Monday, April 22, 2013

Bull fighting the Nepali Style

With rich tradition and culture, Nepal has survived its identity amongst intrinsic fest and festival which
are testimonial to its uniqueness and practices. From the living goddess Kumari to the illusive Yeti to
the birth place of light of Asia Gautama Buddha, everything is here in Nepal. May be this is the reason
why Nepal has successfully established it’s self as a holiday destination. Like such, the tradition of bull
fighting may seem indifferent but it’s not a copied of the European league to its reality bull fight in
Nepal started centuries ago. It is believed that bullfighting was introduced here in Taruka, Nuwakot in
the 1900, by Jai Prithvi Bahadur Singh, a monarch of the ancient Bajhang kingdom a part of the western
Nepal. The fights used to happen in different places around Nuwakot district during the festival of
Maghe Sakranti but six years ago the local decided to bring them all together for one big fight here in
the current location of Taruka.

This year also the Taruka Village organized a Bull Fighting competition here in Nuwakot district. Like
every year thousands of adventure enthusiast came here to see the bull fighting marking Maghe
Sankranti, the first day of the tenth month in the nation's calendar. Bull fighting has been seen as a
tradition of Nepal from the past where huge concerns have been raised by animal activists, though
reluctantly it happens every year with least cases of accidents.

People from all over Nepal gather here in Nuwakot just to witness this one of a kind event. Exciting and
exhilarating it’s a crazy action that the adventure enthusiasts love to participate and watch. During the
battle several pairs of bull entertained the crowd with the amazement and excitement overlooking the
spectacular on the terraced hillsides, fertile valleys and terracotta tiled roofs of Nuwakot in front of the
crowd of thousands that perched on grass banks and muddy slope.

The bull are highly trained for the annual fiesta where the Nepali version of the bull
fight is completely different from the European as no bloodshed occurs. Serious injuries to the animals
are rare as owners and handlers step in with bamboo prods to separate sparring bulls if one looks hurt.
Generally bouts only go on until one animal tires and gives up. Unlike in Spanish version people here
enjoy the fight between two bulls not between a bull and a man. Regarding the bulls, they are selected
when they are calves and trained only to fight at the annual fiesta, being spared the ploughing duties
their less tenacious siblings are reared for. It is regarded as prize and prestige to have the strongest bull
that brings honor and glory to the Family.

Indeed, Nepal has unique cultures and traditions, just like that if you look at the practices then we can
see Maghe Sankranti being marked as a special day in the different community like the Tharus in Terai
mark it as New Year by electing a new village leader, hiring new workers and receiving tika and blessing
from the elders. In the hills, the people organize fairs on the river banks and in Nuwakot it marks with
Bull fight. It may seem orthodox but reality is Bull fighting is a tradition that has prolonged more than
200 years and it shows the riches of what the real Nepal is. May be the definition of real Nepal may
differ according to place, people and time but for a travelers and tourists who wants to see the real
customs and traditions Bull Fighting competition can be an exciting means of looking at Nepal from a
different angle .

A zip-line - a new exciting thing to do

A zip-line or an aerial runway, or aerial rope slide is a long pulley suspended on a cable, usually made of
stainless steel, mounted on an incline that works by friction. It is designed to enable a user propelled by
gravity to travel from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable by holding onto, or attaching to, the
freely moving pulley.

The most thrilling ride in the longest, highest, fastest and safest zip liner allow all adventure junkies to
see the marvelous legendary Himalayas from world’s ‘most extreme’ mountain zip-slide. Plunging at the
speeds of over 160 Kmph, fighting with the powerful wind, and landing in the lap of nature releases all
your stress and gives you an ultimate ecstasy. Your adventure begins when you board your shuttle for
the ride to the top the mountain. Your guide will narrate as you pass through the village of Sarangkot
and then up the mountainside. Once on top you will take a short walk to the Butterfly Pavilion, an
architectural marvel with breath-taking views of the Himalayan range. While you sip coffee and wait
for your turn we assure your wait will be exciting. At 5400 feet above sea level you will sit into a special
harness seat and await your launch. Two guests launch at once, and it is a race to the bottom! 5,4,3, 2,
1 and you’re off, accelerating to 100 mph as you pass above the dense forest below. If your eyes are still
open you will see sweeping views of majestic Machhapuchhre, the Annapurna range and the raging Seti

What is Zip-flyer?
Basically, zipline is a cable mechanism used for transportation across a river, gorge etc. In our context, it
is a piece of recreation equipment consisting of a cable stretched between point of different elevations,
a pulley, and a harness or a bar for attaching a rider, who moves by gravity. Zip-flyer Nepal also works
with the same mechanism and is categorized as an adventure sports.

How long is it and what would be its max speed?
Well, its 1.8 km long and has the speed of 160kmph making it the world’s most extreme ride.

What else does the cost include?
The cost includes pick up from Lakeside to the launch site, Sarangkot and then drop back to Lakeside
from the landing site, Hemja.

What are the age limitations?
The age should be 10 years and above. The children aged between 10-15 should be accompanied by
their parents or guardians above 18 years of age. The weight must be between 35kgs – 125kgs. Besides,
pregnant women are not allowed for the ride.

What if I decide not to do ride?
Well, sorry to say, but if you have already booked your ride and you decide not to do it, your amount is
non refundable and non transferrable. But, we can arrange to change your turn after some people does
it, so that you can gain some confidence by watching other people doing it. Besides, our crew member
is always there to assist you if you need any help or moral support. And also, no one would want to miss
such a lifetime experience.

Can two adults ride together at the same time (tandem)?
No, however two individuals can go on parallel lines racing their way down.

What happens if I forget close-toed shoes?
Close-Toed shoes are compulsory and need to be worn by every rider.

Do I have to get weighed before I get to zip?
Each passenger on the will be weighed prior to starting the ride. This is done to ensure rider and guide

Is there somewhere to store my personal effects during the tour?
No, however small items like phone, purses etc can be kept at the back pocket of the harness that the
rides zips down in.

Can I bring bottled water or other food and drinks with me?
Due to the nature of the Zip Line, we ask that Guests do not bring any food or bever- ages with them.
There will be food and beverages on both top and the bottom site.
I need to change the time of my tour is that ok?
Zip Line Eco Tour tickets may be exchanged or cancelled up until 24 hours in advance of the Zip Line
time. This can be done at any Discovery Tours ticket booth.

I have missed my tour can I go on the next one?
Once a tour start time has passed, all Zip-Flyer Nepal tour tickets become non-refundable. Guests may
use their ticket to go on the next available tour in a stand-by status only.
I don’t want to Zip, but I would like to go along for the ride to the top of the hill.
Due to limited space on the vehicle we use for transportation and for safety reasons on the road and the
platform, only people who are zipping will be transported to the first platform.

What if I want to cancel the ride after the booking?
Reservations may be changed up to 48hours before the ride without any additional charges but subject
to availability. Changes are not permitted less than 48hours of the ride. Cancellation received 72hours
before the scheduled ride are 100% refundable, less than 72hours is 50% refundable and less than 24
hours is non-refundable.

Source : High Ground Pvt Ltd

Paragliding in Nepal

A typical day trip for an adventure enthusiast will involve half hour to about 40 minutes of actual flying
as getting to the site, briefing, equipment check and fitting takes time. Normally, you would leave in the
morning, drive by jeep up to take-off site and take off according to your turn. You may have to wait as
sometimes a flyer take off, does their flight, and then the pilot and the glider have to drive back up the
hill to take off with you.

For adventure seekers, Paragliding in Nepal is an excellent choice of adventure available. Paragliding in
above the Himalyan range can be both a rewarding and thrilling experience. As it’s a sport dependent on
the weather, the best time to try it is between November and February to take advantage of those clear
mild days. The main destination for flying is the Annapurna region and more specifically Pokhara Valley.
There are several take off points around Phewa Lake but the most accessible is Sarangkot with its own
purpose built take off point. Sarangkot falls under eight of the most adventurous places for paragliders
in the world and first started here in 1992. Sarangkot offers a suitable environment and in good weather
paragliders can fly up to 80 km without fuel.

Paragliding tour in Nepal basically takes you to Pokhara giving you some of the best scenery on
earth such as beautiful lakes, spectacular peaks, stunning overhead view of the city, monasteries,
temples, lakes and jungle, and flight across the hills and the city etc. The paragliding experience from
the city of Pokhara with its sightseeing and arrive at Sarangkot. It is beautiful hill station offering
amazing sunrise and sunset views over the Himalayas. This is the place where our paragliding dream
adventure is conducted. Observing glory of Annapurna range and beautiful landscape around Pokhara
Machhapuchhare, Lamjung Himal, Annapurna Himal, Himchuli, Fewa Lake, Rice field, Rivers and
settlements are below gives you thrills with a great photographic opportunity.

Paragliding normally costs USD 100 for 30 minutes flight, and if you are lucky you may get discounts
during the monsoon season. For those more serious about getting into paragliding there are full courses
to get you flying solo in no time (typically 7-12 days). Expert instruction is delivered via 2 way radios.
Due to the exceptional weather during the season in Nepal, you can complete the tasks needed to gain
your license far quicker than in less predictable climates.

Paragliding can be done in two ways, single and tandem jump. Single jump is for experts and
professionals who have mastered this sport but for beginners and learners tandem is the best
solution. Taking a tandem flight is the easiest way to have a go at paragliding. Tandem flying involves
an experienced pilot accompanying with a passenger. Both the pilot and passenger have separate
harnesses that are attached to each other and the wing. Paragliding harnesses are built for comfort and
safety; they feel more like an armchair. Once launched the passenger just sits back, relaxes and takes
in the epic scenery. Even taking pictures is not a problem. Taking a tandem flight from Pokhara you first
take a 20min jeep ride from Pokhara to Sarangkot the viewpoint 2000ft above Lakeside. From here you
can see 3 of the highest mountains in the world. Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, all over 8000 m.

The experience of leaving ground with just the support of a canvas and wind was wonderful moment.
It makes you feel awesome flying above leaving everything below. Slowly you catch up altitude and you
gradually go up and up. Around at 1900 m the winds are pretty strong and at times if the conditions are
not right then it can turn out to be fatal.

Moreover, the bird eye view of Fewa Lake and the whole Pokhara valley was simply rejuvenate you.
Travelling in the the month of September-October where sky is pretty clear and can have the great view
of the Annapurna ranges and Macchapuchre. Once you glide in the air and you feel the airless feeling

then the real adrenaline rush appears. It’s a freefall in spiral way with you nearly horizontal and you see
nothing except the horizon and the earth, the experience is simply awesome.

Sky Diving Free Falling at Everest

Jumping off an airplane with just the help of parachute might sound scary for the normal people but for
adventure enthusiasts who like to live their life on edge, it’s a daily way of life. The world’s highest point
these days is the target for skydiving event where people from all over the world come to enjoy the

“Skydiving, is the action sport of exiting an aircraft and returning to earth with the aid of gravity while
using a parachute to slow down during the final part of the descent. It may or may not involve a certain
amount of free-fall, a time during which the parachute has not been deployed and the body gradually
accelerates to terminal velocity,” says the wiki

Skydiving can be done in two ways tandem and solo parachuting according to the choice and experience
of the client. First operated in 2008 in Nepal, the adventure is now listed by CNN Travel as being among
the top ten adventures in the world. Free falling from a height of 29,500ft, Skydiving gives you the
opportunity to skydive from world’s tallest peaks Mt. Everest (29,035ft) which is the major attraction
of the event. It may sound scary but for such jumps the safety measures are also tight. During the jump
the skydivers are equipped with specialized suits and oxygen system to help them counter the effects of
extreme cold and thin air.

The experience of skydiving in the Everest region is unique and different from other places because of
the magnificent surroundings and the Mt Everest itself .People willing to skydive in Syangboche should
have made at least 300 dives. During the tandem jump the instructor is responsible for emergency
procedures in the unlikely event that they will be needed, therefore freeing the student to concentrate
on learning to skydive. Skydiving from high altitude demands experience and expertise.

Normally a Solo Skydiving cost around USD 25,000 where as the Tandem Sky diving cost around USD

The commercial skydiving has been started in Nepal from two destinations Syangboche and Pokhara.
As Nepal is now becoming famous for extreme sports, skydiving is wow to adventure sports lovers. The
height of skydiving in Syangboche is above 25,000 feet from sea level which is the highest point in the
world for skydiving. The height of skydiving in Pokhara is 15,000 - 16,000 feet above sea level.

Everest Skydive is held at the world’s highest drop zone, Shyangboche (Everest Region, Nepal) at an
elevation 12350 feet, where skydivers take the leap from above some of the tallest peaks in the world
(including Mt. Everest).

Flying from the highest point on earth, gives you the panoramic views of the Himalayan range and the
whole geographic angle that is beyond words to describe. People describe it as the most thrilling and
exciting feeling. The experience of skydiving in the Everest region is unique and different from other
places because of the magnificent surroundings and the Mt Everest itself.

Bird Watching in Nepal

With over 875 species (almost 8% of the world total) of birds, Nepal is a paradise for bird and among
them almost 5 hundred species are found in the Kathmandu Valley alone. The most popular bird
watching spots in Kathmandu are Phulchoki, Godavari, Nagarjun, Bagmati River, Taudaha and so on. Get
your binoculars and look forward to a rewarding experience.
The wetlands and open fields inside the valley make up a diverse habitat for many species of birds.
Besides this, lots of birds but in different species found in Nepal depending on the vegetation and
altitude of Nepal. Some endangered birds like Impeyan Pheasant, Nepal’s national bird and Spiny Babler,
are only found in Nepal.

Bird Watching has evolved as a recreational activity of where people love spending time watching
these magnificent creations of nature. Enthusiasm for birding is generally contained among a select
few, dedicated birders. The striking contrast in the topography of Nepal, from the highest mountains
in the world to flat plains of the southern border makes for a varied ecology and habitat for its wildlife.
The variance of forest systems at different altitudes, abundance of water bodies like lakes, streams
and rivers, apt refuge of the floodplains and wetlands and protected regions like the Annapurna
Conservation Area makes Nepal a sanctuary for diverse species of birds. All you need for a successful
bird watching trip are decent binoculars, right tour operators and lots of luck. You can get started as
soon as you land in Kathmandu as the capital alone plays host to over 500 species of birds in its hills,
wetlands and fields. Then there is always the stretch of the country to take your pick from, from Bardia
in the west to Koshi Tappu in the east. Expect to fill your log book with records of innumerable sightings
of Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Swamp Patridges, Herons, Black headed Oriole, Eurasian Cuckoo,
Chestnut headed bee-eater and more; a fair mix of birds native to this Sub-continent and migrant birds
in the summer and winter months. Rare sightings of the 9 endangered species of Nepal like the Great
Pied Hornbill, Bengal Florican and Crimson-Horned Pheasant, make for an extra special trip.
Popular Places/Location/Geography/Prices:

1. Kathmandu Valley: Kathmandu with its wetlands on the banks of Bagmati and Manohara rivers,
surrounding hills of oak, pine and rhododendron forests and open fields is a happy habitat for over 500
species of birds. A few notable places for eventful day-trips of bird watching are the hills of Phulchowki,
Godavari, Taudaha, Shivapuri and Nagarjuna Royal Forest.
A) Phulchowki: 20 kms southwest of Kathmandu lies Phulchowki, the highest hill on the Kathmandu
valley rim at 2782 m. The Royal Botanical Garden on its foothills and the enclosing hills are a natural
hub for over 256 species of birds. A perennial wet spot by means of receiving the heaviest rain fall in
the valley, the hills of Phulchowki are brimming with wildlife. Start your excursion from the garden
and hike uphill for sightings of Babblers, Minivets, Wablers, Woodpeckers, Tibetan siskin and Spotted
Forktail among others. The stunning views of the valley from the hilltop are a major plus. Entrance to
the garden is NRS 100 per person, Cameras and Video Cameras are charged extra at NRS10 and NRS 100
respectively. Local Buses available from the bus stand in Lagankhel.
B) Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve: 12 kms North of Kathmandu, Shivapuri Watershed and
Wildlife Reserve is located in Shivapuri lekh. The Shivapuri hill standing tall at 2732 m is the second
highest in the valley, and home to 177 species of birds like Bonelli’s Eagles, Great Himalayan Barbets,
Laughing Thrush, Crested Serpent Eagle etc. The climate ranges from sub-tropical to temperate which is
reflected on the diversity of the flora and fauna found here. Medicinal herbs, Rhododendrons, Orchids,
129 different Mushrooms, Leopards, Wild boars and Barking deer, make this reserve a haven for nature
lovers. Entrance is NRS 250 per person and Cameras an additional NRS 1000.
C) Nagarjuna Forest Reserve: Nagarjuna also known as Rani Ban (Queen’s Forest) lies North-West of the
city, 2.5 kms from Balaju. It is also a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site, with a shrine dedicated to Guru
Rinpoche built on the summit , at an elevation of 2095 m. The bird calls of magpies, sunbirds, pheasants

among others, ring through the forests and you can observe them in their natural habitat for a small fee
of NRS 10 per person. Additional charge for your mode of transport, NRS 10/30/100 for Bicycle/Bike/Car
2. Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve: Koshi Tappu is a protected network of wetlands in Terai, on the
floodplains of SaptaKoshi, the largest river in Nepal. The Koshi embankment on the southern end of
the reserve creates a perpetual dipping pool for over 300 species of birds including the Water fowl,
Waders and the endangered Swap Partridge among others. You can catch a flight from Kathmandu to
Biratnagar and another two hours ride from the airport will get you to the reserve. A 10 hours drive to
determine the 500 kms from Kathmandu is another alternative. Arguably the best means yet could be to
raft down the SunKoshi River on a 9-10 days trip that ends with a stay in one of the tented camps inside
the reserve. Entrance fee is NRS 1000 for foreign nationals.
3. Annapurna Conservation Area: Covering around 2946 sq kms of North-central Nepal, ACA is the
world’s largest protected region. It is spread over several districts below the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri
massif. The terrain changes significantly with altitudes, ranging from sub-tropical lowlands in the south
to dry subalpine conditions in the north. This makes for a rich bio-diversity that supports over 441
species of birds like Spiny Babbler, Crimson Horned Pheasant, Bearded Vulture etc. Migration coincides
with peak trekking seasons in spring and autumn, making it possible to combine the joys of bird
watching with trekking. The convenient starting point for the foray into ACP is Pokhara, a 35 minutes
flight from the capital. Entrance fee to ACP is Rs 2000 per person.