Alluring Himalayas With Spirituality

An Article by  Mr. Suresh Singh Budal, CEO, PATA Nepal Chapter Published on HTM2019- Official Magazine. 

The Himalayas spreading across five nations including Nepal, India, Bhutan, China, and Pakistan have always fascinated travelers, adventure seekers, those looking to test themselves and those looking for sublime experiences. The Himalayas offer unmatched experiences, unique biodiversity, and rich canvas of people and culture attracting people from around the world. 

Nepal is ideally the gateway to the Himalayas as it covers one-third of the entire Himalayan range and is host to 8 of the 14 highest 8,000-meter peaks in the world. Nepal is the heart of the Himalayas that falls in the center disseminating all adventurous and spiritual vibes around the entire region. Also, looking at the geographic location, Nepal is the hub or center point for the Himalayas, as well as the way to the center of the Universe. Nepal is well recognized and highly marketed as an adventure tourism destination; which although is not the only case. The country has immense tourism potentialities with diversified tangible and intangible products and services including Cultural Heritage, Art and Architecture, Pilgrimage, Yoga, Ayurveda, Meditation, Holistic Retreats and more which are alluring for the visitors all seasons, all year round! 

The journey in the Himalayas of Nepal is the best way to experience spirituality since the Himalayas are alluring with unmatched lifetime experiences of nature, culture, and adventure offering diverse products/services of unique specialty throughout the country. 

The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of the Indian subcontinent; many Himalayan peaks are sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism. Hindus regard the Himalayas as an abode of Lord Shiva; also the abode for many gods and goddesses who are very sacred. Rig Veda, an ancient Hindu scripture, has referred to Himalaya as a deity. It is believed that a sage from India through meditation saw the image of the Himalayan range in the stomach of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Sama Veda has also inscribed Himalaya as the center of the earth. Mahabharat boasts that Yudhishtir, the eldest brother of Panch Pandav, ascended the Himalayan peaks to reach heaven and this pursuit is known as Swargarohini. Swarga means heaven and Arohini means ascent.

Skanda Purana, sacred Hindu scripture, says that one can cleanse all the sins by merely looking at the Himalayas. From ancient times, sages used to travel to the great Himalayas for meditation and spiritual enlightenment. The Himalayas in Tibet is worshipped as the mother of the earth and looked upon as the greatest source of inspiration and persistence. Bhutanese mythology claims that Guru Rinpoche came to Bhutan riding on a flying tiger in the year 747 AD. He rescued Bhutan from demons and witches and spread Buddhism in the Bhutanese Himalaya.

While the Himalayas are mostly explained in Hindu scriptures, mountains have been a source of inspiration and revelation in a number of other religions as well. In Judaism, Moses received the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai. In Christianity, Jesus preached his sermon on the mount. In Islam, Prophet Mohammed received his first revelation of the Koran in the Rare Hara Mountain. The spirituality in the Himalayas, hence, fosters that the entire Human Civilization on earth has high regards toward the Himalayas which inspires love and peace with the devotion of the saying “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”- a Sanskrit phrase which means “the world is one family”.

The world is facing many challenges as wars, and conflict while many peace lovers around the world are admiring for the better and more peaceful world! Looking at history, Nepal is one of the few countries that have never witnessed race and religious riots or, violence. Despite many obstacles we face, regardless of our differences in religion, politics, caste, race, and creed, we always have stood united as one nation.  It is such an important occasion for Nepal to showcase our strength Unity in Diversity for global peace and prosperity to the entire world. Nepal has many prospects to be branded as the country of Love, Peace, and Happiness. Nepal would be the best choice for spiritual travelers to rejuvenate their mind, body, and soul with spiritual journeys to many sacred temples for Hindus as well as the birthplace of Lord Buddha, Lumbini or, the birthplace of Goddess Sita, the consort of Lord Rama in Janakpur. The Himalayas are always alluring for love, peace, serenity, mindfulness, soul fullness, and novelty experiences.

Many travelers come to Nepal for meditation, yoga, retreats, religious visit and to unite with the mighty Himalayas. Nepal has a huge potential to lure spiritual devotees, pilgrims and people who wish to experience and fulfill their inner quests for serenity, peace and happiness. In fact, every part of the country, whether it is the mountains, hills or, plains, have several unique, traditional but scientific spiritual practices that would offer travelers with an opportunity to experience the sacred energies that uplift the soul and recharge their spiritual endeavor.

Thousands of devotees travel to different regions of Nepal every year for their spiritual pursuits; however, the number of travelers are still smaller and less contributing to the economy in tourism. This highly potential market segment can be capitalized with minimum doable efforts and investments. For instance, the Religious Circuit with better connectivity (both Air and Surface) and necessary infrastructures to the most sacred religious sites of the country including Pashupatinath, Janakpurdham, Shashwat Dham, Lumbini, Muktinath, etc., would be an extraordinary spiritual journey to Nepal by experiencing the mystical Himalayas with memories of a lifetime.

Himalayan Travel Mart (HTM) aims to showcase Nepal as an international gateway for tourism, for the entire Himalayan Region facilitating a common platform for networking and relationship building among the hospitality stakeholders. The insightful conference draws discussions and knowledge sharing on contemporary issues, trends, challenges, and opportunities for the development of Himalayan tourism.

The Conference of this prestigious event this year (2019) under the theme “Spirit of the Himalayas” is to inspire the audience to understand both the tangible and intangible spirits of the Himalayas unveiling its diverse tourism offerings and potentials. The HTM 2019 conference will also bring together international Tourism Experts, Influencers, Mystics, Religious Gurus, and Spiritual Leaders to discuss, explore and unveil the prospective aspects of spiritual tourism in Nepal along with the Himalayan region.