Friday, July 31, 2009

Pokhara-See Nepal

Friday, July 31, 2009

Pokhara Sub-Metropolitan City (Nepali: पोखरा उपमहानगरपालिका Pokhara Up-Mahanagarpalika) is a city of close to 200,000 inhabitants in central Nepal located at 28.25°N, 83.99°E, 198 km west of Kathmandu. It is the third largest city of Nepal after Kathmandu and Biratnagar. It is the Headquarters of Kaski District, Gandaki Zone and the Western Development Region. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations of the country.


POKHARA, Pokhara is the most beautiful city in Nepal. The city is situated 200 km west of Kathmandu, is the starting point of Nepal's popular trekking and rafting destinations. The elevation of Pokhara is approximately 915 meter from the sea level. This is the magic city in the sense that you can enjoy exotic view of Machhapuchhre [6977m] very close from Pokhara city. Moreover, Pokhara offers panoramic views of five peaks of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Himchuli etc. The valley is famous for natural and cultural beauty that has more than seven lakes, out of them Fewa and Rupa are very attractive for tourists

Pokhara is situated in the northwestern corner of the Pokhara Valley, which is a widening of the Seti Gandaki valley. The Seti River and its tributaries have dug impressive canyons into the valley floor, which are only visible from higher viewpoints or from the air. To the east of Pokhara is the municipality of Lekhnath, another town in the valley.

In no other place do mountains rise so quickly. In this area, within 30 km, the elevation rises from 1,000 m to over 7,500 m. The Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu ranges, each with peaks over 8,000 m, can be seen from Pokhara and there is a lake named Phewa Tal (Tal means lake in the Nepali language), three caves (Mahendra, Bat and Gupteswor) and an impressive falls (Patale Chhango or Devi's Fall) where the water from the Phewa Lake thunders into a hole and disappears. Due to this sharp rise in altitude the area of Pokhara has one of the highest precipitation rates of the country (over 4,000 mm/year). Even within the city there is a noticeable difference in the amount of rain between the south of the city by the lake and the north at the foot of the mountains.

The climate is sub-tropical but due to the elevation the temperatures are moderate: the summer temperatures average between 25–35 °C, in winter around 5–15 °C.

In the south the city borders on Phewa lake (4.4 km² at an elevation of about 800 m above sea level), in the north at an elevation of around 1,000 m the outskirts of the city touch the base of the Annapurna mountain range. From the southern fringes of the city 3 eight-thousanders (Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu) and, in the middle of the Annapurna range, the Machapuchare (Nepali language: Machhapucchare: 'Fishtail') with close to 7,000 m can be seen. This mountain dominates the northern horizon of the city and its name derives from its twin peaks, not visible from the south.

Tibet Tour

Potala Palace

The Potala Palace (Tibetan: པོ་ཏ་ལ; Wylie: Po ta la; simplified Chinese: 布达拉宫; traditional Chinese: 布達拉宮) is located in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region. It was named after Mount Potala, the abode of Chenresig or Avalokitesvara. The Potala Palace was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India, after an invasion and failed uprising in 1959. Today the Potala Palace has been converted into a museum by the Chinese.

The building measures 400 metres east-west and 350 metres north-south, with sloping stone walls averaging 3 m. thick, and 5 m. (more than 16 ft) thick at the base, and with copper poured into the foundations to help proof it against earthquakes. Thirteen stories of buildings – containing over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and about 200,000 statues – soar 117 metres (384 ft) on top of Marpo Ri, the "Red Hill", rising more than 300 m (about 1,000 ft) in total above the valley floor. Tradition has it that the three main hills of Lhasa represent the "Three Protectors of Tibet." Chokpori, just to the south of the Potala, is the soul-mountain (bla-ri) of Vajrapani, Pongwari that of Manjushri, and Marpori, the hill on which the Potala stands, represents Chenresig or Avalokiteshvara.

Tibet (Tibetan: བོད་; Wylie: bod, pronounced [pʰø̀ʔ]; Chinese: 西藏; pinyin: Xī Zàng) is a plateau region in Asia, north of the Himalayas. It is home to the indigenous Tibetan people, and to some other ethnic groups such as Monpas and Lhobas. Tibet is the highest region on earth, with an average elevation of 4,900 metres (16,000 ft). It is sometimes referred to as the roof of the world.

During Tibet's history, it has been an independent country divided into different countries, and a part of China each for a certain amount of time. Tibet was first unified under King Songtsän Gampo in the seventh century. A government nominally headed by the Dalai Lamas, a line of spiritual leaders, ruled a large portion of the Tibetan region at various times from the 1640s until 1950s. During most of this period, the Tibetan administration was subordinate to the Chinese empire of the Qing Dynasty. The 13th Dalai Lama proclaimed Tibet independent in 1913, but this declaration was not accepted by China, nor recognized by any country as a de jure independent nation. Only three of the fourteen Dalai Lamas have actually ruled Tibet; regents ruled during 77 percent of the period from 1751 until 1960. The Communist Party of China gained control of central and western Tibet (Tibet area controlled by the Dalai Lama) after a decisive military victory at Chamdo in 1950. The 14th Dalai Lama fled to India after the 1959 Tibetan uprising.

Today, Tibet is administered by the People's Republic of China (PRC). Beijing and the Government of Tibet in Exile disagree over when Tibet became a part of China, and whether the incorporation into China of Tibet is legitimate according to international law(see Tibetan sovereignty debate). Since what constitutes Tibet is a matter of much debate (see map, right) neither its size nor population are simple matters of fact, due to various entities claiming differing parts of the area as a Tibetan region.

ABC- Annapurna

Annapurna Base Camp

The treks in the Annapurna area are the most popular and famous of Nepal's treks. Annapurna Base Camp trek can be done in about 8 days (depend on your walking pace). The way up to the base camp is also the way back down. The trek is not easy, and the adjustment to high altitudes may be difficult, and altitude sickness is very common. On the other hand, anyone with a reasonable level of physical fitness can walk the trek.
The Annapurna Base Camp trek leads to a natural amphitheater that is used as the base camp from which climbers start on their way to conquer the Annapurna Mountaintop. The mountain reaches 8091 meters above sea level, and the base camp's altitude is 4130 meters above sea level.

Preparations before the trek:

■Trekking permit
There is no need to issue a trekking permit to go on treks in the Annapurna area as it was in the past.
■Food and water
There is no need to take food and water to the trek. Everything can be bought in the restaurants and guest houses along the way. As the trail goes up, so does the water prices increase. Therefore, as long as you are at the beginning of the trek it is worthwhile buying mineral-water bottles. Later on the way it is possible to use water purification tablets.
■Sleeping equipment
There are many guest houses along the trek (don't expect too much...). Bring a good and warm sleeping bag with you, that will protect you from the cold (there is no heating).
Map of the trek, big backpack and a rain cover for it, small backpack, sleeping bag, water purification tablets, toilet paper, toiletries, sandals for the shower, towel, flashlight, spare batteries, reading book, first-aid kit, sunglasses, laundry rope, washing powder, sun-screen, fleece coat, rain coat, water proof nylon bag, travel clothes, warm clothes, laundry bag, camera.
■Toilets and showers
In the beginning of the trek you may find running water, but as you climb, they will become more and more scarce. If you want to take a shower further on the trek, you will have to take a bucket showers (sometimes with hot water).
It is highly recommended to hire a porter (carrier and guide) that will carry your heavy big bag with the equipment, and leave you with the small bag. The porter will also be your guide (no need for an additional guide). It is recommended to hire a porter through an agency to reduce the chance that the porter will disappear with you bag. You can use one porter for two persons, but avoid overloading him. Try to meet with your porter before leaving for the trek to get to know him.
The route

Every walking day starts around 07:00 (your porter will wake you up), stops for lunch around noon and ends at around 14:00 with the arrival to the guest house. An average walking day is about 7 hours.

Going up: 5 days, coming down - 3 days. All together - 8 days.

Costs and Technical Issues

As mentioned before, there is no need for any special trekking permit to travel in the Annapurna region, as it used to be in the past.

Entrance fee to the Annapurna Conservation Area Project ACAP is 2000 Rupee (about $28). Be aware that if you pay the entrance fee at the entrance to the conservation area it will be double - 4000 Rupees (about $56). Therefore it is advisable to pay it at the offices in Pokhara or Kathmandu.

ACAP offices:

ACAP / National Park Office
In the basement of the Sanchaya Kosh shopping center
Tridevi Marg
Thamel, Kathmandu
Tel: 223088, ext. 363

ACAP Office
Lakeside, Pokhara
opposite Grindlays Bank
Tel: 061 32275

Opening hours: Monday - Friday: 09:00-16:00
Sunday: 09:00-15:00
Saturday and holidays: closed

When paying the entrance fee, bring along 2 passport photos and a photocopy of your passport.

The cost of a porter is about 400 Rupee (almost $6) per day.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Sunday, July 26, 2009
Nepal (Asia and the Pacific)

Category: Cultural

State, Province or Region: Kathmandu District, Bagmati Zone, Central Nepal

The Lichchhavi period (2nd to 9th Century AD) settlement of Sankhu lies on the northeastern corner of the Kathmandu Valley on the ancient trade route to Tibet. The traditional Newari settlement still retains its medieval character with narrow streets, public squares with in dispersed tiered temples and rest houses.

The Vajrayogini temple complex constructed in the mid 17th Century is located on the flanks of the hills 1.5 km north of Sankhu. The main tiered temple dedicated to the tantic goddess Vajrayogini, is surrounded by several monuments and freestanding statues.

Justification for Outstanding Universal Value
Satements of authenticity and/or integrity
The Vajrayogini temple complex has been maintained in its original state. Large parts of the traditional settlement of Sankhu still retain their original character, with many of the monuments having been restored over the years.

Comparison with other similar properties
The Vajrayogini Temple Complex and the early settlement of Sankhu are culturally and historically related to the Monument Zones of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site. "Vajrayogini and the Early Settlement of Sankhu" can be considered as a possible future extension to the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site.

World Heritage in Nepal
Kathmandu Valley
Sagarmatha National Park
Royal Chitwan National Park
Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha


Buddha, standing
view of N24001 (colour image)
From Chabahil, Deopatan, Nepal
H: 37"
5th century C.E.
stolen in July, 1985

Buddha, standing
From Bangemura, Kathmandu, Nepal
5th century C.E.
There have been several unsuccessful attampts to steal this image. It is now protected by iron bars.

Buddha, standing
From Rajrajesvarighat, Pashupati, Nepal
12th century C.E.
Several unsuccessful attempts have been made to steal this image in the past few years.

Buddha, standing
From a Law Firm, Ram Shah Path, Nepal
7th century C.E.
During an attempt to steal this image it was broken into pieces.

Mount Everest

Mount Everest – also called Sagarmāthā (Nepali: सगरमाथा), Chomolungma or Qomolangma (Tibetan: ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ) or Zhumulangma (Chinese: 珠穆朗玛峰 Zhūmùlǎngmǎ Fēng) – is the highest mountain on Earth, as measured by the height above sea level of its summit, 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). The mountain, which is part of the Himalaya range in Asia, is located on the border between Sagarmatha Zone, Nepal, and Tibet, China.

In 1856, the Great Trigonometric Survey of India established the first published height of Everest, then known as Peak XV, at 29,002 ft (8,840 m). In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society upon recommendation of Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India at the time. Chomolungma had been in common use by Tibetans for centuries, but Waugh was unable to propose an established local name because Nepal and Tibet were closed to foreigners.

The highest mountain in the world attracts climbers of all levels, from well experienced mountaineers to novice climbers willing to pay substantial sums to professional mountain guides to complete a successful climb. The mountain, while not posing substantial technical climbing difficulty on the standard route (other eight-thousanders such as K2 or Nanga Parbat are much more difficult), still has many inherent dangers such as altitude sickness, weather and wind. By the end of the 2008 climbing season, there had been 4,102 ascents to the summit by about 2,700 individuals. Climbers are a significant source of tourist revenue for Nepal, whose government also requires all prospective climbers to obtain an expensive permit, costing up to US$25,000 per person.Everest has claimed 210 lives, including eight who perished during a 1996 storm high on the mountain. Conditions are so difficult in the death zone that most corpses have been left where they fell. Some of them are visible from standard climbing routes.

Everest Base Camp

There are two base camps on opposite sides of Mt. Everest: to the South in Nepal, and to the North in Tibet. Located at the altitude of 5,360 metres (17,600 ft) is South Base Camp in Nepal. (28°0′26″N 86°51′34″E / 28.00722°N 86.85944°E / 28.00722; 86.85944), and at 5,208 metres (17,090 ft) is the North Base Camp in Tibet(28°8′28″N 86°51′6″E / 28.14111°N 86.85167°E / 28.14111; 86.85167 (North Base Camp)). These camps are rudimentary campsites on Mount Everest that are used by mountain climbers during their ascent and descent. South Base Camp is used when climbing via the southeast ridge, while North Base Camp is used when climbing via the northeast ridge.

Supplies are carried to the camps by sherpas or porters, and with help of animals. The North Base Camp has vehicle access (at least in the summer months). Climbers typically rest at base camp for several days for acclimatization; to reduce the risks and severity of altitude sickness. Basecamps usually consist of long lines of tents with food, blankets, and light.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stolen Images of Sankhu

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Buddha, standing
From Vajrayogini Temple, Sankhu, Nepal
H: ca. 40"
13th century C.E.
stolen in the mid 1980's

From Epatol, Sankhu, Nepal
Grey limestone
H: 25 1/2"
11th century C.E.
stolen in mid 1985


Nepal (Nepali: नेपाल [neˈpaːl] (help·info)), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia and is the world's youngest republic. It is bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India. With an area of 147,181 square kilometers and a population of approximately 30 million, Nepal is the world's 93rd largest country by land mass[3] and the 41st most populous country. Kathmandu is the nation's capital and the country's largest metropolitan city.

Nepal is a country of highly diverse and rich geography, culture, and religions. The mountainous north contains eight of the world's ten highest mountains, including the highest, Mount Everest. The fertile and humid south is heavily urbanized. By some measures, Hinduism is practiced by a greater majority of people in Nepal than in any other nation.[4] A minority faith in the country, Buddhism is linked historically with Nepal as the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama who, as the Buddha Gautama, gave birth to the Buddhist tradition.

Nepal had been a monarchy throughout most of its history. Prithvi Narayan Shah, a Shah dynasty king, unified the many small kingdoms in 1768. Since then, the country had been ruled by a dynasty of kings. However, a decade-long People's Revolution by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) along with several weeks of mass protests by all major political parties of Nepal in 2006, culminated in a peace accord and the ensuing elections for the constituent assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of the abdication of the last Nepali monarch Gyanendra Shah and the establishment of a federal democratic republic in May 28, 2008.[5] The first President of Nepal, Dr. Ram Baran Yadav was sworn in on 23 July, 2008.

POKHARA, Pokhara is the most beautiful city in Nepal. The city is situated 200 km west of Kathmandu, is the starting point of Nepal's popular trekking and rafting destinations. The elevation of Pokhara is approximately 915 meter from the sea level. This is the magic city in the sense that you can enjoy exotic view of Machhapuchhre [6977m] very close from Pokhara city. Moreover, Pokhara offers panoramic views of five peaks of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Himchuli etc. The valley is famous for natural and cultural beauty that has more than seven lakes, out of them Fewa and Rupa are very attractive for tourists.

Gorkha, The town of Gorkha located at a distance of 144 km/90 miles, north west of Kathmandu was the ancient Kingdom of the present Shah Kings. The motorable road ends just below the Gorkha town and all tour of this place has to be done on foot. Gorkha palace located on top of a hill overlooking the town of Gorkha, can be reached after a steep uphill climb of an hour and a half. Though the main palace courtyard is closed to all foreigners one can however enter the outer part, which offers a spectacular birds eye view of the Gorkha town. For the more energetic hiker, a further climb of half an hour is suggested. This particular point known as Upalla Kot gives the best aerial view of the palace. Gorkha can be reached by road in conjunction with Pokhara or a same day trip can be undertaken from Kathmandu.

Gurkha, also spelled as Gorkha or Ghurka, are people from Nepal and northern India[1] who take their name from the eighth century Hindu warrior-saint Guru Gorakhnath..His disciple Bappa Rawal, born Prince Kalbhoj/Prince Shailadhish, founded the house of Mewar, Rajasthan (Rajputana). Later descendants of Bappa Rawal moved further east to found the house of Gorkha, which in turn founded the Kingdom of Nepal. Gorkha District is one of the 75 districts of modern Nepal.


Gurkhas are best known for their history of bravery and strength in the British Army's Brigade of Gurkhas and the Indian Army's Gorkha regiments. The Gurkhas were designated by British officials as a "Martial Race". "Martial Race" was a designation created by officials of British India to describe "races" (peoples) that were thought to be naturally warlike and aggressive in battle, and to possess qualities of courage, loyalty, self sufficiency, physical strength, resilience, orderliness, the ability to work hard for long periods of time, fighting tenacity and military strategy. The British recruited heavily from these Martial Races for service in the colonial army.

Victoria Cross recipients
Main article: List of Gurkha Recipients of the Victoria Cross
There have been twenty-six Victoria Crosses awarded to members of the Gurkha regiments. The first was awarded in 1858 and the last in 1965. Thirteen of the recipients have been British officers serving with Gurkha regiments, although since 1915 the majority have been received by Gurkhas serving in the ranks as private soldiers or as NCOs. In addition, since Indian independence in 1947, Gurkhas serving in the Indian Army have also been awarded three Param Vir Chakras, which are roughly equivalent.

Of note also, there have been two George Cross medals awarded to Gurkha soldiers, for acts of bravery in situations that have not involved combat.

Treatment of Gurkhas in the United Kingdom
The treatment of Gurkhas and their families has been the subject of controversy in the United Kingdom following revelations that Gurkhas received smaller pensions than their British equivalents. On 8 March 2007, it was announced by the British Government that all Gurkhas who signed up after July 1, 1997 would receive a pension equivalent to that of their British counterparts. In addition, Gurkhas would, for the first time, be able to transfer to another army unit after five years service to broaden their experience. It was also stated that, for the first time in the history of the Gurkhas, women would be allowed to join — although not in infantry units, in line with general British Army policy.

Despite this, many Gurkhas who had not served long enough to entitle them to a pension faced hardship on their return to Nepal, and some critics have derided the Government's decision to only award the new pension to those joining after the 1 July 1997, claiming that this left many ex-Gurkhas still facing a financially uncertain retirement. Even the British National Party has waded into the debate in support of the Gurkhas. A charity, the Gurkha Welfare Trust, provides aid to alleviate hardship and distress among Gurkha ex-servicemen.
The nationality status of Gurkhas and their families was also previously an area of dispute, with claims that some ex-army Nepali families were being denied residency and forced to leave Britain. The new policy on Gurkhas (announced by the British Government on 8 March 2007) guarantees residency rights in Britain for retired Gurkhas and their families. In a landmark ruling on 30 September 2008 the High Court in London decided that Gurkhas who left the Army before 1997 did have an automatic right of residency in the United Kingdom.[citation needed] Before this ruling only Gurkhas who left the British Army after 1997 were granted automatic residency benefits.[46] In line with the ruling of the High Court the Home Office is to review all cases affected by this decision.

There is a campaign currently running to support Gurkhas and pressure the UK government into giving more help and equal treatment to Gurkhas, called Gurkha Justice. A motion was voted on in the House of Commons on the 29th April 2009 by the Liberal Democrats that all Gurkhas be offered an equal right of residence. This resulted in a defeat for the Government by 267 votes to 246, the first, first day motion defeat for a government since 1978. The Commons vote is not binding, but it represents an embarrassment for the government. Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader stated that "This is an immense victory on a series of fronts: for the rights of Gurkhas who have been waiting so long for justice, a victory for Parliament, a victory for decency." He added that it was "the kind of thing people want this country to do".

On 21 May 2009, the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that all Gurkha veterans who retired before 1997 with at least four years service would be allowed to settle in the UK. The actress Joanna Lumley, who had campaigned for the rights of Gurkhas, said "This is the welcome we have always longed to give".

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Banepa, Capital of entire region in the middle of the 15th century, this small commercially active Newar Village lying 27km/ 17 miles ease of Kathmandu city has catered to the people of the neighboring areas unnoticed to it's own past. When Nepal had trade relations with Tibet, this place was an important enroute trade centre. Tour of this village gives a good combination of history, rural life and scenic beauty.


Dhulikhel, Situated at an altitude of approx. 1800 m / 5500 ft above the sea level and 32/20 miles east of Kathmandu City. It is famous for it's vantage location in viewing the Himalayan ranges from Cho Olyu in the east to Himalchuli in the west. Dhulikhel is very popular for viewing sunrise and sunset.


Kodari is the border point between Nepal and Tibetan Region of People's Republic of China. The 114 km. Road from Kathmandu takes about 4 to 5 hours each way. It is a beautiful drive through country side. On this road one can see beautiful mountain, snow fed rivers, natural hot spring, village life etc.

Nala is a small isolated village 27 km/17 miles east of Kathmandu situated on the southern slope of a mountain over looking the beautiful green valley. The whole village has gained a mystical valley atmosphere due to it's set up and a typical temple of Bhagawati a classic example of pagoda architecture. There is also a 9th century AD temple dedicated to Lord Lokeshwor – a Buddhist God.


Panauti is an ancient village, 32 km/20 miles south east of Kathmandu situated on the banks of Punyamati river. A leisurely walk throughout this tiny village will reveal it's antiquity to the visitors, a must in Peanut is a visit to the 14th century AD Hindu temple of Shiva locally known as Indreswor Mahadev. The wooden struts supporting the temple are splendid example of wood carving of that era, which till date remain unchallenged in the entire Kingdom.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bhadgaon (Bhaktapur)
Bhadgaon is also known as Bhaktapur meaning the city of devotees, this place is the home of medieval art and architecture. Lying 14 km/9 miles east of Kathmandu City, this place was founded in the 9th century and is shaped like a conch shell. The city is at the height of 4600 ft. above see level. In Bhadgaon you will visit the Durbar Square with it's array of temples overlooked by the palace of 55 windows built by King Bhupatindra Malla. The Nyatapola Temple also built by King Bhupatindra Mall, is the best of example of Pagoda style and stands of five terraces on each of which stands a pair of figures two famous strong men,two elephants, two lion two griffins and two goddesses. Time permitting, a visit to the museum of Thanka painting can also be considered.

Pottery and weaving are its traditional industries. The most interesting places for tourists are: Bhaktapur Darbar Square that includes- The Golden Gate, The Palace of 55 Windows, The Stone Temple of Batsala Devi- The Art Gallary, Nyatapola Temple and Dattatraya Temple. The entry fee of Bhaktapur Durbar Squar is U.S.$10 per person

Thimi, Clay pottery is the traditional occupation of this village which is on the way to Bhaktapur. Here one can witness the making of clay pots, flower vases etc. and buy them very cheaply if they so desire.


Changunarayan, The temple of Changunarayan, located at distance of 14km./9miles, in universally acknowledged as the most stately example of Pagoda style in Nepal. It is considered to be one of the greatest artistic legacies of the Lichhavian era. Changu is one of the ancient historical places situated on a hillock with conical shape. It is said to be the oldest pagoda style temple in the valley from early 3rd century AD.


Nagarkot is situated about 35 km/22 miles east of Kathmandu and from here one can see Mount Everest and other peaks of the Himalayas. Nagarkot is located between Kathmandu valley in the west and Indrawati in the east. The top of Nagarkot commands accelerating views in all directions. The altitude of Nagarkot is 2229 m/7133 ft. above sea level.

Monday, July 13, 2009

BajraYogini Pride of Sankhu

Monday, July 13, 2009
The oldest and most historic location in the Kathmandu Valley

Sankhu is a very old Newar city and lies 23 km from Kathmandu. It derives its name from Sankhapura, which means Conch City. It lies on the famous route to Tibet. The traders used this route from 7th to 9th centuries AD. This legendary city is worth a visit, because of its old houses, beautiful wood- carved temples and old stone water taps. The famous temple of Goddess Ugratara Bajrayogini is situated at a 45 minute walking distance from here.

The Goddess Bajrayogini is the Hindu – Buddhist parallel manifestation of Goddess Kali. The temple complex is supposed to be as old as Changunarayan (467 AD). It is mentioned in Gopal Vamsabali, a research manuscript, which states Manadev, performed penance at this place. The present three- tier structure or the temple is the contribution of King Pratap Malla.

It is believed that Shankharapur was established in 1801, although many have argued that its founding date was in 1299. But no matter which date is completely accurate, it still remains the oldest and most historic location in the Kathmandu Valley. The legend related to the history of the town tells of a kingdom that was created and how the Tantric goddess Bajrajogini was significant in the establishment of Sankhu. Her shrine is hidden in the dense forests surrounding the town and it is a place of pilgrimage for many Hindus and Buddhists.

The annual Sankhu festival is also held in her honor. Her shrine consists of beautiful statues, stupas and a few other shrines. The main structure at the shrine was constructed in the year 1655 by the then King, Prakas Malla. It is the most historic and oldest shrine that is located in this area. The goddess of wisdom is honored at the Sankhu Bajra Jogini and Hindus make their way to this shrine to offer blood sacrifices to the goddess. Buddhists have their own tantras here to make their own offerings. The caves that are located near the temple of Bajrajogini should also be explored, as it is said that in the cave that has two rooms the priest pays penance here for his love for her.

The Changunarayan Temple and the Salinadi River (a holy river in the Hindu religion) are two other very important and breathtaking sights. The lush green forests that surround Sankhu are worth looking into, as they are peaceful and magical, with many creatures and birds that make the forest their home. This charming destination in Nepal has a wonderful mixture of culture, tradition, history and spectacular beauty to share with visitors. It is guaranteed to be a rewarding experience and is a recommended town to visit when in Nepal

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bajrayogini and early settlment of sankhu

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Bajrayogini and early settlment of sankhu

The name of a Goddess of UGRA TARA

Her body is red in color with one face and two hands. The first two hands hold a knife and a skull while the other two holds a sword and Utpal flower. Having equal numbers of faces, hands and implements, a bronze statue of UGRA TARA with her left leg stretched out lies in the upper story. Most of the Nepalese call this main object the KHADGAYOGINI. Goddess UGRA T ARA is considered a deity of wisdom worshipped by both Buddhist and Hindus.

The temple is believed to have been built by King MANADEVA during the 5th century. It is also known as one of the oldest temples in Nepal. At this site, you could also see what's known as the fire and water of Aeon.

Purano Bus Park to Shankhu Bus Park. By Bus: (buses run from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM)
1. Route No. -4

2. Rate Rs. -24.00

3. Time -1 hour 25 min.

5. Route -From Purano Bus Park -Putali Sadak -Kamal Pokhari - Gyaneshwor -Maintidevi -Purano Baneshwor -Gaushala - Jayabageshwori -Mitra Park -Chabihil -Tusal -Buddha -Jorpati -

Dakshin Dhoka -Mulpani -Thali -Danchhi -Barmhakhel -Indrayani - Kurthali -Khulaltar -Samlambu tar -Sankhu Bus Park.

Attraction of Sankhu

Attractions near sankhu are follows:

- Historically and archeologically important ancient city which was as individual country in past.

- holly place Bajrayogini Temple (the temple of Bajrayogini is an important pilgrimage site for
Buddhists and Hindus both community )

- Next to Bhaktpur and Changunarayan Temple ( which is in world Heritage)

- Holly River 'Salinadi' (most respective river for all Hindus)

- Ancient road which links to Tiber and Lhasha.

- Really Close to Tourist place Nagarkot which is famous for sunrise view and Himalaya view.

Monday, July 6, 2009

NIcknames of people of Sankhu (Sakwomi)

Monday, July 6, 2009
Nicknames attached to family lineage of people of Sankhu always fascinate me. A person from Sankhu may not recognize another person from Sankhu by his first and family name but can fairly guess who she/he is by the nickname of her/his family lineage. For example, if a person from Sankhu living in US for many years meets somewhere in US another person from Sankhu, the former may not know the later by his first and family name or place in the village, but could easily guess who she/he is if told the nickname of her/his family lineage.

Like in other Newa settlements, residents of Sankhu also have caste and social hierarchies. The interesting thing though are nicknames associated to family lineage of many residents of Sankhu (However, not all of the family lineages have such nicknames). These nicknames can be categorized by different traits: (some of the nicknames sound funny but these are mentioned for the purpose of information and possible further research but by no means meant to humiliate or offend any persons/families).

By reference to living/imaginary things
Maaka (monkey); Nya: (fish); Byan (frog), Kawaan (Skeleton); Khya: (friendly ghost) etc.
By reference to appearance
Gwaaraa (fat and round); Ghauwa (huge and big), Ghori (rough skin) etc.
By reference to place
Pukhusi (who lives by the pond); Nyasi (who lives near the narrow lane), etc.
By reference to human traits
Khichulu (timid); Paaka: (stupid); Koprakhi (who shits in a Kopra, a wide round metal bowl kept in room in old days for urinary purposes when there were no in-house toilets); Phonsi (fat and huge, who resemble to a fruit of the monkey-puzzle tree); Hayenla (Duck catcher); Bhoot (who eats, drinks a lot); Haleya: (who talks loudly and a lot) etc.
By reference to objects
Bajhaan (tobacco assorted with sugarcane residue used for smoking); Kwyenpwa: (hollow bone with holes); Paai (a cloth/leather bag used for keeping traditional community group – Guthi records) etc.
By reference to occupation
Syarba (Sherpa); Karki, Majhi, Sarki (castes, groups in non-Newa communities) etc.
Others not known
Pikha, Kalsin (no directly resembling meaning) etc. and there are many more...

Within the community of Sankhu, nicknames are commonly used by people as teasing terms during informal or friendly verbal talks. These are also used as derogatory terms during disputes, quarrels and intended humiliation. As you can see, some of the nicknames related to occupations or castes of non-Newa communities.

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