Best of Nepal- the quick glimpse of Nepal’s treasures

The best of Nepal trip that covers three major towns of Nepal is a quick outlook of Nepal’s cultural, natural and wildlife treasures. Kathmandu valley, a landmark of ancient civilization offers incredibly fascinating craftsmanship of native Kathmanduians, who dwelled in the valley during ancient and medieval ages. Pokhara, the most beautiful bride adorned by Mother Nature herself, is best opted urban destination for awe-inspiring Himalayan views including the virgin mountain, Fishtail and massive Annapurna Range. Besides the city of Lakes and Caves, Pokhara is the starting point for major treks to Annapurna Region. Chitwan is a wildlife hub. The first wildlife park also the UNESCO World Heritage Site for wildlife conservation. Chitwan National Park is a protected home to Royal Bengal Tiger and One-horned Rhino. Wildlife Safari atop a giant Asian Elephant and canoeing over Rapti River for birding and spotting ghariyal crocodile and gangetic dolphins is fabulous experience at Chitwan.
Shah family from Britain Ajit, Nina and Nikhil had great experience with us during their Best of Nepal Tour this autumn. Here we have few lines quoted by the family on the Best of Nepal Tour and our services.

Fishtail Lodge in Pokhara is wonderful; excellent food, friendly hotel staffs and the incredible views of mountains from the room, the best memory of our trip. We would recommend the hotel to every traveler to Pokhara.
The services of Explore Himalaya were excellent. Sabin, our tour officer was always on time and went beyond expectation to let us use his mobile sim for our phones. Guides, transportation and staffs were just amazing throughout the tour.
Sabin and Pushpa looked after us very well and made our Nepal Trip very enjoyable. We rate Explore Himalaya with five stars.

 

Wonderland of Himalayas- the best opted family holiday in Nepal

An ideal family holiday, Wonderland of Himalayas is a composition of diverse activities of Nepalese highlights, which offers glimpses of every touristic attractions of Nepal. The soft and low altitude trek to Poonhill Ghorepani in Annapurna Region is the prime highlight of this holiday in Nepal. Allowing enough time in the typical hamlets of the region, in order to dig more into rural culture is an interesting part of the trek. During the trek you get to witness magnificent oak and rhododendron forests as you ascend to alpine meadows that afford spectacular views of the Annapurna Range. After the trek, a completely new activity for your holiday is designed. Wildlife Safari at Chitwan National Park atop a giant Asian elephant is considered one of the best wildlife activities in Asia. Encountering with several wild animals and spotting hundreds of species of birds are the major highlights at Chitwan. The mountain flight at the end of the tour is just like a sweet dessert. Mountain Flight takes you to the snow dominant Everest Region, where the gigantic peaks soar up to the sky.

Two Australian families, Welchs and Symmons recently explored the wonderland of Himalayas. Two weeks long holiday in Nepal made them fall in love with the country. Paul Welch after the completion of the trip wrote some sentences about their experiences during the holiday in Nepal.

Trekking was wonderful. Especially Rupen and the boys were very good. Jeep Safari at Chitwan and spotting sloth bears and several rhinos were very interesting and the Mountain flight was excellent opportunity to view the scenic nature.

Explore Himalaya’s service was excellent. Sabin, our Tour Officer was very attentive and took good care of us. Hotels and transportation were very good- reliable and comfortable. The team of Explore Himalaya is an outstanding and highly recommended team. We would rate their service with five stars and recommend Explore Himalaya to all the travelers to Nepal.

Gokyo Valley Trek- Trekking adventure to the 2 beautiful valleys of Solu, Gokyo and Khumbu

An incomparable trekking adventure that absorbs all the best parts of Khumbu Region, Gokyo Valley Trek takes you to incredible ‘Gokyo Lakes’ and legendary ‘Everest Base Camp’. The traverse through demanding Cho La Pass 5420m- the pass joining Gokyo Valley and Khumbu valley as well as day hiking to Gokyo Ri 5340m for the incredible views of Himalayan giants including Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Makalu among others are prime highlights of Gokyo Valley Trek. The Gokyo Valley Trek also includes the beautiful close-up view of Everest from Kala Pattar 5545m. The views of numerous smaller peaks and amazing glaciers from Gokyo Ri and Kalapattar are the bonus rewards of the trek. The off beaten trek famous for natural beauties very well blends with the cultural aspects of the region. The prosperous Sherpa and Tibetan culture of the region can be well observed in the mountainous hamlets and monasteries within it. Besides, the very friendly and kind nature of the natives living in highland Himalayas is genuinely a boosting factor to overcome the challenges a Gokyo Valley Trek.

Ms. Annette Schmidt and Mr. Benny Schmidt from Denmark through our exclusive country partner Kipling Travel were on Gokyo Valley Trek. They skipped the Everest Base Camp part, however the trek was amazing. They also added the cultural sightseeing tour in Kathmandu. Here we have few sentences said by Schmidts after the completion of their holiday in Nepal.

Among many good memories from our holiday to Nepal, the view from Gokyo Ri was out of this world!!!. As well as, the sightseeing tour of Bhaktapur was a great cultural experience with the outstanding guide.
The service of Explore Himalaya was exceptional. Staffs were very informative and helpful. Hotels we stayed in were wonderful. Transportation was good and our trek guide, Balu was always there for us. We would love to trek with him again. Rating the services of the company we would rate it with five stars.
We had a great adventure and to the fellow travelers we recommend to use Explore Himalaya.

Budhanilkantha- Vishnu, the major God of Hindu trio sleeps on a bed of serpents

BudhanilkanthaThe sleeping posture of Lord Vishnu in a Cosmic Ocean

Nine kilometers North from the main hub of Kathmandu City lies the temple of Budhanilkantha which is believed to be self emerged. The temple lying at the base of Shivpuri Hill has a floating deity Bishnu, one of the major Gods of Hindu trios. The sleeping posture of Vishnu which is called Jalasayan with his legs crossed on a bed of large 11 hoods serpent is strangely divine in itself. His four hands holding the four symbols of Lord Vishnu, the conch shell, the disc, the club and the lotus flower is gigantic in size floating in relatively small pool supposed to be cosmic ocean by Hindu devotees.

During Haribodhini Ekadashi which normally falls during late October or early November of Georgian Calendar, Hindus believe that Lord Vishnu who sleeps on the cosmic ocean wakes up and on that day thousands of devotees throng to Budhanilkantha to offer prayers to Lord Visnhu. Touching the legs of this sleeping deity on that day is considered very religious as per the Hindu belief.

Here we have few photographs of Budhanilkantha captured during the Nepalese New Year.

The sacred pond at Budhanikantha from where the new year can be best started
The sacred pond from where the new year can be best started
Crowd, hard to control - Budhanilkantha flocks with devotees during Nepali new year
Crowd, hard to control
Butterlights and incense sticks everywhere
Butterlights and incense sticks everywhere
Gods of every religion like flowers - devotees in line at Budhanilkantha
Gods of every religion like flowers
A  senior citizen probably wants to know the future of her family - astrologer are common outside temples in Nepal
A senior citizen probably wants to know the future of her family
Patience to touch the feet of Lord Vishnu - devotees queue up to meet their god
Patience to touch the feet of Lord Vishnu
One common thing in Hindu temples- Ladies in red attires
One common thing in Hindu temples- Ladies in red attires
Gods lives there, where poor live or vice versa - a saint outside Budhanilkantha temple
Gods lives there, where poor live or vice versa 

Explore cultural tours in Nepal

 

Photography tour to Nepal with award winning photographer Marius Coetzee

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It has been 12 years that world’s best photographers and photographic wildlife safari leaders teamed up to facilitate photographic tours in the world’s most fascinating photographic destination- Orxy Photography is one of the best to travel with on the photography tour. One of the award winning photographic leaders Marius Coetzee was recently on a FAM Tour to Nepal with Explore Himalaya.  He calls himself a cultural freak and he never researches about the place he is visiting the first time on an educational trip. “Any bad experience of a particular traveler shared on travel sites doesn’t make that destination awful so I ignore the travel reviews posted in any site in order to have an open mind about a destination and ensure the best possible future tour for my clients” say Marius Coetzee. Marius and Alan during a short conversation with us after the completion of the FAM Tour shared their experiences of Photography FAM Tour to Nepal 2014. Here we have a shorter version of the conversation with Marius Coetzee photo gallery on Nepal Photography Tour.

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EH: How was the tour?

Marius: Its been incredible. To be fair, I knew it was going to be great but it has certainly raised my expectation. The country was great. Alan had an emergency incident at Chitwan but the medical care was excellent. We could not have asked for more. You guys have been great and Bishant [Tour Guide] was great. All in all its been a first class experience in a country that is on many people’s wish-list.

EH: As you guys were on a photography tour, do you think Nepal is a potential destination for photography tour?

Marius: Without a doubt, Nepal is a great destination to tour and photograph. Cultural aspect of the country is amazingly out of the world. For me Nepal is an incredible country that I can sell with the close eyes.

EH: What do you say about the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu?

Marius: Kathmandu is completely unique. It is just giving so much that there are plenty of stuffs to see and photograph here in Kathmandu.

Alan: Unlike any Indian city, Kathmandu is beautiful. It is full of hidden gems. You could walk pass places and not know where you are. You go down the passage way and you find fantastic temples and fantastic colors. It is a superb city.

EH: How do you rate the services you guys experienced during the tour?

Marius: Everything was great. Whenever people are on the tours to new places, food is one of the major concerns. Everywhere in Nepal the options of food were plenty. We had western food throughout the tour. Food services, hotels, transportation, guides and everything else were just great.

A holy book in Nepal - photography tour
A holy book
Water still runs here in ancient Dhunge Dhara
Water still runs here in ancient Dhunge Dhara
Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square
A wise thing to do in a warm sunny day
A wise thing to do in a warm sunny day
Giant creature, giant shadow
Giant creature, giant shadow
Cremation considered holiest in Nepal- Aryaghat Pashupatinath
Cremation considered holiest in Nepal- Aryaghat Pashupatinath
Tons of medieval treasures captured
Tons of medieval treasures captured
Clay Pottery- Artists joy
Clay Pottery- Artists joy
He knows how to grab mass attention
He knows how to grab mass attention
Afterall the earth is round
Afterall the earth is round
A cool retirement
A cool retirement
Kathmandu- a city of festivals
Kathmandu- a city of festivals
You are a tiger statue but I am real so why fear?
You are a tiger statue but I am real so why fear?
Artist passion to create something beautiful
Artist passion to create something beautiful
The best view of peaceful Boudhanath
The best view of peaceful Boudhanath
Household and religious activities inseparable in Nepal
Household and religious activities inseparable in Nepal
A door opens to a treasure shop
A door opens to a treasure shop
We dance with the breeze
We dance with the breeze
A view anyone would love to pay
A view anyone would love to pay
I sell walking- Enthusiastic mobile marketeer
I sell walking- Enthusiastic mobile marketeer 

Explore Photography Tours in Nepal

Ghode Jatra- Festival forcing the evil spirit to remain under earth

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Horses at Tundikhel- Ready to suppress the evil spirit of Demon Tundi

Annual festival celebrated with the biggest horse parade in Tudikhel in Kathmandu is one of the most awaited festivals in Nepal. The festival observed on the no-moon day of Chaitra Shukla Pakshya of Eastren Lunar calendar, Ghode Jatra falls during mid March or early April of Georgian calendar.

ghode-jatra3Tundikhel during Ghode Jatra- Dignitaries have arrived and the performers are all set; celebration begins in a moment

March 30 2014, Ghode Jatra was once again observed with huge enthusiasm. Especially the native Newars of Kathmandu celebrate the festival for several days.

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Ancient statue of horse riding at Tundikhel

The procession of idols of deities of several localities in Kharpan and a small portable chariot takes place at several venues. Feasts are organized in ancient Newari communities. The procession of Eight Gods and Goddess including Lumadi, Bhadrakali, Kankeshowri and Bhairav come at the common point, Asan and hence the festival is regarded as the Meeting of Gods and Goddess. The Gods and Goddess during the festival are believed to be activated through tantric rites.

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The gallop begins- Horse Racing at Tundikhel during Ghode Jatra

As per the myth, Ghode Jatra was observed to celebrate the victory over a fearsome demon named Tundi, who  was a big terror for the natives of Kathmandu. When Tundi died during a war, people celebrated the victory by dancing onto his body with horses. Since then the gallop of horses at Tundikhel during Ghode Jatra, forces the evil spirit to remain under the ground.

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Modern addition to celebrate Ghode Jatra- Cycling Competition

On the main day of the festival the demon named Gurumumpa is also appeased at Tundikhel. These days Nepal Army organizes the competitive horse race, cycle race and other activities during Ghode Jatra so that the soul of demon remains under the grounds of Tundikhel. This is a cultural taboo that has been observed in Nepal for ages; however the festival is worthwhile watching as large number of people make up to Tundikhel to observe the festival.

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Hang or stand but have patience to observe the biggest horse race of the country- Locals eagerly waiting at the fence to observe the Annual Horse Race at Tundikhel

Several cleaning activities in the streets of Kathmandu are seen during Ghode Jatra. As the festival welcomes Summer/spring, people of the valley keep their locality clean to get rid of health hazards during summer.

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Every corner around Tundikhel is occupied during Ghode Jatra- WOW! the competitive Horse Race with immense cultural and religious values; who wants to ignore it?

 

 

 

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Trek to Everest Base Camp 5357m- The home of mighty Sherpas

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Everest summit rises so elevated that Everest Base Camp Trekking (5357m) is itself an adventure of the highest class. This spring, join the fixed departures of Explore Himalaya on a 16-day trek to Everest Base Camp.

The trial to Everest Base Camp winds through world’s most admirable mountain landscapes. Prior to Everest Base Camp trek have an insightful look into the cultural and historical heritages of the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu. Experience one of the most thrilling flights to Lukla, world’s one of the high altitude airports. During the trek stay in beautiful hamlets nestled against high and rough Himalayan giants; peep into the matchless local culture of mighty Sherpas; and trace the trails inscribed with Tibetan Buddhist prayers on the mani walls.

Everest Base Camp Trek includes the challenges of scaling Kalapattar 5554m and Gorakshep 5184m. Exploring the monastery at Tengboche with striking view of Mt. Ama Dablam at its backdrop and the leisurely stay at Sherpa capital Namche for acclimatization are also the prime highlights of the trek.

Trip Report-Ganesh Madhyamik Vidhyalaya-Bhotenamlang

Explore Himalaya has something for every traveler. 

Kaleidoscopic perceptions on Nepal by every new traveler to this land of hidden Shangri-la have always made this country of Everest, a mysterious land to visit. Adventurous activities in Nepal include mountaineering, skydiving, rafting, wildlife safari, bungee jumping, paragliding and many more. Each adventurous activity offers the level of thrill preferred by the seekers. The nation well known for its diverse ethnical cultures and the cities admired for artistic and spiritual glory are addicted to celebration. Nepalese celebrate more than hundred different festivals throughout the year. Nepalese who are known for their honesty, bravery and kindness throughout the world are probably one of the best peoples to be with.

Ms. Donna Gee from Hong Kong and seventeen fellow travelers with her had something very special out their trip to Nepal this autumn. The trip focused on social activity also had massive cultural aspects of rural Nepal.

Here we have a trip report written by the group leader of Ms. Sharda Malla and at the end of the report we have a testimonial by Ms. Donna Gee.

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Students of Choi Kia Yau School being welcomed at Maya’s Village

Day 1 (23 Nov): Arrive Kathmandu

After  arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu, our representative and driver escorted group (CKY Students) to Hotel Marshyangdi. Since the flight was delayed, the  briefing on all the necessary and important details of the trip was postponed for the next morning.

Day 2 (24 Nov): Drive to Tipine, trek to Maya’s village

After having  breakfast at Marshyangdi Hotel, Thamel, the tour started at 9:00 am from the hotel after needful briefing on the itinerary. After 5 hours drive, the group reached Tipeni and had their Hot Lunch prepared by the cooking staff of Explore Himalaya. After one hour of lunch break, the group started hiking from the Tipeni. Group reached Ganesh Primary School at 5:00 pm where they were welcomed by the students, teachers and villagers with the tika and garlands. They attended short welcome program and went to campsite. The day ended with the dinner at the campsite.

Day 3- (25 Nov): School Work  (by CKY Students)

The students had breakfast and hot shower at the camp before heading towards the school for the program. School requested the students to attend their regular morning assembly program where they had very interesting IQ Test session held by the students of Ganesh Secondary School for the CKY students. The students (CKY) actively took part in the test and enjoyed answering every question asked. Soonafter the assembly, the CKY students selected 30 primary level students of Ganesh School and divided them into 3 groups.

For the first group of 10 students, they decided to take English Class. Similarly for the second one they decided to take the Origami Class and for the last one they took them for the sports class. They also selected group leaders of these selected students from themselves and took each group to their respective class. The whole day was full of learning and sharing. They had rotation round for all the selected students after the completion of the class. Hence, all selected students could take part in all activities. The day ended after the school time got over. At the night after the dinner time, short d-briefing was done on the day activity around the warm camp fire.

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A glimpse of Origami class

Day 4- (26 Nov):  Village Sightseeing and Joint School Work by local students and CKY students 

After the breakfast, students went for a short village walk. They enjoyed the beautiful scenery around and learned day to day routine of the locals. They also gave away small gifts to the small children of the village they met on their way. Upon returning from the walk, they attended school morning assembly. The local students divided them into two groups after the assembly and took one to the Nepali Language Class and other to the local sports class. They had the rotation for each groups after each the completion of their class .

These classes by Ganesh School lasted till the lunch break. After the lunch break, the CKY students again gathered the selected 30 students from yesterday. They divided them into three groups and took one to Origami class ,other to Rhythm Class and other to drawing class. They taught students to make lily and crane in the Origami Class. In the drawing class, they distributed white cap to each students and made them draw on it.

In the rhythm class they taught student to do the footstep and handclapping in a rhythm which sounded absolutely amazing. In between, on the student from CKY came with the brilliant presentation on the effective computer teaching. He gave presentation on the same to the Teachers, students from grade 8 and some local parents. The day ended with the end of these activities.

At the night, on the d-briefing session around the camp fire everyone shared their exciting experience with the group along with Team Leader from Explore Himalaya, Shrada Thakuri . Maya Gurung, Everest Summitter  who was born and has studied in the same school also shared her story with the team which was really inspiring to  CKY students and their teachers.

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Bond establishing between the CKY students Hong Kong and local students of Maya’s Village

Day 5 (27 Nov): AM : School Work; PM: Hiking

The day started after students having their breakfast and hot shower at the camp site.  After attending a regular school assembly, CKY students  divided themselves into two groups. Group A students took in charge of painting the classrooms and Group B took the charge of conducting other activities. Some of the students and teachers were interested to learn more about  Eric’s presentation on computer class. Hence, Eric took special class for those interested one. Group B students taught the selected students to make greeting cards, snowflakes and Origami.

After the lunch break, students took a short hike to the place called Thal Dada where they enjoyed the amazing view of the Himalayas. They also didn’t forget to distribute gifts to the small children they met on the way.  Upon return from the hiking, they came back to the school and had a small ceremony of handing over the gifts they bought for the school students. They officially handed over the sports items and Drinking water supply to the school authority.

After school in the evening time, AAMA Group (Local Mother Group) gave them a farewell program. They sang song and made them dance with them which the students enjoyed very much. Each member of Aama Group had a gift to each students which was made with the local products. The school authority gave a Vote of thanks to the students group along with the Tika and Garlands and wished them all the best . The last night of the camping ended peacefully.

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A selfless act is remembered for years: CKY students decorating the walls of Ganesh Secondary School

Day 6 (28 Nov): Back to Kathmandu; PM: Sightseeing

After the morning tea and breakfast, group left the village and retraced back to Kathmandu.

Day 7 (29 Nov): Full Day Sightseeing /Shopping and Farewell Dinner

On this day, the group set off for sightseeing hiking from Sankhu to Changu Narayan which took them one and half hour. They could not hold themselves from relishing the elegance of the valley from the hill of Changu Narayan. Some of the staffs from the Explore Himalaya  also joined them . The group returned to the Hotel and had their lunch.

Then, they visited  the historical and cultural sites like Durbar Square, Hanuman Dhoka,  Kumari temple, and Kasthamandap. Local city tour guide escorted them along with the Tour leader from the EH and briefed them well about the importance of these place in the history of Nepal.

After the observant tour, group was free for independent activities like strolling and shopping in the evening. At the end of the day, they enjoyed the farewell dinner at the Hotel Shangrilla where they shared their amazing experience .

 

Day 8 (30 Nov): Departure from Kathmandu

After having breakfast at the hotel, the group departed for their international flight with wonderful memories.

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Campsite for students group from Hong Kong

Here we have a beautiful testimonial by Ms. Donna Gee after the completion of the tour.

Everything was wonderful. Dancing with the villagers on the mountain top in a traditional Nepali music was the bestexperience of this trip. Visiting the small villages in the middle hills of Nepal was equally wonderful. We had such a breathtakingly memorable trip that we won’t be able forget it rest of our lives.

The service of Explore Himalaya was excellent. We stayed in good hotels, and we had equally good food. Guides and staffs of the company were fantastic. They were kind, informative, caring and very helpful.

We had a great holiday. Thank you Explore Himalaya!

farewell-to-cyk

Traveled miles to get to new friends in Himalayan nation and few days of togetherness evokes love between them: Difficult moments of seperation