How did Swayambhunath and Boudhanath get their names?

Swayambhunath stupas name is Swayambhu Maha Chaitya but before this it was known as Singru-vihara-caitya-bhatjarika … why and how did the name change? Do you know why the names Boudhanath and Swayambhunath end with – nath? I hope you do. Because nobody else seems to. If you’ve ever noticed the naming structure of places in Nepal you’ll find many end with the letters “n a t h“. It turns out the answer is this is not as straight forward as your tour guide will make out. For some places in Nepal…

Video: This Inspiring Climber Summited Everest, Now She Encourages Others to Explore Too

Mountaineer Tine Mena is the first woman from her region of India to reach the summit of Everest, after which she returned home a hero. She now serves as a source of inspiration for her community, but rather than just rest on her laurels and soak up the adulation, she is now working to inspire others to explore the world around them too. In this wonderful video we not only get a chance to meet… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more

Will Nepal lose Everest to the Chinese?

Time’s up for Nepal’s “exclusive” access to Mount Everest, China is getting ready to launch its own resorts on the other side of the world’s tallest mountain Nepal and China still share Mount Everest, for now There’s an invisible border at the top of Everest between Tibet (China) and Nepal. Back in the 1950s when the British were going full on to be the first to the top there was real concern the Chinese would have issues with…

How to deal with stray street dogs in Nepal

Street dogs fighting in Thamel has become a common sight – likewise in Lakeside Pokhara and Chitwan A tourists guide to not getting bitten by a street dog in Nepal About 12 years ago in Nepal there was a massive dog cull to deal with the out of control dog population problem within the country. The numbers reduced dramatically, as did the number of dog bites…

Ugrachandi & Bhairab Statues in Bhaktapur & the Artist who lost his hands

The Ugrachandi Statue in Basantapur Chowk in Bhaktapur – a statue so stunning it cost the sculptor his hand … but that’s not the end of the story The statues so beautiful they cost the artist his hands As tales go in Nepal the one about the Ugrachandi and Bhairab statues has been one that has stayed popular for the past 300 or so years. It’s a short one…

Making a trip to Nuwakot before it’s gone!

The Nuwakot Fortress-palace still stands … it’s one of the largest remaining palaces in Nepal just outside of Kathmandu – but be quick, it might not be standing for much longer Nuwakot, where kings of old plotted the downfall of the Kathmandu Valley It’s not easy reaching Nuwakot, one of the most important sites in Nepal. Few make the journey to this ancient crumbling fortress that was once one of the epicenters to the formation of Nepal as country…

The Forgotten Gods of Nepal

A Bhimsen shrine stands lopsided in a small Newari courtyard in Kathmandu, behind it a crumbling chaitya, around it are new residents who walk by on the way to work … a few old people still pass by to stop and pay respect to the god Have the gods left Nepal or did the people leave the …

Stonemason at work in Bhaktapur

A stonemason chisels at a solid stone block atop the ruins of the Vatsala Durga Temple in Bhaktapur A photograph of a stonemason symbolizes … You may recognize the above photograph from my article on reconstructing the Vatsala Durga temple. It was about being the first independently funded temple to be rebuilt. The donor list is virtual empty … and that’s okay. There’s much more going on…

Painting of a fisherman in Begnas Nepal

Watercolor of Fisherman in Begnas Lake, Pokhara, Nepal A watercolor of a fisherman at Begnas Lake, in Pokhara, Nepal Pokhara is known for rest, relaxation and adventure. It’s also known as a the city of seven lakes. True be told, this is a bit of exaggeration. Of the seven lakes only three to four are “real” lakes. The others fill…

Reconstructing the Ashok Stupa in Thamel

The newly reconstructed Ashok stupa in Thamel, Kathmandu A community rebuilds an ancient stupa … The Ashok stupa is located along the little adjoining lane named Ashok Galli in southern Thamel. For many years I’ve taken this shortcut between two of Thamel’s main streets, Amrit and Thamel Marg,  leading to Jyatha. Prior to the 2015 earthquake the old Ashok stupa, whose fenced off …

Bookshops in Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu is a still a treasure trove of “paradise” location for book lovers to explore … here is the best list of bookshops in Kathmandu! Where are the best bookstores in Kathmandu? It’s a relative question, but all the answers on bookshops are here. Are you looking for travel books? International fiction (crime, thriller, western, romance etc) Nepali literature or non fiction? Are you a tourist or Nepali? The good news is that Kathmandu still has an impressive amount of bookshops that …

Painting of a Bodhi Tree overlooking the Himalayan Mountains

A Bodhi tree overlooking the Himalayan Mountains in Bandipur A watercolor of a Bodhi tree overlooking the Himalayan Mountains in Bandipur This majestic Bodhi tree sits on a high hill over Bandipur in Nepal. The view from here is of the majestic Himalayan mountains. The tree is reachable with a 45 minute hike from the town itself. The mountains aren’t always visible though. Dawn and dusk are the best times to view them during peak season. Bodhi tree For those new here you can read all about Bandipur here. There are not too many Bodhi trees in Nepal this size. …

The Bestselling Guidebook to Nepal & Bitcoin Cryptocurrency purchase options!

My Nepal guidebook has outsold all the others … & is now available in Bitcoin! Two announcements! Part I: Making it to the bestseller list Part II: New Bitcoin, Litcoin crypto purchase options of the guidebook here From strength to strength: the best Nepal guidebook for all travelers to Nepal It made…

Painting of flower petals by a temple

Flower petals by a temple in Nepal A watercolor of a flower petals by a temple in Nepal It’s very common to see flower petals or whole flowers being left as offerings by temples in Nepal. Sometimes the flowers are placed on the shrines themselves. Sometimes they are placed in the wooden slates outside. In this case they are resting outside on wooden railing. Temples & offerings in Nepal If you visit Nepal you will come across three main kinds of “temple”. Newari, Hindu and Buddhist. All three have a common …