|Title||2011 Jul – Deerwalk Hiking from Bimalnagar to Siddhagufa via Bandipur|
|Date||30 July, 2011|
|Total Time||12 hrs|
|Coordinator||Shukra Kumar Shrestha|
|Participants||Dambar Thapa, Nisha Sharma Pandit, Manila Raut, Sumit Kumar Shrestha, Basant Amatyaa, Ishan Gajurel, Prabin Poudel, Jagir Maya Rai, Santosh Shah, Shukra Kumar Shrestha|
|Photos By||Shukra Kumar Shrestha, Ishan Gajurel, Dambar Thapa, Nisha Sharma Pandit, Sumit Kumar Shrestha|
|Report By||Prabin Poudel|
|Captions||Dambar Thapa, Prabin Poudel, Sumit Kumar Shrestha|
|Creative Support||Dambar Thapa, Nisha Sharma Pandit, Manila Raut|
On a gloomy, wet Saturday morning on July 30, we set off for a hike to Bandipur. All the interested hikers were rounded up early in the morning as it would take us about four hours to reach Bimalnagar, the starting point of our ascent into Bandipur. No one knew what kind of a trek it was going to be.
We were out of Nagdhunga at around 7:45 am .We stopped for breakfast near Galchhi. Everybody will remember the “tarkari” and the price of milk and black tea. After a long drive and a delay caused by landslide along the Prithivi Highway, near Muglin, we reached Bimalnagar around half past eleven. We set off on the trail to Bandipur that passed wound by an enormous cave called ‘Siddha Gufa’. Local folklore has it that the entire length of the cave has never been traversed.
As we climbed upwards we could see hillsides that seemed to be draped in a blanket of greenery. The highway to Pokhara appeared like a slippery snake that cut through wide expanse of valleys which were primarily shaped by the Marsyangdi River. Distant villages broke the monotony as we relished in the sweet taste of natural springs along the trail.
We reached ‘Siddha Gufa ‘around noon. It was eerily dark, wet and chilly once we were inside the cave. The air was heavy and humid but it was also beautiful to see the strange patterns in the rock. There were counting going on upon the number of people who slided, meanwhile climbing up and down the stairs inside the cave was memorable for some of our participants. As we went deeper, it became more slippery and our torches grew dimmer so we had to come out before our hearts were satiated.
After resting for some time we continued our ascent. The route became slippery and we found many leeches stuck to our skin. At once, everyone started complaining about the leeches inside their shoes. Progress to the top was difficult but everyone was so enthusiastic to reach Bandipur that the last few miles were overcome with sheer willpower.
We reached Bandipur Bazaar around four in the afternoon. We ate in a nearby restaurant and went to Tundikhel. The view from Tundikhel was stunning as we could see far into the horizon where the pale Himalayas met the azure sky. After reflecting upon the scenery we boarded the van to return to Kathmandu. It was an adventurous and exciting day for all the participants of the hike.
In a single word the hiking was really “amazing”. I was really thrilled with the experience in siddha cave. That was my first cave experience. I equally enjoyed the stream which is on the way to Dumre just few kilometers after Marsyangdi hydropower dam. After 3-4 hours of tough climbing we reached Bandipur. After having food, we started short walk in the ancient town and after a while we reached Tundikhel. There, we had bird’s eye view of surrounding mountains, river, sparsely populated villages and overall scenic atmosphere. I would like to visit Siddha cave again, but this time with light in the headband which is the equipment I missed most in the cave.
Truly saying – after 4 hours of ride in the highway, i had no mood to walk. At a point, we had to begin our walk. Till we reached the “Siddha Gufa”, the legs were tired, but the ecstasy to enter a Gufa turned the page. It was a brilliant walk inside. As we returned from inside, the scenario changed. The factor were “leeches”, who made us walk continuously, with no stoppage at any point. But in the end of the day, we thanked to the leeches “the Catalysts”, as we wouldn’t have reached the height without their blood-suckling motivation. Finally the food part was always there, and it made things much better. Thanx to Shukra and Damber Dai for organising such a hilarious hike
I was always looking forward to go to Bandipur but never got a chance. Finally the day came and i was very much excited. I enjoyed each and every moment of the hike from starting till the end. Deerwalk collage us were full of fun to be with. Overall the trip was very memorable and I would like to thank all for the wonderful time.
Sumit Kumar Shrestha:
One word I can say about this hike: Best things comes in package but with surprise. It was a hike completely neglected with initial thinking that it would be long drive with small hike. But, it all changed when we started our steep hike from highway that passed through dense forest full of leeches but with no civilization. The siddhi cave was amazingly large and adventurous. A must for everyone in lifetime. The hike from then on was steep (well it was steep from beginning) that took burned lots of calories but the real fear was leeches that creped all over the path and over creepers. We all concluded: Run and we ran for next 3 hours with steep climb without waiting. All in all, it was amazing hike that was equal to beat my yarmashing gadi experience. My 9 stars.
Jagir Maya Rai:
Bandipur Hike was one unforgettable experience. We went to Siddha Mahadev Temple Caves on the way to Bandipur. Exploring the dark passages, looking for bats and slipping on the floors of the caves made this trip really eventful. The way to the Bandipur Village was one straight climb up the mountain via leech infested paths. But in spite of the pain, heat and humidity it was worth the trip once we reached the picturesque village of Bandipur.