Elen Turner

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Writer, editor, traveller Nepal / New Zealand

Location Kathmandu
Country Nepal
Member Since FEBRUARY 26, 2019
Social Audience 2K
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  • Books and Literature
  • Parks & Nature
  • Food & Drink
  • Family and Relationships
  • Paranormal Phenomena
  • Real Estate
  • Religion & Spirituality
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Extreme Sports
  • Travel
  • Travel Locations
  • Travel Preparation
  • Traveling
Understanding the Mandala Tradition in Nepal

As a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, the mandala represents different aspects of the universe, the principle of life, and the essence of the world. How mandalas are made, and why Nepalis use water (symbolizing refreshment), yellow tika powder (meaning the sun’s equity and open-mindedness), or red tika powder (representing consciousness), then rice, cereals, legumes, and flowers (symbolizing all living beings). One of the most well-known types of mandala is the sand mandala (dupchhoe), made with colored sand and powders in Tibetan monasteries. Mandala art is considered one of the most effective forms of healing and therapeutic art, as focusing on the drawing itself or colouring the mandala can be used in the healing process.

In Search of Kulekhani Lake

After spending a few years hiking and running on the trails around Kathmandu, I was intrigued by a large body of water to the south of Kathmandu, past the ridge of hills that contain the Champadevi and Bhasmasur peaks and down the southern side: Kulekhani Lake. However, pretty soon the trail gave way to the familiar stone steps you often find on hiking trails in Nepal. Chaap Banjyang is a crossroad of four trails: with Kathmandu (and the path you have just climbed) behind you, there is the option to go left, up to Bhasmasur and Champadevi peaks. The trail towards Kulekhani Lake winds through settlements of stone-built houses nestled amongst the vivid yellow of mustard fields in autumn and the vibrant red of chilies drying in the sun.

Travelling in Nepal Post-COVID

before”… Many people have been looking forward to life, and travel, going back to the way they were before the pandemic, eventually. International travel had been increasing year on year before the pandemic, and while that brought a lot of income to tourist destinations like Nepal, it also brought the negative effects of rapid development, pollution caused by flying, and strain on local infrastructure that wasn’t always adequate for the local people, let alone all the extra visitors. That’s why, even after vaccinations have been rolled out in tourists’ home countries and the pandemic is largely under control, it’s vitally important that everyone who comes to Nepal plays their part in keeping local communities healthy and COVID-free. Being a respectful traveller in Nepal is, of course, only polite, but it’s also good to keep in mind that many Nepalis have struggled through the pandemic without many of the social support structures that are in place in a lot of other places.

The Story of Narchyang Village, in the Annapurnas

In the spring of 2018, young Ajay Pun envisioned the prosperity of Narchyang, a small village in the foothills of the mighty Annapurna, through tourism. After working for a local restaurant and a whitewater adventure company for a few years, Ajay joined the Community Homestay Network (a developer and provider of community-based tourism experiences) as a travel consultant. After working for nearly a year at Community Homestay Network, Ajay gained an insight into the global tourism market and learned more about Nepal as a tourism destination. Ajay still sees Narchyang as a gateway to the mighty Annapurna, as legendary Herzog did, and seeks to offer travellers an alternative Annapurna Base Camp trek on the northern side.

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