Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nepalthok-Dumja Hiking

Rain came as a guest that morning, and in the midst of rain, cold weather and the weekend, for a second I thought whether I should join the hike or not, but for my first hike in D2, without having any further dilemma, I started packing up and I moved ahead.

When all of us met in the office premises, it was already 7 am, and soon we set out for the trip.
Our destination for the hike: Bhakundebesi; well, I’d never heard of this place before, at least for the details. When the route continued, we went through Koteshwor, Suryabinayak, Banepa, Dhulikhel and ahead. I’ve been up to Dhulikhel on this route so far.The real marvel began once we took a right turn from Dhulikhel. Unforgettable scenery, mist covered curved road with greenery all around. We could see some villages at distant when the mist accidentally cleared up - ideal looking small villages beside a small river. Sounds like a description of a painting. 

Bhakundebesi, a new place for us all, was a really beautiful place. As an attraction point, we’d heard about a temple in Bhakundebesi where the worshipping continued for 24 hours a day, non stop.
However, we suddenly changed our mind about the hike destination, once we reached there, as the temple seemed to be very short distance to make a good hike. We asked the school kids walking by the road to school, they said “chheu chheu Roshi, tala pugera Koshi, ani tespachi last ma Nepalthok” (just go side by side with Roshi river you will reach the Koshi river, and finally you’ll reach Nepalthok). Thus, we rather thought of moving ahead towards Nepalthok, almost 31kms ahead. The road was still enchanting and in good condition. We reached Nepalthok at around 11am. Surprisingly, the road appeared as a dead end. FYI, it’s an alternate highway which links Kathmandu valley with the Terai. Two ways construction work has been carried out, one from Bardibas and the other from Dhulikhel, and still 33 KMs of road had to be built to complete the high-way between Nepalthok and Sindhuli, with 14 bridges to be built.

Surprisingly Nepalthok itself appeared to be a small village, but with lots of nearby villagers’ moving through, it appeared as future Mungling for that area. We got our lunch arranged in a nearby hotel and started the real hike from that point (514 mtr) with a steep hill looking at us from the top. We planned to reach the top and circle it around, through the village called Dumja (1154mtr). Starting from a rough track, and then through a foot trail, we reached Dumja at 1.30pm. Dumja is a beautiful village situated in Sindhuli at the border of two districts: Kavrepalanchok, and Ramechhap; we could see the three districts in the horizon in three directions.

There was an old man standing nearby the trail.
- “हजुरबा! कति बर्षको हुनुभो?”
- “चौरासी!”
Oh my god, eighty-four years! guys see the man’s face at once. We were all surprised. He looked so healthy and energetic that his age was unbelievable. For one more surprise, Mr. Rudra P. Koirala turned out to be a friend of Matrika P. Koirala, brother of B P Koirala & Girija P. Koirala. In fact, he was a relative of the Koirala family and he now owned the property of the PM’s family. It was the birthplace of B.P. Koirala’s father Krishna P. Koirala, and in this sense, thus it became a historical place as well. He showed some of the hibiscus flowers tree originally planted by K.P. Koirala, which he has preserved as a token of memory, and could be a proposed place to erect a statue of Krishna P. Koirala if his son Girija bring Nepal in right stream for Nepalese also.

Our descent started at around 1.45 towards Nepalthok through a different route, circling the peak. In the rain, it was a comfortable descent, even though we lost the main track for few minutes, and finally we dared to take a path of a landslide, unknowingly assuming it as the main trail.

Our lunch with champagne was amazing, with a story of a cloth businessman who went bankrupt and started hotel business in Nepalthok. After the late lunch, we returned with a tired body but refreshed mind.

Off the hook:
“Why do they put up the dried maize shoots in a cone structure preserved for future use” - For firewood (no way), for cattle feeding (do they eat the dried twig?), or may be it was for the cattle-sheds. We were curious all the time. Never saw those structures before.
And while we returned, we stopped by and asked a lady beside the road about the maize-dried twig structures. She said it was for feeding.
- “Didi, yo makai ko sukeko dhod lai kina yesari rakheko hola?”
- “Hiud ma gai-bhaisi lai khuwauna”
- “Yesto saaro pani gai-bhaisi le khanchhan ra?”
- “Khaanchhan”
- “Pakayera khuwaune ho?” (Vishnu Dai)
- “Ha ha, haina yettikai khuwaune!”

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Here’s something about the meaning of Kosh (equals 3.33 kms), traditional measurement of distance, as told by R. P. Koirala. And there were 3 types of kosh:
- Rumale Kosh- Wet a handkerchief and start walking, when it dries up, the distance covered till then would count as one rumale kosh.
- Syaule Kosh- leafy branch
Pick up a fresh branch of a green and start walking, at the point where it dries up, you’ve travelled one syaule kosh
- Hatti kosh -300 step
As easy as the name suggests, it’s the distance covered by the elephant in 300 steps. 

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So, that’s how my first hike in D2 went. Undoubtedly, it was a great experience.

And here's the review, best spoken in the visual:



हुस्सुले छेकिएको बाटो


उ-- तल देखिएको त्यो सानो गाँउ




बाटोसंगै कुलो,




"त्यो गीरि फोरी बहने रोशी"






Looks like a real hike! and it was!


रोशी र कोशीको दोभान






दुम्जा निरको डाँडाबाट देखिएको नेपालथोक, अनि रोशी-कोशी दोभान










सजिमनको पातबाट फोका उडाउदै, बाल्यकालको याद दिलाउंदै!


रुद्र प्रसाद कोइराला, ८४, मातृका प्रसाद कोइरालाका साथी!


उ--- पर सब सिन्धुली जिल्ला, अबको राजमार्ग बन्ने ठाउँ














You can see the satellite map here :