assist earthquake-affected communities to rebuild schools and libraries, provide educational scholarships, foster sustainability, enhance the skills of local teachers and extend participation in sporting activities.

The Foundation’s priority is supporting people in remote, isolated areas of Nepal that have not been reached by other aid agencies. Many of these are only accessible on foot.

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It will be one crazy ride. To support our cause please donate here.

Namaste

Lachhu, Ben & Yog

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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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.

Don’t forget about post-earthquake Nepal, Reach for Nepal founder urges

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Almost one year after the devastating Nepal earthquakes, Canberra’s Lachhu Thapa says villages in the hardest hit regions still need Australians’ support to rebuild.

CANBERRA, Monday 28 March 2016 – After a fundraising tour to the epicentre of the 2015 Nepal earthquake earlier this month, the founder of aid organisation Reach for Nepal, Lachhu Thapa, has urged Canberrans to continue their support for the earthquake-ravaged nation.

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Six adventurous Canberrans joined Lachhu to rebuild a water tank in a remote school in Nepal’s Gorkha district, just kilometres away from where the earthquake did the most damage. The trip was organised by Himalayan tour company The Buddha Odyssey to raise money for the Reach for Nepal Foundation. It was the first rebuilding tour coordinated by the two organisations. While rebuilding efforts will take years, even the Gorkha district is open for business. Lachhu says the best way to support earthquake recovery is through tourism.

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“The media coverage that Nepal received in the West after the earthquake was horrific. It showed the fear in the Nepalese people because they hadn’t experienced an earthquake of this magnitude in generations, but on the ground things are different” he says.

“Nepal is rebuilding. After the quake, it lost its greatest income source: tourism.” Lachhu says highlights of his most recent trip including camping in a village for four nights and getting his hands dirty building the water tank. “It was great to see the smiles of kids running around, hearing the village elders say ‘Namaste’ to acknowledge our work and the festival atmosphere during our four-day stay. “It was an authentic cultural experience and a showcase of Nepal’s welcoming hospitality despite incredible hardship in recent months,” he says.

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For less adventurous locals, Lachhu says they can support Nepal in two ways:

  1. Joining the foundation for a screening of Australian documentary Sherpa on 31 March

Reach for Nepal has organised a fundraising screening of Sherpa on 31 March at 7pm at Manuka’s Event Cinemas.  Tickets are $20 with all profits going directly to the foundation. Go to the Facebook event page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1743639255868583/

  1. Attending The Hungry Buddha’s next fundraising dinner on 5 May 2016

The previous dinner raised $5100 for the Reach for Nepal Foundation, and the funds were used to buy water tank materials for this month’s rebuilding trip. Call (02) 6285 2425 to book.

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About the Reach for Nepal Foundation

In April 2015, Nepal was devastated by the region’s worst earthquake in 80 years. The 7.8 magnitude quake and its aftershocks killed over 8000 people, flattened villages and left thousands injured. As one of the world’s poorest countries, Nepal can’t rebuild alone. This is especially true for rural and remote villages where access to aid is limited.

The REACH for Nepal Foundation is a registered charity that provides practical and financial assistance to rural Nepalese communities affected by the earthquake.https://reachfornepal.org/

12th Elephant Festival held in Nepal, to promote tourism

The five-day fair was organized by the Regional Hotel Association of Sauraha to promote tourism in Nepal. An elephant race, a bullock cart race, a horse cart race, elephant soccer, an elephant beauty pageant and various cultural activities will be held during the event.

Source – The Himalayan Times

Elephants vie for a ball during a football game, which is a part of Nepal's annual international elephant festival in Sauhara, Chitwan on Saturday December 26, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/ THT

Elephants vie for a ball during a football game, which is a part of Nepal’s annual international elephant festival in Sauhara, Chitwan on Saturday December 26, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/ THT

An elephants trying to eat bananas placed on the table during the 12th international Elephant football festival in Chitwan, Nepal on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

An elephants trying to eat bananas placed on the table during the 12th international Elephant football festival in Chitwan, Nepal on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

A woman tourist riding on elephant back gets water splashes at Rapti River in Chitwan district on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

A woman tourist riding on elephant back gets water splashes at Rapti River in Chitwan district on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

Feet and trunk of an elephant being decorated for a beauty contest during the 12th International Elephant football festival in Chitwan, Nepal on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

Feet and trunk of an elephant being decorated for a beauty contest during the 12th International Elephant football festival in Chitwan, Nepal on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

A mahout bathes an elephant at Rapti River in Chitwan, Nepal on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

A mahout bathes an elephant at Rapti River in Chitwan, Nepal on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

Armando Corvini to lead Mera Peak Expeditions from Canberra in 2016

Armando Corvini

Armando Corvini, a well known Mountaineer from Canberra Region has partnered with The Buddha Odyssey and will be leading Mera Peak Expeditions to Everest region in Nepal in 2016.

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Armando started rock climbing in the Dolomites in his teens and has continued his passion – climbing and mountaineering – throughout his life. Armando Corvini is a well known person in climbing circles because of his considerable experience and leadership. He has visited the Himalayas more than a dozen times including Island Peak, Mera Peak, Ama Dablam and Mt Pumori.

As a qualified outdoor instructor and guide Armando has worked over the years with Schools and Colleges on Camps, rock climbing, abseiling and caving trips.

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Mera Peak (6,461m/ 21,190 ft) is an exciting, scenically stunning mountain becoming popular among trekkers and climbers as it is the highest trekking peak in Nepal in Khumbu (Everest) Valley. Situated on the edge of famous Khumbu Region and dominated by Mt. Everest, climbing Mera peak is an opportunity to all the adventure seekers who are physically fit. Lifting the eyes from Mera and keep on lifting them until, above the clouds, the mighty frieze of the world’s 8000 meter Mountains- Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Lhotse, Cho-Oyu and many other peaks is an unforgettable experience.

 

Date                               15 Apr 2016 & 28 Oct 2016

Cost                       US $3,349 pp (US $200 extra for peak season Oct departure)

Duration              19 Days (In Nepal)

Activity                Trekking and Expedition

Group size           Max 12 climbers

Max-Altitude      6,461m/ 21,190ft

For more information and booking the trip, please contact

Lachhu Thapa l 0422 657 897 l thebuddhaodyssey@gmail.com

Armando Corvini l 0419 693 493 l acorvini@grapevine.com.au

Trips to Nepal

Trips to Nepal
We are pleased to announce that we have started “the buddha odyssey” which is our offshoot travel business. We have started with travel packages to Nepal, with aim to serve the whole Himalayan region. The focus has been on trekking, adventure, cycling and expedition.

Please visit our website for more details – www.thebuddhaodyssey.com