Nepal is not only the land of mountains; it is also the land of festivals. There are more than 50 festivals celebrated in Nepal every year. While the national festivals have fixed dates, astrologers following the lunar calendar set religious festivals. The best part about the festivals in Nepal is that all the events are celebrated with the same enthusiasm and galore the way it used to be hundreds of years ago when people had no other means of entertainment.
The diversity in Nepal in terms of ethnicity again makes room for various sets of customs. Although some customs have merely been converted to habits without thought, ancient texts justify them with far-fetched reasons, sometimes making sense and sometimes not. Most of these customs go back to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Among them, the rules of marriage are particularly interesting. In traditional families parents deals and arrange the marriage. There are so many festivals around the kingdom of Nepal. Nepali festive calendar is hectic. October is the most important of all Nepalese celebrations because the most important festivals Dashain and Tihar celebrated nationwide.
Village tours allow visitors to experience a stay in a typical Nepali village. You will get to stay in home of one of the villagers and during your stay, you will get delicious local food and drink and comfortable accommodation provided by your host family. You will also get a chance to interact with the villagers and get to know their culture, tradition and way of life first hand. Besides, you will be contributing directly to the welfare of the village. Village Tours are conducted in Ghalegaun, Ghandruk, Lakuri Bhanjhang, Sirubari, and so many places.
Ghalegaun, situated at the foot of Lamjung Himal in north central Nepal, is a charming village endowed with unparalleled scenic grandeur. Lofting at an elevation of 2,016 m, it commands breathtaking views of the majestic western Himalayan peaks including Machhapuchre (height 6,693 m), Annapurna I (8,091 m), Annapurna II (7,939 m), Annapurna IV (7,525 m), Lamjung Himal, Buddha Himal, Himalchuli and many other smaller peaks.
Ghalegaun consists of 105 households, mainly Ghales, who belong to the famed Gurung community of Nepal’s midhills. Gurungs have traditionally been one of the major components of the Gorkha forces. The village thus offers a superb combination of natural beauty and unspoiled ethnic lifestyle. Visitors get a unique insight into the social life of the Ghales, which is replete with interesting lifecycle rituals, religious events and a lively tradition of dance and music.
Ghalegaun is being developed as an ideal rural tourist destination. Accordingly, a number of houses have been prepared to receive domestic and international visitors by establishing comfortable basic amenities. There is no electricity in the village, and the guest rooms are fitted with solar lamps and water heating systems.
The warm and sincere hospitality of the Gurung people is something for visitors to experience. Organized tour groups are welcomed with traditional dances. Handicraft exhibitions and other entertainment programs are also performed for the visitors. After a day of admiring the Himalayan view, tourists can participate in the traditional musical programs known as Rodhi in the evening.
The inhabitants of Ghalegaun are typical hardworking hill farmers. Visitors can join a family in their daily chores as they plough the fields with oxen, cut grass with a sickle, chop firewood with axes, milk the cows, churn curd and fetch water from the local spring. Activities around Ghalegaun include bird watching at Talangyo Lake and visits to the Utter Kanya Temple, Pempro Fall, Batase Cave and the Khudi hydroelectric dam site.
Ghalegaun is conveniently accessible. It is a four-hour walk from Khudi, the starting point of the legendary Annapurna Circuit trekking route. The trail to Ghalegaun passes through a thick forest that provides opportunities to observe varieties of animals, birds, insects and butterflies. The mighty Marsyangdi River rages alongside the footpath. Khudi lies at the end of the road that branches off from the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway at Dumre.
Ghandruk is a wonderful village located at 2000 meters, where one must trek to reach Annapurna base camp. Therefore, it is important to understand the choices of the route to that village. Ghandruk is not ideal village to rest but also a picturesque village from where one can have beautiful close view of Annapurna south and the tip of Machhapuchre (The Fishtail) and Himalchuli Mountains. It is a good place to rest and enjoy the calm atmosphere of the Nepali culture just before getting back to Pokhara.
Overlooking the wide spectrum of the Himalayan range and the broad expanse of the Kathmandu valley, Lakhuri Bhanjyang lies perched atop the pristine hill of Pokhari Thumko (18km from Kathmandu). Located at an altitude of 2000 m, approximately, this is another vantage point commanding panoramic views of the snowy mountain peaks. The northern horizon is an ideal location to watch spectacular views of sunset and sunrise. After Dusk, a myriad of shimmering lights far below in the cities of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur glow to reveal yet another delightful feast for the eyes.
Sirubari is a small village nestled on the southern slopes of a ridge at 1700 meters above sea level. Pokhara, about 20km to the northwest, is the nearest major city center. The travel time to reach the village from Pokhara is about 5 hours, an experience in itself. The village which is inhabited entirely by the Gurung people is small and compact with neat and clean trails.
From the lush green fields of the river basin, the vegetation turns to subtropical, deciduous, coniferous and alpine as one goes uphill. A variety of flora – sal, bamboo, alnusand, cerasoides, pine, fir – and fauna – tiger, jackal, fox, red deer, Langur, eagles, partridge, nutcracker and wild fowl – abound in these hills. In the valley below the only traces of life are rare porters carrying provisions to the villages in the hills or a shepherd herding his flock. Traditional rest houses made of stone and slate or lonely tea stalls provide the welcome break.
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