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September 25, 2019

Nepal’s exotic cultural and historical tours

Tamang shamans in traditional attires: File photo

As Nepal is ushered into various political, social transformations and transitions, it is converting into a fast-melting pot of diverse cultures, religions, and races, paving the way for a great opportunity for cultural tours to take place.

Nepal takes great pride in harboring at least 125 ethnic communities with their distinct cultures and primitive lifestyle for tourists to observe. The most astonishing part of Nepali cultural heritage is that despite having over 125 ethnic communities and many more yet to be identified and recognized, their harmonious co-existence within the country is something incredible enough for others to emulate.

Nepal also has a historical past consisting of various rulers and royal dynasties from Gopal dynasties, Kiranties, Lichhavi, Malla to Shah Dynasties whose historical legacies can be of great interest for historical and cultural tours in Nepal for an outsider who would be keen on knowing about these past histories, cultures and the way how the local people are sustaining these past legacies and carrying on the same to the future generations without being distorted by the tinge of post-modernity and development.

Cultural and Historical tours in Kathmandu

Lakhe dance
Lakhe dance in Kathmandu: File photo

While in Kathmandu you can easily take a cultural and historical tour of Newari cultures, lifestyles along with the historical tour to Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur based historical sites of Malla and Lichhavi periods where you will witness how the history of Nepal existed and how it developed into the current historical status of a nation-state. Kathmandu is prosperous in Newari cultures and it usually dominates the mainstream lifestyle of Kathmandu by organizing various festivals now and then such as celebrating Indrajatra etc.

The Newari eateries and delectable cuisine also dominate the delicious dishes that tourists enjoy while in Kathmandu. Your cultural and historical tour can become all the more flavored if you can interact with the local people including women, men, and children.

Buddhist Cultural Tours

Maya Devi Temple
Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini: File photo

Nepal is the pious land where the world-renowned Lord Buddha was born and whose teachings related to the salvation of life spread across the world. Undoubtedly the invaluable heritage of Buddhism remaining intact at Lumbini can offer you the facts and values of the Buddhist religious tour and offer you the knowledge and wisdom that might liberate your life consciousness and give you the sense of enlightenment.

Along with this, you can also visit other famous Buddhist monasteries such as Swambhunath, Boudha stupa among many other monasteries. Through this tour, you will have the know-how knowledge of how the monks and nuns thrive in monasteries and carry on their Buddhist teachings.

Hindu Cultural Tours

Pasupatinath temple
Pasupatinath temple: File photo

Although Nepal according to the new declared constitution is a secular country yet the traditional mindset of orthodox Hindus continues to thrive in the past legacy of being called a Hindu country. Even some of the domestic laws are still based on the Hindu code of laws.

So, you can enjoy the Hindi cultural tours by visiting the Hindu’s most venerated Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu. You can also visit the famous Janaki temple in Janakpur and visit the Muktinath temple situated in Mustang. Hindu people believe in such a cult which makes them believe in thousands of gods and deities. This can be a very interesting thing to observe while touring Hindi sacred sites in Nepal.

The beautiful landscape, of course, would captivate your attention while having all these cultural tours as well.
Nepali language, cultures, and religious practices are not represented by only one cult and faith. It is diverse in its mold and practice.

Christian Cultural tour
Nepal despite being known to be the home of dominant Hindus is slowly changing into a more secular country by exhibiting diverse religious and cultural practices in the country. You can easily and freely visit cultures of Christianity being practiced at various places across the country. There are minority believers of other faiths other than Hindu, Buddhist, and Christianity such as Muslim, Sikh, and Jain among other cults.

Cultural tour to Himalayan people

dolpo culture
Dolpo culture: File photo

Nepal has three topographical dimensions which means the Himalayan, Hill and Terai topography. If you wish to engage in the cultural tour to the Himalayan people, you will be confronted with the ancient cultural legacies which are more affiliated to the Tibetan type of lifestyle. The tribal groups such as Sherpas and Tamangs, who are of Mongoloid racial stock in this region exhibit typically distinct and different cultural norms and behaviors in their hospitality and food habits.

Cultural tour to Hill people
Hill people in the middle topography of Nepal exhibit typically different cultures than those of Himali Sherpa and Tamangs. These tribes (Magars, Gurungs, Rai, Limbus among others), who are known as martial race, who are also indigenous to this land exhibit a mixture of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Shamanism because they have mixed and mingled their lifestyles and traditional rituals by borrowing from these faiths and rituals. These people are the believers of naturalism which was believed and practiced by them before the advent of Hinduism and Buddhism in the country.

However, the hill topography also shows the cultural norms of Brahmin and Chhetries whose population and political performance dominates the whole mainstream cultural and political lifestyle of Nepal as their minority population as compared to other ethnic groups of whole Nepal totally controls the political, economic and social power of the country by showing their presence in all three spheres of the state such as legislature, executive and judiciary.

So, you can also get this chance to dig into the facts that how these elite groups developed into such as a dominant group in Nepali social and political arena by struggling from the ground level in the initial phase when they arrived in Nepal as migrants from Indian territories to escape the cultural atrocities of the Muslim rulers in India in the 12th century.

Cultural tour to Terai

Sakhiya dance
Tharu Sakhiya dance: File photo

Your cultural tour to Terai is going to be very special and spectacular because as you descend to the lower topography of Nepal which is called Terai you will come across the different colored people in the terai areas whose cultural practices, languages and religious practices may be different from what you see in the Himalayan and Hill areas.

You may enjoy the Tharu Sakhiya dance during your short sojourn in the terai besides visiting Janaki temple.
Some of the groups in the Terai area form Dravidian origin, while many others are from Hindu origin, but they don’t speak Nepali. They speak Maithali, Tharu and Bhojpuri languages which are more associated with the Indian language family.

But it would be great fun to travel in a bullock-drawn cart through the rural rustic village lanes which can give you a rare chance to peek at the local cultural norms and lifestyle that is thriving there.

bullock cart
Bullock cart

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