Nepal has been on the backpacker’s list since the early sixties constantly, a place that offers a little bit of everything for everyone. This Himalayan bound mystic nation is a dream destination for all kinds of travellers, boasting a rich heritage and colourful lively culture, snowcapped peaks, spiritual history and vibrant people.
Goa Trance came to Nepal in the 90’s. It was brought by the freaks who came from Goa to visit Nepal or who came for their Indian visa extension. It started with small gatherings in the mountains and regular full moon parties in Pokhara organized by Hatti Baba (Swiss man who is single handedly responsible for promoting Trance here).
In the 90s till 2000 the Goa scene was quite big, but the civil war that raged from 2000-2006, almost destroyed the Trance scene and the spirit. After, Trance got its life back again. In 2007 Shanti Jatra festival was a big success and continued until 2011.
Then, Universal Religion festival became the most successful festival in Nepal. Despite the media and government denouncing it, the organisers sustained in organising it. The festival attracts thousands of people from all over the world. This year Universal religion will be held in a historic and beautiful mountain town called Bandipur, April, 26-29.
In last five years there has been huge progress in the Psytrance community. Especially attracting foreigners from Goa, rich kids from India and the Middle East to festivals and underground parties. Also the sound systems and decorations are comparatively much better than 6 years ago.
Most of the underground parties are organised by travellers themselves during October and April in Pokhara. There have been some scams, where they collected money and did not provide transportation, djs, live acts and facilities as promised, so travellers have to be careful.
There are two Trance music producers in Nepal. Aseem who produces twilight and Chill and will also perform in Finland, Latvia, Switzerland and Germany this summer, Thailand and Australia in winter and Smoking Shiva who does Forest sounds. Popular Trance djs are Kranti, Vibe, Nishan and Mantra drops.
Most of the decoration is from Hatti Baba’s back drop collection. For big festivals, usually international deco artists are invited. Carin Dickson from art escape, South Africa has been very popular since 2008, and has been decorating almost all the big festivals. Mandala beats from Thamel do decorations as well. Most Trance fashion clothes are made in Nepal too.
Beer is heavily taxed and generally expensive but travellers do come for smoking not for beer anyway.
Apart from parties, Nepal is popular for its natural beauty. Trekking around Mt. Everest, Annapurna, Helembu and Lantang are a life time experience. The Langtang trek is a much cheaper trek than Annapurna and Everest treks and equally beautiful. There are new trekking routes open in eastern and western Nepal, which are very remote and untouched by any kind of commercial enterprise.
Points of interest
Whole Thamel (tourist area in Kathmandu ) looks like a Trance market
Other fun activities
Go trekking around Everest Annapurna, see historic sites in Kathmandu, be lazy in Pokhara, enjoy getting stoned.