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Nepal began issuing five-year, multiple-entry tourist visas to American travellers.
Consul of the US Embassy Mike Mussi joined Director General of Immigration Eshor Poudel to witness the handover of the first five-year, multiple-entry tourist visas issued by Nepal to American citizen travellers, according to a press release issued by the US Embassy in Kathmandu.
The United States has been issuing five-year visas to Nepali travellers for many years. With today’s handover, Nepal has adopted the same visa terms for American visitors, greatly facilitating the closer and deeper linkages between the US and Nepal.
“Visa reciprocity is a standard and long-standing principle in visa policies worldwide. The United States Government and the Government of Nepal have been working towards establishing reciprocity for all types of visas since October 2017,” read the press release.
Establishing parity in the visa regimes between the US and Nepal provides an opportunity to increase the number and frequency of American tourists and business representatives visiting Nepal, which will benefit Nepal’s economy. Tourism makes up a significant portion of Nepal’s economy. Over 90,000 US citizens visited Nepal last year, an increase of 15 per cent over fiscal year 2017. As Americans receive reciprocal tourist visas — multiple-entry, five-year validity — they will be able to come to Nepal easily and more often, according to the press release.
“Similarly, American students and scholars are eager to study and conduct research in Nepal. Parity in our visa regimes means that more Americans will have the opportunity to study and research at Nepali academic institutions and participate in educational and cultural exchanges,” read the press release.
Reciprocal visa regimes between the US and Nepal will also bring significant benefit to certain categories of Nepali visa applicants. For example, Nepali students who plan to study in the US will soon save $200 on each visa — more than 50 per cent savings — due to the removal of student visa issuance fees, the press release stated.
Speaking at the handover event, Mussi said, “Longer visa validity and lowered costs are good for both America and Nepal. It will increase economic activity and exchanges between our countries.”
A version of this article appears in print on April 02, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.
The world’s so far the largest travel site of the United States, tripadvisor.com, has included Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu in the list of 25 best tourism destinations for the year 2019.
The website provides comprehensive information about travel and possible visiting sites to the tourists. The website has incorporated Nepal’s capital surrounded by a valley full of historic sites, ancient temples, shrines, and fascinating villages in the list of prime tourism destinations.
Mingle with locals and animals amid Durbar Square’s monuments, or join mountain trekkers in the bustling Thamel District. Explore shops for exquisite work by local artisans—carpets are some of the activities tourists like most in Nepal.
Garden of dreams, Kopan Monastery, Pashupati Nath and er prints are specialties of Nepal for tourists.
United Kingdom’s capital London has been ranked the first followed by Paris of France and Rome of Italy.
Sole international airport of Nepal Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) is set to be shut down for 10 hours daily from April 1, 2019 (Chaitra 18) for accommodating the runway extension project.
Travel Agencies have notified its clients who have booked ticket beyond the date to be updated and get notified continuously with the agencies to get updated to revised time of bookings.
The airport will remain close from 10 pm to 8 am in the morning halting all the flight operations and most of the flight schedule is expected to be rescheduled and changed to cope with the changing time.
Discussion is going on regarding how to manage night flight schedule and is expected to be shifted thus travel agencies have alerted to be updated with upcoming schedule and make inquiry to travel agencies to those who have booked fights beyond April 1 before.
The runway of TIA constructed in 1975, is going to be upgraded for the first time. Since, the runway is going to be renovated; the airline companies are fully coordinating about the airport to be close for 10 hours daily.
Airport officials have been discussing about managing both international and domestic flight and if the flight numbers have to decrease in order to manage the flight then the airport officials will prepare the flight schedules looking at the daily and weekly flight arc of the airlines.
China National Aero Technology International Engineering Corporation, Chinese Company held a charge of the runway rehabilitation project of TIA. The agreement was signed on November 5, 2018.
For the agreement with the Chinese construction company, NRs. 3.75 billion is going to be signed for the runway and taxiway rehabilitation project, Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, Sanjeev Gautam said.
Tourism Ministry has directed the project to complete the rehabilitation of runway as soon as possible. After upgrading TIA -the dignity of the nation will help in upgrading the arc of the airport and improve the quality of services.
In the first phase, the company needs to blacktop the runway of 3000m. The renovation work will be conducted for 10 hours a day in 80m with use of milling machine at night. During the rehabilitation, TIA will be closed for 10 hours a day. After completing the runway work, the work of parking bay will also be started.
Maha Shivaratri is one of the major festivals of Nepal and literally means “Night of the Shiva”. It is celebrated on the 14th day of the dark fortnight of the Māgha month, as per the Hindu lunar calendar.
It is believed that on this day, the stars in the Northern Hemisphere are at most optimum positions to help raise a person’s spiritual energy. It is also believed that the Shiva principle is most active on this day of the year.
Maha Shivaratri is celebrated marking the convergence of Shiva and Shakti. Maha Shivaratri also celebrates the night when Lord Shiva performed the “Tandav”, the cosmic dance.
Hundreds of thousands of devotees visit Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, one of the holiest shrines of the Hindus. Pashupatinath is considered the Guardian and Protector of the Kathmandu Valley and Nepal.
Devotees chant “Om Namah Shivay” and “Mahamritunjaya” all night praying for light over darkness. Tourists are seen enjoying the ambiance with curiosity, as colorful and naked sadhus are seen meditating, posing for photographs and interacting with disciples.
A Hindu Sadhu or holy man smokes marijuana placed in a chillum inside the Pashupatinath Temple premise in Kathmandu
Special attendance camps are set in the courtyards of the temples. Children are seen collecting donations from passersby on this day preparing for holy meal and bonfire in celebration of the special night.
Arrangements for Maha Shivaratri at Pashupatinath Temple
Maha Shivaratri is known as one of the most celebrated religious festivals for Hindus. Every year Hindus from all over the world are seen thronging many Shiva temples during this festival. Pashupatinath Temple is the place with the biggest crowd on this day.
This year, on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri, the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) is expecting a crowd of 1.3 million people from across the world. For the successful celebration of the festival, the management unit in Pashupatinath has started cleaning the area. Also, this year more importance has been given for figuring out an easier way to manage crowd so that devotees can carry out their Puja and Darshan faster and more conveniently.
Spring is one of the best times to visit Nepal, and Indian tourists enjoy visiting during the most auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri. Special provisions are made to ease Darshan for Indian pilgrims at Pashupatinath during Maha Shivaratri, which falls on Feb 13 this year, according to officials at the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT). The PADT will also make available Pashupati Darshan passes at easy outlets near Pashupati area to facilitate pilgrims from India.
Apart from Puja and Darshan other attractions for visitors to the temple vicinity at the time will be the colorful crowd including gorgeous Sadhu Babas from different parts of Nepal and India. People come to Pashupatinath to observe and see the different kinds of Sadhu Babas and their activities; some Sadhus are covered is ashes while some prefer to be completely naked.
According to Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) Chairman Mr. Govinda Tandan , “A huge crowd is expected and we are working to manage a fine parking facility and a good place for devotees to sit. Also, as many devotees show eagerness to distribute food to the people present there, we are trying to manage a proper place for the devotees to enjoy their meal.”
As Maha Shivaratri is mainly related with the night, the devotees stay up all night and pray to Lord Shiva. The four Prahars of Puja is carried out all night long, the devotees usually stay in tents along the Gaushala road.
All seven on board the helicopter AS 350 carrying Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari have been killed in the crash near Pathibhara in Taplejung district, confirms an Air Dynasty official.
The crash took place in Sisne Khola area, 6 nm (nautical miles) from Taplejung at around 1:30 pm.
Travelling with Minister Adhikari were the pilot of the helicopter Captain Prabhakar KC, tourism entrepreneur Ang Tshiring Sherpa, security personnel Arjun Ghimire, Under-Secretary at the Prime Minister’s office Yubaraj Dahal, Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Birendra Shrestha, and CAAN Engineer Dhruba Das Bhochhibhaya, informed THT reporter Laxmi Gautam.
The Chief District Officer of Taplejung, Anuj Bhandari quoted the locals as saying they heard a loud bang followed by a sight of smoke and fire in the area.
It has been learnt that the tourism minister, along with other officials, had visited Pathibhara Temple after attending a programme at Chuhan Danda in Panchthar to observe the under-construction airport. The helicopter crashed right after they had taken off again from the temple.
Adverse weather condition is hindering the lifting of bodies. Two helicopters are already present at the incident site while two more helicopters of Nepal Army are flying to the area.
One of the most mesmerizing rituals at Pashupatinath Temple is the Pashupati Bagmati Aarati. The Bagmati River divides the temple into two sides, with the main Pashupatinath Temple being on one side and the location of this Aarati on the other.
Aarati is a ritual of worship in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) is offered to God. Pashupati Bagmati Aarati follows three priests conducting the custom with oil lamps, lanterns and other religious elements by chanting sacred mantra.
The priests perform the Aarati by taking oil lamps and moving them in circular motion and dedicating their act to the Divine. Bhajan (songs with religious theme) are sung by devotees during the Aarati, creating blissful surrounding. The Aarati starts at 6 pm every evening. Monday is considered the right day to worship Lord Shiva ensuring a large number of followers that day. This is a ritual that allows everyone to be a part of it and creates an environment of union of God and the devotees. Aarati is marked by hailing for the wellness of every living soul and thanking God for the kindness bestowed by him.
In Hindu religion, Aarati has been given most value. A Bhajan is considered more valuable than a song; prayer is considered more sacred than Bhajan; and finally Aarati is considered most important of them all. Aarati is considered as the highest form of prayer. A dance form called “Tandav” is performed by followers at the Aarati. Tandav is a divine dance performed by Load Shiva. Hence, followers dance Tandav during the Aarati paying respect to Lord Shiva.
The Bagmati Aarati is a major attraction and Pashupati is being widely recognized for it. Many people come to be a part of the Aarati during holidays, on Mondays and during festivals. Monday is considered the right day to worship Lord Shiva ensuring a large number of followers that day. Also, Aarati is a major attraction during Maha Shivaratri and Haritalika Teej festivals.
Hindu religion believes in the presence of God in every living soul. It places importance on good for everyone rather than good for just one. This is portrayed during the Aarati where prayers are sung for the betterment of whole of humanity and coming together as one is the main aim.
Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) a National Pride Project has now completed around 70% of its physical work. The airport is being constructed with an aim of completing soon and to bring into operation from August/September of 2019. The airport which had only completed around 25% of work around a year ago has now completed around 70% work and other work are being carried out simultaneously.
3rd phase blacktopping of the airport has completed and the 4th phase work is expected to be carried out in couple of days. The blacktopping work is expected to be completed within 20 days to a month and afterwards the work of installing lights and other work will be carried out.
Construction of the terminal building is also in final phase and the taxiway and parking bay are also ready to be blacktopped. Construction of control tower is also in final phase states project officials.
Similarly, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has also started work of constructing 10 thousand kiloliter aviation fuel storage plant at the airport. Currently, the airport only has capacity to hold 55 kiloliter aviation fuel which will only hold enough fuel for a day if international flights are conducted.
Official of the corporation stated that the demand of the fuel will increase as soon as the airport comes in operation thus the corporation will be setting up temporary depot which can hold up to 2000 kiloliter of fuel or store fuels in fleet of tankers until the facility construction is completed.
The corporation has started to construct storage tanks at the site after regulatory body Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) managed to provide around 7.5 bigha land. NOC is expected to invite tenders for construction of the storage tanks which is expected to take around 1 year to complete from the date of contract.
Recently, budget of around NRs. 4 billion has been reallocated for the construction of the airport for the land compensation process. CAAN has elected Thai firm ‘Aeronautical Radio of Thailand’ for second phase project of GBIA which comprises of installation of various equipment.
The project was awarded to China’s Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group in November 2013 for NRs. 6.22 Billion and was expected to be completed by end of 2017. However, it couldn’t complete due to dispute over payment between Chinese contractor and Nepali sub-contractor, Madhes movement, blockade, earthquake etc. and the construction company had requested to extend the deadline till 2019.
The airport will be the country’s second international airport and is expected to minimize the traffic congestion of Tribhuvan international Airport (TIA). The runway of the airport will be 3,000 meters long and 45 meter wide and is set to have CAT I standard Instrument Landing System (ILS).
According to the study conducted by Asian Development Bank, 50 Million passengers will use this airport at first year and 20 lakhs passengers by 2020, 250 million by 2025 and 600 million passengers annually by 2027.
Bardiya National Park has been selected as one of the Top 100 Awards Finalists for the Sustainable Global Top 100 Destinations competition organized by Green Destinations, Travel Mole, Travelife and ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show. The awards ceremony will be held on March 6 during the ITB 2019 at ITB’s prime auditorium at Palais am Funkturm Awards Hall at Messe Berlin, Germany.
About Bardiya National Park:
Ride through the silent jungle catching wildlife by surprise in the largest national park of Nepal in Bardiya or take nature walk under the guidance of expert naturalists with years of experience.
Combine it with white-water rafting in the longest river of Nepal, Karnali, where you could even spot dolphins or gharial on a lucky day. And meet the charming Rana Tharu and Dangora people of southern Nepal to know more about their culture.
A trip to Bardiya is certain to stay in your memory as one of the most enduring experiences in Nepal. These jungles in the south-western parts of Nepal are an hour’s flight away with an incredible variety of mammals, reptiles and birds.
Bardiya National Park is also one of the most undisturbed protected areas in the Terai and is home to the endangered Royal Bengal tiger and Nepal’s famous one-horned rhinoceros. The park located in the far western district of Bardiya, is bordered by River Karnali in the west, the Churia range in the north, while the River Babai flows right through.
The varied geographical factors together with the cover of Sal, Savannah forests and grasslands render this region ideal as wild animal habitat. The park hosts 30 different mammals, more than 250 species of birds, and several varieties of reptiles and water animals.
Some of the other animals found here are elephant, swamp deer, blackbuck, gharial crocodile and marsh-mugger crocodile. The exotic Gangetic dolphin is also sometimes seen in River Karnali. Birds include endangered varieties of Bengal florican, lesser florican, silver-eared mesia and sarus crane.
The park offers opportunity of fishing at River Karnali and River Babai. The best time to visit is autumn, winter and early summer when the weather is warm and dry. Bardiya can be reached by road via Nepalgunj or by flight to Nepalgunj or Surkhet from where the park can be driven to.
Several safari lodges in Bardiya provide excellent accommodation and facilities for guests to enjoy wildlife activities. The nearest cities from here are Nepalgunj and Mahendranagar. Park headquarters Thakurdwara is approximately an hour’s drive away from the Nepalgunj-Surkhet road.
Nepal is a multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-ethnic country. As a result the number of festivals exceeds that of the days of a year. For some foreigners, these festivals are mysterious, colorful and pleasant. Moreover they have a great deal more about them. They emerge from the depth of the socio-cultural aspects of life. The festivals have mythological, religious and historical background. The ceremonies, as a whole reflect a way of life, unique in its own place. Nepalese people pay homage to every element of nature; they mark the change of seasons and rejoice sowing seeds and harvesting.
The eight-day long Indra Jatra festival falls in September and is one of the most exciting and revered festivals of the Newari community of the Kathmandu Valley. This also marks the beginning of a month-long festival season of autumn. It begins with the erection of a wooden pole made of pine at Basantapur Sqaure in front of the old Hanuman Dhoka Palace. For the pole-raising ceremony, hundreds of spectators gather at the Palace Square and on the surrounding temples. The chariot of Kumari, the Living Goddess, is taken out in a procession through the main streets of Kathmandu. Masked dancers known as Lakhay take to the streets almost every evening accompanied by loud drums.
The festival commemorates the time when Indra came down from heaven in human form to look for an herb. Each night of Indra Jatra the shrines and ancient palace buildings around Kathmandu Durbar Square are aglow with oil wicks. Each night on the platform in front of the temple of the Living Goddess, there is an enactment depicting the ten earthly incarnations of Lord Vishnu. In the afternoon of the daybefore full moon, ecstatic mobs gather near Hanuman Dhoka Palace for the long-awaited Living Goddess’ chariot procession to catch a glimpse of the revered little Newari girl who has been deified as Kumari. The chariot of the Kumari followed by two other smaller chariots carrying a representative of Ganesh and Bhairav is taken to different parts of the old Kathmandu. The festival of Indra Jatra ends with the lowering of the (lingam) pole bearing Indra’s flag amidst religious ceremonies.
The official New Year, according to the Solar Calendar is celebrated throughout the country. The day falls in the mid-April the First the month “Baisakh”of Nepalese. People extend best wishes to each other and organize music and dance programs. In Bhaktapur, a historical town 12km, east of Kathmandu the New Year day is celebrated in grand manner observing religious rituals. The festival is called Bisket jatra. It has its origin in the ancient history, legends and mythology. People relate with different stories about the festival; however they are more or less similar.
To sum up the different stories, serpent demons and the marriage of an extraordinary princess believed to have taken place in the pre-historic time. On the day before the New Year, about eighty feet long huge pole, lingam made of a shore tree is erected with the efforts of thousands of people. The symbols of two dead serpents also are hung on the pole. In the afternoon of New Year’s Day an enormous crowd gathers around the pole and feels it amidst great cheers and rejoicing. It symbolizes the end of the old year.
During the month of Kartik (late September and early October), the Nepalese people indulge in the biggest festival of the year, Dashain. Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese of all caste and creed throughout the country. The fifteen days of celebration occurs during the bright lunar fortnight ending on the day of the full moon. Thorough out the kingdom of Nepal the goddess Durga in all her manifestations are worshiped with innumerable pujas, abundant offerings and thousands of animal sacrifices for the ritual holy bathing, thus drenching the goddess for days in blood.
This festival of lights that falls between October/November is the second biggest festival after Dashain. This festival lasts for five days and people worship Laxmi – the Goddess of Wealth. All the houses are cleaned and decorated with the belief that Goddess Laxmi will enter the house that is the cleanest and people lit candles, oil lamps and other lights and the whole place looks illuminating. During the five days, crows, dogs and cows are worshipped and honored with vermilion, garland and delicious food for what they have done in the lives of humans. Crows are regarded as the messenger that brought news even during the times when there were no postmen and no postal services. Dogs are the most obedient animals and they guard our house as true guardians. Cow is also a symbol of wealth in Hinduism and she is also the national animal of Nepal.
During Tihar, the Newari community in Nepal also observes Mha puja – a ritual of worshipping one’s own body and life. On this very day, the Newari New Year which is also known as Nepal Sambat begins. The festival ends with Bhai Tika – brothers’ day when his sisters worship him for his long and healthy life to safeguard the lives of his sisters. This is also a gambling time in Nepal as gambling is not illegal during this festival.
This is a Hindu married woman’s day for her man. This festival is celebrated in August/September. Women clad in beautiful red saris with shining potes (glass beads), singing and dancing is the sight almost everywhere in Nepal during the festival of Teej.
On this day women observe a fast and pray Lord Shiva for the long, healthy and prosperous life of their husbands and their families. The unmarried women also observe this festival with unabated zeal with the hope that they will get to marry good husbands. From early dawn, women queue up in the multiple lines in Pashupatinath to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva.
Lhosar (Tibetan New Year)
This is the New Year of the Tibetans and Sherpas of Nepal which falls in February. The Buddhist monasteries in Kathmandu like Boudhanath and Swayambhunath are decorated with eye catching colorful prayer flags pulling the crowd. The people perform their traditional dances and welcome their New Year with feasts and family gatherings wearing all the new clothes and finest jewelries and exchanging gifts.
Shivaratri or the night of Lord Shiva that falls sometime between February/March is one of the major festivals of Nepal. This day is dedicated to the Lord of the Lords – Lord Shiva or Mahadev who lived in Mt. Kailash in the Himalayas. Lord Shiva is the most worshipped God in the Hindu religion. More than 100,000 of Hindu devotees from India and Southeast Asia throng weeks ahead of the festival and gather in and around Pashupatinath temple – one of the holiest shrines of the Hindus in Kathmandu to pay their homage to Lord Shiva on his birthday.
“Pashupatinath” literally means “the Lord of animals” as Lord Shiva is considered as the guardian and protector of everything that exists in the Himalayan Kingdom. On this holy day, worshippers take dip and bath in the holy river at early dawn and fast for the whole day and stay around fire to keep them warm as it is still winter in Nepal. The devotees also freely indulge in using marijuana and other intoxicating substances as these things are believed to please Lord Shiva and marijuana use is legal only on this sacred day.
This festival of water and colors that falls between February/March is also known as “Phagu” in Nepal. This day is observed to rejoice the extermination of female demon Holika who together with her King brother conspired to kill his son Pralhad, an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. This day, playful people especially the young ones wander through the streets in groups on foot or vehicles with various colors smeared all over them and the people in houses make merry throwing colors and water balloons at each other and also to these people on the streets.
Gai Jatra (Cow festivals)
This festival of cow is celebrated every year in August/September. This is one of the most popular festivals in Nepal as it is full of humor, satire, comedy, mockery and shades of sadness too at the same time. And on this day satires and jokes on anybody is legal. As per the tradition, the family who has lost a relative during the past one year must take part in a procession by sending young boys in cow like attire and walk through the streets of Kathmandu lead by a cow. Cow is regarded as a Goddess and it is also the national animal of Nepal. This festival also purges many who have lost their loved ones as they get to console themselves as to they are not the only ones who have been bereaved and it also teaches to accept death as a part of life.
The festival starts in the last week of May or early June. It is celebrated to offer worships to Machherndranath, the merciful patron god of the valley of Kathmandu and the god of harvests. This spectral festival reflects important aspect of socio-cultural life of the valley and its last for several days. Rath of tremendous size about 48ft tall is prepared at Pulchowk and hauled through the city of Patan in several stages and it is finally taken to Jawalakhel in an auspicious moment carefully calculated by astrologers.
The festival culminates when the sacred waistcoat (BHOTO) is displayed for the entire populace to behold. There are many myths related with the festival, however the most influential is that the festival is celebrated to commemorate the arrival of Lord Machhendranath to protect the people of valley from a fearful draught. The deity is believed to have brought rain with the help of serpent deities.
This festival is celebrated mostly in Sherpa communities in the month of Ashad (June-July). This merry festival is observed with great enthusiasm in Helambhu and Khumbu region. In this festival, Lamas perform rituals. All the Sherpas including Lama dance with the mixed feelings of solemnity and mirth. This great festival is dedicated to the Lord of the Dance who closely resembles Avalokiteshvara, The Buddha of Compassion. The festival lasts for around 19 days of which only the last three are open to the public. The entire festival can be broken down into creative and destructive parts. The creative period comes to a climax during the full moon when the gate of the monastery is opened to the public to receive blessings (Wong). The next day is the most anticipated part of the festival. Various dances are performed on this day with each one more amazing than the other. Most of the performances symbolize the destruction of negative forces. There are also numerous comical interludes in between. The day after the masked dances, there is a fire ritual (Jinsak) in which evil is destroyed symbolically. The meticulously created mandala is also destroyed during this day.
Dumji is very important festival of Sherpas and commemorates the birth of the legendary Guru Padmasambhava. While in the rest of the world the Guru’s birthday is celebrated in the tenth day of the sixth Tibetan month, here in Khumbu it is celebrated a month earlier and festivities begin on the first day of the fifth month. The first 6 days are usually preparative with the villagers going to the designated organizer’s homes to lend them a hand. The festival proper begins on the seventh day when the flagpole is hoisted in the monastery. In the following days, there are masked dances, fire rituals, changing of prayer flags around the village and most importantly the worship of Khumbila, the patron deity of the entire Khumbu region.
This festival is celebrated in the five communities of Phakding, Namche, Khumjung, Thame, and Pangboche, with the Namche and Khumjung editions deserving a special mention. Very few outsiders get to see this festival though as it happens in June-July when the monsoon is in full swing.
Various hill and mountain districts witnessed heavy snowfall as the entire country witnessed rainfall on Saturday.
Even the hills surrounding the Kathmandu Valley were blanketed with snow following the rain.
Because of the snow, air services in several mountain districts including Dolpa, Mugu, Humla and Mustang were disrupted. Roads in high altitude places were also blocked, leaving hundreds of vehicles and passengers stranded. As temperature plummeted following the rain and snow, life has been deeply affected, especially in high altitude settlements.
Weather condition is gradually improving in some parts of the country since Saturday afternoon. The westerly wind is gradually weakening and the weather will improve throughout the nation from Sunday, said meteorologist Shanti Kandel at Meteorological Forecasting Division. “Currently, the weather is normal in the west and in the central part, while the eastern Terai may witness light rain this evening.”
Hill areas surrounding the Valley, like Phulchoki, Nagarkot, Chandragiri and Shivapuri-Nagarjun witnessed snowfall after many years. Bimdhunga and Ramkot near the Nagarjun National Park and Shivapuri Hills among other places also witnessed snowfall on Saturday morning. Daman and Tistung, of Makwanpur, and Charikot and Kalinchok, of Dolakha, also witnessed heavy snowfall.
The western region witnessed heavy rain and snowfall as compared to the eastern region. Bhairahawa recorded the highest rainfaill, at 55 mm, followed by Simara 43 mm, the Meteorological Forecasting Division said. Similarly, Pokhara received 35.2 mm rainfall followed by Kathmandu 28.2mm. Likewise, Dang received 14.6 mm rainfall, while Birendranagar, Jumla, Dadeldhura, Biratnagar and Dhankuta received 13.1 mm, 7.4 mm, 5 mm, 3.9 and 9.1 mm respectively until 5:45 on Saturday.
Source: Published on the Kathmandu post, 11th Dec 2019.