Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Medicinal Plant & Local Technologies

Medicinal Plant

All the plants which are used as medicine for different diseases and health hazards are called medicinal plants. Nepal is rich in such natural plants having medical benefits. There are many medicinal plants in mountain, tarai and hilly regions. If Nepal process these medicinal plants and sell in the market .It can be processed further for earning.  Medicinal plant has very important role in our daily life. It use is traditional in the society. In Nepal, there are 700 types of medicinal plant found in different region. These herbs and plants reduce and abolish the diseases and health problems. They are the natural gift for human being. Treatment from these plants has no side effects. We can export the herbs and medicinal plant as well to become economically stable. Some of the examples of such medicinal plants are: Amala, Ghukumari, Bojho, Tulsi, Haro, Barro, Timur, Neem, Ghodatpre, Titepati, Asuro, Chiraito, Yarsyagumba, Panchaule, Thulo okhati, Jatamasi, Panilhro etc.

Amala called Phyllanthus emblica in English. Amala is found in jungle. Roots, branches, leaves flower and fruits of this plant are useful. It is the source of vitamin "C". It is major component to make Chayvanprash and Triphala. It works as energizer if taken one spoon each morning. It is used as medicine for diseases like scurvy, bad smelling of mouth,  hair falls, diarrhea, tuberculosis and jaundice.


Ghukumari is Aloevera. It has sticky and jelly liquid juice inside the leaves. This liquid can be used in pain. If take one spoon liquid juice with water, it gives relief to constipation, acidity, menstruation, pain headache etc. It is beneficial for liver related disease, blood pressure and sugar.


Bojho means Sweet flag, is a evergreen plant. The root of this plant is used as medicine. It reliefs teeth pain, cough, diarrhea, fever, indigestion etc.

Tulsi's English name is Holy basil. It is planted in the home. Its leaves, flowers,  seeds and branches are useful.  It has pleasant odour. It is antiviral, anti bacterial and antifungal plant. It helps for the treatment of the cough, common cold, if taken with black peper and turmeric powder. It's intake helps in purification of the blood.

Barro (Belliric myrobalan)  is a big tree. It is found in hilly region. The fruit of this tree is used as medicine. It is used as medicine for the health problems like fever, blood pressure, indigestion and headache.

Timur (Tootheache tree) is found in Hilly region. Barks, fruits and flowers are useful. It is useful in teeth pain, skim problems, indigestion and nasal problem.

Titepati (Mug wort) is found in Hilly region. Whole part of the plant is used for medicine. Fever, eye pain and wound are relieved by this plant. It helps to avoid bad smell if the leaf is kept in foot or shocks for few days. It is boiled and used in the joint to reduce joint pain. It also balances the side effects of acupuncture.

Asuro (Justicia addhatoda) found in 1200 meter from the sea level. Its leaves have unpleasant odor. The leaves are 10-15 cm long. Fruits and leaves of this plant are useful. It is used as medicine in the disease like T.B., cough, fever etc. It is also used as pesticides by the farmer.
It is also called Adhatoda vasika, which is derived from a former scientific name. It has different names in different Indian languages.
  • sinhala: pawatt, agaladara
  • Malayalam: Atalotakam 
  • Sanskrit: Sinhapuri, Vasaka (वसाका)
  • Hindi: Adosa, Arusha, Rus, Bansa
  • Bengali: Adulsa, Bakash,Vasok
  • Gujarati: Aradusī, Adulso, Aduraspee, Bansa
  • Kannada: Adusogae
  • Marathi: Adulsa, Adusa (अडुळसा)
  • Oriya: Basanga
  • Persian: Bansa
  • Punjabi: Bhekkar
  • Tamil: Adathodai, pavettai
  • Telugu: Adamkabu, Adampaka, Addasaram
  • Nepali: Asuro, Kalo vasak (नेपाली)
  • Mizo: Kawldai

Neem (Neem margopa tree) every part of this plant is useful. It is also antiviral, anti bacterial, anti fungal plant. It is useful for diseases like skin disease, sugar, impure blood, weak teeth, bleeding from teeth, bad smell from mouth etc. We can take bath with the boiled water of its leaves to avoid skin allergy.

Local Technologies

Man has developed many technologies for their use since the beginning of human civilization. many technologies that are assisting us in different ways. This kind of technology is called local technology. In other word, technology that people use to assist their activities in daily life is called local technology.  Traditional technologies are more sustainable, cheap and reliable as well. They are based on local resources and skill. So they are environment friendly. These local technologies do not need any energy. In Kathmandu valley, local technologies persist in making statue and pottery. In Hilly region, carpet, plague, water grind mill are the prevailing technology. Nepal is rich in diversity in terms of biology, culture, geography and natural resources. So, local technologies are good to use in occupations. Many technologies are in practice from many years in Nepal. Nepal is an agricultural country. Many local technologies were used for farming. These technologies are replaced by modern technologies now a day. Some traditional technologies are still in use.  Some local technologies are given below.

Dhiki is mill of village area. Rice  is made by paddy after bitten in Dhiki . food grains like paddy, wheat, corn etc. These can be grinded from the mill.
Dhiki in Village

Aaran is a kind of oven which is made on the ground. Coal is burnt to produce heat and fire. The oxygen needed for burning is supplied through one side in which hand pumping machine is usually fitted.
It is used for sharpening the iron rod. During the process, the copper or iron is heated in very high temperature so that those materials get melted and they can be converted into any shape we want to make out of them.

Boat is kind of local transportation technology. Its mad by wood. It is risky transportation . If the man could not cross the river  then it is used to cross the river.
Boat in Sunkoshi River

It is a kind of local transportation technology. It is a wood box  which is hanged in an iron rope with the help of pulley. Iron rope is supported by the pillar in both sides of the river. People sit in the box and pull the iron rope that will make wood box to move towards other side.
 It is used in absence of bridge. If there is no bridge in river, tuin is the only option that can be used to cross the river. This is cheap local technology.

Pottery is a local technology that is used to make pots from the clay. Clay is mixed properly and placed in the circle made up of wood. There is a small hole in the middle of the circle in which iron rod is inserted. The circle is rolled along with the clay. Proper shape is given to the clay by hand. The pot is placed in sun light and dried. Then it will be ready to use.

Water Grinding Mill
Flour is made by grinding the food grains like paddy, wheat, corn etc. These can be grinded from the mill. Water grinding mill is kind of mill that is operated from water energy. It is very useful technology for the place where there are rivers but not electricity. The mill moves the stone plate with the force of flow of water. When the stone plate rolls,  grains are inserted in between the stone plate. Flour is produced after grinding the grain in between the stone plate.

Khukuri is made up of iron which is mad in Aaran. It is very useful local technology . It use  make the pieces of vegetable, meet, wood etc. It is our national weapon. Its thinner part is sharpened to cut the things. its cover mad by leather or wood.
Khukuri made in Aaaran 

Pastry Board and Rolling Pin
We can make varieties of food items from wheat flour. Pastry board and rolling pin is useful in making chapatti item. These tools are made from wood. Pastry board is circular in shape. Rolling pin is cylindrical in shape. When flour is ready to roll it is put into the pastry board and rolled it by the rolling pin to give the chapatti a circular shape.

Plough use to dig the field for farmingPlough is used to dig the field. Nowadays, tractor is used in place of wood plough with iron plate for digging the field in the terai region. but in mountain and hilly region plough is still used. Pair of bulls or buffalo is used to plough the field.

Another major tool used in agriculture is sickle. It is used to cut grass, plant and vegetable. Its shape is like question mark (?) . The inner part of the sickle, which is very sharp, is used for cutting.

Spade is used to dig the field by hand. Front part of spade is made from iron. There is a slot at the back of the iron and wood stick is inserted tightly in the slot. Front part of iron is sharpened. Field is dug with the help of this part.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Festival of Nepal

Nepali Festival

The varied climate of Nepal is suitable for varied settlements and cultivation. A wide variety of crops are grown from the flat plains in the south to the mountainous slopes in the north. Nepal is equally renowned for its cultural diversity. More than 125 castes of people live in the country and they speak more than 120 languages. The social and cultural traditions differ greatly from one group to another. More than ten religious sects are followed by the Nepalese people. The life styles are uniquely different from one community to another.

People living in the high Himalayan region follow Buddhism and observe festivals cuch as Lhosar. Those in the eastern hills are Hindus and observe Sakela, Sakewa, Nuwagi and Chamachasok. The Newari poople mainly in the Kathmandu valley follow Hinduism or Buddhism and observe their own festivals such as Sithi Nakha, Mha puja and Kumari Puja. Jatras such as Gai Jatra and Bisket Jatra are unique in their community. The people in the Terai observe Holi, Chhath, Maghi and Siruwa festivals with great devotion and zeal. All the festivals observed in Nepal are national festivals. The costumes, food, folk songs, musical instruments and dances also differ from one community to another as well as from one region to another. Nepali celebrate many religious and social festivals. There are mainly two types of festivals-religious and social. Religious festivals are celebrated to show devotion to God. These involve activities like worship, offering etc.  Social festival are based on our traditions and customs.  Some of them important festival are:-


Symbol of Dashain 
Dashain is the greatest festival of the Nepal. It is very joyful religious festival of the Hindus. It is the greatest among their festivals. It is celebrated in the month of September or October. Goddess Durga is worshipped on this occasion. Ghastapana is the first day of Dashain. The tenth day known as Vijayadashami  is the most important. An important aspect of this festival as also of  Bada Dashain is the animal sacrifices, which are essential to appease Goddess Durga. Hence blood sacrifices are carried out in the temples of the Mother Goddesses who are manifestations of Goddess Durga. Many water buffaloes and goats are sacrificed during this festival. Major sacrifices take place near the Hanuman Dhoka palace at the guardhouse and also at Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Tourists may take photographs of the sacrifices from a distance. The story goes that Ravan the demon king kidnapped Ram's wife Sita and disappeared. Ram then invoked Goddess Durga and destroyed Ravan. Another version of the story has Sita taking the form of Goddess Kali, the dangerous form of  Durga and killing Ravan with her own hands. 

This festival is the symbol of the victory of truth over untruth. People go to their elders or seniors to receive blessings from them. The elders offer Tika on their foreheads and Jamara (fresh barley and maize seedlings) on their heads. 
This festival brings extreme delight. People wear new clothes and enjoy delicious meals. They also exchange greetings. 
Happy Dashera and Deepwali 2070

Listen Dashain Dhun



Rangoli on Laxmi Puja
This festival of lights that falls between October/November is the second 
biggest festival after Dashain. This festival lasts for five days and people 
worship Laxmi – the Goddess of Wealth. All the houses are cleaned and 
decorated with the belief that Goddess Laxmi will enter the house that is 
the cleanest and people lit candles, oil lamps and other lights and the 
whole place looks illuminating. During the five days, crows, dogs 
and cows are worshipped and honored with vermilion, garland and 
delicious food for what they have done in the lives of humans.

The first day of tihar is knows as ‘Kag Tihar’, ‘Crows Day’. Crow is 
an underworld henchman. On this day crows are offered food on a 
plate made out of leaves in the morning before anyone in the house 
takes food. Crows are regarded as the messagner that brought 
 news even during the times when there no postmen 
and no postal services.

The second day is called ‘Kukur Tihar’, ‘Dog Day’. A dog plays many roles in our society. Dogs are the most obedient animals and they guards our house as true guardians. So on this day a big red tika is out on a dog’s forehead and a beautiful garland around the neck. After worshiping the dog, it is given very delicious meals.

The third day is the most important day of the festival. It is called 'Laxmi Puja'. The day goddess of wealth. On this day, early in the morning the cow is workshiped. Tika is put on her head and a garland around her neck then she feasts with delicious food. A cow is also symbolizes of wealth and she is the most holy animal for Hindu. 

In the evening goddess laxmi is worshipped. Goddess of wealth (Laxmi) is worshiped in every household in the entire Nepali Kingdom by means of Puja, decoration, candle lights, and oil lamps.

In this 3rd day of the Tihar Festival, the entire nation becomes an illumination of lights.

Laxmi Puja 
The eve of Laxmi Puja Day is made spectacular not only by lights but also by echos of a special song known as Bhailo or Bhailini that's played only on this day in the entire year! A group of girls get together and sing Bhailo door to door, giving blessings to the family in return for money or homemade treats

The fourth day is bit different. Normally most of the people perform 'Guru puja', ox worshipping. The ox is worshipped with tika, garland and then a delicious meal is fed to it. On the other hand people who follow lord Krishna perform '

Gobhardan puja'. These people build a small hill made out of cowdung and put some grass on it then do puja on it. During Tihar, the Newari community in Nepal also observes Mha puja – a ritual of worshipping one’s own body and life. On this very day, the Newari New Year which is also known as Nepal Sambat begins.

On the final day also known as Bhai Tika Day, sisters give tika (a colored powder placed on once's forehead), and mala (a necklace of flowers) to brothers along with wishes for long life and prosperity.

This is also a gambling time in Nepal as gambling is not illegal during this festival. 

Chhath is main festival of the Hindu people in the terai region of Nepal. It is celebrated the month of Kartik-Mangsir(November-December). People worship the sun-god with great devotion. They express their reverence towards the sun, the major energy source in the world. Women observe fasting Everything is kept clean. People go to the river or pond and worship the setting sun in the evening and rising sun in the nest morning. The festival is celebrated after Dipawali. Chhath is being o fourth day of the lunar calendar. It is especially significant for married women. They observe a two-day fast and offer prayers while keeping almost three-quarters of their body immersed in water for two hours.
There is a tradition of listening to Surya Puran after the conclusion of Arghya or offering of curd, the devotees listen to the stories of the Chhath fasting.
They also listen to a story of a greedy mother-in -law and her daughter-in-law.
According to Mahabharat scriptures, the Pandavas and Draupadi had also observed the fast with sun worship for the successful completion of their exile.

The people from the Terai living in Kathmandu go to Ranipokhari and other ponds and river banks for these prayers. They seek blessings from the sun-god for their health, prosperity and happiness.
Janai Purnima (Raksha Bandhan)
Janai Purnima is the festival of Sacred Thread.On this day every Hindu ties a sacred thread on the wrist.It is also called Rakshya Bandhan.On this day, there is a big Mela (fair) at Khumbeshwor, Lalitpur.It is again on a full moon night. . On this day Hindu men, especially the Brahmans and Chettris perform their annual change of Janai, a yellow cotton string worn across the chest or tied around the wrist of the right hand.
The Newars of Kathmandu valley call it Gunhi Punhi, the day when a soup of different beans, known as Kwati is prepared as the special menu of the day, signifying the coming of winter season.
It seems that King Bali had taken the vow of Charity, according to which he would grant every wish made to him. His deep devotion and boundless benevolence won him a place higher than even Lord Indra, the King of of Heaven did. Seeing their realms under a mere "Danava"(demon), for Bali was the King of the Danavas, the Gods appealed to Lord Vishnu, who came to their assistance disguised as a dwarf. Knowing that Bali had taken the Vow of Charity; the dwarf begged him for as much land as he could cover in three strides. The moment Bali agreed, the dwarfed Vishnu swelled to the size of a tremendous giant and in two mighty strides stepped across Heaven and Earth. When he demanded were he might take the promised third step, Bali who had already recognized Vishnu placed the giant's foot a top his own head and was pushed far into the bowels of the earth. Thus Vishnu restored the Three Worlds to the rightful ruling Gods, and repaid Bali for his last act of earthly charity, by making him the King of the Underworld, where he is believed to be still ruling.

This is also the day when male, females, and children regardless of station and caste tie a sacred yellow thread around their wrist. The males tie the thread around their right and the women tie it on their left. Raksha means g to Hindu rules the cord must be changed without fail by a Brahman on this day, Janai meaning sacred thread, and purni meaning Purnima or the full moon, thus pointing to the change of the thread on the auspicious full moon day. On Janai Purnima, there is a big mela (fair) at Kumbeshwor in Lalitpur. Devotees come here to worship Lord Mahadev and to tie a knot around their wrists. On the preceding day the wearer makes himself 'clean' by shaving, cutting the hair and bathing. He undergoes a partial fast, taking only one meal of foods considered to be 'clean' - no meat, onions or garlic. The next morning the family priest comes to the house. The entire family gathers around him as he reads from a holy book, performs a ceremony, which sanctifies the new thread, and places it about the recipient's neck across the chest. In payment the priest is given foodstuffs and some money.

Teej is the fasting festival for women. Through this religious fasting, hindu women pray for marital bliss, wellbeing of their spouse and children and purification of their own body and soul. It takes place on Tritiya of Bhadra
According to the holy books, the Goddess Parbati fasted and prayed fervently for the great Lord Shiva to become her spouse. Touched by her devotion, he took her for his wife. Goddess Parbati, in gratitude sent her emissary to preach and disseminate this religious fasting among mortal women, promising prosperity and longevity with their family.
Women clad in beautiful red saris with shining potes (glass beads), singing and dancing is the sight almost everywhere in Nepal during the festival of Teej. On this day women observe a fast and pray Lord Shiva for the long, healthy and prosperous life of their husbands and their families. The unmarried women also observe this festival with unabated zeal with the hope that they will get to marry good husbands. From early dawn, women queue up in the multiple lines in Pashupatinath to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva.
Lhosar is a main festival of the Sherpas, Tamangs, Gurungs and Thakalis. The term 'Lhosar' is derived from two words 'lho' meaning 'year' and 'sar' meaning 'new'. There are three types of Lhosar:  Tola Lhosar,  Sonam Lhosar and Gyalpo Lhosar. Tola Lhosar is celebrated by the Gurungs, Soman Lhosar by the Tamangs and Gyalpo Lhosar by the Sherpas. They observe Lhosar with great excitement and joy exchanging wishes for happiness in the new year.
Id is a festival of the Muslim people. It is celebrated at the end of the month of Ramazan of Hijri Calendar. They fast for the whole month and do not eat or drink during the day. This fast is called Roza. When the sun sets in the evening, they offer parayers to Allah. This prayer is called Namaz. After the prayer, they break the fast by eating and drinking. This continues for the whole month. The last day of the month is known as Id-ul-Fitra. On this day, they go to the mosque, read the Namaz and pray to Allah for the good of mankind. They wish each other saying- 'Id Mubarak' and embrace each other. They wear new clothes and eat a variety of sweets. They also offer alms (Zakat) to the poor and disabled.
Christmas is a popular festival of the Christians. It is celebrated on December 25 every year. Churches, shops and houses are cleaned and a well-decorated Christmas tree is displayed. In the evening, they pray to God and exchange a big feast. After the feast is over, they enjoy dances and songs. the next day is called the Boxing Day. On this day they give food and clothes to the poor. This festival continues till January 1st, New Year's Day.


Unbhauli and Undhauli
The Rai people worship nature twice in a year –before planting and at harvesting. This worship is called sakewa. They perform 'Bhumi Pooja' before plantation on Chandipurnima. This is called Unbhauli. Again on Mangsir Shuklapurnima, they perform Undhauli. They worship Sumnima Parohang (Shiva Parvati) and perform Chandinaach on the occasions. They dance to the music of Dhol-Jhayamta.
Magha Sangranti

In addition to holy bathing and worship of shrines, certain auspicious foods like till laddoos (seasame seeds ball cakes), chaku(molasys), ghee (clarified butter), sweet potatoes, khichari (mixture of rice and lentils) and green leaf spinach are taken on this day. Families come together and share these delights. Married daughters and families are invited to parental homes for festivities and blessings. Yet another occasion to renew family ties. Many homes have pujas (religious ceremonies) conducted by priests with chanting from holy books, for which they receive alms.

Like any other holy celebration Maghi Sankranti also has a legend of its own. It recalls that once a merchant from the town of Bhadgoan despite of his thriving business noticed that his supply of seasame seeds hadn't diminished. When looking into the matter he found an idol of the Lrod Vishnu hidden deep beneath the seeds. Since, then on this day the Til Madhav idol is worshipped with the belief that god will continue to be generous in the supply of food and wealth on the Bhadgoan community. It's also the day commemorating the death of Viswapitamaha, the elderly grandfather of two families of Pandavas and Kauravas, between whom the famous battle of Mahabharat took place.

He was determined not to die until the way to the region of gods opened. While lying on the bed of arrows he discovered words of wisdom on life and death. Eventually, through his free will he succumbed to death. Hence it's believed that those who die on this day go to heaven, released from the burden of rebirth.

Maghi Sankranti, is yet another occasion which renews the faith of Nepalese people in the heavenly powers.
Shree Panchami
This day is celebrated as the birthday of Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning, She is the lily-white daughter of Shiva and Durga in spotless white robes and seated in a full-blown lotus. Her carrier is a snow-white swan. Her brother Ganesh, the elephant God, is invariably close at her side, and he receives animal sacrifices in her stead. In her hands Saraswati holds a book, a vina harp, and sometimes a great sword because of which many believe that she and Manjushri are one and the same.
Shri panchami brings people of all castes, ages and creeds together to the temples of Divinity, especially to the idol behind Swayambhunath.The image is inundated with gifts, sweets, fruits, flowers in the hope of gaining Saraswati's favor. As she rules over the realm of speech, letters, arts and sciences, students, scholars, writers, poets, artists, musicians and also spinners and weavers lavishly fete her. All her tools like pens, books, ink, etc. are also worshipped. According to popular belief, if a person swallows seven rice grains, which are offered to the Goddess, he/she will become wise and knowledgeable. So, students and children clamor for the rice grains strewn around the idol.
This is also the day when children of 5 to 7 are taught their first alphabet, which is repeated after the parent or teacher and traced on wooden slabs. And around the city numerous wedding processions followed by musicians and relatives can be seen, as this day is the most auspicious and popular day in the year for marriages, when the union is blessed by the Goddess Saraswati herself.
This day also coincides with the advent of spring. The ancient royal palace at Basantapur was first inaugurated in Kathmandu on Basant Panchami day with rites still officially commemorated at Hanuman Dhoka by the mid-morning gathering of hundreds of government officials, in formal attire and military officers laden with ribbons and medals. The King arrives in a motorcade, escorted by mounted cavalry officers and military band. Inside the old palace they all stand to attention through the strains of the traditional Song of spring. Then the season is inaugurated with gun salutes, while the royal priest conducts elaborate ceremonies in the honor of Goddess Saraswati.
Shiva Ratri is a much anticipated festival by all Hindus.Shiva's birthday falls on the new moon day of the month of Falgun. Festivities take place at all Shiva temple but most particularly at the great Pashupatinath temple,Pilgrims and yogis (holy men), from all over Southeast Asia come to Kathmandu weeks before the festival. On this holy day people fast through out the day. At dawn, worshippers take a holy bath or dip in the river and go to the temple to worship. Pashupatinath temple is located at the eastern part of the Kathmandu valley on the banks of the holy river Bagmati. Pashupatinath, which literally means ‘the Lord of animals’, is one of the many forms of the Lord. He is the guardian deity, protector of our Hindu Kingdom of Nepal, thus Shiva Ratri is one of the major festivals of Nepal.
One of the interesting aspects of Shiva Ratri is that on this day devotees and non-devotees alike freely indulge in smoking intoxicating substances such as marijuana and bhang for it is the only day in the annual calendar when marijuana is legal. Many people take these intoxicants in the belief that it pleases Lord Shiva for he too is said to be fond of it.
Holi (Fagu Purnima)
The ancient Hindu festival of Holi falls on late February or on early March. Allegedly named after the mythical demoness Holika, it is a day when the feast of colours is celebrated. The festival is of a week. However it's only the last day that is observed by all with colours. Phagu is another name for Holi where Phagu means the sacred red powder and Pune is the full moon day, on which the festival ends. People can be seen wandering through the streets either on foot or on some vehicle, with a variety of colours smeared over them.
Families and friends get together and celebrate the occasion with a lot of merry making. This spring time celebration is also an outburst of youthful exuberance in which throwing colours and water bolloons (lolas) on passer- by is acceptable. But, the Indian community, that is, the Marwari class who have settled down in Nepal for centuries and the people of Terai celebrate it a day later with more pomp and ceremony. The days prior to the last don't have a lot happening except, the installation of the ceremonial pole called "chir', on the first day. It's a bamboo pole, fringed with strips of cloth representing good luck charms. It is said to symbolize the tree on which lord Krishna hung the milkmaids' garments while they were bathing, unseen as they thought, in the Jamuna river of northern India.
As the pole is put up in the street at Basantapur, the festivities and worship commences for the week. At the end of which its taken to a bonfire. The myth following Holi, reveals that a fiend named Holika together with her brother, an atheist king by the name of Hiranyakasyapu conspired ways to kill his son Pralhad because Pralhad was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. But their attempts always failed for Lord Vishnu protects those who love him. Finally, Holika who having received a blessing from Lord Bramha to be immune to fire, jumped in with Pralhad. But Brahma's blessing could only be used for good purposes and so Holika was consumed by the fire where as Pralhad was saved by the grace of the Gods. Thus, Holi is said to be celebrated to rejoice Holika's extermination and the traditional bonfires are believed to commemorate her death. According to another story, from the Puranas and the Bhagvat, Kansa sent a female demon named Putna to kill his nephew Lord Krishna. Taking the form of a nurse Putna went to Brindaban where the child Lord Krishna was growing up and tried to feed Him her poisonous milk but the attempt backfired and she was killed. Her body was burnt on the night of Holi. So some consider Holi, the festival of fire also. Holi for everyone is a time for fun and frolic. A day when one forgets the worldly anxieties and just enjoys the finer things in life.
Chaite Dashain

Hence Devi is worshipped on this day.It was Durga who helped Ram (incarnation of Vishnu), the central character of the epic Ramayana, in defeating his arch foe Ravan. It is believed Ram was eventually successful in killing Ravan on the 9th of the Nepali month Chait (Chaitra), so the second day of the festival is called Ram Nawami. (Nawami = ninth day).

An important aspect of this festival as also of Bada Dashain is the animal sacrifices, which are essential to appease Goddess Durga. Hence blood sacrifices are carried out in the temples of the Mother Goddesses who are manifestations of Goddess Durga. Many water buffaloes and goats are sacrificed during this festival. Major sacrifices take place near the Hanuman Dhoka palace at the guardhouse and also at Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Tourists may take photographs of the sacrifices from a distance. 

The story goes that Ravan the demon king kidnapped Ram's wife Sita and disappeared. Ram then invoked Goddess Durga and destroyed Ravan. Another version of the story has Sita taking the form of Goddess Kali, the dangerous form of Durga and killing Ravan with her own hands.


Friday, September 20, 2013

National Parks of Nepal

National Parks
The country has blase by God  where the country have 10 national parks, 3 wildlife reserves, 1 hunting reserve and 6 conservation areas and 11 buffer zones covering an area of 34,186.62 sq. km, that is, 23.23 percent of the total area of the country. It's extensive and effective parks and reserve system, the country has managed to preserve more endangered species of flora and fauna than any other country in Asia. The figure cleared to us. 
National Park and Wildlife Reserves

Chitwan National Park (UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site)
The Park headquarters at Kasara is a 21KM drive from Bharatpur which is 20 minutes by air or 146KM by road from Kathmandu.The entrance fee  for Nepali is NRs. 100/- , NRs. 750/- for SAARC Nationals and NRs. 1500/- for other countries. The Jungle safari on elephant back, jungle walk, canoe ride, jeep drive, experience of Tharu culture. There are 56 species of mammals that includes one-horned rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger, rhesus monkey, langur, deer, leopard, gaur, wild boar, wild dog and wild cat; 49 species of amphibians and reptiles that include the endangered long snouted gharial, marsh mugger crocodile and python and there are 539 species of birds that include summer migrant birds like paradise flycatcher, Indian pitta and parakeets etc. during, while winter birds include waterfowl, Brahminy ducks, pintails, bar-headed geese, cormorants and migratory birds from Siberia. There are more than 600 plant species with deciduous forest.
The best season to visit this park is October-March (Average Temperature 250C); April- June (Hot, up to 43 0C ) July-September (Rainy). The other attraction along with this park are Devghat, Padavnagar, Balmiki Ashram, Kabilaspur, Chepang Hills Trail. There are numbers of resort hotels and lodges for the visitors. 
Sagarmatha National Park (UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site)

Sagarmatha National Park lies on Himalayan region where we can fly to Lukla which is 30 minutes by air from Tribhuvan Airport,Kathmandu and then trek onward. It's headquarters is Mendalphu,Namche Bazaar. We can find many shelter place along with restaurant while trekking. Trekking, mountaineering is a great experience of sherpa culture. On this National park wildlife like Himalayan tahr, ghoral, musk deer, pika (mouse hare), weasel, jackal, black bear, wolf, lynx and snow leopard with 193 species of birds including impeyan pheasant (Danphe-National Bird), blood pheasant, red-billed chough, yellow-billed chough, snow cock, snow pigeon, Himalayan griffon and lammergeier were found.  
October-November and March-May; December-February (snow, daytime temperature 5 degrees Celsius) June-September (rainy) were the best season to visit on this National park.
·         Pine and hemlock forests at lower altitudes, while above 3,500 m, forests are dominated by silver fir, birch, rhododendron and juniper trees.
·         Entrance Fee: Nepali - Rs. 25 per person per entry, SAARC nationals - Rs. 1,500 per person per entry, foreigners - Rs. 3,000 per person per entry

      Bardia National Park
·         Activities: Jungle safari on elephant back, jungle walk, boat ride, jeep drive
·         Accommodation: Jungle lodges
·         Access: Three hours' drive (95 km) from Nepalgunj, which is 1 hour by air or 516 km by road from Kathmandu
·         Wildlife: 53 mammals that include the Royal Bengal tiger, one-horned rhinoceros, elephant, swamp deer, black buck; reptiles include gharial crocodile, marsh mugger crocodile; fresh-water Gangetic dolphin is commonly seen in the Karnali River
·         Birds: 400 species of birds include Bengal florican, lesser florican, silver-eared mesia and sarus crane
·         Vegetation: Sal, savannah forests and grasslands
·         Best Season: October-March, April-June (hot, up to 42 degrees Celsius), July-September (rainy)
·         Park Headquarters: Thakurdwara
Entrance Fee: Nepali - Rs. 50 per day per entry, SAARC nationals - Rs. 500 per person per day, foreigners - Rs. 1,000 per person per day
Khaptad National Park
·         Activities: Trekking
·         Accommodation: Camping
·         Access: Fly from Kathmandu-Nepalgunj (60 min.), then fly to Chainpur (Bajhang)20 min. and then a three-day walk; or fly Kathamndu-Dhangadi (1 hr 10 min.) 670 km by drive, then 10 hurs drive to Silgadi and then 1 day trek
·         Wildlife: Wildlife include barking deer, wild boar, ghoral, Himalayan black bear, yellow-throated marten, rhesus monkey and langur monkey
·         Birds: 270 species of birds, the common ones being different varieties of impheyan pheasant, partridges, flycatchers, bulbuls, cuckoos and eagles
·         Vegetation: Grasslands and forests of subtropical, temperate and sub alpine vegetation; 224 species of medicinal herbs
·         Best Season: March-May and October-November (10-20 degrees Celsius); June-September (rainy), December-February (snow)
·         Park Headquarters: Khaptad
·         Added Attraction: Ashram of Khaptad Swami, Khaptad Lake, Tribeni, Sahashra Linga (at 3,200 m, the highest point of the park), Ganesh Temple, Nagdhunga and Kedardhunga
·         Entrance Fee: Nepalis - Free, SAARC nationals - Rs. 100 per person per entry, foreigners - Rs. 1,000 per person per entry
Langtang National Park
·         Activities: Trekking, mountaineering, experience of Tamang culture
·         Accommodation: Lodges, camping
·         Access: From Dhunche, which is 117 km by road from Kathmandu
·         Wildlife: Wild dog, red panda, pika, muntjac, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan tahr, ghoral, serow, rhesus monkey, langur monkey, snow leopard
·         Birds: 373 species of birds including tragopan and impeyan pheasant
·         Vegetation: Sub-tropical forests below 1,000 m giving way to alpine shrubs and grasslands
·         Best Season: October-November and March-May (cold at higher elevation); June-September (monsoon), December-February (snow)
·         Park Headquarters: Dhunche
·         Added Attraction: Holy Lake Gosainkunda
·         Entrance Fee: Nepalis - Rs. 25 per person per entry, SAARC nationals - Rs. 1,500 per person per entry, foreigners - Rs. 3,000 per person per entry

    Makalu Barun National Park
·         Activities: Trekking, mountaineering
·         Accommodation: Camping
·         Access: Fly to Tumlingtar from Kathmandu (40 minutes) and then a six-day walk
·         Wildlife: Endangered red panda and snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, clouded leopard, ghoral, Himalayan tahr, wild boar, barking deer, Himalayan marmot, weasel, langur monkey and serow; Arun River has 84 varieties of fish including salmon
·         Birds: 400 species of birds including wren babbler, olive ground warbler
·         Vegetation: Sub-tropical forests to sub-alpine and alpine vegetation as the altitude increases; 48 species of orchids, 87 species of medicinal herbs, 25 of 30 varieties of rhododendrons found in Nepal, 48 species of primroses and 86 species of fodder trees
·         Best Season: October-November and March-April; April-May (hot at lower elevations), June-September (monsoon)
·         Park Headquarters: Seduwa
·         Entrance Fee: Nepali - Rs. 25 per person per entry, SAARC nationals - Rs. 1,500 per person per entry, foreigners - Rs. 3,000 per person per entry
Rara National Park
·         Activities: Trekking
·         Accommodation: Camping, lodge
·         Access: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj (1 hour); Nepalgunj to Talcha Airport (35 minutes) then 2-hour trek to Rara Lake
·         Wildlife: Endangered red panda and musk deer, Himalayan black bear, leopard, jackal, Himalayan tahr, wild yellow-throated martin, wild dog, wild boar, common langur, rhesus macaque and common otter; three species of snow trout can be seen in the lake
·         Birds: During winter 272 species of birds are seen here including coots, great-crested grebe, black-necked grebe, red crested pochard, mallard, common teal, merganser and gulls; migrant water fowls and gallinaceous birds can also be seen during certain seasons
·         Vegetation: Coniferous forests and blue pine dominate the park and the lake area respectively; rhododendron, juniper, spruce, oak and cypress are found around 3,000 m while at higher altitude, pine, spruce and fir are more common
·         Best Season: February-April and October-November
·         Park Headquarters: Hutu
·         Entrance Fee: Nepalis - Rs. 25 per person per entry, SAARC nationals - Rs. 1,500 per person per entry, foreigners - Rs. 3,000 per person per entry
    Shey-Phoksundo National Park
·         Activities: Trekking, mountaineering
·         Accommodation: Camping
·         Access: Fly to Dolpa's Jufal Airport from Nepalgunj (20 minutes) and then a three-day walk
·         Wildlife: Sheep, ghoral, musk deer, leopard, wild dog, marmot, weasel, mouse hare, rhesus and langur monkeys, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan black bear and jackals; 6 species of reptiles
·         Birds: Over 200 species of birds including yellow throated marten, Tibetan partridge, wood snipe, white-throated tit, wood accentor and crimson-eared rose finch, impeyan pheasant, cheer pheasant, chough, raven, Tibetan snow cock, Tibetan twit, Himalayan griffon and lammergeier
·         Butterflies: 29 species of butterflies
·         Vegetation: 286 floral species of botanical importance: pine, walnut, willow, oak, cypress in the lower altitude and pine, spruce, juniper and birch at higher regions; berberis, wild rose and caragana are seen in alpine areas while the regions higher up are mostly arid with grass alpine meadows with barely any trees
·         Best Season: March-May and September-October
·         Park Headquarter: Sumduwa
·         Added Attractions: Lake Phoksundo, Dho village (one of the highest settlements in the world)
·         Entrance Fee: Nepalis - Rs. 25 per person per entry, SAARC nationals - Rs. 1,500 per person per entry, foreigners - Rs. 3,000 per person per entry
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     Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park
·         Activities: Trekking, bird watching
·         Access: Drive from Kathmandu city center to Budhanilkantha (11 km) then trek
·         Wildlife: 19 species of mammals including Himalayan black bear, leopard, barking deer, wild boar, wild cat, rhesus monkey and langur monkey
·         Birds: 177 species of birds
·         Butterflies: 102 species of butterflies
·         Vegetation: 129 varieties of mushrooms
·         Best Season: September-May; June-August (rainy)
·         Park Headquarters: Shivapuri
·         Entrance Fee: Nepalis - Rs. 10 per person per entry, SAARC nationals - Rs. 250 per person per entry, foreigners - Rs. 250 per person per entry
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (Wetland Site)
·         Activities: Game viewing, bird watching
·         Accommodation: Resorts, tented camp
·         Access: 90-minute drive (40 km) from Biratnagar, which is 50 minutes by air or 500 km by road from Kathmandu
·         Wildlife: Elephants, wild buffalo, wild boar, hog deer, spotted deer, blue bull and jackal; reptiles include gharial crocodile; Gangetic dolphins are found in the Koshi River
·         Birds: 479 species of birds, some of which fly all the way from Siberia during winter
·         Vegetation: Grassland with patches of scrub and deciduous riverine forests
·         Best Season: October-March, April-June (hot), July-September (rainy)
·         Park Headquarters: Kusaha
·         Entrance Fee: Nepalis - Rs. 50 per day per entry, SAARC nationals - Rs. 500 per day per entry, foreigners - Rs. 1,000 per day per entry
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      Parsa Wildlife Reserve
·         Activities: Jungle safari on elephant back; jungle walk, jeep drive
·         Access: Fly to Simara from Kathmandu (15 minutes) and then by road to the reserve headquarters (7 km), or overland from Kathmandu (150 km via Hetauda)
·         Wildlife: Wild elephant, tiger leopard, sloth bear, gaur, blue bull, wild dog, sambar, chital, hog deer, barking deer, langur monkey, rhesus macaque, striped hyena, rat, palm civet and jungle cat; reptiles include king cobra, common cobra, krait, rat snake and python
·         Birds: 370 species of birds including the endangered great hornbill; other birds found here include the peafowl, red jungle fowl, flycatchers and woodpeckers
·         Vegetation: Tropical and sub-tropical mostly covered with Sal forests, while hills are covered with chir pine, khair, sissoo and silk cotton
·         Best Season: October-March; April-June (hot, 30-35 degrees Celsius), July-September (monsoon)
·         Park Headquarters: Adhabar
·         Entrance Fee: Nepalis - Rs. 50 per day per entry, SAARC nationals - Rs. 500 per day per entry, foreigners - Rs. 1,000 per day per entry
Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve
·         Activities: Wildlife viewing on elephant back
·         Accommodation: Jungle lodges
·         Access: Fly (1 hour 10 minutes) or drive to Dhangadhi (670 km from Kathmandu) then drive 1 hour 30 minutes (60 km)
·         Wildlife: Swamp deer, 50 wild elephants, 30 tigers, spotted deer, blue bull, barking deer, hog deer, wild boar, leopard, jackal, langur and rhesus monkey; reptiles include marsh mugger crocodile, cobra, python
·         Birds: Sarus crane, swamp francolin, grass owl, warblers, flycatchers, Bengal florican
·         Vegetation: Sub-tropical jungle of Sal and open grasslands
·         Best Season: October-March; April-June (hot, 42 degrees Celsius), July-September (rainy)
·         Reserve Headquarters: Majhgaon, Kanchanpur
·         Entrance Fee: Nepali - Rs. 50 per day per entry, SAARC nationals - Rs. 500 per day per entry, foreigners - Rs. 1,000 per day per entry
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Annapurna Conservation Area
·         Activities: Trekking, mountaineering
·         Accommodation: Resort hotels, lodges, camping
·         Access: From Pokhara, which is 202 km by road or 30 minutes by air from Kathmandu
·         Wildlife: 102 mammals including blue sheep and endangered snow leopard; 39 species of reptiles and 22 species of amphibians
·         Birds: 474 species of birds including multi-colored impeyan pheasant, kokla and blood pheasant
·         Vegetation: Various species of orchids and rhododendrons
·         Best Season: March-May; September-November
·         ACAP Headquarters: Hariyo Kharka, Pokhara
·         Added Attractions: Muktinath Temple, Tilicho Lake, Mustang, Manang
·         Entrance Fee: Nepalis - Free, SAARC nationals - Rs. 200 per person per entry, foreigners - Rs. 2,000 per person per entry
Kanchenjunga Conservation Area
·         Activities: Trekking, mountaineering
·         Accommodation: Tea houses, camping
·         Access: Fly to Taplejung via Biratnagar from Kathmandu
·         Wildlife: Endangered snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, musk deer, red panda, blue sheep, rhesus monkey
·         Birds: 252 species of different birds including impeyan pheasant, red-billed blue magpie, ashy drongo
·         Vegetation: 20 indigenous gymnosperms, 15 among Nepal's 23 endemic flowering plants, 30 varieties of rhododendron species and 48 varieties of orchids
·         Best Season: March-May; September-November
·         Park Headquarters: Lelep
·         Entrance Fee: Nepalis - Free, SAARC nationals - Rs. 200 per person per entry, foreigners - Rs. 2,000 per person per entry
Manaslu Conservation Area
·         Activities: Trekking, mountaineering
·         Accommodation: Camping, lodges
·         Access: By bus to Dhading (87 km from Kathmandu) or to Besi Sahar (106 km from Pokhara) and then trek
·         Wildlife: 33 species of mammals including snow leopard, musk deer and Himalayan Tahr; three species of reptiles
·         Birds: 110 species of birds
·         Vegetation: 1,500-2,000 species of flowering plants
·         Best Season: March-May; September-November
·         Park Headquarters: Prok
·         Entrance Fee: Nepalis - Free, SAARC nationals - Rs. 200 per person per entry, foreigners - Rs. 2,000 per person per entry

     Gaurishanker Conservation Area:
·         Gaurishanker Conservation Area comprises the Sagarmatha National Park and Buffer Zone in the east, Langtang National Park and Buffer Zone in the west and Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north. It has an area of 2,179 sq. km which spreads over three districts - Ramechhap, Dolakha, Sindupalchowk. Its headquarters is Charikot.
 Blackbuck Conservation Area:
·         Blackbuck Conservation Area lies in Bardia district covering an area of 15.95 sq. km. This is the first organized effort to conserve the endangered Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra).
 Api Nampa Conservation Area:
·         Api Nampa Conservation Area lies in Darchula district and covers 1,903 sq. km in 21 VDCs. The snow leopard, musk deer, clouded leopard, ghoral, Himalayan black bear and Himalayan tahr are found in the area
     Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve 
·         Activities: Trophy hunting, game viewing
·         Accommodation: Camping
·         Animals: Blue sheep, leopard, ghoral, serow, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan black bear, barking deer, wild boar, rhesus macaque, langur, mouse hare; endangered species include musk deer, wolf, red panda
·         Birds: Pheasants, partridges; endangered species include cheer pheasant and Danphe
·         Access: Four days' walk from Baglung, which is 72 km from Pokhara by road
·         Best Season: March-April, October-November; July-September (monsoon), December-February (cold, windy, snow)
·         Reserve Headquarters: Dhorpatan
·         Entrance Fee: Please contact the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) for the latest information.

Newly entrance fee on national park