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Madhav Narayan Festival: Participation of hundreds of Hindu Devotees in a mass holy Bath Ritual in Nepal

The devotees take only one meal a day without salt and also take around the city of Sankhu barefoot worshipping at different Hindu temples

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Madhav Narayan festival in Nepal
A Hindu ritual, Pixabay
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Kathmandu, Jan 12, 2017: The first day of the month-long Madhav Narayan festival saw hundreds of Hindu devotees in Nepal taking part in a mass holy bath ritual in the famous Sali River situated in the ancient town of Sankhu.

Devotees fast, chant hymns, meditate and take holy dips to pay tribute to Hindu Goddess Swasthani, who is supposed to bring good fortune to them.

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The devotees take only one meal a day without salt and also take around the city of Sankhu barefoot worshipping at different Hindu temples. Pashupatinath and Changu Narayan temples are must visits for paying tribute.

Daiba Shrestha, a local resident of Sankhu told PTI that “ This time a total of 205 devotees are taking part in the month-long festival by observing Brata, during which they take only one meal a day without salt”.

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The worshippers also spend time studying the religious book of Swasthani, which relates to the lives of the Goddess and Hindu God Shiva. While men pray for good fortune, married women pray for the well being and prosperity of their husbands and children, and unmarried women pray asking for suitable spouse.

prepared by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon

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9 Climbers Pulled From Snow After A Sudden Storm On Mount Gurja, Nepal

Mountaineering experts are questioning how the experienced team was so badly hit at their base camp at 3,500 meters.

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Mount Gurja
Tourists take pictures at Sarangkot in Pokhara, with the view of the Mount Annapurna range in the background, some 200 km (124 miles) west of Kathmandu, Nov. 30, 2008. Annapurna, at 8,091 meters high, is the 10th highest mountain in the world.. VOA

A rescue team Sunday began retrieving the bodies of nine climbers killed in a violent storm on Nepal’s Mount Gurja, a freak accident that has left the mountaineering community reeling.

A helicopter dropped four mountain guides at the camp where the South Korean climbing expedition was staying when powerful winds and snow swept through, killing the entire team and scattering their bodies as far as 500 meters (yards) away.

“All nine bodies have been found and the team are in the process of bringing them down,” said Siddartha Gurung, a chopper pilot who is coordinating the retrieval mission.

Mount Gurja
A helicopter dropped four mountain guides at the camp.

A second helicopter along with a team of rescue specialists and villagers were also involved in the mission, which has been hampered by strong winds as well as the camp’s remoteness in the Dhaulagiri mountain range of Nepal’s Annapurna region.

The bodies of the climbers, five South Koreans and four Nepalis, will be flown to Pokhara, a tourist hub that serves as a gateway to the Annapurna region, and then to Kathmandu, said Yogesh Sapkota of Simrik Air, a helicopter company involved in the effort.

‘Like a bomb went off’

The expedition’s camp was destroyed by the powerful storm, which hit the area late Thursday or Friday, flattening all the tents and leaving a tangled mess of tarpaulin and broken polls.

“Base camp looks like a bomb went off,” said Dan Richards of Global Rescue, a U.S.-based emergency assistance group that will be helping with the retrieval effort.

Mount Gurja
Wangchu Sherpa of Trekking Camp Nepal, organised the expedition

The expedition was led by experienced South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho, who has climbed the world’s 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen.

Experts puzzled

Mountaineering experts are questioning how the experienced team was so badly hit at their base camp at 3,500 meters.

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“At this point we don’t understand how this happened. You don’t usually get those sorts of extreme winds at that altitude and base camps are normally chosen because they are safe places,” Richards said.

The team had been on 7,193-meter (23,599-foot) Mount Gurja since early October, hoping to scale the rarely climbed mountain via a new route. (VOA)