What is a Kora?
A Kora is a circumbulation devotees make around religious sites, usually clockwise. In Tibetan, â€œKoraâ€ describes the ritual path followed by devout followers of Buddhism and Hinduism in their effort to attain spiritual absolution for the sin of being alive. Throughout Tibet one can see the faithful making clockwise Kora around temples and other hallowed grounds, though none are as consecrated as the 52-kilometer circumambulation of Mountain Kailash in western Tibet, Asiaâ€™s most sacred mountain. Circumambulation of temples or deity images is an integral part of Hindu and Buddhist devotional practice. It is also present in other religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Based on this concept The Kathmandu Kora Cycling circumvents the three major Buddhist and Hindu shrines in the Kathmandu Valley: The Syambhunath stupa, Boudhanath stupa and the Pashupatinath Temple.
What is a Kathmandu KORA then?
This is a Kora of Kathmandu, of the three main religious sites of Soyambhunath, Boudha and Pashupatinath. It has that religious significance, but it is also meant to be a circumambulation of the power centre of Nepal â€“ Kathmandu.
When and how did this start?
In 2011, Maxim Jones and Shashank Lama, both 16, took this challenge, in the first ever Kora organised by socialtours and Chain Bikes, and raised awareness amongst the 35 riders and raised close to half a million Rupees in funds that were given to a school and an orphanage in Kathmandu.
How do I participate?
One can register as a rider and take on the challenge, one can register as a sponsor or pledger and pledge an amount for each rider or just for the cause. Pledges can be made at Rs.100 per kilometre or just an amount.
How do I get out of this?
The pleasure to have participated in something really big, and meaningful, as this will save lives with a very minimal investment and in a fun event.
Do I need my own bike?
Ideally, but you can also hire cycles from different cycle shops in the city. We will put out a list of cycle shops and how many cycles they can spare for the Kora soon.
What is the route?
For the 50k ride: starting from Patan Durbar Square, the route goes to Kirtipur via Chhobar, into Naikap, Behind Soyambhunath, the White Stupa, then to Balaju water gardens, and then Manamaiju, Dhapasi, over the road into Budanilkantha towards Boudha. A lunch stop at Boudha and then its a return towards Patan Durbar Square from behind the airport and Pepsi Cola. The 75 k and the 100 k have more technical variations of this ride, and of course longer distances. And no, this is not on the ring road, but just outside of it, through sub-urban Kathmandu.Â We will end at Patan Durbar Square and then move somewhere for some celebration.
I am not a professional cyclist, can I still participate?
Absolutely. This is a personal challenge we have developed on a very easy route, good for novices and also for experts. There will be support staff who will guide you along the way.
Do I need to cycle the whole route or can I shorten it or stop in the middle?
You do not have to ride the entire circuit in case you cannot. The KORA is designed for for the possibility of truncating whenever required. At any point you will be no further than an hour from home, if you live in Kathmandu that is. That is the big advantage of doing a circuit in Kathmandu.
Who can make a pledge or donation?
Anyone really. The rider, friends and family, a corporate, individuals from abroad. Anyone. Details will come out on the pledging page on our website soon.