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A Place of Pilgrimages in the Himalayas: Muktinath Temple

Being a home to 80% Hindu population, Nepal has always been known as a religious country. The country with the capital city which is already known as the city of temples holds a very old history and is rich in mythological stories and incidents. Nepal has always been known as the oldest country in Asia. You will find spirituality in the nerves of the Nepali people.

A country rich in landscapes, beautiful vistas, Nepal has a very beautiful and famous temple in a vast and arid valley, distinguished by eroded canyons, vividly colored stratified rock formations, and barren high altitude deserts.

muktinath-temple

 

Introduction to Muktinath Temple

Situated in an altitude of 3710 meters above the sea level, a popular Vishnu temple at the highest altitude in the world, Muktinath temple is a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists. It basically lies in the Muktinath valley which is at the foot of Thorang la pass in Mustang, Nepal. This temple is close to the village called Ranipauwa but many people call it Muktinath mistakenly.

In terms of Hinduism, this temple is known as MUKTI KSHETRA, which means the place of liberation or MOKSH. It is the 108th SAKTIPEETH and is named as Mahadevi. Similarly, in terms of Buddhism, it is known as the CHUMIG GYATSA, which means a hundred waters. Originally, the temple has a Vaishnava origin but it is also revered in Buddhism as the GURU PADMASAMBHAVA meditated there for a while. Buddhists believe that this is a place of DAKINIS, goddesses who are known as sky dancers. It is amongst the 24th tantric place.

The central shrine of this temple is considered as the eighth-most sacred shines by the Hindu Vaishnava’s. This central shrine is known as Svayam Vyakta Ksetras. The main statue or Murti of his temple is made up of gold and its height is as much as a normal man’s length. In the outer courtyard, there are 108 bull faces from which water is poured. This water denotes all the sacred Pushkarini waters from all the Sri Vaishnava Divya Dishams. People tend to take a bath here even in the freezing cold. Bathing here is believed to clear all the sins done by a person. This water is considered to be holy and sacred. People are expected to offer a Prasad to the deity (food).

shaktipeeth-at-muktinath-temple

Story Behind The Muktinath

As I had already said that this temple is the 108th Shaktipeeth. Shaktipeeth means the primordial cosmic energy that is formed by the body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi falling on it. In Muktinath, after the death of her beloved wife Sati Devi, Lord Shiva got mad and he carried her body on his arms, and roamed around. During that incident, the temple of the forehead of lord Sati Devi is believed to have fallen in Muktinath. The Shakti or power of Muktinath is known as Gandaki Chandi and Bhairava is known as Chakrapani.

This whole story of Sati Devi and Lord Shiva is really interesting and soothing. So is the structure of this temple. Mustang has become famous amongst the indoor tourist and the outer ones are also very keen to view its beauty. It is a really alluring place in which you can rarely see the other parts or districts of this country. You will find green hills or snowcapped mountains and plain land Terai but this place is totally different from others as it is like a plateau. It is located in the Himalayan region and is in the trail of Annapurna Circuit Trek. You will definitely have a glimpse of mountains but being honest mustang is one of my fantasy holiday destinations and yes I am being biased cause the beauty of this place can’t be put into words.

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Nepali Custom and Etiquette: How Do Nepal People Greet?

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NEPAL, a land full of cultural diversity and tradition carries history if its own. Been the oldest country in east Asia, Nepal has many historical stories to tell and to be explore. A land which is serving as a home to 126 different ethnicities, each of them representing their own culture. 80% of the total population of Nepal has been occupied by the Hinduism. That is why most of the tradition here are related t Hinduism while Buddhism is in the second position. A holy and where Lord Gautama Buddha was born. A place where the message of peace and togetherness originated. The birthplace of a Hindu deity goddess Sita.

Having a vast cultural difference even in such a small country is what Nepal is known for. There still is peace and feeling of respect for one another’s religion. We have never hold a history of fight or conflicts in the name of religion. This land is a secular state and everyone has a right to live a life of his own.

sightseeing in kathmandu
Culture and Tradition of Nepal
As I have already said that, Nepal is a secular country but most of the population in fact 80% of the total population of Nepal follows Hinduism. The tradition, culture, custom is mostly represented by Hinduism. Even in that Hinduism, we have been divided into sub groups, caste and ethnic group. Each of us has a unique set of tradition in Nepal. The Newari people has some amazing tradition which will surprise you in a beautiful way. Amongst the various other culture, Newari people make their daughter to marry with a fruit which is called “Bel”. The daughter were the attire like a bride and marries to the bel. Gai jatra is also a famous festival celebrated by them. It is usually celebrated by those Newari people who had lost their loved one in that year. They dress weird and try make other laugh. This tradition was initiated by Pratap Malla who wanted make his queen realize about the number of people who died in a year. The queen actually was sad and depressed after the death of her beloved son and this is what Pratap Malla did to cheer her up.

Food and Tradition Of Nepal
Many traditional or the cultural stuff that Hindus follow in Nepal, might fascinate you. be the traditional costume they wear or a traditional food they have, or any sort of festival they celebrate, it is very unique and is a fun experience to watch.it becomes more of a fun when you actually participate in one of those. The national costume of Nepal is Dhoti Cholo for females and Daura Suruwal for men. Other than the national costume, many ethnic groups have their own for of traditional attire which makes the look really gorgeous and appealing. The cuisines made by those ethnic groups are also something you can try when you come to Nepal. These cuisines have their own place of origin even in Nepal and they add a different flavor in your tongue.one of them is the Newari cuisine. The Chatamari, Bara, Choila are the major cuisines you can try. One of my personal favorite is choila which is simple a barbequed meat but then some spices are added to it. The Bara is made from the lentils and can be mixed with some eggs as well. The typical Dal Bhat Tarkari is the source of food and energy to most of the people of Nepal. The Momos are equally famous. You can try them in different forms and flavors.

eatery-in-kathmandu

Before coming to Nepal, you must learn some of the etiquettes too. If you ever get invited to a Nepal house, make sure you leave your shoes outside. Wearing shoes in the house is believed to be manner less and especially in kitchen, you cannot use slippers. Other than this, make sure that you do not wear very revealing clothes. Though many people are forward and do not mind seeing you that way but I cannot guarantee about the judgement others are going to pass at you.

ETIQUETTES IN NEPAL
One of the main problem while travelling to a different location is communication problem. Most of the people nowadays are educated and they know English very well. But when you move towards the remote places it is going to be hard for you to communicate with people. As most of the people come to Nepal with the vision to climb the Everest base camp, you should learn some basic language so that it will help you to communicate with your porters and guide.

nepali-custom-and-etiquette

One of the famous way to greet someone in Nepal is by saying NAMASTE. It is usually said to say hello and goodbye to people around here. For doing a Namaste, you have to join your two palms, bow your head, close your eyes and it is how you do it. In the traditional way, the definition of Namaste is much interesting. ‘NAMA’ means bow, ‘AS’ means I AND ‘TE’ means you which means I bow to you. In the spiritual understanding, Namaste is done to acknowledgement of soul in one by the soul in another. The yoga gurus believe that there is a divine spirit in us and doing Namaste helps us to surrender our mind to the divine in us. This helps to increase the heart flow of divine love.

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Jungle Safari in Chitwan National Park

 

Adventure does not really have to be dangerous or something you need to have guts for. You still can go on an adventurous journey where you get to explore one of the best thing you could have possibly experienced in your life. Not only mountains but the national parks are located in Nepal has a wide range of biodiverse flora and fauna some of which are the rarest species to encounter on this planet. Especially when it comes to the wildlife photographers and jungle safari, the national parks of Nepal are a go to destination.

NEPAL AND ITS FEATURES

Nepal has a wide range of adventurous stuffs and activities to explore. Its massive mountains, thick forest and diversifies landscape is what makes it a land full of adventures to try on. It is simply an amazing thing to know that a small country has so many things to offer. Travel sometimes tend to make you modest, it makes you realize who you are, how you should have been living and what you were missing all your life.

Be it jumping from a famous hill and fly like a bird above the sky of a beautiful city pokhara, be it hanging in between a swiftly flowing rivers and a suspension bridge in Bhote Koshi rivers, be it jumping from a plane above the highest peak in the world or viewing the beautiful scenario of the mountains, hills and lakes in Pokhara, Nepal has a big basket of adventures to experience and explore. You might have not though of living a life which you live when you are travelling in this country. you simply start regretting about why you never came to this place before and thank god that you are finally here otherwise you would have died without even experiencing and seeing the things you should have seen in your life.

chitwan-National-park-jungle-safari

NATIONAL PARKS IN NEPAL

Other than the mountains and lakes, Nepal has a thick forest which consists of wide range of ecosystem and diversifies floral and faunal features. There are ten different national parks in Nepal, each of them serving as a home to some of the rarest species in Nepal. the Sagarmatha national park has the highest mountain peak in its territory, the Langtang national park has a holy and a sacred pond in its territory, the Bardiya national park is a home to one of the wildest creature on this planet- tiger, the Shivapuri Nagarjun has been protecting the very capital city of this small country, the Rara national park has the beautiful landscape of one of the remote places of this country, the Shey Phoksunda national park has a famous Ramsar announced lake in it while the very famous Chitwan national park is home to some of the rarest species on this planet –one horned rhinoceros and the royal Bengal tiger.

CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK: JUNGLE SAFARI

Chitwan National Park

Though you can still enjoy the feel of jungle safari in the other nine national parks of Nepal but still people prefer Jungle Safari in Chitwan national park over all of them. The vast jungle which I surrounded by the Tharu community and the most beautiful floral and faunal features is what has made Chitwan national park, a destination for all the animal loving people.

Situated In the southern lowlands of Nepal, Chitwan national park is one of the UNESCO world heritage site present in Nepal and was the first national park ever declared in the country. In the area of 952.63 kilometers square, the Chitwan national park has been a home to a wide variety of fauna, mammals and birds. The Narayani-Rapti River forms a natural territory with the human civilization in Chitwan, giving the wild animals their own space and suitable habitat.

The grassland is an alluvial grassland and the forest is a subtropical moist deciduous forest. The fauna likes king cobra, python, monitor lizards, wild gharials are abundantly found in the Chitwan national park. Mammals like clouded leopard, sloth bear, four horned antelope, one horned rhinoceros, the king of jungle- Bengal tiger, Bengal foxes .the whole mammals, fauna and birds are accumulated to form a total of 700 species of wildlife in this national park. You can enjoy the feel of jungle safari watching at these amazing wildlife, sitting on the elephant where your security is assured and fun is going to be unlimited.