By Joe Bindloss [Planet, Lonely]

Lonely Planet has stumbled on the simplest of Nepal. Lose your self within the temple-strewn alleys of Bhaktapur, the quiet fantastic thing about a Himalayan vista or the colourful pleasure of a Bodhnath Stupa pilgrimage - then locate your subsequent experience with our eighth variation of this essential guide.Lonely Planet courses are written by way of specialists who get to the guts of each vacation spot they stopover at. This totally up-to-date version is choked with exact, functional and sincere suggestion, designed to provide you the knowledge you must utilize your trip.In This Guide:Adrenaline-packed actions bankruptcy has you paddling, cycling and mountaineering NepalFull-Color characteristic unearths the simplest temples, gala's and mountain trailsGreen Index is helping you tread evenly

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The Haribodhini Ekadashi, in late October or early November (on the 11th day after the new moon), is the most important. On this day Vishnu awakens from his four-month monsoonal slumber. The best place to see the festivities is at the temple of the sleeping Vishnu in Budhanilkantha. MAHALAKSHMI PUJA Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, and to farmers wealth is rice. Therefore this harvest festival, immediately following Haribodhini Ekadashi, honours the goddess with sacrifices and colourful dances.

Devotees also bathe in the Bagmati River at Patan’s Sankhamul ghat. BASANTA PANCHAMI The start of spring is celebrated in the middle of the lunar month by honouring Saraswati; since she is the goddess of learning this festival has special importance for students. The shrine to Saraswati just below the platform at the top of Swayambhunath is the most popular locale for the festivities, although Kathmandu is also popular. This is also a particularly auspicious time for weddings. LOSAR Tibetan New Year commences with the new moon in February and falls in either Magh or Falgun.

Nepal also has two natural World Heritage sites: the breathless, mountain scenery of Sagarmatha National Park, surrounding Mt Everest and accessible on the Everest Base Camp Trek, and the steamy, rhino-rumbling, tiger-striped jungles of Chitwan National Park. Return to beginning of chapter A SPIRITUAL ODYSSEY There’s soul in them thar hills, and this is where to find it. Start your quest for inner knowledge with a dawn ceremonial circuit around Swayambhunath hill and a sunset trip to Bodhnath – come during full moon when the stupa is lit up by thousands of flickering butter lamps.

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