Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Uno Motorbike : Brilliant or Just plain weird ?

Customising motorbikes is big business but for some, reinventing the motorbike seems like a bigger challenge. 

We recently had the enclosed MonoTracer jet bike and today we have the even odder, Uno. The bike recently turned heads at the 2008 National Motorcycle Show in Toronto, probably because no one could actually figure out what the hell it was. Rather than the usual front and back wheel configuration, the Uno uses two, side-by-side wheels, rear footpegs and a much smaller chassis.
Invented by 18-year old science geek, Ben J. Poss Gulak, the operation of the bike is even more radical. The whole thing weighs just 120lb and there are no controls, barr an On/Off switch. To go forward you lean forward and then back for slowing down or reversing – like the Segway, just faster. 

Speed is controlled by how far you lean forward, with the gyros relaying the information to the ECU (electronic control unit) hooked up to the motor. Futuristic indeed but a one-off for now.-Martin Lynch

Sunday, September 26, 2010

National Parks of Nepal

There are a great number of National Parks in Nepal which are definitely worth a visit. The country has an abundance of wildlife which will appeal to all – snow leopards, Indian rhinoceros, barking deer, bears and tigers – and that's not all! Many an Indian story has incorporated these stunning creatures into the tale and truly, life in Nepal would not be quite the same without them. The best way to view animals is by visiting Nepal's National Parks where all kinds of animals are protected in their natural habitat.

The Shey-Phoksundo National Park

Established in 1984, this national park is situated in the mountainous regions of Western Nepal. It is the largest national park in the country and features luxuriant forests, snow leopard and blue sheep. Besides having a wide variety of trees and plant life, the park has a great variety of animals. Himalayan tahr, toral, serow, leopard, wolf, jackal, black bear, weasel, mouse hare, rhesus monkey, langur and yellow-throated marten. It also has a great many birds. Because of the number of potentially dangerous animals, strict attention should be given to the guides in charge.

Khaptad National Park

Also established in 1984, this park is situated in the mid-mountain region of Nepal's far-western areas. The park features a unique mid-mountain ecosystem and is situated at roughly 300 m above sea level. Noted geographically for it's beautiful rolling forests and plateaus, the park has a great variety of vegetation. If you're an animal lover, you will find leopard, yellow-throated marten, tahr, Impeyan pheasant, chkor partridge, monal, griffin, red and yellow-billed blue magpie and kalij pheasant. The park also has a number of butterfiles and moths. At the center of the park you will find the beautiful Ashram of Khaptad Swami. Because the park has religious significance, drinking, smoking and violence in the park are prohibited.

Royal Bardiya National Park

This park was first established in 1976 and as such is not only one of the older parks but also one of the most undisturbed. It is situated in the mid-Far Western Terai, near the Karnali River. Roughly 70% of the park is covered with sal forest. The rest enjoys a mixture of grassland, savanna and riverine forest. There are no people living in the valley and all farming that once occurred here has ceased. As a result, there is a lot of regeneration of vegetation which means the habitat is excellent for wildlife. The park features a number of endangered animals such as the wild elephant, the rhinoceros, tiger, black buck, swamp deer, gharial crocodile, marsh mugger crocodile and Gangetic dolphin. It also features a number of endangered birds. There are more than 30 types of mammals, 200 bird species and a variety of reptiles and fish in the park.

Rara National Park

Located in North-West Nepal, most of the park lies in the Mugu District. It is the countries smallest park but contains the countries biggest lake. The majority of the park is coniferous forest bit deciduous trees like Indian hours-chestnut, walnut and Himalayan popula are also found. Musk deer, black bear, gorla, tahr, leopard and wild boar are common. Snow trout is the only recorded fish species in the lake. Besides a good variety of normal birds, a large number of waterfowl are also found in the park.

Sagarmatha National Park

This park is located to the North-East of Kathmandu in the Kumbu region. It includes the legendary Mt Everest as well as several other well-known mountains. The park has been a World Heritage Site since 1979 and features a stunning variety of glacial valleys, deep gorges and heavy forestation. You are most likely to spot tahr, goral, musk deer and serow. The park also has snow leopard and black bear but these are seldom seen. You might also be fortunate enough to spot weasel, maren, mouse hare (pika), langur monkey and jackal. The park is also home to a population of roughly 3000 Sherpa who trade livestock and herd animals.

Parsa Wildlife Reserve

The park extends over parts of the Chitwan, Parsa, Bara and Makawanpur districts in the center of the country. It features sub-tropical-type forests and Churiya hills. The flora is varied and home to a good number of wild elephant, tiger, sloth bear, leopard, gaur, wild dog and blue bull, to name just a few. There are also a great number of birds and snakes, including the king cobra, which enjoy the hot tropical climate.

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

The Koshi Tappu is situated on the flood plains of the Sapta-Koshi in the Saptari and Sunsari districts of eastern Nepal. The reserves boundaries are defined by the river and the reserve area is subject to flood during the monsoon season. The river often changes it's course from one season to another. The reserve is mainly filled with grassland and scrub forest but also has some riverine forest. It serves as an important habitat for wildlife – most notably the wild buffalo. There are only about 100 buffalo living in the areas and this is purported to be the last surviving population of these creatures in the wild. The reserve is also home to a great many fish, birds and other wildlife.

Royal Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve

Situated in the southern part of Far-Western Nepal, the reserve falls mainly in the Kanchanpupr District. The reserves most outstanding feature is it's large population of swamp deer of which there is an estimated 2000 to 2500 members of the species in the area. Besides a variety of wildlife and birds, the reserve is also home to the rare Bengal florican. You may also spot Marsh muggers, Indian python, monitor lizards, cobras, rat snakes and kraits but these are seldom seen.

Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve

For those who love testing their hunting skills and increasing the trophies on their wall, this is the only hunting reserve in the country. It serves both Nepalese and foreign sports hunters with a variety of game animals and it is carefully managed. This is the only place in Nepal where hunting is allowed and permits and permission must be obtained before attempting to participate in the sport. The reserve is home to a great number of blue sheep which are considered to be a highly coveted trophy. You may also find leopard, goral, serow, tahr, black bear, barking deer, langur, mouse hare, wild boar and rhesus macaque as well as a number of bird species, deer and wolf.
As with other national parks around the globe, the flora and fauna in these wildlife reserves are protected by law. Littering, hunting and the general damaging of the environment is prohibited and may even carry a fine. We strongly recommend that you follow the advice of your guide when viewing animals and that you refrain from damaging the environment in anyway. If you only leave footprints and shoot pictures, the legacy of Nepal's National Parks will hopefully survive long into the future.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Babae River of Dang District, Nepal

बबई नदी, दांग जिल्ला, नेपाल
Babaei river is very popular for travel of Dang district of nepal,

Book cover "Journal of Nepalese Literature, Art and Culture"

Cover Design by : rAJ

Mountain Ranges of Nepal

A country of great beauty, Nepal is home to eight of the 14 highest mountains in the world. The Himalayan mountain range extends across the country from the eastern edge to the western edge. This conglomeration of beautiful and rugged mountain peaks has drawn mountain trekkers and climbers from all over the world. Many come here to test their skills, their mental and physical strength and their endurance. Others are drawn to the mountains of Nepal for more spiritual reasons. Whatever the case, you can be sure that you will enjoy Nepal's mountains – even if you only see them from a distance.
Most people traveling to Nepal come here to enjoy the striking backdrop of the Himalayas. This striking mountain range is home to the world-famous Mount Everest and many people come here just to try and climb the biggest mountain in the world. Still many others who visit enjoy trekking through the Himalayas, climbing smaller mountains and taking photographs. There is a lot to be seen and done in the Himalayas of Nepal and you do not always have to be an experienced and very fit climber to travel up some of the mountain peaks.
There are several noteworthy mountains in Nepal worth visiting if you are able. The first, of course, is Mount Everest though only a few ever brave the incredible and painstaking journey to the summit. The average visitor may spend some time at the Everest base camp or they may choose to view the biggest mountain in the world from another mountain peak such as Kala Patthar which offers better views than those enjoyed at the Everest base camp. Some of the mountains are extremely steep and icy while others are not quite so steep. Some noteworthy mountains in Nepal include Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Dhaulagiri, Anna Purna, Imja Tse, Ama Dablam and Mansalu.
If you are planning to spend time among some of these legendary mountains when you next visit Nepal, keep in mind that the altitude is extreme and so is the weather. Even in the warmer months, the mountains are usually coated with snow and ice and the air has an unbeatable chill to it. You’ll need special equipment and it also helps to remember that you’ll need the services of an experienced guide as well as a legal permit to climb the mountains. The Himalayas are definitely not the sort of place you go for your first attempt at mountain climbing so you should be sure that you have gained adequate experience before booking your ticket. When you do come, remember to pack warmly, be prepared for anything and get ready to start your adventure in the mountains of Nepal.


Butterfly Watching in Nepal

Not many visitors to Nepal are aware that it is home to a massive variety of delicate and colorful butterfly species. In fact, the study of butterflies in Nepal has been ongoing for the last 150 years, and has revealed a collection of butterflies that is said to be one of the best in the world. It was the British who first showed an interest in collecting and documenting the butterfly species of the country, after which the Japanese began where the British left off in 1950. All the research done finally resulted in the founding of the Natural History Museum in Swayambhu, in the year 1974, by the Tribhuvan University.

Up until now, 643 species of butterflies have been recorded in Nepal, but scientist say that there could be more, as over the years new species have appeared, such as the Sikkim Hairstreak and Blue Duchess which were discovered in 1981 and the Chinese Hairstreak in 1986. There are certain regions in Nepal where the concentrations of butterflies are higher, depending on which habitat the butterflies prefer, such as in the Kathmandu Valley, Swyambhu, Nagarkot, Phulchowki, Godavari and Sundarijal, to name a few. Within the Kathmandu Valley, butterfly enthusiasts will also be able to catch a glimpse of twenty species of butterfly that are on the endangered list. There are also recommended times of the year to view the butterflies, ranging from March to October, however there are butterflies all year round. Some of the wonderful butterflies to look forward to include the Common Brimstone, Indian Oakblue, Least Grass Jewel, Purple Sapphire Circe, Chocolate Albatross, Great Eggfly and the Great Orange Tip. More information can be obtained from Nepal's Natural History Museum.
Visitors to Nepal who want to enjoy the experience of catching a glimpse of these breathtaking creatures can book a guided tour with tour operators who will be able to escort visitors to the locations with the most butterfly activity. A planned tour includes a knowledgeable guide, permits and passes to the butterflies, accommodation and meals. Discovering the magnificence of the butterfly world is a unique and exciting experience, and should not be missed by foreign visitors to Nepal.


Gandaki River of Nepal

The Gandaki River, which starts in Nepal and flows through India is older than the Himalayas. As tectonic activity forced the mountains higher, the river has been able to cut through the uplift to maintain its level. Chitwan National Park of Nepal and Valmiki National Park of India are adjacent to each other in the vicinity of Valmikinagar around the Gandak Barrage.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Gosaikunda" Nepal Travel Destination

One of Nepal's most famous religious places of pilgrimage is Gosainkunda lake situated at an altitude of about 4360 meters. The lake town is surrounded by high mountains to the north and east and the lake itself is worth the trip alone for its beauty and picturesque surroundings.There are nine other famous lakes in the area such as Saraswati, Bhairav, Sourya and Ganesh Kunda. Every year during the Janai Purnima festival in August, thousands of Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims travel here by foot to take a holy dip in the lake.Another site to see when traveling to Gosaikunda, besides its glacial lake, is the large rock in the center of the lake. It is said to be the remains of an ancient Shiva shrine. There is a myth that claims the lake is carried by a channel that stretches all the way from Gosaikunda in the Langtang Region to the holy pond 60 kilometers to the south at the Kumbheshwar Temple in Kathmandu's city of Patan.The best approach to Gosainkunda for those who do not want to go trekking for too, many days, is through Dhunche. You can take a private vehichle 132 kilometers north-east of Kathmandu or take a bus (regular buses may not be scheduled) to Dhunche. Dhunche is linked with Kathmandu by a drivable yet windy road so those prone to motion sickness should take some medicine before heading to Dhunche by vehicle. You will have to trek to Gosaikunda from Dhunche which takes about two days.


Peak Climbing on Nepal

Compared with the full scale mountaineering attempts of the Everest & others to be attempted by highly professional climbers only, smaller peaks offer a less risky but no less adventurous climbing to hardened trekkers & mountaineers alike. Thus, these smaller peaks are called the Trekkers’ Peaks, for they were opened to provide dedicated trekkers an opportunity to attempt mountaineering with minimal costs, and with comparatively little training. However, as Stan Armington cautions in his Lonely Planet travel guide Nepal Himalaya, to call them the Trekkers Peaks may be interesting for the high mountaineers, but nonetheless a misnomer for average trekkers. All these smaller peaks are still higher than the highest peaks in America & Europe. Hence, you need to get some real training on climbing a snow mountain with an ice axe. Still, that’d not be a big deal for daring &dedicated hikers who wish for some extra adventure.There are altogether 33 climbing peaks that can be attempted accompanied by a register guide with the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). Some Trekkers’ Peak on Nepal’s Popular Trekking Regions:

Annapurna Region:
Hiunchuli 6441 meters
Mardi Himal 5587 meters
Singu Chuli 6501 meters
Tharpu Chuli 5663 meters

Everest Region:
Imja Tse 6189 meters
Khungma Tse 5820 meters
Kwangde 6187 meter
Mera Peak 6476 meters

Langtang Region:
Naya Kangri 5846 meters

Rolwaling Region:
Ramdung 5925 meters

Manang Region:
Chulu East & West Both around 6500meters

Royal Chitwan National Park

Royal Chitwan National Park, the oldest national park in Nepal, is situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of South-Central Nepal. The park was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1984.
The park covers a pristine area with a unique ecosystem of significant value to the world. It contains the Churiya hills, ox-bow lakes and flood plains of Rapti, Reu, and Narayani Rivers. Approximately 70% of the park vegetation is sal forest. The remaining vegetation types include grassland (20%), riverine forest (7%), and sal with chirpine (3%), the latter occurring at the top of the Churiya range. The riverine forests consist mainly of khair, sissoo and simal. The grasslands form a diverse and complex community with over 50 species. The Saccharum species, often called elephant grass, can reach 8 m. in height. The shorter grasses such as Imperata are useful for thatch roofs.
There are more than 43 species of mammals, over 450 species of birds, and more than 45 species of amphibians and reptiles in the park.
Formerly, the Chitwan Valley was well known for big game hunting and until 1950 was exclusively managed as a hunting reserve for the Rana Prime Ministers and their guests. In 1963, the area south of the Rapti River was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. In 1970, His late Majesty King Mahendra approved, in principle, the creation of Royal Chitwan National Park.

Within the park lie the Churia hills, ox-bow lakes, and the flood plains of Rapti, Reu and Narayani Rivers. The Churia hills rise gradually towards the east from 150m. to over 800m. elevation. The lower but more rugged Someshwor hills occupy most of the western portion of the park. The flood plains of Chitwan contain rich alluvial soils. The park boundaries have been delineated by the Narayani and Rapti Rivers in the north and west, and the Reu river and Someshwor hills in the south and south-west. It shares its eastern border with the Parsa Wildlife Reserve.

The park is influenced by a tropical monsoon climate with relatively high humidity. Winter, spring and monsoon are the three main seasons. The cool winter season occurs from October to February. Spring begins in March and is soon followed summer that ends in early June. Summer days are typically hot with up to an average 30C daytime temperature. The monsoon usually begins at the end of June and continues until September. The mean annual rainfall is about 21-50 mm. and during this time of the year rivers are flooded and most of the roads are virtually impassable.

The Chitwan Valley is characterized by tropical to sub-tropical forest. Roughly 70% of park vegetative cover is sal (shorea robusta) forest, a moist deciduous vegetation type of the Terai region. The remaining vegetation types include: grassland (20%), riverine forest (70%), and sal with chirpine (pinus roxburghii) (3%) forest, the latter occurring at the tops of the Churia range. The riverine forests consist mainly of khair, sissoo, and simal. The simal has a spiny bark when young and develops buttresses at the bottom in older stages. The grasslands form a diverse and complex community with over 50 species.

There are more than 43 species of mammals in the park. The park is especially renowned for its protection of the endangered one- horned rhinoceros, tiger, and gharial crocodile along with many other common species of wild animal. The estimated population of rhinos is 400. The park also secures populations of endangered species such as gaur, wild elephant, four horned antelope, striped hyena, pangolin, Gangetic dolphin, monitor lizard, and python.
Some of the other animals found in the park are sambar, chital, hog deer, barking deer, sloth deer, common leopard, ratel, palm civet, wild dog, langur and rhesus monkeys.
There are over 450 species of birds in the park. Among the endangered birds are the Bengal florican, giant hornbill, lesser florican, black stork and white stork. A few of the common birds seen are peafowl, red jungle fowl, and different species of egrets, herons, kingfishers, flycatchers and woodpeckers. The best times for bird watching are in March and December.
More than 45 species of amphibians and reptiles are found in the park, some of which are the
marsh mugger crocodile, cobra, green pit viper and various species of frogs and tortoises. The park is actively engaged in the scientific study of several species of wild flora and fauna.
From: http://www.south-asia.com/showcase/Tour/chit.html


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