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Hiking from Swayambhu to Amitabha Monastery

Title: Monastary Visit
Route: Swayambhu- Syuchatar – Syuchatar Gumba – Amitabha Monastery– IchanguNarayan- Sitapaila
Date: November 15, 2009 Sunday
Duration: 5 hrs
Distance: 15 km
Coordinator: PrajwalS
Participants: BabinsS, JustinM, KapilP, MaheshR, ManojR, NabinM, PrajwalS, RaunakT, RikeshS, SarjanG, TilakM
Photos: BabinsS, JustinM, ManojR, NabinM, TilakM
Caption: PrajwalS, TilakM
Report By: JustinM, NabinM
Geolocation: Ichangu Narayan (27.725498N, 85.284791E)
Creative support:Dijup Tuladhar / Ganesh Thapa

-Justin Morgan

The trek started bright and early with a warm-up hike up the back side of Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple). Even though it was only 7:30, the top was already crowded with worshippers and tourists. After a quick descent, we found ourselves on the main road looking for a place for breakfast.

The hike in earnest began a little while later in Syuchatar, and we started up the winding path that snuck through rolling hills. Though it didn’t seem steep at first, the group quickly found itself looking for a good spot to rest and take in the scenery. Next, we found our way to the Syuchatar Gumba (monastery), but the “shortcuts” we took were in reality the long way ‘round. No matter though, as we continued on our way and made our own path when necessary.

The monastery itself seemed empty, but the our persistence paid off and the door was eventually opened (probably just to shut us up). We snacked and toured the exterior of the gumba, spinning prayer wheels and ringing bells as we found them.

accidentally snuck in the rear entrance instead of going through the main gate

The road from there was quickly abandoned in favor of trolling through farmland, down one hill and up another. It was dirty, but the harvest was over and we did not need to fear ruining crops as we crossed the terraced hillsides. On the other side of the valley, farms gave way to brush, which then yielded a recently burned forest as the incline became more severe. In some parts it was more fair to say that we were “climbing” than “hiking”, but some goats knew the path and led us up. Finally, at the peak we found the Amitabh Gumba, and accidentally snuck in the rear entrance instead of going through the main gate. Such is life, and we eventually found our way to the main area, which was decorated with a huge Buddha statue looking over the Kathmandu valley.

That was the highest point, but the path down the other side of the hill was arguably the most treacherous. Kapil decided to run down the side at full speed, but the rest of us weren’t so daring. We found the road and made our way to the Ichangu Narayan temple, and paid our respects there.

The true hike was over at that point, and all that was left was to walk the road back down to Swayambhunath for food and rest. But, the memories will remain forever.

-Nabin Maharjan

The hiking party departed from D2 premises at around 7:30 and reached Swayambhu at 8:00 picking Justin,Babin,Kapil and Mahesh on the way.There was a warm-up hike around Swayambhu hill followed by breakfast at Nayan Hotel and finally we were dropped at Kalanki by Ram to begin the real hiking.

We finally conquered IChangu at about 2PM

The starting point was a little ahead than planned but we had to hike from Kalanki thanks to some undergoing road maintainace works. The road at Kalanki about the LRI school was being black-topped. We started hiking about 9 am towards the Syuchatar Gumba led by Mahesh and Kapil through the trails.Then, we hiked down through the fields, reached Ramkot and then again hiked up the mountain trails and pine woods to reach the Amitabh Gumba. The Amitabh Gumba is a wonderful and well maintained monastery.One can enjoy a great panoromic view of the Kathmandu valley from there. After a short rest, we hiked down the mountain trails and fields to our final destination ‘IchanguNarayan’. We finally conquered IChangu at about 2PM and then retreated to Nayan Hotel for lunch at Swayambhu. We all had a great time and fun. It was really a short and sweet hike within the Kathmandu valley as mentioned in the mail by Sarjan.

Gearing up for the hike
01 Gearing up for the hike
First Rest
02 First Rest
First Destination Syuchatar Monastary
03 First Destination Syuchatar Monastary
Group Photo
04 Group Photo
Prayer Wheel
05 Prayer Wheel
ONE but Different Instances
06 ONE but Different Instances
Flower Cultivation in slopes
07 Flower Cultivation in slopes
Second Destination Amitabh Monastary
08 Second Destination Amitabh Monastary
Hitting the trails
09 Hitting the trails
Stroll and Enjoy
10 Stroll and Enjoy
11 Hobby
Amitabh Monastary
12 Amitabh Monastary
A panaromic view from Amitabh Monestry
13 A panaromic view from Amitabh Monestry
Monks busy at work
14 Monks busy at work
May Peace Prevail
15 May Peace Prevail
16 Overlooking
17 Serenity
18 Fortifying
19 Symmetric
20 DharmaChakra
Ichangu Narayan Temple
21 Ichangu Narayan Temple
In the Temple
22 In the Temple
Blooming Kathmandu
23 Blooming Kathmandu
Lime stone Factory and Flowers in Harmony
24 Lime stone Factory and Flowers in Harmony

11 thoughts on “Hiking from Swayambhu to Amitabha Monastery

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  4. I love five Buddhas in a row with a great view in front of them. Who captured this classy picture? Justin Morgan? Great job, whoever did.

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