Theme: Revisiting the History
Hiking Route: Thankot, Chitlang, Chakhel, Chunikhel, Matatirtha, Chandragiri, Ramche
Total Distance covered: 14 km (approx)
Duration: 8 hours
Date: August 10, 2008
Participants: Bhanu Chalise, Dinesh Bajracharya, Himal Karmacharya,Manoj Rokka, Kapil Pandey, Lava Kafle,Prajwal Shrestha, Rachit Nepal, Rudra Pandey, Shiva K Pun
Report by: RachitN
Coordinator: Bhanu Chalise
As some of hikers were absent and we were limited to 10, we changed our previous route and planned to hike the route from where the first car was brought to Kathmandu by human portage for the then Royal family. By 7 am we left office premises and drove to Thankot and started hiking from there. History was not limited up to exploring the way motor cars were brought to Kathmandu but also we were eager to see those places from where king Prithvi Narayan Shah observed Kathmandu and planned the unification of Nepal. We headed to south-west to reach Chahakhel and finally to Kirtipur and then started the accent. Due to steep climb and hot weather we soon felt tired and hungry. On our way, we managed to get find a small hotel where we ate “Chiura” with “Aaloodam”. It was 9:15 am and we continued our journey after enjoying breakfast .After progressing an hour along the steep climb Dinesh got cramps on both of his both legs he had no way other than to quit hiking. Dinesh returned from there along with Prajwal. Reduced to 8,we continued our hiking meeting locals who were heading to Kathmandu to sell their traditional brass utensils for bread and butter.
The view of Kathmandu valley was clear from the height. The weather then became cool and misty so our walk became relatively easier. We decided to take a possible shortcut and walked through the dark jungle. The gentle and cool breeze made us forget our tiredness. We finally reached Chandragiri hill from where Chitlang village was clearly visible. Chitlang is border of Kathmandu and Makawanpur. It was the place where Prithvi Narayan Shah observed Kathmandu during unification of Nepal. The route we had been traversing was the same route from where first car entered Nepal. The route had both political and historical importance as it was the main route to join lowlands of Nepal and India during the Rana regime. The route was equally memorable to Lava dai because he once had to carry his bike in the steep height.
The the crucial part of our hike was about to begin. A local suggested us not to take the way through the jungle citing leech and the toughness of the route .We however decided to continue. Entering jungle we met some farmers who were busy collecting “Tusa”-a kind of bamboo soot. Most of us bought “Tusa” there. The route through the jungle was not as tough as we had thought it would be. We got excited to have a complete view of Kathmandu valley. We enjoyed some food stuff brought that we had taken along.
We then walked downhill but unfortunately we were unable to determine the right way. So we were lost. We began explore new paths to go down which made our hike tougher. Thorny bushes, blood-sucker leeches, almost vertical steepness and uncertainty of the path made our hike pretty difficult. At that time we were carefree about leeches and we didn’t hesitate on grasping thorny bushes for support while sliding down. We made our way on own and managed to get the trail made by some woodcutters. We felt great relief. But that was not the end of the hike. We walked downhill continuously for 2 hours. Sliding on red mud was common. And surprisingly we reached Matatirtha and there we freshened ourselves up. It was about 4 pm. We returned back to Kathmandu at about 5 pm and had some “Dhido” and “Masu ko rash”.
The hike was memorable in many ways, its toughness, view of Kathmandu valley, leeches, historical background etc.
Some memorable quotes
LavaK: “I had to carry my bike myself in this 90° steep.”
RudraP: ”Walking uphill means earning money and walking downhill means spending money so walking downhill after walking uphill give same pleasure as you spend your own money after earning. Walking only uphill is only earning but not spending. And walking only downhill without walking uphill means spending money which you had not earned.”
BhanuC: ”The leech on Himal dai’s back was TT ball sized.”
LavaK: ”I am leaving my both hand. I am going to slide.”
ShivaP: ”I won’t hike even if I get Rs 2000 allowance.”