Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chitwan Chepang Hill Trail Trek

Chitwan is widely known for its National Park, famous for its population of rhinos, tigers and elephants. However, this trail leads you through the unexplored beautiful hillsides of Chitwan. Besides the natural beauty, the trail offers cultural highlights of one of the indigenous communities of Nepal. This area is home to the Chepang people who lead a semi-nomadic life and have rich cultural traditions. Due to their distinct life style and the remoteness of their homeland, this indigenous group belongs to the much marginalized groups of Nepal.
The trail is designed to lead through the homeland of Chepangs and their lovely villages in order to generate income possibilities for them and to raise awareness about Chepang culture among foreign visitors and Nepali people. This trail lies at a moderate altitude and in a comfortable climate zone.

Itinerary Details

Days 1: Arrival day in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264 ft)
Welcome to Himalayan country of Nepal. Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan intl. airport our representative welcomes you and assists to transfer in your hotel in Kathmandu. After time to get refreshed, and overnight at Hotel.

Days 2: Kathmandu – Hugdi Bazaar (306m.)– Hattibang 3 hrs Drive
Departure to Chepang Heritage Trail. You arrive at Hugdi Bazaar (82 Km from KTM) and walk about five hours from Hugdi Bazaar to Hattibang, a beautiful village with magnificent mountain views. Here you stay overnight in local homes or community-managed guest houses.

Days 3: Hattibang – Juatesh – Changa Dinglang – Jyandala (1600m.) 4 hrs. Trek
You walk approximately three hours to Jyandala, a Chepang village. You follow the trail through a vivid landscape and reach Siraichuli (1,945 m, one of the highest hills of the Mahabharat range), from where you can enjoy spectacular views of Himalayan peaks like Rolwaling, Gaurishankar, Langtang, Gorkha Himal, Peak 29, Himalchuli, Manaslu, the Annapurnas, Dhaulagiri and others. Towards South lie the green jungles of the Chitwan National Park in the Tarai.

Days 4: Jyandala –Siraichuli – Chisapanitar – Gadi (1275m.) 4:30 Hrs. Trek.
It takes about seven hours trek from Jyandala to Gadi via Siraichuli and Chisapanitar. The trail leads you through an ever changing landscape to Uppardang Gadi which used to be the headquarter of Chitwan until early 1962. The remains of a historic fort that defended the surrounding countryside are still in existence. Nature and the spectacular views make it an ideal place to stay overnight with local families.

Days 5: Gadi – Shaktikhor (355m.) 5 Hrs. Trek.
The way from Gadi to Shaktikhor takes about three hours. Shaktikor is another Chepang village and the centre of the sustainable tourism initiative of the Chepang people. They established a Chepang Museum and a visitor's information centre which both serve as tourist attractions and as educational service centers. Caves and waterfalls around the village invite you for a stroll in the area.
Days 6: Return back to Kathmandu
Overnight at Kathmandu hotel

for more detail:
Phone: (00977-1-4420840)
Mobile: (977) 98510 49483
Fax: 00977-1-4266534
Email: info@alfrescoadventure.com

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Nepal- A curious Land Nepal has an ancient history, no doubt about it, it is often said that our Malla forefathers were living in comfortably built houses in well-functioning communities much before the Americans built log cabins in America. In other words, while they lived in tents, Nepalis, especially in Kathmandu Valley, lived like kings. However, much of Nepal’s ancient history is unknown. Therefore, the discovery of an ancient life-sized statue in Maligaon of Kathmandu in 1994 was the cause of much fanfare. More so, because it had an inscription in an ancient script, which read thus: ‘Samvat 107 sri paramadeva pka maharajesu jayavarmma’. Heated debate between experts resulted in the final literal translation, which read thus: ‘The year 107. Among the Kings, the Fourth, Late Sri Jayavarmma.’ This was fuel for the fodder as far as the country’s history was concerned; a chapter was added, so to say. You can view this statue of the once-famous king, a statue with the earliest Licchavi inscription ever found here, in the stone sculpture room at the National Museum in Chauni, Kathmandu. You may also observe many other ancient artifacts at this museum, making it worth a visit However, as many know, it is not only at the museum that visitors can get a glimpse of Nepal’s rich treasure of objects d’art. The whole of Kathmandu Valley is often referred to as a living museum, with antiques on public display, and still very much in everyday use, in many old houses, courtyards, temples, and monasteries. The three durbar squares of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur, and their vicinity are major locations where you will get to practice your keen eye for detail as you study the hundreds of stone, metal, and wooden artifacts at every nook and corner. For the really clever tourist, one would suggest that carrying a notebook to note details as described by locals could be a rewarding exercise, for who knows, you could end up being a well recognized expert on the subject through your informative blogs on the internet. This is what is meant by the phrase, ‘a rewarding trip.’ Now, expanding on this, if you wish to gain still more insight into Nepal’s objects d’art, make it a point to spend some time at some curio shops around the three above-mentioned cities. While you won’t lack for a choice, the number of such shops being many, there are some which have better collections, besides, and equally importantly, more knowledgeable owners. In Kathmandu, such shops may be found in Thamel, Basantpur, and Durbar Marg, while in Bhaktapur and Patan, the durbar square areas are the places to focus on. While most artifacts are based on religious subjects, for example, paubhas and thankas (religion-based paintings) and statues of gods and goddesses, there are other items that are worth putting on your cabinet in the sitting room back home, for their curiosity value—curios, in other words. Thankas and paubhas, of course, are prized souvenirs for the same purpose, that of tickling guests’ interest, and you can visit reputed places like Dharmapala Thanka Center in Durbar Marg and Thanka House in Thamel for the same. Be prepared, however, to shell out big bucks for some really fancy pieces. Genuinely ancient pieces are rare nowadays, nonetheless, those on display, ancient or not, are a sight for sore eyes. Similarly, the glittering metal statues (some of the gilted) in a shop like Fabulous Handicraft Center in Thamel will cause your eyes to rest their wandering for some time. Prices could reach high plateaus but you can also get smaller sized, but as exquisitely crafted, items at affordable rates. One place that should be part of your itinerary is Patan Industrial Estate, where you’ll not only find a lot of showrooms, but where you could actually watch craftsmen at work. Two such places could be: Patan Woodcarving Industries and Arniko Sculpture Center. Now, talking about curious, Shiva and Parvati Handicrafts in Thamel is a prime destination for spending a few hours rummaging through all sorts of intriguing bric-a-brac. Here, the owner is supposed to be quite an expert on the subject, so sit down with him over a cup of tea and chit-chat away. There’s another old timer, the owner of New Curio Shop, this too in Thamel, who’s also good to go. Here’s some stuff you’ll find in such shops, which should give you a good idea about what to expect: bells, musical instruments, boxes, masks, manuscripts, vessels, primitive figures, and clothes. Antique locks (bhote talcha), mana pathis (set of 8 measuring vessels of Licchavi period), dhungro’ (milking pails), Shaman sets (belt with lots of curious hardware worn by Tamang shamans), ‘lisnus’ (narrow wooden ladders of Trishuli), etc. etc. The musical instruments are of course, indigenous, and inlcude dhyangro, bansuri, tungna, sarangi, narsimha, dama, dholke, jhyali, shehnai, tempu, kernel, etc. Tibet is a rich source for curios as well, and Tibetan stuff found here includes red wooden chests, leather boxes, thankas, old chairs, ancient carpets, and so on and so forth. Other things you may see in these shops are various types of weapons, ancient carved doors, old jewelry, etc. Well, you get the picture? There’s plenty of good stuff out there, stuff you could never have imagined, in the curio shops of Kathmandu Valley. Things that will certainly make your guests back home exclaim with delight, “How wonderful!”