Tag Archives: kathmandu

Chandragiri hill

When we were in Kathmandu this time, we didn’t get time to go out of valley but we still managed to go to a few places within the valley. One glorious sunny morning we started a trip to the newly opened Chandragiri Hill.

Located 16 km from Kathmandu, Chandragiri hill is in Thankot and it took us around 30 minutes to drive there. They have recently introduced cable car to the top of the hill making it good place for a family day out. We bought our tickets a few days in advance from Bhatbhateni supermarket so we didn’t have to queue up once we reached there.

When we reached the base of the hill, I was already very happy to see an amazing view of the surrounding mountains and hills. We quickly caught a cable car to the top. The ride is around two and a half kilometres long taking us around 9 minutes to reach the top.

When we reached on the top and came out into the open area, we were welcomed by the beautiful Himalayan range. The panoramic views of Kathmandu Valley and the Himalayan range from Annapurna to Everest makes you feel as if you were seeing the whole of Nepal from this hill. I am so glad we got there early in the morning because; the view from the top was worth it.

People used to trek for hours to get to the top of this hill to watch the same view which we were lucky enough to enjoy with the new cable car ride in just a few minutes.

On top of the hill there are restaurants, a kids’ play area, a resort, a multipurpose hall and shops as well.

Once we enjoyed the view of the beautiful landscape, we decided to walk further up to the temple of Lord Shiva, Bhaleshwor Mahadev.

We prayed to the god, went around the temple and then to the nearby restaurant to have our lunch.

It was Shivaratri that day so there was only vegetarian option on the menu. We all enjoyed the lunch and kids had a good time too.

After lunch we went to the other side of the hill which is where the kids’ play area is. I was so glad that they had thought things through and had so many different things for kids to enjoy including slides, rides, see-saw, climbing robes, swings etc.

Chhori and our niece spent more than an hour there and didn’t want to leave as they were having so much fun.

We all had a great time too with the whole family and it was definitely one of the best outing place to go near Kathmandu.

If you are looking for a good escape from the city and don’t have much time in Kathmandu, this day trip is highly recommended.

If you like to hike, you can still do so using the route from Matatirtha-Chandragiri- Chitlang. This hike takes you through forest and hills offering scenic views of Kathmandu valley and through Chitlang taking around 5-6 hours to complete the entire hike.

This much for today. I will come back with more posts from Nepal soon.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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Chhori turns 2: the celebration party

We decided to have a party to celebrate Chhori’s birthday with our friends and family after puja. We started planning when we were here in Sydney with my in laws so we had a venue booked months in advance. I also found photographer via Facebook so they were booked for the day as well.

I am sure anyone who is trying to book an event from overseas goes through lots of frustrations when you can’t find the right vendor to execute your ideas. I had the same problem when we planned our wedding and it was no different this time.

We had no idea what was available in Nepal in terms of decoration so I bought everything I could think of from here and I am so glad I did. Because when we got there, I couldn’t get the things that we wanted.

As the venue and photographer were sorted, the next big thing was cake and decoration. I bought the Dora cake topper from here so we got the baker to do a cake with those. I was pretty happy with the cake.

We also ordered cupcakes which did not turn out as planned. The cupcake was not the pink colour we wanted and it was not decorated as we had explained but I guess we shouldn’t have set our expectation too high since everyone seemed to use their own ideas instead of following ours 😦

The biggest problem we faced was not finding a person to do helium balloons. After searching and talking to so many people, finally when I put out a call for help on Facebook and a friend gave us the number of a guy who did the balloons. We got the number just a day before the party and I was so worried on what to do until then.

The other big problem was our outfit. I had this vision to have me and Chhori wearing similar colour outfit and AS can have tie to coordinate with us. It turned out choosing the outfit was not easy as I planned because there are too many choices. Finally after going to a few boutiques, I settled on golden and fuchsia pink lengha and Chhori was getting fuchsia pink princess style gown.

It took many visits to get the dresses right fitting but the end result was perfect. I loved them.

It was a big job to find fuchsia pink tie in Kathmandu. The shop keepers had millions of other suggestions on the tie if they didn’t have the one I needed. But finally we found a shop that sold one and was super happy with it.

When the day of party arrived I was happy as most of the stuff were sorted. I got my make-up done and got dressed and got Chhori ready. AS was busy getting the decoration finished and picking up the cake.

He has always been so supportive of my ideas and when I plan, he helps me to make my plans come true. I think we complement each other well.

The photographers were already at the venue when we arrived. I was glad to see all the decoration looked as we planned. The hall was looking beautiful with hundreds of white and pink balloons floating around.

We had a few hours left before the guests arrived so we took photos of Chhori, us and with our parents.

 

Slowly, the venue started to fill with family and friends. I hadn’t met many of them for a while so it was great time for all of us.

After a couple of hours into the party, we cut the cake and then on to the dance floor as usual.

I had been teaching Chhori to dance to the Nepali move song “Sirai ma sirbandi” for the last few month but I didn’t know if she would dance or not. But she made us so proud by dancing to the song with all the right moves and steps. She actually danced twice to the song and we got some amazing photos and video of that. She was looking totally adorable and princessy in her cute outfit.

All our relatives were dancing and enjoying themselves as well. It was a really happy occasion for us to celebrate the birthday of our beautiful daughter with our close family and friends.

By 10 pm the guests had dinner and stared to leave. Chhori was really tired and was fast sleep on the sofa. It was a long day but we were very happy with the end result.

Chhori was spoiled by everyone with gifts, dresses and money. I know Chhori doesn’t understand much yet but we have some great photos and videos that she can go through when she is a bit older.

I will write more about our trip to Nepal in the next post. Till then take care.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Chhori turns 2 – Birthday Puja

One of the main reasons for our visit to Nepal this time was to celebrate Chhori 2nd birthday in Nepal with friends and family.

In Newari culture, for reasons unknown and out of tradition handed down from generation to generation, the first birthday of a child is not celebrated. When a child is born, we have chhaiti, nwaran then pasni. After pasni, the big celebration is second birthday, which is known as Nirbuni.

Time goes by so quickly and our little munchkin turned a BIG 2 on 20 Feb.

As we were in Nepal for the celebration, we followed Newari culture to perform her birthday puja.

In Newari culture, we make Yomari every even birthday 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12. Yomari is a delicacy of the Newars. It consists of an external covering of rice-flour and an inner content of sweet substances such as chaku (Molasses). Click here for the recipe.

We had planned things in advance for this and were happy that things came together as planned on the big day.

On her birthday, in the morning, MIL prepared for birthday puja with sagun (traditional plate typically consisting of a boiled egg, smoked fish, a “bara”, haku chhoila” and “aila” and “dhau”) .

We had other relatives who were invited for the occasion including my parents, uncles and aunts.

The puja started with tika and yomari mala (garland) from my MIL followed by ritual to pour bits of rice, radish, coins, and cucumber in a small container from her head. This is believed to drive any evil spirit.

Then it was followed by Sagun and gifts to her.She was really spoiled with gifts like dresses and jewelleries.

My parents had come with my relatives to celebrate Chhori’s birthday with lots of food which included rotis, fruits, sagun and gifts.

After my MIL my mum and aunt did similar puja. Tika and sagun was followed by gifts to Chhori, me, AS and to my in laws.

Chhori loved the whole process except when the yomari garland was put around her neck as the string annoyed her and she wanted to take it out. She was happy with so many people around us that day for the whole day. We really had a great time with all the relatives.

After all the puja was finished, we had cake smash for her too. What a difference a year can make. When we had done the cake smash on Chhori’s first birthday, she was happy to be messy and smashed the cake well, which gave us some amazing photos but this year she definitely has become a big girl.

At first she just used her finger to taste the cake and then asked for a knife to cut the cake when asked to smash it. Nevertheless we had a great time and she had a lot of fun sharing a piece with everyone.

The day was long but fun and exciting.

We had her birthday party on another day so I will write more about it in my next post.

Till then, take care everyone and happy Monday.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Arriving in Kathmandu

As I mentioned before, I was excited and scared going to Nepal. Not for anything else but just for Chhori as she is so young and I wasn’t sure if she would be OK or not. But on the flight from KL to Kathmandu, I didn’t feel any anxiety or confusion. I was just happy to go to Nepal and meet our friends and family.

The flight was a short one, only 4 hours and Chhori handled it well. It was a really nice feeling to see the Himalayan range and the beautiful landscape from the plane window as we got closer to Kathmandu.

I knew Chhori wouldn’t understand much but I was happily explaining to her that we were going to birth place of her parents.

As we landed, cleared immigration and took a lift to ground level of airport, we were welcomed by a chaotic scene with so many people that it was hard to walk around.

Apparently, 10 different flights had landed at that time in Kathmandu and as they were only 3 luggage carousel everyone was confused and running around looking for their luggage. I was so thankful that AS and my dad were with us and looking for our luggage while I had to look after a very curious toddler trying to touch everything and anything.

Finally we found our luggage and made our way outside. AS’s brothers were there to pick us up and we were happy to be away from all the chaos.

Every time I return to Kathmandu I see so many changes and it was the same this time too. All the roads and buildings bring back so many memories.

Chhori was having the time of her life in the car as there was no car seat and she could move around. She was meeting with her Kaka (uncle) and kaki (aunt) and cousins for the first time.

My FIL and MIL were very happy to see Chhori after a year. It was so nice to see the grandparents – grandkids relationship.

In next few days, we went and met other relatives including AS’s grandma and my grandma who are great grandmas for Chhori. I am so happy that she got to meet them.

The sad thing to see was that they have aged so much in the last 3 years and that their health had deteriorated a lot.

We did have a great time with all our relatives and I was happy Chhori was having an amazing time with them.

I am going to write more about our Nepal trip soon in another post. Till then, take care everyone.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Travelling with toddler

First of all sorry for disappearing for so long, I think I have never not blogged for this long since I started blogging.

We went on a holiday to Malaysia and Nepal and somehow I was so busy that even though I drafted a few posts, didn’t have time to publish them. But now that I am back, I will write all about our trip and Chhori’s special birthday celebration in Nepal.

But let me first share my experience in general about our travel with Chhori. As I have mentioned in my posts before, I was bit nervous about such a long flight with Chhori. Even though Chhori has been on a plane before, the longest she has travelled is around 4 hours and she was great on that but it is a different story when it came to travelling to Nepal. First of all, we had to be on two different planes with a total time of 14+ hours and on top of that as she was under 2 years old and we didn’t have a separate seat for her.

We flew from Sydney to Malaysia during the day and that 9 hour flight was the worst of the entire trip. As it was day time, Chhori slept for only an hour and the rest of the time we had to entertain her. We had a tablet full of movies and rhymes for her and also a lot of snacks but it was a very hard job. She was OK for the first few hours and then she started getting bored. She would move from my seat to AS’s and we had to try our best to make sure she was busy so she wouldn’t cry.

At one stage, she wanted the whole seat to herself so she evicted me from my seat and I ended up on the floor in from of the seat.

AS couldn’t stop laughing and luckily as we were allocated seats with good leg room I had room to sit on the floor.

Chhori also played peekaboo with a couple behind our seat. She would stand up and say “boo” and sit down again. I hope they were amused and not annoyed.

In Malaysia, she was great as we went to different tourist spots every day and she enjoyed the new environment. She loved the fact that she didn’t have to sit on a baby seat in the car anymore and she enjoyed the freedom. Above all she enjoyed the fact that mummy and daddy were with her 24/7.

The flight from KL to Kathmandu was better as it was only 4 hours and she was OK most of the way. The worst part was when we landed and we had to wait for immigration and customs and the airport was bit chaotic.

Chhori is only 2 years old but I know for sure that she loved Nepal. In Kathmandu, we spent most of our time in AS’s home and she loved it there as she had her grandparents, uncles and aunt and cousin to play with her.

Every morning when she woke up, she wanted to go to the living area straight away because she knew there will be someone to play with her. She really enjoyed the company of her relatives and was really happy to play with her cousin.

We took Chhori to visit many of our relatives and she did really well. She was social and affectionate and very well behaved most of the time. She really made us very proud.

I am sure she would have been very happy to stay longer in Kathmandu but our holiday ended shortly after we celebrated her birthday and it was time for us to come back.

I was a bit worried about our flight back but luckily for us, it was better than the journey to Nepal.

On our flight from Kathmandu to Malaysia, we had an empty seat next to us so Chhori was happy to have her own seat. It did make our journey less stressful. From Malaysia to Sydney, we got a bassinet for her and she slept most of the flight even though she was a bit big for it. I was happy to have a peacefully sleeping baby which allowed me to rest and eat my meal without worrying too much.

I was so happy when we landed in Sydney because even though I loved our trip, the flight there and back was bit tough. I think if a child is over a year old and it is a long flight, it is a good idea to buy an extra seat for the child as it will be really helpful and gives you a bit more flexibility.

Take care everyone.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Chhori’s first Tihar

Tihar, the second biggest festival for Hindus after Dashain, was from 28th Oct to 1st Nov this year. Please click here to know more about the festival.

This year was Chhori’s first Tihar celebration so I wanted to make sure she had a great memory of the celebration.

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Tihar is celebrated for five days and here are some photos from our celebration this year.

  • Kaag / Kag (crow) Puja

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  • Kukur (dog) Puja

kukur-puja-2 kukur-puja-1

  • Laxmi Puja and Gai (cow) Puja

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  • Goru Puja,Gobhardan Puja , Mha Puja and Nepal Sambat

As my parents are here this year, it was great to have a whole family celebrating Mha puja.

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  • Bhai Tika

Chhori does Bhai tika to my nephew. It was so cute to see these little ones performing the ritual.

bhai-tika-15 bhai-tika-14 bhai-tika-13 bhai-tika-1 bhai-tika-9 bhai-tika-16 bhai-tika-4 bhai-tika-5

Hope everyone celebrating had great Tihar too.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Bollywood fundraiser concert in Ashburn, Virginia for Nepal earthquake victims

First of all a big thank you to Deepa, one of my regular readers, and all the organisers for organizing a fund raiser concert in Ashburn, Virginia for Nepal Earth Quake Victims.

If you are anywhere near Ashburn, VA on 5th June 2015, please go and support the event. It will be a fun night with lots of songs and dances by local artists.

Admission is free but please be generous and donate for a good cause. Rajdhani Mandir will make a one to one match for the first $10,000 raised. All proceeds will go to earthquake victims of Nepal and believe me every penny counts.

Details of the event

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Date: 5th June 2015

Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Venue: Clubhouse Lawn at Loudoun Valley

              43100 Barnstead Drive

               Ashburn, VA 20148

Thank you everyone once again.