Culture is embedded in the high peaks of Nepal, tradition flows with its rivers, art traverses through its valleys and religion lies in the heart of its people. Nepal, in short, is a country where art, culture and religion are a part of life of the inhabitants. People celebrate every moment with aroma, adding novelty to the traditions without affecting their essence.Culture is the very pride & soul of a Nation. It is just like a mirror that reflects the beauty, nativity & the life pattern of the people. Culture in essence always plays a crucial role to promote harmonious relationship between country to country. NEC Travels has Participated with different culture group in several national & international social , Culture & tourism promotion programs organised in different places sponsored by various related organisations.The dances as : Arati dance, Bajrayogini dance, Bhojpuri dance , Drum solo , Dhimey dance, Lakhe dance, Maruni dance , Peacock dance,Shebru dance, Yak dance , Jhankri dance ( Witch Docter ) Jhaure dance etc.
The art and architecture of Nepal is deeply influenced by the religion. Unique craftsmanship can be found in temples, architecture, shrines, fountains and the design of religious objects. Art and religion is so deeply interlocked that it is impossible to separate the one from the other. All art forms express both
Nepalese Dance and Music
History of Nepal
Nepal's history is interwoven with its two great neighbours', China and India. It was influenced to aHistory of Nepal large extent by the incidents that proved to be turning points in the history of both of these countries.
Its earliest recorded history dates back over 2,800 years when a caste of Mongolian people, the Kiratis, arrived in the Himalayan territory across the Tibetan plateau. The current Nepali castes of Limbu and Rai are believed to be direct descendants of the Kiratis.
Around 300 A.D.The Lichhavis and the Guptas migrated north to Nepal from the northern plains of India ( Bihar & Uttar Pradesh). The Kiratis who were Buddhist descendants were forced to leave by them.Hinduism then became the official religion of the country. The Licchavis ruled for three centuries until being replaced by the Thakuris in 602 A.D.
Ansuverma the founder of the Thakuri Dynasty was a clever and wealthy king. In order to protect his northern borders from attacks by the Tibetan kings, he married his daughter off to a Tibetan prince.
The 12th century saw the start of the Malla Dynasty. King Arideva, the first ruler, brought about great progress and prosperity for the Himalayan Kingdom. The Mallas, though Hindu, were tolerant of the other major religion of the time Buddhism, they were however particularly strict when enforcing the caste system. The dynasty, through lack of political awareness, suffered a major reverse within a century, eventualy loosing control over large parts of the country, which in turn split into small states. This was partly due to the frequent invasions of India by Muslim armies from the northwest and also a series of inner squablings amongst the state rulers in Nepal. It was nearly 100 years before peace was restored when a Malla King gathered an army and eventually took charge of the country. Meanwhile, two kingdoms Palpa and Khass began to gain power to challenge the Kathmandu valley, by this time Kathmandu had become the main state in Nepal.
In 1372 A.D. the Kathmandu valley had itself divided into three smaller Kingdoms: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Jayasthiti Malla who controlled Kathmandu, took over the neighbouring city-state of Patan. A decade later the city-state of Bhaktapur was also conquered which unified the valley to a large extent.
The newly unified Kathmandu Valley expanded hugely during the rule of his successor, King Yaksha Malla. By the middle of the next century Nepal’s borders extended southwards to the Ganga river and north into Tibet. During this time, the caste system was reinforced as an attractive method of maintaining social stability. On the death of Yaksha Malla in 1482 A.D., the valley was divided into three major settlements between his three sons .These settlements form the major towns of the valley today : Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Intense rivalry broke out between the brothers, each in competition with the other to build the best settlement. It was over this period 1482 to 1768 A.D. that most of the architecture and fine works of art to be seen today were built.
History of NepalThe Malla dynasty enjoyed almost three more centuries. By the middle of the 18th century, Prithivi Narayan Shah, the ruler of a small kingdom named Gorkha had gained power over large sections of Nepal. He set about to unifying the many princely states by gradually extending his power until finally in 1768 A.D. he occupied the Kathmandu valley. Nepals borders were established, much as they are today.
The Shahs continued to rule Nepal until 1846 A.D.. Following a bloody battle with the Rana family, big landowners from the west, they lost power. Jung Bahadur Rana planned what is known as the kot massacre, he murdered along with others all the court and political leaders of Nepal in a single swoop. He proclaimed himself prime minister and took all the executive power from the monarchy, reducing the influence of the King to name only. The position of prime minister became hereditary within the Rana family, this situation continued for over a century with the Shah Kings almost prisoners in the palace.
After India gained independence in 1947A.D. King Tribhuvan fled to Delhi to ask for support in an effort to surpress Rana rule. With the support of India, the political parties of Nepal were able to raise the people to finally overthrow the Rana regime. King Tribhuvan returned in triumph in 1950 A.D. The Nepali people were not keen for a return to a totalitarian monarchy and following political pressure,King Mahendra instilled a constitutional parliamentary system.The first elections were held in 1959 A.D. Nepali Congress activist and leader B.P.Koirala, became the first elected prime minister of Nepal.
Democracy was short lived, within a year the King dissolved the parliament and placed the entire cabinet under arrest, before again assuming total control. A decentralised pseudo-democratic system (Panchayt) was installed which was designed to keep power in the hands of an elite few. Upon the death of King Mahendra in 1972 A.D., his son Birendra succeeded him. Birendra’s lack of political reform drew sharp criticism from the parties.This period also saw a lot of squabbling between the political parties who were unable to raise any coherent form of resistance. By 1989 A.D., the parties with the help of India, managed to form a movement which was able to challenge the King.1990 A.D. saw the onset of strikes and demonstrations which were quickly followed by riots,over one hundred people were killed in a few days. King Birendra eventually bowed to the people’s demands, he dismissed the Panchayat system and asked the parties to form an interim government, in turn limiting his own power. The first free and fair elections were held that year.
The following 12 years of democracy were generally viewed as not successful and very corrupt. In 1996 A.D. the Maoist party was formed by small democratic party (Nepal communist party of Maoists). They took up arms and retreated to the Jungle and hill areas. The major reason given for their formation was, they were unhappy with the lack of any real change in peoples lives.
2001 saw the bloody killing of King Birendra, allegedly by his son. Birendra’s younger brother Gayanendra assumed power. He soon manipulated the government to suit his own needs. In 2005 he took complete control of the government, appointing his own set of ministers, many who had roots in the old Panchayat era.
By 2006 the political parties and the Maoists had come to a joint understanding, alienating the King who was no longer able to play one off against the other. In May of 2006, following a bloody uprising by the people, the King was overthrown and an interim government restored. This government was based on the votes of the last free election.The understanding between the Maoists and parties is to change the present democratic system to a form of constituent assembly . The process is ongoing at the time of this book going to press.