Nepal

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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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 Special for Floriade 2016

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Developed in 1988 as a grand, one off floral tribute to mark Australia’s Bicentenary and Canberra’s 75th anniversary, Floriade has become Canberra’s most iconic annual tourism event and Australia’s premier spring festival.

To get into the Spring spirit and showcase Visit Canberra, The Hungry Buddha, Curtin is offering Canberran’s and interstate visitors a special discount of 16% entire bill throughout the festival.

All you need to do is use the booking form and make booking using code “FLORIADE2016” and we will take care of the rest.

Any enquiries should be directed to eathungrybuddha@gmail.com

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.

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/

Reach for Nepal Foundation Fundraising Dinner 4 Feb 2016

Our first ever Reach for Nepal Foundation Fundraising Dinner was organised on the 4 Feb 2016. Together with amazing patrons of the Hungry Buddha we raised a staggering $5,060.

The community came together by donating goods and services for the live auction which raised up a significant amount on the night.

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A big thank you to everyone who donated goods and services to the auction, including:

  • World of wellbeing, Phillip donated a package of 10 infrared treatments worth $590, auctioned for $310
  • Terry Freebody donated 8 hours of electrical works worth $600, snapped up for $400
  • Armando Corvini donated a rock climbing package worth $450, snapped up for $260

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The next of the fundraising dinner will be held on Thursday 5 May. Tickets can be booked here.

Thanks everyone for making the night a success. The money raised will be used to construct a water tank at a school in Gorkha District, Nepal.

Travel Industry should stand in solidarity with Nepal in 2016 & beyond

Travel Industry should stand in solidarity with Nepal
The damage & death from the April 2015 Earthquake in Nepal dented the nerve of the global travel industry community. For travellers and travel professionals alike, Nepal has always ranked as one of the world’s ultimate bucket list destinations. Nepal is home to eight of the world’s fourteen highest mountains including Mt Everest, the world’s highest peak.

The country’s mixture of scenic majesty, rich history, cultural diversity and spirituality as the birthplace of Buddha and numerous sites sacred to Hinduism attracts holiday makers, pilgrims and adventurers. The news of 9,000 deaths including over 100 international tourists, damage to some of the country’s iconic historic sites and the temporary closure of Everest base camp due to an avalanche triggered by the quake spurred the global tourism industry to express its sympathy for Nepal through financial contributions from a wide range of tourism associations and individual tourism businesses. Over 40 governments committed themselves to assist Nepal with relief and rescue teams and wide range of material support.

As we commence 2016 Nepal is ready and extend its renowned hospitality to tourists. In a normal year, Nepal’s tourism industry employs almost half a million people. Many of these jobs and the livelihoods they provide for Nepalese families are under threat. Unfortunately, the perception created by extensive reportage of Nepal in the mainstream media has created a false impression that Nepal is too badly damaged for tourism, resulting is a severe slump in international arrivals since May 2015. Nepal certainly bears the scars of the earthquake but its hotels, guest houses and lodges are open. Its trekking routes including the Everest base camp route are open for visitors and Nepal’s many world heritage sites are open to be experienced and Nepal lives up to its promise as one of the world’s most inspiring destinations.

News adopted from http://www.etbtravelnews.com

 

Nepal Trekking & Annapurna Trail Race with Runners Shop in Phillip & Gungahlin

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The Buddha Odyssey has parterned with Runners Shop in Phillip & Gungahlin to organise a trail race in Annapurna region of  Nepal in Oct 2016. Nick Walshe from the Runners Shop is really excited to be heading to Nepal in October for the event. The trail race is organsied in Nepal each year and we are committed to put a group together each year in October to be heading to Nepal.

Nepal, the land of Everest, birthplace of Buddha, diverse culture, fascinating history and spectacular scenery has always been the top destination for adventure travellers. However, 2016 sets out to be even promising year for travel enthusiasts to visit, as Nepal recovers from the mega earthquakes in 2015. Now is the chance for you to set out & assist the Himalayan nation to path to of recovery.

The trail Race is either 100km or 50km in the lap of Himalayas. The trip is complemented with Annapurna region trekking, heritage site visits in Kathmandu, explore beauty of Pokhara and you will also assist raising funds for Reach for Nepal foundation .

Trip Highlights

100KM or 50 KM Annapurna Trail Race

Kathmandu World Heritage Site tour

Pokhara, Bandipur Sightseeing

Mountain Flight – Kathmandu to Pokhara

3 days Trek & Mountain School Visit

Core Details

Cost:  AU $2,490 pp twin share (single supplement $350 extra)

Duration: 14 days (in Nepal)

Departure Date: 16 Oct 2016

Activity: Annapurna Trial Race, Annapurna Trekking, Fundraising

Each traveller to raise min AU $250 to support the Foundation

More information to follow. Any inquiries – please email Lachhu at thebuddhaodyssey@gmail.com