Chorten; the Tibetan word for a stupa, a mound-like Buddhist structure.
Col; a pass or depression in a mountain range or ridge.
Dal Bhat; the standard Nepali meal consisting of steamed rice, lentil soup and often served with local seasonal vegetables.
Dhanyabaad; Nepali for thank you.
Durbar; a traditional city centre/square.
Ghat; series of steps leading down to a Hindu holy river.
Gompa; a Tibetan monastery.
Jatra; a street festival or carnival.
Kani; an arched stone gateway normally astride an entrance to a village.
Kharka; the Tibetan word for a (high altitude) meadow.
Khola; a Nepali word for a river.
Koshi; another Nepali word for a river.
La; the Tibetan word for a mountain pass.
Lama; a Tibetan Buddhist monk.
Lhosar (or Losar); a Tibetan word for New Year.
Mani; a wall of inscribed stones. These walls should always be passed or circumvented in a clockwise direction according to Buddhist doctrine. (Except in the Bon Po areas of Dolpo where they should be passed or circumvented anti-clockwise).
Monsoon; the rainy season, from early June to late September.
Moraine; an accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris (mainly rocks).
Namaste; hello/good day in Nepali.
Newar; the people and language of the inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley.
Prayer Flags; colourful blue, white, red, green and yellow, representing the five elements, rectangles of cloth often strung out in the Himalayas.
Puja; a Hindu and Buddhist religious rite/offering.
Purnima; the full moon.
Sadhu; an Indian ascetic or holy man.
Sadhvi; an Indian ascetic or holy woman.
Stupa; a mound-like Buddhist monument.
Tashi Delek; hello/good day in Tibetan.
Tea-shop or tea-house; a small lodge which provides accommodation and food with some basic necessities for sale.
The Terai; the lowland plains that border North India.
Thangka; a Tibetan silk embroidery, usually religious.
Yak; basically a high altitude long-haired cow with short, thick legs, humped shoulders and large upcurved horns. Strictly speaking the yak is the bull and the female is a nak or dri. Many of those that you come across are the result of cross-breeding with cattle and are known as dzo (m) or dzomo or zhom (f).
Yeti; sometimes known as ‘The Abominable Snowman’ this mythical (?) creature inhabits the mountains and occasionally attacks livestock and humans. So watch out folks.