With its lush, picturesque forests, serene lakes and a stunning vista of the Annapurna Himalayan range, the beautiful village...
Annapurna Region, Nepal
Nepal is blessed with one of the richest cultures in the world. This is a culture that has become a way of life for an entire society’. This statement holds particularly true in the case of Nepal where every aspect of life, food, clothing and even occupations are culturally tuned to everyday life. Nepal’s exotic culture includes the codes of manners, dress, language, rituals, norms of behavior and systems of belief that has flowed through its history for generations.
As the legend goes, there was a primeval lake surrounded by lush green forested mountains. In this untouched lake lived enormous serpents until one fine day, Manjushree raised a mighty sword and in one falling swoop, cut open the side of a mountain at a place now known as Chovar. The roomy waters of the lake gushed out leaving behind a fertile valley which we all know today as the famous Kathmandu valley.
Kathmandu, the largest city of Nepal, was once known by its ancient name of ‘Kantipur’, is now the political as well as cultural Capital of the country. Nestled into a large bowl shaped valley, it enjoys a pleasant climate second to none and is a relatively safe place to live. Like any big city, Kathmandu has seen rapid expansion in the last decade and the hustle and bustle is typical, yet its inhabitants remain in as refreshingly friendly as ever. The old, fabulous palaces, the superbly crafted pagodas and the monumental Stupas are reminders of the Golden age of architecture in Nepal. They stand testimony to the artistic genius of the Newar craftsmen, the original inhabitants of the valley, whose skills were championed by the Malla kings of that era. The Durbar Square, Swoyambhunath, Boudhanath and Pashupatinath have been enlisted as UNESCO’s World Heritage Monuments.
Retaining ancient traditions, Kathmandu is blessed not only by a Living Goddess but also by Tantrik priests and reincarnated Lamas who are revered for their spiritual prowess. The city is enriched by such living traditions and the spectacular religious processions that take to the streets every now and then with throngs of devotees seeking blessings. Being major tourist attractions, these religious festivals are steeped in legend and are quite a manifestation with chariot processions, masked dancers often possessed by the spirits of deities and the inevitable ceremony of sacrifice. Temples are a plenty & cows, revered as sacred animals in Nepal, roam free.
Nepal & its culture, from early Sanskrit texts – which is the medium of both ancient Vedas & of the spread of Buddhist teachings in the 3rd century BC – to influences from every age since, perhaps came into existence in the 12th to 16th century era of the Mallas & their amazingly well developed civilization. Everywhere centered around the durbar squares of Patan, Kathmandu & Bhaktapur itself are noble structures both royal & religious which highlights the hindu gods, mainly of Vishnu, Brahma & shiva with superb artifacts from both hindu & Buddhist traditions; leaving you in no doubt as to the glories of the past & well informed as to the span of civilizations that have flourished & competed here in the land of the mighty Himalayas.
An example of one such structure is the 30m tall Nyatapola temple of 5 pagoda roof- parapets towering above the markets of Bhaktapur square. Yet its only one centre of things, an iconic landmark while royal palaces, temples & shrines are in constant use, enticing or warding of deities & demons with offerings; typically floral & food with percussion or horn music & always & everywhere the persistent clanging & tinkling of small & big bells which is heard throughout day into the still of the night.
Enjoy tours & sightseeing programs with Accessible Adventure & walk into a living museum & ancient civilization that will literally amaze you at every turn to the corner of a street where the clanging of bells will awaken your senses & take you down to an age that was once-upon-a-time a thriving culture of a dying era.