I was to meet Bhole Nath (Another name for Shiva) again, this time in Kathmandu, Nepal at the Pashupatinath Temple. Here, the temple is crowded with animals like monkeys, goats, sheep, birds and hen. There was a huge sculpture of Nandi made of brass just inside the temple. The sadhus pray for pujas and hawan. I walked around the temple and found a huge pond right in the middle of the temple. The pond is made out of brick walls and inside is green muddy water. At the interior of the pond, there is a huge statue of Shiva covered with serpents which is a majestic sight. I bought some rudraksh beads from there. Each rudraksh were different from others. One of the notable ones among them is called Do Mukhi Rudraksh, the two-faced rudraksh beads. Another one I found peculiar was the Panch Mukhi, the rudraksh with five heads. I sat down with the pujari of the temple and did my father’s shraaddha. I prayed for his soul to rest in peace and asked for his forgiveness. Doing this in one of the holiest places pleased me and I was happy. I could now move ahead in life without a huge burden on my shoulders.
Day 5 was my day of facing my fear. My fear of heights. It had rained very hard the whole of last night so we received a message from the paragliding company that they might have to cancel the flight. Secretly I was very happy about it. I registered but it didn't come through because of the weather. Yes, no one could blame me now for being a wimp but then things panned out differently. We went to the paragliding office at the designated time and they said the weather condition has improved so the flight is on. Damn! My heart drowned. I put up a brave face and hopped on to the car with a few other passengers and the pilots. Once we reached atop the valley (from where we had to take off) we were informed that we will be given enough time to prepare ourselves mentally however my pilot (Patrick from France) decided that we will be the first ones to jump as the wind was strong and the weather could get worse so he didn't want to waste any time and started preparing for the jump. I froze. Patrick started harnessing me and asked me to run as fast as possible when we hit the edge of the valley. I literally froze at the edge but it was too late by then. I was pushed by my pilot and within the next five seconds I was flying with the birds in the middle of that ravishingly green valley. I felt liberated. I felt happy. I was so numb with happiness that I couldn't react. I just surrendered myself to that moment of unbelievable happiness.
Next day, we started for Ilam. This was supposed to be 373 km. Once the mountain road started, it was suddenly unexpectedly very cold. We must have ridden just few kilometers in the mountains and we found clouds and fog so much so that we could not see what lay even 10 meter ahead of us. As this was not safe so we stopped and stayed at a hotel named Bishal.
I spent one more day in Shree Antu before leaving to Biratnagar along with Sunil.This post was originally published on Cool Sky.
We waked up and started the hike as planned along with a neighboring friend, it was pitch dark, shining stars in the east gave us hope of getting clean and golden sun. Three of us continued following the path with the help of mobile light, Mani Dai joined us in Bhanjyang. Our hike went on till we reached the tower, it was 5:00, tower entry was locked and we had no idea whether it will be opened or not as it was still under construction. After 10-12 minutes, eastern sky begin to change its color. Golden line came in between the dark hill and the blue sky.
That's it. Bye bye asphalt road, now we are heading in to the muddy paths of a valley laid like the tentacles of an octopus, for the 10 days long trekking... The half an hour journey will take you to Birethanti where you have to show your permits at both sides of the river Modi Khola . The detour on the other side gives an option to go to Ghorepani to the left and Gandruk on to the right. Taking left we continued our journey. The path through the untarred road is relatively easy though we are certain it wouldn’t last long. The sun was eager to go home after the day and we saw the darkness spread quicker than expected.Soon the mobile flashlight was required to continue the trekking. The 4 hours of journey finally managed to tire us. Tikkadunga seems a far dream, we have to settle somewhere for the day……any place where lights are turned on. Soon we heard a voice from the dark saying we are on the wrong route!! We should have taken the narrow path at the last U turn which was completely unidentifiable in the dark. You are an angel, sir.We didn’t have to walk very far to get to the beautiful small village called Hille to make it our first pit stop during the trekking. We took a room in the first lodge that we saw where we were the only guests. The tiny wooden cabin for both of us is neat and cheap. Room rates are fixed across all the villages en route to ABC - Rs 400 for a 2 persons’ room, Rs 180 for dormitory. After a delicious dinner, before going into deep slumber, we promised each other to wake up the next morning as early as possible. Not even a tiny bit of disappointment is left on us for the fact that we couldn't make it to the destination for the day..
We went inside the Himalayan Hotel & Restaurant and ordered black tea then lunch. As we entered, exchange of smile and " Namaste" happened there too. In the meantime I charged the camera and phone. The sip of black tea felt so awesome in the freezing cold atmosphere. Our entry inside the hotel was followed by heavy rain and it continued for long. Lunch became ready in an hour and we didn't make any delay on having it. Rice was not cooked well but we had it anyway. Despite the rain we decided to move to Machhapuchchhre Base Camp (MBC) and tagged ourselves with some other trekking groups. After about 15-20 minutes of trek, we reached a relatively open part and saw a board that read ' Avalanche Prone Area'. As the left side was more risky it was closed and we followed the slippery path to the right, crossing Modi Khola. The trail was completely white and it started snowing. We were happy to experience the snow fall and at the same time a bit worried about the trail to MBC, which was said to be the riskiest among all. We kept on following the snow covered upward track. In the time being, the snow fall became intense, not giving us time to wait. We were following a porter as other groups were left behind, so we had to keep him in our visibility distance and at the same time maintain the proper speed; such scenario continued until MBC. Then we decided to drink tea there because we were feeling too cold, so we followed the snow covered steps to one hotel, ordered black tea and in no time it arrived. That was somehow enough to beat the cold at least for some minutes. In the meantime, clock ticked 3:00 PM. Due to intense & continuous snowfall and cold atmosphere we decided to stay there for that day even if that was too early and move to ABC early tomorrow. And that decision came to be the WORST decision of our life.
I liked the Patan Durban Square cultural heritage.
Find your way to the Yeti Scalp of KhumjungIn 1960, when Desmond Doig, a British journalist, and Edmund Hillary were passing through the Khumjung Village, they stopped over at the home of an old woman and found, what was speculated to be, a Yeti scalp. Yeti is an ape-like creature who is said to live in the high Himalayas. Scientists have long maintained that this Yeti, roughly translated in English as Abominable or Dreadful Snowman, doesn't exist but locals continue to hold its legends as authentic stories integral to their culture. In 1960, Hillary and Doig somehow managed to convince the village people to take this hide-like scalp and have it inspected abroad. Though it later proved to be a hide from a goat-like Himalayan antelope, you can still visit the monastery it is placed in.Know before you go: The village of Khunjung is just 137km from Kathmandu. The local bus network in Nepal is quite efficient and you will easily get a bus till the Sagarmatha National Park. From here the village is a short trek away. To see the images of the Yeti scalp, visit this page.
Later, proceed for an excursion to Bhaktapur, home of medieval art and architecture. It is also known as the 'City of Devotees' Bhaktapur is the third largest city in the Kathmandu Valley with a majority population of local Newars and is famous for its pagodas and temples dedicated to Hindu deities.Request A Call Back
Mai Pokhari is a wetland (Ramsar Site) in Ilam and also a pilgrimage center for both Hindus and Buddhists. With catchment of 12 hectares, it is located ~19 KM away from the district headquarter. Our ride started at around 8:00 and followed Mechi Highway till Barbote then followed rough subway towards uphill. We were slowly gaining heights riding on a rough way, except for few places. Surrounding landscapes were beautiful enough to make us forget the bumpy ride. After 1½ hour trip on rocky track we reached the peaceful spot - Mai Pokhari at the elevation of 2100 m. About 1 Km hike covering the circumference of the pond was the best option to get closer to the nature; one unique thing about the lake is that all corners are not visible from any one corner - may need a drone to view the actual shape. After short hike and photo session we had black tea and got ready to start downhill ride. Following the same rugged track we were in the city by 11:30; had special lunch in Sunil's sister's home - that was beautiful moment to be guest while travelling ;).In last 2 days I somehow became local to the beautiful city. I realized what I heard about etymology behind the name 'ilam'.In Limbu language, the word ' I' means ' winding' and ' lam ' denotes to the way. Upon looking at the topography ilam, we can actually see several winding paths crisscrossing on the way. Ilam is popular for its six "A"s: they are Alu (Potato), Alan (Milk), Alainchi (Cardamom), Aduwa (Ginger), Amriso (Broom Grass), and Akabare khursani (Round Chillies).While visiting Ilam you should not miss two best milk items - Bambaison and Lollypop. We spent the remaining day doing nothing mentionable; had lunch and went to bed and started dreaming.Day 6 - Ilam ➟ Shree AntuAfter waking up at 6:30 we freshen up then be ready to move from the city. Next destination was 'Kanyam Tea Garden - most popular tea estate of Ilam' that was ~40 KM crossing Mai Khola then following the most winding portion of the highway. It was about 7:00 when we started that day's journey. In no time we reached Mai Khola Bridge and had breakfast.
Lord Vishnu (Narayan) Jalasayana(Sleeping on water), lying on Ananta SesaNaga, in the cosmic ocean. The Deity is over 1,000 years old. Lord Vishnu is about 5m (17 ft) long and is lying in a 13m (43 ft) long tank, as if floating, with His legs crossed. His four hands hold the four symbols of Vishnu: the chakra (disc), club, and conch-shell and lotus flower.
Kailash nath mahadev
It has world's highest statue of lord Shiva which is 144 Ft tall.
We had delicious lunch in nearby hotel before following the wider trail to Dhunche. Thulo Syabru - Dhunche road was not yet opened for public vehicle as it was still under construction in few sections. During dinner, the hotel owner uncle told us that there is a blue truck that could take us till almost half way to Dhunche but as soon as we got out of the dining hall it moved and never stopped - that means we had no options left except walking almost 20 KM to reach Dhunche. Without worrying much we begin final trek in the wide, dusty and winding road, which went up for around 20-25 minutes then started descending. Rhododendron flowers were the major attraction of the trail as it was making whole forest beautiful. We took the shortcut whenever possible. We had tea in roadside tea-house after reaching Brabal. It was kind of boring as nothing exciting things around - we were down to ~2200m so no glimpse of mountains too. Few KM after crossing Brabal we completely left the motor road and took the short way to Sano Bharkhu. Continuously following the similar track, we stopped after reaching Thulo Bharkhu, where we met the highway that leads to Rashuwagadhi and China. After having 200ml mango juice we waited in the road side to jump in whatever vehicle that comes. After around 10 minutes two containers came and we climbed in the second one that came from Kerung with more than 13 tons of Apple. Dhunche was about 5 KM far. Even that short ride was adventurous enough due to narrow and winding road in the edge of hill, we reached Dhunche after about 15 minutes.
Despite of wild and tired last day, I woke up at around 6:30. I was surprised to get the awesome view of Ganesh and Langtang Himalayan range from the window creating perfect first scene for the music video of the song 'Bihana Uthne Bittikai... Himal Dekhna Payiyos... '. I immediately grabbed my camera and went outside, it was freezing. After few shots I get back to the room, changed the dress and went outside again. Sun was about to get out from the hill as rays spread over the sky making the surrounding Himalayan range more awesome. After spending 10-15 minutes alone, I called friends too. As sun got out, the freezing village started getting some life.We were yet to wash our faces, which was difficult to do with cold water. So we asked for a bowl of warm water and ordered 3 black coffees. After being fresh, we sipped the coffee, packed up the bags and ready to move in the easy trail to Thulo Syabru. The trails from Mulkharka to Thulo Sybru was towards down. We had gentle walk inside the forest where group of Langur Monkeys were playing in the big trees, in some places we crossed small pastures. With the fun, we once missed the main trail and kept on walking in the narrow trail inside the jungle that luckily later joined the missed route. There were thick dust in some portion of the trail. Despite there were no one on the route except us, I rushed to be in front of two friends and as I walked, the dust got spread around the trail, in the shoes and in the lower section of trousers ;). During the walk we crossed few places with human settlements such as Dursa, Garta village etc., where the trails were stone paved. As we got down, the snow capped mountains started fading and Thulo Syabru came to the scene. Rhododendron trees full of flowers welcomed us in different sections and it was ~10:30 when we reached Thulo Syabru. The descent was real fun.
Volunteer as an artist in residence with the Marpha FoundationThe remotely developed expanses of Himalayas provide a great variety of volunteering opportunities. One such organisation, situated in Marpha village of Thak Khola Valley, offers a chance to artists and creative thinkers to be 'Artist in Residence' and help blossom the imagination of the village kids. If you are an artist from any field such as visual arts, theatre, dance, creative writing and music, and love working with kids, then submit your application to the Marpha Foundation. The Artist in Residence programme requires a minimum of 2 weeks stay and can go on for as long as 9 weeks, depending on how much time you can commit.Know before you go: The registration fees for the 'Artist in Residence' programme is $75, and you can find out the weekly dates by dropping a query here. To find more about the programme, check out this page and to read up on the Marpha Foundation, visit their official website.
2. Langtang Valley TrekWhile you trek in the Langtang Valley, which is home to the tribes of Newars and Tamang, the Langtang Lirung peak will cast its shadow on you. Not very far away from Kathmandu, Langtang will still give you the peace and quiet that you won't even find in Kathmandu. Trekkers can easily traverse the high altitude passes and explore the beauty of the Langtang National Park. The Great Himalaya Trails has quite a wide variety of trekking options in and around Langtang, which are suitable for all kinds of trekkers.
I have my Uncle living in Bharatpur. So staying and food was not an issue. Its a beautiful citiy. Few attraction of this city are Narayani river,There was a cultural event on the bank of it and I kinda enjoyed it, though couldn't understand most of it. Apart from this There is Chitwan National Park , A good place to visit for a wild life lover.
This can be visited as part of the exploration of Mithila region and its capital Janakpur in modern day Nepal (just across the border) to visit the grand 'Janaki Mandir'. Considered to be the place where the marriage between Devi Sita and Lord Ram was performed.
Do a temple tour of Dhulikhel on footDhulikhel is a beautifully located village in Nepal as it provides a panoramic view of over 20 peaks, including Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m), Mt. Ganesh Himal (7,429 m), Mt. Langtang (7,234 m), Mt. Phuribichyachu (6,637 m), Mt. Gaurishanker (7,134 m) and Mt. Lhotse (8,516 m). Along with being blessed with the best view of the high Himalayas, Dhulikhel is also home to a number of ancient Hindu temples. Once you reach the place, move towards the Old Town, which narrowly escaped the 2015 earthquake, and explore its religious history on foot.Know before you go: Buses from Kathmandu leave for Dhulikhel every morning, and it will take 6-8 hours to reach. Out of the best Newari temples that you can visit, put these on the top of your list: Kali Temple, Shiva Temple, Bhagwati Shiva Temple, Gita Temple and Hari Siddhi Temple.Explore the offbeat Helambu Valley on a week-long trekThe high mountains of Nepal are home to several tribes whose culture and way of life have stood the test of time. The Yolmo Tribe, indigenous to East Himalayan region, reside in the Helambu Valley and the best way to find your way to them is to trek! This trek is practical, not too challenging and can be completed in under a week. The beautiful trail is dotted with rhododendron trees and covers the best views of the valley, which includes a peak into the neighbouring valley, which will be Tibet!Know before you go: The trek is of an easy grade, but it is always preferred if the trekkers are physically fit and active. The trail starts from Sundarijal near Kathmandu and many trekking companies in the city organise it for affordable prices. The best time to take go on this week-long trek is from September to December.
The place in Nepal where you will find the most friendliest people of the country! Do not lose an option of chatting with them. They can tell you some real spots where you can find wildlife roaming in its natural habitat.
Next we rode to Sarangkot from Mahendra caves. This definitely is not a place to be missed if you are traveling to Pokhara. At an altitude of 1600 meter, this village gives a striking view of Himalayan range and the lakes at the same time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarankot The roads were nice until a point where due to construction we landed up riding in a patch full of mud and stones.I am sure once this construction is over, up till the summit, you will have smooth roads to enjoy. Pokhara is a place for para gliding. At a cost of 4500 Nepali rupees a decent para gliding can be done.
In the morning, we have an option to hike to Indra Gufa (Cave), which is 2-3 hrs two-way trip from Kaule. Indra Gufa is a famous cave in the region. While trekking back from Indra Gufa we also can visit a small multi-cultured village of Dangshi Marang. The village manifests diverse cultures of Newars, Damais, Kamis and Brahmins. If we plan to skip this morning hike to Indra Gufa, the day’s trek is relatively short. We begin the trek from Kaule along the descending trail to a small marketplace of the region, Ramkot. From Ramkot we tread on the descending jungle trail to Sarke Bhanjyang. Sarke Bhanjyang has couple of abandoned houses. From Sarke Bhanjyang, the trek begins to climb up through the dense jungle over the stony steps all the way to Mohoria. This part of the trek is fascinating. Gradual walk uphill along the forest trail, encounters the natives, witnesses the lifestyle of mid-hill Nepal (people collecting timbers) and sights several species of colorful birds. Almost ninety minutes of uphill walk through the forest brings us to another small mid-hill settlement of Mohoria. We have our lunch at Mohoria. Mohoria is small and organized village in the region. After the lunch at Mohoria, we hike up along the stony steps to a small Monastery. The view from the Monastery includes the panorama of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna Ranges, Lamjung Himal and Gorkha Peak. Then we slide down quickly from the monastery, tread for five minutes along the motor-road and then enter the trails inside the woods via a volleyball court. Now, walking through the forest trails offers us an opportunity to sight many species of colorful birds. We walk through this forest trail for almost forty-five minutes. The final push to Chisapani stretches along the trail on the right that goes vertically up on the stony steps. As we reach the top, we see a small temple in the middle of the jungle. Trekking further on a leveled trail, we arrive to Chisapani. Chisapani is a small Gurung Village, which offers the great views of Himalayas, hills and terraced fields. It is also a culturally rich Gurung Village. Plus, the sunset view from Chisapani is fascinating. The wonderful pattern of the green Hills cuddling to each other and the last hill seen on the horizon changing its color when sun sets is a wow view from Chisapani. We will stay today at Chisapani in the home-stay lodges operated by the locals.
This place is my village. living and food was obviously free again :) Its a normal hilly village . A lots of woods , less people , calmness in the air , not a tourist spot though, but a traveler can visit and people are nice enough to help a stranger. its around 4 hours of trek from Gyadi so Worth a try for a wanderer.
To go Ilam, we landed up going back to Dulikhel. There took a right turn and started for Bardibas. The road was very nice. The mountains on one side and the river on the other side. The road was amazingly smooth. After having ridden for a while there was a part where the road was being constructed and here we came across the first long stretch of treacherous road. Our plan was to reach to Bardibas. Here we stayed in hotel Gautam*. The dinner was not very good here. *http://www.panoramio.com/photo/22123436
We directly went to the same hotel where we had lunch before starting the trek as our bikes were also parked there, rested for some moments, washed our faces, had some food and be ready to move to the capital. Clock was already ticking 16:00 and we at least needed 5 hours to reach Kathmandu.We crossed the nearby Army Check Point after around 10 minutes and continued to the extreme road crossing Ramche, Grang, Thade etc. We reached Kalikasthan safely from where the road condition was comparatively good. It was almost dark. Our ride continued passing Laharepauwa, Betrabati, Bidur then Battar of Trishuli Highway, we had brief chocolate break. As our plan was to reach Kathmandu through Galchhi-Naubise - Thankot then Kathmandu so we turned right after reaching Pipaltar of Nuwakot as the roadside board suggested, which is few KM from Battar. The way till Galchhi was completely with the Trishuli river. We reached there at around 19:45 and without much delay we continued following Prithivi Highway with Kathmandu still ~45 KM far. Experiencing the damaged trails of Nepalese Highway we reached our place at around 9:30 PM. The highway ride was normal except for Thankot - Kalanki section, which was dustiest and torturous.
A quick getaway from Kathmandu. Beautiful rolling hills and paddy fields, away from the city noises.
Fuel up your bikes n spare tanks here, the only town to have a petrol pump on this route till you reach Upshi
At Sun Moon Lake, we stayed at what is widely considered the best leisure hotel in Taiwan – and rightly so. The Lalu was designed in 2002 by Australian architect Kerry Hill, who has won numerous design awards. With all rooms overlooking the lake and the longest swimming pool in Taiwan (an infinity pool with waters that seem to spill straight into the lake), The Lalu certainly has the wow factor.
On Day 5 you’ll reach 4000m and the terrain will change as you reach Dingbouche. It’ll be much colder during the day and you’ll need your down jacket from this point.
Gokul is a place where lord Krishna spent his childhood and many stories are associated with this small village adjacent to bank of river Yamuna. You can visit the temple which was home of Lord Krishna during his childhood days. Many other tales and stories are also associated with the place and you can enjoy boating here. Scenic view is good here and you should also see sunset at this place.
oxygen will go down and you will start the battle for life
3. Helambu Valley TrekExperience the local culture and hospitality of the Hyolmo Tribe, and gaze at the glistening peaks of the world in the horizon while in Helambu. This trek is perfect for those who cannot too many days off and need a shorter, more practical route to trek. The Helambu trek is dotted with rhododendron trees and greenery, while at some patches you will see clear grounds of the countryside.