Khukuri

Khukuri is a sharp-edged and curved knife that indicates the pride and valour the Gorkha community. Its origin is lost in time, but it closely resembles the Kopis, a Greek knife that also has a curved blade. Another legend speaks of the Mallas, who came to power in Nepal in the 13th century. The knives used by them are on display in a museum in Kathmandu and look very familiar to the khukris used today. Some ancient Japanese swords have proven to have some of the distinguishing features of the khukuri, but its exact history and source are still up for debate. 

The khukuri is one of the primary weapons of the Gorkha clan, but today it is used more for utility purposes than for combat. Many people in Darjeeling use it to for chopping firewood, cutting meat and vegetable and other farm and household tasks. They are easily available on the streets of Darjeeling and can be a good souvenir to take back.

Khukuri

Copper studded artefacts and other curios

Darjeeling is a virtual paradise for those who love artefacts and other home décor objects. Here, and in Kalimpong, which is located close by, visitors will find an array of shops selling all kinds of beautiful curios, which are made on copper plates studded with red and blue stones with engravings of various deities.

Given the strong Buddhist influences in Darjeeling, the Laughing Buddha makes an appearance quite often as you walk down the frenzied yet exciting bylanes. Other items include replicas of thangkas, wooden objects into which inscriptions and other religious subjects have been carved, brass vessels and statues, and even lovely Tibetan carpets that will enrich any home. 

Read More
Copper studded artefacts and other curios

Losar Festival

The Losar festival generally takes place between February and March and lasts for 15 days, observed on the first day of the lunar calendar, which usually falls somewhere in January, February or March. The word “losar” translates to “new year”, and the festival is therefore seen as a fresh start. 

It is celebrated with a lot of fervour and enthusiasm and one must try and be a part of the festivities while in Darjeeling. During Losar, traditional food is served to guests, and visitors are welcomed into the house. On the 15th day of the festival, a religious gathering called Cho Nao Chopa takes place. 

Read More
Losar Festival

Nepali Folk Dance

Darjeeling has a diverse culture due to the mixed ethnicity of its residents. It is reflected in their cultural practices, food habits, music and various art forms. The city has always witnessed large immigration from all parts of Nepal. Many Nepalese communities with a varied culture of folk songs and dance forms have made Darjeeling their home. 

One of the most famous Nepali folk dances is the Maruni Naach. It is one of the oldest Nepali folk dances and involves male dancers dressed in female costumes in order to celebrate the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after his 14 years of exile. It is generally performed during the Tihar festival and is an absolute joy to witness. 

Read More
Nepali Folk Dance

Thangka

A thangka is a Buddhist scroll or fabric temple banner, which is painted on cotton or silk fabric. In Darjeeling, thangkas are beautified with paintings depicting the various forms of Lord Buddha, as well as episodes from his life. Traditionally, these thangkas are as intricate as they are exquisite, and are kept unframed. 

During prayers and festivals, they are placed against a textile frame, and then rolled back up and stored in dry places where heat and other elements will not damage the integrity of the work. 

Read More
Thangka