Rhododendron (Lali Gurans)

Rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal and is known as Lali guras in the Nepali language. The beautiful red color of the Rhododendron flower is commonly found in any Himalayan region of Nepal. The Greek translation of rhododendron also means “red rose trees.” Rhododendron plants can be either evergreen or deciduous, with tender stems and branches, thick dry bark, and showy flowers with large red petals. There are various species of Rhododendron, but among them, thirty-two species can be found within the hills of Nepal.

The Rhododendron plant is a significant flower in Nepal and has been the country’s national flower since 2019 B.S. It was declared as the national flower by His Majesty King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah himself. The reason behind this is that the rhododendron blooms in the hills of Nepal, which is renowned for its Himalayas. The color of the rhododendron flower is red, which is also the color of blood, representing the bravery of Gurkhas.

Its bright red flowers are a welcome sign of spring and people go sightseeing in the hills to see the flowering trees. It is a beloved flower for Nepalese as it decorates beautiful trekking trails and the whole of Nepal with its many colours. They are often used in traditional Nepalese medicine for their medicinal properties and are also associated with religious rituals. Additionally, these forests provide habitat and sustenance to a variety of wildlife, making them essential for biodiversity conservation.

welcoming Rhododendron Trekking Destinations are:

  • Milke Danda Region: Mundhum Trail Known for its 30 species of rhododendron, Milke Danda is a haven for nature lovers. Trekkers can explore Teenjura, Milke, and Jajale, experiencing the capital of rhododendron in the nation.
  • Langtang Valley: A trek through Langtang Valley treats visitors to extensive rhododendron forests along rocky ridges, offering a captivating display of colors.
  • Annapurna Region: Annapurna-Poon Hill Trek, this region is adorned with rhododendron blooms in March and April, creating a spectacular landscape.
  • Solukhumbu Region: Everest Base Camp Trek and Pkey Peak Trek.

These destinations not only offer a visual feast of rhododendron blooms but also provide trekkers with a chance to immerse themselves in the unique ecosystems of the Himalayan region.

Visit Nepal with us Shangri-La Voyages Pvt. Ltd. Nepal!

Colors of the five elements

Five elements

The universe is made up of five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space. With the help of these five different elements, life exists, and it has unevaluable value for living creatures. Apart from this, it has spiritual value in Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religious beliefs. Colors of the five elements, can be seen around the Buddhis sites, on the house, on the monasteries, on the trees, and at the top of the mountains.

For first-time visitors, Colors of the five elements could be new and surprising because it is fluttering in the air in five different colors. It is called a lungta, a wind horse, and a prayer flag. On every flag, prayers (mantras) and horse images are printed. A horse travels the world at the speed of the wind while it is hung in the air. There is a belief that prayer flags with mantras bring prosperity, happiness, and peace.

Its’ Color and Importance

Now, let us discuss the colors of the five elements. The yellow represents the earth, or land, on which we live and cultivate food. We love it and worship it in different religions in Nepal. The green is water, which we drink and which gives all living things their vitality. Many religious rituals in Nepal involve the performance of jal puja, or water worship. The red is fire or light. The sun and fire worship are in Nepal. The white is air. And the blue is the sky, or space.

Is is worth visiting Nepal?

No dought, Nepal is a holey and spiritual land of the earth where five elements are worshiped as mother nature. Buddha was born here and taught the human value and get rid of suffering world by attending enlightment. The Everest, the roof of the world, invites you all here. Get introduced to colorful prayer flags! Make your life colorful by visiting Baudhanath stupa, and Swayambhunath stupa in Nepal.

Without delay, Do visite Nepal. We Shangri-La Voyages Team always welcomes you!
Namaste!

Tallest Himalayan Peaks in Nepal

|Tallest Himalayan Peaks in Nepal|

Nepal is home to eight of the fourteen tallest Himalayan peaks in the world. Nepal lies between China and India in South Asia. The distinct elevation variation on Earth is found in Nepal. The lowlands are at sea level (70m) and the mountains of the Himalaya are the tallest in the world.

The Himalaya formed 10–15 million years ago when India collided with the continent of Asia and pushed the land into high mountains. Eight of the world’s fourteen tallest himalayan peaks are in Nepal.

1. Mt. Everest

The highest mountain of the world in Nepal

(8,848m is called Sagarmatha in Nepal)
Mt. Everest the highest mountain in the world

2. Kanchenjunga

Third highest mountain of the world in Nepal

(8,586m)
Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world

3. Lhotse

Lhotse, Mountain in Nepal
8000 meter mountain

(8,516m)
Mt. Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain in the world

4. Makalu

 

Mt. Makalu in Nepal

(8,463m)
Mt. Makalu, the fifth-highest mountain in the world

5. Cho Oyu

Mt. Cho you in Nepal

(8,201m)
Mt. Cho Oyu, the sixth-highest mountain in the world

6. Dhaulagiri

Dhaulagiri mountain in himalayan country, Nepal

(8,167m)
Mt. Dhaulagiri, the seventh-highest mountain in the world

7. Manaslu

Killer Mountain of Nepal

(8,163m the Killer Mountain)
Mt. Manaslu, the eighth-highest mountain in the world

8. Annapurna I

Cereal Mountain of Nepal

(8,091m  mount of cereals)
Mt. Annapurna, the tenth-highest mountain in the world

No dought, Nepal is a Paradise for mountain lover. One can sepend some hours to months exploring mystic mountain in Nepal. On the same time, One can explore differet ethnic groups culture, language, life style on the different trekking trails in the mountain.

We, Shanrila Voyages Team  always invite you to visit and explore Nepal.
Namaste!

 

Nepali Pagoda Temple Architecture

|Nepali Pagoda Temple Architecture|

The origin of the Nepali Pagoda Temple architecture has not been clearly declared yet. However, it is an old architecture in Nepal. There is the oldest pagoda temple, Changu Narayan Temple, in Bhaktapur, Nepal, which was built in the 3rd century. But there was a time when the greatest designer, Araniko, was taken to China to develop and spread pagoda architecture. Later, it spread to other eastern countries and became famous. Although the pagoda was introduced to Nepal much earlier, it was primarily developed and flourished during the Malla dynasty. We can find very few pagodas in Nepal from before the Malla period.

The shape of a pagoda roof depends on the shape of the structure in plan. Square pagodas are most common, but sometimes we find rectangular, octagonal, or circular pagodas also. The pagoda has slope roofs, and they are overhang the inner cell walls. They are supported on the outer edge by wooden struts on wooden pillars or brick walls.

The main features of the Nepali pagoda temple architecture are:

  1. Plinth
  2. Protectors in the main entrance
  3. Stair way to the Main Door
  4. Beautifully carved wooden columns
  5. Wooden Beam
  6. Wooden struts with beautiful images of god and goddesses
  7. Sloping tile roof
  8. Pinnacle

The best example of Nepali pagoda temple architecture is the Nyatapol Temple in Bhaktapur which is Laxmi Temple. It is a remarkable work of the 17th century, using terracotta bricks and tiles, wood and surki mortar. It is related with sacred number of five different elements of the world. Those elements are land, water, fire, air, and sky/space. Bhaktapur is the medieval city of Nepal, with remarkable history and architecture in the Kathmandu Valley.

Join us to explore old architecture and cultural tours in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal!
Namaste!

 

 

Sacred Erotic Arts in Nepal

In Nepal, aged temples have erotic poses of sexual Love generally carved on wood and the carvings are especially made on the struts of the temples. The Sacred Erotic Arts in Nepal have a long and rich history, deeply rooted in the country’s ancient traditions and religious beliefs. These arts, often referred to as “Kama Sutra,” are not merely about sexual pleasure but are considered a spiritual practice that aims to elevate one’s consciousness and connect with the divine.

These arts encompass various forms of expression, from sculptures and paintings that depict the divine union of male and female energies, to intricate rituals and practices that explore the spiritual dimension of human sexuality. Seen as a means of union with the divine and a path toward enlightenment, the sacred erotic arts in Nepal celebrate the power of love and sensuality in a sacred and profound way, inviting practitioners to explore the depth and beauty of their own sexual and spiritual essence.

These arts have been practiced for centuries and are regarded as a form of spiritual expression. The rituals and practices associated with sacred erotic arts aim to awaken and channel the divine energy within individuals, promoting a sense of union with the divine. This ancient tradition is deeply rooted in the belief that embracing and celebrating our sexual nature can lead to self-realization and spiritual enlightenment.

One example of sacred erotic arts in Nepal is the practice of Tantric rituals, where couples engage in intimate acts as a means of spiritual connection and personal growth. These rituals involve intricate body movements, breath control techniques, and the use of symbolic objects to awaken and channel the divine energy within oneself and with their partner.

Although the exact and official reason for Sacred Erotic Arts in Nepal is not known, various experts have given different versions of opinions. Some of the reasons are;

Religious view

Hinduism considers sex one of the most important parts of human life. Sex was never a taboo during the ancient period. Many believe the erotic carvings on the temples are meant for sex education.

In Hinduism, there is a path known as Kama that is said to lead to merging with Brahma or escaping the cycle of rebirth. This path involves a focus on materialistic living, including sexual expression. As such, it is not uncommon to see sculptures in Hindu temples that depict various aspects of material life, including Kama.

To maintain the number of Population

In ancient times, when Buddhism had become more popular many people started to remain unmarried, and there was a risk of a population decline. Buddhism teaches people to remain unmarried for life. Other hand Hindu leaders started to get worried and conveyed the message that Hinduism is not that rigid and that it is more about life than shying out of it.

Luxury of Royalty

Some believe it is nothing more than the luxury of the ancient Hindu kings. The Hindu kings of ancient times were noted for their extravagance and hence, some scholars believe that the sculptures were part of this luxury.

Safety of temples

In ancient times Muslim rulers destroyed temples when they captured kingdoms and cities. It was believed, that Muslim people detest nudity and wouldn’t come near the temples when erotic carvings were made on them and hence, will be saved. Sculptures protect gods and keep bad spirits away from temples, according to some beliefs.

Sex education

In ancient times, it was common for individuals to marry young with limited knowledge of sexual matters. They didn’t have the communication mediums that we have today. So, the artists created sculptures and erected them in temples to teach them how it is done.

Lightning Safety

Lightning, according to Hindu belief, is the god Kumari (Virgin Goddess). If sexual sculptures are posted in temples, Lightning God will feel shy to visit the place and won’t strike.

Accessible Tourism and its important

Accessible tourism enables all people to participate in and enjoy tourism experiences. More people have access needs, whether or not related to a physical condition. Customers are looking for the services hence, it requires physical presentation. Tourists are motivate by attractions of the particular place but that should be affordable to them. Older and less mobile people have access needs, which can become a huge obstacle when traveling or touring. It is easily accessible to all of them where they can feel, see, touch, realize and understand that particular area, scenery, people, cast, culture, myth etc. The core point of the accessible tourism is that, it is available for each and every one endless effort and services to all the people of physical limitation, disabilities and ages.

Hiking Trails Around Kathmandu

Hiking is one of the thrilling experience in Nepal and top hiking trails around Kathmandu has been attracting tourist for centuries. One can hike single day in and around Kathmandu valley and observe panoramic view of snowcapped mountains. The breathtaking views of the high Himalayas are indeed a sight to behold. Hikes are comfortable walking or climbing trips, usually ending in a day or two. You will hike gently through terraced rice or potato or barley field, past Hindu shrines and colorful Buddhist monasteries, prayer flag fluttering visible from miles. This will be always keep in your mind. In addition, our patrons can hike in and around Gorkha Village and Pokhara City etc. while touring.

 Top Hiking trails around Kathmandu are:

1. Changunarayan – Telkot

The hike typically starts at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Changunarayan Temple. One can explore the temple complex and enjoy its historical and architectural significance before beginning your hike.

The hiking trail from Changunarayan to Telkot offers scenic views of the surrounding countryside and the Kathmandu Valley. The trail goes through forests, farmlands, and local villages. It’s a relatively moderate hike, suitable for people with basic hiking experience. The hike from Changunarayan to Telkot is approximately 5 kilometers and can take around 2 to 2.5 hours. It will depend on your walking speed. As you hike, you’ll have beautiful views of the valley, terraced fields, traditional Nepali houses, and possibly even glimpses of the Himalayan mountains on a clear day. This short hike end at Telkot. It is a small village located at a higher elevation than Changunarayan. There are small local shops or stalls where you can buy refreshments

2. Nagarkot – Telkot

The hike from Nagarkot to Telkot is a popular hiking route around the Kathmandu valley in Nepal, known for its scenic beauty and relatively moderate level of difficulty. Nagarkot is a hill station located about 32 kilometers east of Kathmandu, offering stunning panoramic views of the Himalayas, including famous peaks like Mount Everest and Langtang. Telkot is a smaller village situated to the southeast of Nagarkot. The hike between these two places takes you through picturesque landscapes, traditional villages, and terraced fields.

The distance between Nagarkot and Telkot is around 9 kilometers, depending on the specific trail you choose. The hike generally takes about 3–4 hours to complete, but it depends on your walking speed. The Nagarkot-to-Telkot hike is moderate in type and suitable for most individuals with a basic level of fitness. Even though it is recommended to wear proper hiking shoes, taking your time is important.

3. Nagarkot – Dhulikhel

Hiking from Nagarkot to Dhulikhel in Nepal is a popular trekking route that offers stunning views of the Himalayas, picturesque landscapes, and the chance to experience the local culture and lifestyle. It’s a full-day hike. The distance between Nagarkot and Dhulikhel is approximately 16 kilometers. The hike usually takes around 5–6 hours, depending on your walking speed. There are a few different routes you can take for this hike, but a common one involves starting from Nagarkot.

There are a few different routes you can take for this hike, but a common one involves starting from Nagarkot. From Nagarkot, heading southeast towards Dhulikhel. Throughout the hike, you’ll have views of the Himalayan mountain range, including peaks like Langtang, Ganesh Himal, and more. The viewpoints along the way are perfect for capturing stunning photographs. The trail takes you through several traditional Nepali villages, allowing you to experience the local culture, interact with villagers, and observe their way of life. The route passes through lush forests, terraced fields, and rhododendron forests (especially in spring when they’re in bloom). You might also spot various species of birds and other wildlife. If you time it right, you can catch spectacular sunrise or sunset views from Nagarkot, which is famous for its panoramic views of the Himalayas.

4. Nagarkot – Banepa

Nagarkot to Banepa trail offers a mix of terraced fields, lush forests, charming villages, and occasional viewpoints. The route allows you to experience the rural life of Nepal and offers opportunities to interact with locals. The Nagarkot to Banepa hike is a day hike. This is relatively easy to moderate in terms of difficulty, making it suitable for individuals with a basic level of fitness. However, it’s still important to be prepared with proper hiking gear, comfortable footwear, and essentials like water and snacks.

The trail offers panoramic views of the Himalayas, including peaks like Langtang Lirung, Ganesh Himal, and even Mount Everest on clear days. As you descend towards Banepa, you’ll also get to enjoy the picturesque landscapes of the Kathmandu Valley. Along the way, you might encounter small monasteries, temples, and traditional Nepali houses. It’s worth exploring the old town area and interacting with locals to learn about their way of life. The hike concludes in Banepa, a town with its own historical importance. Banepa is known for its ancient architecture, local markets, and cultural attractions. It’s a good place to explore before heading back to Kathmandu or continuing your journey to other destinations.

5. Dhulikhel – Namo Budha

Hiking from Dhulikhel to Namo Buddha is a popular trekking route in Nepal around the Kathmandu Valley, offering stunning views of the Himalayas, lush landscapes, and an opportunity to explore Buddhist monasteries and cultural sites. Dhulikhel is a town located about 30 kilometers east of Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city. Namobuddha, on the other hand, is a sacred Buddhist site about 10 kilometers southeast of Dhulikhel. The hike connects these two places and typically takes around half a day to a full day, depending on your pace and the stops you make along the way.

Enjoy the panoramic views of the mountains from Dhulikhel before you start your hike. The trail from Dhulikhel to Namobuddha is mostly uphill. It passes through small villages, terraced fields, and forests. The trail can be steep at times, so be prepared for some uphill walking. Along the way, you’ll pass through traditional Nepali villages where you can observe local life. This is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of the region. After a few hours of hiking, you’ll reach Namobuddha. The main attraction here is the Namobuddha Stupa and Monastery, an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists. The stupa is located on a hilltop with a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. Take some time to explore the monastery, stupa, and peaceful surroundings. You can also enjoy a meal at local restaurants that serve traditional Nepali cuisine.

6. Chapadevi Hill

Champa Devi is a popular hiking destination located in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Champa Devi Hill is situated to the south of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. It’s easily accessible and a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The hill has an elevation of approximately 2,285 meters (7,497 feet) above sea level. This hike is moderately difficult. While it’s not extremely challenging, it does involve some uphill sections and uneven terrain, so be sure about your physical condition. The duration of the hike can vary depending on your pace and fitness level. On average, it takes around 4 to 5 hours to complete the round-trip hike, including time for breaks and enjoying the views.

The trailhead is located in the Machchhe Gau, Kirtipur area of Kathmandu. The hike begins with a gradual ascent through forests. As you ascend, the views of the surrounding mountains and the Kathmandu Valley become more impressive. On a clear day, the summit of Champa Devi Hill offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Himalayas, including peaks like Langtang, Gauri Shankar, and Everest. The best time to hike Champa Devi Hill is dry seasons from October to December and from March to May. The weather is more stable during these months, providing clear views and pleasant hiking conditions.

7. Nagi Gumba

Nagi Gompa is a Buddhist monastery located in the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park in Nepal. The term “Gumba” is often used to refer to monasteries or temples in the Nepali language. This hike is a popular trekking route near Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. This hike offers stunning views of the Himalayan mountains, lush forests, and an opportunity to explore the serene environment of the monastery. The trail takes you through the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, and it’s a relatively moderate hike suitable for most fitness levels.

The Nagi Gompa hike usually starts from the outskirts of Kathmandu, and it takes a few hours to reach the monastery. The monastery itself is a peaceful place for meditation and offers visitors a chance to experience the local Buddhist culture. Remember to respect the local customs and traditions while visiting religious sites like Nagi Gompa.

8. Sundarijal – Chisapani

Sundarijal is a small town located on the northeastern edge of the Kathmandu Valley. It’s about an hour’s drive from Kathmandu. The trekking trail begins from here, and Sundarijal is also known for its beautiful waterfall and as the entry point to the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. The trek from Sundarijal to Chisapani takes you through lush forests, charming villages, and occasionally steep ascents. The trail is well-marked and well-maintained, making it accessible for trekkers with varying levels of experience. You’ll pass through different landscapes and get a chance to observe local flora and fauna. This hike usually takes about two days to complete. The first day involves a moderate hike to Chisapani, where you can stay overnight. The second day involves a descent to either Sankhu or Nagarkot, depending on the route you choose.

The trek is moderate type in terms of difficulty, but some uphill sections can be a bit challenging. It’s recommended to have a basic level of fitness and be prepared for changing weather conditions, as temperatures can vary at different elevations. Chisapani is known for its panoramic views of the Himalayan mountains, including Langtang, Ganesh Himal, and other peaks. On a clear day, you can witness stunning sunrise and sunset views from here. The surrounding landscapes are also picturesque, with terraced fields, forests, and traditional villages. Throughout the hike, you’ll pass through local villages inhabited by Tamang and Sherpa communities. This provides an opportunity to interact with locals, learn about their way of life, and immerse yourself in the local culture. You might also come across small monasteries and temples along the way.

 

Travel Advice – Corona virus

The Nepalese tourism sector, the backbone of economy, came to a crushing halt in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Human being suffered a lot and now situation is slowly coming back on the normalcy.

Tourist footsteps are gradually increasing in Nepal as the coronavirus-related restrictions are eased with fewer daily cases and a low transmission rate in the last few months. However, now the sector is picking up steam with the total number of active COVID-19 cases dropping to less than 350 across the country.

As we all battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more on days to come. Below are the some points that will be helpful while touring in Nepal….

– Visa on arrival and no quarantine needed for those who have completed two doses of vaccination.

– You are considered fully vaccinated if you have prescribed does of the vaccine, 14 days prior to arrival into Nepal.

– For those who are vaccinated in Nepal, please ensure that you are carrying the official vaccination Certificate with photo and QR code when traveling.

– Check that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related rescue and treatment. All rescue and treatment has to be paid by yourself or through your insurance.

– Check with your travel agent or study the requirements in the country before you board the flight.

– Local destinations may have their own entry protocol. Check with your agent or read up before you go into the destination. They are not restrictive but best to be updated.

– As our guests, you have a role to play. Please respect local guidelines, travel considerately and responsible, stay flexible to changing scenarios and help tourism revive.