Theme: Festive Fever
Hiking Route: Tamakoshi to Dolakha Bhimsen
Day: October 25, 2008, Saturday -October 26, 2008 Sunday
Hike Coordinator: SamirR
Participants: AlinaS, AnujK, AmendraS, BasantaN, BhanuC, BinodG,Rashmi P, MoneyP ,SrijanaP, SamirT, SamirR Photos: BhanuC/ SamirR/ BasantaN
Creative Support: Ganesh Thapa / Dijup Tuladhar
It was wonderful to touch the bullet ridden stones on the banks of Tamakoshi, and to see the huge dilapidated bridge shaking hands with the land. The high green hills generally describe the character of Nepal “Hariyo ban Nepal ko dhan” and the high lands filled with the dazzling golden paddy field proving that Nepal is the Agricultural Country.
The sunny morning of November 26th, we, twelve people, all excited, made our way for a two-day, 150 plus Km trip to north of Kathmandu, which was some 5 plus hour’s drive. Charikot provides a spectacular mountain views, the prominent peak being Gaurishankar (7134 m) along with the thrilling TamaKoshi River.
We reached Charikot at 5:00 pm in the afternoon. Everyone was excited to get out of the van after 6 hours of long road trip. The cold breeze at that moment touched everyone’s heart. All eyes were caught by the heavenly scenery and our cameras were busy capturing them. The ones who did not have camera tried to capture those beautiful views of mountains with their cameras on phone. The chilly weather enough to freeze the tears in our eyes did not affect anyone of us from enjoying the natural views of Charikot. After a while, we decided to have a cup of tea to get over the chilliness of Charikot. I could still see people fully enjoying and taking pictures of the mountains while I was trying to warm up myself with the delicious tea. I kept on staring at people appreciating nature, and understood what it really means when people say “No one is beautiful than Nature.”
The town of Charikot was already preparing to welcome the one of the greatest festivals of Hindus: Tihar, festivals of Lights. The local people were in a rush with excitement in the preparation of the festival. We decided to move on to our next destination: TamaKoshi although we had not had enough of the views of spectacular mountains. We planned on spending a night at TamaKoshi which was 16 kilometers away; and started our hiking towards Dolakha Bhimsen Temple early in the morning next day. Ram, who was driving the van all the way around for us, had some hindi songs put on all the time. Though the songs were stopping abruptly time and again, we enjoyed every bit of them and within no time, we reached TamaKoshi. On our way to Tamakoshi, a dancing Tamakoshi was already seen ferrying down from the Gaurishankar hill. We reached TamaKoshi at 6 pm and the climate was surprisingly cozy, compared to ChariKot.
To call it our bad luck or a bitter reality of a rural area, we could not get any good lodges around. Upon everyone’s approval, and for security reasons, we drove back to Charikot to spend our night. It was not what we had expected, but that was the best solution at that situation. It was a tiresome short journey back to the Charikot through the precarious one lane road. We got into hotel as suggested by SamirR’s friend. Everyone on the trip was exhausted by then. Everyone’s tiredness and hunger was reflected on their faces. We scattered to our designated rooms to get fresh and had a short nap. At around 9 p.m., once again, we all came together to have our dinner. Everyone was seen sharing their experiences of whole day with each other. After having recreations for a while, we went to sleep promising each other to meet on time as planned the next morning.
We, reluctantly, got out of our warm blanket at 5:30 in the morning when SamirR woke everyone up with his enthusiastic and commanding voice. After having paid the hotel’s bill, we were ready to start the second day of our trip. Before moving from Charikot, we had tea and, even had enough time to gather foods to eat on our way to TamaKoshi. We were already in TamaKoshi by 6:30 a.m. After having taken some snaps on the TamaKoshi Bridge, we decided to start with our ultimate goal: Hiking towards Dolakha. Everyone tried to look like a model for a moment during snap shots. While starting our hiking, we did not even have a map to direct us. However, we decided to start on our journey without any fear in our hearts and minds. We were strong on our beliefs that we will always be safe until we are in Nepal where people are always kind and generous to help. We were more than happy when our belief was materialized. A local, a stranger to us, helped us in directing our way towards Dolakha before we started our hiking. We headed on our way as directed by him.
From Tamakoshi, leaving the highway behind us, we headed to the top of the ridge, passing the village and paddy field and into the forest. We hiked by river bank; we hiked through the fields and we hiked the trails through the hill. Till the time we were hiking through the trails made by the locals there, we appreciated the god-gifted nature of Nepal as if we were in Nepal for the first time. Most of us never had chance to see nature as closely as we did on that day. We came across different farms and fields and farmers working there. We did expend some time to talk with and take pictures with the farmers who had been working all the season.
First quarter of the goal was already achieved. We planned to take a short halt. When a mobile phone rang, it made me realize that communication sector has done a great job for last few years for it being reachable on that part of our land. The phone call made us realize that we had missed three of our friends, namely RashmiP, AnujK and AmendraS. They were following some other trails. Now, the question for us was whether to get back and trace the same trail and trace the same trail as done by our departed friends or to make some new trails to meet them on the way. We were already so high on the hill and it was very difficult to get down to the base and climb up through another trail. As the trails that we were hiking till that moment was not very hard we decided to find some new trails and reach to our friends as soon as possible. We were able to share the direction by communicating on mobile phone but at the same time we all were missing the food carried by our departed friends. All we had was few apples and cucumbers. The pleasant morning was now turning into a harsh sunny day. We were all in desperate need of something to eat. Through the camera lens I discovered our departed friends marching the trail towards Ratodada which was our target as well. After few struggling climbs, we were back in the normal trail and we followed that. This time the slope was gradual, and it was a pleasant and easy walk through the woods watching the captivating scenic beauty of snow-covered mountains, green hills and flowing Tamakoshi. On the mysterious trial, we came to discover the Gooseberry plant. Overjoyed group members started picking up the fruit from the tree and started filling their pockets, bags and even the empty mineral water bottle. After about 500 meters ahead, the inclination started to increase dramatically, and the going gets a bit tougher. Everybody was flabbergasted when we discovered the dead end. The only option we had was to traverse back to the trail until we reached another trial. Fortunately, we found a new trial and we took that way. Hike was now going to be a long, relatively tough followed by a sheer climb to Deurali. After resting in the shadow at the base of the hill for a few minutes we noticed a trail heading steep up the mountain. We briefly looked around for alternatives but this appeared to be the direction for our hike so we began to climb. The forest was still thick in this segment of the trail but by now we were heading up a slope about as steep as they come. Mid day’s scorching sun, the steep climb and the hunger made everyone exhausted. BhanuC was the one to encourage every member to walk: sometime by giving food to eat and sometime by his inspiring words. The only thing on everyone’s mind was to reach to Deurali so that they can take some rest at the top of the hill. I remember SamirR saying “No more.. no more.. neither I will walk a step further nor a step back… bring me a rescue helicopter” and everybody giggled. Basanta was the first one to reach Deurali and other peoples were at shouting distance from each other. Finally, everybody reached Deurali and we took few photos there, and spent the rest of the time enjoying the views and discussing the further trial. Now, descending this ridge was fairly easy.
We were by now in somewhat of a hurry to reach to the destination because our departed friends were already in the temple. Exhausted but with the recollected hope we made our way down the hill, through trees and brushes. Hiking was relatively easier then. We searched for milk or anything to eat in the few local houses but our bad luck; all the locals were busy in harvesting their crops. Still one last hour remained for the hike to be completed; that too with empty stomach and tired legs. Resorting to gooseberry and water, we made our way through trails in the fields. We were almost there by then, and our hearts started to beat faster with excitement and happiness for our achievement. We took a long breath as we reached our destination: Dolakha Bhimsen Temple. We were feeling so heavenly that we did not even realize how tired we were. We went inside the temple to pay a visit to the diety placed inside the temple. We stayed there for about half an hour talking about everything we had been through in those 2 days. Then, we moved towards the Dolakha’s bus park satisfied and contented with our journey.
The departed part of our team had already reached Charikot through Dolakha and had ordered meal for all of us. As we reached Dolakha, Ram was waiting for us and within no time we were in Charikot. It was a 20 minutes drive from Dolakha Bus Park to Charikot. We had our meal there, and waited for our friends. Once everyone returned and had their meal, we talked about everything we did and faced on our way. It came as a surprise to know that when we were starving by hunger, our departed friends were distributing foods to the locals they were carrying. I thought to myself, god biased us. Our gossips seemed to never end. Finally, we left for Kathmandu at around 4 p.m.
As a whole, our 2-day trip was adventurous and worthwhile despite the obstacles we encountered during our excursion. I still remember “No more.. no more.. neither I will walk a step further nor a step back… bring me a rescue helicopter”.
It was a 6 hour walk from TamaKoshi to Dolakha with several steep ascents and descents, but the trail passes through beautiful dense forests unlike any other along the trekking route of this region. There are waterfalls and clear-running blue Tamakoshi side by side and, yes, the gigantic trees’ forest with lot of other vegetation and the inhabited trail gave the chime of our own forgotten villages.