Nepal is a wonderland of historical sites, natural scenarios, mountain peaks, hidden valleys, and entertainment.
Shades of yellow and green pave the way as I walk through the village of Khokana. It is a world of its own, sustaining lives of everyday hardworking Nepalese that reside there. The picture depicts a moment I had a chance of capturing, of a life I had the privilege of experiencing. It is a place no less amazing than anywhere I have ever been, a life no less awe inspiring than any I have ever known. Sun shone in midday as I took this picture, trying to captures the simple beauty of the place. Like the lady in the picture, I moved on thereafter; it was just another day in Khokana.
Cool welcome by the nature along with the foggy sky marked the beginning of Saturday morning. Our group of 14 people was keenly waiting for an adventurous journey to Pokhara. Around 7:30 am we left the office in Kathmandu and headed towards Pokhara. By 9 a.m. we had reached Naubise where we stopped for breakfast. We had a mixture of chana (chickpea), puri (bread) and curry, which helped us fulfill our appetite. We left the place after half an hour and continued our voyage. DJ Sushant played refreshing songs in the van. However, we started feeling hungry again and had nothing to eat.
Surendra Adhikari, our host, took us to his home town village, near Okharpauwa. He provided us with the best accommodation in his own parental home. The caretakers of his house, Kanchha and his family, were more than generous with their time and effort. Surendra was looking to provide a little more spice to our hike. Rather than walking via an unpaved road that was wide, he decided to take us down a path a little less travelled. It was a path created by a small stream that had dried up. The walk was tight and since I had a rucksack on my bag, the low hanging branches kept on pulling me behind. It was tough while it lasted but was a memorable experience afterwards. I also had the opportunity to walk with Surendra and the DWIT students all the way to Kakani the next day.
Writing a travelogue has never been easy for me because, as soon as I clutch a pen, I find myself in a dilemma- what should I write about? In the objectivity of space and time, should I portray the characters that I met, the events that occurred, and the sceneries that I saw? Or should I delineate the whirlwinds that I so intimately felt, being submerged in total subjectivity? That is, should I write a story or a poem? In the depth of bliss, poetry is what I write. Therefore, O friends, come and listen to my poetry of the North interspersed with a story.
After a short walk, we reached the premises of Nagarkot tower. As it was Saturday, the tower was overcrowded. Some were there for picnic, some were enjoying the view taking photographs from the top; while others were busy climbing up and down the tower. We sat there for some time. Cool breeze was blowing, it was wonderful. We could see the Himalayas behind the clouds. The sky was not so clear though. We returned back from there and entered a restaurant to have our lunch. After having lunch, we headed back home.
Lakure Bhanjyang, or Lakuri Bhanjyang as some call it, is a scenic hiking route about 10 Kilometers from Kathmandu. The trail is not extra-ordinary in any manner for a country packed with 8 thousand meter mountains and uncountable others that stand more than 4 thousand meters tall. Compare those to the highest point we reached during the hike, which must have been around 3,000 odd meters and, you will see why we didn’t bother to get the exact number. And then again we have traveled through it so many times that we have started remembering good spots to take breaks and relieve ourselves.
Hiking for me has never been an enjoyable experience. It’s just a thing I feel like I need to do along the way so I don’t feel lazy. The reality of it is that hiking is a test of whether or not I can drag my unfit body up a mountain or across a field without hyperventilating or falling down. We weren’t sore, it was easy on the legs and knees, and it’s probably easier than hiking. The whole experience was really great and one I want to repeat it often!