Editorial . June . 2013

Deepest Valley

In our one-sided mindset and effort to tell the world how high our mountains are, we sometimes forget to claim our fame to the deepest valley/gorge/river valley in the world. The Kali Gandaki River, which flows south between the mighty Dhaulagiri and Annapurna range is the deepest river valley in the world. The settlements and the trade route have been critical for bringing prosperity to the area for thousands of years. Even the migratory birds that fly south each winter from Siberia cross the Himalayan range at this point. The breath-taking scenes, the hospitality of the people and the variation in vegetation and climate type in very short distances make this valley a great place to trek through. It may be the most photographed area of the earth as well. We hope the write up and images of Mustang encourage you to pack your bags and make your way up there. You probably deserve a nice glass of local apple brandy prepared in the typical Mustang or Thakali style.

Sacred spaces and pilgrimage sites are to be found all over the Himalayas. Just south of the old town of Dhulikhel is Namo Buddha where a young prince on a hunting trip has a change of heart and decides to feed a dying tigress his own flesh so that the cubs can survive. It is worth the hike or drive to this sacred space. The monasteries in the area make it a good day trip from Kathmandu as well. In this issue of ECS, we also look at the ancient skills and knowledge related to herbs and healing or wellness as many would call it today. The Vaidya or traditional healer and keepers of the knowledge are at the crossroads of time. There is a lot in what they know and cannot be allowed to get lost.

There is a growing popular food and enterprises in Nepal associated with cheese and cheese making. As tourists flow in and Nepalis come back from different parts of the globe, the demand for cheese is up.

The popularity of pizza and nachos will drive the market for cheese even higher. Read our piece and enjoy a good slice of Nepali cheese. You must have noticed for some time now the ugly slogans written on the walls around the city are being replaced by good art. It adds a whole new dimension to social action and underlines the notion of people taking charge of all things around them. The good thing is that the campaign has also spread to the towns in east Nepal. It is also really great that some of the art promotes critical social issues such as sanitation, cleanliness and hand washing. The campaign deserves all our support and participation.
This month we take you on a tour of the museum at the Changu Narayan Temple area, north of Bhaktapur. We introduce the work of Rabindra Puri who has been diligently working to restore and revive the ancient art and architecture of Kathmandu valley. When in Bhaktapur, make sure you take some time off to see his museum and model home that has been awarded by UNESCO. Stress is a part of modern life and Nepal offers the perfect place to relax and recharge. Life is full of challenges and to be consistent with our best performance, we must all take some time out. ECS has been featuring these ideal places for you to go to. Talking about relaxing, flowers and trees and nature in general can sooth us all. Kashish Das Shrestha shares with us his best shots of trees and flowers all around us that come and go quietly and give us such joy. Whatever you are doing this month take some time out for the Nepali way.