Dashain Festival Trekking is the most important festival on the Nepal calendar and is a most interesting event to witness. Every year during late September to early October, the people of Nepal get ready to enjoy Dashain, the greatest festival of the year. This is the biggest and longest festival on the Nepali calendar and it is celebrated by virtually every person in Nepal, regardless of their social caste. The entire festival lasts approximately fifteen days and is a riot of color, festivity and religious rites.
The festival is said to be held in honor of the gods' victory over wicked demons. Legend has it that the god Ramayan was only able to kill Ravana, the king of the demons, when the goddess Durga was evoked. Thus the goddess Durga plays a pivotal role in the celebrations and the entire event is seen as a celebration of good over evil.
The festival starts on a lunar fortnight which ends on the day of the full moon. All homes in Nepal are cleaned, painted and decorated to encourage the mother goddess to visit and bless the household. Relatives from distant towns are reunited and the markets come alive with those looking for items they may use during the festival, such as clothes, food, gifts and animals for sacrifice. Thousands of animals such as goats, chickens, ducks, sheep and water buffalo are prepared for the sacrificial slaughter. During the course of the festival the blood of all these animals will be poured out for a ritual holy bathing that glorifies the goddess Durga. During the first nine days of the festival - the period during which Durga supposedly fought the demon Mahisasur - is a period of worship.
During this part of festival the tantric rites are conducted and the people pay their homage to the goddess by visiting her image in the temples around the country. Each day follows a pattern set thousands of years ago and is different from the next. On the ninth day, the Taleju temple at Hanuman Dhoka is opened to the public - the only time during the year that this occurs. Thousands of people visit the temple on this day and thousands of animals are sacrificed to honor Durga and seek her blessing.
On the tenth day the festivities settle a bit and the focus turns towards family. Elders visit each home and bless the family members - some of which have come from far away to receive this blessing. Even the king receives this blessing and the entire process takes about four days.
On the fifteenth day, the last day - the people of Nepal settle down to rest. The very next day the shops are open once again and life in Nepal returns to normal. Some travelers will likely find the animal sacrifices offered at Dashain to be somewhat offensive but should remember that these are an integral part of a festival which has been held for: hundreds of years.
September 19th 2017 / Day 01: Arrival at Tribhuban International Airport (T.I.A) and pick up by our private vehicle and transfer to the Hotel.
September 20th 2017 / Day 02: Ghatasthapana (Festival beginning day) Sightseeing in Kathmandu Durbar Square and visit Kumari Ghar and Sightseeing in Monkey Temple (Swoyambhunath)
September 21st 2017 / Day 03: Festival second day drive to Pokhara and overnight in Hotel.
September 22nd 2017 / Day 04: Festival third day drive an hour to Nayapul and commence trek to Tikhedhunga (1573m) Overnight in Lodge
September 23rd 2017 / Day 05: Festival fourth day Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani (2853m) Overnight in Lodge
September 24th 2017 / Day 06: Festival fifth day early in the morning visit Poonhill and have breakfast than continue trek to Tadapani (2652m)
September 25th 2017 / Day 07: Festival sixth day Tadapani to Ghandruk (1963m)
September 26th 2017 / Day 08: Festival seventh day (Phulpati) Ghandruk trek down to Pokhara
September 27th 2017 / Day 09: Festival eighth day (Astami) Pokhara to Kathmandu 6 hrs drive and overnight in Hotel
September 28th 2017 / Day 10: Festival ninth day (Nawami)
September 29th 2017 / Day 11: Festival tenth day
September 30th 2017 / Day 12: Vijaya Dashami Tika (Dashami) ) Free day in Kathmandu celebrating the festival with our family.
October 01st 2017 / Day 13: Festival eleventh day.
October 02nd 2017 / Day 14: Festival twelve day.
October 03rd 2017 / Day 15: Festival thirteen day.
October 04th 2017 / Day 16: Festival fourteen day finish the festival. And rest of the time for shopping
October 05th 2017 / Day 17: Final departure to the airport by our private vehicle
Where is Nepal?
Nepal, a sovereign Independent Kingdom, lies between 80 degree 12' east longitude and 26 degree 22' and 30 degree 27' north latitude. It is bounded on the north by the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China; on the east by Sikkim and West Bengal of the Indian Union on the south by Indian States of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and on the west by Uttar Pradesh of Indian Union. The length of the Kingdom is 885 kilometers east-west and its breath varies from 145 to 241 kilometers north-south. Climatically, it lies in the temperate zone with the added advantage of altitude.
Why is Nepal such a fascinating country for many people?
The Himalayan kingdom of Nepal is a land of scenic mountains, time-worn temples and some of the best walking trails on Earth. It's a small country, but it's rich in scenic splendor and exotic cultures. The people of Nepal are as diverse as their country and represent distinct cultures and races.
Though they speak a variety of tongues and practice different religions, they are the friendliest people that you would ever meet. The kingdom has long exerted a pull on the Western imagination and it's a difficult place to dislodge from your memory once you return. So, wait until you're actually here in Nepal.
As a traveler, there is endless number of surprises Nepal has to offer you. Kathmandu Valley with its thousands of Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas, stunning architecture and rich pageantry can be quite beyond words. If you are careful enough not to get entangled in the superficial facade of a flatly "modernizing" capital city, Kathmandu probably offers you as exotic and urban experience as you can get.
Beyond Kathmandu, it’s another world altogether. Most travelers to Nepal want to check out the truly spectacular Himalayas along with the higher hills. A few go there to scale the high mountains, but many are nature lovers who trek along landscapes filled with deep valleys, lush forests, snow trails, terraced fields, and above all, the most hospitable people.
Travelers to Nepal also love making a safari trip to one of the National Parks in Nepal. The most popular one is the Chitwan National Park in the southern plains which hosts a diverse wildlife reserves including the rare Asian one-horn rhino.
All foreign nationals, except Indian Citizens, need visas to enter Nepal.
What do I need to get my visa?
You need a valid passport, two passport size photos and US$ in cash.
The best way to apply for visa is from the Nepalese diplomatic missions in your home country. The other choice is to get it from Immigration office upon your arrival day at the entry points of Nepal.
What if I decided to stay more than 60 days in Nepal? Where and what should I do to extend my Tourist Visa?
There's no problem in it. The Immigration Department of Kathmandu or Pokhara can extend the visa for another 30 days and the charge for this is US$ 50. Indeed the visa can be extended for a total of 120 days, an additional 30 days visa may be granted on reasonable grounds from the Immigration Office. Nevertheless, a tourist cannot stay in Nepal under tourist-visa for more than 150 cumulative days.
In order to fly directly to Nepal from your home country, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu is the only international airport in Nepal. TIA has direct air link with Osaka, Shanghai, London, Frankfurt, Hongkong, Singapore, Bangkok, Delhi, Dubai, Bombay and Calcutta. Lufthansa, Nepal Airlines (NAC), Air India, Singapore Airlines, Thai are the airlines that carry most of the foreign travelers into Kathmandu; and if you buy tickets from any other airlines, you will probably connect with one of these airlines for the final leg of your flight. Alternatively, if you have time and enthusiasm, traveling overland to Nepal via India is an option.
When is the best time to travel in Nepal?
The weather is probably the best guide for deciding when to plan your trip to Nepal. The best time to visit Nepal is between September to November and March to May.
What is the national language of Nepal?
Nepal's national language is called Nepali. It is written in Devnagri Script. This script is the same as the one used in Hindi language - the national language of India. There are more than 72 different spoken languages in Nepal. It is also official language of Nepal.
What's the common form of greeting in Nepal?
It is called Namaste or Namaskar. You can say the greeting in words as well as do it using a gesture. Join your palms together and bring them close to your chest and about 5 to 7 inches below your chin. The word Namaste has many meanings such as Hello, How are you? I am glad to see you, nice to meet you, good morning, etc.
What are some basic Nepali customs that I should know about?
What time is it now in Nepal and what’s the phone code?
Nepali time is GMT/UTC plus 5 Hours 45 minutes. Area code for dialing to Nepal: Country Code: 977 Kathmandu City Code: 1 (e.g. 977 1 4212737 First three digits is the country code, second is the area code, the last digits are telephone numbers.
What is the currency of Nepal?
Nepalese currency is spelled as Nepalese Rupees or Rupee (Rs) or Nepali Rupee, and in short it is written NRS or RS. 100 Paisa equals 1 Rs. Currently Notes of the following denominations are used: 1000, 500, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2, and 1 rupees. Coin hasn't been popular in Nepal and hence is almost always ignored in business. The coins of the following denominations can be found: 1 paisa, 5 paisa, 10 paisa, 50 paisa and 1 Rs, 2 Rs, and 5 Rs. It is recommended that you travel with smaller notes in less populated areas, while large notes are easily accepted elsewhere.
Are there ATM facilities in Nepal?
Yes, in Kathmandu and Pokhara. International credit cards (Master Card, Visa Card etc) are also accepted in all leading hotels, shopping centers, bars and restaurants in Nepal.
Will my Cell phone (mobile phone) work in Nepal?
Please, Contact your service provider and check if Nepal country is included in their `Global roaming' package. Please note, not all parts of Nepal are covered by the GSM Network in Nepal.
What are health requirements to visit Nepal?
Nepal does not require any specific immunization for visitors. It is however best to have vaccine before coming to Nepal. Your doctors can advice you on the type of vaccine to be taken to travel to third world countries like Nepal.
What about getting to Nepal from Tibet?
The crossing between Nepal and Tibet via Kodari is only open to organized groups but not to individual travelers heading north. Be prepared with alternative plans if you're thinking about using this route, because landslides regularly make it impassable during the monsoon.