Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto

Tripoto
27th Dec 2017
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Day 1

Jiri, a small town located in Dolakha district of Nepal would be an alien name to many. However, for those who have successfully managed to complete the Everest trek or have included it in their wishlist, they would most probably be familiar with it. The reason for this being that it is one of the starting points for these trekkers heading to the Everest base camp.

Jiri is known to be one of the oldest gateways to Mount Everest. It is one of the most serene and tranquil destinations I've ever been to, one of the major reasons being that it is still untouched and not known to many tourists. In today's world, this is the greatest thing one can ask for.

There are no direct flights to Jiri, so if you want to get there, you'll have to first take a flight to Kathmandu (Tribhuvan International Airport) and then head off to Jiri in a private vehicle/public transport that would take around 7.5-8 hours of travel time. You can choose to spend a day or two in Kathmandu before you head off to Jiri, stroll through the quirky markets and buy yourself some nice souvenirs.

Lion statue in Central Kathmandu

Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Souvenir market in Central Kathmandu

Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Traditional jewellery of Nepalese women

Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Heritage site being restored after the damages done by 2015 earthquake

Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Nepalese style temple, the architecture resonates or seems inspired by Japanese architecture

Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Utensil business (especially copper) is one of the staple businesses that have been feeding families for generations

Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Marigold is considered as an auspicious flower and therefore used for decoration at holy places

Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Souvenir market in Central Kathmandu

Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Traditional jewellery of Nepalese women

Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Heritage site being restored after the damages done by 2015 earthquake

Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Nepalese style temple, the architecture resonates or seems inspired by Japanese architecture

Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Utensil business (especially copper) is one of the staple businesses that have been feeding families for generations

Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Marigold is considered as an auspicious flower and therefore used for decoration at holy places

Photo of Kathmandu, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries
Day 2

Start off the day early and leave for Jiri in your private vehicle or you can get to the Old Bus Park and hop onto a mini van or bus heading to the route. There are a lot of small towns that you'd come across on your way to Jiri. Also, the roads are pretty narrow and steep, plus the elevation goes up to about 3000 metres. But, do not miss out on the view outside during this journey as there's an entire range of the Himalayas to look out for. If you take off for Jiri in the morning, you'll reach there by early afternoon, just in time for some strolling around in the market in order to acclimatize yourself with the place.

I would highly recommend trying the Thukpa (Noodle soup dish) which is an absolute comfort food or even momos (chicken/vegetable dumplings). For the adventurous ones, you can try the local nepalese thali that would consist of rice, daal (lentils), mixed vegetables and local chicken (if you're a non-vegetarian). Also, do try the local drink chhang or it's variation tongba. Chhang is a fermented millet drink which is pretty strong and concentrated. When warm water is added to the same drink in a unique vessel, it is called tongba. Trust me, tongba is one of the most soul warming drinks you'd ever find  (almost like warm cider).

While you're at it, you can gel with the locals and get to know about their lifestyle, customs and traditions. I was here in December and it was pretty cold. It does not snow here so there are rarely any extreme living conditions during the winter.

View enroute Jiri

Photo of Jiri, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

The Tamakoshi river is so clear and soothing that you can actually see fishes swimming deep in the water

Photo of Jiri, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

You can get a splendin view of The Himalayan range from several points in this road trip

Photo of Jiri, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

You will see green pastures as far as your eyesight can reach.. There's greenery everywhere you see...

Photo of Jiri, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Tamakoshi river again enroute..The water makes you want to dive right into it

Photo of Jiri, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries

Tongba utensil that stores chhang diluted with warm water..

Photo of Jiri, Nepal by Unplanned itineraries
Day 3

Early next day, you can go out for hiking. There are very few distinct roads here so you would have to follow the natural trails to get to places. For all cheese lovers, there's a cheese factory that you can visit, where they make the most amazing yak cheese ever ! I bet you'll fall in love with cheese again. You'll find women happily talking, singing and harvesting crop and that is going to be a soothing sight in itself. The best time to catch the local vibes here would be during the festival of Tihar (Diwali). This festival is celebrated in a grand manner for 5 days with lots of fun get togethers, singing and dancing especially during the 3rd and 4th day. The locals roam around from house to house singing and dancing, collecting money (given by the house owners as goodwill/blessings) which resonates with the festival of Halloween wherein children go out for trick or treat.

Ask any local for the way to the top of a nearby area that would give you the best view of this place and you'd soon be on your way there. I would recommend going there during sunset as this is the time when the golden hues of the sky would perfectly compliment the greenery around.

The best part about this place, as I mentioned earlier, is the place being lesser known, plus the locals here are as hospitable as one can be. They would welcome you in their homes, tell you stories, give you an insight on their lifestyle and before you know it, you'd be a part of their family ! That's what I like best about small villages, the communities are so close-knit, the entire village appears as one family. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that some of the locals had their children well settled in different parts of the world like Britain, US, Canada, Germany, etc., yet they choose to live a life of humility and simplicity. 

Wild berries

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

One part of this town geographically resonates with the Swiss land, probably the reason behind it's label given by tourists..

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

Livestock is one of the main sources of income for most of the locals

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

How lucky are those who get to live on organic produce..They have their own farmlands and their own produce which they sell as well as use for their own households

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

Locals in traditional attire

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

These peach blooms remind me of Japanese blooming seasons..What beauty they contribute to an area..

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

Women harvesting crop

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

These chillies are known to be one of the hottest in the world...They say the shorter they are in length, the higher their heat level

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

Sunsets are mesmerizing here...the sun will go hide behind the clouds and layers of multi-dimensional hills just like the drawings you made during schooldays

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

Me trying to take in every sight available, this one is from a millet farm..

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

Kiwi farming !! You'll find these precious super-fruits in abundance here....

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

Got this view from a kitchen of one of the locals...Who wouldn't like this view outside their kitchen?

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

Cattle grazing far off in green pastures

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

The most photogenic pig I've ever come across

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

Aaaand the view from the top

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

Sunrise this time... Equally mesmerizing I must say...

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

Dream of every kiwi lover

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

A closer view of the Himalayas

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

Having some fun in freshwater..

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

Natural trails that you'd be walking on

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

I spent hours in this area because I couldn't get enough of the views from this point

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries

One handsome goat that got offended when I tried clicking a picture without permission...

Photo of Welcome to the Switzerland of Nepal #notonTripoto by Unplanned itineraries
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