A walk to remember
Posted on: 18th Mar 2019 Author: Apil Thapa
As a part of our team building activities Dolphin Dive Technology offer its employees various opportunities to group them outside of the office time. This Saturday was a part of same. We went hiking to Champadevi temple.
We had everything planned on the day before hiking. Some of us were to go on shopping, whatever is necessary for us during the hiking. The necessary shopping was done on the Friday itself. Seven of us were to meet on Balkhu and three of us were coming from old bus park in Kathmandu. The earlier day we had discussed to be on Balkhu at 7am but as it happens most of the time, the people from Old Bus Park were not at Balkhu on time. It took some time for them to reach. As soon as the friends from old bus park arrived at the place remaining of us also boarded the same bus. The bus was very much crowded. Being Saturday It was filled with people who were going to Dakshinkali Temple (One of the prominent goddess in Hindu religion). During our bus journey friends were pulling each other’s legs. Guys boarding from Balkhu were poking the guys who came all the way from Bus Park for the fact that they were not at the mentioned time. Three guys were trying their best to defend themselves. It was a fun journey filled with laughter. After about 1 and half hours, driving for nearly 16km we reached at Bhanjyang (the starting point for our hiking).
We decided to eat light breakfast at bhanjyang and entered a small hotel. We ordered pea grams and boiled eggs. The pea grams were not fresh and had sour like taste. We mentioned that to the owner she was defending her pea grams saying, “They are fresh. We boiled these today only and stuff like that.” We didn’t give up for the bad grams. At last she brought a utensil and asked to pour all the grams on that and she took it away. That moment I learned an important point, most of the people do not accept their mistake in the first go, after that we ordered some tea, milk and puff. Having our breakfast and clearing our bill, we started to walk up the hill up to Champadevi.
The trail was of the steps through the pine forest. At some point the trail met with the road for vehicles also. We saw that people were travelling on a jeep carrying the bicycles at the back. Later we came to know that they were on some kind of downhill bicycle race. After walking for about half an hour we reached hattiban resort. School guys were on a picnic event who were enjoying on their own. As we went on walking we got to know that there is no water facility on the way to top, so we diverted our way a little bit in search of water. At the end of our walking road we found Buddhist type of home where we asked for water. We drank water there and took some with us. After that the road was like straight up the hill for several minutes till we reached on the top of hill. The view from the top was nice. One could see large part of Kathmandu valley clearly. In the far distant forest were all of the pine trees. It seemed so dense that one could walk just over the top of trees as walking on the ground. After that the trail was down step paved with stones.
After some time we reached a shed. We decided to rest for a while. We drank the juice which we had with us. We took several pictures of our group.
After that we continued on our journey to the Champadevi hill. During the journey we were very much exhausted. Some of us were taking rest after walking for some time while some of us were on the constant pace walking up the hill. Three guys Ramesh, Anish and I were the first to reach the Champadevi temple. We decided to welcome the late comers with a fire lit. After a constant struggle the fire was finally lit. After some time all of us were on the top of the hill. There too was a shed. The fire was lit under the shed. All of were around the fire taking out whatever food stuff we had. We ate the food we had with us. Suddenly, it started to drizzle with hailstones. Thank god we had fire to keep us warm. We kept on adding more firewood on the fire. We enjoyed the fire for some time but we had to return so we talked of walking down slowly. We managed to pack all of our plastic waste, put off the fire and started to walk down slowly. On the way down the drizzle with hailstones was going on. We kept on walking down until we reached a shed. We decided to rest for a while which turned out be a nice move. While we were on the shed the hailstones started to pour down very heavily. During the time the thunder sound was going from low rumble to a loud and long crack. All of a sudden the stone paved roads were covered with the hailstones. All of the grass in the nearby area was all white. It was like someone just spread white flour all over the area. We were taking photographs like we won’t get the moment ever again, carrying an umbrella on that hailstone drizzle. After a while it started to slow down and we continued on our journey. This time we took a different route then we used earlier. We wanted to go to Whitehouse, a hilltop in the Dakshinkali municipality. We went on walking down the hailstones paved road. The road was all white filled with hailstone, looked like the snow.
The road was slippery. Some of us slipped and most of us did not. The road was through the forest. After about 45 minutes we were at the end of forest road and reached an open space. On the open space we played with the hailstone ball hitting each other’s back for a while. Some local people were on the vicinity we asked them about the road. Following their advice we continued to walk through a small part of the village. While walking I looked around there was greenery all over the place. The village was in the lap of the dense and thick forest. I being a person living in the chaos, noisy and polluted city Kathmandu thought by myself that these villagers must be very lucky as they are living in the peace and serene atmosphere in the lap of forest where there is not an ounce of pollution and noise. After walking for a bit we reached the bottom of the white house hill. We were all very much tired. We went to the nearby shop and sat down there for a while. We asked him about the distance to the top. Thank god it was not much. The shopkeeper had a dog whose neck had a belt filled with iron nails. Upon asking we knew that the village faces the leopard situation like every other day. The villagers were thankful that no human were harmed till that day and the belt was just for the safety of the dog just in case if someday they will be face to face to each other. Then I realized that everything in life has a catch. We chatted for a while and started to climb up to the hill. We reached the top within minutes and went to view the Kathmandu valley from the top. In the far distant we could see the valley was separated into two parts by the sunlight one part was in the shadow and other was in the light part.
There was a person who was playing sarangi (Nepali local musical instrument with one string). The person was playing a melodious “kusume rumal” just the music part. I closed my eyes for a bit and tried to enjoy the music. Slowly I was trying to get lost in the music forgetting all my pain and remembering my journey up to the point and telling to myself that pain is temporary and memory is forever. We enjoyed the view and after a bit we started to get down. The downhill journey was very difficult as the legs were refusing to bend. Slowly we got down. After that we started to walk through the road towards the bus station. Asking to one of the villagers we came to know that the bus station is 10 minutes far from the place. As we started to walk away from the village we crossed the Dakshin kali municipality and entered in the kirtipur municipality. Every one of us was tired like hell. As we walked there were the mustard fields with the fresh mustard flower fragrance. For the distance which one of the villager told us about 10 minutes, I think we took the long route it took us about an hour to reach the place to get on the bus. After that we waited like half an hour, the bus came we boarded the bus. We got down from the bus at the kirtipur. One of us suggested going to the Lahana restaurant. It took us a bit to reach the restaurant. We ate to the full stomach cleared our bill and came out of the restaurant. It was quarter past 7 as we came out of the place. Ramesh took a different route to his home. He said he will walk up to home. Remaining of us came to kirtipur, waited for any vehicle to come. We waited like 20-25 minutes no any vehicle was ready to go on the way we needed. So slowly we started to walk towards Balkhu hoping that we will get a vehicle. On the way Bijay and Diwakar took a different route from the kirtipur TU gate towards their home. They also went walking to their home. Anish got lucky and boarded a bus to kalanki. Rest of us walked up to Balkhu. From Balkhu Sujit and Subash said that they will go to kalanki so they went on their way. Rosan, Kedar and Binay said they will board a vehicle from the ring road. I thinking that will surely get a lift upto home I went towards kalimati from balkhu. That was the end of our extended hiking journey. Did every one of us reach the home on time or not, what toils we each had to go through to reach home is also different story which I came to know the next day after meeting each of the friends. Upon reaching home I came to know that we walked about 25kms on that day. The journey was surely A walk to remember.