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Art of Mithila: A Living Tradition

The dazzling Mithila artwork produced by Maithili women of Nepal can be traced back as far as the 7th century and has been passed from generation to generation since. Mithila painting also known as Madhubani art or painting in India is a traditionally designed painting created by the women of various communities in Mithila region of Nepal and India. As the former capital of the kingdom of Mithila, Janakpur has emerged as the center for both preserving and promoting this ancient art. Initially, the womenfolk of the village drew the paintings on the walls of their home, with fingers, twigs, brushes, and matchsticks as an illustration of their thoughts, hopes, and dreams. With the change in time and tradition, the paintings started becoming a part of festivities and special events, like marriage. Slowly and gradually, the Mithila painting starts developing on paper and canvas crossing the traditional boundaries and started reaching connoisseurs of art, both at the national as well as the international level. Ancient History and Myths of Mithila Art The representative form of Mithila art has its origin in the great Indian sub-continental epic Ramayana where it is believed King Janaka of Mithila hired local artists and decorated the town of Janakpur with this unique art form for the wedding of his daughter Sita to Rama. "In the following we see that Mithila Art is wedded to the concept of democracy from a very early period, predating by millennia the emergence of modern democracy — this background and context has special significance for Mithila Art’s most internationally renowned characteristic: women’s empowerment, itself one of the fundamental strands of modern democracy and related egalitarian values as seen through gender equality." What’s so special about Mithila art? Traditionally, the painting was one of the skills that were passed down from generation to generation in the families of the Mithila Region, mainly by women. Different variants of Mithila paintings were done on walls coated with mud and cow dung, nevertheless, it never lacked precision in bringing to fore the symbolic representation, which effectively gives it its uniqueness. When technically evaluating, Mithila paintings can be divided into five distinctive styles: Bharni, Kachni, Tantrik, Nepali, and Gobar. Until the 1960s, when Mithila paintings were not yet commercialized, Bharni, Kachni, and Tantrik style were mainly done by Brahman and Kayashth women, who are the upper caste women in Nepal and India. Mithila paintings mostly portray the men, its association with nature and the scenes deity from the ancient epics. Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants like tulsi are also widely painted, along with scenes from the royal court and social events like weddings. Generally, no space is left empty; the gaps are filled by paintings of flowers, animals, birds, and even geometric designs. It is still practiced and kept alive in the institutions spread across the Mithila region. Done in primary colors of natural origin on paper and cloth, the Mithila Art narrates mythological and religious events. The Painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes, and pigments, and is characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns. Widely used Mithila images include deities such as Vishnu, Ganesh, Radha, Krishna, Sita, and Ram. There is ritual content for particular occasions, such as birth or marriage, and festivals, such as Holi, Surya Shasti, Kali Puja, Upanayana, Durga Puja. Colors used in Mithila Art The women artists of Mithila use different local colors in their art. Generally, they use bright and brilliant colors which make their arts very pretty and at the same time very attractive. They use bright red, yellow and black colors. These three colors are frequently used which are very natural such as black is from soot, red from local clay and yellow from petals of flowers or turmeric. They use indigenous colors in their art to make them attractive and lasting. They prepare vegetable colors from different flowers, fruits, barks, and root. The gum prepared naturally from the babul tree is mixed in the colors for durability. Black is generally obtained by lamp spot. It is easily dissolved in gum water. A light color is obtained by mixing cow-dung and gum in fresh water. The bark of the peepal tree is dried in the sunrise and then boiled in water until it yields a pink color. The blue color is obtained by crushing the berries of the wild herb. These colors are used to their imagination and vision. They also sometimes use watercolor mixed with rice powder (which is called pithar in local language) and vermillion (sindur in local language). Mithila Art – Going places Bharati Dayal, an artist from India a keen practitioner of Madhubani painting, features divine forms and narratives in her works. She offers her creative repository to art enthusiasts through this elegantly produced book. This book showcases some of the best paintings of Bharati Dayal and re-confirms that she is an artist who has indeed played a significant role in the re-emergence and spread of this ethnic art form. Her paintings get completed in a diversely rich combination of graphic designs, tattoos, lines, concentric circles, motifs of flora and fauna, spirits and animistic renderings—exuding figurative intents. Furthermore, the Maithils are Shakti (mother goddess) worshippers—and the schools of Tantric rituals have been flourishing in their surroundings, giving spiritual traction to an informal art form that soon became a living tradition. One of the best-known social projects is the Janakpur Women’s Development Centre, just south of the city in the village of Kuwa. Around 40 Maithili women are employed at the center, producing paper paintings, paper-mache boxes and mirrors, screen-printed fabrics and hand-thrown ceramics. Money raised goes directly towards improving the lives of rural women. It is worthwhile to recall the rich contribution of foreign scholars in promoting Mithila painting internationally. Yvesh Vequad, a French novelist and journalist, in the early 1970s wrote a seminal book on the subject The Art of Mithila: Ceremonial Paintings from an Ancient Kingdom—and produced a film, titled The Women Painters of Mithila. The German anthropologist film-maker and social activist Erika Moser persuaded the impoverished Dusadh community to paint. The result was the Dusadh captured their oral history (such as the adventures of Raja Salhesh, and depictions of their primary deity, Rahu) — typified by bold compositions and figures based on traditional tattoo patterns called Goidna locally. This added another distinctive new style to the region’s flourishing art scene. Stars of Madhubani Art Madhubani painting received official recognition in 1975 when the President of India awarded the Padma Shri to Jagdamba Devi, of Jitwarpur village near Madhubani. This was just the beginning. 1) Sita Devi, one of the most prominent early Mithila artists and among the first to transfer the traditional art form from the walls of the home to paper and canvas. She received State award by Government of Bihar in 1969 and taught the art to her family members as well. 2) Vidhushini Prasad, a Bangalore based entrepreneur who kept alive the essence of this art and exhibited in many of the art galleries across India like Renaissance Art Gallery (Bangalore), David Hall Art Gallery, Fort Kochi, Eka Lifestyle, Bangalore, Genesis Art Gallerie. She has also showcased her work at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bengaluru. Her paintings have been a part of the listings on online portals like FineArtAmerica, and she has authored a book on Madhubani art as well. Furthermore, Baua Devi, Yamuna Devi, Shanti Devi, Chano Devi, Bindeshwari Devi, Chandrakala Devi, Shashikala Devi, Leela Devi, Godavari Dutta, Bharti Dayal, Chandrabhushan, Ambika Devi, Manisha Jha were also given National Awards. Among those Indian scholars, who contributed to the stream of Mithila Painting, are: Mulkraj Anand (a book on Madhubani painting), Devaki Jain (numbers of papers on Mithila art) and Jyotindra Jain (a fine book on legendary artist, Ganga Devi); they traveled across the hinterlands of Mithila to comprehend the artistic genesis and the issues on ground. List of books on this form of art, to guide you into the roots to the top of the tree: 1) Brown, Carolyn Henning, Contested Meanings: Tantra and the Poetics of Mithila Art 2) Brown, Carolyn Henning, “The Women Painters of Mithila” 3) Archer, William G., Songs for the Bride: Wedding Rites of Rural India 4) Craven, Roy C., A Concise History of Indian Art Mithila art beyond paintings Today, when Mithila painting as an art form is creating livelihood opportunities across the border of India and Nepal, it becomes more imperative than ever to unleash its true potential. Mithila art piques interest in art lovers from different countries like USA, Australia, UK, and Russia. Patterns from this art form have also found their way onto various items like bags, cushion covers, coasters, mugs, crockery and mouse pads. More to this it remains ever popular on the home decor front in the form of prints for table linens, napkin rings, and lamps and most importantly on wall hangings. Mostly because Mithila art was originally used for decorating walls and floors of homes. The further scope of its exploration is immense, and as it is globally recognized now, its expansion in the course of time will make the women of Mithila drawn towards art entrepreneurship. Much is being done in this regard in Janakpur in Nepal and in Madhubani in India, to prepare for the next round of commercialization.

1 month ago

Bansuri: The Best Nepali Musical Instrument

The word bansuri originates in the Sanskrit: “bans” which simply mean bamboo and “Sur” which means musical note. The pitch and sound of the Bansuri depend on the length and thickness of the bamboo used. The bansuri is depicted in ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temple paintings and reliefs, as well as is common in the iconography of the Hindu god Krishna. It is intimately linked to the love story of Krishna and Radha. Bansuri is a very sensitive instrument; almost all the delicate graces, curves, embellishments and shades of classical music can be performed to perfection upon it. Being a portable instrument, it can be carried easily from place to place and climatic changes have very little or no effect on the seasoned bamboo. The bamboo chosen to make the flute must be selected very carefully. It should be neither too old nor too young a plant, of medium thickness, and the stem should be clean and smooth, free from cracks, bumps, holes or other damages. The harvested bamboo with a desired diameter is cut, dried and treated with natural oils and resins to strengthen it.The bamboo tube is best dried in the shade for approximately one year. Once ready, the artisans examine the smoothness, straightness, and measure the dried hollow tube. They mark the exact positions for hole, then use hot metal rod skewers of different diameters to burn in the holes. Drilling and other methods of hole making is avoided as it is believed to damage the fiber orientation and the splits affects the music quality. The burnt in holes are then finished by sanding, one end plugged, the flute ringed at various positions to stabilize its form and shape over time, the unit tested for their musical performance. The length of the Bansuri is normally between two-and-a-half feet to less than three feet, depending upon the thickness of the wall and the density of the bamboo. Long bansuris or flutes have a rich, deep and mellow tone whereas in small bansuris or flutes the tone is high pitched. While playing, the Bansuri, it is placed horizontally, a little tilted towards the ground. And by controlling the breath, different sound modulations are achieved. With the help of the tongue and throat, the air is stroked and the different sound is produced. More to this, the player has to figure out his own angle from where the instrument is best suited to him to give him the best tone. Nepali Bamboo Bansuri Is not this amazing, how a small piece of bamboo, with lots of holes on it, can produce music so divine and peaceful? By blowing the flute and by moving the fingers you control not only the sound of the instrument but also the tones and pitches. The thumbs hold the bansuri in position. In Nepali folk music, these flutes are often gladly used because they allow better control of sound and tonal variety. The bansuris are originally tuned to the "divine tone" A = 432 Hz. Therefore, all tones of the instrument sound a little lower compared to the concert pitch A = 440 Hz. This somewhat lower tuning is sometimes described as the "better frequency". To some people's ears, instruments tuned to 432 Hz sound more relaxed, peaceful and centered. This perception also corresponds to number cosmological contexts. The holes of the Bansuri are covered with the pads of the fingers and not the fingertips. Also, note the thumb position which is very essential to support the Bansuri while playing notes in quick succession. While start playing the bansuri the first mistake the people face is impatience. After you start producing sound from your Bansuri, they quickly want to start playing. They will not wait to notice that the key to playing the Bansuri is not the ability to produce sound but, the ability to produce the perfect sound. Even if you can produce good sound, stick with it, and go on practicing it. How to know when the produced sound is perfect 1) You stop producing the hissing sound while blowing. 2) You can prolong that sound for a longer duration with the same intensity. 3) Clarity of your sound. It should be crystal. Significance of Lord Krishna Bansuri Bansuri is the oldest musical instrument known to mankind. Flute has been mentioned in the Puranas which were written thousands of years ago. Bamboo flute is the only musical instrument which is most natural and does not contain any mechanical parts. This is the reason the flute is very close to Nature and sounds very melodious when played in an atmosphere surrounded by Nature. Lord Krishna holding a flute has deepest of deeper meaning it simply symbolizes to wipe out tension and all kind of negativity for peace & balance life. Therefore, everyone is attracted towards the melodious sound of flute, which is Lord Krishna's favorite instrument. How is a bansuri different from the western classical flute? The simplest difference is that a bansuri is on the diatonic scale whereas the classical Western flute is on the chromatic scale. In layman's terms, you can only get the seven notes of a given scale in a bansuri (if you are not playing the half notes of course) whereas there is a clean and defined way of getting every possible note of the chromatic scale in a western flute. Bansuri is also chromatic. It's just that western flute has keys which need to be adjusted to play all 12 notes whereas in bansuri you have to adjust your finger positioning for same 12 notes. The difference is in the sound of both instruments. Bansuri even with its highest scale has a more husky sound than exactly same notes of a western flute. If you understand music than you can hear the difference in Chinese flute, dizi,   flute, western flute, and bansuri The main pros of the western flute are that it has a wider range of around 3 octaves. While bansuri has around 2 and a half. There are cross fingering techniques that can extend it to 3 octaves but it is rarely used. The main pros of bansuri are its maintenance. Western flute needs regular tuning and maintenance. While bansuri is just a bamboo with holes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K69ix4ehy70

2 months ago

Buddhist Prayer Wheels: Meaning & Uses

A Buddhist prayer wheel is generally a hollow cylindrical wheel made from metal, wood, or stone, often beautifully embossed, mounted on a rod handle or axis made of wood or a precious metal. Simply, it is an inseparable part of the Tibetan and Buddhist tradition.  Prayer wheels are known as Mani wheels in the Tibetan language. The Buddhist prayer wheels are used as an aid to meditation and as a means of accumulating wisdom, good karma, and means of putting bad karmas and negative energy aside. The inner portion of the hollow cylinder contains a tightly scrolled paper or other material full of printed or handwritten mantra. According to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition based on the lineage texts regarding prayer wheels, spinning such a wheel will have much the same meritorious effect as orally reciting the prayers. Traditionally, the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum are inscriptions in Sanskrit (or sometimes Tibetan) script and auspicious Buddhist symbols, on the outside of the wheel. Also sometimes depicted are Dakinis, Protectors and very often the 8 auspicious symbols Ashtamangala. This outer part is removable to allow for the insertion of the sacred text into the cylinder. At the core of the cylinder is a "Life Tree" often made of wood or metal with certain mantras written on or wrapped around it. Many thousands (or in the case of larger prayer wheels, millions) of mantras are then wrapped around this life tree. Yak grease is used on the handle to make them spin more quietly. It is believed that each turn of a prayer wheel represents a recitation of the prayer inside and transports it to heaven. Varying in size from thimbles to oil drums, with some the size of buildings, prayer wheels can be made of wood, copper, bronze, silver or gold. Pilgrimage paths (koras) are often lined with a prayer wheel. Pilgrims spin the wheels to earn merit and help them focus on the prayers they are reciting. According to Tibetan Buddhist belief, spinning a prayer wheel is just as effective as reciting the sacred texts aloud. Benefits of Prayer Wheels Prayer wheels come in many sizes: they may be small and attached to a stick, and spun around by hand; medium-sized and set up at monasteries or temples, or very large and continuously spun by a water mill. But small hand-held wheels are the most common by far. Just touching and turning a prayer wheel brings incredible purification and accumulates unbelievable merit. It is believed that the more prayers one offers, the more merit he or she earns, which improves his or her chances or receiving a higher reincarnation and eventually achieving nirvana. Turning or spinning the Buddhist prayer wheels is considered so powerful that, it is compared with the power of one hundred monks praying for the whole life. One of the benefits of the prayer wheel is that it embodies all the actions of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the 10 directions. To benefit sentient beings, the buddhas and bodhisattvas manifest in the prayer wheel to purify all our negative karmas and obscurations, and to cause us to actualize the realizations of the path to enlightenment.It is believed that the prayer through the Buddhist prayer wheels grant everything a worshipper asks for.There is a heavy belief that turning the Buddhist prayer wheels with remorse and guilt will help you eliminate the four bad deeds,  the five actions of immediate retribution, the eight of the wrong views and finally the ten non-virtues.Any person who turns the Buddhist prayer wheels in his life shall never again born with any anomalies in his/her life, never born with disorders like blindness, deafness, muteness or as a cripple. Types of Prayer Wheels Buddhist prayer wheels range highly in size and styles. From a simple hand-held prayer wheel and table top prayer wheel to an enormous size of eight to twelve feet tall and with a diameter of five to six feet. It is not only the size or magnitude of a prayer wheel that defines its types. There are many types of Buddhist/Tibetan prayer wheels: Mani wheel (a hand prayer wheel)Water wheels (turned by flowing water)Fire wheel (turned by the heat of a candle or electric light)Wind wheel ( a type of prayer wheel is turned by wind)Stationary prayer wheelsElectric dharma wheels(powered by electric motors) Rotating these prayer wheels and reciting is considered one of the most thoughtful and beneficial act. Most often build in the periphery of stupas and monasteries, a number of Buddhist prayer wheels might range from a few to hundreds for people to spin them as they walk past or when they rotate around the temple or stupa in a clockwise direction. A fine example of huge numbers of prayer wheels in one place can be the famous Soyambhunath stupa, where numerous Buddhist prayer wheels are installed around the huge stupa of Soyambhunath. The mantra to recite while one is turning the Buddhist prayer wheels is: "OM MANI PADME HUM" or "OM MANI PEME HUNG". Six Syllabuses and what each syllabus means Though the mantra is interpreted in various ways depending upon different Buddhist philosophy school, here is the explanation of the mantra by Tsangsar Tulku Rinpoche. The manta has six syllabuses and each syllabus means something and represents something. The six syllabi of the mantra that is written inside the scroll of a Buddhist prayer wheel are: 1. OM It is a spiritual Sanskrit sound of Hindu foundation, holy and significant in a variety of Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. In the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM, it represents Generosity, purifies Pride / Ego and itself is represented by the color white with a symbol of Deity- Wisdom. 2. MA It represents Ethics, purifies Jealousy / Lust for entertainment and itself is represented by color Green with a symbol of Deity- Compassion. 3. NI It simply represents Patience, purifies Passion/desire and itself is represented by color Yellow with a symbol of Deity- Body, speech, mind quality and activity. 4. PAD It represents Diligence, purifies Ignorance/prejudice and itself is represented by color Blue with a symbol of Deity- Equanimity. 5. ME It represents Renunciation, purifies Poverty/possessiveness and itself is represented by color Red with the symbol of Deity- Bliss. 6. HUM It represents Wisdom, purifies Aggression/hatred and itself is represented by color Black with a symbol of Quality of Compassion. The prayer wheels are an extremely powerful tool for praying. Amitabha Buddha has said, “Anyone who recites the six syllables while turning the dharma wheel at the same time is equal in fortune to the Thousand Buddhas.” It accumulates the merit and helps to purify the obstacles of life. The Buddhist people carry them around for hours, and even on long pilgrimages, spinning them any time they have a hand free. Prayer wheels at monasteries and temples are located at the gates of the property, and devotees spin the wheels before passing through the gates. When to Use a Prayer Wheel There is no any exact definition when it comes to when to use the prayer wheels still,  one can turn the prayer wheel anytime during his/her daily meditation or mantra recitals or during when some spiritual practices are performed. The prayer wheel can also be spun while circumambulating a stupa and even when you are watching TV, listening to music or reading books along with all of your other daily works. But the Buddhist prayer shouldn’t be spun while a Lama is delivering a speech or while he is teaching. How to Use a Prayer Wheel The prayer wheel should be turned clockwise with a single-pointed concentration of body, speech, and mind. It is easy and fast to turn the prayer wheel and it does not require great physical strength or many repetitions. The activity is easy to do, the meaning and or purpose is great, and the benefit is great. Turning the Buddhist prayer wheels does not require much physical strength and many repetitions. We offer different quality of best Buddhist Prayer Wheels with or without carving, small & large size prayer wheel, please email us if you are looking to buy Buddhist Prayer Wheels. Conclusion Prayer wheels are an important part of many Buddhist’s practices because they allow for a simple and elegant way of taking mantra repetition to a new level. We believe spinning the wheel, gives the practitioner a way to break mental restlessness. Check out our prayer wheel! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqGa7z2ynyM&index=1&list=PLGHitAG-RFt9Knqe3EY11c4K9U9yIMKFM

3 months ago

Rudraksha – Things You Need to Know About Rudraksha

Rudraksha is a seed traditionally used as prayer beads in Hinduism. It is associated with the Hindu deity Lord Shiva and is commonly worn for protection and chanting Om Namah Shivaya mantra by devotees. Rudraksha Mala is a string of beads used mostly for meditation purposes. Some people wear Rudraksha Mala to balance their energies and to cure certain diseases. Rudra is one of Lord Shiva's Vedic names and Akṣa means 'teardrops'. So it also means Lord Rudra's (Lord Shiva's) teardrops. There are other sources like Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami and Kamal Narayan Seetha who describes Akṣa as an eye. So the meaning of Rudraksha could also constitute as "Eye of Lord Shiva" or "Eye of Rudra". The seeds are primarily used in Nepal and India as beads for organic jewelry or malas and are valued similarly to semi-precious stones. From One Mukhi to 21 Mukhi beads, a Rudraksha Mala is available in different combinations. And various meanings and potencies are attributed to beads with different numbers of segments (faces/mukh) and rare or unique beads are highly prized and valuable. Importance of Rudraksha Mala Found in Ancient Indian Scriptures and texts: From ancient times, the power of Holy Rudraksha beads have been scripted in various religious texts. It is said that Rudraksha Mala brings peace, tranquillity, and calmness to the person wearing it.  Spiritual bliss and material gains can be assured by wearing Rudraksha Mala. That is why we have listed some of the benefits of Rudraksha. For people constantly on the move, Rudraksha Mala creates a cocoon on their own energy helping the wearer sleep easily and make other adjustments smoothly.It is believed that chanting just one mantra diligently can do such tremendous things to anyone life.As it is known for their mystic healing properties that can help cure various physical as well as emotional disorders. It helps in making a person mentally stable and is extremely beneficial in the treatment of neurotic diseases.Rudraksha Mala is beneficial in treating many diseases of the nervous, digestive, and cardiac system, as well as eye problems, get cured as well.Rudraksha Mala saves people from sudden debts and losses, saving the wearer from utter penury.Rudraksha Mala protects the wearer from negative energies like ghosts, evil spirits and other such malefic components of our world.A Rudraksha is also very supportive for this involved in certain practices like the chanting of a mantra etc. Things to do after buying Rudraksha Mala First of all, buy an authenticate Rudraaksh mala, make sure all beads are tied properly, not too tight and mala has Sumeru bead (Bindu/Starting bead) and total bead must be 109 (Including Sumeru bead). After buying Rudraaksh mala do some rituals that are called conditioning of Rudraaksh: Wash it with clean fresh water.Clean and dry with clean cloth.Dip mala in ghee for 24 hoursThen after cleaning it and dip in cow milk for another 24 hours.Finally, wear it in the morning after Puja chanting any Shiv Mantra. Note: In case of no availability of Cow Milk and Cow Ghee, use oil. Please make sure the bowl in which you soak mala should not be made of any metal i.e. Use Glass or plastic bowl. Before wearing touch the mala on the forehead. Some do and don’t while wearing a Rudraksha Mala There are some do’s and don'ts after wearing mala that must be followed to get the maximum benefit of Rudraaksh mala. Some do after wearing Rudraaksh Mala In case you accidentally touch the Rudraaksh with other metal (like gold, silver), just remove the mala and do conditioning again and wear.Do conditioning every six months after wearing.Panchmukhi Rudraaksh can be worn by anyone above 14+ age. Don’t after wearing Rudraksha Mala Don’t Eat non-veg food.Don't drink alcohol.You can wear mala all time including sleep, defecate but make sure it doesn't get touch with metal. Not even gold chain and all. Wear either mala or any other chain. Because Rudraaksh has energy that may conflict with metal.Remove mala before going any funeral process and child birthplaces.Don't lend your mala to anyone.Don't show off your mala.If any bead breaks then replace it with a new one.Don't mix different types of Rudraaksh in a mala.Don't touch mala, again and again, it's not a fidget spinner, stop playing with it.Make sure you don't wear Ekmukhi mala, it's very powerful and rare too. About Rudraksha trees Rudraksha Tree (Elaeocarpus ganitrus roxb) grows 60-80 feet and are found from the Gangetic plain in the foothills of the Himalayas to Southeast Asia, Nepal, India, Indonesia, New Guinea to Australia, Guam, Hawaii, China, Taiwan, parts of Malaysia and Java (Indonesia). Rudraksha seeds are covered by an outer husk of the blue when fully ripe, and for this reason, are also known as blueberry beads. The blue color is not derived from pigment but is structural.  It is an evergreen tree that grows quickly. The Rudraksha tree starts bearing fruit in three to four years from germination. As the tree matures, the roots form buttresses, rising up near the trunk and radiating out along the surface of the ground. Do all the Rudraksha have the same power? Every Rudraksha has unique properties and different power from other beads. Each has different deities residing in it depending upon the faces of the Bead. If the Rudraksha acquired is a Genuine Bead of good quality and it is properly sanctified and energized with the ancient technique of rigorous Mantra recitation and Hawan. It must be then safely reached to the person who intends to wear himself. The power is to be then maintained by the person himself following regular chanting of Rudraksha Mantra and practicing regular Hawan. Can anyone wear rudraksha mala? Normally there are no restrictions, anyone can wear a Rudraksha regardless of their gender, age, nationality, and caste. However, considering the many types, beads and different origins of Rudraksha beads, it becomes imperative to seek some qualified guidance. More to this, the Rudraksha should not be cracked and broken it is important to take care of your Rudrakshas. In order to achieve the best results, it is bests to wear the Rudraksha in the manner prescribed in the ancient texts like the holy Shiva Purana, Shrimad Devi Bhagwatam, etc. Can ladies wear Rudraksha? Rudraksha can be worn by everybody. The scriptures clearly state that there is no restriction on Rudraksha based on caste, creed, and gender. Rudraksha exists from 1 Mukhi to 21 Mukhi Rudraksha each is blessed by a deity from the Hindu pantheon. The 7 Mukhi is blessed to Goddess Lakshmi, the 9 Mukhi is assigned to Goddess Durga and the 18 Mukhi is assigned to Bhumi Devi. Further, the 2 Mukhi and Gauri Shankar show Shiva and Shakti in harmony. Based on this and scriptures it is safe to conclude that women can wear the Rudraksha. What is Mukhi or Multifaceted Rudraksha? As per details found in the Purana, there are fourteen kinds of Rudraksha, which are called Mukhi or faceted Rudraksha. Mukhi or faces of Rudraksha are deep lines found on the surface of the Rudraksha from bottom to the top hole. The number of these lines decides about the type or Mukhi Rudraksha. For example, if a Rudraksha has three such lines it is called 3 Mukhi or 3 faces Rudraksha. Other handwritten Scriptures found with various saints narrate the properties of 1 to 21 Mukhi Rudraksha. It is believed that these beads were available in the ancient time from 1 to 108 Mukhi. Now they have become a rarest Natural thing. Selecting a Rudraksha Rudraksha in their natural state has their own energies that are very beneficial to the wearer. However, Rudraksha can also be specially consecrated to enhance the impact upon the wearer. Assisting the seeker in many ways, they are potent aids for one’s physical, mental wellbeing and one’s spiritual sadhana (spiritual practice). The following is a list of Rudraksha, which has been selected for use by the common man, with the corresponding attributable properties: Dwimukhi: These are two-faced Rudraksha intended for married persons. It is supportive for marital relationships and should be worn by both husband and wife. Panchmukhi: These are five-faced Rudraksha which can be worn by anyone above 14 years of age. It helps cultivate inner freedom and purity. Shanmukhi: These are six-faced Rudraksha intended for children below 14 years of age. This Rudraksha aids in proper physical and mental development and draws qualities of motherly love toward the child. Gowrishankar: These are beads which look like two beads fused together and can be worn by anyone above 14 years of age. It aids in prosperity and balancing the Ida and Pingala Nadis (energy channels) and activates the seven chakras. Why does rudraksha have 108 beads? A healthy person breathes 21,600 times in a day. As per Shastras, out of 21,600 breaths, if a person gives half of these breaths to worldly activities then he should give at least the half of it, i.e. 10,800 breaths to spiritual practice. But the same is not easily possible. Therefore, if we can remember the almighty in one-hundredth part of 10,800 breaths, with devotion and fervor, they are hundred-fold strong. On this basis, the Rudraksha mala has 108 beads.

3 months ago

This Week’s Top Story: Nepali Pashmina or Cashmere

The softest, highly delicate and fluffy pashmina is considered to be the unique piece of fabric that has been supplied by the dexterity of Nepalese. Nepali Pashmina is a form of handicraft which can be regarded as a high quality handmade woolen product with multipurpose usage. It is characterized by an incredibly soft finish, which is a result of delicate fibers that are almost silky to the touch. Basically, the warmth and the qualities are the main factors on which the pashmina is judged. But not all Pashmina is equally luxe: The texture, color, and length of the fibers all affect manufacturing and pricing. Pashmina products have found to be the third largest overseas export in the country along with readymade garment and hand knitted woolen carpet. In ancient times "Pashmina" was found in unblended form but these days it can also be found with the combination of silk, cotton and many more. In the long run with the varied experience and Pashmina yarn and silk yarn were combined. This result to produce better durability, fiber-strength, color-pleasantness, and well-finishing touch which become most prevalent all over the world and recognized as "Nepalese Pashmina". Pashmina came to be known as 'cashmere' in the West because Europeans first encountered this fabric in Kashmir. Being the finest natural insulating fiber it is also recognized as the Diamond fiber. For thousands of years, Cashmere or Pashmina shawls have been manufactured in Nepal. The pashmina’s history was allied with ancient civilization. During those days it was considered as the Fibre for Royals & Emperors only. People living in the high Himalayas discovered the essence and wonder of Pashmina. What animal is pashmina wool from? Pashmina is the fiber made up with the extract from the Himalayan goat also recognize as Chyangra which live in the Himalayan belt at the altitude above 14,000 feet above sea level. This unique coat of hair is about 1/6 of the diameter of any other types of hair. The wool comes from four distinct breeds of the Cashmere goat; namely the Changthangi or Kashmir Pashmina goat from the Changthang Plateau in Kashmir region, the Malra from Kargil area in Kashmir region, the Chegu from Himachal Pradesh in northern India, and Chyangara or Nepalese Pashmina goat from Nepal. Quality of the Pashmina also depends on the region in which the wool is collected. Up in the Himalayas, goats grow very fine hair to keep them warm during the colder Winters, so this fine hair is much better for producing super soft Pashmina. In Inner Mongolia, for instance, the winters are harsh and the goats have a more meager diet, which produces the finer hair seen in the highest quality garments. Types of Pashmina Types of Pasmina vary a huge amount, and it all depends on the environmental factors around the animal it comes from. Under the latest technicalities with new experiments and proper market, this product can be found in more and more sophisticated form providing the new prospect for this Pashmina handicraft Industry. Furthermore, the most luxurious Pashmina wool comes from the area, where the yarn is noted for its long, smooth straight fibers. As well as the thickness of the hairs, the length of the hair makes a difference in Pashmina quality. The longer each hair, the better the fabric will be in terms of pilling and achieving the fluffy quality that we love so much. Difference between Pashmina and Cashmere People often get confused between Cashmere scarf and Pashmina scarf, Cashmere shawl, and Pashmina shawl while there is very little difference. Cashmere is the westernized word originated from the Kashmir region of India and Pashmina is the local name came from “Pashm” a Persian word which means wool made from a special breed of Persian goats. Traditionally, Pashmina was lighter and softer than Cashmere which is why it was predominantly used for making shawls and scarves. Why Pashmina is much more expensive than other kinds of wool? Its costly production process and scarcity. As mention above it comes from the soft undercoat of goats bred to produce the wool. More to this, it takes the entire annual growth of three of these goats to make just one pashmina shawl. The fibers of the warming undercoat must be separated from a coarser protective top coat during the spring molting season, a labor-intensive process that typically involves combing and sorting the hair by hand. Plus, the fineness of a  Pashmina item comes down to that process, as the spinning and weaving of the fabric affects the look, feel, and the touch of the final product. These factors contribute to the relatively low global production rate of cashmere. Can Pashmina be blended with other high-quality fibers? Yes, it can be blended with other high-quality fibers. Pasmina is found to be the most durable and cozy fiber suitable for human skin providing warmth and comfort. It can be blended with conventional sheep’s wool to make a yarn that is more affordable, or with merino wool or silk to create a truly unique and special yarn. How to tell if your Pashmina is high quality With proper care, Pashminas can be used lifelong and we have encountered that this has been hand over from generation to generation even in Royal and wealthy families. Normally, the higher the percentage of Cashmere in a garment, the higher quality that the product will be. Since it can be blended easily with other high-quality fibers then how to know whether the pashmina you are wearing is high quality or not! The first thing to check whether you’re getting the good stuff or not is by looking for a tightly knitted product. A tighter knit is generally indicative of two-ply yarn. This means two pieces of yarn were twisted together in the manufacturing of the product, which means a stronger and warmer garment which will last much longer. It’s also important to look out for bright colors – brighter hues mean the Pashmina was very clean to start with and that the dying process was first-class. Touch the product to see if it is soft and light and place it on your neck to test if it is itchy or not. Often Cashmere is spun with silk to retain its luxurious silky soft quality, without being prone to excess pilling (those small bobbles which form on the fabric’s surface) which can happen with 100% Cashmere garments. What distinguishes Pashmina clothing? Material made of high-quality pashmina is wonderfully soft and very lightweight. In addition, pashmina has extraordinary thermal properties, retaining heat much longer than most other materials and for this reason, it is especially well suited for luxurious winter fashion. But during the warmer months, you don’t have to give up the alluring comfort of cashmere, because it can also be processed into a delicate summer yarn. How to take care of pashmina? It is very important to note a few things about proper care and cleaning of Pashmina. A gentle handwash in cold water followed by drying flat will help your garment to retain its shape. It is best to use a special detergent designed exclusively for Pashmina. So that cashmere wool can retain its pleasant feel and outstanding properties After extended wear, pilling can occasionally occur. In this case, some of the fibers have become knotted, causing small balls of fluff to appear on the surface of the material. But with the help of a wool razor, your favorite piece will look just like new again. Conclusion Pashmina is versatile and can be adorned on various occasions. In winters, regardless of how boring your outfit is a Pashmina scarf is a staple fashion accessory for every look you create.  The best part of these natural fibers is that it can be used for much more than just warmth. And when it comes to styling with a Pashmina scarf, nothing can beat the versatility of this fabric.

3 months ago

Popular Nepali Musical Instruments

Music is unavoidable in Nepali culture. Either listening to the song, humming the tunes or playing the instruments, from festivals to Jatras, marriages to cultural program and many other ceremonies everyone loves music. But have different ways to enjoy it and the traditional instruments differ accordingly too. Being rich in culture and traditions, Nepal has many traditional musical instruments which produce melodious sounds. There are basically three categories of Nepali musical instruments: Percussion- Instrument that usually has a single note but is great for rhythm. Wind- Instruments that have a length of air that vibrates, so are blown String- They have vibrating strings of different lengths. It could be as a hobby or as a career choice. Millions of people all over the world play all kinds of instruments as a way to express themselves. The music in Nepal is played from Mountain to Hill and Hill to Madesh. There are hundreds of instruments developed in Nepal. A research found that about 200 original instruments developed in Nepal. 108 types are still in play across the nation. Panche Baja is one of the famous musical instruments in Nepal. Most of the instruments developed in Nepal are still being used by the Newar Community. These musical instruments are popular not just in the country but also internationally and give a facet of Nepali culture and art. Here we have listed out some of the popular Musical Instrument in Nepal: Madal Madal The Madal is used mainly for rhythm-keeping in Nepalese folk music, is the most popular and widely used as hand drum in Nepal. This typical Nepalese percussion instrument is the backbone of most of Nepali folk music. The Madal consists of a cylindrical body with a slight bulge at its center and heads at both ends, one head larger than the other. This instrument is made especially with skin stretched over both of the ends of a wooden hollow tube and tightened with leather strings. It is one of the famous folk musical instruments associated with our culture and lifestyle. It is believed that it was first introduced by the Magar community, it is equally famous and used by almost all of the Nepalese society. The madal has a strand that goes around the waist of the person playing it to hold it horizontally. Playing technique involves rhythmic struck one either ends (heads) with palm. The heads vibrate to produce sound when struck. It is mostly used in Nepali folk song. No one can still stand when people start, beating madal singing Nepali folk song (Nepali Lok geet). Bansuri Bansuri Bansuri is a simple cylindrical tube of a uniform bore and associated with Nepali music since time immemorial. The Bansuri is made of a single length of bamboo and has six to eight open fingers holes which represent the musical notes. Bansuri (literally Bamboo Flute) is a cylindrical tube made of bamboo with a uniform bore and closed at one end. Bansuri is held horizontally and is inclined downwards when it is played. To produce sound or melody one has to cover the finger holes with the fingers of the left and right hand. Variations in pitch are produced by altering the effective length of the air column. The range of the bansuri or flute is about 2 and a half octaves. Long bansuris or flutes have a rich, deep and mellow tone whereas in small bansuris or flutes the tone is high pitched. Sarangi Sarangi Sarangi, traditional a folk musical instrument especially played by Gandharva community in Nepal. Gandharvas used to travel across the nation and go home to home sing the song of current affairs. Thus, sarangi in Nepal has been used as an instrument used to convey the message and news across the country. It resembles the violin in western culture. Sarangi in Nepal is played from so many years and have its own famous rhythms and tones. The string-instrument is made of a piece of wood, the bottom of which is made a hollow and four pieces of strings are fastened tightly with four wooden nails fixed on the top of it. It is played by rubbing on a group of strings especially left and right repeatedly with a small stick, which is fastened with some strings. [product_embedder_blogs product_id="858"] Murchunga Murchanga Murchunga is a musical instrument it consists of a flexible metal or bamboo tongue or reed attached to a frame and it produces the sound like Binayo. Murchunga is also practiced among Kiranti people. It is played by plucking its metal wire reed with forefinger being gripped between the teeth. The volume of the note can be varied by breathing in and out. [product_embedder_blogs product_id="858"] Dhimay Dhimaya, Dhimaya or Dhimabaja is a drum played by the Newars in Nepal is played together with other musical instruments. The size of this instrument varies from a diameter of 40 inches to 51 inches and a length of 17 inches to 21 inches. The shell of the drum is made of wood or metal. The shape of old Dhimay drums is most irregular, formed by the natural shape of the piece of wood being used to make the drum body. Modern drums are either cylindrical or slightly barrel-shaped. Both heads are made of goatskin. On the inside of the left membrane, called Mankhah (Haima in Bhaktapur) a red tuning paste is applicated, providing a deep sound. There are two kinds of dhimay. The smaller ones are called "Dhaacha Dhimay" and bigger dhimay are called "Ma Dhimay". Panche Baja These instruments form the Panche Baja Photo Courtesy: Bishnu K.C Panche Baja is called so because it is the group of five musical instruments played together. The five musical instruments in Panche Baja are. 1. Jhyamta/Jhurma (Cymbal):  It is one of the Panche Baja. It is a couple of flat round dish-like musical instrument made of brass or bronze, played by beating on each other. 2. Nagara/Damaha (A Drum): It is also one of the Panche Baja. It is made of leather stretched over an end of a hollow copper bowl played by hitting with hands or sticks. 3. Tyamko: It is also one of the Panche Baja. It is similar to Damaha in shape but very small in size, played with two pieces of sticks called Gajo. 4. Sanai (A kind of clarinet): It is one of the Panche Baja. It is made of a metal shaped like a pipe slightly bent forward has a couple of holes, reed on the top that you blow into. 5. Narsingha (A Trumpet): It is one of Panache Baja Bajas made of two pieces curved copper tube that is played by blowing air through its mouthpiece. Jhyali Jhyali is a traditional folk percussion instrument from Nepal. They are thinly walled, consist of a pair of round, metal plates, resembling cymbals, and are used in both folk and classical music in Nepal. Unlike most percussion instruments around the world, the Jhyali is played by rubbing the plates with the right hand rising and the left hand descending at the time when they clash. These percussion instruments are made by a Nepali alloy that is called Pancha dhatu, which means five metals. The alloy consists of brass, copper, silver, zinc, and gold, and are usually made by blacksmiths. Tungna: This is a popular musical instrument used in the Himalayan region. It is made from rhododendron and has four wires like the Sarangi. Khainjadi (A tambourine) It is a kind of small drum made of skin stretched over an edge of a rounded hollow wood. It is also played during Bhajan-kirtan by Hindus. Khaijadi is especially played on the occasion of singing a kind of song called Roila and Balam. Traditional Nepali-styled tambourine, completely hand-made using ox hide, seasoned wood, and bronze. Today it has been replaced by plastic tambourines. Sankha: It is made up of a large shell of the conch found in the sea and ocean. It is played by blowing air with our mouth. It is played during puja and other religious ceremonies of the Hindus. It is also blown when the dead body is taken to ghat for cremation. Damphu: This musical instrument is used in the Tamang community and made by covering the wood with leather. Dholak: It is made of wood which is hollow inside and covered with leather. Dhyangro: It is a type of drum made of hollow wood by stretching leather both of its edges and played with a curved stick called Gajo. It is specially used by faith healers (Dhami/Jhakri) on the occasion of worshiping or treating people. This is a traditional medical treatment prevailing in Nepal. Pungi: It is made by coconut shell and a hollow bamboo pipe. It is played in the Terai to show the snake dance. Yalamber: It is made of bamboo with two wires. It is used by the Kirat community. Ekatare: It is used by the sages and ascetics. It is made of wood, leather, and string. Urni: It is played especially by Dhimal Community made of the outer hardcover of the coconut by stretching leather and fastening a string with a rod. Masak: It looks like a Sarangi, which is popular in Bajhang area. Dakkari A popular musical instrument in the Mithila region is made of wood joining six strings on it. Irlung pipari It is made of horns of Krishna Saar (black antelope) and used to produce sound blowing into. It is especially used by Jogis blow around the houses of people believing that there will be no harm from evils.

3 months ago

Top 10 Tallest Lord Shiva Statues from Nepal and World

Har Har Mahadev! The Hindu god Shiva (Sanskrit: Auspicious One) is one of the principal deities of Hinduism worshiped as the paramount lord by the Saivite sects of Nepal. Also known as the "destroyer and the restorer" within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu. Shiva is the Supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the universe. The iconographical attributes of Shiva are the serpent around his neck, the adorning crescent moon, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the third eye on his forehead, the trishula or trident, as his weapon, and the damaru drum. He is usually worshipped in the aniconic form of Lingam. Since time immemorial, Nepal has been renowned as the abode of Hindus and Hinduism. So, needless to say, quaint as well as larger-than-life temples have been dotted around the country. But, in this list, rather than telling you few of the temples of so-and-so Gods and Goddesses, ImartNepal try to chart the tallest statues of Lord Shiva from Nepal and more from around the world. Yes, you read that right—the tallest Lord Shiva statues in the world. So, without wasting any more time, here we go— 1. Kailashnath Mahadev Statue (Nepal – 143ft) Kailashnath Mahadev Statue is the world's tallest Shiva statue in standing pose. It is situated in Sanga, on the border of the Bhaktapur and Kavrepalanchwok districts in Nepal, about 20 km from Kathmandu. The color of the statue is copper and the face is serene, pleasant and welcoming to the believers and travelers. The statue is 143 feet (43.5 m) in height and is made using copper, zinc, concrete, and steel. According to the List of statues by height, Kailashnath Mahadev is the world’s fortieth-tallest statue, four places after the Statue of Liberty. Due to the number of visitors, the statue has contributed to the religious tourism in Nepal, both locally and internationally. Designed to resemble images of the Hindu god, Lord Shiva, and seen as a marvel of Nepalese engineering, the statue's construction began in 2003 and was completed in 2010. Kailashnath Mahadev Statue (Source) 2. Shiva Of Murudeshwara (Kannada, Karnataka  – 122ft) A statue of Lord Shiva is in Murudeshwara town in Bhatkal Taluq, Uttara Kannada District in Karnataka is the second biggest statue of Lord Shiva in the world after the statue in Nepal. The statue and temple are located on the beach in Murudeshwara, which lies on the Arabian Sea coastal line. Shiva, here, is silver colored and seated. His eyes are open and pleasant. The ornaments and jewels are gold colored.  The Murudeshwar Temple is one of the popular temples in Karnataka. It has a blend of modern and traditional architecture. The statue was built by Kashinath and financed by a businessman named R.N.Shetty. Murdeshwar, Karnataka (Source) 3. Sarveshwar Mahadev Statue (Sursagar Lake, Vadodara, Gujarat – 120ft) Sur Sagar lake also known as the Chand Talao is a lake situated in the middle of the city of Vadodara in the State of Gujarat in India.  A 120 ft tall statue of Lord Shiva built by Vadodara Mahanagar Seva Sadan stands in the middle of the lake. The special lighting arrangement on this statue gives a tremendous effect during the late evening and night hours. Sarveshwar Mahadev Statue (Source) 4. ‘Adiyogi’ Lord Shiva Statue (Coimbatore – 112ft) The 112 feet tall ‘Adiyogi’ statue of the Hindu deity Lord Shiva with white Thirunamam at Coimbatore in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu; which has been recognized by the Guinness World Records as the "Largest Bust Sculpture” in the world. The face of Adiyogi, set up by the Isha Foundation led by spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev, attracts thousands of people every day. Sadhguru said that the statue is for inspiring and promoting yoga, and is named Adiyogi, which means “the first yogi” because Shiva is known as the originator of yoga. ‘Adiyogi’ Lord Shiva Statue (Source) 5. Namchi Statue (Siddheshwar Dham, Sikkim – 108 ft) A unique pilgrim center with a 108 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva, this pilgrim center also has replicas of the twelve Jyotirlingas to offer one platform for Shiva devotees. Siddhesvara Dham. Siddhesvara Dham in Sikkim created atop Solophok hilltop, 5km from Namchi, models of sacred Chardham Hindu Temples of Jagannath, Badrinath, Dwaraka and Rameswaram and an 18-feet statue of Kirateshwar a hunter incarnation of Shiva. Solophok Hill has a historical fact in religious belief. In Hindu mythology, it is believed that Lord Shiva, after losing Sati in Agnikund, had gone into seclusion and became a hunter in the forests of Sikkim. Namchi Statue (Source) 6. Mankamaeshwar Temple  (Shiva Statue at Allahabad 108 ft) Situated in the holy city of Allahabad, right on the banks of the holy River Ganga, this grand statue is often referred to as the Symbol of Allahad—the holy land of Sangam. The statue is located right where the famous and holy Kumbh Mela takes place at every regular interval. However, the most striking feature of this 33 meters high statue is the grand statue of a bull (Nandi) of Lord Shiva overlooking him. Mankamaeshwar Temple 7. Mangal Mahadev (Mauritius) 107ft Mangal Mahadev is one of the unique statuses of Lord Shiva which is 107 feet tall and stands tall in the Ganga Talao Lake in Mauritius. During your visit to this sacred site, you will inevitably be awestruck by the gigantic statue of Lord Shiva, the Destroyer. However, fear not about your doom, at Grand Bassin you will find the Hindu God of destruction smiling and as peaceful as ever. Although the lord is always seen in the backdrop of Himalayas,  this statue is very unique. It stands tall in the hottest beach destination, Mauritius. Mangal Mahadev (Source) 8. Shiva Of The Har-ki-Pauri (Haridwar) 101ft Situated in the highly sacred place of the Hindus (Haridwar), this statue is as high as 30.5 m. At the banks of Ganges, Shiva blesses devotees and those who are keen on doing Badri yatra, take a glimpse of Shiva and continue their journey to Badri. The huge dimension of Lord Shiva of the Har-ki-Pauri is as high as 90 feet tall situated on the banks of river Ganga. Har Ki Pauri, Hardwar, Uttarakhand 9. Shivagiri Statue (Bijapur, Karnataka) 85ft Lord Shiva Statue is an 85 feet tall Shiva Statue that has been installed by the T.K. Patil Banakatti Charitable Trust in Vijayapura (Bijapur) on Sindagi Road. It is slowly making as a pilgrimage location. It was prepared by sculptors from Shimoga for above 13 months plus the civilian design was supplied by Bangalore-situated architects. Shivagiri Statue (Source) 10. Nageshwar Statue (Dwarka, Gujarat) 82 feet Nageshwar Statue is located at Daarukavanam near Dwarka, Gujarat. A huge yet attractive statue of Lord Shiva in the yogic posture is a major attraction Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple. Nageshvara Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. T-Series Music Company owner Late Gulshan Kumar renovated this temple and was later completed by his family after his death. Nageshwar Statue (Source)

4 months ago

Malla period: The Golden Age of Sculpture and Art

Nepalese traditional arts and architectures are totally dominant of Hindu and Buddhist religious philosophy which are reflected by various kind of painting images, statue sculpture of deities, temples, monasteries, old squares, and other monuments. While many inventions have made artmaking easier and available to all, others have conducted in radical concepts and new understandings of how we define “art.” Especially Kathmandu valley's squares, monasteries, surrounding areas’ various pilgrimage places, Lumbini, Janakpur and, world heritage spots are main evidence of Nepalese traditional arts and architectures. In Kathmandu valley, both neighboring ancient cities Patan and Bhaktapur are well renowned due to its wonderful tradition in subjects of Nepalese traditional arts and architectures ever outstanding. Some artistic innovations from centuries ago are now so deeply ingrained in the modern consciousness, it’s hard to imagine what art would be without them. It is undoubtful that Nepal is rich in art, culture, traditional values, warm hospitality, and very own distinct history. During the Malla period, which spanned more than five hundred years (1200-1769), trade, agriculture, religion, and culture flourished in the Kathmandu Valley, fostering tremendous growth in the production of sacred art. Below we share the brief history of Malla art that, whether historically, practically, or conceptually, have changed artmaking for good. 1. Krishna Temple The octagonal Krishna Temple was built in 1648-49 by Pratap Malla, either as a response to rival Siddhinarshingh Malla's Krishna Temple in Patan or as a religious consolation for his earlier failure to conquer that city, or in memory of his two wives, or a combination of all three. The three-tiered traditional Newari building is supported by stone columns around the circumference of the base. The image of Krishna inside the temple is accompanied by his two wives, Satyabhama and Rukmani, all of which, according to a Sanskrit inscription, bears a deliberate resemblance to Pratap Malla and his own two queens. Inside are the images of Krishna and two goddesses, which, according to a Sanskrit inscription, are modeled on the king and his two wives. 2. Stone inscription Pratap Malla’s inscription in 15 languages Pratap Malla's stone inscription in Kathmandu Durbar Square which he set up on 14 January 1664. We can clearly discern the English word WINTER.On the outside of the white wall of Kathmandu Durbar, opposite the Vishnu Temple, is a long low stone inscription to the goddess Kalika written in fifteen different languages, including European languages. Pratap Malla, renowned for his linguistic abilities, set up this inscription on 14 January 1664. A legend tells that milk will flow from the spout in the middle if somebody is able to decipher all fifteen languages. 3. Kal Bhairav Statue Kalbhairav Statue, Shiva in his destructive manifestation, at Hanuman Dhoka Dharwar Square North of the Jagannath Temple is the figure of Kala Bhairab. Bhairab is Shiva in his most fearsome aspect, and this huge stone image of the terrifying Kala Bhairab has six arms, wears a garland of skulls and tramples on a corpse, which is symbolic of human ignorance. The figure is said to have been brought to its present location by Pratap Malla, having been found in a field to the north of the city. The image was originally cut from a single stone but the upper left-hand corner has since been repaired. It is said that telling a lie while standing before Kala Bhairab will bring instant death and it was once used as a form of trial by ordeal. 4. Pratap Malla's Column Statue of Pratap Malla with his wives and sons at Hanuman Dhoka Palace.Across from the Krishna Temple, standing on a slightly raised platform in front of the Hanuman Dhoka is the square stone pillar, known as the Pratap Dhvaja. It is topped by a statue of King Pratap Malla, seated with folded hands and surrounded by his two wives and his five (including an infant) sons. He looks towards his private prayer room on the third floor of the Degutaleju Temple. The column was erected in 1670 by Pratap Malla and preceded the similar columns in Patan and Bhaktapur. 5. Taleju Bhawani Taleju became the guardian deity of the Malla kings and Taleju temples were built in her honor in all the three cities. The temple is one-storeyed. The artworks found in the temple are regarded among best in Nepal. The temple square consists of two shrines for two female deities, Taleju Bhawani and Kumari. The temple of Taleju has always been one of Bhaktapur’s most sacred spots, traditionally closed to all but the reigning kings. The Taleju temple stands in the Mulchok Court. At present, only Hindus are allowed to go inside the temple and the goddess cannot be photographed. 6. Kumari Ghar Just beside the Kathmandu Durbar Square, there stands big 3 storied Kumari Ghar which is home for the kumaris “The Living Goddess of Nepal”. It is, therefore, the holy monument for all the Nepalese that exemplify the ornate craftsmanship. Typically, it is popular for extra-ordinary carved wooden balconies and windows comprising gold crafted window as well which was built by King Jaya Prakash Malla in 1727 A.D. Tourist may enter through the courtyard and are allowed to take pictures where they will find the immense masterful traditional carving of gods and the symbols over doors, pillars, and windows but they are strictly prohibited to take pictures of kumari who sometimes appear at any of the windows of the first floor. You may be interested in:[product_embedder_blogs product_id="2100"][product_embedder_blogs product_id="1558"] 7. Rani Pokhari Ranipokhari lies in the heart of Kathmandu, with about fifteen minutes’ walk from Kathmandu Durbar Square. Rani Pokhari, meaning Queen's pond, is the artificial square-shaped pond with the temple of Shiva in the middle. The Rani in question was Pratap Malla's queen who in 1667 commissioned its construction in memory of their son, Chakravatendra Malla, who, following his father's abdication in favor of his four sons each of whom would rule for one year, died on the second day of his reign, apparently having been trampled by an elephant. The water with which the pond was originally filled was taken from fifty-one sacred rivers throughout Nepal and India, thus ensuring its sanctity. The temple in the middle of the pond has a domed roof reminiscent of classical Indian Mughal architecture and is surmounted by a copper spire. The main image is of the Shiva lingam, but other deities also feature. Four small shrines at each corner contain images of Bhirab, Harishankar, Shakti, and Tarkeshwari. On the southern embankment is a statue of an elephant carrying three passengers on its back, thought to be three of the male members of the Pratap Malla's family, while a fourth person is held in its trunk. Various myths and legends have come to be associated with Rani Pokhari over the years. It is said to be haunted by ghosts, including one especially seductive female specter which managed to unnerve even the great Pratap Malla. The pond is fenced with iron bars, apparently to prevent suicide by drowning, and opened once a year during Bhaitika, the fifth and final day of Tihar. It has been over two years since President Bidya Devi Bhandari laid the foundation stone to mark the beginning of the Rani Pokhari’s reconstruction, on January 16, 2016, following the 2015 earthquake that had badly damaged the structure. 8. Gai Jatra When King Pratap Malla lost his son, his wife, the queen, remained grief-stricken. The king was very sad to see the condition of his beloved queen. The king, in spite of several efforts, could not lessen the grief of his wife. He desperately wanted to see a little smile on her lips; so he announced that anyone who made the queen laugh would be rewarded adequately. During the festival of Gai Jatra, the cow procession was brought before the grief-stricken queen. Then the participants began ridiculing and mocking the important people of the society. Finally, when the social injustices and other evils were highlighted and attacked mercilessly, the queen could not help but smile. The queen laughed and the king instituted a tradition of including jokes, satire, mockery and lampoon into the Gaijatra celebration. As per the traditions, every family who has lost a relative during that past year participates in a procession through the streets leading a cow. If a cow is unavailable, a young boy dressed as a cow is substituted. 9. Swayambhunath In 1614 additions and renovations of Swayambhunath complex were made by Zhamarpa VI during the reign of Pratap Malla. Access from Kathmandu was improved with the construction of a long stairway and a bridge across the Vishnumati.  At the bottom of the 400 stone steps are three painted images symbolizing the Three Precious Jewels of Buddhism, which were erected in 1637 by Pratap Malla and his son, Lakshmana Singh Malla. 10. Shikara-style Shiva temple in Bhaktapur In 1674 Jitamitra Malla built a Shikara-style Shiva temple with a gilded repousse mask of the God on each side in Bhaktapur. In 1682 he built near the Durbar the two-storied Dharmasala Palace in which there is a golden Mahadeva. The palace was used by royalty until 1769 and today is a museum and part of the World Heritage Site on Durbar Square. To the east of this, he erected the temple and statue of Narayana, along with the temples of Dattatrikasa and Pashupati. An inscription in 1678 states that he built the royal palace Thanathu Dubar and its gardens and courtyard. Jitamitra was also credited with restoring Kumari Chowk, the images of Astamatrikas and in 1690, donated two large cooper kettledrums (nagara) or bells to his favorite deity, the goddess Taleju for the gilded roof of Taleju. He also contributed a finely carved wooden tympanum above the main entrance to the Mul Chowk and also erected many memorials in Bhaktapur. 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4 months ago

Beautifully Timeless, Iconic and Much-Loved Sarangi Players of Nepal

Sarangi, a traditional Nepali musical instrument is the best friend of Ghandarvas - a community of Kaski district. Their songs’ power comes from their soul instruments—the sarangi and the arbaja—and in that haunting voice they are known for, they bring forth the bhakas, the stories, the karkhas, the seasonal songs, and the festive songs. Sarangi a four-stringed instrument played upright, with a bow is handcrafted out of a single piece of wood, hollowed at the base then covered with leather. It is played by rubbing on the wire and can be said to be a miniature version of violin owing to its technique and structure. The people of Gandharva community play this instrument along with the song they compose about real life incidents and events which they can relate with. The instrument's sound resembles the human voice laced with rich oriental undertones. In times, prior to postal era, telephones and introduction of modern technologies the Ghandarvas traveled singing about legendary heroes, ongoing battles and incidents of what they saw on their journeys. Today, because of digital connectivity, the time-honored storytellers Gandharvas have been losing their authenticity rapidly. Though the sarangi holds a significant role in the folk genre of Nepalese music due to globalization and commercialization of music and entertainment, the tradition is slowly dying and the instrument itself faces extinction. Despite, Gandharvas losing their identity, there are still few places in Nepal where the authentic Gandharva culture can be a witness at its best. In previous years, Late Jhalak Man Ghandarva, Khim Bahadur Ghandarva, and Tirtha Bahadur Ghandarva and many others have won the hearts of several traditional music lovers to become the national figures. In between performance by Chec Bahadur Gandharva, Buddhiman Gandharva, Gopi Lal Gandharva, Akal Gandharva, and Gyanendra Gandharva is noticeable. Furthermore, the Batulechaur in Pokhara is one of the major places where few old hands are schooling the young ones to preserve the rich Ghandarva culture of Sarangi Music. Here we present few Iconic and Much-Loved Sarangi Players of Nepal Jhalak Man Gandarbha Jhalak Man Gandarbha Late Jhalak Man Gandarbha is one of the most significant Nepali folk singers. He is popular for Gandarbha Sangeet, a popular type of folk song sung only by the Gandarbha ethnic group of Nepal. He is the first singer to record a song and is respected for bringing the voice of indigenous and ordinary people into the mass media. Aamale Sodhlin Ni ... (Mother may ask ...) is by far his most popular song, which intones the death of a Nepali soldier on a foreign battleground. To honor the greatest Nepalese singer the government of Nepal has built few statues for Gandarbha. Khim Bahadur Gandarbha Khim Bahadur Gandarbha Khim Bahadur Gandarbha is an old, well-traveled talented musician as well as a revered teacher living in the place called Batulechaur. He started teaching more than a decade ago with the hope to pass on the knowledge and tradition gathered from a lifetime of accomplishment. He has taught more than 250 students about the traditional way to play Sarangi and his students are from Batulechaur to as far as Mexico and Finland, America and Switzerland. He has been honored with many awards and recognition and his tiny home is adorned with pictures and medals describing the story of his success and achievements. He had also received a medal from Chairman Mao, the late leader of China and from King Mahendra along with a lifetime recognition award by Pokhara’s Rotary Club for his dedication to teaching at Pokhara’s Institute for the arts, the Sangee. Hom Bahadur Gandharva Popular sarangi player, Hom Bahadur Gandharva is from Palpa. Hom Bahadur is a popular singer cum musician who hails from the western hills of the country and is famous for his song “Honi Maya”. Kiran Nepali Gandarbha Kiran Nepali Gandarbha Kiran Nepali, a renowned Sarangi player from Nepal, is a member of the folk band Kutumba. He is a third generation Sarangi player in his family and explains that he is greatly influenced by his grandfather, father, and uncles, who were all Sarangi players of their times. Kiran spent 4 weeks studying the Sarangi in the Batulechaur area, a well-known Gandharva settlement close to Pokhara. Kiran also plays the guitar and teaches Sarangi at the Mitrata Music Program, created by the PFC Foundation in an orphanage located in Kathmandu. He is running a project called "Project Sarangi" to promote the folk music of Nepal. He says, "The sarangi is not a very loud instrument. Musicians try to work with microphones on stage, but there is a lot of feedback to deal with" In this journey Kiran, the sarangi player has in many ways, been a catalyst for the evolution of the ethnic instrument. And it’s definitely more than just wanting to play a unique instrument. It’s about developing what you love. Music has always been an important part of our culture. Ram Prasad Kadel and the Music Museum of Nepal have been working as fast as they can for many years to record as many of the old masters as they can for their archives. As Ram explains it, preserving some of the great old traditions, so he is working as hard as he can to save these jewels for future generations. But with little money and resources, his museum is still quite humble and small, though beautiful and very well presented. More to this, the Mountain Music Project made a documentary film a few years ago on how similar Appalachian old-time music is to the Gandarbha music here in the Nepali Himalaya, they have discovered that this other cousin of traditional music has been kept alive in the US as well. Our pieces of music sound similar; scales, and themes are similar. On the Mountain Music Project CD, some of the great musicians like Tim O’Brien, Tony Triscka, Riley Baugus, Curtis Burch, and many other extremely knowledgeable pickers were blown away by how similar out music really sound. Lastly, the musical messengers, the community of occupational caste musicians Ghandarva, fulfilled the exclusive role of relaying information from one place to another with soft musical tone played with the traditional Nepali musical instrument Sarangi. Their music needs to reach people who will value an art form that is different than what’s mainstream because there is so much artistry, so much poetry, and so much soul in their art.Related Products:[product_embedder_blogs product_id="1924"][product_embedder_blogs product_id="771"]

4 months ago

Theki and Madani – the traditional butter making process in Nepal

With thousand-year-old cultures and diverse ancient regimes, Nepali lifestyles have always been fascinating. Time is changing so is Nepal, in recent times Nepali lifestyle had seen a gigantic shift with the intervention of modern routines in upbringing. These days’ traditional equipment and devices we used on daily basis are being replaced by modern technology. In Kathmandu valley, local technologies persist in making statue and pottery. Whereas in the Hilly region, carpet, plague, water grind mill are the prevailing technology. The shift is overwhelming as well as saddening at the same time. Why? Well! Because this change has caused the old Nepali values to lose luster and at the same time has allowed coming face to face with the boons of having a contemporary way of life. This is one good thing, however, we really miss that wonderful traditional stuff which was part and parcel of our childhood. These are directly connected to the lifestyle of every Nepali. Being the agriculture country many technologies are in practice from many years in Nepal. Butter making process is an art and science. It's not magic, but the experience of churning cream to obtain soft, smooth, fresh, butter is magical! Born in Nepal, it is instilled in us that milk, cream, butter, yogurt, buttermilk are the part of our life, and good for health. Here we present the local tradition of making butter in Nepal with THEKI AND MADANI. Theki to Churn Buttermilk Using the Theki to Churn Buttermilk Theki is the biggest of all devices used in churning butter and is the basic foundational device used. Cylindrical in shape at the body, it has a narrow neck while the mouth is a spreading fan-like structure. It is most commonly made up of darigitho wood. It is usually used to store milk fat and make butter out of it which can later be cooked to make the clarified butter also known as ghee and also make buttered milk. The "Theki" is only a vessel, whereas the "Madani" is like a thick stick with turbines at one end. To make all these products we first need to keep the "Theki and Madani" near a pillar so that Madani can be tied very loosely (in fact right parallel to the pillar). The "Madani" is then wrapped around spirally by another rope in such a manner that when you pull one side the other gets smaller (if that makes sense just like a hand exercise). The curd accumulated over a period of few days is brought and collected in the Theki. The "Madani" is then kept inside the "Theki" with milk fat in it. Slowly the person starts to rotate the "Madani" until the butter separates from the curd. As there are turbines present it works like a mixer grinder and separates the fat and the buttered milk. Addition of hot water in the middle of the process can fasten the process. This chum-staff moves in alternate rotational movements caused by the pulling of a leather strap which is wound around the axle of the beater. The fat floats on the top which are collected both ready to eat or make clarified butter and the buttered milk remains at the bottom are usually sour but thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. In Short,1. Use Theki- a wooden tub and a Madani - a stirrer.2. Separate butter oil from raw milk to preserve milk fat. Butter is not rinsed, but it is immediately heated to make butter oil. Butter melts immediately and will start to bubble when it is heated. A clear, liquid butter oil is formed when the bubbling stops. It is said that butter oil can keep for several years at room temperature. It has become a valuable seasoning used to flavor dishes. As in whole, butter churning is an important part of Nepalese livelihood. Not only a part of a day to day activity, it is a component of traditional culture and identity of Nepalese society. Theki in Nepal is considered sacred, it is not washed with other utensils and people generally do not touch a Theki while they are eating or with the same hand with which you have had non- vegetarian food. The reason for that is once the butter is extracted, it is offered to God over a burning heap of coal, which releases a nice buttery aroma purifying the whole house. This characteristic of the milk processing technique transcending the framework of ethnic groups and shared in a region. Some people might never know how much calories are burned to Make Ghee/Butter by this process. Later, this cream is collected and eaten by mixing with rice or Htsampa (Htsampa refers to roasted barley flour). Theki and Madani now are turning out to be an antique household item; very few houses in the villages have it. We don’t think people living in the cities own it anymore. If you are planning to acquire one then we strongly recommend you to do so. If you don’t intend to use it at all or would want to use it occasionally, it will make for a good antique showpiece in your living room or any other part of your house.

5 months ago

Festivals Celebrated In Nepal

Festivals celebrated in Nepal Being a multicultural country, there are so many festivals in Nepal. Albeit native, I find it difficult to keep track of so many Nepali festivals as they seem occur almost every month. Nepal is often considered to be the mystic Hindu kingdom which is not entirely true, as the country accepted the system of federal republic and secularism after the second popular movement of 2006. if you happen to glance the recent census of Nepal, you’ll observe multitude of races residing in different parts of the country and been following their own set of culture. Festivals appear as joyous part of the culture during which the people celebrate with the family, community and relatives. Originally, festivals were celebrated to mark any auspicious occasions like good harvest, plenty of rainfall, abundance of domesticated cattle in the agrarian society. So, the practice of agriculture in Nepal can be taken as one of the major reasons for the endless festivities.   Festivals in Nepal differ depending upon the people celebrating it; it might be whole country, a certain race, people belonging to certain geography, a certain religion, certain gender et cetera. I am going to divide the festivals under the headings I mentioned so that you’ll get to know the major ones in detail.   Festivals celebrated by whole country: Though Nepal is a secular country, more than 80 percent of people follow Hinduism, making Hinduism as DE-facto religion. So, two major festivals Dashain and Tihar (Deepawali) which are celebrated to mark virtuous and important events in Hindu myth is celebrated all over the country, albeit in different way depending upon the geography and races. Dashain Dashain is undoubtedly the major festival in Nepal which is celebrated all over the country i.e. by almost all castes, creed. It is celebrated by Hindus to mark the victory of Rama (mythical demigod also known as one of the many incarnation of Lord Vishnu) over Ravana (cruel King of Lanka, present day Sri Lanka) and also victory of Durga (fiercest Hindu goddess) over the demon. Suffice to say, Dashain is celebrated to signify the victory of good over evil.   Popularly known as Vijayadashami, a 10 days celebration which signifies the days taken by Durga to kill the demon and Rama, the Ravana, every days are celebrated in their unique way. Devotees visit different Durga temple to offer her with the gifts and extravaganzas while some others prefer fasting. Following are the important days of Dashain   The first day of Vijayadashami is called Ghatasthapana,well, it's a ritual when the eldest of the home prepares Jamara (saplings of wheat and oat on the sand) which will be offered on the tenth day, also known as Dashami, to the sons, daughter in laws, nephews, and all other relatives.   Seventh day of Dashain is called Fulpati. Fulpati, literally refers to flowers and leaves but actually there are nine different ingredients in it such as Banana plant, turmeric, Flower, Pomegranate, Rice stalk and so forth. In nepal, during this day, there’s a century long tradition of bring Fulpati from the House of Gorkha (origination of Shah dynasty) to Hanuman Dhoka Durbar.   Eighth Day is popularly known as Maha Ashtami when goats and buffaloes are sacrificed for goddess Durga. There’s popular held belief that this ritual makes the goddess happy.   Tenth day, also known as Vijayadashami is the most auspicious day. During this day, elder of the family offers the jamara, which grows to decent size along with tika (rice grains mixed with crimson powder) is offered to his/her descendents and the relatives. Elders also grant the blessings along with tika, so that relatives utilize five more days after vijayadashami going to different relatives.   Tihar (The festival of lights) It is regarded as second popular festival in Nepal which is celebrated by almost everyone as it is also known as “festival of colors”. As it occurs just fifteen days after dashain, September- October can be taken as festive season in Nepal. Legend has it that, Dipawali, which literally translates to lighting the lamp, is celebrated to welcome Rama and Laxman, home (Two Hindu demigods) as they return after defeating Ravana (Evil king Of lanka). Also, this festival is popular in a sense that it strengthens the bond between Sisters and brothers. Tihar is also known as Yama Panchak (Five days of Yamraj, god of death) as there are five days of celebrations, namely: Kaag Tihar (Crow tihar) This is the first day of Tihar during which crows are revered and given sweets and different food items. According to hindu scriptures, crows are considered to be the messenger of Yama, the death god. Kukur tihar (Dog Tihar) The second of the tihar is celebrated by offering garlands, tika and different sweets and food to dogs. Considered as the gatekeeper of god Yama, Hindu devotee take this day for the veneration of the dogs. Laxmi puja In hindu myth, Laxmi is regarded as the goddess of wealth and prosperity. So, on the third day of tihar, laxmi puja is celebrated and on the same day people crack fireworks and Perform deepawali ( lighting of lamps) all over their houses and abodes. During same day, Cow, which is taken as incarnation of Laxmi is also worshipped and given sweet dishes. Govardhan puja It marks the fourth day of the Yama Panchak on which farmers venerate the oxen. Legend has it that this day is also celebrated to mark the one of the superhero of hindu myth, Hanuman. Bhai tika This is undoubtedly the auspicious occasion of tihar when the sisters put tika on the forehead of the brothers and share the gifts. This day stands as one of the important events to strengthen the bond between sisters and brothers.   Janai purnima Also known as Raksha Bandhan in India and Nepal, Janai purnima falls on the month of August and is widely celebrated by people albeit in different way. In nepal, this festival holds the major religious significance in relation to lord shiva as Hindu malle and make trip to famous high altitude lakes of nepal like Gosainkunda, Panch Pokhari and Jata pokhari. In addition devotee visit different rivers and shiva temples like pashupatinath in kathmandu, During this festival, adult hindu males in possession of Janai (a six strands cotton given by priest to hindu adult which marks the adulthood) removes it and put a new one from the hand of priest. Also, the priest ties colorful cotton strands around the wrist which is believed to have certain power to protect people, hence named Raksha bandhan. Nowadays, on the same day, the brothers and sisters celebrate this day as Rakhi purnima where they exchange Rakhi (a colorful fabric which is put on a wrist) to strengthen the bond. A famous dish called “ Kwaati” (legumes and pulses) is served during this occasion.   Maghe Sankranti Celebrated on 14th January, this festival marks the end of the winter solstice which lies in the month of Poush. So, basically this festival is the transition from treacherous winter often dubbed as inauspicious occasion to relatively warm and auspicious days. Devotees visit different holy places like Sankhamul in Kathmandu and Narayanghat in Chitwan. The major attraction of this festival is ghiu chaku (concentrated sugarcane mixed with ghee, nuts etc.), sweet potato, yam and other items of delicacy.   Holi (Festivals of colors) Also known as festival of colors, this festival is celebrated to marks the day of love and respect among the people and neighbourhood. It is celebrated in the month of March all over Nepal and during this day people share different colors in each others cheek and shows the notion of universal love. In modern days, lots of foreigners are seen talking part in holi festival.  Don’t miss the chance to celebrate holi if you happen to visit Nepal during spring because it’d be the experience of lifetime.   Shivaratri Believed to be the birthday of Lord Shiva, this auspicious day is celebrated in February all over nepal and india with much reverence. Devotee from all over indian-subcontinent visit the Pashupatinath temple, which include the sanyasis, deadlocked pot smoking hindu saints from northern India and Nepal where devotee chant the religious hymn (Bhajan) all night long. This festival is popular among the teenagers to almost all as smoking marijuana (ganja) is almost found commonplace during the day without any hassle of police force . Visiting nepal? Be sure you’ll do that during the time of Shivaratri to experience transcendental experience.   Buddha Purnima Buddha purnima is celebrated on either May or June to commemorate the birthday of Siddharth Gautam Buddha, founder of Buddhism who was born in Lumbini, Nepal. Different programs are carried out all over the country and also a special ceremony is carried in Boudhanath, Swoyambhu, and Lumbini.   Festivals Celebrated by Ethnic groups Losar Losar is regarded as the new year by various ethnic groups of Nepal who follow buddhism like Tamang, Gurung and Sherpa. But the day varies according to the ethnic groups. Sherpa celebrate Hyolmo losar, Gurung celebrate Tamu losar and The tamangs celebrate Sonam Losar. Mostly losar falls on the months of February and March. Besides Nepal, losar is celebrated by Tibetans and Bhutanese as the new year. During this day, especially in cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara, you can see the young damsels in their traditional attire walking on the street and gathering on Tundikhel of Kathmandu where major celebrations occur. Udhauli and Ubhauli These are the annual festivals celebrated by the indigenous group residing in eastern hills of Nepal. Known as Kirat. In literal sense, Udhauli means to move downwards whereas ubhauli means to move upward. So, legend has it that Kirati (basically Rai and Limbu) celebrate udhauli to mark the downward migration of birds from the colder region which hints the arrival of winter and you have probably guessed about Ubhauli as the festival to mark the upward migration of birds signifying the arrival of spring and yes you are right. Basically udhauli falls in October whereas Ubhauli occurs in March; during both occasion the male and female of Kirat perform the dance called “ Sakela” which in previous times would be taken as occasion to confess one’s love for other and hence a perfect romantic courting ceremony. Just like in Losar, during ubhauli and udhauli, young maids of Rai and Limbu decorate themselves in their traditional attire. Maghi Parva Maghi is celebrated as New year by the ethnic group of western and eastern tarari , Tharu. Especially if you happen to travel western plain land of Nepal like kailali and kanchanpur during mid - january, this festival can be observed. Tharu people perform their traditional dance, also known as “ Sakiya nach” during this week log festival when in addition to dance, they clean their home and prepare the favourite dish and offer it to the relatives. Gai Jatra Gai jatra is celebrated by the Newar community (natives of Kathmandu valley), annually to mark the death of loved ones on the same year. This is also a week or so long ritual which is celebrated in the month of Bhadra (August- September). During this festival, cows are marched on the street or the young ones, decorated as cow walk on the street along with the family members and they are offered with gifts and food by the community members. This would be the great opportunity for you to explore Kathmandu valley and its cultures, as different lavish way of celebration reveals the long preserved tradition of Newars. Festivals Celebrated in different geographical regions Gaura Parva Mostly, this festival is celebrated by the people residing in midwestern and far western hills of Nepal. The word gaura comes from Gauri, wife of Lord Shiva, so the devotees on this day performs the typical dance of Midwestern and far western known as deuda naach, to celebrate the union of Lord Shiva and Gauri. The speciality of this festival is its demonstration of reverence of women, a central dogma of Hindu philosophy. So, devotee perform fast on this day and visit the Shiva and parvati temple. In kathmandu, Deuda dance is performed in city ground, Tundikhel. Chhath Legend has it that Chhath started as a major festival of Mithila region which lies in central terai of Nepal and Bihar Of India. Nowadays, almost all people of terai region celebrate this festival on October during which they worship Sun god and his wife Usha for all the bounties they have bestowed upon the humankind. Celebrated for almost four days, devotee perform fasting and offer tarpan (offering) to rising and setting sun visiting different water sources like rivers and ponds. Along with this, people prepare sweet dish and serve it among relatives and loved ones. Festival Celebrated By Women Teej Teej is the greatest festival of hindu women of Nepal which is celebrated in the month of August on which Lord Shiva is worshipped. According to Hindu Scripture, sati devi, worshipped and prayed to get Lord Shiva as a husband and as a result of her prayer she finally got him.So, today too, young hindu girls perform fasting on this day praying lord shiva for awesome life partner just like him and married women fast for the longevity of their husband. The women can be seen on red saree and jewellery during this month which signifies their adherence to this tradition. Festivals celebrated in kathmandu Valley In addition to above mentioned festivals, there are so many local festivals which are celebrated in Kathmandu valley. I will just talk about couple of them. Indra Jatra It is the largest of all street festivals in kathmandu valley which is celebrated to worship lord Indra, king of heaven. Believed to have started from 10th century by Malla king of to mark the establishment of Kathmandu, during this week long procession, masked dance of different deities is performed to make Lord Indra happy. Also, the chariot of Kumari, living goddess is also pulled during this festival. Well, if you are visiting kathmandu, you’ll not miss the festival as it centers around the Kathmandu Durbar square. Bisket Jatra Celebrated on Nepali new year, i.e mid april, this is one of the major festivals of Bhaktapur region. A huge chariot of god bhairav is pulled by the local people around the places, which is prepared a month earlier in nyatapola temple of Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Celebrated with local wines and newari cuisine, this jatra ranks as one of the lavish celebration in Kathmandu valley.   There are so many festivals celebrated in Nepal besides from the ones i discussed above. Every lifestyle of Nepali is often reflected in the festivals they follow. Want to discover Nepal? Your quest of deciphering the hidden beauty of nepal won’t complete if you don’t look at cultural aspects of Nepal.

1 year ago

Dashain Festival in Nepal | Vijaya Dashami

Dashain- Festival celebrated in Nepal by whole country: Dashain is undoubtedly the major festival in Nepal which is celebrated all over the country i.e. by almost all castes, creed. It is celebrated by Hindus to mark the victory of Rama ( mythical demigod also known as one of the many incarnation of Lord Vishnu) over Ravana ( cruel King of Lanka, present day Sri Lanka) and also victory of Durga ( fiercest Hindu goddess) over the demon. Suffice to say, Dashain is celebrated to signify the victory of good over evil.   Popularly known as Vijaya Dashami, a 10 days celebration which signifies the days taken by Durga to kill the demon and Rama, the Ravana, every days are celebrated in their unique way. Devotees visit different Durga temple to offer her with the gifts and extravaganzas while some others prefer fasting. Following are the important days of Dashain. Ghatasthapana The first day of Vijay Dashami is called Ghatasthapana,well, it's a ritual when the eldest of the home prepares Jamara ( saplings of wheat and oat on the sand) which will be offered on the tenth day, also known as Dashami, to the sons, daughter in laws, nephews, and all other relatives. Fulpati Seventh day of Dashain is called Fulpati. Fulpati, literally refers to flowers and leaves but actually there are nine different ingredients in it such as Banana plant, turmeric, Flower, Pomegranate, Rice stalk and so forth. In nepal, during this day, there’s a century long tradition of bring Fulpati from the House of Gorkha ( origination of Shah dynasty) to Hanuman Dhoka Durbar. Maha Asthami Eighth Day is popularly known as Maha Ashtami when goats and buffaloes are sacrificed for goddess Durga. There’s popular held belief that this ritual makes the goddess happy. Vijaya Dashami Tenth day, also known as Vijayadashami is the most auspicious day. During this day, elder of the family offers the jamara, which grows to decent size along with tika ( rice grains mixed with crimson powder) is offered to his/her descendents and the relatives. Elders also grant the blessings along with tika, so that relatives utilize five more days after vijayadashami going to different relatives. (cover photo courtesy of Tejaswee.shrestha)

1 year ago

Nepal Tourist Places | Beautiful Places to Visit In Nepal

Nepal Tourist Places | Beautiful Places to Visit In Nepal What’s the first thought that pops up in your mind on hearing the word Nepal? When I put this question to any foreigner I meet while trekking or traveling, I get the same answer almost every time and you've probably guessed it right. Its freaking Mount Everest, right? And guess what, I can’t help grinning when that answer slowly strikes my eardrum and my auditory nerve, languishing delivers to it the cerebrum because it's amazing. But wait, what about the few people who don’t answer same? If you have met any guy from Hippie generation or watched a movie “In the name of father starring Daniel Day-Lewis, you’ll know about freak street during 60’s and 70’s and the free drug spree. Well, those days are over now. Most of the foreigners, nowadays, when thinking about Nepal, think of talk about amazing Annapurna circuit, Durbar Squares, Lumbini, the virgin culture untouched by modernity and so forth. You won’t believe it but Nepal was a mysterious land in Himalaya until 1950, its own citizens required the passport to visit different places and virtually closed to any foreign person except for the handful of British diplomats. But after the advent of democracy in 1950, everything changed and now it holds vast potential for the tourism industry. In this article, I am going to take you to little tour where you’ll visit beautiful places in Nepal. I bet you’ve heard Bob Seger’s hit Kathmandu where he sings about mountains and desire to visit it. Well, turns out there are so many beautiful places inside Kathmandu which will not disappoint you. Beautiful places inside Kathmandu: Kathmandu Durbar Square Well, I think I already talked about the legendary freak street of Hippie era. Guess what, it lies in modern-day Basantapur aka Kathmandu Durbar Square, one of the three medieval palaces of Kathmandu valley which depict the classic example of woodart and stoneart. Kathmandu Durbar Square is located in the heart of the city adjacent to tourist hub, Thamel. The major attraction of the palace square is Hanuman Dhoka palace which used to be royal palace of Nepal for Malla dynasty and later Shah dynasty till the 19th century. Also, you may be piqued by the Kumari bahal, a quadrangle which contains a kumari home, a home to the living goddess in Newari tradition. The 2015 earthquake destroyed some of the heritages like Kasthamandap, Bhimsen tower, and so forth, you can still feel quaintness as you breathe the air sitting on the balcony of one of the cafes in there. I assure you, you’ll feel lifted just by visiting this amazing piazza. Bhaktapur Durbar Square Want to visit somewhere peaceful, open, and quaint? I gotta tell you, Bhaktapur Durbar Square certainly holds all three attributes and maybe more. Even I feel so mesmerized by the tranquility I feel whenever I visit this centuries-long, intact palace square. Red bricks paved roads, vintage cafes, most of them having medieval architecture, you’ll be amazed to see 55 windowed palace which used to be royal palace of Malla dynasty till 18th century. Also interesting one is Nyatapol ( five storied) temple which remains intact even after 2015 earthquake. Filled with temples of various gods and goddesses, you’ll find this palace courtyard more spacious. Don’t forget to taste local yogurt (juju dhau) once you are in Bhaktapur. Patan Durbar Square You’ll be amazed how all three durbar squares vary in respect to their architecture, design and the temples. My personal favorite among three is Patan Durbar Square, not just because it demarcates the vibrant lifestyle of people in Mangal Bazar downtown from rest of the Patan, also because of the cafes, tourists and the locals blended together as one which gives me an awesome feeling. You can visit the Durbar museum and observe all antiquity from the 6th century and also experience an amazing cafe, away from all the crowds. You don’t want to miss the Sundari Chowk once you are inside of it. And trust me, the alleys of Patan Durbar Square will provide pleasure to your eyes where you'll observe thanka, woodcrafts, and metalcrafts. Boudhanath Wanna feel serene and calm staring at the lamas rolling the beads and listening to the slow-paced Buddhist hymn? The best place for you can be, one of my favorite places in town, Boudhanath. Situated in Bouddha, few kilometers northwest from Kathmandu, it's one of the few largest Buddhist stupas in the world. Filled with Tibetan restaurants which provide exquisite dishes, this is an absolute hideout from the fast paced metropolis. Boudhanath has an interesting history as it acted as a transit point between Indian and Tibetan traders during the medieval period. So, Tibetan traders started to offer garlands and offer their goods to then small stupa which, acted as a safe haven for the Tibetan refugees afterward. Today, if you travel through the alleys, you’ll be transcended to typical Tibetan community, where seniors can be seen counting beads, and lamas and nuns strolling around. Swayambhu Popularly known in the western world as Monkey temple, Swayambhunath is popular Buddhist shrine located on the west of the Kathmandu, atop a hill. According to Buddhist scripture, it is believed the shrine was self-created when Kathmandu valley was still a lake, hence the name Swayam ( self), bhu( existence). Today, this place consists of a large Stupa, which holds a central position in the faith of Nepalese Buddhists also there are so many temples which are thought to be made during Licchavi period. If you ever visit Kathmandu, the best time for you to visit Swayambhu is either early morning or at dusk by a short hiking. Walking past hundred of vertical steps, you’ll burn plenty of calories before you glance at enormous Stupa and serene eyes of Swayambhu. The panoramic view of Kathmandu valley seen from here during dusk is just awesome. Though this place is popular among Buddhists around the world, it doesn't hurt anyone to visit it for the peace of mind. Being here, you feel like you’ve been transcended to such a blissful place, you never want to go away from. Garden Of Dreams If I have to say one good thing about Rana regime in Nepal ( who ruled Nepal from mid 19th century to mid-twentieth century), it's their adaptation of European neo classical architecture in almost every buildings and garden they created. One of the finest manifestation can be observed garden of Dream which is located as an oasis in thirst ridden Kathmandu valley in the heart of the city, Thamel. Lying inside the Kaiser Mahal, this neoclassical, Edwardian style garden provides you an amazing ambiance and a haven to study, bask in the sun and simply savor its beauty.Besides, it also houses a natural library where visitors can take advantage of natural beauty inter related to historical and architectural flavor.The most striking of all is the six pavillion which depicts six seasons prevalent in Nepal. Along with it, you can fountains, decorative garden furniture, and European-inspired features such as verandahs, pergolas, balustrades, urns, and birdhouses. Plus, you can always try the amazing coffee at kaiser cafe located on the premises. If Kathmandu offers you the immense cultural extravaganza, rest of the Nepal offers you the thrill of adventure and the virgin land of cultural plethora. I have list down the following places which will make your stay in Nepal worthwhile. Pokhara This cosmopolitan tourist hub is situated in the west Nepal needs very few explanation to you, I guess. Having Phewa lake as its courtyard, Pokhara offers immense and versatile atmosphere to people who want to seek pleasure and the thrill of adventure at the same time. The popular place in town, Lakeside contains the five-star hotels, famous resorts, and also, the hotels that fit your budget. You can enjoy your stay at Pokhara by leisurely boating on Phewa lake or hike to begnas lake. For those who seek adventure, the availability of paragliding and bungee jump surely won’t disappoint. One thing about Pokhara is that it never fails to amaze me every time I go there. The ambiance during New year when Pokhara Street festival is celebrated is just amazing. Best time to visit Pokhara is any time of year, cool, right? I still haven’t talked about the World Peace Stupa which sits atop a hill and the hiking trail. This hike almost feels surreal as you can gaze at the behemoth Phewa lake and Pokhara valley. And the thing you don’t want to miss is the sunrise from Sarangkot, which also hosts the paragliding. As Nepal is often chosen as the recreational retreat, different places in pokhara offer mediation packages which will surely come as a bonus for you.   Annapurna Circuit Do you want to trek for a month away from your comfort zone and humdrum of life exploring the remote villages and various ethnic cultures Nepal provide? Trust me, once you hear how awesome the deal is, you’ll feel like leaving your couch right now and packing your rucksack. Opened as a trekking circuit in the early 1980s, trekking in Annapurna circuit will offer you the amazing chapter in your life, which you’ll cherish for the rest of your life as this circuit is referred as “mother of all circuit”. This circuit will cover the places like Pokhara ( which I already described), Poon Hill, Ghandruk to all the way to Thorong-La pass in Manang which is at the height of 5000 meters from the sea level. Mark Twain has said that “nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people.” Exactly. Trekking in the foothills of Annapurna circuit will bring you in contact with the people of so exotic culture which you had fathomed. While on the route, you’ll get to view three mountain ranges, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and fishtail. Basically, this trek takes you around these mountain range, so imagine how awesome it’ll be. Besides the mountain ranges, you’ll bump into the tundresque terrain of Mustang district, notably the places like Kagbeni and the famous temple, Muktinath. And descending down from Thorong la pass, you’ll land on Manang district, which lies behind the mountain ranges. The diverse culture of Gurung, Thakali, and other tribes are the major attraction of this route, not to forget the amazing view of the mountains. Everest Base Camp (EBC) Why do people go for mountaineering? I often used to ponder on this question until I read the books like “on the road” and “ dharma bums” by Jack Kerouac. He tells that traveling and mountaineering is one of the ways for spirituality. Like him, I too believe now that traveling is all about deciphering myself. So, which is the farthest place on earth can I travel to unravel my inner self? Without a doubt, it’ll be the scaling of Mount Everest. Wait now! I am not telling everyone should do that but what I am trying to put is every travel enthusiast should at least go for EBC trek. For the adventure tourism, this trek is just number one. You can trek EBC either during March-May or September-December. Your journey will start by landing on the most dangerous airport in the world, the Lukla airport. Acclimatizing yourself at Namche Bazaar located at the height of 3440m, you can prepare for your journey which will offer you unparalleled natural beauty. On the way up, you’ll arrive at the famous monastery of Tengboche at a height of about 3800m which will certainly imbue the sense of belonging to the mountain god. It is often said, traveling on a mountain is the only time when the human realizes the insignificance of his ego and all the wildest hopes and desires. EBC is located at the height of 5346m, so any normal person can easily perform this trek without any problem. So, what’s special about it? Well, like I said, the sense of personal growth, immense hospitable people of Solukhumbu and majestic mountains will surely win your heart. Sauraha, Chitwan When did you last go on a jungle safari riding on the Elephant? Never? Don’t worry, just pack your bags, update your passport and head to Nepal because there’s nowhere better jungle safari in affordable price than in Sauraha, Nepal. Located inside Chitwan national park, home for one-horned rhino, Bengal tigers, deer and countless birds, you’ll encounter with a quiet Tharu villages ( native of Plain of Nepal) while your stay there. Chitwan is located 160 kilometers south of Kathmandu,155 km by road from Pokhara and 160 km by road from the Indian border at Sunauli. While you are at Sauraha, you can do many things which I’ll just list them below: watch the sun set over the National Park which is just jaw dropping and you’ll wish it never ended. Go for a ride on an elephant as long as you prefer Watch different birds on the oddly-named Bis Hajar taal Stay overnight in the jungle spotting wild animals from the lookout tower Watch Tharu cultural show which you’ll be intrigued and piqued by. Hire a bike and wander about Tharu villages Swim in the Rapti river and get bathed in an elephant Drink cool beers at one of the "beach" bars Go for a jungle safari on foot, by elephant or by jeep Go for a canoe trip on the river. There are so many Western-style hotels and cottages in Suraha, so you shouldn’t be worried at all regarding the accommodation. Also, the presence of local eateries are also the plus points if you want to go for local cuisine. Above all, Sauraha will be the best hideout for luxury tourism, if you are seeking for one. And wait, the best season to travel sauraha is from November to April. Lumbini There’s often misguided truth regarding the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, popularly known as Buddha. Most of the western researchers have falsely claimed that he was born in India. The truth is he was born in Lumbini, 22 km west from Bhairahawa ( one of the popular trading city which is located 265 km south west of Kathmandu). Though it is primarily a religious site for millions of Buddhists around the world, agnostics and pacifists revere this place equally. Since Buddhism is practiced as a philosophy rather than a religion in most of the western societies, the visit to this place creates a kind of emotional stir. Just think about how a person born in this very place around 563 BC has changed the way we perceive human life and other creature, it's amazing, right? You can actually see the exact birthplace of Buddha upon which Mayadevi temple is built in the honor of his mother. Lost in rubble for many centuries, the renovation and upgrading of Lumbini started since the late 19th century. Besides Maya Devi temple, today, you can observe the temples like Royal Thai Buddhist Monastery, Zhong Hua Chinese Buddhist Monastery, Cambodian Monastery, and World Peace Pagoda So, if you ever visit Nepal, missing Lumbini would be a grave loss with capital G since this place, often overlooked holds a significant meaning for every human being. There are various ways you can take to visit Lumbini as various tour agency offer the combo package which will include the trip to different places including Lumbini. If you want to travel solo, you can board a plane to Bhairahawa from Kathmandu which is just easy as a pea. Annapurna and Mardi base camp Ask any foreigner about ABC and she’ll describe it in the more lucid way than any Nepali can. This is because almost all international tourist visiting Nepal go for this trek. Ascending upward from the queen of Nepal, “Pokhara”, ABC trek is famous for its quaint Gurung villages like Ghandruk which is located at 1940 m above the sea level, amazing places like poon hill and Ghorepani. ABC located at the height of 4130 m above sea level is the best trekking option for anyone visiting Nepal as the trek can be completed in about 10 days. This trek is popular among solo traveler to trekkers in a group too as hundreds of people from almost all around the world seem to scale this track every day during trekking seasons which are Autumn and spring. Starting from the foothill of revered Fishtail mountain, one can kiss the foot of Mt. Annapurna, one of the tallest peaks in the world. The most humanistic aspect of this trek is not just about the natural beauty but acquaintances with so many people, which give you a strong faith in humanity. Mardi trek just starts on the east of ABC trek; matter of fact, it's probably less trekked track which holds a significant potential. Ascending up from Pokhara, the trail leads you to the lush rhododendron forest ( if you travel during spring) which runs to the height of 3300m from where the path changes to rugged mountain scope. You can, from this height watch the magnificent mountains like Machhapuchhre (fishtail), Mardi Himal, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. If you want to go to Mardi Base camp from High camp ( 3850m), it just takes 3-4 hours. Once you are in the Base camp, you can observe the undisrupted view of whole Annapurna range. Availability of cheap hotels and homestay means you can have a medium sized trekking packages with plenty of fun. And, like always, the cultural extravaganza and immense hospitality of people is always like the cherry on the top. I hope my description of beautiful places in Nepal can be of a great help to you if you are seriously considering to travel Nepal. After the mega earthquake of 2015, most of the heritages are in the process of renovation. So, your travel can actually boost up the process. After the end of the civil war which lasted for almost 11 years and the political transition, Nepal is looking to offer its natural and cultural heritages to be observed by the people in the world so that collectively, we’ll be the better human.  

1 year ago

WoodCrafts | History of Wooden Crafts in Nepal

Whenever I see the manifestation of all the Hindu gods and Goddess, buddha and deities in the wood crafts, I make up my own assumptions of their creation. I believe that an artist wanted to express his imagination of the divine being into something tangible so that his fellow species could revere the faith instilled in that being. It may sound rather poetic. But if we trace down the history of the wooden crafts, the oldest evidence goes back Bavarians and Scandinavia who prepared hunting gears, coffin and animals out of wood. Also, the civilizations of Egyptians and Chinese practiced wooden craft too much extent which is depicted in the artistic tombs of pharaohs, and the wooden gates in Chinese palaces. If we talk about the wooden craft of Nepal, the history dates back to Licchavi period, when the famous Changunarayan temple was built with astonishing wooden artwork. Since then, with the rise and fall of different dynasties, Nepal has upheld its unique skill of craftsmanship. Not much is known how and when wooden craft began in Nepal but one can correctly predict that it was the Licchavi period which started around 4th century AD has played a distinctive and substantial role to shape the architecture of temples and buildings of Kathmandu valley and Nepal as a whole. Also, the Malla period which started somewhere between 12th and 13th century in Kathmandu helped to resurrect and modernize the Lichchavi architecture. The prominent temple during Licchavi period is the temple Changu Narayan which is located at Bhaktapur district and one can clearly get the glimpse of how woodcraft had played the major role in shaping the faith of then citizens to god. One should always know that the idea of culture and the religious practice root from the ability to relate the god’s presence amid human souls and to portray gods in human form. So, the use of woods became prominent in making of any temples and the sacred building which would be bestowed by God's presence. That's why you can observe various gods and goddess carved in the doors and windows of temples in Nepal. If we take Changu Narayan to be the oldest temple of Nepal, the use of woods can be seen to carve the Hindu and Buddhist motifs and the demigods. Later, during Malla period an additional art popularly known as “Tudal” started. Influenced by most of the Hindu temples in Northern India, the artisans of Nepal started to carve erotic art on the woods used in “Pagoda” style temples of Kathmandu. Malla period further influenced the Newari population living in Kathmandu to embrace the then popular architecture while building their homes. So, it can also be said that the culture of woodcraft slowly permeated and took hold in the Newari society. It was when Jayasthiti Malla, 14th century Malla king of unified Kathmandu valley created the caste system, a separate clan with the Newari society was given the job of woodcraft. Since then, the practice has been continued and transferred to generation. So how have these astonishing woodcrafts come to life? My question was answered when I happen to visit different wooden workshops in Patan. Today there are few major wood crafts workshops in the country who haven’t let the quality of the goods taint over the years. One of the artisans named Rajesh Barahi, who owns a small wood carving workshop in the vicinity of Patan Durbar Square explained me the sequential process of creation of these crafts which include the selection of good wood, using the suitable tool to carve it, which highly depends upon the amount of description to be applied on the craft. The color selection part is really tricky, he said since the texture of the craft holds different aura. This delicate procedure made me ponder: why really do we need these items which are obviously not required for daily purpose? I hear the same questions from most of the people I’ve encountered so far. But if I may borrow the quote from George Orwell, “a society without beauty is soulless”. This explains crave of humans, for these pieces of great beauty and aesthetic values. Also, the true value of these crafts lies in their opposition to mass-production methods. Artists pay a lot of detail in the preparation of individual items which isn’t certainly an easy feat. Also, don’t you realize the shift in your mindset when you stand in awe watching the grandeur of art and craft of large halls in Patan Museum, the artistic rafters in the temples depicting obscure beauty? Many psychologists have suggested the amazing healing property of interior designs of hospital, and offices. Immense stress from the work and household can be relieved by just staring at wooden frame clock ar wooden statue of Buddha. The fact is, living in a beautified environment with a certain amount of individuality and beautiful objects add immeasurably to our enjoyment of life.

1 year ago

Handicrafts in Nepal | Nepalese Handicrafts

Strolling around the temples and the ancient palaces of Kathmandu valley, during dusk is one of my favourite habits. It's not just that these places radiate a sense of serenity but the neighbourhood filled with the antique shop full of Nepalese handicrafts and the temples with fabulous wood carving make my time worthwhile. Handicrafts in Nepal is believed to have started since the Licchavi period (300-879 AD) though the official account of first handicraft is not available. But the classical period of Nepal (13th to 18th century) ruled by Malla dynasty helped, extensively in the enrichment of quality, authenticity, and originality of the Nepalese handicrafts. Also Read : History & Current Status of Nepalese Handicrafts In today’s hi-tech and industrialized society, the mere glance of the handmade and eco-friendly products lifts our tired spirits. Especially, obtaining the authentic and local handicraft gives us the pleasure, nowhere to be found. In Nepal, especially in Kathmandu valley, the tradition of craftsmanship is still preserved, thanks to the close-knit Newar (Indo-Burmic in origin believed to be natives of Kathmandu valley) communities who have been practicing it since many centuries. So, there is still the chance to feel the originality and the local-ness in the variety of handicrafts. Basically, handimade crafts in Nepal can be divided into two main categories viz. textile handicrafts and non-textile handicrafts. The details of these categories are what I intend to describe in this article. Textile products It includes, along with pashmina, wool, Dhaka (one kind of local textile), hemp products, also (nettle fiber), felt, silk, and cotton goods. These materials are extensively used to prepare the clothes, bags, jackets, shawls, trousers and so forth. Pashmina In Nepal, the source of pashmina is the fur of the Himalayan goats (chyangras). Since they are reared in the high altitude of Nepal, pashmina is the item of the rarity. Often used to make the pashmina shawl, these days, with the advancement of technology, manufacturers in Kathmandu have been exporting Pashmina goods via internet too. Though pashmina industry experienced downfall because of the wide use of fake furs, after the strict scrutinization, the business is booming again. Dhaka Products Widely considered to be the pride of Nepal, Dhaka is the local textile which has been widely used as Nepali Cap(dhakatopi), blouse and shirts (kamij). During festivities of Newar and hilly people, women can be seen in colourful Dhaka attire that captures anyone’s eye. Believed to be originated from western hills, today, Dhaka represents the identity of Nepalese. Woolen, hemp, felt, and cotton goods If you travel on the alleys of Thamel or Patan, you can clearly observe the bags made up of hemp, or the scarfs made up of silk with an art crafted by skilled artisans. Not to miss, woolen products such as jackets, pullovers, ponchos, mufflers, hats, gloves, and socks are textile handicrafts found in Nepal. And after 2006/7, the products of felt (somewhat like woollen are in optimum demand.) Non-textile handicrafts It consists of woodcraft, stone craft, metal craft, silver jewelry, leather goods, thangka/paubha (religion-based paintings), bone and horn products, handmade paper products, incense, ceramics items, bamboo products, and plastic items. Woodcraft   Maybe one of the oldest and popular handicrafts in Nepal, Woodcraft has been practiced by Silpakar (woodcarvers), the distinguished clan of Newar. Various products made out of wood can be found in Nepal which includes the miniature statues, and the tools for daily use crafted by skilled artisans. Metal crafts Undoubtedly, metal crafts are the most popular and widely exported handicrafts of Nepal along with woollen and cotton products. Crafted by the members of Tamrakar (copper crafters and idol makers), metal crafts are often found in different variety. The magnificent statue of Buddha, Ganesh, Shiva and different deities are prepared out of copper and silver. One simply doesn’t get tired walking the alleys Patan, where antique shops are filled with the amazing display of metal crafts. Initially, designed out of wax, the shape of the craft I encased in the clay mould which is heated to harden. Once the job is done, the wax is melted and poured out through the case and instead replaced by the metal of choice, often bronze and silver. Letting the shape to set, the metal being is extracted by breaking the mould; final piece obtained by polishing and giving a final touch by a skilled artisan. Silver jewellery Silver jewelry is one of the most exported handicrafts from Nepal. The skilled artisans who are the member of Shakya and Bajracharya (Silversmiths) have been exploiting their talent and crafting the fabulous silverware. Thangka/ paubha Kathmandu is often quoted as the city of temples. The cultural and religious environment in Nepal is the mixture of the Hinduism and Buddhism. Thangka is religious based painting, especially Buddhism and the amazing and mysterious lifestyle of Lamas. It depicts the lifecycle of the Buddhist deities and the historical incident. Paper Crafts These products can be considered as the recent addition to the Nepalese handicraft. After the introduction of the concept of recycling and reusing of the materials citing the environmental concern, various useful products are made out of paper and plastics. There are so many online stores in Nepal, that are established with a sole purpose to promote the handicrafts of Nepal, and addition to this, with the advancement of technology, each buyer can go through each product review on the internet before spending money in it. There are some locally owned and charitable online stores who want to keep the tradition of Handicraft alive in the country by spending a certain amount of their revenue in social sectors of backward communities. One can, easily, from her apartment in Sydney or Chicago can get handicraft items on her door without much hassle and delivery charge in today’s high sophisticated world.  

1 year ago

Nepali Singing Bowls – Also called Prayer and Healing Bowls

Nepali Singing bowls | Himalayan Bowls   Can you stand a minute listening to the cacophony of a crowd or a pianist playing just a single note? If you are unsure, why don’t you give a try? But, I bet you’ll be ready pay hundreds of dollars to attend the popular orchestra or to buy Beethoven quartet or Mozart’s record. Why do music and sound affect us so much? In the microscopic level, the physiological aspect of human body performs a different feat which outsmarts layman’s intuition. According to neuroscientists, human brain composed of trillions of neurons act like a natural oscillator with distinct frequencies.   And when it encounters the external sound, the harmonics and the overtones comparable to frequencies of our brain waves form a mutual phase locking which brings about significant change in our emotions.   Though we are known to this reality in the 21st century, it seems that our forefathers; as Westerners see, the great mystics and Buddhists Lama of Himalaya knew this fact and even created a sound healing mechanism using singing bowls based on this fact.     Singing bowls, also known by the name Tibetan singing bowl are sometimes referred as seven metals bowl are one of the oriental piece of metalcraft, the application of which range from meditation, sound healing to the musical instrument.  Also read: Metal Crafts: How are they made   History And Origin Of Singing Bowls Less is known about the actual origin of the singing bowl but ideas and facts gathered from the anecdotes, it can be assessed that its origin has roots during Buddhist civilization since the Buddhism regards our existence as a vibration in this cosmic universe, the idea of sound remained so ingrained in their philosophy.   It is even assumed that Buddha himself brought the singing bowl from the heaven and the rests are the copy of it. Legend has it that the use of these bowls date back to Bon religion in Himalaya, way before Buddhism was founded.     Composition of Singing Bowls It is believed that they were traditionally made using seven precious metals like gold, silver and such though, in modern times, these are mostly mass produced from the alloy of copper and tin (bronze)but still the handmade singing bowl can be found which are said to be made up of copper, tin, gold, silver as chief metals. Since the composition of singing bowl is bronze, it's still debatable whether it was originated in Tibet or in Nepal? Without any written proof, it can be said, judging the skilled artisans of Nepal that its origin took place in this land of Himalaya which later flourished in Tibet, northern India, and East Asian countries. This proposition can be further proved by the use of it in different ceremonies by Shamans, Lamas and religious priests in ancient Himalaya.   Healing Mechanism of Singing Bowls Today, singing bowl isn’t just given the religious importance but is popularly used in sound healing mechanism, meditation and even as a musical instrument. The quality handmade singing bowl is supposed to create a vibration which lasts longer and on synchronization with brain waves decreases the heartbeat and other vitals providing a person a soothing feeling resulted by the healing of tissues and smooth functioning of the glands.   Even though allopathy and technological feat has changed the fate of global medicine practice, oriental methods of healing haven’t lost its charm. It is assumed that our body consists of seven chakras, which regulate the body, so whenever one of the chakras is blocked, a person gets ailment.   This is when the vibrational energy of the singing bowl resonates with the frequency of that chakra, safely regulating it. Though taken as a pseudoscience by skeptics, recent research on the effects of sound on health has revealed many facts in support of sound healing.   Singing Bowls for Meditation People, nowadays, use the singing bowl for meditation purpose because of the prolonged soothing vibration produced in it. The harmonics and overtones produced from by rubbing the mallet around the edges of the bowl bring about resonance in the brain wave thus providing an ideal situation for meditation.   Where to Buy Singing Bowls in Nepal If you happen to travel Nepal, don’t forget to visit antique shops in Thamel where you’ll encounter with the shops that trade singing bowls, khukuri, and other handmade crafts and hopefully also the workshops. Since the western world came to a realization of sound healing after 90’s, the sales of the singing bowl have increased in Nepal so that many of them are machine refined for the faster production, which despite their alluring appearance do not always serve the required purpose.   So How To Choose The Best Singing Bowl? It is said the best ones are the handmade ones which are created by repeated hammering and heating for about 4 to 5 hours. But there’s no easy way to identify the quality which is why it is advised to choose them based on their sound quality and its prolongation. Singing bowls, since are found in different sizes, choose the one which you can easily hold in your hand and produces a soothing sound when mallet is moved around its rims. Or else you can ask someone else to play it for you and judge the one of your preference.   How to Play Singing Bowls? The best way to play it, according to most of the practitioners is to hold singing bowl on a left hand, holding a mallet in right hand. Then, the vibration can be produced by tapping the bowl and moving mallet in a clockwise direction, applying equal pressure.   Useful and Advantages Of Singing Bowls This way, ideal overtones are generated and is helpful for half an hour meditation. Also, it is used to cure a headache by covering the head with the bowl and tapping it in a clockwise direction. There are so many cases of ailments where the singing bowls come up as the best healing tool.   It is said, traditionally singing bowls were created by authentic bronze, and meteorite iron along with silver and gold, the sole purpose of which is to create the overtones which are beneficial to human brain and chakras. So one must pay a close attention while playing it.   So, lost and forgotten are many of the Eastern secrets, which, when are discovered can revolutionize the prevailed pattern of livelihood just like singing bowl has done, albeit in less extent.

1 year ago

Woodcraft in Nepal – Religion, Art & Artisan

WoodCrafts in Nepal One of the reason tourists visits Kathmandu is the breathtaking architecture of medieval palaces and temples in three traditional Durbar squares located in three different cities Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur. These three culturally distinctive piazzas contain wooden and brick temples, so delicately designed and elegantly morphed together. Legend has it that the name of the city, Kathmandu is derived from the Kasthamandap, the oldest known wooden temple built during Lichhavi, which was then formed by two words, Kastha means wood (a chief material from which a temple is made) and mandon ( temple or an edifice).  So, Kathmandu literally means “ city of wooden temples”. As you can see in most of the temples, using of wood doesn’t hold much importance than the artistic touch it possesses. The intricate and artistic carvings in the pillars, brackets, struts, beam frames of the peristyles, window and door frames with the Hindu deities and religious motifs prove this statement. But nowadays, woodcraft is not just limited on the beams of temples and palaces but the artisans carve the figure of Buddha, the elements of Buddhism, windows, doors, statues of different Hindu gods and goddess, tables, artistic clocks and the articles of day to day use. The Nepali woodcraft tradition has three types of craftsmen: The Designers, The Woodcarvers, Traditionally from the Silpakar family and the carpenters, commonly called sikarmi. But the tradition has slowly changed as different castes are coming ahead to perform this work. The designer and woodcarver are often the same people. The wood carving organization, so far, has been kept as a family business, the ideas being transferred to sons from the father. The work of woodcarvers is a broad specialization and belongs to the knowledge concerning iconography and religious significance of decoration. One of the veteran designers Haribhakta Maharjan said that the complexity of an ornately carved deity, multi-handed and holding symbols all of religious significance, requires not only great knowledge of the religious texts but also the skills of a craftsman competent to execute the work.   Most of the wood crafts are influenced by the Vedic and Buddhist ideologies. So, if you happen to see any sort of act depicted on the temple, be sure that the art holds some kind of meaning in the oriental religions.   Woodcarvers believe and worship the god called Vishwokarma, who according to a legend of Mahabharata, built a beautiful palace, the Mani Mai Sabhat, for their king who was so impressed by the window carvings as well as the beauty of the queen, that he was distracted enough to stumble over and fall into the water pool in the middle of the court. Vishwokarma is revered as kul deuta (deity guide/ personal god) by the traditional woodcarvers during the festive seasons. Even though the majestic display of wooden craft in Kathmandu valley can be observed in the traditional doors and windows of Newars, the durbar square, and temples, nowadays skill can be found in different forms like small decorative items,  handicraft gift like picture frame, rack with hangers, wooden ties, small boxes, animals, buttons, furniture, decorative wall hanging etc. from the limited items temples, wooden windows and panels. Maybe following descriptions of these crafts will be a great help for you: Newari windows As already explained above, Newari windows display the magnificent blend of Newari culture: the fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism. You can find different designs of Newari windows if you happen to travel three durbar squares of Kathmandu, look out for local workshops where skilled artisans can be observed busy with tools and woods. A few weeks ago, I met one of the American tourists, Richard, 80 years old in one of such workshops where he shared me his fascination on observing those beautiful and delicately carved windows. Wooden statues Blessed with the rich tradition and cultural plethora, the temples of Nepal contains different gods and goddess each having their own significance. Nowadays, the small-scale woodcraft industries create the different forms of deities in different shapes and size with the varying price range. You can get a piece of Buddha Statue for Rs. 1000 or else you can get the statue of Ganesh that costs more than Rs. 10,000. Tables and beds Who wouldn’t love to use the intricately designed wooden table in their office and home which radiate the sense of calmness and serenity? Carved in the durable wood of tropical trees like sal, these tables are durable and artistic with different religious motifs. Also, the wooden sleeping beds are available in major woodcraft industry which is carved with auspicious motifs like astamangala. Wooden framed clock This can be yet another elegant classic item that can add beauty in your abode: watching the passing time on a clock embedded in the wooden frame prepared by some artisans in another corner of the world that radiate the medieval vibes of oriental region. In addition to above-described items, you can observe different pieces of crafts on the courtyard of Bhaktapur, Kathmandu and Patan Durbar square where many tourists and the vendors bargain for the price of the items. To those, who are a bit skeptical of their authenticity, there are so many local workshops where one can obtain the item, learning to carve, if desired.

1 year ago

Most interesting/unusual thing one could see in Nepal

Nepal: Land of Mysteries   If you are traveling to Nepal, there are so many things that you should know so that your subconscious will be prepared to deal with every improbable encounter which may befall upon you. Social norms set by the oriental religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, you can feel the aura of mysticism around the temples like Pashupatinath and Swayambhunath.     Don’t freak out seeing the scooters and bikes running like mad men on the dusty street, that is commonplace. And, most of all, if you happen to bump into an elderly woman joining two palms and saying “namaste” (which happens a lot), be cordial enough to reply her with the same gesture; it's the way Nepalese greet the fellow human. Yo can also see different statues, wood carvings and temples and also sarangi playing in the street.   Whenever I talk with the foreigners traveling in Nepal, there are few things, which they find kinda unusual, which aren’t necessarily bad. Being one of the developing nations in the world and recently crawling towards the path of democracy, there are so many aspects of life which are still backward compared to the life in the west. Here I have presented few unusual things you might come vis-a-vis, during the travel.   Worship of living goddess: Also known as “Kumari”, it's the century-long Hindu and Nepalese Buddhist tradition of worshipping the virgin which is considered to be the manifestation of cosmic power. Widely celebrated in Kathmandu valley, Kumari resides in an abode known as “Kumari Ghar”. She will be displayed on different occasions, commonly called “Jatra” in the valley. Surely, this tradition may appear as a bit of surprise for you, it’s sacred ritual for the castes like Shakya and Bajracharya.   The sacredness of Cow: The cow is taken as a sacred animal in Hinduism as it represents the goddess Laxmi(Hindu Goddess). During Tihar, also known as Deepawali, one of the two largest Hindu festivals in Nepal, cows are worshipped. But most of the urban streets are often encroached by the stray cows which adds further problem in traffic management. So, don’t go “ holy cow!!”, if you happen to notice a lazy cow strolling in the middle of the road, it is common.   Jostling traffic: Riding bicycle on the roads of Kathmandu is way too scary that there’s an unspoken code “ ride on your own risk”. And talk about the endless motorcycles and scooters. These two-wheelers outnumber the public vehicles and cars which create such a mess during the peak hours. Though the traffic police ( yeah, we have traffic cops, strange, right?) brings out so many plans to curb the problems, old habits die real hard.   Menstrual cycle means a four day off limits: Surprised? Well, most of the people find it perfectly plausible in Nepal. Any girl or a woman during her period is barred from all the religious activities for four days. Also, she is not allowed to cook and serve the family. Even though the tradition is slowly fading, still it's in practice in most of the households.   Of porters and Rickshaws: Kathmandu, unlike most of the capitals, isn’t well managed; one of those Nepali ways of living is depicted by the presence of porters around the market carrying wardrobe, refrigerator or you name it. The tradition of porter system dates way back and can be seen on the photographs taken by Tony Hegan during the 50s. In addition, you can travel around Thamel, the downtown Kathmandu, in a rickshaw, which is pretty fun, I guess.   Cops, they don’t carry guns: Cops are often seemed to patrol in the alleys of Kathmandu with bamboo stick unlike the cops in the US or in most of the countries. In a way, it's pretty secure to wander freely around the valley and cops can be really helpful in many ways.   Nepal has a triangular national flag: Nepal is the only country in the world having the non-quadrilateral flag. The triangular flag of Nepal depicts the mountain range and the pagoda style in the temples. The blue boundary shows the peace whereas the crimson red glorifies the gorkhali history. The celestial bodies Sun and Moon symbolizes the permanence of Nepal.   Bungee jump: Though bungee jump is practiced in most of the countries, the thrill of jumping towards the mind-blowing gorge of Nepal is an experience not easily subdued. If you are traveling Nepal for adventure, bungee should be your first priority as the feel will remain fresh in the pile of your memories. The famous bungee jump is carried out in Nepal by “The Last Resort” in Bhote Koshi gorge. Also, you can experience bungee in Pokhara, the tourists’ paradise.   Paragliding: I cannot label paragliding as one of the unusual things in Nepal but by far its one of the bests in the world. Who wouldn’t love to savor the gorgeous aerial view of Mt. Fishtail and the bird-eye view of magnanimous Fewa lake and Pokhara valley? Operated by trained pilots, domestic and international, paragliding in Nepal offers such a deal, not even Cersei Lannister would dare to refuse.   Cultural Diversity: It amazes, even me, a typical Nepali guy when I observe so many cultural practices within a small area of 147, 181 sq. km (well, it's the area of Nepal). And probably it's a major fascination, the tourist gets on traveling Nepal. The presence of Buddhist shrines like Boudhanath and Swayambhunath along with the Hindu temples in Kathmandu valley exemplifies the cultural diversity. The celebration of different festivals like Dashain, Tihar, Chath, Loshar, Udhauli, Deuda, Maghi and so many local jatras depicts the century long diversity in Nepal.   Hope you all enjoy.

1 year ago

Nepali Arts

Nepali Arts   Reflecting Nepali culture, undergoing transformations that were considerably influenced by religion, politics, social conditions, events such as natural disasters and so on, Nepali Arts has evolved immensely over the eras.   It is believed that Nepali art and culture were parallel in existence, however the oldest evidences that have been traced, belong to the fourth century i.e. The Lichchhavi period which is considered to be “The Golden Age Of Nepali Art”.   Over the centuries, the environmental factors in the society, nation and the state of the artist have affected the subject of arts. Historical sculptures and artworks were mainly religious, mystical and symbolic. Whereas, the subject of artworks of the periods with political revolution such as the Rana Regime were based on secularism, realism etc.   Later, after the fall of Rana regime, artists practiced impressionism, fauvism, expressionism, abstractionism in their artworks. Besides the internal issues, western culture and practices also inspired artwork in the past. Even today, artists practice symbolism, abstractionism, impressionism and use various metaphorical symbol with hidden meanings and messages.         Historically, architectural feats and structures, wooden carvings, manuscripts, mandala, wall paintings, portrait painting, were some of the major artworks. The forms of art in context with Nepal are innumerable, the artworks can be classified in the following ways.:-   Paintings: In the past, paintings were mainly done in manuscripts, walls, wood, copper or other metal plates, or cloth. Local materials such as minerals, plants, soil etc were used for extracting colors. Thangka Pantings, Mithila paintings, Pauwa paintings, are some examples of Nepali paintings. These days paintings are mostly done in canvases and are influenced by western culture. Architecture: The intricate linings of the wooden windows and doors of a temple, the complex geometry of a stupa, the prayer wheels, are examples of architecture. Architectural art can mainly be seen in religious sites or historical areas. Architecture has had major shifts according to the eras and revolutions that occurred with time. Sculpture: Artists mainly made use of bronze, granite, sandstone, limestone, for sculpting figures of gods, leaders and rulers. The statues of gods, various rulers can still be seen in historical areas. Pottery: Traditionally a lot of utensils and household materials used by Nepalese were made out of molded clay such as pyala, gamala, gyampo, gagri, diyo, lamps, flower vases and so on.   Besides the form of art listed above, local songs, traditional musical instruments, traditional dances also reflect Nepali art. Art accentuates looks making things look more appealing to the eye.   More importantly, Nepali art emphasizes the divinities of religion and the connection of man with god and nature, it symbolizes various life processes and stages such as birth, youth, death in the form of intricacies. Arts act as historical evidences and symbolic representation for the rich history that we posses.    

1 year ago

Madal | Folk Musical Instruments

[product_embedder_blogs product_id="858"] Madal, one of the most popular double headed hand drum played in Nepalese society and has there been from early of 20th century. There were also evidence found of its earliest used before 20th century. The word Madal has been formed from Sanskrit word “Mardala”. Madal being a national musical instrument of country is the essential element of Nepali folk music industry. Making it as a lead instrument many songs has been prepared by different Nepalese folk song singer. It has vital role in forming the bonding of love between family crew and friends and society. It has taken the hearts of people from hilly area of Nepal and its associate region. When is Madal played? Madal is played generally in the festival Dashain, Tihar and other festivals among the different tribes of assam, magar community. Different tribes play Madal on different occasion. Hiking, camping, get together among friends and family are some areas where we can listen and enjoy the music. Kids, youth, and olds love dancing on the beat of this instrument. It is really creative drum which makes nice sound and is very fun to listen to. Accompanied with cool tones and really fun to use it. Easy to carry. You can jam up with any musical play. This is cool percussion instrument and would really enjoy it playing it now. Not only madal, people also enjoy the music of sarangi and meditating the healing soung of singing bowls. What is Madal Body made of? Earlier, its body was made with the burnt clay but now a days it is made of up wood also. Body of madal is exact as cylinder shape leaving hollow at both ends. One end of the structure is smaller named as “Daayan” and next ends is bigger named “Bayan” as compared to another. The hollow structure formed from the wood is called “Ghar”. The ends of hollow structure is then covered with skin of either goat/ox/monkey/buffalo on both side. It is like a shape of dish, round in structure. On the top of that round structure dish we see black spot layered, this is known as “Khari”. It is made up of iron fillings, flour and egg which provide it to be black in colour and nice paste to stick to skin for longer period of time. "Khari" adds weight to the skin and helps in producing additional sound. This also act as sound controller for the drum. Skin plate on both ends are attached with leather rope and round rings tightly on continuous loop around the body of drum. Why is the additional rope attached to Madal? An additional rope is added in order for the drum to fit on performer’s body on horizontal position either of waist or on knees making it comfortable to play by both hands. Once preparation is done tuning is made by leather strands and adjustment of round rings up and down on the body of drum. You can buy madal in online store. Your dream of playing can just be fulfilled by adding it to your cart and making order of this cool stuff in a simple steps. It can be ordered in different size as per your choice.

1 year ago

Nepal Tourism 2014, 2015 and 2016

Nepal Tourism 2014, 2015 and 2016   Nepal’s tourism experienced a dramatic turnaround last year after being hit by the twin disasters of a devastating earthquake and crippling trade embargo in 2015.   Foreign tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped 39.71 percent to 753,002 in 2016, boosted by robust visitor growth from India, China, the US, the UK and Sri Lanka, according to the statistics of the Department of Immigration.    However, 2016 arrivals are still 4.69 percent down from 2014 when the country welcomed 790,118 foreign visitors. The tourism boom is expected to continue in 2017 and remains a major growth driver for the economy even as the industry sees low overseas promotional activities.    October, November and December have been the most productive months for the industry, accounting for nearly one-third of total arrivals.    “It’s a dramatic growth. The industry is returning rapidly to its pre-earthquake growth level,” said Kedar Neupane, director general of the Department of Immigration. “The tourism boom is expected to continue in 2017 given a level of promotion by Nepal in the major source markets.”    He said that if the government, Nepal Tourism Board and private sector conducted aggressive promotional activities, this year could be an extraordinary year. “We can expect 1 million tourists in 2017 considering the current environment.”   Neupane said that Nepal could see a boom in Chinese arrivals this year following the move by the Chinese government to encourage travel to the country. China has announced Nepal Tourism Promotion Year 2017 in a bid to encourage its citizens to visit the Himalayan republic, according to the Nepal Embassy in Beijing.      “The industry carried out massive marketing activities in major source markets after the earthquakes, leading to a massive recovery,” said tourism entrepreneur Basant Raj Mishra. “The arrival of foreign volunteers as well as conferences held by I/NGOs in Nepal last year propelled growth.”    Suman Pandey, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal Chapter, said that 2017 looked promising; but the crumbling Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Nepal’s only international aerial gateway, could be a major setback.    “The hospitality industry in Nepal can accommodate more than 3 million tourists, but the airport is already choked with capacity constraints even though arrivals are way short of the one million mark,” he said.    TIA is currently served by 28 international carriers, and it has announced that it cannot accommodate more flights. “What does this statement mean? Of course, Nepal has become an attractive holiday destination for travellers, but TIA will remain the main obstacle to the growth of the industry.”    Nepal received a lot of media exposure following the earthquake which has aroused tremendous interest among potential travelers.    The world’s leading travel guide Lonely Planet has named Nepal the world’s ‘best value destination’ for 2017. Likewise, Nepal’s Langtang region has been featured in The New York Times ‘52 places to go in 2017’ list.    Nepal has also appeared in the January travel issue of chinadaily.com.cn. “Nepal remains a fabulous choice for budget-conscious travelers, whether it’s the country’s world famous trekking routes or the wildlife in the southern region. Travel costs per day are as low as $50 on average,” it said.    A breakdown of arrivals by market shows Indian travellers at the top of the list. Arrivals from the southern neighbour reached 118,249 last year, up 57.40 percent. Chinese tourist arrivals jumped 55.26 percent to 104,005. Travel trade entrepreneurs said that Chinese arrivals did not increase as expected last year as the key entry point,   Tatopani Customs in Sindhupalchok, was closed after the earthquake. However, Rasuwagadhi has emerged as an important surface route with 23,452 Chinese visitors entering the country through this point last year.    Meanwhile, visitors from the US, Sri Lanka and the UK jumped 25.67 percent, 29.64 percent and 55.71 percent respectively.   

2 years ago

Earnings from Handicraft Rises by 19 Percentage

Export earnings from handmade products surged 19 percent in the first four months of the current fiscal year, thanks to sustained demand from markets like China, the US and Europe. Nepal’s handicraft industry is on the recovery path after suffering a massive hit from the earthquake and trade blockade last year. Statistics released by the Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (Fhan) show that Nepal exported handmade products worth Rs1.98 billion during the period mid-July to mid-November Shipments amounted to Rs1.67 billion in the same period last year.   Fhan President Dharma Raj Shakya said that the handicraft business that was adversely affected by last year’s earthquake and trade blockade was back on track. According to him, business dropped last year due to a short supply of raw materials and manpower. “Based on current export trends, revenues are expected to touch Rs5 billion this year,” said Shakya. In 2015-16, Nepal exported handicraft goods worth Rs4.78 billion. Of the 25 major handicraft and unique items, earnings from felt products posted a growth of 69 percent with exports jumping to Rs559.62 million from Rs331.69 million. Shakya said that outfits and accessories made of felt had been attracting many foreign buyers in recent days. Felt products are mainly exported to the US and Europe. Similarly, metal crafts accounted for the second highest export earnings.     Nepal’s export of metal crafts surged 30 percent to Rs465.46 million. These products are exported mainly to the US and China. Likewise, export earnings from glass products surged almost three-fold to Rs81.78 million. Decoration items and smoking devices are among the popular items in the segment. Exports of beads also increased to Rs57.96 million from Rs38.73 million. However, exports of pashmina products, handmade paper and silver products declined during the review period. Export earnings from pashmina plunged by almost half to Rs156.98 million. Shakya attributed the fall to increasing exports of machine-made products. “As machine-made pashmina is cheaper compared to hand woven products, export values have declined,” he said. Shakya said orders for Nepali handicrafts had been coming from new markets like Mongolia and Vietnam. “Following a change in lifestyles in these countries, demand has increased.” Nepali handicrafts are shipped to 80 countries among which 30 are large buyers. Europe accounts for 43 percent of Nepal’s total handicraft exports, while the US accounts for 17 percent.   

2 years ago

Story of Sabita Maharjan, an inspirational entrepreneur

Sabita Maharjan, a social entrepreneur, has been providing employment to hundreds of women in her knitting business. She founded Kritipur Hosiery Industry in 2008 with the aim to uplift socially vulnerable and underprivileged women so they could be financially independent. At present, Maharjan owns her own brand K-knitting, which has garnered much recognition for her products and hard work. She launched this new venture with the help of Business Services Center (BSC). She has also became the inspiration for Women Empowerment in Nepal K-knitting produces a range of items like woolen gloves, caps, muffler, hats, pullovers, woolen jackets, sweaters, scarves, and socks.  Some of her items are showcased at Kalanki Knitwear and some are waiting to be displayed on the premises of popular restaurants in Kathmandu. In 2011, Sabita and her K-Knitting family started working with Sherpa Adventure Gear and after two years of product and quality training, their items were finally showcased. In 2015, the Kirtipur Sweater Jacket led the Sherpa Adventure Gear to the ISPO Gold Award. The International Fashion Textile Trend Consultant (GBR) said the sweater was a perfect combination of tradition and technology because each piece was hand-knitted in Nepal, using 100% lamb’s wool and a tradition that had withstood centuries had been maintained. As for the technology, the sweater was lined with PrimaLoft Silver Insulation to add the warmth and softness. This year, Maharjan plans to open six more branches and a training center where women would be provided hands-on training for knitwear and handicraft items. Her business, which she started with 72 knitters, has now grown to support 300 women from different parts of the country. The women, who are working with her, now have gained confidence and necessary skills to support themselves and their families.  

2 years ago

Tihar | Festival of Lights

 Tihar | Festival of Lights   Tihar- Celebration of Lights. It is regarded as the second popular festival in Nepal which is celebrated by almost everyone as it is also known as “festival of colors”. As it occurs just fifteen days after Dashain, September- October can be taken as the festive season in Nepal. Legend has it that, Dipawali, which literally translates to lighting the lamp, is celebrated to welcome Rama and Laxman, home ( Two Hindu demigods) as they return after defeating Ravana ( Evil king Of Lanka). Also, this festival is popular in a sense that it strengthens the bond between Sisters and brothers. Tihar is also known as Yama Panchak ( Five days of Yamraj, god of death) as there are five days of celebrations, namely: Kaag Tihar ( Crow Tihar) Kukur Tihar ( Dog Tihar) Laxmi puja(Laxmi Tihar) Govardhan puja Bhai Tika All the celebration day of Tihar have its various myths, legends and beliefs and every day starts with the offering. Kaag Tihar ( Crow Tihar): This is the first day of Tihar during which crows are revered and given sweets and different food items. According to Hindu scriptures, crows are considered to be the messenger of Yama, the death god. Kukur Tihar ( Dog Tihar): The second of the Tihar is celebrated by offering garlands, tika and different sweets and food to dogs. Considered as the gatekeeper of god Yama, Hindu devotee takes this day for the veneration of the dogs. Gai(Cow) puja/Laxmi puja: In Hindu myth, Laxmi is regarded as the goddess of wealth and prosperity. So, on the third day of Tihar, Laxmi Puja is celebrated and on the same day people crack fireworks and Perform Deepawali ( lighting of lamps) all over their houses and abodes. During the same day, Cow, which is taken as the incarnation of Laxmi is also worshipped and given sweet dishes. After the puja, girls gather in groups wearing the cultural dress and traditional jewelry and play bhailo the whole night, collecting money and giving blessings to the families. Goru(OX)/Govardhan puja: It marks the fourth day of the Yama Panchak on which farmers venerate the oxen. Legend has it that this day is also celebrated to mark the one of the superhero of Hindu myth, Hanuman. Goru puja, worship of oxen, Gobhardan puja and Maha puja are done in this day for a healthy and prosperous year ahead. From this day, the boy’s group, familiar to bhailo but called as deusi is played. Bhai Tika: The fifth and the final day is known as “bhai tika”. This is undoubtedly the auspicious occasion of Tihar when the sisters put tika on the forehead of the brothers and share the gifts. This day stands as one of the important events to strengthen the bond between sisters and brothers. Also sisters pray for her brothers long life.Mostly boys wear Dhaka Topi(Nepali Hat) in this day. Also most of the sister gifts Dhaka Topi to their brothers.     I can’t ignore to look the house decoration: decorated with lights, rangoli, diyo and candle lights at night, and also the flowers. You can see the people of different age making their group and playing deusi and vailo. Besides you can also watch people playing gambling and playing cards, swings, langerburja, etc. Tihar is definitely one of the merriest making beautiful festival as you can see lots of smiles on each face having sweets and delicious food with colorful lights.  

2 years ago

Mithila Arts

This art is a strict monopoly of the women of Mithila.They cover their courtyard walls in abstract images in brilliant colour, resembling in form and function the sand paintings of the Navahos. The art is a kind of traditional painting that reflects the natural environment including animals, people, life style, tradition and culture of the local people.     The art of Mithila is linked to religious ceremonies, particularly marriage and its consequence, procreation. Interspersed with the Vedic marital rites, with the Sanskrit chanting by the Brahmins, is a tradition controlled by the women and devoted to female deities Durga, Kali and Gauri. During marriage ceremony the bride and groom are pulled away by the women for their own ceremonies devoted to Gauri in which men other than the groom are forbidden. Gauri is the goddess to whom the bride has prayed since childhood to bring her a good husband. These ceremonies are performed in courtyards before painted images of the goddesses. The function of the paintings being ritualistic the art is very symbolic. The primordial energy of the universe is embodied in various female forms, both living women and Goddesses.    image source: wikimedia   As the wedding ceremony is a special occasion in Maithili society, which is also known as “Kohabar” within thecommunity, a separate room is set and decorated tastefully with several arts for its celebration. This painting is done in the inner as well as outer walls of the Kohabar Ghar (honeymoon house). As a popular social practice, its main motto is to increase the sexual potency and fertility of both the bride and bridegroom. This special painting is drawn on the walls of the house in three places: the Gosaighar (special room for family god), the Kohabar Ghar (honeymoon room) and Kohabar-Gharak-Koniya (corridor or outside of the Kohabar Ghar). These paintings are wonderfully depicted by the illiterate woman folk of Mithila, and are quite attractive to look at. They express their artistic sentiments and skills on various occasions. The outer walls of the Kohabar are decorated with the paintings of rural life such as a palanquin with its carriers, shady fruit trees like those of mango, banana, Kadamba and Ashoka. They also paint love-scenes of Lord Krishna with the gopinis and his constant companion, Radha. Some common themes in mithila arts include the Snake goddess, a form in which snakes are worshipped at Nag Panchmi during the monsoons, a time when snakes abound. Durga astride her tiger is another common representation. Probably the most powerful symbolism is the one associated with Duragoman Puren. A single seed that is dropped in the pond produces many lotus flowers, an appropriate thought for the bride and the groom at the time of their wedding. Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth, is a newer and common addition to the repertoire of Mithila symbolism. Among the male deities Ganesha, Krishna and Shiva are more commonly depicted. Trees, birds and animals are extensively used in combination with other ritual and religious paintings. Sometimes, rarely, one will see these alone without religious implication. The painting tradition varies from caste to caste. The art of Brahmins and Kayastha is closely tied to religious ritual, as exemplified in the making of aripana. To make aripana a woman grinds rice with some water into a paste called pithar. Dipping two fingers into the pithar, she makes graceful lace-like designs on the mud floor of her home or courtyard. She then dots the designs with red powder. Women have a repertoire of such designs that may be drawn for worship of the house deity or for rituals related to marriage or a particular full moon day. The arts of the women are transient. Rains destroy the mud and painted designs or in the spring during a New Year festival, paintings are covered over with mud. Aripan: paintings of Mithila The Aripanas are drawn by various female members of the household, on ritually prescribed occasions, on the clean swept ground of the courtyards or inside the house. The Aripan painting, derived from Sanskrit “ Alepan” (meaning “to smear”), is quite auspicious in the whole Mithila region. It basically refers to smearing the ground with cow dung and clay for ritual purification. Also known as “Mandala”, this art form comes into play on several religious occasions such as Brata Bandha (sacred thread ceremony), Chhatiyar (sixth day rites of a child after birth), Mundan (head shaving ceremony of a child), puberty, conception, initiation into learning, and marriage. Interestingly, this art is also practiced in various parts of India under different names like “Alpna” in West Bengal, “Mandala” in Rajasthan and “Rangoli” in Gujurat. In Nepal’s Bhojpuri areas, it is known as “Chaukapurna” while in Mithila, it is “Aripam’. This Tradition of Aripan is found in Grihyasutra too. The Vastu Purusha Mandala is a schematic mental map, and the basis for nationalizing any site. It is not a measured drawing or a contour map, but a code that enables reading of the site and a resolution of its design. A piece of land, once assigned for a dwelling, becomes the Mandala within which the world of a man is organized. Its features become the Mandala, which in turn adopts its shape and terrain. The concept of the Vastu Purusha Mandala acts through a site without which it remains physically nonexistent, which means that an ordered field cannot exist without a field. Aripan is drawn and depicted both for adornment and purification of a piece of ground. It is painted either on the main entrance gate of a house, or at thresh-holds and courtyards. Sometimes, it also finds place in the main residential room. Both young and old women are talented at this particular art form.There are many kinds of Atipan art which are depicted and drawn for various purposes. One kind of Aripan is drawn on the auspicious occasion of Tusari Pooja in which young, unmarried Maithili girls draw it to get good husbands. Its duration is between Makar Sankranti and Falgun Sankranti. In this Aripan they draw a temple, the moon, sun, navagrah (nine planets and so on. Likewise, Sanjha Aripan, which is depicted in honor of Sandhya Devi (goddess of the evening) . And the whole cosmos are drawn and shown in the form of a temple. Panch Dev (five gods) and Shapta Rishis (seven sages) are also sketched in the shape of the lotus Aripan. Similarly, Sasthi-pooja-Aripan is painted when young girls start menstruation. This Aripan signifies the creation and destruction of the universe. The Gatra-Sankrant Aripan is the symbol of birth and death, whereas the Kojagara Aripan is drawn on the leaf of Makhan on the full moon-day of Aswin (September). Diwali Aripan, which is known in Mithila region as Sukha-ratri Aripan, is depicted to welcome laxmi, the goddess of wealth. And Swastik Aripan is painted for blessing the young generation. Aripan art is cosmic in nature and playful in expression. It is a bright and beautiful art. The material applied in such art is a mixture of powdered rice and water, known as “pithar”. The women folk, dipping two fingers into the pithar, produce graceful geometrical diagrams with different designs on the mud floor of their housed and courtyards and at the thresholds. This art tells of the magnanimity of the mother goddess   In order to make it more adorning, the women also smear red powder on it. Moreover, three inner triangles symbolize gauri, the favorite goddess of the Maithil maidens. The Aripanas are drawn by various female members of the household, on ritually prescribed occasions, on the clean swept ground of the courtyards or inside the house. Ideally, the design of an Aripana should be revealed to the lady-artist as a result of meditation and general yogic experience. In practice, the details of the various Aripanas are learned by girls from watching the work of their mothers, grandmothers and other female relatives and neighbors”.

2 years ago

Nepal Trekking Season | Best Time For Trek in Nepal

Nepal Trekking Season | Best Time For Trek In Nepal   Nepal Trekking Season generally known best as two seasons after falls and after the winter.  The following month mid of September to mid of December consider ever best season of trekking in Himalayas. During this period of months have pleasant climate condition not so hot and cold and visibility of mountain are crystal clear. There is another best season of trekking Nepal after winter when sun getting more warmer in spring time may trekkers to Himalayas can again enjoy comfortable climate condition. In spring season in Nepal many different types of flowers bloom both trees and ground and it is also the best time to climb up peaks for expedition.     Autumn (September-November) Autumn season is considered as the best trekking season for the trekking in Nepal.  September, October and November are fall in this trekking season in Nepal. During in this season offers excellent weather and tantalizing mountain views. Temperature is moderate, making it a good time for any trekking. The sky is generally clear with outstanding views. Occasionally short storms may dump considerable snow at high altitudes.   Winter (December-February) Generally, the days are clear in winter season in Nepal. December, January and February months are cold days in mountain. In winter season in Nepal is usually snow fall in the higher elevations with risk winds and colder temperatures. Hence is ideal for trekking in the lower elevation. If you are looking for suitable and incredible scenery, this is a great time to Trek in lower elevations.         Spring (March-May) Spring season in Nepal is also considered as the best season to do the trekking and mountain climbing. In this season offers different varieties of wild flora blossoming of the giant rhododendrons above 3000m and hunting paradise during this season, which makes higher altitude trekking more comfortable and interesting. It is mildly warm at lower elevations and quite moderate temperature at higher elevation over 4000m, which provides spectacular and excellent mountains View. March, April and May months are fall in this trekking season in Nepal.   Summer (June-August) June, July and August months are main rainy season in Nepal and involves monsoon with heavy rainfall which makes trekking conditions unfavorable.This season is ideal time for Trekking and tour to Tibet however, in some Trekking regions of Nepal connecting to Tibet and desert parts of Nepal like Mustang, Nar-Phu valley and Dolpo regions are best season to do trekking which is summer trekking a great alternative behind the Himalayas rain shadow area.   Some Glimpses Of Trekking        Image Source: Wikimedia and freegreatpicture

2 years ago

Status of Women in Nepal

A single statement applicable to all the women in Nepal cannot be made as different groups of women enjoy different status. For instance, Hindu women and the women belonging to indigenous ethnic groups have different rights and suffered from different modes of oppression. The latter groups enjoy more excess and control of researchers. Indigenous women have relatively a higher degree of social mobility, and posses freedom within the private sphere. They are, however, unable to participate in the public realm due to the dominant ideology of culture being practised. Dissimilarly, Hindu women have no autonomy within private sphere, but enjoy limited positions in the public sphere. Their oppression stems from the concepts of hierarchy, the caste system, traditional thought about food, and the high value of chastity. Although the women belonging to different caste, religion and culture have different status, one thing is certain that they are being oppressed with respect to economic , socio-cultural, political and legal status which cannot be analysed into isolation because each is intrinsically tied to the next. But for the sake of clarity, each category is discussed separately.   Poverty     Let's discuss economic status. The dominant Hindu religion and culture have popularized a belief that women should be dependent on males for income from cradle to grave. Men are considered the sole breadwinners of families; and women are viewed only as domestic maternal. Women's work is confined to the household. Their responsibilities are thought to include cooking, washing, collecting fuel and firewood, fetching water, engage in agriculture, maternity, and service to males and other family members. Although their work plays a vital role, it is normally left uncounted.   Women involved in wage-labour      The work load of Nepalese women is immense. They work about 16 hours everyday. Nepalese women are mainly engaged in agriculture work, carpet industries, and wage-labour activities. Furthermore, Nepalese women are compelled to resort to prostitution and to be sold as commercial sex workers. Because of modernization, their workload has certainly increased. Thus, they are now forced to perform triple roles: that of mother,of a traditional wife and of a community participant. Generally Nepalese women have much less access of industrial credit, both an individual and household enterprise levels irrespective of ecological regions, urban or rural areas and ethnic or castes. Complicating economic disparity is the increasing feminization of poverty. To remedy this situation, women would need full economic rights.   Dowry system      Let's discuss socio-cultural status. Patriarchy persists as the dominant ideology under Hindu religion and culture. The constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal codified this declaring Nepal a Hindu Kingdom. The religion and its associated culture, norms and values have prevailed for hundred of years and as the result, Hindu women are more oppressed. Because of the great diversity of Nepalese society,the status of women can not be defined by Hinduism alone. These are various indigenous ethnic groups and races. Comparing to Hindu women, indigenous women have relatively better status concerning social mobility, decision making, and sexuality. But the Muslim women have the worst social status among the women belonging to different religions and cultures. The existing dowry system is to be thought to be one of the hindrances for Nepalese women. Many newly married women especially in the Terai are badly tortured by the spouse and other senior family members. The overall literacy rate of women is considerably low; only 24.7 % of Nepalese women are literate. Nepal is one of only two countries in the world where women's life expectancy is less than that of men.   Women in politics        In Nepalese political status, Nepalese women have been involved in the political movement since the fifties but several factors have prevented them from actively participating in local and national politics. These factors include: the dominant ideology of patriarchy, male chauvinism, criminalization of policies, lack of equal property rights, restrictions on women's mobility, and domination of men in all the political parties. Only few women have gained higher public positions. An encouraging trend is the presence of  a lot of elected women representatives in the local bodies. This is due to the provision of seat reservation at this level. However, women lack the power to contribute significantly even within these roles as most of the resources are controlled by their male colleagues.   Status of women at present        To conclude, we can mention that Nepalese women have already opened the door to achieve the destinations of their entire freedom and rights along with their responsibilities. There is no solution to this miserable condition of Nepalese women unless they are adequately and appropriately educated concerning their rights and responsibilities.  

2 years ago

Indra Jatra | An overview on Indra Jatra Festival

Indra Jatra | An Overview of Indra Jatra Festival Indra is Lord of Rain and the king of Heaven.  Jatra is procession. Indra Jatra is celebration of God Indra’s Day.  Indra Jatra is festival of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.  Some believes Indra Jatra is thanking day to lord Indra for the rain. According to others, the festival is celebrated in the honor of Bahirab, who is Shiva's manifestation and is believed to destroy evil. ईन्द्र जात्रा ( INDRA JATRA ) When do we celebrate Indra Jatra Indra Jatra begins every year from the day of the Bhadra Dwadasi to Ashwin Krishna Chaturdasi. It is a eight day long festival.   How do we celebrate Indra Jatra The festival begins with the carnival-like erection of The Linga (Yasingh), a ceremonial pole, accompanied by the rare display of the deity Akash Bhairab, represented by a massive mask spouting Jaad and raksi (Nepali local liquors). Households throughout Kathmandu (especially Newars) display images and sculptures of Indra and Bhairab at this time of year. This thirty-six feet long wooden pole (The Linga (Yasingh)) is chosen with great care from the Nala forest in Kavre district east of Kathmandu.     According to traditional beliefs, Indra had received this flag from Lord Vishnu for protection. Finally, the Kumari (living goddess), leaves the seclusion of her temple in a palanquin and leads a procession through the streets of Kathmandu to thank Indra the rain god. The main attraction of the festival is the procession of chariots and masked dancers representing deities and demons. Indra is called Yanya in Newari. Jaad (Nepali local liquor) flows from the Bahirab statue, which is remarkable to look at in Hanuman Dhoka. The procession consists of: •    Majipa Lakhey •    Pulukishi •    Sawan Bhaku •    Ganesh (Chariot) •    Kumar (Chariot) •    Kumari (Chariot) Besides these, there are various dances held on the open stages of the city called dabu. There is display of Swet Bhairava as well as various deities of the city.   Story Behind Indra Jatra Indra’s mother needed parijat, a type of flower, for some religious ritual so Indra disguised as a human being came to the earth to fetch them. But, he was recognized when he was to steal the flowers so the people caught him and tied him with ropes. The statue of which is still worshipped in Maru Tole in Kathmandu. This image is also put on display with others in different parts of the city during Indra Jatra festival. Indra Jatra is a very interesting festival because for the whole week people enjoy various traditional dances and witness the chariot of Goddess Kumari, Lord Ganesh and Lord Bhairav being pulled through the older parts of the Kathmandu city. A day has been added to the original seven days of celebration and on that day known as Nanicha yaa the chariots are pulled through Naradevi, Nhyokha, Ason, Indrachwok and Hanuman Dhoka. This extra day of chariot pulling was introduced by King Jaya Prakash Malla in 1765 B.S.   In Indra Chowk, the famous Akash Bhairava bust is displayed and it is decorated with flowers. This Akash Bhairava’s head is related to the Mahabharata story. Some believe it to be the head of the first Kirat King Yalamber. In Indra Chowk, every night different groups gather and sing bhajans and hymns.   During Indra Jatra, there are a variety of performances including the dances of Sawa Bhakku Bhairav from Halchowk, Majipa Lakhey from Majipat, Devi Nach and Yeravat hathi (Pulukisi) from Naradevi, Mahakali and Kathi Maka Nach from Bhaktapur. All the dances take place around Hanuman Dhoka area. The Dasavatar or the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu is also staged every night.   The first day of the festival is also observed by the Newars as a day to remember the family members who died during the past year by offering small oil lamps along a traditional route covering all the parts of the old city. It is believed to have been started during the reign of Mahendra Malla.   The Linga (Yasingh) is pulled down signalling the end of Indra Jatra festival. It is taken to the confluence of Bagmati and Bishnumati in Teku to be put to rest.   The end of the Indra Jatra festival heralds the beginning of Dashain and Tihar celebrated with great enthusiasm not only in the Kathmandu Valley but throughout the country.    

2 years ago

Nepali Art : Sources of Art

Art The art and culture of Nepal has been strongly influenced by the religious beliefs of the country. The artwork is decorative, delicate and very beautiful. Nepal art is strongly influenced by the culture of the people and the two really go together and are interwoven. The two most typical forms of art are that of paintings and sculptures. Nepal art and culture has changed little over the centuries though western influences are slowly starting to affect some modern artists.   PaintingThe earliest examples of Nepalese art in painting form is that of manuscript illustrations found on palm leaves. This tradition goes far back into the past and the earliest known illustrated manuscript is the Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita of 1015 AD. Often the wooden covers which were created to protect the manuscript-painted leaves are more lavishly decorated than the actual manuscript. Many examples of this type of art have survived and are well preserved. The influence that religion has on such artwork is evident in the fact that such manuscripts are usually only decorated with figures Nepal Painting of divinities. All the manuscripts are illustrated with images of gods and goddesses, regardless of whether they are Buddhist or Hindu in origin. Oftentimes certain manuscripts – along with the relevant imagery – would be copied and donated to a monk, priest, monastery or temple. Thus the style of painting remained fairly constant and painting quality was maintained for a long period of time. The quality of paper manuscripts also declined. Due to this, older paintings are now held in higher regard than more modern manuscripts of lower quality.Another form of painting that is evident in Nepal since the ancient times are Thangka Paintings. These were primarily religious in nature and were used as icons in worship. These paintings are known as Paubha in Newari and Thangka in Tibetan, and originated in Nepal. The creation of illuminated wall paintings or religious metal sculptures was in big demand at one stage and this spawned an ‘industry’ of skilled artisans who catered to the demand by initiating the painting of such icons on cloth which could be rolled up and easily transported. These thangka paintings were widely received with praise and thus made their way into homes and monasteries in the ninth century and are still popular today. A good example of a thangka painting is the ‘Mandala of Vishnu’ which dates back to 1420 AD. Early thangkas are simple in design and consist of a centrally positioned large deity surrounded by smaller figures of lesser importance. From the 15th century, the Tantric cult started to take hold of the people of the land. Artists started to use brighter colors and there was a tendency towards the portrayal of Shiva and Shakti in various conventional poses. Because of the esoteric nature of Tantrism, a strong emphasis was put on the female element and sexuality during this time. The thangkas produced were said to possess magic forces and a great variety of symbols were incorporated into the artwork.Sculpture Sculpture has enjoyed a long and interesting history in Nepal and many carved artifacts have been found in the Terai region of the country. All early sculptures were religious in nature and the artists themselves also seemed to be extremely devoted to their various deities. While early sculptures were very simple, but those from the Lichchhavi period were strikingly beautiful. These sculptures were made from stone, copper and bronze and depict round faces and slanted eyes. There is a lot of attention to detail while still presenting the deity in a simplistic way. The use of clothing and ornaments were always kept to a minimum and often the subject wears only a dhoti or sanghatis. The Lichchhavi period (5-8 CE) was the Golden Age of Nepalese sculpture and many excellently excavated and preserved examples can be found. Woodcarving, while not always in ornamental form, also served a decorative purpose in ancient Nepal and thus is viewed as an art form. Windows, doors, temples, roof-struts and numerous artefacts were all carved by hand and can be still seen in the Katmandu valley. Wood is not as long-lasting as stone and so Sculptures in Nepal examples do not date back further than the 14th century yet wood carving continues to be a very prominent aspect of Nepalese architecture. Nepalese art work had far reaching effects on other cultures. The first major introduction of local art to other cultures occurred in the 7th century AD when Mahayana Buddhism was introduced in Tibet under the order of the king Angshuvarma. A large number of monasteries were subsequently built and these all needed to be filled with manuscripts and sculptures. Today some of the most outstanding examples of Nepalese art can be found in Tibet. Nepal’s artistic influence even cross the borders of China when Nepalese artisans were sent to the courts of Chinese emperors to impart their knowledge to local craftsmen and to create artworks. The most exemplary contribution of this nature was made by the innovator and architect Balbahu or ‘Arniko’, who’s many creations can still be found to this day.Stupa Style A Nepalese architectural style borne out of Buddhist concepts and used in the construction of Buddhist shrines. Stupa architecture is easy to spot. A square base is mounted upon a hemispherical structure. Atop the strong base are thirteen rings layered on top of each other and progressively narrowing to a point. A parasol tops it all off. The square bases, also known as harmika has pairs of “all-seeing” eyes painted on each of its exposed sides. Swayambhu Shrine and Baudhanath Shrines, declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, are exquisite examples of the stupa style. In Patan you will discover some of the oldest stupas in Nepal that were commissioned by King Ashoka.Shikhara Style Nepal's Shikhara style consists of 5 or nine vertical sections forming a high pyramidal or curvilinear tower-like structure. The apex is bell-shaped. This style is not very common, but a fine example can be seen in Patan, it is the Krishna temple.Architecture The magnificent architecture of Nepal is a form of art which truly captures the culture and essence of Nepal. Traditional Nepalese architecture attracts both tourists and scholars to this amazing country. The fascinating historical buildings and unique Nepalese architectural designs inspire much awe. Particularly popular is Bhaktapur where tourists can explore numerous outstanding Nepalese architectural structures. Certain people have divided Nepal's architecture into three non-specific stylistic groups, namely pagoda style, stupa style and shikhara style.Pagoda Style This Nepalese architectural style features several layered roofs that have broad eaves carefully held up by carved wood struts. The building's roof is typically crowned by triangular spires surrounding upside-down bell made out of burnished gold. Windows on Nepal Temple Architecture the structure protrude and are usually latticed. The pagoda style is a true demonstration of fine artistic architectural design. Interestingly, China later borrowed the style which further spread through Asia. Pay a visit to Kasthamandap in the Kathmandu Valley to view an impressive wooden pagoda constructed during the Malla age. Another spectacular example of this intriguing Nepalese architectural style is Basantpur Palace, a nine-story structure commissioned by King Prithvi Narayan Shah. Also make your way the the temples of Pashupati, Changu Narayan and Taleju.

2 years ago

A brief to Thangka

Thangka is a Silk painting with embroidery, usually showing a Buddhist god, famous scene, or a mandala. The Thangka is very different than regular oil or acrylic painting. It is a piece of picture which is painted or embroidered, over which a fabric is attached, and then over which is laid a cover, usually silk. Generally Thangkas last for a very long tenure. It is delicate and hence, should be stored in dry places. Moisture is not at all good for it. Thangka is also known as scroll- painting.       Origin and purpose of Thangka Thangka is a Nepali form of art exported to Tibet by princess Bhrikuti ( Harit Tara - daughter of Ansuvarma) of Nepal (7thCentury) married to Sron Tsan Gampo, the then ruler of Tibet. The word "Thangka" is believed to have come from the Tibetan word "thang yig" meaning a written record. Originally, Thangka paintings became popular among travelers and monks as a teaching tool to illustrate life history of Gautam Buddha, lamas, other god / goddess and bodhisattvas. One of the most popular subjects seen in Thangkas is “The wheel of life” which is the visual representation of Abhidharma teachings or the art of enlightenment. These religious paintings offer a beautiful expression of both being visually and mentally inspiring. Most of the travellers buy thangka as the gifts from nepal Types of Thangka Based on technique and materials of painting Thangkas can be grouped by types. Generally, they are divided into two broad categories: those that are painted (Tib.) bris-tan—and those made of silk, either by appliqué or embroidery          Thangkas are further divided into these more specific categories: Painted in colors (Tib.) tson-tang—the most common type Appliqué (Tib.) go-tang Black Background—meaning gold line on a black background (Tib.) nagtang Blockprints—paper or cloth outlined renderings, bywoodcut/woodblock printing Embroidery (Tib.) tshim-tang Gold Background—an auspicious treatment, used judiciously for peaceful, long-life deities and fully enlightened buddhas Red Background—literally gold line, but referring to gold line on a vermillion (Tib.) mar-tang View different Thangka Paintings Typical Thangkas are fairly small, between about 18 and 30 inches tall or wide, there are also giant festival Thangkas, usually Appliqué, and designed to be unrolled against a wall in a monastery for particular religious occasions. These are likely to be wider than they are tall, and may be sixty or more feet across and possibly twenty or more high.                                      Thangka Painting   Thangkas are painted on cotton or silk. The most commonly used are loosely woven cotton produced in widths from 40 to 58 centimeters (16 - 23 inches). While some differences do exist, Thangkas wider than 45 centimeters (17 or 18 inches) normally have layers in support. The paint consists of water soluble dyes. Both mineral and organic pigments are used, hardened with herb and glue solution. In Western terminology, this is adistempertechnique. The composition of a Thangka, as with the popularBuddhist art, is highly logical. Arms, legs, eyes, nostrils, ears, and various ritual implements are all arranged out on a systematic web of angles and intersecting lines. A skilled Thangka artist will usually select from a range of predesigned items to include in the masterpiece, extending from alms bowls and animals, to the shape, size, and angle of a figure's eyes, nose, and lips. The procedure seems welldisciplined, but often requires deep understanding of the imagination involved to capture the spirit of it. Making of Thangka There are different kinds of Thangka employing various canvases. However, most are painted on cloth or paper. The white cloth is first mounted on a frame and water-based colloid chalk is applied to the surface. It is polished with talc when dried. The canvas is thus ready for painting. Apart from this, there are Thangka which are webs of embroidery, woven silk, silk tapestry or appliqué. Embroidered Thangkas are done with multi-colored silk threads. Silk woven Thangka take the warp of brocade as the base and applies the method of jacquard weaving with colored silk threads as the weft. With appliqué Thangka, human figures, designs and patterns are cut out of colored satin and glued onto the canvas. The resulting work is also called “embossed embroidery.” Tapestry Thangka are woven with the method of “complete warps and broken wefts: which calls for the application of the weft threads on the warp only where the picture or design needs it. The “hollowed out” work produces a three- dimensional effect. Tapestry Thangka are thick, closely woven, delicately designed and gorgeously decorated with colored silk threads. There is yet another kind of Thangka in which beautifully designed colored fabrics decorated with pearls and precious stones are attached to the fabric with gold thread thereby creating a resplendent and dazzling effect. Method Line drawing is created with complete accuracy, proportion and detail, of the deity or desired image. Then portions of the drawing are transferred by tracing to the silks that will be used in the final piece. Definition of line details is created by rolling silk thread over cord and then by carefully hand-stitching this to   the silk pieces. The pieces are then cut out and edges turned under and ironed. Piece by piece the image is created with all its detail. Features such as eyes, jewels and flowers are masterfully stitched using special embroidery techniques. Next the individual pieces are joined together, first using glue and then stitched along every edge so that the pieces form the completed image. Lastly there are some finishing stitches and additions of gems such as Tibetan turquoise and coral are added. The image is then framed in silk brocade. Thangka often overflow with imagination and reference. Because the art is clearly religious, all symbols and references must be in accordance with strict guidelines laid out in buddhist scripture. The artist must be properly trained and have sufficient religious understanding, knowledge,and background to create precise and correct Thangka.

2 years ago

Dhaka Topi and Fabric

What are topis anyway? Are they a symbol of honor, a basic fabric of culture or an utterly exaggerated form of clothing Each culture that’s proud of its existence has pieces of clothing with stories that go back into the past. A veil or a scarf. A meager hair pin or an exaggerated gown. When it comes to Nepal, there is nothing that can explain our history as clearly as the Nepali topi. Nepali topi or Dhaka Topi has been adorning Nepali heads for generations. This unusually cut piece of clothing is a way of life for many older people. Even youngsters find it important to adopt a topi on formal occasions. Intrigued to know its history, I went to Ason, probably the only place where I could find answers. Nirmal Tuladhar took over the shop of hats from his father in 1976 but it has been there in the same place since his grandfather’s time, for probably more than 75 years, making it one of the oldest Dhaka Topi shops in Nepal. “We had people from all over Nepal come here. At a time when it was difficult to find good quality topis, ours was probably the only one people trusted. Things have not changed much. We are still revered as the oldest topi shop in Nepal,” says Nirmal Tuladhar. Dhaka Topi got its name from the fabric that was imported from Dhaka in Bangladesh. Although these materials are no longer brought in from Dhaka, old shawls are still cut to make these topis that are appreciated for their rarity and history. “Dhaka Topis are expensive. They are rare and of very good quality. Only one in a million wear these,” says Nirmal Tuladhar, smiling. The store itself has changed over the years and has adopted modern hats along with Nepali topis. But the highlight of the place still remains the Bhaktapur-made Bhadgaule topi and Dhaka Topi. “Topis are strongly attached to our culture. My father gave them away for free when King Mahendra passed away. I still remember that day. Even something as simple as the way you wear a topi represents the status you have in society. Kings wore it in a more different manner than the common people. It is a huge part of our culture and the time that was,” shares Nirmal. From stories of Kings’ demises to the actual interaction among people on the latest trends of Nepali topis, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that these hats have witnessed more events than any other form of clothing. “People from different political parties have different ways of wearing the topis as well. I have many who buy theirs from my place,” says Nirmal. His statement only apprises us about how our history is still being created as we speak. We can only hope this symbol of pride can shine on for a long time on the heads of the Nepalese. image source: flicker and wikimedia

2 years ago

Janai Purnima : The Thread Festival

Janai Purnima, the thread festival, falls on the full moon day in the month of Bhadra (August/ September) and is celebrated with great gusto, devotion and splendor by Hindus all over the country. Janai is sacred thread and purnima is full moon day, hence, Janai Purnima points to the change of the thread on the auspicious full moon day.  On this day, the Tagadharis (Hindu men wearing the sacred thread), especially the Brahmins and Chettris performing their annual change of Janai (sacred yellow cotton thread) slung from the shoulder and also tie Tago (sacred thread) sanctified by priests chanting the Gayatri Mantra as a symbol of protection. The janai is given to Hindu men in coming-of-age ceremony called Bratabandha that initiates them into manhood and commands them to faithfully follow the religion. It must be worn everyday of their lives from this day onwards. The triple cord of janai is a symbol of body, speech and mind, and when the knots are tied the wearer is supposed to gain complete control over each. After taking bath and making offerings to the Saptarishis (seven legendary Rishis or sages) and to their departed fathers and fore-fathers, the tagadharis put new janai with a belief of having absolute control over mind. The day also marks another holy festival Rakshya Bandan when men, women and children regardless of station and caste tie doro (a sacred yellow thread) around their wrist as a symbol of protection from fear and disease. Raksha means protection and Bandhan means a bond, hence, the doro is tied by a Hindu priest intoning a quick prayer which goes, ‘Thus I tie the Raksha round your wrist, the same which bound the arm of the mighty Bali, King of the Danavas. May its protection be eternal.’ With a belief of bringing good luck, the entire family gathers around a priest to tie the sacred thread; men tie the thread around their right wrist and the women tie it on their left wrist. It is believed that this thread should only be removed on Laxmi Puja, which falls three months later and tied to the tail of a cow. Thus when death comes to the wearer the cow will help him/her to cross the river Bhaitarna, by allowing the dead to cling to her tail. Many legends are associated with this pious festival and among them; the myth of Bali is widely imitated on the propitious day. The day might be a reminder of the extraordinary acts of charity performed by King Bali- the king of Danavas (demons). The King 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 Lord Indra- King of heaven. Seeing their realm under a demon, the gods prayed to Lord Vishnu. The Lord came to their assistance disguised as a dwarf and begged Bali for as much land as he could cover in three strides. After Bali’s agreement, the dwarfed Vishnu swelled to the size of a tremendous giant and in two mighty strides stepped across Heaven and Earth. When he demanded where he might take the promised third step, Bali who had already recognized Vishnu placed the giant’s foot atop his own head and was pushed far into the bowels of the earth. In this way, Lord 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. To mark the day, Hindu pilgrims visit Gosaikunda, a holy shrine of Lord Shiva, situated at mountains north of Kathmandu, and take a dip in the sacred lake with a belief of purging their sins. As part of Janai Purnima celebration, a grand festival takes place at Kumbeshwor Mahadev Temple in Patan. An idol of Lord Shiva is placed in the middle of the pond of Kumbeshwor where people take a plunge, perform puja and watch religious fairs. On the day, a special dish – Kwati- a soup prepared from nine different beans, and different variety of traditional Nepali food is served at homes. The soup is highly nutritious which keeps diseases away and all family members come together to eat Kwati and to celebrate the festival. Moreover, the Newar community marks the same day as the beginning of the nine-day festival called Gunhu Punhi. The Newars coat the threshold of their houses with mud and offer food to gods and food and bougainvillea (gunakeshari flower) to frogs on banana leaves. Likewise, in the Terai region, the day is celebrated as Rakhi festival when sisters tie Rakhi (a thread signifying bond of protection) around their brothers’ wrists wishing them long life and prosperity and in turn, brothers give gifts to their sisters as an assurance of protecting them from all impediments in life.The colorful festival of Janai purnima observes the bond of purity and security. As Janai Purnima is on the way,  iMartNepal .com provides you various kinds of handicrafts items which you can gift to your siblings and relatives. It helps you to celebrate Janai Purnima in Nepali traditional style and culture. We express our warm wishes to you all in the special occasion of Janai Purnima.

2 years ago

The history of Gurkhas and Khukuri

"Better to die than be a coward" is the motto of the world-famous Nepalese Gurkha soldiers who are an integral part of the British Army. They still carry into battle their traditional weapon curved knife known as the Khukuri.In times past, it was said that once a Khukuri was drawn in battle, it had to "taste blood" - if not, its owner had to cut himself before returning it to its sheath. The potential of these warriors was first realised by the British at the height of their empire-building in the last century. The Victorians identified them as a "martial race", perceiving in them particularly masculine qualities of toughness. Bravest of the brave, most generous of the generous, never had a country more faithful friends than you Sir Ralph Turner MC, 3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha Rifles, 1931. After suffering heavy casualties in the invasion of Nepal, the British East India Company signed a hasty peace deal in 1815, which also allowed it to recruit from the ranks of the former enemy.Following the partition of India in 1947, an agreement between Nepal, India and Britain meant four Gurkha regiments from the Indian army were transferred to the British Army, eventually becoming the Gurkha Brigade. Since then, the Gurkhas have loyally fought for the British all over the world, receiving 13 Victoria Crosses between them. PIC: Balbhadra Kunwar on the Nalapani War. It is a medium-length curved knife each Gurkha soldier carries with him in uniform and in battle. In his grip, it is a formidable razor-shape weapon and a cutting tool. In fact, it is an extension of his arm. When his rifle misfires, or when his bullets have run out, a Gurkha unsheathes his Khukuri and makes his final “do-ir-die” run on the enemy in a fury to finish the business. This scene created the romance and the legends. The Khukuri is carried in a wooden (often leather covered) stealth. Khukuri is the national knife of Nepal, originating in ancient times. It is all-purpose knife of the hill peoples of Nepal, especially the Magars and Gurungs in the west, and the Rais and Limbus in the east.The name and fame of khukuri is so exceptional and not only because it is one very efficient and excellent knife but the myths it carries within and its religious values have literally made this knife a true legend.  Nepalese are commonly recognized as Gurkhas because of their bravery and solidarity. Each and every Nepalese keeps Khukuri in their homes for the protection. iMartNepal provides various ranges of Khukuris to all Nepalese living in abroad. You can also buy Khukuri for decoration and protection.

2 years ago

Sales of Festival Items Soar During Holy Month

With the start of the holy month of Shrawan, Kathmandu’s streets are swarming with excited women and girls buying green and yellow bangles, materials to apply henna tattoo and beads. Devotees mark the sacred month by wearing special clothes and adorning their bodies, and sales of festival paraphernalia soar this time of the year. “We see the highest sales during the start of the festive season in Shrawan,” said Alsha Prajapati, a cosmetics shop owner at Asan. “More than 40 percent of our annual sales happen during the months of Shrawan, Bhadra and Ashwin.” According to Prajapati, prices of glass bangles range from Rs30 per dozen to Rs.300 per dozen while metal bangles cost from Rs.150 per dozen to Rs.1,000 per dozen. “The practice of giving bangles and beads as gifts has also developed in recent years result- ing in higher sales,” said Prajapati. Plastic and metal bangles cost more than glass bangles as they are more durable. This has led to an increase in demand for plastic and metal bangles in recent years.   Likewise, sales of beads have also taken off. Wearing green and yellow beads is synonymous with the arrival of Shrawan for Hindu women. Prices start at Rs.50.  Also sales of Tilhari and Pote rises in this month. Hindu devotees in Nepal cele- brate Shrawan as the month of Lord Shiva and observe the tradi- tion of wearing green bangles, henna tattoos and necklaces. Women and girls of different age groups can be seen on the streets decked out in festival finery. According to Prajapati, women of all age groups throng the bazaar to buy bangles and other items.  “Wearing bangles and henna tattoos is fun and adds a fashion- able twist to everyday wear,” said Rishu Basnet, a student. Nepali womens paint mehendi in their hands during the month of Shrawan. It costs from Rs.200 to Rs.1000, provides sufficient revenue for cosmetic owners. Women are benefited by their own capability, somewhat relates to women empowerment. “The beautiful henna tinges are trendy. Moreover, the month of Shrawan is believed to bring good fortune to those who wear henna tattoos.” Henna artists have set up mini stalls on the busy streets of Kathmandu like New Road, Sundhara, Asan and Lagankhel, among other places. According to traders, most of the bangles, beads and henna kits are imported from Birgunj and other districts of Terai. 

2 years ago

Go Green: Lets act Eco-friendly – iMartNepal

In these days, terms like "going green" and "eco-friendly" have become buzz words on talk shows, commercials and product packaging. Eco-friendly literally means earth-friendly or not harmful to the environment.  This term most commonly refers to products that contribute to green living or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy. Eco-friendly products also prevent contributions to air, water and land pollution. You can engage in eco-friendly habits or practices by being more conscious of how you use resources.   The usage of more resources and unwanted materials has caused pollution of air, water, land and sound. Due to excessive pollution, the average temperature of the earth is increasing day to day which has caused global warming, climate change and acid rainfall. The items and products we use should be made using eco friendly materials. iMartNepal sells only the eco friendly products as we concern for betterment of our planet earth. Choice of one people makes differences in the life of global community all over the globe. The truth is that everything single thing we do every day has an impact on the planet either good or bad. The good news is that as an individual you have the power to control most of your choices and, therefore, the impact you create: from where you live to what you buy, eat, and use to light your home to where and how you vacation, to how you shop or vote, you can have global impact. What are Eco-Friendly Products? Eco-friendly products are those products that do not harm the environment whether in their production, use or disposal. Making a truly eco-friendly product keeps both environmental and human safety in mind.Eco-friendly products can be made from scratch, or from recycled materials. This kind of product is easily recognizable as it is, in most cases, labelled as such.              We have a limited amount of resources available and more and more people using them up. If we want our future generations to enjoy the same standard of living we've experienced, we need to take action. Buy eco friendly products from today.   

3 years ago

Women Empowerment in Nepal

Women empowerment educates and empower the women who are homeless, with the skill and confidents necessary to secure a job, create healthy lifestyle, and regain a home for themselves and their children. Women are usually not given the same priority as given to men. They are mostly dominated in the society and not compared equal to the men. We can take the example of our country Nepal.  Nepal being a small, beautiful country is also patriarchal country and predominated by male in all major roles in the society. On the other hand women have been treated as the factory of producing children and limited them only into household works. Actually, they have no freedom in the society and education status of women in Nepal is very low. In Nepal female have no access to education because of the conservative social structure. They have established the concept of women are better for the household activities and men for other jobs and responsibilities. Moreover, in some societies still wouldn’t see positively if girls go to school. As a result, woman has no accessibility to get any job and have to be fully dependent on their women empowerment program family and their husband in terms of finance. By all the above mentioned truth which exists in Nepali society would excite many organization to help them by giving some sort of non formal education and income generating as well as awareness building training related to women through volunteering service. Provision of education and training to them would increase their education level and uplift their living standards. In addition, the concept of society would change gradually. Finally, they shouldn’t rely on their husband and women in terms of money and can get freedom in family and society too.

3 years ago

Sarangi | Musical Instruments

Sarangi – Nepali Musical Instrument Sarangi is a traditional folk musical instrument of Gandharva community of Kaski district.Sarangi is also found in Indian classical music but the Sarangi of Nepal has only 4 strings. Traditionally it was played by only the Gaine or Gandarva caste. Today it has found its way to more main stream Nepali music.   Sarangi is  made from a hollowed-out wooden piece with 2 chambers. Both pieces are made from soft wood call Khiro. It is played by rubbing the strings by a bow. The string was originally made from sheep intestine. The fine nerves of the intestine was used after the external meat was rotted out to make strings.  These days nylon, PVC and steel strings are also used for this purpose.The bow was traditionally strung with horse tail-hair (as used in violin bows), but in the modern day nylon bowstrings are common. The bow handle is usually made by bamboo. Different notes are made by touching the strings with the nail of fingers of the left hand.It is taken as a instrument to express emotions through music.You can see many Gaine singers singing in the streets of Kathmandu and the villages.  They still sing for their daily upkeep and also sell the instruments to make a living. Who are Gandharvas/Gaines ? Over the centuries, the Gaine or Gandharva, a community of occupational caste musicians, functioned as the sole organised means of information and entertainment for the numerous isolated communities across the mountains of Nepal. In ancient time, the Gaine travelled from village to village, singing about everything from legendary heroes and ongoing battles to tales of what they saw on their journeys and the lives of the people they encountered on their way. In a society where access to information was considered the exclusive right of the 'high' caste and the wealthy, the Gaine’s function was crucial. Today, the traditional storyteller function of the Gaine has been losing relevance rapidly in the rural areas. This is already evident, with the Gaines migrating to the cities in large numbers. In the urban centres of Kathmandu and Pokhara, the Gaine now roam the tourist areas, hoping to make money by playing tunes for the tourists or selling them a Sarangi. As craze of western musical instruments like Guitar, Piano, Drums etc. has been growing in the minds of younger ones, the value of folk instruments is reduced. It is the resposibility of every citizens of Nepal to save and promote the traditional musical instruments along with Sarangi.  We,iMartNepalare promoting the traditional arts, handicrafts and musical instruments of Nepal through different media. If we contribute a little from our side then it will surely bring changes in the thoughts of younger ones and as a result, Nepali art and musical instruments will get reknown popularity in global community. Love Nepali Instrument, Love Nepal. You can buy Sarangi online at iMartNepal. https://www.imartnepal.com/handmade-items/nepali-musical-instruments/sarangi.html

3 years ago

Ten Architectural Feats of Malla Dynasty

It is undoubtful that Nepal is rich in art, culture, traditional values, warm hospitality and very own distinct history. Many rulers came into existence and left their enormous contribution that enriched the fact of priding oneself being Nepalese. Among them, one of the proficient dynasties that mastered in different sectors including trade, commerce, and the architectural value is unquestionably Malla Reign. Malla dynasty that remained in existence about six centuries (1200-1769 A.D) after Lichhavi era and prior to Shah dynasty is considered to be the golden era in the history of Nepal. Kathmandu (Nepal) sought great achievements during this reign that includes most prominently in trade, commerce, culture, traditions, architectural monuments, temples and palaces. Many such historic monuments were built, it was, therefore, Kathmandu entitled with “The City of Gods” at their period. During Mallas, most of the architectural feats that are in existence to till date which is flourishing the mother country Nepal’s pride internationally were built. All the courtesy goes to the creative Malla Kings who preserved the ancient and traditional Newari cultures and brought the renaissance in architectural sector. The two major earthquake that hit Nepal in 1933 and 2015 somehow deteriorated most of the Unesco World heritage sites. Despite the fact, some still stand boastfully to boost our history and is still in running the race to rejuvenate them. Here, I have listed the significant architectural feats that add untiring effort in introducing Nepal rich in culture, traditions and architectural monuments which only came out during Mallas.     #Rani Pokhari   Rani Pokhari which literally means Queen’s Pond in English was built in 1670 A.D is the famous landscape situated at the heart of the Kathmandu sandwiched between Durbar High School and Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower). It is said that Pratap Malla built this to praise his wife who was completely in devastating grief  after their son crushed to death by an elephant. Water in this historic artificial pond is believed to be collected through various holy rivers as per the Hindu religion from Nepal and India as such Gosaikund, Muktinath, Badrinath, Kedarnath to sanctify it. At the middle of the pond, a temple dedicated to Matrikeshwor Mahadev, a form of the Hindu deity Shiva stands out surrounded by four other small temples at every corner- two Bhairav mandir in northwest and northeast, Ganesh mandir in southwest and Mahalaxmi mandir in the southeast. A large stone statue of the elephant where Pratap Malla and his two sons Chakravartendra Malla and Mahipatendra Malla riding is also situated on the southern embankment.   #Krishna Mandir   Krishna Mandir is the dedicated temple for Krishna, one of the popular deity in Hindu religion which is also considered as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It was built by King Siddhi Narasimha Malla in 1637 in Shikhara style which is ideally an Indian architectural style but it is unique in its own style and considered to be the joint fusion of two different styles- aka southern Gupta Shikhara style and open multi-storied Moghul style.   Ancient tale depicts that the major reason for its construction came from the dream, where the king saw Krishna and his wife Radha at the King’s palace and ordered him to built the temple at the same spot where it stands today. It has 21 pinnacles underneath of which 3 storied temple stands out. The first floor is dedicated to Lord Krishna that consists of various stone statues of him and his two consorts Radha and Rukmani, second for Lord Shiva and the third one to the Buddha also called Lokeshwor.   It is located at the heart of the Patan durbar Square and is usually open for the whole year but during Krishna Janmashtami, this place is crowded with thousands of worshippers and pilgrims locally and internationally.   Typically, it is famous for the belief that it was constructed with the single piece of stone and the outstanding artistic carvings on them that recite the part of Mahabharat in Newari.   #Nyatapola Temple   Nyatapola, which means 5 storey temple in Newari (local language in Bhaktapur) is considered to be the tallest temple in Nepal was built in pagoda style by King Bhupatindra Malla in 1702 A.D. and is dedicated to the Goddess Sidhha Laxmi which is considered to be the bloodthirsty violent incarnation of Lord Durga (Parvati).   It stands about 30m high and is located at the Taumadhi Tole in Bhaktapur. The strange matter of fact is that it is still standing taller while surviving the two great earthquakes in 1933 and 2015 of the magnitude of 8.3 and 7.8 respectively with only minor destruction.   It is often praised for its construction that came along with the lack of knowledge and technologies as such this architectural monument exemplify the extreme workmanship of Nepalese artist at that period. The other astonishing fact is that it was only constructed within very short 5 months of duration. So, this artistically challenging historical monument enrich the cultural and traditional value of the whole nation.   In total, there are 5 levels up to the temple. As you climb up, you will see a pair of statues on the either sides, the first level comprises of two brave men of Bhaktapur at that time Jayamal and Patta, next is two elephants, followed by two lions, two griffins and lastly Baghini and Shinghini that means tiger and lion respectively.             #55 Windowed Palace From its name, this artistic monument comprises of 55 windows. This is popular for the exotic wooden artistic craft and craftsmanship, was built by King Yaksha Malla in 1427 A.D and renovated by King Bhupatindra Malla later in the 17th century.   During the ancient period, it was home for then Bhaktapur Royal family. At present, this palace has been converted into National Art Gallery and is home for several arts and artefacts.   #Kasthamandap Kasthamandap also known as Maru Sattal in Newari is derived terminology from Sanskrit that literally mean “Wood Covered Shelter”. It was three storied temple, situated at Maru near Basantapur and was the largest pagoda style monument over Kathmandu Valley with the believe that it was constructed from the single tree’s wood. This temple was the dedication for Gorakhnath. It is also believed that the name of the capital city Kathmandu remained after this temple.   But the bitter truth is that the whole monument collapsed to rubble when Nepal was hit by the extreme earthquake on 2015 measuring 7.8 in magnitude.     #Bhimsen Temple   Bhimsen(also called Bhim) is considered to be one of the leading hero and character in Mahabharat and renowned for his supernatural power and bravery.  This temple is dedicated to him, who is worshipped as Lord of trade and business by Newar locals and was built under King Shree Nivasa Malla reign in 1680 A.D.  It is considered to be the Hindu shrine, and non-Hindu are not allowed to visit. It is popular for its three interconnected golden windows.     #Golden Gate The Golden gate also recognised by Sun Dhoka (in Nepali) is the immense masterpiece in art and architecture of its kind globally. It is decorated with such a beauty that any visitor will then realize the handsomeness of Nepali arts and architecture. It was erected by Ranjit Malla and is located under Bhaktapur Durbar Square.   It is in fact, the main gateway to the 55 window palace and decorated very artistically comprising of various elements like Garuda (mythical griffins), Goddess Kali and various other Hindu deities, supported by two heavenly nymphs, monsters, and other mythical creatures.     #Dattatreya Temple   It is three storied pagoda styled temple and oldest Hindu shrine in Bhaktapur Durbar Square believed to be built with the woods of a single tree.   Located at Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Dattatreya Temple is rich in its own myth and cultural value. It is the only temple in Nepal that is dedicated for Lord Dattatreya, which is considered to be the combined incarnation of all three main gods of Hindu- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. This historically rich monument was built by King Yakshya Malla in 1427 A.D.       #Budanilkantha Budanilkantha also termed as Narayansthan temple means “Old Blue throat” in English is considered to be the largest stone carving architecture in whole Nepal. Lord Vishnu is carved astonishingly in a single piece of black basalt rock, 5m in length that rest above the coils of snake in the middle of 13 m length pond to resembles that Lord Vishnu is floating on the cosmic ocean while lying over Ananta Shesha- giant snake bearing thousand of heads.   This historic landmark was created by then King Pratap Malla and the myth depicts that the Royal family are restricted to visit this site as it believed that it leads to the demise of any one of them.   Lord Vishnu sleeps perfectly with 11 hooded protecting heads rising around the head with cross leg and four hands holding four various symbols-  Sankha as the conch shell, Chakra as disc, Gadha as club and Padma as lotus.       #Kumari Ghar Just beside the Kathmandu Durbar Square, there stands big 3 storied  Kumari Ghar which is home for the kumaris “The Living Goddess of Nepal”. It is, therefore, the holy monument for all the Nepalese that exemplify the ornate craftsmanship. Typically, it is popular for extra-ordinary carved wooden balconies and windows comprising gold crafted window as well which was built by King Jaya Prakash Malla in 1727 A.D.   Tourist may enter through the courtyard and are allowed to take pictures where they will find the immense masterful traditional carving of gods and the symbols over doors, pillars and windows but they are strictly prohibited to take pictures of kumari who sometimes appear at any of the windows of the first floor.    Image Credit: Flicker and Wikimedia

3 years ago

Lokta Paper | Nepali Paper

Lokta Paper | Nepali Paper We have been making paper for centuries. Prior to paper being invented in China in around 100AD, we used to use stones, tree barks or parchments or solid wooden objects for communication by scribing on them and transporting them. Han Dynasty of China has been accredited to have invented paper in around 200BC to 200AD. The Licchavi Dynasty, which ruled Nepal during 400-750 AD, could be one of the earliest adopters of paper making from the Chinese - handmade Lokta paper being found from Licchavi era.   As a kid, many of us may have seen how paper is made. The process is actually simple, comprising of dissolving the paper pulp and evenly distributing it as a layer and letting it dry. Traditionally, paper is made out of pulp from fibre collected from different plants. Based on what plant is found a particular locality, the process and texture of paper making slightly differ. In Nepal, paper is made out of the inner bark of a shrub /bush called Lokta (scientific name Danphe panachea) found abundantly in some 20 hilly districts in Nepal covering around 1 million sq meters.   Lokta Paper, also known as Nepali Kagaj (paper), has been the only kind of paper produced and found in Nepal till the 20th century. In late 20th century, however, the market was flooded with cheaper paper from China and India, which nearly proved terminal to the local paper making industry and affecting the livelihood of the villagers directly.   Government, upon advocacy by various NGOs and INGOs and recognizing the imminent threat, had mandated the use of Nepali paper in all handwritten official document until recently which helped keep the tradition and process alive. Today, Nepali paper is mostly used in making crafts, ranging from diaries to lamp-decors to greetings cards to various other stationaries and accessories.   Owing to its unique texture and properties, it is slowing gaining popular across the globe. With the opening of sale from across the globe, the production has been rising and many small to medium paper production industries has been established. This inturn has led to establishment of paper crafts making industry. Today, Lokta paper (as sheets) and the crafts made out of Lokta paper is exported to all major cities in the World.     Lokta Paper as Eco-friendly Paper The process of making Lokta paper is entirely organic and manual. Right from picking up the inner bark from Lokta bushes to processing it for pulp extraction and then ultimately into making paper sheets are done by local villagers. Inner bark of lokta is boiled to extract the pulp. Pulp is washed using ash. Once the pulp is ready, it is dissolved into water and wooden frames are used to catch the pulp evenly across as a layer which is then sun-dried to make paper.   There is, however, minimal use of machine, especially the water pumps during washing process and small turbines during pulp thinning process being used in some paper making industries, especially in urban areas. Use of sodium bicarbonate had been practiced during the cleaning process, but has been banned by the government and has been replaced with ash again.   Thus, Lokta paper can be said to be completely eco-friendly paper. Lokta , a bush found between altitudes of 1500m to 2000m, is abundant in 20 hilly districts in Nepal.     Unique Features of Lokta Paper Lokta paper is one of the strongest paper in the world, it cannot be easily torn. Lokta paper is most resistant to termites and decay - hence suited for documents/books meant to last for centuries. Lokta paper has a unique feel and texture and overall vibe. Lokta paper is not easily damaged by water. Lokta paper exemplifies ink from pen or print beautifully. Lokta paper can be dyed in many colors and patterns for artistic purposes.   Lokta Paper Making Industry and subsequent crafts making Industry is one of the many crafts making industries in Nepal supporting villagers, especially women empowerment, by providing them employment and means of income. iMartNepal, as a promotor of handmade crafts from Nepal from Nepal, have a product range of handmade Lokta paper craft.      

4 years ago

Everest Day | International Everest Day May 29

Everest Day The international Everest day is celebrated each year on MAY 29. Nepal has been celebrating May 29 as international Everest day since 2007 by organizing the various programs which honours summiters and promotes the first ascent of the highest peak of the world.   Mount Everest had been conquered for the first time in 29 may 1953, by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary. They were the first summit of the Mt. Everest who delighted the peak and inspired the world and that glorious day has been remembered as the International Everest day to commemorate the conquerors. The legendary lady Pasang Lhamu Sherpa who is the first lady to cheers the peak of Mt. Everest is also commemorated in this day. The international everest day promotes the overall development and perseverance of Mt. Everest from global warming and honours the contributors. Due to recent disaster in the Nepal and recurring tremor, currently all the climbing expedition have been holded by the authority. And 17 peoples have been found dead according to guardians and hundreds are injured and others seems out of contact after the avalanche after the quake. Although the authority has not confirmed regarding as how the International Everest day will be celebrated, but the day will be dedicated for the help of those affected by tremor in the avalanche after quake and all the victims of the tremor. It has been also reported that Mt. Everest has shrank by 2.8 cm as reported by the Rt news, so the perseverance of the Mt. everest should be the another topic of the the International Everest day.

4 years ago

Get To Know Hindusm | Hindu God & Goddess List

Hindu God and Goddess Hinduism, often regarded as the oldest religion on the earth has myriad form of the god and goddess. The supreme being, the one of all, the foundation, the formless, universal soul whatever be the word, it refers to the God in Hinduism. The wonderful aspects to discuss here is that in Hindu religion the number of god is not definite to any limits, although the Rigveda tells that there are 33 gods, various forms and incarnation can be found.   Hinduism is the pantheistic and polytheistic at the same time because it regards god as the universe( supreme creator) and at the same time countless god and goddesses are there to demonstrate and empower the particular aspect of the universe. Some of the popular and important gods who are supposed to be the supreme in hierarchy are listed below: Bramha Brahma is regarded as the designer and creator of the universe, he created water, insects, plants, oil, human, animal everything which were and are in the universe. What we called nature while uniting all these things were being created by Bramha. Everything exist because of Bramha, so he comes first on the Hindu trinity. It is told that all the 4 Veda of Hinduism is written by Bramha. He is regarded as the universal soul and all other form of gods are supposed to be his expansion. The identity of Brahma can be identified with a breezeful and enlightened face growing in a lotus out of the navel of the sleeping Vishnu. Shiva and Bishnu are also called the part of Bramha. Vishnu Vishnu is regarded as the preserver and the god of peace in the Hindu tradition, Whenever trouble or disturbance occurs in the system of universe or anything violates the order of the universal law then Vishnu is supposed to take the incarnation to maintain the order and peace in the universe. The formless incarnation of Vishnu makes him mysterious, it is believed that Vishnu has already taken 9th different incarnation and will come in this universe in the form of his 10th incarnation throughout the existence of the universe. In Hinduism it is believed that after reaching certain extent the universe will be seized and throughout the existence there will be four different Yug and Vishnu is supposed to maintain the existence by protecting the creation of Bramha. The identity of Vishnu is the one with Circle (Sudersan Chakra) standing upon the serpent Shesh regarded as Shesh Naag in Hindu.                                     Shiva Shiva often regarded as the Mahadeva is the god of destroyer. Whenever a big overhaul is needed and whenever the culprit cross the limit, Shiva comes to destroy everything especially when the universe need reincarnation. He is believed to be the most powerful god among all the deities. He is also regarded as the god of anger and love. Different Hindu Puran(religious book) describes Shiva’s unconventional love. He has destroyed countless Rackchyas and save the universe from possible harm. He is popular from his spontaneous character. Shiva is identified with the locket of serpent, the stream of ganga in head and wearing the skin of tiger. He is being remembered and prayed before the starting of everything. There are the story of some expansion of Shiva in the form of Kali & Mahakali the god of anger and power. We can see different shiva temple and Shiva Statue worshipped. Ganesha Ganesha is the son of lord Shiva and popular with his identity of elephant head. He is supposed to be the remover of barrier and obstacles, According to the story He was worshipped by Shiva and the strong belief is that whoever invoke Ganesha before any religious or spiritual or ablution, he/she’ll be succeeded in the endeavor. He is identified with his head, tommy and the mouse. Also Ganesh Statue is worshipped first in the temple as he got this boon from Lord ShivaHe is also regarded as the god who punish the greedy ones.                                                                  Saraswati Saraswati is regarded as the goddess of Knowledge, wisdom and art, she is supposed to be the the part of Barham however believer also tells that she is the daughter of Lord Shiva and divine Durga and also the mother of all the Vedas. she is identified with the white dress and holding the veena, mala and palm leaf scroll on the hand and usually rides a swan. Saraswati Statue is worshipped by the all the students because of the belief that whoever pray before pursuing knowledge will be benefited with her supreme power. Saraswati implies the meaning in Sanskrit Sara means “essence” and swoti means “self knowledge”. Laxmi Laxmi is the goddess of light, beauty and fortune however especially recognized as the deity of wealth in Hindu tradition. Goddess Laxmi Statue is worshipped for a good fortune, prosperity and remembered every day. In Tihar one day of celebration is completely dedicated to goddess laxmi. She is recognized by her glowing surface standing on lotus with lotus on her forehand. Because of different belief, tradition and culture, different god and goddess are worshipped in different instant and in different way. Although the myriad deities are being discussed if they’re united, they are but supreme one. Image Courtsey:- shiva vishnu bramha

4 years ago

6 most admirable handmade jewelry to gift

Admirable Handmade Jewelry to Gift Jewelry is the most precious things in the world and lovely gift too. The day when you obsessed for choosing the best gift for your friend or loved one, handmade jewelry must be your first choice. Either it’s handmade or machine made jewelry is always supposed to be the finest gift among all alternatives. Handmade jewelry blend the beauty, art and feeling simultaneously, that’s why it comes at first choice when it’s comes to the matter of gifting. Handmade jewelry is an art which itself is beautiful and elevate the beauty of users too.  Here is the list of most beautiful jewelry from various online handmade store to admire..    1. This is a  beautiful blue beaded bracelet made with gemstone, Swarovski crystal, bronze brass beads, chain and lobster clasp. The sparking crystal has made it a alive soul. It’s not just the jewelry but the backpack of beauty where arts blossom from every petal.    2. This hand crafted necklace has a magnificent golden flower and at the center of the flower a diamond like crystal has been added to lighten the spectacle. This perfectly matches any neck. The unfolded petal of this jewelry is the fountain from where the fragrance of beauty has spread.   3. This jorkon made handmade ring has glimmering crystal attached on its forehead which has made it outstanding. This pendant is totally handcrafted product and exclusively represents the artwork of crafter. The reflection of light through the crystal is the heart of this ring’s beauty.   4. This handmade necklace has green stone fragment and the blend of white crystal on the top surface, the eco friendly color makes this pendant stupendous among the bulk of jewelry.    5. This gorgeous turquoise yellow jewelry necklace features hand sculpted lilies, yellow and night glow buttercups. This pendant is decorated with polygonal turquoise Czec glass beads and yellow jade beads. Everything is attached on a gold color wire, embellished by white satin ribbon. With the unfolded petals of flower this jewelry has become successful to unveil its own mastery and the colorful stone hanged on different parts make it different from other pendant.  6. This Sterling Silver chain is a handmade Silver pendant with diamond, gently domed and textured with Romantic Flower & Vines pattern, within which is nestled a lovely London Blue Quartz faceted marquise briolette gemstone wire wrapped with Sterling Silver wire. The entire piece has been oxidized, buffed and tumble polished for a beautiful contrast between deep, dark silver and shiny silver. This Pink Opal and Apple Green post drop earrings has beautiful golden flower on top and green and diamond glittering opal crystal have been hovered by golden border. This handmade earring is best for gifting to the one whom you love most, because this earring manifests the beauty as well as love. Choosing best product from the bulk of jewelry seems always hard because most of them equally demonstrate authenticity and own uniqueness, however these pendant presented above have been selected by comparing thousands of product on online handmade shopping site etsy and imartnepal. If you’re going to buy jewelry for yourself or for your loved ones then you must go through these product because these are too beautiful like the pink clouds of the dawn. Aren’t they?  Sources: 1,2,3,4,5

4 years ago

Browse ImartNepal’s Handmade Craft & Decors From Mobile App

iMartNepal Mobile Appliction Buying handmade craft is now easy with our Mobile Application. You can now browse all the handicraft item through your intimate friend ( Smartphone) . Imart Nepal Iphone app and Android app are now available on respective app store. You can download it for your Iphone or Android Phone, and enjoy the ease of buying your favorite craft on the go. Appreciating our customer’s valuable feedback and considering their need, We’re now on Iphone. Our IOS app now give you the freedom of exploring handmade craft from Nepal through your phone.   Browsing product A Breeze With Imartnepal app you can browse all the products. You can explore the categorized products and add products you want to the cart. Preview items with one swap and discover the unique information regarding the product on the same tab.   Place The Order On The Go ImartNepal app now let you order any product on the go. Whether you’re on the train or in the freedom of your home, you don’t need turn on your PC to place an order, just open up Imart Nepal app and browse the product in categorized view and place the order. Whether it’s decor or handmade figurine or gift or jewelry you can order everything you want . ImartNepal is tirelessly working to preserve the traditional art and craft and helping the artist to discover success in their artwork. And we thank our customer for helping us on our goal and we believe that you'll enjoy your shopping with our mobile application.    Download ← Iphone | → Android Available on the iTunes App Store Available On Google Play Store

4 years ago

5 Affordable & Easy New Year & Christmas Gift Idea

5 Affordable & Easy New Year & Christmas Gift Idea Christmas and new year, the season of gift and souvenir, and you know it’s hard to find the perfect gift. No matter how much your pocket can bear, you need to ferret the best presents, and you know the budget may go beyond your expectation. Actually this is the problem of not only me but everyone. So why not try something new this Christmas and make holiday eve both unique and affordable. To make this season more exciting here I've concluded top gift ideas to find the best gift whilst saving your pocket. Offer Gift Card Gift card is a popular form of Christmas gift because they are easy and practical. You can send it to anyone, either your loved ones or your friend or colleague. Gift card varies on budget and they can be affordable too. You can simply send a gift voucher to your friend and he/she will buy whatever he loves, depending upon the gift card provider, the minimum amount of gift card varies, but most of retailer offer gift card from $10. You can even try digital gift card, if your friend or the person whom you’re gifting is a fan of app or game then it will be the perfect idea to send them a digital gift card. This is an ideal way because the person who receives the gift can buy whatever he loves and it is far better giving a gift without knowing what he/she loves.   Try DIY and Handmade Do you know why handmade is always unique and best, because each handmade is uniquely made and it doesn't match with another item unlike factory made. Regardless of how much beautiful a machine made item is, it cannot take over the warm feeling of handmade. By buying handmade gift you’ll help the artist and you’ll save your pocket too, because there are many affordable presents available on online craft stores. While discussing about gift handmade is more than just a gift because you can customize it depending upon your need. Not only it looks beautiful in surface moreover they are durable in performance too. Most of the handmade items are produced using scrap and they helps to improve our environment you can even try eco friendly handmade gift.   Try To Make Something Yourself If you've never done anything regarding housework by yourself, why not try to make something on home for your family. This will be both completely new and interesting, you’ll have fun trying something extraordinary from your daily activities. This may be cooking. You can cook some recipe for your family. if you’re going to meet other then taking what you've cooked with you can renovate the celebration. You can even try making a handmade gift, search for some diy inspiration and build one following the instruction, you don’t know how much you’ll enjoy after making such gift. it can be a simple knitted socks to a beautiful decor items. You can see craft ideas at handmedology.   Try Simple But Perfect While looking for the most sophisticated gift we often overlook the simple one. What if the person whom you’re going to gift has all those stuff which are popular in market. In such a case try very simple thing, because the long lasting happiness always comes from simplest thing. This might be a simple customized hat or a photograph featuring your wish quote. This also vary from the person interest try to capture something that will inspire him/her.   Try Something Warm This is a winter season and giving warm handmade scarf, pashmina sweater and shawl creates a warm touch. This will be both practical and effective, you can go to any handmade store find some knitted sweater and wonderful scarf. Nepalese Pashmina will be great addition to your buying list however it is quite expensive. You can buy all those item online. Taking these ideas you can transform your holiday experience. Now almost all website have Christmas and new year offer, so don't’ forget to check the coupon code while buying online.   Search for Gifts from iMartNepal:

4 years ago

Christmas 2015 Big Discount Offer In All Handmade Gift Items

Christmas Shopping With Much Ease iMartNepal Wish All Handmade Lovers Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2015. Christmas & New Year, the season of shopping, market fully stuffed with new products. But wondering which to choose and where to go? All you need to buy best gifts this Christmas and you know handmade comes first when we talk about unique gift and souvenirs. But don’t worry iMartNepal puts you on ease this Christmas, because you can shop all the handmade gifts this Christmas with the freedom of your home. To make your christmas shopping wonderful, iMartNepal is offering special discount and awesome gift hampers on every purchase. Only you need to do is to add your desired handmade products on cart and use Coupon code “christmas2015” without quote. Not only that the first time buyer will get the unique gift hampers. Isn't this just awesome? So explore our product and get the special discount on every purchase.

4 years ago

Traditional Wooden Frame & Craft Decor Inspiration

Top Traditional Wooden Decors Inspiration That Can Enhance Your Home's Look The art of woodcarving has been a part of traditional architecture. The traditional styles of decorating home are still popular. Home, which has been decorated with wooden decor always manifest authenticity. Even in the first half of 21st century, houses were totally decorated with wood but now only some houses can be seen where significant amount of wood art have been used. By using wooden art on our dwelling place, we can make our home beautiful and environment friendly. Especially Traditional window frame have become legendary artwork  in many countries. The shrines of Nepal which are totally decorated by wooden frame reveal the true value of wooden artwork. Thus following the importance of wooden craft this post concludes some of the finest handmade wooden decors from Nepal.   Traditional Triple Window Photo Frame These type of window framewindow frame are especially used on the pilgrims; however one can use it in his home too. With the perfect blend of art and craft this window frame perfectly makes your wall looks like an antique museum. This hand carved window frame is best for home decors. Antique Door This is an "asta mangal" or good luck window as there is eight auspicious symbols of good luck in the door, it consist of endless knot, lotus flower, flag, holy water pot, yak's tail, a pair of fish, umbrella and conch shell. These types of traditional wooden decor provokes its own religious value. Photo Frames This photo frame enhance the look of images placed on it, because the artist has sculpted every parts carefully. This photo frame makes any images perfect and if artwork is used on this frame then it makes an ideal decoration.   You can put your own photo on this frame and hang anywhere on the space of your wall you want. Wood carved Om Om is the mantra or the act of incantation of devotees to invoke God especially during meditation or prayer. Wood from the specie called Gmelina Arboreal. Om is supposed to be the keyword that can generate peace on human soul. This wooden craft perfectly suit any vacant place in the wall. What I can admire in all these decor is uniqueness and antiquity. The creativity of craft persons seems beyond our imagination because how admirably he/she has played with every signal part. These types of decors are religiously rich and provoke unique messages. Previously such artworks have been used in the prestigious shrine and pilgrims but now the trend of using these as home decors has also emerged. All these products are made in Nepal so if anyone wants to use this on their own home or somewhere else then they can order or book online, because this types of antique items may not be always available, it takes huge time to produce one such an artwork.

4 years ago

Happy Shopping, Get 30 % Off On Every Purchase | Happy Black Friday

Happy Black Friday Black Friday is a thanksgiving day in United State; it is regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. iMartNepal is going beyond just a sales offer in this Black Friday season and putting 30% saving in your cart on every purchase. You might be wondering but it’s true. Order our product online now and get 30% off on every product you purchase with us. This scheme will be valid until Dec 3, so why are you waiting for? buy earlier save more. Visit https://www.imartnepal.com/ and order.

4 years ago

Halloween Day Special Offer at ImartNepal

Special Offer in Halloween Day Halloween represents the soul of dead. Halloween is a yearly celebration which is celebrated on various countries on the day of 31st October. This day is also regarded as the eve of the western christian festival of Hallows Day. It initiates the time in the liturgical year dedicated in the memory of dead including saints, martyrs and faithful departed believers. Within Allhallowtide, the traditional focus of all Hallow’s Eve resolves around the theme of using “humor and ridicule to confront the power of death.” Resource Wikipedia In this special day of celebration, ImartNepal is offering 15 off on every purchase. Order any of our product and get discount with your coupon code. Grab this opportunity and buy handmade craft, figurines and home decor at exclusive price. https://www.imartnepal.com/  

4 years ago

Unique Hand Knitted Shoe | How It’s Made

 Unique Hand Knitted Shoe What you think about this shoe? The intricate design which is hand pleated, made up of straw (recycled material) which makes it eco-friendly, isn't it fabulous? I first saw it at Nepalese craft store that promotes ethnic handmade products from Nepal the Himalayan country where the highest mountain the Everest resides. Rich in craftsmanship and local raw material used and is a handmade product, I was really impressed. I bow to his idea, the hard-work and dedication showed to make this ethnic piece of art. It made me curious to think that even in this automated world, how people manage to work so hard and make such beautiful work of art. I remember the day, my internet connection was off; I was so impatient to wait for the issue to be resolved I wanted it to be solved in just a click. I compare it my impatience to the endurance and dedication to the artist who made this product. I wonder how much of devotion and hard work the artist would have delivered to accomplish this product. This seems beyond my mind and my ability I admitted. Nepal has been a culturally diverse country with different tradition and faith rich and popular for its handicrafts products. This shoe was an ethnic Nepali shoe used by Newari community; also used for the holy ceremony, it is regarded to be very pure due to the material used to craft it. This shoe is completely hand pleated and made up of dry straw. Generally it takes one whole day and lots of dedication and requires experienced hands for this shoe to be completed. In the countryside of Nepal women of indigenous societies are being considered as most productive for such hand knitted product and such handmade products have played vital role in economic development in Nepal. The process involves collection of rice straw they are and dried up, then a light spray of water is sprayed on it, to prevent breakage during the knitting process once it is done then it goes to the knitting process done usually by females of Nepal. As you can see in the image different design and furnishing are given. This shoe is an Eco friendly Crafts, easy to wear and comfortable to use. According to Hindu religion, the god Shiva used to wear this shoe and now it's been a tradition of using this shoe during holy ceremony and in pilgrims. Definitely you've admired the uniqueness and authenticity in this product because they worth it. Isn't it?  

4 years ago

History & Current Status of Nepalese Handicraft

Nepali handicraft “The history and current status” The word ‘handicraft’ generally refers to the art of making craft. Nepal is a multi cultural country with vast diversity on itself. Nepal is a place where we can find different culture and religion within a certain distance over a place according to the caste system.   The evolution of Nepalese handmade craft cannot be explained in precision. But can be traced back to the Stone Age. The history of artistic handicrafts only began during the 5th century (A.D), when different religions began to form their bases among the people of Nepal. The cultural religious category (community) in Nepal is divided on the basis of work i.e. Brahmins (Priest), Kshatriyas(warriors and rulers), Vaisyas(skilled traders, merchants and minor officials), Sudras(unskilled workers), and Pariah(“Harijans” which are also known as “children of God” and outcastes, “untouchables”).So, we can see lots of verities on handicrafts according to the community. Thus, we see a lot of religious influence on Nepalese handicrafts which are Introduced by the Nordic aryans, mixed with different groups of Mongolians, protected by Buddhist and Hindus concepts adapted the taste of market. The above figure represents the statue of Vajrasattva which is one of the antique craft of Nepal. Vajrasattva is traditionally viewed as the second patriarch, the first being Vairocana Buddha himself. Vajrasattva is used in the Ngondro, or preliminary practices, in order to purify the mind's defilements, prior to undertaking more advanced tantric techniques.   Handicrafts reflect the pristine culture of the country. In traditional period, the crafts are made on the stone and wood of the temple with the religious values but now a day the crafts are not only made for temples. It has increases its value in decoration also, as for an interior decoration as well as a gifting purpose. It is believed that the traditional statue spreads positive vibes on surroundings. Which has also increases the import export of the handmade figurines internationally and increased even the economic values.     In above figure, all the tools have different traditional and religious value from different community. On current context of Nepal, handmade crafts are the major source of income. A record shows that, in the fiscal year 2013 2.07 billion pashmina were exported; 4 billion garments and 6.075 billion worth carpet were exported. Nepalese handicrafts are exported to U.S.A, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, U.K, Denmark and many other countries. Which directly explain that the demand of neplease handicrafts is high. Not even only statue, the production of pashmina, woolen, felt, silk, cotton, Dhaka Products and hemp products have been facilitating many indigenous societies to make direct income. In the year 2013 the handicraft covered 46% of total export and Rs 4.36 billion total handicrafts were exported.   With the further development in technology, the procedure of trading the crafts has also changed for example the handmade craft products are listed on the online store from where we can easily get all the information about the products on detail and even can purchase online with the facility of home delivery.  

4 years ago

Antique Statue of Nepal | Chronic Figures to Admire

Antique Statue of Nepal Antique resembles such things which have been preserved from ancestor and now exists with own value and authenticity. Nepal is rich in culture and tradition, and valleys are surrounded with the traditional art. It takes century to master in the art, those which are built century before now manifest the real value of its essence.From the small figurines to huge statues all manifest some kind of authenticity. Seeing a 2000 years old statue in Lumbini, one can admired that how rich has been Nepal in such thing. The lists of popular antique statue of Nepal are listed below  Lumbini Statue of Maya Devi At the birthplace of Buddha the profounder of four noble truth, there is an antique statue of Maya Devi which was 2000 supposed to be years old. This statue was made through stone and it is believed that it is the most antique statue that has ever found in Nepal. Maya Devi was mother of Buddha and this statue is located at Ashok pillar in Lumbini Nepal.  Pashupati Nath  Pashupati Nath which is supposed to be the greatest temple of Hindu God Shiva resembles some of antique artwork and sculptors of Nepal. The statue of lord shiva in this temple was supposed to be erected in 1697 A.D. However the temple was supposed to be built during 464 to 505 A.D and is surrounded by many antique figures of different lords.   Collectibles of Art Gallery The National Museum of Nepal has some of very antique artwork and sculptors. The Veenadharini Saraswati Statue which is supposed to be the artwork of 12the century, the Buddha Statue made at 9the century and wooden sculpture of Nritya Devi is supposed to be the oldest yet statue of Nepal.    Hanuman Dhoka Statue of Hanuman Hanuman Dhoka which was built in mid 16th century resembles some of very antique statue and craft work of 16th and 17th centuries artist. The Figures of Hanuman at the entrance of Hanuman Dhoka was erected in 1672 and the statue of Narsingha was developed somehow at the end of 17the century.    Boudhnath Stupa of Kathmandu Boudha Nath which has been the destination of many Buddhist monks from around the world, resembles the Buddha Stupa which was erected during 5th century. In this Stupa, there is an antique statue which consist five different figures of Lord Buddha.   Even modern sculptors have followed the traditional style and design while crafting the figures. Modern Artists have gone through the process of crafting such antique statue and they are preserving the traditional nepali art. sculptors has been successful to charter ancestor’s art of crafting.  

4 years ago

Choosing the Best Gift For Your Friends

Choose Best Gifts For Your Friends  Gift has been a way to express your love and surge your friendship. Either it's a birthday of your friend or marriage ceremony, you must take a gift with you. It's not just only the way to fulfill your formality but it's the way to express yourself and show off them how much you care about them. Gifting an action movie to a friend or person who loves to be silent wouldn't make any senses. Rather your friend may think that you've not understand them. Choosing a best gift for your friend means understanding them and it seems always hard to select a gift. The way you should go is to give them such types of gift which may match their inner feeling and encourage them. You can choose different gift items like jewelry and handmade bags. Also you can choose from unique gift items.   Painting with custom quotes   Most People often love to see custom painting and great quotes attached on it, they want painting to be hanged on their dwelling room, above the Sofa and even in their office. To understand what types of painting and quotes you should gift, you must have better ideas about what types of topics a person would prefer to talk with you. If the person loves reading a classic novel then gifting a painting with quotes from Tolstoy book can be better. This will help manifest your concern of your friend better. If the person loves to read the poem then selecting admirable quotes from the text will help you. Most of the people are motivated through inner inspiration and inspirational quotes from legendary writers help them to do so.   Canvas art or Gallery wrap  Often creative people prefer traditional and old fashioned but simple photography. In the past Picasso had painted on canvas to create amazing work of art, now you can give same feeling by putting your photos on canvas. Canvas printing gives oily looks and helps to demonstrate simplicity. Canvas gallery wrap has become one of the popular mainstream ways to present photos and you can utilize this to make a professional gift. Once a great writer Paulo Coelho has said in his novel "Happiness always reveals itself in the simple things" and most creative people prefer simple things instead of sophisticated one. Canvas art is the best way to give photos and images an artistic looks. Who doesn't like to see their photos on artistic glimpse?   Handmade Items  Handmade items will be the best things to give for creative people because handmade items also manifest creativity and passion of another person. What creative people love is the authenticity and dedication and handmade is that what reflects those. They will not be tired of examining artwork. Handmade items are mostly ethnic unique, preserve and demonstrate the artwork and reveal some extra fantasy. You can also gift ecofriendly crafts.   Photo Collage     Photo collage is the best way to transform own memories into realities. It's better to gather unique photos which your friend doesn't have and make a collage and gift him. Photo collage is the all in one set of admirable memories which makes anyone smile because it drifted us toward the memory of our past. Upon receiving such gift your friend definitely admire your genuine concern about them.       You can choose any you want but the most important things is whether you're able to understand the feeling of a person to whom you're going to gift. Your gift will reflect much more than the words from your lips can do. So better try to trace their inner feeling because most creative people love all things which reveal it silently. There is the quote "If you can't listen my silence, you can't understand my word". So try to research what may be the best gift for your friend before choosing these alternatives.   For the more available artwork gift  please go through online photo framing, photo collage and canvas artwork, you can also select one from collections printed and framed art poster.    

4 years ago

How to decor your room with eco-friendly handmade decors

Decor Your Room With Handmade Eco-Friendly Crafts The term "handmade" itself defines its meaning as made by own hand without use of any kind of machines .Due to the enhanced technology, now a days most of the things are made using the machines which increased the value of handmade product from zero level to the level one. Hence, eco-friendly handmade refers to those handmade products which uses the local resources as its materials and helps on right use of recycled things.   For the sake of the comfortability, there is use of lots of plastic materials which cannot even recycle and when we try to decompose it, it adversely affects our environment. Those gases and chemicals which reveals out after trying to dissolve it, it can causes the disease like cancers, skin diseases and many more. Therefore the eco-friendly products can help to balance the nature with its own atmosphere.   We can use such westage to make some artwork that helps our homes to decorate in such a way that reflects art and beauty. We can made outdoor decors using the broken flower pots, bottles, marbles, broken glasses, wires, Old Furniture Decoupage, Repurposing Old Drawers, Outdoor Decor: Repurposing Old Doors, Tabletop Water Gardens using old bowls and fresh flowers, etc. and similarly indoor decors like window wreath, Detergent bottles flowers vases, etc . There are some of the eco-friendly materials or products which can be made with the least resources available in nature.   Some of the indoor and outdoor eco-friendly home grown decors to see are below:   In this craft work, it is made with the waste material like the broken flower pot and natural floral plants with the little décor using wooden crafts. It shows how the wasted material can form the lovely and magical decors. From the combination of recycled and biodegradable materials, and those unused material like the leaf and cover of the corn with the paper, we can transform it in to the beautiful fairy products as shown on the above decors product.The body is made out of recycled wood while the dress is of traditional Nepali rice paper and other decoration with the cover and leaf of corn.   It shows the tradition of Nepal with the particular society called newar society, showing the processes of making the beaten rice, which includes the earthen pots to fry the rice, wooden basket for the collection of rice, and wooden bowl and stick to beat the rice. This decor is made using the wood for the overall art and uses cotton clothes as the traditional dresses of the women from the newar society.         In this figure, the bowl consists of coffee beans with tea light. When the coffee bean starts to get warmth from the candles, it fragments amazing smell around the room.   These are the only the reference for the better use of wastage that can be used to make an magnificent artwork which can be further used to paint your room.   Thus, from the above eco-friendly handmade decors and unique items we can decors our room with list saving the nature without any side effects of the any chemicals and can give an unique personality to your home with the positive natural vibe.  

4 years ago

Most beautiful Handmade Art to choose from ImartNepal

Beautiful HandMade ArtWork From iMartNepal Art contains authenticity and creativity of a person, reflecting the magical beauty of itself like a blooming white lily on unseen valley. Art always has its own value even though it has not been admired. Throughout the foundation of art, it has been a way to reflect the imagination.   iMartNepal has been always preserving art and craft, thus we help indigenous artist to expose their artwork throughout the globe. In this post we’ve taken best artwork from bulk of our product to help you selecting the best artwork.   1. This beautiful artwork represents a peaceful village. Canvas in the top of this contemporary artwork is the fountain of beauty. At the middle of society, beautiful yellow colored pilgrims has been added. This art completely manifest the culture of traditional Nepalese society. 2. This artwork visualizes women’s making beaten rice in traditional way. The artist had successfully demonstrated the lifestyle of Nepalese women at early age. The canvas itself represents the way of making rice. This artwork has been made through Eco friendly lokta paper and wooden craft. 3. This artwork represents the society of Tharu in nepal. This handmade art mainly demonstrate the architecture of the home and living structure of indigenous society. The perfect blend of green and yellow color has made this artwork magnificent. 4. This artwork is about Sherpa Caravan. In this art the Sherpa is going somewhere with his belonging which are taken by mules. It expresses the way of traditional transport of goods from the country yard to the village and vice versa. All these artwok are handmade and itself  represents the passion of Nepalese artist. These are the beautiful eco friendly arwork which are currenlty available at ImartNepal. Don't be late these products are limited. Pick up your own today!!    

4 years ago

Arts And Crafts Of Nepal

Nepal Arts And Crafts With the long history of crafting and carving, Nepalese crafters have kissed the summit of crafting. Even before starting of 17th Nepalese wood craft was popular. The magnificent wooden decors and frame that we can see throughout Nepal  is the graceful artwork of ancestor. You may have admired if you’ve ever visited the cities of Nepal where thousands of splendid statue seems as if they can talk with you. The modern form of art and craft is the outcome of craft tradition that has been following by generation to generation.   Tradition represents the transmission of customs from generation to generation and Craft tradition has profound modern stage through the contribution of generation on artwork. With the diversity of culture indigenous communities have their own crafting tradition. Following the tradition Nepal has gathered master experience on wood carving and sculpting statues.     Woodwork has been part of traditional architecture of Nepal and wood carvings have graced monasteries, temples, palaces and residential homes since the twelfth century, although the earliest surviving dated temple decorated with wood carving. Sculpture or Wooden decors in Nepal have been flourishing since the early years of the   Lichchhavi period. Wood has been an integral part of the Nepalese traditional, culture and architecture which is exploring form the thirteenth century during Malla Period. Wood carving is popular in the city like Kathmandu, Patan & Bhaktapur and from where different types of statue, windows and door mythological figures, Wooden Frames and ethnic wooden decors are being produced. Metal craft is also the traditional craft business of Nepal. Indeed, there is no dearth of beautiful metal craft works being made day in and day out in the busy lanes of the ‘City of the Arts’. The traditional metal artwork includes making of Buddha Statue and his different incarnations as well as of other Buddhist deities using the lost wax method. Popular Statue of different gods and goddess is the artworks of Nepalese sculptors on which they have spend their valuable time.  How they suppose their work is like their culture and tradition rather than their business. You may wonder if you got a chance to visit the city of Nepal as how magnificently decorated the whole city through traditional metal craft. Diverse is the nature of Nepali Arts and Craft and diverse too are the raw materials used. What is similar however is the skill of Nepali artist no matter what handicraft they are involved in and their tradition of crafting and creating the artwork. You can visit our online store to find wide range of traditional craft and admire the traditional artwork even in this modern age.

4 years ago

Reasons to buy handmade items

Reasons To Buy HandMade Items In this era of mediocrity, handmade items still reflects natural love. With the uniqueness in appearance handmade items helps us to save our environment too. There must be some definite reason that one should purchase handmade items rather than going to fancy shopping mall which offers all the rich collection of trending fashion. In quick word the reason one should buy handmade is that what difference one can see between handmade and machine made. Here're the main reasons that one should choose handmade instead of factory grown product. 1. Preserve and support Art: Handmade is a kind of art and creativity. You can admire different types of style which gives its own unique message in each. A sole craft person’s artwork is from where handmade items emerge from. Buying handmade refers your support to the art of sculptors and artists. Your support simultaneously helps preserving the art and craft. In the country like Nepal, crafting is like culture and tradition rather than business. So buying such artwork will definitely help to yield preservation of craft and art. 2. Environment friendly: Mostly handmade items are home grown and made using recyclable product available locally. We buy product to use them, while you buy handmade items you not just only buy it but also the eco friendly nature of the good helps preserve our environment at the same time. Read our article on how to make your home and office eco friendly through handmade craft for further ideas on how you’ll be environment responsive by using handmade craft. 3. Authenticity and Creativity: Handmade items are mostly made by a sole craftsperson, so the product portrays the unique idea for unique items that comes in his/her mind. That’s the reason handmade items are always unique in look, features authenticity of maker and creativity of crafter soul. People sometime get wondered seeing some products and those triggers on their mind a question, “If it really exists?” That’s why you should choosing a handmade gift instead of other alternative, pleases your receiver as it’s uniquely made just for the one. 4. Customization: Since it is handmade it is possible to customize the product you want to buy. Hand grown product are made by joining different fragments and styled through sewing and knitting effect. If you want a custom product with message, else just a simple gift to another person or just for your own, you can always order one. It is always worthwhile to give a gift with custom message rather than buying one product that are available in every shopping mart. Buying handmade can have easy customization on the product you wish. 5. To support small business and Individual entrepreneur: By going sophisticated shopping mall, you’re not only paying for the product that you buy but also paying charges for their operational cost,  maintenance cost and other associated cost. Buying handmade means no added commission, no agent and no spare expenses. By purchasing home grown product you support indigenous crafter and artist and help them to live . As we’re facing crushing unemployment problems, we have to support those who are doing something on their own through purchasing handmade items. 6. Quality and Durability:  Because the maker or crafter plays with every single composition, the careful integration and handmade items always features excellence. This post gives the logical reason why one should buy handmade products. If you’re going to shop for next weekend than think twice before buying because handmade are always warm and lovely.  

4 years ago

Different types of buddha statue – best list sorted by used material

Different Types Of Buddha Statue Buddha “An Awakened one” also admired as profounder of Buddhism, is a legendary religious leader who have enlightened this world through his light of knowledge and self realization. He had developed compassion on human heart through his teaching, taught us the value of peace and human existence. He had spread the four noble truths through his inspiration, humanity and compassion which still exist in the world. Nepal has been a top country to make Buddha statue. As Buddha was born in Nepal, it has been a tradition of Nepalese craftsman to make Buddha’s statue which reflects the life of Buddha and Buddhist religion. These types of statues are made from different material. We can find wide range of statues like gold plated, silver made, wooden carved, bronze crafted and clay made. Here is the list of Buddha statue which have been made using different material in Nepal: 1. Gold plated Buddha Statue: The most trafficked cities of Nepal especially Kathmandu and Patan are popular for making gold plated statue of Buddha. They treat crafting these types of sculpture as their culture and tradition instead of their business. What you can admire in their work is that they’ve sculpted Buddha passionately and with love. Even in the birth place of buddha as well as Soyambhu, gold plated statue have been used. 2. Clay Made Statue: Indigenous potter crafting different types of clay made items also sculpt statue through their magic hands. Buddha statue here features the lord sitting in blissful meditation with folded legs. The right hand is raised facing outward while the left hand rests in lap holding the alms bowl. The curled hair Buddha wears a red colored flowing robe with intricate golden border around it. Although the contribution of potter on making these types of statue of more than other, clay made statue are supposed to be cheaper than other metal made statue because of the cost associated with material. follow the link to see more about clay made buddha statue.   3. Mix of 5 different metals:  This type of statue is made through the combination of five different metals. Traditionally known as “Panch Dhatu Buddha” this statue is popular for its unique looks. It gives the glimpse of golden spark, shadowy view of bronze and copper and brightness of silver. With the spectacle of different color, it looks absolutely beautiful. “Dhatu” implies for metal and in Nepalese culture there is the belief that using different types of metal we can reduce the effect of planet in human life. To have more information please see our pancha dhatu buddha statue product page   4: Wooden Crafted Buddha Statue: Everybody talks about dedication that people should have dedication on their work. Now what we can see in such hand crafted wooden statue is the dedication, passion and love on art of crafter. Wooden Buddha Statue seen here in his meditative lotus pose raised in a platform and embodied in his radiance to highlight his holy enlightenment position. One can feel serenity and calmness in his solemn aura and face. Each moment that the crafter has spend while sculpting this statue have made the Buddha’s soul alive in this statue. 5: Copper Crafted Statue: As copper has its own traditional value, copper made statue gives antique glimpse. The statue made of cooper has a dark brown tinge with beautiful traditional designs. Copper made craft are supposed to be used more in the home of Buddhist monk and copper crafted statue are popular for small sized statue where as golden statue are popular in both small and large size. To have an information on the significane of each types of buddha statue please read this post here You can view more Buddha Statue 

5 years ago

Buy Nepali handicrafts online

Buy Nepali handicrafts online- start purchasing Nepalese handmade crafts online Along with the emergence of online shopping, many online handicrafts shopping sites were emerged mostly sales oriented. As Nepal has been a culturally diverse country with its rich history of handicrafts, imartnepal has been promoting and enhancing the distribution of handmade handicrafts through its online services. Although there are bulk of sites which exits to sale the handicrafts online and offline, imartnepal has been on the ground to expedite the growth of handicrafts industry and small business in Nepal. With the enriched talent of Nepalese crafts persons, daily hundreds of handicrafts, handmade statue, and wooden crafts are being produced and imartnepal has been making the market for those products. There are some best handmade wooden and metal statues, religious and culturally rich handmade items, handmade Buddish religious statues, handmade bags made through Nepalese pashmina and woolen which can be find on imartnepal online. Some best handicrafts products that you may want to find on imartnepal are listed below:   1) Pancha Dhatu Buddha Statue:   This is the metal statue of buddish goddess Buddha which combines the five different sized statue of gautam Buddha made with five different metals, made by Nepalese sculptors. . This can be a remarkable gift for those interested Tibetan culture and Buddhism.   2) Handmade Bags : On imartnepal you can have the best handmade bags including small woolen bags to stylish laptop bags in affordable price and you need not to visit any shop, you can place your order online and imartnepal will deliver that product to your home.   3.  Nepalese Wooden handicrafts :   Nepalese wooden handicrafts are popular among the world, many tourists come to Nepal just to see the magic of craftsperson on handmade wooden crafts, and they are rich in design and beautiful in appearance. In Nepal most of antique places have been decorated by wooden handicrafts. Wooden crafts can be the best ideas to redesign and decorate your home and office to rejoice the pleasure of nature and religion on this machine world.     4. Eco friendly Nepalese handicrafts:  Eco friendly handmade crafts include bags, décor, interior decors and nativity made with recyclable materials. These products are best for the use in your office, home and for personal purpose. This handicrafts are eco-friendly and totally recyclable.   Along with these, there are thousands of Nepali handicrafts products in imartnepal to choose form, whether you want to decorate your home like a pilgrims or redesign your office to make it more attractive, Nepalese handicrafts is the best way to renew your dwelling place.

5 years ago

For Blog “Women empowerment; a challenge in Nepal”

Women Empowerment, a Challenge in Nepal A country with geographical and cultural diversity followed by unique unity in diversity represents rare identity of Nepal. But natural human gender diversity is still not shadowed under common umbrella of equality.     The contradiction to maintain balance between reliable modern culture of gender equality and provocative ancient masculine tradition gives a transparent vision creating an inhabitable issue of today’s Nepalese society. Modern Nepalese society reflecting conflicting socio-economic status has focus on concept of women empowerment for development which is resisted by traditional belief of masculine society. In this scenario, rising women’s empowerment maintained by education and awareness have not gained sustainable position yet. The approach of governmental, and various private sectors lighting lamp of women empowerment have shown some fruitful improving outcomes.  But it seems not enough; the rising critical contradiction is visualized by prominent gap of women status between urban and rural areas of Nepal. There are a lot of things to be improved from each and every member of Nepalese society. After all, women empowerment is not only burning issue representing women’s right but also a duty of every man which should be radiated as heat of inspiration; respect and love from their soul.   Empowerment doesn’t only include efficient approach to education and employment but also natural right to decide, equality and understanding.  Withdrawing any of these factors can lower women status in human society.   Urban areas having effective education and awareness have maintained a good slandered of women potential in socio-economic aspect but its still seems unserviceable in field. Although there is easy reach to legal activity, communication, awareness and other additional support but still the women empowerment is not accelerating in urban areas. The activities like; indoor gender discrimination, sexual harassment and assault in public place, illegal polygamy etc. is still prevalent in city areas. The women illiteracy is also a key drawback of Nepalese society resisting women empowerment in Nepal.   Literacy rates of Nepal 2011 AD: SN Female literacy rate Male literacy rate 1            46.7%                71.1%     The pie chart of female and male literacy rate in Nepal (2011 AD).     This huge difference of male and female literacy rate is result of gender discrimination prevalent in Nepalese society. Nepalese family gives educational priority to boys as a result many young girls are deprived of school education and forced to engage in household works.   The condition of women’s in rural area is even more critical due to lack of education, awareness and income source. The traditional masculine social concept followed by lack of education and awareness is still prevalent in many villages of Nepal. Hard labor for gathering livestock and struggle to join their hand to mouth has resisted women to explore from their limited source. The early marriage and socially deprived from right to decide pregnancy; women in remote village have caused frequent maternal and infant death. The maternal death rate of Nepal is 170 death/100,000 lives. (2010AD)   The lack of knowledge about family planning in rural areas have resulted frequent pregnancy resulting population growth. The prevalent dowry system and early marriage in many part of Terai have resulted serious women rights violation and even death. Trafficking is an integral part of the social and economic fabric of Nepal, as in other parts of the world. The practice causes intolerable degradation and suffering for the girls and young women involved, who are treated as a commodity. It presents a risk to their physical and mental health, and in particular to their sexual health. The women education and awareness works as key to improve life standard of women in rural areas. Moreover, filtering and polishing social concept of masculine society as well as enhancing gender equality by establishing women right to decide from mutual intersexual respect helps to maintain women empowerment in Nepal.   To maintain women empowerment in Nepal; the women participation in economic activity and household decision making plays a prominent role.  The relationship between women's economic participation and their input into household decision making can improve family quality of life. Hence, women empowerment is essential for development of our country. Women in rural areas need education, awareness and skill training to increase their personal income and this economic input in family helps to initiate women empowerment. Skill training of any handicraft product, rising agricultural productivity can be efficient way to increase women's income in a family.   “Spark of education creates gender equality.” Women’s right and empowerment are associated with each other. If women right is established in society properly, it helps to create natural uplifting of empowerment resulting gender equality.   Data source: “Central Bureau Statistics Nepal”   Author: Rabin Thapa  (00977-9818596071) Call Send SMS Add to Skype You'll need Skype CreditFree via Skype

5 years ago

Women empowerment; a challenge in Nepal

Photo Credit: Ravi Sharma A country with geographical and cultural diversity followed by unique unity in diversity represents the rare identity of Nepal. But natural human gender diversity is still not shadowed under a common umbrella of equality. The contradiction to maintain the status of women in nepal and the balance between the reliable modern culture of gender equality and provocative ancient masculine tradition gives a transparent vision creating an inhabitable issue of today’s Nepalese society. Modern Nepalese society reflecting conflicting socio-economic status has focused on the concept of women empowerment for development which is resisted by the traditional belief of the masculine society. In this scenario, rising women’s empowerment maintained by education and awareness have not gained sustainable position yet. The approach of governmental and various private sectors lighting lamp of women empowerment have shown some fruitful improving outcomes.  But it seems not enough; the rising critical contradiction is visualized by a prominent gap of women status between urban and rural areas of Nepal. There are a lot of things to be improved from each and every member of Nepalese society. After all, women empowerment is not only burning issue representing women’s right but also a duty of every man which should be radiated as a heat of inspiration; respect and love from their soul. Nepalese woman laughing while holding white roll. Photo Credit: Janaya Dasiuk  Empowerment doesn’t only include an efficient approach to education and employment but also natural right to decide, equality and understanding.  Withdrawing any of these factors can lower women status in human society. Urban areas having effective education and awareness have maintained a good slandered of women potential in socio-economic aspect but it still seems unserviceable in the field. Although there is an easy reach to legal activity, communication, awareness and other additional support still the women empowerment is not accelerating in urban areas. The activities like; indoor gender discrimination, sexual harassment and assault in public place, illegal polygamy etc. is still prevalent in city areas. The women illiteracy is also a key drawback of Nepalese society resisting women empowerment in Nepal. Literacy rates of Nepal 2011 AD: SN   Female literacy rate   Male literacy rate   1              46.7%                  71.1%   This huge difference of male and female literacy rate is the result of gender discrimination prevalent in Nepalese society. Nepalese family gives educational priority to boys, as a result, many young girls are deprived of school education and forced to engage in household works. The condition of women’s in the rural area is even more critical due to lack of education, awareness and income source. The traditional masculine social concept followed by lack of education and awareness is still prevalent in many villages of Nepal. Hard labour for gathering livestock and struggle to join their hand to mouth has resisted women to explore from their limited source. The early marriage and socially deprived of the right to decide pregnancy; women in the remote village have caused frequent maternal and infant death. The maternal death rate of Nepal is 170 death/100,000 lives. (2010AD) The lack of knowledge about family planning in rural areas has resulted in frequent pregnancy resulting population growth. The prevalent dowry system and early marriage in many parts of Terai have resulted in serious women rights violation and even death. Trafficking is an integral part of the social and economic fabric of Nepal, as in other parts of the world. The practice causes intolerable degradation and suffering for the girls and young women involved, who are treated as a commodity. It presents a risk to their physical and mental health, and in particular to their sexual health. The women education and awareness work as a key to improve life standard of women in rural areas. Moreover, filtering and polishing social concept of masculine society as well as enhancing gender equality by establishing women right to decide from mutual intersexual respect helps to maintain women empowerment in Nepal. To maintain women empowerment in Nepal; the women participation in economic activities like making handicraft product, handmade gifts, eco-friendly products and household decision making plays a prominent role.  The relationship between women's economic participation and their input into household decision making can improve family quality of life. Hence, women empowerment is essential for the development of our country. One of the social women entrepreneur, Sabita Maharjan has been providing employment to hundreds of women with her own knitting business and also has been the best example of women inspiration and women empowerment. Women in rural areas need education, awareness and skill training to increase their personal income and this economic input in the family helps to initiate women empowerment. Skill training of any handicraft product, rising agricultural productivity can be an efficient way to increase women's income in a family. “Spark of education creates gender equality.” Women’s right and empowerment are associated with each other. If women right are established in society properly, it helps to create natural uplifting of empowerment resulting gender equality. Data source: “Central Bureau Statistics Nepal”

5 years ago

Fun with Paper

Paper Craft | Fun With Paper As a child, we all were craftsmen. Making all kinds of images, shapes, objects using paper, clay, fabrics etc. Psychologist can probably tell better, but I think there is an innate craftsmen in all of us, that over the age, has become dormant or have remained undeveloped in most of us. That’s the reason, when we grow up, we hardly remember how to make even a paper boat (do you still remember? lol).   Arts and Crafts thus is at the centre of our being - many of us travel places just to see the immense creativity scattered all across the globe! Museums are the popular tourists hotspots. Major big cities are designed to bring out the best of artists and craftsmen of that area. We naturally appreciate arts and crafts!   I, therefore have thought of trying out my old hobby of origami. And I have found a nice website that will teach me re-cultivate the hobby - hopefully ;) ! http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-boat.html . I will post my creations in comments one by one.    What hobby that you had once abandoned as child want to re-take? Please share in comments!  

5 years ago

Nepalese Pashmina

  Nepalese Pashmina Pashmina is considered to be the softest, highly delicate and fluffy fibre. Being the most finest natural insulating fibre it is also recognized as the Diamond fibre. Pashmina is the fibre made up with the extract from the Himalayan goat also recognize as Chyangra which live in the himalayan belt at the altitude above 14,000 feet above sea level. This unique coat of hair is about 1/6 th of the diameter of any other types of hair.   With proper care, Pashminas can be used life long and we have encountered that this unique piece of fibre has been hand overed from generation to generation even in Royal and wealthy families. It is found to be most durable and cozy fibre suitable for human skin providing warmth and comfort.Pashmina is also known as Cashmere but is found to be thicker in diameter and less fine as compared to Pashmina.   Since thousands of years Cashmere and Pashmina shawls have been manufactured in Nepal  as well as in  Kashmir. The pashmina’s history was allied with ancient civilization. During those days it was considered as the Fibre for Royals & Emperors only. People living in the high Himalayas discovered the essence and wonder of Pashmina.     It takes the entire annual growth of three of these three goats to make just one pashmina shawl. But the fur combing process is done every spring without harming the goat. Thus processed pashmina is found in different forms like  shawls, blankets, sweaters, stoles, puncho, scarves as well as pullovers, cardigans, etc.   This exquisite “Pashmina" has been supplied by dexterity of Nepalese. In ancient times "Pashmina" was found in unblended form but it was advent with the combination of silk, cotton etc. In the long run with the varied experience and Pashmina yarn and silk yarn were combined. This result to produce better fibre-strength, durability, colour-pleasantness and well finishing touch which become most prevalent all over world and recognized as "Nepalese Pashmina".   Nepal is also known for the hand woven Pashminas. This  Pashmina products has found to be third largest overseas export in the country along with readymade garment and hand knitted woolen carpet. Nepali Pashmina is a form of handicraft which can be regarded as high quality handmade woolen product with multipurpose usage. The warmth , softness, durability , lightness, finess are the beautiful byproducts of any Pashmina products. The warmth and softiness  are the basic  qualities on which the  pashmina is judged.   The production process of pashmina product generally includes weaving, dyeing, processing, fringing, tassels, embroidery, beadwork, printing etc.   The Pashminas have very high demand in International market. The business of Pashminas are basically concerntrated in Kathmandu. Export quality are produced here and among the produced approximately 5%  consumed within the country and rest 95% are considered for exportation. Pashmina products account for more than 50% of the total export figure of the handicraft products. And also it is the major export component under the handicraft goods category. The Nepali Pashminas are exported via Tribhuwan International Airport by air cargo. Due to the high quality and veracity of Nepali Pashminas, the demand of Pashminas have exceeded in International market exceeding 40 different countries like Canada ,USA, Italy, , UK, France, Japan, Germany ,India.   Under latest technicalities with new experiments and proper market this product can be found in more and more sophisticated form providing the new prospect for this Pashmina handicraft Industry.The Pashminas have long way to go ahead.   Export Figure of Pashmina Products: (The data is downloaded from internet below)     (Value in '000 Rs.) Fiscal Year Export Annual Change % 1999/2000 3,877,965 - 2000/2001 5,269,548 35.88 2001/2002 1,852,220 -64.85 2002/2003 1,534,081 -17.18 2003/2004 1,473,675 -3.94 2004/2005 1,042,468 -29.26 2005/2006 1,106,531 6.15 2006/2007 1,116,711 0.92 2007/2008 1,206,351 8.03 2008/2009 1,818,891 50.78 Source: Trade and Export Promotion Centre

5 years ago

Handicraft: Blessing to Nepali Society

Handicraft- Blessing to Nepali Society Nepal- A country where a virtuous education and a proper opportunity have always been a hard-hitting challenge, people have always found it difficult to meet their hands to mouth. In such a critical situation handmade handicrafts have been a great source of income to Nepalese. Handicraft is any of a wide variety of types of work where useful and decorative objects are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools.With the blend of spirit and mystery of Nepalese cultures and traditions, handcrafted products have their own significant norms and values.   In our country many people are illiterate or semi-literate; hence they always find several challenges in their life. They hardly get decent job. Also they lack enough money to start up with some worthy business. In such critical context, they can upgrade their life style by getting involved in handicraft sector. Also, in the patriarchal society like us, woman can start the handicraft business of their own. Many disabled, widowed, divorced, or abused woman seem to be get involved in this sector.   Nepalese handmade handicrafts have their own aesthetic value. They provide the road map and guidelines of Nepalese ethos and stories. They help to utilize labor’s intensive specialized skills along with the mobilization of indigenous raw materials and resources. They have helped to raise the income source to the people.Upon proper utilization of spare time, dedication and skill, handicraft business people can start their own business and earn quite handsome money   Even in the 21st century, women are deprived of well education and opportunity. Their primary job is considered as child care and domestic work. They are often neglected, discriminated and deprived in society. They are bound to get discriminated at every step of their lives like at home, at office and at work. They are given less opportunity and paid less too.     Due to lack of financial condition Nepali woman have been victim of physical and mental violence in domestic aura. They are forced to get married with big age differences or forceful marriage. Many girls are compelled to opt to work as sex workers and many get involved in prostitute business just to earn their daily bread. But THANKS to the wonderful opportunity of handicraft business that is picking up its amplitude demand in foreign market too.   The handicrafts made by Nepalese like wooden masks, bags, canvas work, wood cravings, jewelery designs, statues are adored not just in Nepali society but also have high demand in foreign countries.Due to high demand of handicrafts supplied by Nepali market, Nepalese are more attracted to get involved into this handicraft business. Also families are encouraging woman in their family to utilize their skill and their leisure time.   Similarly, many NGO/ INGO or even Government are gradually providing the job trainings of handicrafts like ecofriendly crafts, wooden decors, etc. and helping people to be independent and live their dignified lifestyle. By getting involved in this field, it help them to better life style, children will get better food, education and shelter. The way of people looking down to the woman is gradually decreased and help woman to be the important aspect of the society as the men.   In nuts shell, Nepali handicrafts have helped many people to get happy family life and show cast their talent in a proper way. Hence Handicrafts have been really a blessing for the Nepali Society.

5 years ago

Nepal | WHEN I LOOK AT IT !!

Nepal !! A country full of colors, festivals, smiles, rejoice, happiness. No adjectives are sufficient enough to describe our country Nepal.  Rich in natural beauty, flora and fauna, it is delightful having born in here. Not just rich in nature, but also equipped with skill of price-less art and craft. My country is definitely a source for beauty with brain.   Potters making utensils out of clay, craftsmen carving beautiful architectures in wooden logs, ladies weaving cloths in loom, making wooden decors and statues is not a unique site to see in the cities around the Kathmandu valley rather doing these creative works has been a part of their daily activities. We all consider it as a usual site to view. And this sometimes strikes in my mind that, “Are not we decreasing our own value by not recognizing these priceless gifts of art given to us by our own culture and tradition??” What I mean to say is, all these creative things which we do as regular activity could be taken for granted and these art craft one day could be vanished not even being recognized. Having said that it dragged me to a BIG QUESTION! In today’s modern day of technology and automation is there a possibility that our craftsmanship will still survive, and our young generation will still take this art-form into them as their elders did? Or will these shiny modern ways of living will swift all it away?? What do you think ???Keeming Rajbhandari

5 years ago

Nepali Handicrafts For Your Home Decoration

 Nepali Handicraft for Your Home Decoration Don't you feel that the products in this websites are awesome? Would you 'desire' to have them in your home? In your living room, in your drawing room, lounge, in your outdoors and some even in your bathroom? I bet you do! :)   Crafts have always been the centre of home decorative - perhaps after the photo frames all around your house. Having a craft generally, transforms the place into 'another dimension'. A figurine, or wooden artefact, or a nice decorative wooden wall hanging - can be placed in your drawing room to make it more inviting and lively.   Nepal has been at the peak of craft making for centuries - in early days is one of hotspot trading spot for handicrafts in the region. Since then, the tradition of making crafts by hand has evolved, improved and excelled by local craft makers. Art & Craft is has played a central part in crafting Nepalese society!   I am sure you will definitely find something in Nepali handicrafts that will make you tickle - can you pick one?

5 years ago

Interesting Facts about Nepalese Wood Crafts

  Interesting Facts About Nepalese Wood Crafts  Nepal is known for being the home of Mt. Everest. Aside from this, this landlocked nation is also a haven of cultural treasures and artifacts. Among them are beautiful wood carvings that you can see nearly in every populated location in the country. They adorn entrances of temples, palaces, and even in very old public establishments that are centuries old. Even Nepalese homes, most of which are purely made of wood, have carvings on its facade and interiors. This rich wood-crafting heritage shows the quality of the skill and workmanship of the Nepalese artisan. If you want to have an exquisite timber-based piece of art, you must own one of those made by the wood craft experts of Nepal, especially those from Kathmandu Valley.   The most distinct feature of Nepalese carvings is that they are typically based on Hindi or Buddhist characters or elements like deities, animals, and other religious symbols. This is because the former is the country’s dominant faith, while the latter is the second most prevalent one. Also, the carvings are always of a highly detailed and intricate kind, using floral and geometrical patterns. Even portions that are partly hidden contain exquisite detailing, showing the mastery and artistry of the Nepalese wood carver. Small ornaments, such as statues of deities, also are not spared from being covered with exquisite patterns.     There are many skilled Nepalese artisans who still use simple tools in creating beautiful wood crafts. With modern efforts to support these workers and preserve the cultural heritage of Nepal, these skilled crafts people now have the opportunity of upgrading their instruments.   So, when you buy a hand-crafted work of Nepalese wooden art, you are supporting the cause for the preservation of such a rich heritage. If you want to acquire one for yourself and support Nepali arts, view our collection now.    

5 years ago

Handmade Crafts: A Boon to Nepali Community

HandMade Crafts: A Boon To Nepalese Society In recent years Nepal’s economy has faced turbulent times and one of the industries that have helped it to stay afloat is handicrafts industry. It cannot simply be defined as what Handmade Crafts is. In the context of Nepal, handmade crafts is more than an industry as the products that are produced aren’t just a commercial one but embodies the social, cultural, traditional and historical connotation.   It also, in the broader understanding, involves the skills, labour strength, and market resources to enhance the industry. And to take forward this sector one particular organisation has played a great role. Established in 1972 Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal has greatly steered it with great anticipation, keenness and vision. Its dedication and commitment have helped the sector largely to develop and make necessary improvements in the course of time.    Now handmade crafts have proven to be a successful industry and make an exemplary contribution to the GDP of the nation. Handmade Crafts, is one of the most successful industries in Nepal as the products are of superior quality and profitable one. The creative and skilled characteristics of artisans and sculptors make it even more special and a blessing in disguise. Since the time when Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal was established in 1972 the industry has turned out to be one of the strongest well-established, well-organised and income-generating economic sectors as more people have joined this sector and have helped in flourishing it.   For Nepal, a least developed country in the world, handicraft business has turned out to be a winner through the sluggish and turbulent economic period. A nation where more than 20% of its population lives in abject poverty this industry has revolutionised the low-income households of the wedged nation. This industry has contributed to the Nepali society by promoting unique handicrafts worldwide, alleviating poverty and preserving the skills and craftsmanship of Nepali artisans. It cannot be, however, ignored that sans the mutual consent of overall stakeholders it wouldn’t have become a success. It should be understand that a large numbers of people have become employed because of this industry and their skills have been harnessed over the years without compromising over quality vis-à-vis quantity. As Nepal’s industry hasn’t developed fully unlike in industrialised world it can be understood that this particular industry really suits current developing state as it holds a bright future in retail industry.  The exact contribution to the Nepali society by this industry is that it has helped people earn and in the same time sharpen their artistic skill and also pass it to the next generation. Moreover, the way it represents Nepali society among locals and foreigners is noteworthy as not only art and craft is transmitted to others but also preserved. The channel of transmitting the art and the meaning it holds is wonderful. When a customer buys one of the products then h/she is introduced to a whole new world and gets enough encouragement to study more about the product. Also, we’ve many people working in the industry who are earning well to meet basic needs. It is for sure that Handmade Crafts is one of the most successful and stable industry and the trend continue to be so. Nepal is known for being the home of Mt. Everest. Aside from this, this landlocked nation is also a haven of cultural treasures and artifacts. Among them are beautiful wood carvings that you can see nearly in every populated location in the country. They adorn entrances of temples, palaces, and even in very old public establishments that are centuries old. Even Nepalese homes, most of which are purely made of wood, have carvings on its facade and interiors. This rich wood-crafting heritage shows the quality of the skill and workmanship of the Nepalese artisan. If you want to have an exquisite timber-based piece of art, you must own one of those made by the wood craft experts of Nepal, especially those from Kathmandu Valley. The most distinct feature of Nepalese carvings is that they are typically based on Hindi or Buddhist characters or elements like deities, animals, and other religious symbols. This is because the former is the country’s dominant faith, while the latter is the second most prevalent one.       Also, the carvings are always of a highly detailed and intricate kind, using floral and geometrical patterns. Even portions that are partly hidden contain exquisite detailing, showing the mastery and artistry of the Nepalese wood carver. Small ornaments, such as statues of deities, also are not spared from being covered with exquisite patterns.   There are many skilled Nepalese artisans who still use simple tools in creating beautiful wood crafts. With modern efforts to support these workers and preserve the cultural heritage of Nepal, these skilled crafts people now have the opportunity of upgrading their instruments.So, when you buy a hand-crafted work of Nepalese wooden art, you are supporting the cause for the preservation of such a rich heritage. If you want to acquire one for yourself and support Nepalese art, view our collection now.   View more Nepali Handicraft at https://www.imartnepal.com/

5 years ago

Camphor Wood Carvings

Wood Carvings For many centuries, camphor laurel or Cinnamomum camphora has been used in making furniture and decorative ornaments in Asia. It was primarily used for making sacred items for solemn ceremonies. In fact, this durable hardwood was so valuable in some Oriental countries in that cutting this kind of tree merits a death sentence. An artisan making a wooden craft Today, this type of timber is used to create other kinds of crafts and wooden products, especially in carving ornamental items of spiritual and cultural significance. This yellowish wood has a number of fine properties that make it ideal for carving.   This beautiful lumber gives off a fresh, insect-repelling camphor scent, making it an ideal component for closets, chests, and cabinets. As mentioned, it also is suitable for making ornamental statues that have spiritual or religious significance because the smell is associated to the odors found in temples.   When combined with silver, camphor wood preserves the quality of the said metal and keeps it from tarnishing. Because of this, it is favored by some artisans who want to create crafts that combine both materials.   In addition, the said aromatic timber is quite flexible, has beautiful dark red-and-yellow striping, and has a lustrous and even texture that can range from medium to fine. These are qualities important to many carvers and artisans because these enhance the overall appearance of the final result.   If you are looking to acquire a wooden ornament, having one made of camphor wood is highly recommended. You get real value for your money with this purchase as carved crafts made of this material are long-lasting and pest-repelling. They also emit a lovely smell that is also known for its medicinal properties.   Start by searching for a beautiful piece of art made from exquisite and aromatic camphor wood by nepalese craftpersons and have a look at the collection of artifacts and other wood crafts we have on our store now!

5 years ago

MetalCraft in Nepal – How they are made

Before making the copper, bronze (with gold or silver plated) Metal Crafts, first all the sculpture is made in pure wax. (The wax is generally made from hilly beehives(“The honey hunting of Nepal” documentary is renowned documentary from Nepal). Districts like Gorkha, Lamjung , langtang, and some parts of Manang are very famous for wild beehives, later these beehives are traded in local market and from there these wax are made. Once the wax sculpture is prepared and all designs are done in it. The next step is mixture formation, where cow dung, dark clay and other raw materials are mixed together and mixture is made. Now the mixture is poured all around the wax sculpture surface and let it dry for few hours, when it is completely dry there comes next phase which is most essential phase. Let suppose we are making copper/bronze metal craft. Now the copper is melted in high degree Celsius making it in liquid form. Once it is turned into liquid form the melted copper is poured into wax sculpture from small hole making wax inside mixture. Then it is left for 2-3 hours to make it cool. Later on the outer portion of mixture is beaten with hammer and removed; now the shape of sculpture is formed in copper shape (leaving the wax, because all the wax is melted out). These copper metal craft are again designed with the help of iron nails by beating of small hammer. Afterwards, gold plating or silver plating is done to make it more attractive.

6 years ago
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