• Nepal,  Travel

    Giving Back!

    This time of the year calls for small moments of introspection. Yes, sounds clichéd. Time to give back… even more clichéd! Well some tender moments of Clichédness will not harm that much… I hope! We have been involved with the following events or drives that promise to ‘give back something to society’. In some places the involvement has given me a lot of emotional solace, specially Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs and Mums who Share. We have been consciously trying to get the Z-Sisters involved with something more meaningful than just having fun on our vacations – like visiting the Firefly Children’s Home (above) in Nepal. This…

  • Nepal,  Recipes,  Travel,  UNESCO Heritage

    Bori Tarkari/Beans Curry & Maithili Art – Chitwan, Nepal

    Though I don’t run my household in the manner of taking Geography lessons, but subconsciously our kitchen does turn into a lab. Probably I must have done a Geography Major in my previous birth. I believe in the concept of Reincarnation according to my own convenience. When I cannot explain any particular characteristic (bad or good) in myself, I push the ’cause’ to my previous birth and if I really want to do something but do not have the courage to do so, I try to cajole myself by saying – ‘Maybe in my next birth!’ For example – Bungee Jumping. My previous articles have touched (though touched it too…

  • Nepal,  Travel,  UNESCO Heritage

    Tharu Village Walk in Chitwan, Nepal – Innocence In Their Eyes, Joy In Their Faces

    Chitwan Part 2 Our stay in Chitwan was memorable not only because it brought us incredibly close to nature but also because it gave us the opportunity to show the Z-Sisters a different world altogether. During our stay there, one evening we went to the nearby Tharu village where they the Z-SISTERS were confronted with some extreme but essential life moments. [Tharu is an ethnic group indigenous to the Terai, the southern foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal and India. The Tharu people themselves say that they are people of the forest. In Chitwan, they have lived in the forests for hundreds of years practicing a short fallow shifting cultivation.…

  • Nepal,  Travel,  UNESCO Heritage

    Machan Paradise View in Chitwan, Nepal – Gift Wrapped & Preserved For Each Tourist!

    We travelled almost 8 hours by car. Meandering and sometimes very dusty, these snaky Himalayan roads run through the mountains and along a few rivers and their tributaries. We stopped several times. For refreshments (read toilet-breaks), clicking pictures, collecting pebbles as mementos from the banks of the Trisuli river, for Mr Driver to freshen up, to visit the Manakamana temple in the Gorkha district, another sacred Hindu place of worship and finally arrived at Chitwan. Chitwan is one of the last remnants of the Terai – the fertile strip of grasslands and forests which at one of point time stretched along the northern border of India from the Indus river…

  • The auspiscious prayer wheels
    Nepal,  Travel,  UNESCO Heritage

    Budha in Nepal – Where The Buddha Can Only See!

    As I transcended on the second part of my spiritual and religious journey in Nepal, I realized that the first part of the journey reflected a strong orientation of Hinduism in Nepal, while the 2nd part of the journey was reflected by elements of Buddhism. Though both the journeys were markedly different, they joined hands to form an unusual assimilation which is very unique and the very essence of religion in Nepal. A little recap from my first journey – I have always maintained from the very beginning that I will refrain from expressing my personal opinion on politics and religion in my writings that might reflect any bias or…

  • Daal Maharani from the kitchens of Hotel Yak & Yeti, Kathmandu
    Nepal,  Recipes,  Travel

    Daal Maharani Befitting the Queen (And Also Us) From Yak & Yeti – Kathmandu, Nepal

    Daal Maharani. Maharani denotes the queen. Can a name be more regal? Perhaps not. Previously, I had dragged the recipe of Sikarni Raan/Marinated Lamb Shank out of the kitchen of the hotel that we stayed in by the method of incessant persuasion. Not that the staff of the restaurant was any less courteous. But there were too many diners vying to catch their attention and I was feeling a bit shy to start on my recipe hunt again! The recipe for Daal Maharani did ultimately dole out from behind the swivelling doors of the kitchen – but how? Have a look at it yourself… Black Daal Whole (Soak Overnight) –…

  • Abandoned by family - sitting in the sacred temple premises waiting for their deaths
    Nepal,  Travel,  UNESCO Heritage

    Mahasthan Ghar, Nepal – The Abandoned Women Amidst Many Prayers

    I have always maintained from the very beginning that I will refrain from expressing my personal opinion on politics and religion in my writings that might reflect any bias or hurt any religious/cultural/spiritual sentiment. Having grown up in the multicultural Kolkata we have participated in all festivals from all religion. My previous writings dwell deeply on this aspect (Article 1, Article 2). But I cannot deny the fact that the enigma of varied cultural/religious aspects of different places simply fascinate me. The strong beliefs and faiths reinforcing the expression on the faces of devotees during worship, the colours, the rituals, the stories underlying these rituals – I have always wanted…

  • Sikarni Raan/ Marinated Lamb Shank @Hotel Yak and Yeti
    Nepal,  Recipes,  Travel

    Sikarni Raan/Marinated Lamb Shank From Yak & Yeti – Kathmandu, Nepal

    I have started writing our Nepal journey in a very unusual way – the first post on Nepal being the last day of our trip. Probably the divine experience of seeing the Mt Everest and the Himalaya can’t be written anywhere else but on the first post of my Nepal travelogue! But that doesn’t mean that our other experiences were any less than ordinary. For example – the pleasure of experiencing traditional Newari/Nepali food or our stay in a hotel that is as beautiful and rich in history as the city itself. Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is situated in the Kathmandu valley which is one of the largest valleys…