Nepal has several ancient pilgrimage sites. Each temple is attached to a legend or belief that glorifies the miraculous powers of its deity. Kathmandu Valley is home to the famous Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhu Stupa and several other famous temples. Hundreds of famous temples are located in and around the Kathmandu Valley.
Some well-known pilgramage sites are: Barah Chhetra, Halesi Mahadev, Janakpur, Pathibhara, Tengboche in East Nepal; Manakaman, Gorkha, Lumbini, Muktinath, Gosainkunda, Tansen, Kathmandu Valley in Central Nepal; and Swargadwari, Khaptad Ashram in West Nepal.
Nepal is also the Gateway to Kailash Mansarovar, the mythical abode of Lord Shiva. Devotees from various parts of Nepal and India throng the temples during special festivals. Even though weak infrastructure renders some places hard to reach, efforts are being made on national level to develop and promote some popular sites.
Pilgrimage sites of Nepal like Muktinath and Gosainkunda make popular trekking destinations. Tours to these sites are encouraged for the novelty they provide in terms of nature and culture.
Food of Nepal
Nepalese are great foodies and their food varieties are hot, spicy and nutritious. Newari and Thakali cuisines are the original taste of Nepal. Otherwise, Nepalese style of cooking has been influenced by Indian and Tibetan cooking. Dal Bhat tarkari is the staple food of Nepal. Meat curries and monos are the hot favorites among the tourists.
Music of Nepal
The rhythm, beats, bounce of Nepali traditional folk and classical music is spiritual enough to sooth you and entertaining enough to cheer you. Music is associated with every event in Nepal, then be it birth, marriage, festivals or national events.
Daura-Suruwal, typically termed as 'Labeda-Suruwal' is the traditional Nepali dress. The dress has several religious beliefs identifying its designs and has therefore remained the same from the years. The Daura has eight strings that serves to tie itself up around the body. Eight is the lucky number in Nepali mythology.
Also, the Daura has five pleats or Kallis, signifying Pancha Buddha or Pancha Ratna. And the closed neck of the Daura signifies the snake around the Lord Shiva's neck. The Nepali dress for women is a cotton sari (Guniu), that is gaining great popularity in the fashion world.
The main rituals followed in Nepal are naming ceremony, rice-feeding ceremony, tonsure ceremony, ceremony of giving Nepali Sari (Guniu), marriage ceremony and funeral rite.The rituals are still prevailing in society and are performed with zeal.. Different ritual experts have different roles in these rituals.
Astonishing enough, seven out of the ten world heritage sites in Nepal are termed cultural by UNESCO. Thus, the stupas, monasteries, temples and architecture are all representatives of the rich cultural heritage of Nepal. The following are the cultural world heritage sites of Nepal.
- Kathmandu Durbar Square
- Patan Durbar Square
- Bhaktapur Durbar Square
- Changu Narayan Temple
- Swayambhunath Stupa
- Pashupatinath Temple
- Bouddhanath Stupa
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