A spiritual journey

December 7, 2018 07:55 am

I recently got an opportunity to travel to a few places of religious interest in India and I jumped at the chance because a) traveling always intrigues me and b) being indifferent about religion and its various aspects I wanted to understand it a little better by experiencing some places and rituals in all their magnificence. What I hadn’t expected was a sort of spiritual awakening that these places would have on me.

Cultural chaos

November 16, 2018 08:27 am

We live in a society that’s rooted in tradition, culture, and religious sentiments. And while that’s a really good thing, what bothers me about it all is how sometimes people take things way too far. It’s quite the norm for people to follow certain traditions because that’s just how things are supposed to be without knowing anything about it. And when someone questions why they do certain things on certain occasions, the supposed implications of that question offend them. It doesn’t matter that they can’t justify their actions with logical explanations.

Tourism in Nepal is synonymous with Pokhara. However, this time it is not Pokhara, but Baglung that we are talking about. We had our eyes on Balewa, where the local airport had just come into operation after 28 years. We wanted to see for ourselves the untouched natural beauty and explore the hidden tourism treasure in Baglung and here’s what Baglung offered on a recent trip.

The religious roots of Chhaupadi

July 17, 2018 08:20 am

DOTI, July 17: While deaths from chhaupadi shelters in the western region have not ceased to make headlines, initiatives taken to counter the culture are dwarfed in front of its root cause- fear of their kuldevta (clan deity). ‘They can stand death of their girls and women’ but cannot anger their clan deity, activists working in the sector share. Strong faith in their clan deity and fear of repercussion of angering the deity among the locals suggests that the solution to uproot the practice of chhaupadi is hard to come by.

MINNESOTA, July 5: A United Arab Emirates-backed Saudi effort to wrest control from Jordan of Islam’s holy places in Jerusalem signals a sharper, more overt edge to Saudi religious diplomacy and the kingdom’s quest for regional hegemony that risks deepening divides in the Muslim world.

KATHMANDU, May 11: One aspect of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal is religious. He started his third visit to Nepal as a prime minister by landing at Janakpur where he worshipped at the Janaki Temple before flying to Kathmandu on Friday.

DHARAN, May 2: Thousands of tourists visit Sauti River of Bagarkot, Dharan to enjoy the nature and to have barbeque in the jungle. But only few of them reach the temple of Jal Kanya Devi temple, a beautiful hidden treasure situated at Jhorpata, just one and half kilometers from the river. This temple can be reached in two minutes on motorbike and around 15 minutes on foot.

BIRATNAGAR, April 8: An unidentified group has shot a religious leader in Biratnagar at an early hour on Sunday. The gunmen fired three rounds of the bullet at Shree Niwas Acharya at around 2 am.

ILAM, Nov 11: After registering his candidacy on November 2, former speaker of parliament Subas Chandra Nembang headed straight to ashram of Kirat religious leader Aatma Nanda Lingden in Larumba (Mangsebung Rural Municipality) of Ilam district. He received blessings from the guru, which marked the beginning of his election campaign.

BHAKTAPUR, Oct 3: Proceeds Rs 1.8 million has been collected from the Srimad Bhagawat Gyan Mahayagya religious ceremony held at the Jalapadevi temple premises in Nagarkot, Changunarayan Municipality.

KATHMANDU, June 26: Asmita Sitaula of Pepsicola was praying at the Jame Masjid in Ghantaghar on the eve of Ramjan, accompanied by her close relatives Srijana and Anu Oli.

KATHAMNDU, March 8: Hollywood actor Jet Li is busy meeting with Buddhist religious leaders. He met with Yagi Rimpochhe, a religious teacher at Sherchan monastery located in Bauddha, Kathmandu on Friday. During an hour-long meeting, they discussed Buddhism.

Pokhara, March 6: A religious event organized at Pumdikot of Pokhara Sub-Metropolitan City received more than Rs 101 million in support from the locals and donors. The 11-day-long Maha Shiva Puran organized from 14-24 February to construct a giant Mahadev idol and other structures in Pumdikot received the commitment of such a huge amount including the land plots.

KHAJURA (Banke), Jan 24: A procession featuring Hindu guru and a Muslim imam on a single chariot was taken out at Khajura of Banke and spreading the message of religious harmony and tolerance in its wake on Monday.

SAPTARI, Oct 22: A 13-point memorandum has been presented to President Bidya Devi Bhandari, calling for declaring the Chhinnamasta temple as a religious tourism site.

GULMI, Oct 13: A religious fair is going to be organized between October 17 and 25 for the first time at Purtighat in Gulmi district for in a bid to promote religious tourism.

BARDIA, Sept 24: The Sraddha (ancestral ceremony) is being performed in the Babai River Gulariya in Bardia district for the first time since the River is declared a holy site a week ago.

MUSTANG, Sept 9: Over 10 million rupees have been collected in a religious and educational fair organized in Janahit Multiple Campus in the district headquarters, Jomsong.

Countries where some level of government restricts women from wearing religious attire (2013)*

RASUWA, Aug 20: The Gosaikunda religious fair held annually on the occasion of Janai Purnima has concluded with travelers facing less hardship due to a sudden lull in the monsoon intensity.

KATHMANDU, Aug 7: As Hindus across the country are observing the Nagapanchami festival today as per the time-honoured tradition, a religious fair related to it is taking place at Taudaha, Kirtipur in the capital.

KATHMANDU, July 28: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and other leaders have urged faith-based organizations to work for promoting harmonious relations among people of various faiths, religions and cultures.

KATHMNADU, July 11: Religious leaders from the Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Sikh and Muslim communities were unanimous in commending secularism in the country on Saturday. Stating that they now feel more equal in the country, the leaders said that secularism ensures religious harmony.

KATHMANDU, July 6: Many religious schools in the country are operating without official registration and concerned government bodies are unaware of how they are operating and what they are doing in these schools.

NEPALGUNJ, July 4: The true message of any religion, if its true spirit is followed, could only be humanity and harmony, say the Muslims of Nepalgunj. As the holy month of Ramadan is being observed, members of the Muslim community here are excited in spreading brotherhood.

DHANKUTA, June 26: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kamal Thapa on Sunday warned that the groups involved in religious conversion will face action.