Thickly vegetated hills, lush green valleys, authentic villages, welcoming hospitality and breathtaking Himalayan views are what await you in Nagarkot, the premiere Hill Station on the Kathmandu Valley Rim. Situated above the Kathmandu Valley to the north of the city at an altitude of 2300 meter this quaint Hill Stations is the ideal place to get away, enjoy the fresh air, soak up the mountain views and discover Nepal’s rich rural culture. Nagarkot is easily accessed by road, by cycling or by hiking and offers a large variety of accommodations from simple affordable lodges and Home Stays to fine class Resorts and Hotels, something for everyone.
Dashain As Nepal's most important festival, Dashain is an experience you'll want to plan your trip around. The festival usually occurs in September to mid October, depending on the Hindu calendar, and runs for a total of 15 days. The festival is a Hindu one, and it celebrates the overcoming of demons by the goddess Durga on the first day. Much of the 15 days are marked by animal sacrifices, particularly on the eighth and the ninth days, which are designated days of the sacrifice. People in the streets are dressed in their traditional best, and the Nepalese wake early in the morning to give their offerings to the gods, followed by a family ceremony of tikka, where a mixture of rice, yoghurt and vermillion are mixed into a paste and placed on the foreheads of the younger ones as a blessing from their elders. This ceremony takes place in all homes, and visitors to Nagarkot can witness this as this is sometimes held in the courtyards of the houses. Tihar Shortly following the festival of Dashian and held in the late autumn is the festival of Tihar, which is roughly correspondent to the Hindu festival of Diwali in India. The festival commemorates the goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of light, and runs a total of 5 days. During this time, the lights are aglow in the temples and in the homes, and families put out candles and oil lamps to illuminate the pathways at night. The festival is also marked by the worshipping of crows (Hindu symbols of sadness and grief) to avert disaster in homes, and cows (the sacred animal of the religion). Finally, Tihar celebrates brotherhood and familial ties, and it is not uncommon to see large families occupying the courtyards in a massive feast during this time. Gaijatra One of the most popular festivals in Nagarkot for its significance and spectacle, the festival of Gaijatra celebrates the cow, the sacred animal of Hinduism. It also commemorates those who have died in the past year, and is held sometime during the months of August and September. The festival is marked with a procession of cows throughout the town, making everything come to a standstill, be it human or vehicle traffic. Not that it matters, because the significance of the cow brings the Nepalese people to a halt so that they can worship. It is a festival that should be observed solemnly, and is a good experience for any visitor to the region.
Craftwork in Nepal is exceptional in general, and its finery can be admired in Nagarkot. Some of the finest arts here include traditional paintings, embroidery and wooden carvings of little animals and insects – all of which can be found scattered around the region. Simpler items such as wooden carvings and embroidered bookmarks can be found in the marketplaces, and these can be good souvenir or gift items for those back home.Another item that is popular is the ceramic items in Nagarkot. Ceramics enjoy a long history, dating back from the times of kings and kingdoms. Plates of the farmers and workers were generally made out of ceramics fired a lower temperature, while those of regal statues enjoy plates made out of glazed ceramics, fired at a very high temperature for durability. Tourists now can visit one of Nagarkot’s ceramic factories for a chance to see what it was like living in those days – and buying a slice of the past home in the form of plates, mugs or even vases.
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