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Maha Shivaratri

maha shivratri

maha shivratri

Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in honour of the god Shiva. Generally  Shivaratri is celebrated in every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar, on the month’s 13th night /14th day once a year in late winter (February/March, or Phalguna) and before the arrival of spring, marks Maha Shivaratri which means “The Great Night of Shiva”.

The Lingodbhav Moorti of lord Shiva was self immerged at midnight of Shivaratri. So, this night is also celebrated as the Birth-night of lord Shiva.

Myths regarding Maha Shivaratri :

shivaratri

shivaratri

Puranas contain many stories and legends describing the origin of this festival.
According to one, during the samudra manthan, a pot of poison emerged from the ocean. This terrified the Gods and demons as the poison was capable of destroying the entire world, and they ran to Shiva for help. To protect the world from its evil effects, Shiva drank the deathly poison but held it in his throat instead of swallowing it. This made his throat turn blue, and he was given the name Neelakantha, the blue-throated one. Shivaratri is the celebration of this event by which Shiva saved the world.

It is believed Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati on this day.  Some places, Shivaratri is observed as marriage anniversary of Shiva-Parvati too.

According to another legend in the Shiva Purana, once the other two of the triads of Hindu Gods, Brahma and Vishnu, were fighting over who was the superior of the two. Horrified at the intensity of the battle, the other gods asked Shiva to intervene. To make them realize the futility of their fight, Shiva assumed the form of a huge column of fire in between Brahma and Vishnu. Awestruck by its magnitude, they decided to find one end each to establish supremacy over the other. Brahma assumed the form of a swan and went upwards and Vishnu as Varaha went into the earth. But light has no limit and though they searched for thousands of miles, neither could find the end. On his journey upwards, Brahma came across a Ketaki flower wafting down slowly. When asked where she had come from, the Ketaki replied that she had been placed at the top of the fiery column as an offering. Unable to find the uppermost limit, Brahma decided to end his search and take the flower as a witness.

At this, the angry Shiva revealed his true form. He punished Brahma for telling a lie, and cursed him that no one would ever pray to him. The Ketaki flower too was banned from being used as an offering for any worship, as she had testified falsely. Since it was on the 14th day in the dark half of the month of Phalguna that Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga, the day is especially auspicious and is celebrated as Mahashivaratri. Worshipping Shiva on this day is believed to bestow one with happiness and prosperity.

Shivratri in Nepal

shivaratri-01

shivaratri-01

Maha Shivaratri is celebrated widely in the temples all over Nepal but especially in the Pashupatinath temple. Thousands of devotees visit the famous Shiva Shakti Peetham nearby as well. The Nepalese army parades around the city of Kathmandu to pay tribute to Lord Shiva, and holy rituals are performed all over the nation. Artists from various classical music and dance forms perform through the night. On Maha Shivaratri, married women pray for the well being of their husbands, unmarried women pray for a husband like Shiva, considered as the ideal husband. Shiva is also worshipped as the Adi Guru (first teacher) from whom the yogic tradition originates.

Source : wikipedia

 

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The Living Goddess of Nepal : Kumari

Kumari - Living Goddess

Kumari – Living Goddess

In Nepal Kumari is given high respect and dignity especially during social and religious functions. There are several Kumaris including Kumaris in Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur and Bungamati within the Kathmandu Valley. However, among all of them, the Kumari of Kathmandu housed in the Kumari Bihar situated at the vicinity of Hanuman Dhoka Palace at Basantapur is regarded as the most important one and is also known as the Royal Kumari. There are several verses in the Vedas which eloquently glorify the position of Kumaris and their role in various spheres of life. As a female deity, she possesses Shakti (Power). Both benevolent and fearful she is worshipped as Kali, Durga and Taleju, etc. However, Kumari as a female deity is worshipped as the living virgin goddess, the defender of the living beings. Why is a little girl from the Shakya family chosen as a living goddess? The whole concept of Kumari as a living goddess originated when Tantricism, was at its height in the Kathmandu Valley. The Bajracharya and Shakya clans played a crucial role and so the tradition of requiring the Kumari to come from the Shakya clan was established.

Kumari bahal

Kumari bahal

There is an ancient story based on mythology. The Malla Kings of the Valley in ancient times had wide knowledge of practising Tantricism. They used to play dice and other games with the goddess Taleju with their tantric powers. King Jaya Prakash Malla, the last Malla ruler of Kathmandu used to play dice with Goddess Taleju. He became fascinated by the charming beauty of the goddess. He lost control and caught her by the hands. The goddess perceived his erotic thoughts and was enraged by his immoral attitude, sheimmediately vanished from the king’s sight. That night the king again saw Goddess Taleju in his dream. In his dream she strictly warned him that he shall no longer be

blessed by her. His dynasty was going to end. The king would only be able to get darshan in the new form of pre-menstrual girl belonging to the Shakya caste in whom the goddess herself is said to dwell as goddess Kumari. Since then, the Kumari is worshipped as the living virgin goddess. The Kumari bahal was built in 1767 during the reign of King Jaya Prakash Malla. He also instituted the festival of drawing the chariot of Kumari, the living goddess followed by other two living gods- Ganesh and Bhairav.

Chariot of Kumari

Chariot of Kumari

On 25th September 1768 AD Prithvi Narayan Shah, the king of Gorkha attacked Kathmandu when Indra Jatra (festival) was being observed in full swing. Jaya Prakash’s troops were all intoxicated in the chariot pulling festival. The Gorkha King easily captured Kathmandu and received blessings from the Kumari.

The Kumari is given high dignity and is regarded as a personification of the Goddess Taleju. She is considered as an incarnation of Durga, the symbol of power, the divine universal-mother goddess. The devotees consider looking at her as a mascot will bring them good luck.

The four or five year old little Shakya girl is chosen every ten years. The girl who is to be made Royal Kumari must possess several qualities. She must be free from any disfigurement. She must be a virgin with an unblemished body. She must have prominent black eyes or gorgeous expressive eyes, white teeth without any gaps. She must have a sonorous voice, long slender arms, delicate and soft hands and feet and straight hair curled towards the right side. Above all, she should possess 32 noble virtues. She must have a sense of courage and should not fear a masked man or an animal sacrifice. Her horoscope must match that of the king.

The selection of the Kumari ceremony which is usually held on the eighth day of Dashain festival is called Kal-ratri. During the day many buffaloes are sacrificed and bloody buffalo heads are placed in candlelight in the courtyard of the Taleju temple inside Hanuman Dhoka. At midnight the Kumari is taken out to walk clockwise around the grotesque heads. A dancer wearing a grostesque mask dances near her. If the child remains quite and fearless during this test she is recognized as a real Kumari.Then after, the secret tantric ritual is held to remove all her past memories from her body and purify her as a pure vessel for the Taleju goddess to enter. It takes a whole night and in the morning she walks across a white cloth in front of a huge crowd as the new Kumari.

After becoming Kumari, the child is taken into a house called Kumari Bahal in Basantapur. She has to live in isolation from her family and relatives in Kumari Bahal. She is always dressed in red and her forehead is painted in red. The third eye is put in her forehead. She sits on her throne with her attendants.

Non-Hindus are allowed to enter the courtyard but may not go up. She usually

Nepal's Living Goddess Kumari

Nepal’s Living Goddess Kumari in her throne

acknowledges greetings from her balcony windows. For all the sacrifice a girl child makes in order to become a Kumari, she gets very little in compensation. When she comes to the end of her career as the Kumari when she reaches puberty she has to walk out with virtually nothing. The month’s stipend she is paid is a mere pittance and not enough for anything. If the Kumari tradition is to vanish from our culture it will indeed be a great pity. Not only will our culture be so much the poorer but there will be less to show to the numerous foreign tourists who come to Nepal attracted by our rich cultural traditions.

 

 

10 important things to do in Nepal

  1. Try Everest before you die!

    Climbing Mount Everest

    Climbing Mount Everest

Climb the world’s highest mountain on Earth or any other 11 highest peaks all located inNepal. Climbing Everest costs around US $ 50,000 but the view of the Everest and other Himalayas are free. You can also just visit Nepal to just enjoy the great views of Himalayas including the Everest. But summiting them would be better idea. Come to Nepal.

  1. Nagarkot and Sunrise.

nagarkot-sunrise

Nagarkot-sunrise

Wake up early morning and head towards Nagarkot, the quiet town 30KM away from Kathmandu. But better stay in the resort the other night. Watch sunrise from there which will take your breath away. One can also enjoy magnificent view of Himalayas. Nagarkot is located on the rim of Kathmandu Valley at an elevation of 7200 ft. You can have glorifying Himalayan view that extends from Dhaulagiri in the west to beyond Mt. Everest in the east.

  1. Taste Nepali Tea.

    ilam nepal tea

    Ilam Nepali tea

Nepali organic tea is recognized worldwide for its outstanding aroma, brisk, texture and flavor. The cool breezes from the refreshing Himalayan range and young tea bushes contribute to the quality of Nepali Tea. You will be lured by the amazing taste you ever had.

  1. Go trekking.

nepal-trekking

Nepal-trekking

Do a backpack or teahouse trek or self arranged trekking in Solukhumbu, Jugal Himal, Gosaikunda, Helambu, Langtang, Baglung, Jomsom, Tatopani, Ghandruk, Annapurna, Lamudada, Jiri, Gokyo, Everest Base Camp, Namche Bazzar or just about any peaks or trekking trails in Nepal. Whatever be your destination, the fact is you will find Nepal perfect and adventurous.

  1. Nepali cuisine.
Nepali Cuisine

Nepali Cuisine

You should try authentic Nepali food once while you are3 in the country. You will be loving the delicacy and the carving taste of having it. Every hotel, b ig or small can offer you the chance to taste the Nepali cuisine.

 

  1. Speak Nepali Tongue.

    Speak Nepali

    Speak Nepali

Spend just 4 weeks and you could be speaking this awesome Nepali Language in No time. Learn Nepali language, it is fun and exciting. It is simple to understand and easy to speak.

 

  1. Shop in Thamel.
Shop in Thamel

Shop in Thamel

Tempting exquisite souvenirs such as Nepali handicrafts, outstanding Thankas, Nepali garments and mouth watering local and international cuisines virtually web the entireThamel streets. Every single shop thoroughly grabs your attention leaving you helpless and forced to buy them. Take an hour walking in Thamel without shopping a single thing, can you take a challenge?

 

  1. Bungee Jump.

    bunjee jump in Nepal

    bunjee jump in Nepal

Try the most spectacular jump in the world. A 160 m wide steel suspension bridge/ the longest suspension bridge of Nepal offers you a breathe taking 160 m depth, awesome jump of your life time. Try experiencing this jump giving you goose bumps that you won’t forget.

 

  1. Temple city.
Temple City

Temple City

Kathmandu valley is a 218 square miles of land situate above 4400 feet above the sea level with three historic, artistic and cultural towns namely Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. The city of Temples is the another name of Kathmandu Valley. Walk for five minutes in any direction in Kathmandu, you will definitely find a temple in left and right. There are more than 5 temples per square miles in Kathmandu.

 

  1. River Rafting Adventures.

    Rafting in nepal

    Rafting in Nepal

Nepal has some of the best rivers in the world offering you excellent opportunities for river adventures. Intense rapids, gorgeous wilderness areas and lush green valley will multiply your fun. Go for white water river rafting adventures.

Relief & Rehabilitation Efforts – Please donate so we can help them to stand again

x2fmm2ozxk42blhxvsxkMytrip2nepal.com in association with a Local NGO ,have initiated a relief operation in Gundu Village.Around 50 Houses have been totally destroyed in this Village and hundreds of people have been forced to live outside with shortage of food, water , medicine ,cloths and tents.The lack of manpower has been another problem to get necessary things out of the buried inside the houses.we have gather a volunteer of around 25 people from different organisation to help in the relief operation.

Please click the link below to donate.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/earthquake-relief-fund-gundu-village-bhaktapur/x/10701429

A unique heritage tour of Nepal

boudhanath_stupa_1Nepal is the tourist’s heaven with its rich culture and a vast heritage, the small kingdom of Nepal is blessed with such astonishing and unique sites that it holds its significant position in naming itself as a best destination for a Unique World heritage tour.  The culture of Nepal is a combination of tradition and novelty.

The wonderful trip to Nepal will take you to some of the most popular and significant places that is a must visit and I suggest you to note it down so that you don’t miss on any of these when you are in Nepal. The heritage of Kathmandu is illustrated by seven groups of monuments each with unique culture and artistic values for which Nepal is famous for. Nepal is one of such destination where you find creativity with every place you visit. The architecture of Nepal is famous worldwide.

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The world heritage sites is worth the visit when you are in Nepal. Nepal is the holy land of Lord Pashupatinath and Lord Buddha where the Hindus and Buddhists have lived together in harmonies for centuries.  The temple of Pashupatinath is Nepal’s most sacred Hindu Shrine and one of the four most important cities in the world for Shiva worshippers. During Shivaratri, also known as the Shiva’s night there is a rush of foreigners coming to visit this temple. Lord Buddha’s birth place Lumbini, makes Nepal a scared pilgrimage destination for Buddhists. Its beautiful and offers you a total peace of mind. Apart from these, Nepal also offers a beautiful glimpse of Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changu Narayan Temple, Swayambhunath Temple (one of the world’s most glorious Buddhist Chaitya) and the Bouddhanath Stupa which is one of the biggest stupa in the world.  All these places have their own unique heritage.

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Also there are other pilgrimages sites in Nepal that hold great cultural importance. A tour to all these places will make you familiar with the rich Nepal culture.

Nepal has been the dreamland for the tourist’s for a long time. There are a lot of traveler who have already visited Nepal and desire for a second visit because of its rich culture and people. Nepalese are one of such people in the world who are always helpful and kind by heart. Almost all the important religions in the world are found in Nepal where the majority of the population believes in Hinduism equally followed by Buddhism.

Don’t miss out on this, pack your bag and make sure you get to visit all these places and make it a lifetime experience.

HOLIEST OF HOLY TEMPLES- MUKTINATH TEMPLE IN NEPAL!!

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Nepal is a nation gifted with religious and spiritual wonders and rich mythical stories. Being located at the greater northern region of Indian subcontinent, it is home to some of the most regarded religious destinations in the entire south Asia. Few of them include: Pashupatinath Temple (Kathmandu), Gosaikunda Lake (Langtang), Pathibhara Temple (Taplejung), Muktinath Temple (Mustang), etc. Muktinath is a sacred place both if Hindus and Buddhists which is also known as a “place of liberation or moksha”.

Considered by Hindus to be one of the eight most sacred sites in the world, Muktinath is also an extremely important site to Tibetan Buddhists, who call it Chumig Gyatsa, which means ‘Hundred Waters’ in Tibetan. For Tibetans, Muktinath is one of the 24 Tantric places in the world and home to the Dakinis, goddesses known as Sky Dancers. Narsingh Gompa, a smaller temple within the larger Muktinath site, holds a golden icon said to be a manifestation of Avalokitesvara, a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas and of whom the current Dalai Lama is said to be an emanation. Tibetan Buddhist tradition also states that Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism better known as Guru Rinpoche, meditated at Muktinath on his way to Tibet.

An insight into Jomsom and Muktinath regions:-

JOMSOM: Jomsom is locted in Mustang District, Nepal. It makes a section of the greater trekking trail of Annapurna Circuit which is the most popular trekking trail in Nepal. Serving as the district headquarter, it covers both the banks of the Kali Gandaki River. To reach Muktinath, one can take a flight from Pokhara to Jomsom and ride to Muktinath. Also if interested it is possible to drive/fly or even trek to Muktinath from the only airport of this region, Jomsom Airport.

MUKTINATH: Muktinath  is considered a sacred place by Hindus and Buddhists. This ancient temple is located in Muktinath Valley at the foot of the Thorang La Pass, and is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Hindua call this scared place “Mukti Kshetra” which means the ‘place of liberation or Moksha”. This temple is considered to be the 105th among the existing Divya Desam i.e. 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the works of the Tamil Azhwars (Sadhus).

TRAVEL SEASON:  One can visit Muktinath temple during Pre-monsoon (March-June), and Post Monsoon (September- November) seasons. It can be trekked throughout the year.

Upper Mustang Trek

upper-mustangThe ancient Himalaya kingdom “Mustang” also called “Lo” which used to be the part of Tibetan empire, lies in the north-central part of Nepal. Mustang’s landscapes resemble the Tibetan ones.  It is the hidden world where ancient Buddhism is still in practice and is called “Bon Buddhism”. The thousand years of isolation has kept the culture, lifestyle remain unchanged for centuries and even till date. Here you get the privilege to explore the thousand years of old monastery, local tribes, caves, and beautiful scenery of the different landscapes.

The upper Mustang Trek in Nepal is a rare experience for trekker’s since this area was closed for tourists until 1991. This trek is one of the most interesting trek area both culturally and naturally. The Upper Mustang trekking trail provides trekkers with an opportunity to connect with the nature while also experiencing cultural variety. Upper Mustang starts from Kagbeni. This trek goes through the world’s deepest gorge in Kaligandaki Valley. This trek has an average elevation of 3000m. The valleys are arid and dry with colourful rock formations which contains many cave dwellings high up in the cliffs, canyon and desert. In this trek, the road also passes through the barren landscapes, steep rocks. The remote Upper Mustang trekking trail presents tourists with a electrifying variegation of the earth’s colors. The panoramic views of the mountains, i.e. Nilgiris, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and several others are present during the trek. Visitors have the interest to learn their local language, their culture and visit monasteries, and also most of them are interested to take in the meditation in the monastery itself.You will also find an adorable view of the snowy summits and brilliant villages also with antiquated palaces.

upper-mustang-trek6

One of the major attractions in the Mustang region is the Tiji festival influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, which is the time to coincide with the end of the dry season. The people of Mustang, i.e. Mustagi people have their own unique way of family life, which is quiet surprising for many tourists. What came to my surprise was, when I met the people there I got to know that all the brothers in the family are married to a single girl, and this is called a practice of polyandry.

One needs to require a special permit from the Nepalese Department of immigration to visit this place. For this trek, you will also be required to walk for about 6 hours on a everyday basis. This might require you to prepare yourself three months in advance of the trip by jogging and other exercise. This exercise will make sure you have a positive attitude and to be strong willed while you are on the Upper Mustang Trek. There must be at least two people to trek in this area, single person are not allowed to trek due to its wildness as per the government regulation.

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The trekking itinerary is for about 17 days, and customization is done based on the trekker’s requirement. Explore the Hidden Mystery of Himalayas through Mytrip2nepal!!