On Earth, there is no heaven but definitely there are bits of it.
Travelling to different places always gives me an essence of wandering in heaven. It’s astonishing to witness the mighty mountains, scenic landscapes and infinite oceans which seem to be the bits of heaven. Once again I got the chance to add some more bits of heaven to my memory bag.
Holi was around the corner and it was the last long weekend for corporate. Carrying a soul of traveler, I couldn’t resist from missing this great opportunity of tripping with my fam-jam. Juggling between different places from Mathura-Vrindavan to Khajuraho, we finally ended up going to Nepal. My excitement for this trip was soaring for two reasons. One was of course because of my extreme and never ending love for travel and second because I was meeting my lifelines (fam-jam) after a long time.
Well, finally it was Happy Holi and we were all set to make it the happiest ever. We departed from India safely after a little bit of trouble at the airport. It was the issue of identity proof and we had kind of lost hopes to travel to Nepal. The airline manager denied to board the flight due to some ID issue of some of the members. But instead of panicking in that situation, my brother enquired about it to the immigration officers available at Airport and cleared the issue. And finally, we got our boarding passes and flew to Nepal at 10:45 a.m. on 21st March’2019.
In not more than 2 hours, we landed on the grounds of Kathmandu at Tribhuvan International Airport. The soothing winds of joy and happiness hit our hearts giving us a feel of warm welcome. We completed the immigration process and boarded our hotel cab which was waiting outside the airport. We had already done all our hotel bookings to minimize the waste of time in searching hotels. We were warmly welcomed by our hotel guide with Khada, typically white silk scarf symbolizing the pure and rich heart of the giver.
After all the traditions, we proceeded towards our stay in Kathmandu, Hotel Manang. It was a beautiful hotel with a great staff located near the local market. It is said that Nepalese too celebrate Holi but we couldn’t find any bits of this celebration. After the allotment of rooms, we refreshed and stepped out to explore the local market.
While roaming around in Kathmandu for 2 days, I met many people and spotted some of the best Tibetan arts. Kathmandu is a pleasant and chaotic place at the same time but the people of Nepal are simply sweethearts, always calm and helpful. “Night life is the heart of Kathmandu.” I know it might sound funny and weird but this is the truth. Kathmandu is a perfect combination of western as well as traditional culture.
The valley has the most energetic and lively vibes all around at night. It is surrounded by pretty cafes and casinos as well as some of the best World Heritage Sites like the divine Pashupatinath Temple, largest stupa Boudhanath and the monkey temple Syambhunath.
These temples and stupas are beautifully decorated depicting the Tibetan culture all around. The Tibetan prayer flags and prayer wheels are the two most holy objects portraying Tibetan culture in every corner of Nepal. The colourful flags and the metallic wheels are the two cherries garnishing the whole Nepal with peace and positivity. Both Tibetan flag and wheel bear the mystical Tibetan mantra, “OM MANI PADME HUM”. It is a belief that the flags carry the prayers along with the wind spreading the spiritual vibes all around and rotating the wheel, the inscribed mantra gets activated eliminating all negativity and barriers. I personally do believe in this for whenever I visit Himalayas I am surrounded by the essence of happiness, positivity and peace.
While Kathmandu took us into the spirituality, Pokhara took us to all the adventures and sceneries. Pokhara is a leisure valley surround by the majestic Himalayas offering a myriad of options from unforgettable trekking adventures to the tranquil meditation. On our way to Pokhara on third day (23rd March), we couldn’t put our eyes off the scenic roadways. The idyllic river Trishuli flowing on one side and the heavenly snow-capped Himalayas in front captured our hearts all the way. Now, it was time to explore the streets of Pokhara.
After a long day, we chilled out on the shores of The Phewa Lake with the marvellous sunset scenery. When it got a bit dark, we walked along the local market of Pokhara filled with the Cashmere and Nepali Stuff and lots of amazing restaurants. On our return to the hotel, we celebrated my younger sister’s birthday. It was a sheer joy to share the celebration with other tourists.
Pokhara gives the best Himalayan views wherever you go, be it the mesmerizing Phewa Lake, the amazing David’s Fall, the Gupteshwar Mahadev Cave, the spiritual Peace Pagoda, or the Barahi Temple (a small island in the middle of Phewa lake).
We visited the divine Manakamna Temple which is a cable ride to the hill top. It was the most adventurous cable car ride I have ever been on where we crossed three huge mountains with river flowing beneath and mountains in front. The temple is famous for the goddess Manakamna is believed to fulfil all our wishes.
One Last thing which captured my mind, heart and soul was the super mystical sunset and sunrise I have ever witnessed in my whole life. I visited Nagarkot, near Kathmandu which is famous for its sunset views. I stood there shivering in cold breeze just looking at the vibrant sky changing its colour gradually as the sun went down.
Then, I visited Sarangkot, in Pokhara which is famous for its sunrise views. Once again, I fell in love with nature. As the sky changed its colour from red to orange to yellow, the Annapurna Range of Himalayas glowed capturing all the eyes. Believe me, it was magnificent. I feel truly blessed to witness such magical views of nature which tell you that both The End and The Beginning can be beautiful.
With this, one memorable trip came to an end. It was an immense pleasure to spend time with my family members. While travelling, I realized it’s not always about having fun with friends but sometimes your family trip can also turn out to be lot of fun, exploration and joy.
“Travel opens your heart, broadens your mind and fills your life with stories to tell.”