Five Travel Zombies’ escapade,a trip to Khaptad National Park!

Five Travel Zombies’ escapade,a trip to Khaptad National Park!

I read somewhere that many travelers relate to the experience of travel closely to the throw of dice because every time we try to make travel predictable, it still finds a way to give it to us raw and random experiences with those lightning “spectacular now!!” moments which keep on treating every longing heart to take one more step further unto the unknown. And what is “unknown” besides “a walk into the uncharted” and what is “travel” other than “a walk away from your comfort”. On January of 2015, five travel zombies went on an escapade to one of the farthest region of Nepal. About 3 days away from Kathmandu, covering 225 sq.km of Bajhang, Bajura, Achham and Doti, resting at the altitude of 1000-3300m, far away from terms like “Modernity” and “21st century”, Khaptad National Park enjoys itself as it did a thousand years ago waiting to share everything that it holds.   We left from New Bus Park at around 4 in the evening and were shuttled through the Mahendra highway covering a total distance of more than 700 km. In the morning, at around 9, we were picked up by our dear friend and placed in the comfort of his house in the plains of Kanchanpur,Dhangadhi. The day went by as we took into the jungles, shared jokes with local people and watched children’s walk to their school. In the evening we bought food that we anticipated we need for our trek such as chiura (flattened rice), bhujia (crispy snack), achar (pickle), a cartoon of waiwai (noodles), biscuits and chocolate wafers (a lot) and toilet paper...
Mountain Calls : How I Spent The Best 10 Days Of My Life Trekking Annapurna Circuit !

Mountain Calls : How I Spent The Best 10 Days Of My Life Trekking Annapurna Circuit !

It had only been a few weeks since I got back from the Mardi Base Camp trail. The phone rang and a voice from the other side said, “bhai, Annapurna round circuit handim nata dajubhai”. When one Ghumante says to another, “Let’s hit the Annapurna Round Circuit trail”, you just don’t say NO. The buzzing of World’s Highest crossable pass “Thorong la”, Tilicho lake, the whole of the Annapurna Range to walk side by side, soul craving for adventure, my heart was already up there in the mountains. Bags packed. Our hearts were aching to roam in the mountain’s high, and we were ready to roll. The first stop of the trail was at Besisahar, Lamjung. We celebrated the reunion of our two brother’s 16 years of friendship. Had local spirit. We experienced several colorful moments, making our stay much more interesting. It was a great way to start what was to become the wonderful 10 days. “BesiSahar”, Gateway to heaven, I love you but with nerve wrecking off trail road waiting, we didn’t explore Besisahar as much as we had hoped. It was already time to leave for the Mountains. Riding through the tunnel for the first time in my life, we left Besisahar for Chame. You need guts to drive along those off roads. Maybe that’s the reason most of the jeep drivers were young and carefree. Ours was 19. If any sort of accident was to happen, I don’t think they would find either the parts of vehicle or the bones of the passengers. With Marsyangdi flowing by your side, or sometimes thousands of meters below...
The unexpected journey in the Kingdom of Lo

The unexpected journey in the Kingdom of Lo

When the country was in turmoil and life was hit hard by the blockade in the plains of Nepal, four friends from Damauli decided to do something unexpected. They packed their traveling gears, gathered whatever fuels they could and headed out to one of the most epic journey in the Kingdom of Lo, Upper Mustang. Enjoy the video where they travel to the magnificent Zhong Caves, beautiful Dhumba Lake, the Muktinath Temple and witness the live snowfall. Epic adventure, lots of...
Backpacker’s Valentine

Backpacker’s Valentine

May you never be too busy to go to Mountains…. The Heart beats and the Mind wanders. My soul craves to roam somewhere else leaving my physical body. Longing for adventures to come. Thrills of joy .Somewhere far away, pathless woods awaiting. This kills me. Maybe its time for me to leave, to go away from everything, the crowd, noise, attachments, just everything that’s around. Bored,restless; I can’t breathe here anymore. Screaming Echoes in my head . Dead, I feel inside. Numb,nothing left. Stuck,drained. Storm in my calm mind, fire in my burning soul and a mess in my eyes. Always dreamed  of living. Frustrated, baffled. Running, awaiting storm, dwelling to disperse faraway. Enough of you, this crazy society.They don’t understand, they won’t, they never tried to .Fading light you are, passing by just like every other day. Never want my soul to be confined within walls, I want it to be wanderer of the wild. Feelings of failures trying to find a new beginning but I find being a lost cause already. Maybe, I need to move beyond these walls, need not to hear your counsel. Maybe, I forgot to live trying to survive. Maybe, I forgot what life tastes like in this crowd. Maybe, I need to go away to the place I belong. Where ” I” means only me. Me I so wanted to be. Me for myself. Me that I dreamt of, so desperately desired to be. No more,no less. I dream to stand far away in solitude to breathe again, to smile again. There’s no time for anything else.   As they said,”There are...
Annapurna Circuit Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Every once in a while, I dream of waking up someday to find that I’ve got wings all of a sudden and I can fly. Even if I couldn’t fly all over the world, I wish to see all the places in Nepal. In the past five years, my dream and the reality were like day and night that never overlapped. With every morning, my dream fades away along with my sleep but my enthusiasm never dies, hope remains and my wandering zeal prevails. Who needs the wings to wander? A Leopard doesn’t need wings to run like a wind and elephants walk gracefully without wings. This is the feeling that pushed me to go on the trek to Annapurna Round Circuit. Exciting companions, burning ghumante spirit in heart, a back-pack with all the necessities, good camera and a pair of trekking shoes, what else do you need to start? Annapurna circuit is one of the top 10 trekking routes in the world. This route goes through four districts Lamjung, Myagdi, Manang and Mustang of which the latter two districts are on the other side of the mountains. Besisahar, thheadquarter of Lamjung district, is the entry point of this route which is 6 hours by bus from Kathmandu. Our journey began with the sunries and we were in Besisahar at around 2pm. Recently, a massive earthquake had devastated Nepal and on top of that, the country was going through turmoil and chaos due to the blockade imposed in the southern border. Therefore we were also very curious to see how this had affected the travel destinations and the daily...

The Mardi Trek

Planning a short holiday in Nepal? Or do you feel the adrenaline rush for a real mountain thrill??  I’ve the perfect travel destination for you that is not just a surprise but also a place that makes you feel like HOME , the  ‘HIMALAYAN-MARDI TREK!!’ MARDI TREK, opened up for travelers from 2012. It is a new trail around ANNAPURANA. It’s a great travelling experience, with comfortable lodgings, an amalgam of Rhododendron forests, high hills and amazing mountain views. So, here I share the 4 days and 5 nights travel journey with my colleagues and a wonderful moment of my life,  the “hidden trail treasure”. The journey to  Mardi started on a bus  from the Baglung Bus Park, Pokhara towards  Lumle, through the beautiful paddy fields of Hemja, the speedy turns, high bumpers and riversides. High up in the hills is Kade, the  place with recorded the most rainfall in a year.  Few hotels serve hot tea made from their own produce and cookies to warm up before the beginning of the trail.  This is where the  foot trail starts. After  an hour walk through the tropical jungle, villages, steep paths, we reach the  Australian Base Camp. The paved ways, the beautiful Marigolds in front of the houses, and hospitality of the  people were are few reasons to pause our hike and relax our fatigued limbs. The destination ahead , Pothana offered the easy walk with stone stairs for about 1 and half hour in the forest with some rest stops on the way. With  a Tourist information center, hotels with delicious menu  and friendly locals to interact with, we got some few trekking questions answered and a motive to walk with adventure in our heads. Getting the relevant maps...
मनकामना यात्रा, भुकम्प पछिका तिता मिठा अनुभव

मनकामना यात्रा, भुकम्प पछिका तिता मिठा अनुभव

श्री गणेश : ( यात्रा अघिका कुरा) मनमा तरङ्ग, बितरङ्गहरु जोश, शक्ति र बिश्वास अनि अाट `घुमन्ते´ नामै यस्तै छ । धेरै जस्तो अन्य कार्य र पढाईमा ब्यस्त हुने भएकै कारणले सनिवार वा अरु बिदाका दिन घुम्न निस्किने बानी । बानी भन्दा पनि लत नै लागिसक्यो  भन्दा ठिक होला । युवा अवस्था जोश –जागर र अाट गर्ने बानी को त कुरै नगरौ । वर्षा को मौसम यसपालि घर मात्र बसिराख्न अल्छी लाग्ने । लगभग ४० वटा जिल्ला घुमेको अनुभव बटुल्दै नजिकै ४० कि मिमा (दमौली बाट ) अवस्थित मनकामनाको हिडाइ गर्ने योजना पारित भो हामी दुई साथी बिच । सनिवार भनिएको हिडाइ कारणवस शुक्रबार नै गरौ भन्ने धारणा अर्का घुमन्तेको । सनिवार भनिएको यात्रा को ठिकठाक तयारि गर्न नपाउदै शुक्रबार नै झोला र क्यामेरा बोकि हिडियो । भन्ने गरिन्छ नि ” Travelers do not plan their destination they just travel around. ” अब अघिको यात्रा आफै पढ्नुस । धार्मिक दृष्टिकोणले ज्यादै नै महत्व बोकेको मनकामना मन्दिर हिन्दुहरुका लागि पुग्नै पर्ने धर्मिक स्थल । जहाँ बर्सेनि हजारौंले आफ्ना मनोकामना एवम्   कयौं भाकल पूरा होस भनेर धाउने गर्दछ्न । अरुको जस्तो अथाह मनोकामना नभएपनि केही प्राथना त माग्ने सोच पनि थियो मनकामना माइको सामु । बैशाख १२ र २९ गते गएको महाभुकम्पको केन्द्रबिन्दु रहेको गोरखा जिल्ला र गोरखा जिल्लामा अवस्थित मनकामना मन्दिर । त्यसैले यस यात्रामा धार्मिक पाटो मात्र जोडिएको छैन । भुकम्पले चर्काएको र हल्लाएका घर, गोठ, स्कुल र मनकामना मन्दिरको पनि बेग्लै कथा जोड्न खोजेको छु । घरबाट अलि अबेर हिडियो तर पनि आबुखैरेनी बाट उकालो लाग्दा बिहानको सात बजेको थियो । मर्स्याङ्दि र दरौदीको संगम भन्दा अलि तल बाट   झोलुङ्गे पुल तर्दै कानटार गाउँ बाट ठाडो उकालोको पैदल यात्रा...
Mardi Base Camp Calls

Mardi Base Camp Calls

Like every other October that passes by, this one was filled with buzz and excitement too. The mountains were calling and I was ready to roll. Not everyone answers to the calls from the mountains – but no matter how much we want to deny the desire to travel, there is an element of curiosity in all of us. Join us on this amazing trek to Mardi Base Camp within the laps of Machapuchhre and Mardi Himal (Mountain). A four-day trek that commenced with three people soon turned into eight people. As they say, you will find heaps of like-minded people while traveling and so did we. The three of us bid our farewell to Pokhara and left for Mardi. We began this exciting adventure from Kade. The steep trails from Kade to the Australian base camp hinted a subtle clue of the challenges, which lay ahead of us. With no luck at witnessing the mountains from the Australian base camp, we left for Pothana. We rested our boots, filled our bellies and exchanged our keen eye to travel. Soon enough, we were on our way to Deurali. We had our moments of discussion just like every traveling group – whether to stay here or to continue until our next stop. With the clock showing only 2 pm, hungry for wanderlust, we continued to walk along the trail and moved towards Forest Camp. Little did we know it would take us more than 4 hours with no tea shops to stop by in between Deurali and Forest Camp. Despite the foggy weather, the two other familiar faces were all we...
The Forbidden Kingdom!

The Forbidden Kingdom!

After 4 hours of bumping our heads and bodies inside the jeep from Chhusang, the three of us were finally in the Lo-Manthang Village, Upper Mustang. The view that we witnessed from there made us completely forget about  the tiring jeep ride. We were afraid if it might rain but Driver Dai told us that the people of Upper Mustang get rain only two/three times last year. Then the most amazing thing happened. When we got out of the jeep, two snowflakes gently landed on my palm. I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was the first time I had ever felt the snow and it was amazing.  But then it stopped. We later thought that maybe it was just a nice gesture, a warm welcome to the ‘The Forbidden Kingdom’. Lo-Manthang was previously known as ‘Kingdom of Lo’ and was prohibited to Tourists until 1992, which has made it one of the most preserved regions in the world. The people here still speak their native Tibetan Languages and follow centuries old Tibetan Culture. With the growth of Tourism, people have learned to speak foreign Languages and have started hospitality businesses. They provide really good services to the people who travel to witness the beauty of Upper Mustang Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista is the last official and current unofficial king of Mustang and is currently said to be in the Kathmandu Valley. The locals are very friendly and we were very much happy with the hospitality provided. You might presume the lodging and fooding at such a  remote  place is surely expensive but guess what! It isn’t. It’s almost the same as Jomsom and a cheaper than Muktinath. People are all very kind and it...
Holidaying in the Street: The echoes of Patan

Holidaying in the Street: The echoes of Patan

Mountains are always inviting, the hills are always welcoming, the plains are truly vibrant, but many a times in life, we are bound by the concretes. The city just does not let us go anywhere. While trekking, hiking or camping would ideally come to our minds for a recreational vacation and exploration, the city and its spaces through its concretes can also provide sufficiently to celebrate a weekend in a unique way. Kathmandu Valley is both profane and sacred. While this city seems so indifferent and is sandwiched between the ugly towers and its shrinking rivers, the city has its own unique charms to keep you awestruck, if you are really willing to stand and stare a bit.   Once we stand and stare, we will actually realize that this city that we often find struggling for its visibility between the dust and its sloppy streets, actually oozes with ancient fragrances and offers vibrant colors of our day to day lives. Kathmandu Valley unveils its treasures in the narrowest of its lanes. Three major Durbar Squares – namely Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square are its life lines, which keeps its tangible heritage alive and where Gods and Goddesses come alive. I am today talking about a Saturday in Patan Durbar Square. One of the most intriguingly structured spaces of the ancient city, Patan Durbar Square and its adjoining lanes offers you the most vibrant theatrical experience you can earn within a matter of few hours. A Saturday in Patan Durbar Square Wear your comfortable casual outfit, carry average money – approximately 500 rupees and...