About Himalayan Rugs
For many centuries, Tibetans have been weaving rugs for the use in their house as bed set, saddle blankets for horses and carpets for prayer halls, huge pillar covers and wall hangings in the monasteries, etc. Thus, rugs formed an integral part in the lives of Tibetans who had to endure pretty harsh weather conditions in the vast and high plateau of Tibet.
After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, hundreds of thousands of Tibetans escaped and took refuge in parts of India and Nepal. Gradually, they settled and formed communities all across the region; with their propensity for trade and their amiable nature, they blended in cordially with the native inhabitants of Nepal and India. Pretty soon, bustling bazaars and lively neighborhoods began springing up with a distinct flair of Tibetan hospitality and cultural identity. Under the leadership of their charismatic and revered leader the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan refugees extended their culture and tradition into means of livelihood and profession: sculpturing, architecture, painting etc. Among these, the art of rug weaving proved very beneficial for many Tibetans who were skilled and well-versed in that area of trade. Thus, Himalayan Rugs were introduced to Nepal.
The history of rug industry in Nepal began when the first Tibetan settlers started to sell their rugs, either antique or otherwise, to curious tourists. While earning their livelihood with different skills of arts in a new land, these hard working Tibetan refugees received the support of the Swiss government and began a cottage industry of rug weaving in early 1960s. This industry was intended to sell rugs to the growing tourist trade in Nepal. The rugs produced were hand carded, handspun, and hand trimmed using only traditional designs in smaller sizes. This process of rug making still continues today in Nepal.
In the late 70's, German rug dealers came to Nepal and began purchasing rugs in larger sizes and in volume. Subsequently, the German market became the hub of distribution for unique Tibetan rugs throughout Europe. Due to the high demand of European buyers in mid 80's, Tibetan rug production in Nepal became the nation's second leading industry. Later on, leading U.S. importers began to buy Tibetan rugs made in Nepal, with specific design and colors for the U.S. market. The rug industry in Nepal has come quite a long way from its early days of small bazaar sales to now large scale industrial production. At present, Tibetan rugs have become a leading commodity within the hand made floor-covering market in both Europe and in the U.S., and still continue to grow with fame and popularity to other parts of the world.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Nepal
Changu Narayan is the name of the deity enshrined in the Changu Narayan Temple located near the Changu Narayan Village in Kathmandu Valley. The temple is believed to have been constructed in the 4th century. A stone slab discovered in the vicinity of the temple dates to the 5th century, and is the oldest such stone inscription discovered in Nepal. One can view the beautiful white Himalayas and hills in the north and the whole panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley from here. - Source: Wikipedia
Patan Patan is situated on the elevated tract of land in Kathmandu Valley. It is among the largest cities in the country. It is best known for its rich cultural heritage, particularly its tradition of arts and crafts. In addition, it is also called as city of festival and feast, fine ancient art, and making of metallic and stone carving statue. Patan is the oldest of all the cities of Kathmandu Valley and its history dates before 299 A.D. - Source: Wikipedia
Mount Everest "Sagarmatha" is the Nepali name for Mount Everest and is the highest peak in the world at 8,848 meters (29,029 ft.). It is located on the border between Nepal and Tibet. The area around Mount Everest has exceptional glaciers and deep valleys. Several rare species, such as the snow leopard and the lesser panda are found in this area. The presence of the Sherpas, with their unique culture adds further interest to this site. - Source: Wikipedia
Swayambhunath Swayambhunath is an ancient religious complex atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley. It is also known as the Monkey Temple. The Tibetan name for the site means Sublime Trees for the many variety of trees found on the hill. Both Buddhist and Hindus pray to Swayambhunath. The complex consists of a stupa, a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the third century. A Tibetan monastery, museum and library are more recent additions. - Source: Wikipedia
Bhaktapur (making clay vase) Bhaktapur is known for its clay works. Artisans here have been involved in working with clay for centuries. The Newar community is very active in this form of art. Lot of clay products that come out of Bhaktapur is also used in various religious festivals throughout Nepal. - Source: Wikipedia
Lumbini (Birthplace) Lumbini is in the foothills of the Himalayas and is the birthplace of Buddha. The word Lumbini in Sanskrit means “lovely”. Lumbini is the one of the four magnets for pilgrimage for Buddhist. Lumbini has a number of temples including the “Maya Devi Temple”, dedicated to Buddha’s mother. The Buddha lived between roughly 563 and 483 BCE. Lot of old Tibetan patterns that are depicted on rugs is inspired by the Buddhist religion and tradition. - Source: Wikipedia